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BlogPoll Calling: OTS's Ballot

1. West Virginia: Very impressive performance on Saturday, and it's highly unlikely Pitt can knock them out of the national title game, though it's a rivalry.

2. Missouri: Great game, and these guys might be the ones to beat. That said, beating OU is going to be very tough, and I'm not sure they can do it. Honestly, I think it may be tougher for them to get to New Orleans than win once they get there.

3. Ohio State: Say what you will, but with a slip-up from the top two, there will be Buckeyes headed to Bourbon Street. I'd bet the New Orleans' powers-that-be are hoping these guys can make it for the financial impact.

4. Georgia: Talk about things you never thought you'd see two months ago. At this point, the Dawgs are a lock for the BCS, and they could be heading for the Rose Bowl. Mark Richt does it again, you have to give the man credit. These guys lose no one, and you will hear a lot of national championship talk from this team in 2008.

5. LSU: The poor play finally got them, but they shouldn't despair. Miles isn't headed to Michigan (though I'm not sure if that is a good thing for the LSU crowd or not), they get the easiest opponent in the SEC Championship game arguably ever (more on that later), and if they win in Atlanta they most likely get to annihilate the Hawai'i Warriors in the Sugar Bowl. In other words, no national championship, but they can cake-walk to an easy SEC title and a Sugar Bowl victory. They could play like fecal matter and still win all that with ease. If Miles can't win those two games they should revoke his FCA card and send him to stock shelves at Wal-Mart.

6. Oklahoma: The Sooners annihilated the Pokes, and honestly had Bradford stayed healthy against Texas Tech, they would likely have won there. I'll probably pick them to beat Missouri... nothing they didn't do two months ago.

7. USC: These guys are -- now seemingly healthy -- playing the best football of any team in the country, and honestly this is the best team. They won't be headed to New Orleans, but you'll see them beat up on some poor sap in the Rose Bowl for the second year in a row. This is so hard to fathom, but this will the sixth consecutive year that the Trojans have had 11+ wins. Unreal.

8. Virginia Tech: I really don't want to rank these guys here because I'm about 99.99% certain that their ten wins came virtue of the ACC being so terrible, but they are likely BCS bound.

9. Kansas: I'm sorry, yes they fought back to make it respectable, but that game was nowhere near as close as the score indicated. Missouri controlled the contest, and that means Kansas was controlled by the only semi-good opponent they played all year. I expect a bowl loss and a plummet in the polls.

10. Florida: The Gators annihilated the 'Noles, no shock there. I was running the numbers for Pythagorean Wins earlier, and long story short Florida scored more points this year in conference play than any team since 2001. So much for that crap about how the spread option won't work in the SEC, eh? If they can find any semblance of a defense next year, and if Tebow can stay healthy, Florida may very well make it two national championships in three years in 2008.

11. Arizona State: Yes they were annihilated by USC, but I'll be honest, there are not many teams that USC would annihilate with the way they played this week. Nonetheless, the Sun Devils are still likely to win 10 games and get a New Year's Day bowl, that's good enough for #11.

12. Boston College: I'm on these guys like I am Virginia Tech, but all they have to do is beat a team they already beat earlier in the year, on the road and in the rain, to make a BCS game. Matt Ryan will give them a good shot.

13. Illinois: The Illini are 9-3, and they could be BCS bound if the Buckeyes can somehow get some help and be Bourbon Street-bound. Look for the Zookers to do big things in the future with all of his team speed in the turtle-esque Big Ten.

14. Tennessee: I'll put them here by default, but consider this... I was crunching the numbers for Pythagorean Wins and long story short this team has the fewest Pythagorean Wins of any team to ever make the SEC Championship Game. Their 3.89 Pythagorean Wins puts them on the same level as the 2003 Alabama squad (yeah, remember 4-9?). Long story short, they suck, and they've gotten lucky as hell at every turn. If LSU has anything in them they'll do to these rubes what Gunnery Sergeant Hartman threatened to do to Private Pyle and the Vol luck will run out.

15. Cincinnati: Nice win on Saturday, and these guys are the second best team in the Big East. They just came up short against the Mountaineers, otherwise they would be BCS bound.

16. Hawai'i: Consider me unconvinced. They beat, in a narrow game at home, an equally unproven team that was dominated by a 4-7 Washington team in their only legitimate game all season. I hope they choke against the Huskies.

17. Oregon: These guys should have been called the Dennis Dixon's. Not scoring a point on UCLA is simply unacceptable. But what do you expect when you have Ryan Leaf's little sister at quarterback? I fully expect a loss to Oregon State.

18. Wisconsin: Move up slightly with a couple of teams in front of them losing.

19. Clemson: Nice win over South Carolina, and Tommy Bowden once again pulls one out with his job on the line. And honestly they had Boston College beat before the choke-job. Still, nice win, and a pretty good season.

20. Auburn: The Barn gets some love after beating my beloved Tide and finishing up 8-4. Still, I won't rank them too high because 8-4 isn't much as weak as the SEC has been this year, and though they won the Iron Bowl, honestly it was an ugly game played between two mediocre-at-best teams. The Tigers were the better team, but even so they weren't particularly good.

21. Virginia: They lost to the Hokies, but nevertheless they are 9-3 and they deserve some credit.

22. Arkansas: The Hogs took it to LSU in Baton Rouge, even though everyone knew Nutt was a lame-duck coach. McFadden is unreal, and I pray we do not see him next year in Fayetteville. Interestingly enough, though, despite beating the unanimous #1 team in the country on the road -- in a game they lead almost the entire way -- and beating 8-4, they are not ranked in any major poll. What is up with that? And oh yeah, I said five weeks ago this team would pull off some upsets over its last four games, and they did just that, beating South Carolina, Mississippi State, and LSU.

23. Texas Tech: They were idle, so they remain ranked, though I do suspect the win over the Sooners would not have happened with a healthy Bradford.

24. Texas: Face it, the VY-less 'Horns are nothing. If you can't even beat the Aggies with a lame duck coach, you are nothing. Mack Brown is a good recruiter, but he's a poor coach, and I imagine his championship days, brief as they were, are over. And honestly without two of the greatest single performances in Rose Bowl history by Vince Young, he'd never have won that in 2004 and 2005.

25. South Carolina: Mr. Irrelevant this week goes to Steve Spurrier and his South Carolina Gamecocks, and with good reason. People can rave all they want about SOS, but he has won the SEC only once since 1996, and he is clearly past his prime. He bombed out big-time in the NFL -- let's be honest, his time in D.C. was simply embarrassing -- and after three years in Columbia, the Gamecocks are 6-6 and honestly Holtz was doing better than this at the same stage of his tenure as head coach of the Gamecocks. So... Mr. Irrelevant goes to SOS this week, because he is, well, irrelevant.