1. LSU - As much as it may pain me to do it, a tip of the white, goobery hat must be made to LSU. They absolutely destroyed Ohio State, making them look like hapless patsies for the better part of the game and forcing them to play the kind of game virtually everyone knew they were incapable of playing. It's a disatisfying pick for #1 since they are, in fact, a two loss team, but in a season where apparently no one wanted to be #1 and where the title game opponents found themselves selected more by the fortuitous failures of their peers than their own actual merits (strange, I thought we didn't have a playoff in college ball...), we're left with LSU. Even though I can't say I'm happy about their being the 2007 Mythical National Champions, I can say they actually played like it last night, though, so kudos and whatnot.
Anyone else excited about the continuation of the inevitable and endless "Myth of SEC Speed" debate this is sure to engender?
2. Kansas - Didn't win their conference (or division for that matter), but neither did Georgia and the Jayhawks came out with a better record at 12-1.
3. Georgia - It was really a toss up at this point over whether to give UGA the nod at #3 or to go with Southern Cal. Both teams have played phenomenal ball down the stretch, and I seriously considered going with USC since they won (well, split) their conference and Georgia didn't even win the SEC East, but even that, combined with the memories of the inexplicable beatdown by Tennessee and embarassing loss to South Carolina, isn't enough to outstench the odor of a loss to Stanford.
4. USC - Capped off a pretty decent season with a thorough dismantling of Illinois in the Rose Bowl to finish 11-2. Again, could have been #3 (or #1, really) if not for the Stanford loss.
5. West Virginia - Dismantled Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl to finish 11-2, but memory of an inexecusable loss ot Pitt to finish the regular season (and to knock them out of contention for the MNC) keeps them from moving any higher than five.
6. Missouri - Had a great season, only losing to Oklahoma (twice), and dominated Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl to finish 12-2.
7. Boston College - They didn't look all that hot against Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl, and they had a couple of head scratching losses to FSU and Maryland, but to finish 11-3 under a new head coach is pretty impressive.
8. Texas - Pounded a very good Arizona State team in the Holiday Bowl to finish 10-3. Still, should have done better.
9. Virginia Tech - Finished 11-3 with a close loss to a very good Kansas team in the Orange Bowl. I kind of feel like they should be lower, but there isn't anyone I'd put ahead of them either.
10. Tennessee - An up and down year for the Vols ended with a 21-17 win over a respectable Wisconsin team to end up at 1-4.
11. Ohio State - Go to hell.
12. BYU - An 11-2 season, MWC Champs, and a miraculous (revenge) win over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl gets them up to #12.
13. Oklahoma - The Sooners can't buy a BCS win these days, and don't think they haven't tried.
14. Michigan - SEC SPEE...oh wait.
15. Florida - Had a better season than Michigan, but I just can't rank them higher.
16. Auburn - Fittingly, Kodi Burns scored the winning TD while Cox was on the bench. These guys are going to be good next year.
17. Texas Tech - Another year, another rousing comeback to secure a bowl win.
Plus, it gives me an excuse to bring back your favorite and mine, the Texas Tech Swim Team!
18. Cincinnati - Capped off a 10 win season with a victory over Southern Miss right here in the Magic City. Could have had an amazing year, but you just don't lose to Pitt and Louisiville (this year's model anyway) in back to back weeks and expect to be higher than #18.
19. Oregon - Could have gotten to New Orleans had Dixon remained healthy, but instead will have to settle for a 56-21 beatdown of USF in the Sun Bowl to finish up 9-4. I actually fell asleep during that game when the score was something like 3-11 in favor of the Ducks, and woke up in the middle of the Fourth to find they had run it up to a 49-21 lead. Apparently it was the most exciting offensive display I ever dozed to.
20. Arizona State - Split the Pac10 title with USC, but that absolutly pantsing by Texas drops them way low. If they can pass block next year, they should be damn good.
21. Hawaii - Oh, Warriors. Warriors, Warriors, Warriors. I stood up for you, I kept you ranked fairly high, I even took the position that you should be in the title game instead of LSU. And how do you repay my love? By refusing to block for Brennan the entire game and getting pantsed on a national stage after trying so desperately to make everyone believe you belonged there. But I just can't stay mad at you, so you will remain ranked.
22. Penn State - 9-4 and they won their bowl. Why not?
23. Virginia - Kind of a pity vote, but they did finish 9-4 in a season when no one thought they would get to a bowl, so whatever.
24. Mississippi State - I have to hand it to the Bulldogs. They overachieved into a 8-5 record with quality wins over Auburn, Kentucky, and Alabama, plus had a tremendous fourth quarter rally against Ole Miss to finish the regular season and held UCF to only three points in the kind of defensive struggle they've excelled at all season long.
25. Alabama - Say something, MFer. Say something.