This serves as our roundup of this week's BlogPoll Roundtable. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond. As always, for the latest on the BlogPoll, keep an eye on MGoBlog. Weekly polls are posted there, along with commentary on various ballots. What follows are various blogger thoughts on this week's questions.
1. Handicap your team's chances to win your conference championship. If your team is not the favorite, who is?
(Notre Dame bloggers, please use the following variation on the above: the over/under on wins in your next five games is being set at 1.5. Can you make a good case for the over? (Next five: vs Michigan State, at Purdue, at UCLA, vs Boston College, vs USC)
We start in Athens, where Hey Jenny Slater notes that the 'Dawgs would have to win each of their remaining games to win the SEC East. That, as it turns out, as been a tall order of late:
Not that they're the only folks who worry about their SEC chances. Says Garnet and Black Attack:
The defeat of Georgia made Spurrier's goal of an SEC title look not quite so far-fetched. But there are two facts about South Carolina's season that are carved in stone: They have to go to Baton Rouge to play LSU and they have to play Florida, and both games have gone from being likely losses to almost-mortal-lock losses. If the Gamecocks lose both games and otherwise win out, Florida would have to lose three games for South Carolina to go to Atlanta. That is perhaps the one thing less likely than the Cocks beating the Bayou Bengals and the Gators.
So -- sigh -- I stick with my original prediction: Florida vs. LSU for the crown. Right now, LSU gets the slightest edge.
Straight Bangin perhaps says it best:
2. Outline the (realistic) best case and worst case scenarios for your team.
Not every Big 10 blogger is sold on the Buckeyes winning the conference. The Penn Live PSU blog likes the NIttany Lions' best case scenario:
And hey, as Black Shoes Diaries points out, Penn State's bigggest games after this Saturday are at home:
Optimism in Eugene, OR remains strong, as well:
Over in the Independent circuit, there's hope yet that Navy can break their losing streak against Notre Dame:
3. We're only three games in to the season, but teams and storylines are starting to take shape. Compare your team to a character or theme from a fable or children's tale.
It's not really a fable or fairy tale, but more of a recurring theme. I have to go with Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. IU looks promising, but just when IU fans start to believe, that's when someone like Zooker hangs 60 on us.
There were at least five bloggers who went with "The Little Engine That Could," which means I can mention none of them.
4. Imagine you're the coach of your team. Give three specific changes you'd implement immediately which you think would have the biggest impact on improving the team.
Each blogger had good suggestions for his or her team, but my favorite entry came from Notre Dame blogger Rakes Of Mallow:
1. Golden Tate and Duval Kamara start at wide receiver. If we're only going to get the ball to our wide receivers a couple times a game, it might as well be in the process of springing a big play.
2. Get Ambrose Wooden and Terrail Lambert out of there. They have no purpose. They're awful, they've always been awful and they show no sign of improvement. We ride Darrin Walls, Raeshon McNeil and two walk-ons when we go to dime, but I'm tired of Mario Manningham and his friends scoring touchdowns where the corners don't even know where they are.
3. Travis Thomas never plays again. If he's not committing a fifteen-yard penalty on special teams, he's getting tackled for a loss. Much like the other veterans who are not good at football, he serves no purpose on a young, rebuilding team, as I'm not sure what "leadership" he is bringing to the table.
5. USC, LSU/Florida, and Oklahoma have established themselves as the frontrunners in the early going. Which other team or teams are you eyeballing as potential BCS party crashers?
Blog Poll host Brian Cook notes that this may be the Pac 10's year to get two teams in:
Dawg Sports, meanwhile, agrees with me that the crack in the door is but a sliver (at least right now):
I don't think even an undefeated A.C.C., Big East, or Big Ten champion has a chance of getting into the title game---or even into the conversation---if two of the aforementioned foursome go undefeated. Fairly or unfairly, signature setbacks tarnish the reputations of those three leagues, as Louisville's loss to Kentucky, Miami's loss to Oklahoma, and Ohio State's loss in last year's national title tilt will remain millstones around the necks of those conferences' champions. The A.C.C. and the Big East don't have vast reservoirs of street cred and the only team capable of using a win over Michigan as a springboard for a national championship run is Appalachian State.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer, and if I didn't mention your answers in this particular roundup, it's not because your answers weren't worth reading. I encourage everyone to peruse the comments within to get a good feel for the pulse around the nation.