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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Champions Crowned - Top 25 (12/4/11)

So many chances to give the BCS Committee a collective middle-finger this weekend.....squandered. Or maybe not. As Oklahoma State puts the finishing touches on Oklahoma, and Wisconsin  just took the lead after their own version of the Hail Mary revenge against Michigan State, I think it's safe to say we know who will be playing for the National Championship. But few outside the SEC are happy about it.

Read on, young souls.

  1. LSU - As we've seen a few weeks in a row, the Tigers opened looking a little suspect as to whether or not they had enough left in the tank to win out and claim their rightful spot in the BCS title game. And just like the last few weeks, they stomped the gas in the 2nd half and blew away Georgia. Easy call for your season-end #1. No question. But how neat it would have been for the Bulldogs to pull off the upset...
  2. Alabama - I'm not happy about it either, but truthfully, this is probably the 2nd best team in the country. Even though they didn't play this week and have zero claim to the SEC championship crown, they are still a really good football team. Remember that as you curse your TVs tomorrow during the Bowl Selection Special on ESPN.
  3. Stanford - My poll isn't helping anyone make a case for Oklahoma State to play for the National Championship. I've had Andrew Luck and the Cardinal near the top for many weeks. And despite their loss to Oregon, the Ducks have 2 losses, and there's just no way I can say that 2-loss Oregon gets a higher spot than a team from the same conference (and basically same-schedule) with only 1 loss...regardless of head-to-head result.
  4. Oklahoma State - The only school left that could possibly throw a wrench in the mix was Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys gave it their best college try (get it?). Surprisingly, it wasn't Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon doing the major damage. Instead, the OK State running backs gashed the Sooners for 278 yards and 4 TDs. Any fleeting hopes Landry Jones had for Heisman consideration were dashed by throwing 2 INTs and no TDs in the blowout. I wouldn't be angry if Oklahoma State was given the chance to play LSU for the Championship, but they did lose to Iowa State at the very end of the season, when they were finally given the chance to prove their worth.
  5. Oregon - More than a few guys hurt/killed their hopes for Heisman glory in the final game or two of their respective seasons, but LaMichael James boosted his chances by rushing for over 200 yards and 3 TDs in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game (almost 400 total yards in the final 2 games combined). James and the Ducks will roll into the Rose Bowl to face Wisconsin and Montee Ball. Great matchup of high-scoring offenses led by running backs that can only be described as "sooo fasserrrrr" (shout out to Bray).
  6. Boise State - The Broncos probably thought their BCS hopes were over after faltering against TCU and Houston running the tables in the regular season. Coming into the final game of the year at Bronco Stadium, the Houston Cougars had been upset just hours earlier, and the Boise BCS fire had been rekindled. Alas, TCU could spoil again. BCS rules say that if a non-major conference champion (TCU) finishes in the top 16 (currently the Frogs are 18) and ahead of one of the automatic-qualifier conference champions (Big East or ACC, in this case), they also become an automatic qualifier. IF TCU secures an automatic bid, that makes Boise an unlikely candidate when faced against Michigan or Kansas State. Boise still won 45-0 and finished with an 11-1 record and will probably be ranked #5 in the BCS but somehow left playing a nobody in a boring bowl.
  7. Wisconsin - Thank God they let Gus Johnson call the revenge matchup between the Badgers and the Michigan State Spartans. And how fitting that a 4th and long pass by Russell Wilson which looked very much like the soul-crushing throws by Cousins (MSU) and Miller (OSU) that destroyed any Wisconsin hopes for a National Championship gave life to a Badger team that was about to flat line. Montee Ball pushed closer to history on the next play with his 4th TD of the game. He now trails the legendary Barry Sanders by only 1, and will probably tie and pass Barry before halftime against Oregon in the Rose Bowl.
  8. Arkansas - I hate hate HATE bumping schools more than 1 on the bye. 3 spots is insane, but with 3 of my Top 10 getting completely destroyed this weekend, I can't see any other way.
  9. South Carolina - SEE #8
  10. Kansas State - Bringing back Bill Snyder (or his decision to come back...whatever) in 2008 was gold for the Wildcats. KSU completed the regular season this year with 10 wins...the first time hitting double-digits since 2003. Sadly, experts predict that K-State will be overlooked for a BCS bowl in favor of the Michigan Wolverines. Still, the Wildcats have a lot to be proud of after defeating all 4 Texas schools in this season's version of the Big XII. The one thing that seems to really have held KSU back this year, was their ability to "play down" to weaker competition. Narrow victories over Iowa State to end the year (and Eastern Kentucky to begin the year) don't impress anyone.
  11. Michigan
  12. Baylor
  13. USC
  14. Clemson
  15. West Virginia
  16. Oklahoma
  17. TCU
  18. Virginia Tech
  19. Nebraska
  20. Michigan State
  21. Southern Miss
  22. Georgia
  23. Northern Illinois
  24. Houston
  25. Arkansas State
Heisman Performances (in order of greatness)
1. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon - 219 yards rushing, 3 TDs
2. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin - 137 yards rushing, 4 total TDs (3 rushing)
3. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor - 320 yards passing, 4 total TDs (2 rushing)
4. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State - 313 yards passing, 3TDs

Final BCS Bowl Predictions
BCS Title Game (Jan. 9)
#1 LSU vs. #2 Alabama

Orange Bowl (Jan. 4)
Clemson (ACC Champion) vs. West Virginia (Big East Co-Champion, Representative)

Sugar Bowl (Jan. 3)
Stanford (SEC Replacement) vs. TCU (automatic qualifier, Mountain West Champion)

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 2)
Oklahoma State (Big XII Champion) vs. Michigan (at-large #1)

Rose Bowl (Jan. 2)
Oregon (Pac-12 Champion) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Champion)
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