Last week's rank in parentheses. A note on methodology: BON employs a ranking methodology that relies heavily on resume. As such, this is not a power poll.
This is a first draft of our ballot in the BlogPoll. All suggested revisions will be considered.
1. Ohio State (1) No surprise here. The only major conference team still undefeated, the Buckeyes now have their opponent for the title game in Florida. The Buckeyes opened as 7.5 point favorites, but that line has jumped up to 8.5. If that line keeps moving up, I'll be taking the Gators.
2. Florida (4) Our de facto endorsement of Florida as Ohio State's opponent. The Gators are indistinuishable from Michigan on paper, but as someone who doesn't want to see a rematch - for a host of reasons - Florida it is.
3. Michigan (3) I feel badly for Michigan, but I'm happy with the Rose Bowl matchup. USC-Michigan should make for a fine game.
4. LSU (5) The road win at Arkansas loses some of its luster with the Razorback loss in the SEC Title Game. Now they'll get a Sugar Bowl date with Notre Dame, in a matchup that has bettors licking their chops. Personally? I think that as that line keeps moving up, Notre Dame becomes a terrific value bet. Charlie Weis is not a genius, but Les Miles truly is an idiot.
5. Louisville (8) The Big East's best team gets the BCS bid, courtesy of Rutgers' loss. Here's another team that's laying a ton of points, only in this case, I wouldn't advise betting against 'em. Wake's going to have trouble keeping up here.
6. Oklahoma (9) Pardon me while I clean the vomit off my keyboard. What to do here? On the one hand, it's probably best for Texas if the Sooners represent the Big 12 well. On the other hand, it's Oklahoma. I'm torn.
7. Boise State (10) I have a lot of family from Boise, too. Seriously: what to do?
8. USC (2) The overall resume remains a pretty solid one, but two Pac 10 losses? Unheard of! And they still won the damn thing. That means a 2003 Rose Bowl rematch, hopefully with a more competitive game.
9. Arkansas (6) Texas plays Arkansas in 2008. By my calculations, Darren McFadden will complete his junior season in 2007. Can we start lobbying for his early exit to the NFL now? I'd like that.
10. Auburn (11) Not a bad season for Auburn, but nothing to get too excited about, either. The home win against Florida was great, of course, but seemed flukey. I can't get excited about this team's offense.
11. Wisconsin (12) What, you thought I'd move them up? Not 'til they beat somebody.
12. Notre Dame (13) I don't know if they can beat LSU, but I'm expecting a good game. Again, there's a huge coaching mismatch at play here. I know, I know: there's always a huge coaching mismatch when Les Miles is involved, but this one's extreme.
13. Rutgers (7) The shoe don't fit. It's been a fun run for Rutgers, but the ball ended in Cincinnati, really. The West Virginia game is nothing to be down about.
14. Tennessee (14) Interesting bowl matchup with Penn State, though I have my doubts as to whether the Nittany Lions can compete with Tennessee for 60 minutes. I expect the Vols to finish on a high note.
15. Virginia Tech (15) A trip to Atlanta to face the Bulldogs awaits Virginia Tech. Expect a slugfest, much like the Georgia-Georgia Tech game of a week ago.
16. BYU (17) BYU draws Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 21st, and I'll be watching. Pretty exciting matchup of two strong offenses. Plus, Vegas! Seriously, if you're not going to an elite bowl, getting the Vegas draw is pretty sweet.
17. Wake Forest (19) ACC champs! MMHorns will be heading to Miami to catch this one. Kudos to Wake for a great run.
18. Texas (20) My insides are turning thinking about Colt McCoy getting hurt again. I'd rather see Quan Cosby behind center. Seriously.
19. West Virginia (23) A quality win! At last! It took until December, but the Mountaineers are officially on the board! They'll head to Jacksonville to face Georgia Tech. They should win.
20. Nebraska (16) Stolen from MZone: "Callahan apologizes for coaching like Callahan." Yup.
21. California (21) This team is stuck in neutral. Tedford's glow is fading. Needs a big win or two next season.
22. Boston College (22) Meineke Car Care Bowl versus Navy. I didn't make that up.
23. Oregon State (NR) Nice road win at Hawaii to close things out. Next up is a trip to the AutoZone Bowl versus Missouri. I didn't make that one up, either.
24. Texas A&M (25) Coach Fran voted the Aggies ahead of the Longhorns on his coaches ballot. If it makes you feel better, Fran, sure. Enjoy that one quality win season! See you in San Diego. (I'll be attending the Holiday Bowl for the umpteenth year in a row. Annual tradition that's always fun. Who do I root for? The Aggies? I have no affinity for California, plus Big 12 solidarity and what not... but it's hard this year, after watching the Aggies celebrate their first victory over Texas in seven years. And this??!? You can see my dilemma.)
25. Hawaii (18) Whoops. Lost at home to the Beavers. Will stay at home for the Hawaii Bowl. Over/under on their game with Arizona State is 75. Wild, man.