Blogpoll draft ballot, final regular season edition.

Kevin C. Cox

Mt last take before the bowl games begin.

Well, folks, here it is:

As promised, I moved Alabama to number one. Ohio State is undefeated, but simply hasn't had to test its mettle in a title game or a bowl game. The winner of the BCS title game will be my number one in the final poll. A few notes:

  • How did I move UCLA up after losing its conference title game? I don't know, but perhaps I had them underranked last week.
  • I really hated to rank Northern Illinois. I don't begrudge the Huskies their BCS bid, as it was earned fair-and-square under the rules. There have been plenty of not-so-great conference champs to make a BCS appearance over the years. I'm not offended by their presence. But I am not convinced they are any good. Per Sagarin, their schedule strength is #129. They didn't play a team in the Sagarin top 30. They made two forays into the world of major conference football. In those games, they lost to an Iowa team (on a neutral field in Chicago) that probably was the second-worst team in a bad Big Ten, and needed a furious fourth quarter comeback to beat Kansas at home. They Jayhawks finished 1-11 and have lost their last 21 games against FBS opposition. NIU also needed a comeback to beat 2-9 Army by one point, which is #153 in the Sagarins (meaning that at least 33 FCS teams were better.
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