January 10, 2007

2006 Final Poll

This is the final ballot as we bid farewell to the college football season and say hello to 2007. Irish news is on the horizon, especially with rumors flying that Notre Dame might have an entirely new defensive staff. But this vote represents the close of college football for 2006. Move your seniors off the map and clear out the NFL-bound juniors, because everything from here is about the next year.

1. Florida (13-1)
2. Ohio State (12-1)
3. Boise State (13-0)
4. USC (11-2)
5. LSU (11-2)
6. Louisville (12-1)
7. Auburn (11-2)
8. Michigan (11-2)
9. Wisconsin (12-1)
10. West Virginia (11-2)
11. Rutgers (11-2)
12. BYU (11-2)
13. TCU (11-2)
14. California (10-3)
15. Texas (10-3)
16. Oklahoma (11-3)
17. Notre Dame (10-3)
18. Virginia Tech (10-3)
19. Wake Forest (11-3)
20. Boston College (10-3)
21. Hawaii (10-3)
22. Oregon State (10-4)
23. Arkansas (10-4)
24. Penn State (9-4)
25. Central Michigan (10-4)

Final Notes:

- Highlighted teams represent bowl winners. Its a good thing to close out your season strong.

- Only one team is in the Top 25 without 10 wins, Penn State.

- There is a sentiment around the nation to put Boise State at #2, but I can't ignore Ohio State's regular season despite the poor bowl season for the Big Ten (2-5).

- The Basketball Coach said something to ponder. Without the poll reversal after the Ohio State/Michigan game we would have been left with a rematch that would have stood for all-time as the best two teams in the country. If there was engineering in the polls to get Florida in, then the pollsters did their job, overriding the computers in favor of their eyes as Florida and USC cruised to wins over Ohio State & Michigan.

- How good is Auburn? Wins over LSU and Florida justify my #7 ranking for the Tigers.

- What should also be finally stated is that this poll should show no bearing for a pre-season poll for next year. I am not one for pre-season polls, however I can use this poll to think about who will be here at the end of 2007. I have four categories: teams that will return to a better position, a team that is ranked here but will finish much lower next year, a team not here that will be here, and a team here that won't be here. Got it? Here goes.

- Its a safe pick perhaps, but USC will return to at least the #4 ranking when the 2007 final poll is released next January. While there hasn't been fire to the smoke of the Carroll to Miami rumors, I reserve the right to negate this pick if he leaves. Otherwise, the Trojans bring back a ton of talent to take on a schedule that will feature road games against Oregon, California, and Notre Dame.

- Petrino left, Michael Bush declared, Harry Douglas, Brian Brohm, and a few others could follow. The Louisville Cardinals will NOT be the #6 or higher team in 2007. They might not even win the state championship.

- A team off this list that will be back are the Georgia Bulldogs. Matthew Stafford is your quarterback and will benefit from a full spring as the lead candidate. Georgia showed a ton of pride to win out after Kentucky dumped them to a 6-4 mark that included a home loss to Vanderbilt. The Dawgs rallied to beat Auburn at Auburn, Georgia Tech at home, and Virginia Tech in the Chik-Fil-A Bowl.

- Finally one team on here that you won't see in 2007 are the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. I know they have numbers back and that coach Jim Grobe is all-world. However, all those close wins in 2006 will turn against the Deacons in 2007. Just a hunch.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.