Monday, November 09, 2009

The Forward Pass Returns to Tuscaloosa

1 Alabama 2
2 Texas 1
3 Florida 1
4 TCU 1
5 Cincinnati 1
6 LSU 1
7 Georgia Tech 5
8 Ohio State 5
9 Pittsburgh 5
10 Boise State 2
11 Miami (Florida) 7
12 Arizona 4
13 Oregon 7
14 Oklahoma State 6
15 Southern Cal 4
16 Tennessee 3
17 Iowa 8
18 Oregon State
19 Penn State 9
20 Houston 3
21 Virginia Tech 4
22 Utah 1
23 Stanford
24 Clemson 1
25 Texas Tech
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Oklahoma (#15), Notre Dame (#22), California (#24).

Explaining myself...

I bumped Alabama out of the top spot because of Greg McElroy's descent into the depths that, well, every Alabama quarterback has seemingly occupied since Gary Hollingsworth. After missing an open Julio Jones in the end zone on Saturday, McElroy showed me that the guy who was so good in September isn't dead to the world. If good McElroy is back, then Alabama is the most complete team in the country, followed by Texas (shaky running game) and Florida (shaky offensive coordinator; confused quarterback).

Speaking of the latter, did I hear Tim Brando proclaim Tebow to be the Heisman front-runner on Saturday? Isn't watching football part of Brando's job description. I ask because the guy who should be the front-runner plays tailback for Alabama and was playing in the very game that Brando was hosting.

I'm normally not a fan of mid-majors claiming that they deserve shots at the national title game. I was dismissive of Utah last year, even after the Sugar Bowl. I view Boise State as an amusing sideshow. The reason for my disdainful waves of the hand has always been that these teams have not dominated the opponents on their schedules like a true top five team would. For instance, Florida, Texas, and Alabama would not surrender 35 points to Louisiana Tech or find themselves in a dogfight. There are two exceptions for my elitist snobbery: Utah '04 and this year's TCU team. Both teams beat/have beaten their MWC foes the way I would expect a truly excellent team to. I'd have absolutely no problem with the Horned Frogs being first in line if one of the top three have an unexpected stumble. If not, then TCU will be another great argument for a plus one.

It may seem odd to boost LSU after a nine-point loss, but they looked good on Saturday. They lost their quarterback, their tailback, and their best corner over the course of the game. Even in a loss, that was LSU's best performance of the season. If they maintain that level, then they won't lose again this season.

In my head, there is one cliff after #4 and another after #10.

I wish that I had the courage of my convictions about Iowa. I wouldn't have had to drop them so far if I would have had them around #15, which is where I thought they belonged in my heart of hearts when they were unbeaten and getting fluffy profiles in Sports Illustrated.

I had Tennessee five spots higher than anyone else in the Blogpoll last week. I'm going to guess that they're going to make me look good as the season progresses.


Anonymous said...

Utah's way too low. They struggled offensively up until recently due to QB play. That problem has been solved now that the right QB is playing (true frosh). The defense has been solid. Worried about the TCU game, but since Whit has been the coach at Utah, they've been incredible in games where they are double digit dogs. The 17 point spread is an insult.

Michael said...

Vegas disagrees, as the spread opened at 17 and then jumped to 19.5 in a day.

Anonymous said...

Utah is 9-0 against the spread in the last 16 years as a double digit dog. They've won straight up 5 of those. If I were a betting man ...

rakeback said...

The team that wins the Alabama-Florida game will be the favorite in the national championship game.