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Week 14 BlogPoll Ballot: Championship Weekend Produces Only Incremental Changes in College Football Top 25

Georgia
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College football’s championship weekend is a bit of an oddity, as few teams are playing games yet most of the games that are played carry more than merely ordinary consequences. Only 15 of my top 25 teams were in action this past weekend, including just two of my top nine and just five of my top 16, so, when assembling this week’s rankings, I started from last week’s BlogPoll ballot and adjusted where circumstances warranted. These are the rankings thereby produced:

Here, in a nutshell, are my reasons for ranking the teams as I did:

  • Absent a reason to move a team relative to the squads around it, I left a team alone. For instance, the Sooners leapfrogged the Badgers because Oklahoma’s wins over No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 19 Nebraska trumped Wisconsin’s win over No. 10 Ohio State.
  • There is still no comparison between Auburn’s resume and Oregon’s. Both teams went 9-0 against conference opponents, with the Tigers carding a thirteenth victory to set alongside the twelve collected by the Ducks. The Plainsmen beat No. 5 Arkansas, No. 8 Louisiana State, No. 14 Alabama, No. 20 South Carolina (twice), the Gator Bowl-bound Mississippi St. Bulldogs, the Liberty Bowl-bound Georgia Bulldogs, the Meineke Car Care Bowl-bound Clemson Tigers, and the BBVA Compass Bowl-bound Kentucky Wildcats, while Oregon defeated No. 9 Stanford, the USC Trojans, the Alamo Bowl-bound Arizona Wildcats, the Holiday Bowl-bound Washington Huskies, and the Music City Bowl-bound Tennessee Volunteers. The Ducks may well get the better of the Tigers in Glendale on January 10—I hope they do, as a matter of fact—but any blogger who’s still voting Oregon No. 1 at this point isn’t Addicted to Quack, he’s addicted to crack.
  • Yes, I continue to allow logic to dictate the sequence in which I have the three 11-1 Big Ten co-champions ranked. The Badgers, the Buckeyes, and the Spartans all have identical ledgers, both overall and in conference play, and none of them has a meaningful win against a team from outside the league. All other things being equal, Michigan State’s win over Wisconsin gets the Spartans ranked ahead of the Badgers and Wisconsin’s win over Ohio State gets the Badgers ranked ahead of the Buckeyes.
  • I considered ranking the Fresno St. Bulldogs after Pat Hill’s squad defeated the bowl-eligible Illinois Fighting Illini, but, since the West Coast FSU finished 8-4 and lost at home to the Hawaii Warriors, who went 10-3, I couldn’t very well include the Bulldogs in the top 25, and I wasn’t about to rank the Aloha State Islanders after they lost to the Colorado Buffaloes, so the idea of a third WAC entrant into the top 25 was a non-starter.
  • With Fresno State and Hawaii thus eliminated, the spot in the top 25 vacated by the Northern Illinois Huskies very nearly went to the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, who upset NIU in the MAC Championship Game to run their record to 9-4. Unfortunately for Miami (Ohio), the Mid-American Conference champions’ 45-3 road loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats disqualified them from inclusion, so the last spot went to Connecticut, an 8-4 Big East co-champion bound for the most undeserved BCS bowl berth ever. Yes, I’m just as embarrassed about that ranking as you are.

As always, I welcome your constructive criticisms in the comments below, where I will be happy to answer any questions. I still have time to adjust my ballot in the event anyone states a persuasive case why I should do so.

Go ‘Dawgs!


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Chick-fil-A Bowl Florida St. Seminoles Information Pack

South Carolina
Content provided by Garnet And Black Attack.

FILE- In this Nov. 20, 2010 file photo, Florida State's head coach Jimbo Fisher cheers on his team against Maryland in College Park, Md. Florida State's Jimbo Fisher didn't wait long to put his mark on the Atlantic Coast Conference.  After replacing the iconic Bobby Bowden at Florida State earlier this year, Fisher has the 20th-ranked Seminoles playing No. 12 Virginia Tech for the ACC championship on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

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Gail Burton – AP

3 days ago:

FILE- In this Nov. 20, 2010 file photo, Florida State’s head coach Jimbo Fisher cheers on his team against Maryland in College Park, Md. Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher didn’t wait long to put his mark on the Atlantic Coast Conference. After replacing the iconic Bobby Bowden at Florida State earlier this year, Fisher has the 20th-ranked Seminoles playing No. 12 Virginia Tech for the ACC championship on Saturday. (AP Photo/Gail Burton, File)

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Chick-fil-A Bowl: Florida St. Seminoles vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

FSU Record: 9-4

The Seminoles lost games to Oklahoma, NC State, North Carolina, and to VA Tech in the ACC Championship Game. Their best wins were convincing victories over good-but-not-great Miami, Maryland, and Florida squads. Common opponents between FSU and USC are Clemson and Florida. The Noles beat Clemson 16-13 off a 50+ yard FG as time expired and blew out Florida 31-7.

FSU Key National Rankings

Rushing Offense: 42nd

Passing Offense: 61st

Total Offense: 55th

I know Christian Ponder is good, but these offensive numbers shouldn’t strike fear in our hearts.

Rushing Defense: 25th

Passing Defense: 67th

Total Defense: 41st

Scoring Defense: 25th

Sacks: 2nd

This number worries me a bit. The Auburn game reminded me of why I used to worry about Stephen Garcia when he’s facing a good rush. Our line will need to play better than it did against Auburn.

USC-FSU Series Record: 3-15

The Gamecocks and Seminoles used to square off fairly regularly from the late 1960s to early 1990s. The Noles, as the series record indicates, dominated the series, particularly in the 80s, when FSU rose to become a national powerhouse. The Gamecocks notched a notable victory over FSU in 1984 en route to a 10-2 season.


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Championship Saturday College Football Game Day Open Comment Thread

Georgia
Content provided by Dawg Sports.

At noon, the Central Florida Knights take on the SMU Mustangs in a game that likely will determine the Georgia Bulldogs‘ bowl opponent. At 3:00, the Civil War (as opposed to the War Between the States) kicks off when the Oregon St. Beavers host the Oregon Ducks. At 4:00, the Auburn Tigers begin their clash with the South Carolina Gamecocks for the SEC championship. The showdown for the Apple Cup gets underway at 7:00, three-quarters of an hour before the Florida St. Seminoles and the Virginia Tech Hokies square off with the ACC crown on the line. After the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Oklahoma Sooners add the concluding chapter to their storied rivalry, the UCLA Bruins and the USC Trojans meet to settle hegemony in the City of Angels.

No, Georgia isn’t playing, but that just means it’s a pressure-free weekend. Your thoughts on the day’s action are invited in the comments below.

Go ‘Dawgs!


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