Who Needs a Blog Poll Week 7: Inevitability?

Welcome back, Amari! - Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

This feels a lot like 2009 with Ducks instead of 'Horns.

Inevitability. Stop me if you've heard this before: Barring some sort of tripping up by either LSU or Alabama, the winner will meet TBD in Atlanta (South Carolina? Mizzou?) with the very probable chance to play for a national title. At this point, that Rose Bowl MNCG teams appears Oregon. But, after the huge Clemson/FSU game, the winner could leap the Ducks. If you think this is boring or bad for college football, wait till the playoffs arrive, as the same wealthy powerhouses appear every year; a situation that will only be cemented when the playoff format inevitably expands from 4-to-8...and possibly beyond.

The B12 is still a hot mess, but Texas remembered they are Texas and OU remembered that 1. it is a walking, wounded defense and 2. Bob Stoops is still its coach. Maybe Mack Brown isn't a dummy after all. Texas is tied for 1st and very much alive with a Baylor team who struggled against 2-4 EMAW. The PAC12, as in the past several years, is a very deep conference with about 8 bowl teams, all of whom are quite good; but -just as in past years, only one or two teams are national players. The ACC is four-man race, with the same names as usual: Clemson, Miami, FSU, Virginia Tech. The middle of the conference, aside from Boston College, maybe Maryland and NCSU, is just plain bad. In the B1G you have tOSU riding solo. Everything else is a question mark: Put six team names in a bag, shake them up and you can defend the order of teams 2-7: Sparty, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa.

And, the SEC: My goodness what a mess in the East. In solo possession of 1st is the Missouri Tigers. But, Franklin's injury and loss for the year possibly ensures they won't stay there. Based on body of work, not just one or two marquee games, team health, and remaining schedule, South Carolina may have seized control. The real issue will arise if USC and UGA both run the table here out: You have UGA with a H2H win over USC, but a H2H loss versus Mizzou, the latter in turn with a H2H loss to South Carolina. I'll let Team Speed Kills or Rock M Nation figure out that looming indignation.

Rank

Team

LW

1

Alabama Crimson Tide

1

2

Florida State Seminoles

3

3

Clemson Tigers

4

4

Miami Hurricanes

6

5

Oregon Ducks

7

6

Ohio State Buckeyes

5

7

LSU Tigers

11

8

Texas A&M Aggies

9

9

UCLA Bruins

14

10

Stanford Cardinal

2

11

Missouri Tigers

21

12

Baylor Bears

12

13

Virginia Tech Hokies

16

14

South Carolina Gamecocks

19

15

Fresno State Bulldogs

17

16

Northern Illinois Huskies

20

17

Michigan State Spartans

22

18

Oklahoma Sooners

8

19

Texas Tech Red Raiders

---

20

Louisville Cardinals

23

21

UCF Knights

---

22

Nebraska Cornhuskers

---

23

Wisconsin Badgers

---

24

Georgia Bulldogs

10

25

Auburn Tigers

---

O, Hai! UCF Knights - Did what Michigan could not: beat Penn State on the road, and did so pretty handily. Only loss was a punchers' chance game versus a very good USCe team. Looking ahead, this team could beat Louisville. I think they're certainly more battle-tested. Bortles v. Bridgewater should be fun.  Texas Tech - One day, the triage unit of QBs will run out, or the defense will break. It hasn't yet: tied for first in the B12. Kliff loves his alma mater and it shows in his coaching. Nebraska - Only loss is to a UCLA team that appears unstoppable at times. That loss will not be a bad one at the end of the year. Conference play will tell us how good or bad Pelini's team actually is. Auburn Tigers: 5-1, swept the state of Mississippi, which is about as much as the Aggies have done. That said, TAMU is going to do very bad things at the Hate Barn to a bend-don't-break defense. This game will be a shootout for a bit if Auburn never throws a forward pass. Wisconsin - There are several 4-2 teams that could go here: Florida, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Penn State, Florida, Utah, Texas, Northwestern, USC, Washington etc. Of those, this is probably the most complete one. Conference play will be kind assuming the Badgers can stay healthy.

Be Gone! Washington - Potential only carries you so far. Two big games, two losses, and the secondary is a liability at best. The trip doesn't get easier with road games to Tempe and Westwood. Florida - Washington with a  defense: Potential everywhere, but only close losses to show for it. Either LSU has been resurrected as a defensive power or the Gators' offense is truly as bad as it looked. I'm going with the latter. North Dakota State - Week in-week out grind of the power conferences relegates the Bison to just FCS national title frontrunner: what a hard life. Michigan Wolverines - Worst 5-1 team we'll see this year. Northwestern - This wasn't Ohio State beating the Wildcats twice; it was a much better Badger team stomping a mud hole in whatever relevancy Evanston had remaining.

Social Promotion: Missouri - Bowl eligible, SEC-E 1st place, largely dominated on the road in Athens. Cannot say enough about the defensive line. Losing Franklin is brutal though.  South Carolina - Held the ball for 43 minutes, held Arkansas to 30 passing yards, had 32 first downs, bludgeoned the Razorbacks 52-7...on the road. With Mizzou, the new favorites to run the table in the East.  LSU - Unsteady offensive effort versus Florida. That can be forgiven. The defensive line's physicality was a new thing, as was the secondary actually being near a forward pass. Brutal road game at Alabama and a shootout with the Aggies loom large. Michigan State - Hello, offense! Hello, defense styming the Big Ten's second most explosive offense. Hello, poll bump accordingly. UCLA - Look at the schedules and results of the Oregon and UCLA schedules. Now, tell me exactly why the Ducks are considered the favorites? This is a dangerous team that has done more than anyone in the PAC 12.

Held Back: Oklahoma - Yes, there were defensive injuries all over the place, but OU apparently hadn't prepared for the possibility Texas would use a physical offensive line and just smash them. The Sooners under Big Game Bob have a decade-long habit of getting punched in the throat by big uglies and never getting off the mat. Stanford - Tough road loss to a good Utah team. Inconsistency, and occasional coaching derp, has been the bane of the Trees under Shaw...that 4th and goal from the 2 shotgun pass was inexcusable. Georgia - Just a shell of its self except for one constant: Mark Richt will always underperform expectations.  

Last Out: Oregon State: Overcoming that early hiccup. Probably as good as Auburn. Maybe a litte better. Road win at Rice-Eccles looks better now, no?

Serious question for you: Tell me which 4-2 team should be ranked (or close to it) and why: Florida, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Penn State, Arizona, Florida, Utah, Texas, Northwestern, USC and Washington.

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