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BlogPoll Calling: OTS's Ballot

You know the routine...

1. LSU: I would normally say a 58-10 win over Louisiana Tech is not particularly impressive, but honestly that was the best they've played in two months. I'll put them over Oregon now, though I have no real reason for it. It's basically 1(a) and 1(b) with the top two.

2. Oregon: I'll put the Ducks with 1(b), and at this point Dixon has to be the lock to win the Heisman. He should put up big numbers against some pretty bad opponents, and that should -- barring a bad showing -- should have Dixon hoisting the Heisman and the Ducks headed to New Orleans. These guys probably have the easiest path, at this point, to the Big Easy.

3. Kansas: Now 10-0 for the Jayhawks, and they could spoil the BCS. That said, these guys have the toughest road of anyone, and they will have to beat both Missouri and Oklahoma, both of which are top five teams. If they can do that, they deserve to be in the national title game. I really don't see it happening though.

4. Oklahoma: The Sooners are headed for the Big 12 title game, and are still in the thick of national championship contention. They still have some semi-tough games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State remaining, but if these guys can just get either LSU or Oregon to lose, they control their own destiny.

5. Missouri: In the same boat that the Sooners are in, with a loss from either Oregon or LSU, they control their down destiny and could get to NOLA. I'll put them behind the Sooners because they lost to them earlier in the year.

6. Ohio State: These guys pissed away a golden opportunity. On an aside, yet another top team from the Big Ten has massive struggles with a spread offense with a mobile quarterback. That just reeks of the Big Ten being a very slow conference. At times it reminds me of the SEC pre-Spurrier.

7. West Virginia: Out-fought Louisville despite trying to their best to piss it away, but nonetheless they are in good shape. The odds are good they make their second BCS bowl in three years.

8. Arizona State: These guys aren't that good, I don't think, but they are 9-1 and in contention for a BCS bowl. The winner of the ASU v. USC game will be headed to a BCS game, the loser the Holiday Bowl.

9. Georgia: This is the best two-loss team in the country, and they have played as good of football as anyone in the country in the past month. They just need to get a loss from Tennessee or it's going to be all for not. I don't see Kentucky beating them in Athens.

10. USC: Rebounded, finally, with a win over Cal, and now they are headed into a showdown with Arizona State. If they win there, they will get into a BCS bowl and possibly the Rose Bowl. Either way, regardless of what they do, this team is a major disappointment.

11. Florida: Tim Tebow is a beast, and the college football world has never seen a quarterback who could be a big-time passer and a bruising runner. The kid runs like McFadden and throws like Woodson, it's ridiculous. The Gators annihilated South Carolina on the road, and it's the defense that has cost these guys this year. If that unit congeals next year, look out.

12. Virginia Tech: The best team in a crappy conference that needed a fourth quarter rally to beat a crappy team at home. I think that sums this bunch of nicely. If LSU chokes the national title race, how funny would it be to see VT win the ACC only to have to play the team that took their manhood?

13. Virginia: Wow, that 48-0 beatdown of "Tha U" was simply great. And what a fitting way for the OB to go out. And Lamar, apparently you do go into the OB and kick ass. If you are Virginia. That one was great. On a more serious note, though, you really do have to wonder about Miami's long-term ability to compete with a small budget and poor facilities, and you really have to wonder how good Randy Shannon is. As crappy as Dubose and Shula were, they never got beat 48-0 at home by a mediocre Virginia team.

14. Texas: After a pretty convincing win over a decent Texas Tech squad, these guys are 9-2 and a win over A&M should be forthcoming. That will put the Longhorns with ten regular season wins. And what about the Big 12? They are likely going to have four teams with ten regular season wins, while the SEC is probably going to have only two. That's impressive.

15. Clemson: Oddly enough, if Clemson wins its final three games, they will be ACC Champs and headed to a BCS game. If they drop the next couple of games against Boston College, they will be a mediocre 8-4 and headed to a mid-tier bowl, and Bowden may be fired. How is that for pressure?

16. Tennessee: You know, when this team is good, they are great (see UGA and Arky), but when are bad they are pure sh*t (see Cal, Florida, and 'Bama). With only Kentucky and Vandy left on the slate, the Vols have to be the favorite to win the SEC East. If they play well, LSU is going to have one damn tough fight on their hands, but if not, the Bayou Bengals can take the SEC crown with one hand tied behind their back. At this point, I think reasonable LSU fans have to hope to get the Vols.

17. Boise State: These guys are the best non-BCS team in the country, and I figure that they beat Hawai'i.

18. Illinois: These guys went into Columbus and really took it to the number one team in the country. And rest assured, all of the speed that Zook is recruiting to run his spread offense is going to give the Big Ten pure hell, and those guys are just going to have to focus more on overall team speed. They'll get a good bowl this year, and it'll only be a matter of time before you see Zook and co. in a BCS game.

19. Michigan: Can I get a choke with my meal? Seriously, major choke-job. That said, that game was entirely meaningless, it's all about the Ohio State game. If they had lost 100-0, or won 100-0, the scenario would have been the same: beat tOSU and go to a BCS bowl. I doubt it happens, but maybe. My hope is that they beat the Buckeyes so we can all declare Appy State the Big Ten champs.

20. Cincinnati: These guys absolutely annihilated UConn at home, and West Virginia had better be ready to play. What is the world coming to when Cincy is contending for a BCS game?

21. Penn State: Beat up on Temple. Big whoop. Nevertheless, they are likely to finish 9-3 in the regular season, and could hit ten or more wins for the second time in three years with a win in the bowl game.

22. Wisconsin: A big win against Michigan, and suddenly these guys are at eight wins. I don't think they are that good, but they very well may get nine or ten wins.

23. Connecticut: Hey guys, you had a game this week. I think someone told you that you were off this week, but not quite.

24. Kentucky: I'll leave them here for now, after a very close win over Vanderbilt, but these guys aren't particularly good. With games remaining against Georgia and Tennessee, the odds are that they lose at least one and finish 8-4, or lose both and finish 7-5. I have a hard time seeing how these teams are any better than a year ago, despite the return of Woodson.

25. Mississippi State: Mr. Irrelevant this week goes to the Bulldogs of Starkville. With a win likely remaining over Ole Miss, these guys could finish 7-5 and in a better-than-Shreveport bowl game. The win over 'Bama was just how they are designed to win as a team: don't beat yourselves on offense, play tough defense, and wait for the opposing team to beat themselves with dumb turnovers. Hats off to Croom for a job well done.