- Boise State
- Ohio State
- I really struggled with that last slot. Wisconsin was certainly credible against TCU. Oklahoma State had a fine season. But LSU closed well against a ranked opponent and the Tigers only two losses were to other schools appearing on this same ballot. They had the best overall resume of the three.
- The rest of my ballot was pretty easy to put together.
- Overall time: 35 minutes
NOTE: This is the last vote of the season, obviously. The site is open now for voting. You have until 9PM tonight to cast your ballot. I’ll post the results tomorrow.
With the BCS title game in the books, we should be drawing close to a period of relative quiet on the BCS Sucks! debate front (it’ll pop back up when March Madness rolls around, if history is consistent). But before we go elsewhere, I just wanted to respond to something in today’s Sally Jenkins piece, in which she quotes extensively from the Mountain West Conference’s lobbyist.
The BCS also loves to argue that it’s simply the result of a free-market system. Actually, it flies in the face of market forces.
Did you know: In the last four years the major bowl games involving the Mountain West and WAC teams on average had higher ratings and larger game attendance than the major bowls involving the ACC and Big East.
So did the MWC and WAC receive more money for that performance? Not under the BCS. Instead they received about half of what the ACC and Big East got.
If we are supposed to believe that the mid-majors are the equal of the Big Six in drawing power – more importantly, if the mid-majors themselves believe that – then why don’t they simply withdraw from the BCS and start their own postseason show? This isn’t some sort of Microsoft vs. Netscape situation they face; nobody is stopping them from finding hosting venues and a broadcast affiliate of their own. If the money is really there as Fishel implies, then they’re foolishly beggaring themselves by electing to stay a part of the BCS, which is, remember, a voluntary association.
I think we all know the answer to that. I suspect the Justice Department does, too.
Ho hum, another year, another SEC win in the BCS title game. I don’t think the postseason did much to change the overall perspective that the West was far stronger than the East this season.
In the last regular season ballot, I looked at the net yardage numbers in conference play. With this set of rankings, I’ll include the net scoring numbers in conference play.
- Auburn (+82). Duh. Having the Heisman Trophy winner and the SEC Defensive Player of the year can do wonders for a team’s chances. Now it’s time for a bunch of people to cash in.
- Alabama (+75). When healthy, this was the best defensive team in the country. The Tide put on the most dominating performance of the offseason in their crushing win over Michigan State.
- Arkansas (+66). Helluva year from Petrino’s team. I still think they were a little questionable defensively, but, wow, that offense.
- LSU (+47). It’s hard to believe after an 11-2 season with a win over Alabama that Miles and the fan base may have had enough of each other, but…
- Mississippi State (-22). As the net scoring number indicates, Dan Mullen did the best coaching job of the year in the SEC.
- South Carolina (+43). Strange to say in a year when the ‘Cocks finally broke through and made their first trip to Atlanta, but the net points indicate that they underachieved a little. I doubt anyone in Columbia is complaining, though.
- Florida (+38). The Gators underachieved more.
- Georgia (+32). The Dawgs underachieved the most.
- Tennessee (-26). The Vols were a game bunch that lacked depth. Not sure it’s going to be much of a different story for them in 2011.
- Kentucky (-53). Took a step backwards in Joker Phillips’ first season.
- Mississippi (-107). A very bad defensive team which lost six of its last seven games.
- Vanderbilt (-175). Welcome to the SEC, James Franklin. May God have mercy on your soul.
It’s probably just my natural reluctance to proclaim Ted Roof some sort of defensive genius, but this Michael Elkon observation strikes me as being spot on:
… Let’s not get carried away with the claim that this game was a defensive struggle because it finished 22-19. The teams combined for 975 yards of offense. Auburn-LSU ‘88 this was not. A related and somewhat contradictory point: this game finished with almost the same score as the Rose Bowl, but in this game, there were 25 possessions and 158 plays, whereas the Rose Bowl featured 16 possession and 116 plays. See how much can be squeezed into a game when the teams are playing at a fast pace? Also, these defenses accomplished a lot more than the Rose Bowl defenses did and vice versa for the offenses.
Due to some untimely turnovers and red zone drives that stalled on fourth down calls, there were a lot of points left on the University of Phoenix Stadium field (and wasn’t that a joke).
If anything surprised me, it was the talent gap. Auburn, which isn’t the most talented team in the SEC, had clear advantages on both lines over Oregon. I didn’t see a single area where I thought Oregon had an edge in talent. It’s a tribute to Chip Kelly and his staff that they were able to keep the game as close as it was. But Auburn had the better players and needed just about every one of them to secure the victory in the end.
So congrats to the Auburn family for the win. I suspect you’re going to learn in one form or fashion over the next year or so exactly what “All In” means, although I hope there’s no fire where there’s smoke. College football doesn’t need another scandal.