The season has come to an end and before we get into the conversation with respect to recruiting, the draft and spring ball we do need to tie up this season's loose ends. We've got our final blogpoll here for your consumption. In addition to the blogpoll check out some "other things" starting with the Audible Audibles podcast out from Husker Locker folks and then take in this great read from Bomani Jones on the whole playoff outcry in relation to collegiate athletics.
In The Bleachers Ballot - Week 16
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||1|
|5||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||--|
|7||South Carolina Gamecocks||2|
|8||Michigan St. Spartans||4|
|11||Boise St. Broncos||6|
|15||West Virginia Mountaineers||9|
|17||TCU Horned Frogs||-1|
|20||Virginia Tech Hokies||-5|
|21||Florida St. Seminoles||2|
|22||Kansas St. Wildcats||-9|
|24||Northern Illinois Huskies||1|
|Dropouts: Nebraska Cornhuskers|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
So there's the poll, we'll knock out a quick run down after the jump. Plenty to hit on right quick.
To kick things off we've got all the bowl losers taking a tumble of varying degrees. LSU drops a spot. Stanford, Georgia and Wisconsin drop a few. Plus Clemson, Virginia Tech and Kansas State take their own tumbles down the rankings. All drops seem warranted as LSU lost their game by three scores but still sits above the rest of the pack. In Stanford, UGA and Wisconsin we've got three teams that lost tough, tough games that they were right in position to win. For Wisconsin they don't capitalize on the Russell Wilson addition but heck of a year. With Stanford it appears the Andrew Luck success is gone and we'll watch where they fall to going forward. Georgia should be excited, plenty back for the Dawgs and they will be a player for 2012.
That last group of teams was all unimpressive in their own ways. Virginia Tech lost a game they should have won to the Michigan Wolverines. They did everything but score the football; dominating from a yardage standpoint but giving up two nuts plays to the Wolverines to ultimately give away the Sugar Bowl. Kansas State didn't exactly get boatraced but they did get handled. Never were truly out of the game on the scoreboard but it never actually felt like they had a chance to win their Cotton Bowl match up with Arkansas.
And ah Clemson. They got abused. Magestically, ridiculously abused. West Virginia broke their spirit and then tried their damnedest to break the scoreboard.
As for Mizzou and Baylor moving down there were two different reasons. Mizzou was merely a victim of circumstance as teams above them shifted around for position. Baylor though? Ugh. Their performance somehow gave everyone boners with how many points they scored but the fact is Washington, a 7-5 unranked Pac-12 team, took Baylor to the brink and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that their awful defense is just as stinktastic as their offense is exciting.
Now here is where the hardest part of this final ballot came into play. Three different areas that ultimately gave me some trouble but as I looked back through the season I felt comfortable with what I rolled out.
First up ranking Wisconsin behind Michigan State. They played two very tight games, games that saw them split and Wisconsin got the BCS bid because they won the second meeting in the Big Ten title game. They're only separated by two spots and that is based less upon Wisconsin's tough loss than it is on Michigan State's ability to hang in their with a solid Georgia team through multiple overtimes. I'll give Sparty the nod, especially given the beating they took the last time that group of young men came down south.
Next up Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Yeah I have the Hogs above the Pokes. No shame there for me. They had two common opponents and Arkansas handled them better than Oklahoma State did. Texas A&M was close for both but Kansas State was a game Arkansas handled much better than Oklahoma State. But, to be fair that isn't the real reason they're ahead, fact is I think the Hogs are a better team. They lost two games to the best two teams in the nation, it happens. Head to head give me the Hogs over the Pokes because I like Arkansas' ability to play at least a modicum of competent defense while both offenses are remarkably explosive.
Lastly the Oregon-USC-Stanford ordeal. One beat the other who beat the other who lost to the other who lost to the other. Oregon gets the nod here because even though they lost to USC at home in Eugene they did throttle the Cardinal on The Farm. Stanford brings up the rear because they won in overtime against USC, got throttled by Oregon and then just had no defensive answers, same as all year, against Oklahoma State. Southern Cal splits the difference clearly playing both teams tight and getting better as the year ended, so much better.