For the second year, I exercise the privilege of correcting what has become one of the major sports travesties in the United States, the NCAA football rankings and mythical national championship. If you disagree, feel free to leave a comment. You have a right to be wrong. 🙂
1. Utah Utes. Undefeated on the field, winners of a major bowl where they whipped the only team in the vaunted (and highly over-rated) SEC to finish its regular season unbeaten, and beat them worse than Florida did, the Utes deserve the national title. Strength schedule is a lunatic nonsense that exists only in the minds of the coaches of the big name programs and the media personalities who are enamored by them.
2. USC Trojans. If you watched this team play in the last weeks of the season, and in the Rose Bowl, you can see that they are far superior to Oklahoma, Florida or Texas. They’d whip ’em all head to head and laugh about it on the way home.
3. Texas Longhorns. By virtue of their 12-1 record, and their win on the field head to head over Oklahoma, as long as their record is better than or equal to that of OU, they deserved to be ranked ahead of the Sooners.
4. Florida Gators. IMHO, losing to an Ole Miss team that was unranked at the time means you are not national championship calibre. So they won the crystal football. The BCS is a farce created not to produce a national championship, but to make money. Florida had a good team on what turned out to be the weak side of an over-rated SEC. They deserve this fourth place ranking, nothing higher than that.
5. Oregon Ducks. So it appears that the Pac-10, which went through bowl season unbeaten, is a bit stronger than the eastern and central time media and coaches think. Of course, by the time Oregon kicks off, most of them are already in bed.
6. TCU Horned Frogs. That’s right, folks. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Boise State, and thus, when the Horned Frogs knocked them off in the Poinsettia Bowl, my respect for them increased as well.
7. Oklahoma Sooners. At last, Texas can delight in the fact that the Sooners proved on the field that they were not better than the Longhorns. At least, not this year.
8. Penn State Nittany Lions. Lost to a good Iowa team, and an excellent USC team.
9. Boise State Broncos. As I said, lots of respect, and they had only one loss, by one point.
10. Alabama Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide had an undefeated regular season, and while they stumbled in their two post season games, they are still good enough to warrant being rated this high.
11. Georgia Bulldogs. By virtue of their record and their bowl win, the Bulldogs get this spot.
12. Missouri Tigers. Won the Big-12 north and their bowl game.
13. Nebraska Cornhuskers. Are the Cornhuskers on the cusp of a return to national prominence? They looked this good this year.
14. Tulsa Golden Hurricane. You might disagree that they are the second best team in Oklahoma, but they won their conference and their bowl game and finished 11-3.
15. West Virginia Mountaineers. Strong finish for the Mountaineers and Pat White.
16. Virginia Tech Hokies. The ACC was about as mediocre as mediocre can get, but winning a BCS bowl gets the Hokies here.
17. Oregon State Beavers. Yeah, the Pac-10 really was that good this year.
18. Arizona Wildcats. The Wildcats, at 8-5, were basically less than two touchdowns away from 12-1, including taking USC down to the wire, and beat 16th ranked BYU in a bowl game. The ‘Cats are back.
19. Rice Owls. The Owls, a local favorite of mine, won their first bowl game since 1949, finished 10-3, co champions of CUSA, and they’re this good.
20. California Golden Bears. Making sure that all of the Pac-10 bowl winners get in the top 20.
21. Ole Miss Rebels. I really like Houston Nutt, and I think the Rebels may be headed for new heights in their program. Next season, they need to get off to a better start.
22. Texas Tech Red Raiders. A disappointment all the way around toward the end of the season.
23. Florida State Seminoles. I don’t like the Seminoles, and like several other college football teams from Florida, the slightest amount of success causes the Eastern sports press to do handsprings and find all kinds of ways to over-rate them. But they do deserve this ranking.
24. Iowa Hawkeyes. The only Big 10 bowl winner.
25. Ohio State Buckeyes. What a hard luck team! It was either them or Oklahoma State.