Thoughts on the final AP poll
The final college football polls are out, and just sorting out the Big 12 is tough. I would always vote via conference finish, but that’s just me. I would rank the Big 12: OU, Mizzou, Kansas. I haven’t seen the individual coaches’ ballots yet, but Bob Stoops said he likely would rank it: Kansas, OU, Mizzou. The actual AP finish was: Mizzou, KU, OU.
So there’s no concrete way of deciding. How much do you factor in the bowls, where OU laid an egg against West Virginia, Kansas showed up very well against ACC champ Virginia and Missouri routed inferior Arkansas? How can you not consider the conference race?
Anyway, here is the final poll and my thoughts on each team’s position:
1. LSU: An obvious No. 1. The best record this side of Kansas, which is not a contender, plus both LSU losses came via triple overtime. The Bayou Bengals beat the Big Ten champ, the ACC champ and Tennessee, Florida and Auburn. LSU is a worthy champ.
2. Georgia: An overrated team. This is a season built upon two victories: Auburn in Athens, Ga., and Florida on a neutral field in Jacksonville. I don’t understand the fascination with Georgia.
3. USC: Clearly the best team out there to challenge LSU. The Trojans played a good schedule, losing only at Oregon — when the Ducks had their quarterback and were as good as anybody — and at home to Stanford in one of those unexplainable verdicts.
4. Missouri: An excellent team, but if there’s one thing that was proven in this wild college football season, it’s this. Oklahoma is better than Mizzou.
5. Ohio State: I don’t want to hammer the Buckeyes too badly, but if you’re serious about your poll, and you’re looking for ways to fit in some worthy teams high in the rankings, it’s clear that Ohio State should be dropped into the second five.
6. West Virginia: Vastly underrated. Still. Lose two games, both without your quarterback? The Mountaineers belong at No. 3.
7. Kansas: KU played a two-game schedule, both on neutral fields, and went 1-1. There’s something to be said for that.
8. Oklahoma: The pollsters made OU pay for its listless performance in the Fiesta Bowl. Which is justifiable. But the Big 12 title — in a year in which four Big 12 teams made the top 10 — shouldn’t be forgotten.
9. Virginia Tech: OK, explain to me why everyone still is thrilled withi V-Tech. Hasn’t done a darned thing all year except split with Boston College.
10. Texas & Boston College: Somebody’s got to be No. 10.
Put it all together, and here’s how I would rank them:
3. West Virginia
8. Ohio State
9. Tennessee (did far more than Virginia Tech)
10. Virginia Tech
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