This list is a power ranking, reflecting CFR's opinion of a team's strength at that point in the season. As such, it very often deviates from more traditional rankings such as the AP poll and other pundits' rankings.
Before I go further, I must add one caveat. In deference to having won the national championship, Texas is #1 on here. However, if I am to be the most accurate here I would have USC #1 on the final ranking, much as I would have put Miami #1 in 2001 after a close loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
The remaining rankings (2-9) are a true power ranking, however.
Congratulations again to the Texas Longhorns, who did the impossible and did it in style.
Final CFR top teams list 2005-2006 (1/9/2006):
- Texas-The Great One showed up when it mattered, and put together an amazing final five minutes. Coach Mack Brown was vindicated and the people of Texas possess something that for so long eluded them.
- USC-An amazing run. They're not going anywhere, but losing perhaps the best backfield in college football history will certainly hurt.
- Ohio State-Oh, the controversy! Thumped a well prepared Notre Dame team. Coach Jim Tressel is starting to build a legendary bowl reputation.
- Penn State-Survived a fast, physical Florida State team. Offense and defense regressed a bit in the big game.
- Virginia Tech-Bottled up a ready Louisville outfit.
- Notre Dame-Their athletic limitations caught up to them in a bizarre Fiesta Bowl outing.
- West Virginia-Well prepared. Athletic on offense, tough on defense. Defied the foibles of youth in a tough road win against Georgia.
- Georgia-Never recovered from WVA's "shock and awe" opening effort.
- LSU-Roughed up a ready-to-meltdown Miami team with a backup quaterback. Nice.
- Miami-Proof that talent does not equal wins. Recent coaching changes a painful necessity. A rolling stone gathers no moss---this team is covered in moss.
Others (in no particular order):
- Auburn-Listless, perhaps because of their rejection from the SEC title game and Wisconsin's last hurrah for Barry Alvarez.
- Oregon-Hard to win with backup quarterbacks. Switched out a hot Dennis Dixon for Brady Leaf and never regained an offensive rhythm. Played tough with a faster, bigger, more talented Oklahoma team. Who says the Pac-10 is soft?
- UCLA-Survived early disaster against Northwestern. Very quietly shut down the Wildcats' rush attack and scoring offense, as most points were surrendered in deep garbage time. What little backbone the Bruins had was on full display in El Paso.
- Louisville-Had a good, not good enough performance against a game Virginia Tech squad. Points for making do with a backup quarterback.
- Alabama-Snuck past a funky Texas Tech team.