1. Stanford Cardinal
GSR Ranking: 10
Sagarin Ranking: 2
AP Poll: 4
Stanford has come a long way since 2006 when they went 1-11. The following year, Jim Harbaugh took over and he increased the Cardinal's win total in each of his four years as coach. Last year, led by quarterback Andrew Luck, Stanford went 12-1, losing only to eventual Pac-10 champion Oregon and trouncing Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, 40-12. Harbaugh, who moved on to the San Francisco 49ers after the season, also kept up Stanford's standing as one of the finest universities in the world, with easily the highest graduation rate in the conference.
If the national championship was decided with academics as part of the consideration, the Cardinal - the only team ranked in the top 10 in both the AP Poll and the NCAA's GSR Report - would be the runaway winner.