Per ESPN's "experts" (and I put that word in quotes when Schrutebag is involved), USC is going to win the national title. How convinced are they of this fact? So convinced that that all 12 pick the Trojans. There is also a significant consensus on most of the leagues. 12 of 12 pick Virginia Tech in the ACC. Ten of 12 pick Michigan in the Big Ten. (Eek.) Ten of 12 pick Texas to win the Big XII. Nine of 12 pick Nebraska in the Big XII North. (Kudos for Todd McShay for being the only one to make an interesting pick, as he goes with the Manginos in that division. With the Big XII North as mediocre as it is, that's a great place to pick an upset.) Ten of 12 pick LSU to win the SEC and all 12 pick them to win the West. (Tommy Tuberville, your bulletin board awaits.)
A few thoughts:
1. Does ESPN breed a complete lack of original thought or do they simply select people who are unlikely to think for themselves?
2. This is why I love Phil Steele. He does agree with a lot of the consensus expressed by the ESPN pundits, but his willingness to go out on a limb (such as taking Oklahoma in the Big XII) is in short supply these days.
3. If the powers in each conference are so obvious, then why is USC a consensus pick to win the national title? If Michigan, Texas, LSU, and Virginia Tech are so great that they are clearly the best teams in their conferences, then why is it obvious that USC would beat them, especially with the national title game not being played in Pasadena? Is this not the same USC team that lost two games last year to significantly inferior opponents? The same USC team that had close calls against sides with the word "Washington" in their team name? The same USC team that had to abandon running the ball at times? USC is obviously the favorite, but are they so dominating that no one wants to take anyone else? And is this what East Coast Bias looks like?