Championship Game Weekend was a heart racing sprint to the finish, with both the Big XII and ACC Championship Games coming down to the final moments. The Tebow Child wept (the shortest verse in the Bible) and Alabama looked like a team of destiny in a thorough dismantling of the Gators in Atlanta.
A few changes of note: East Carolina gets the honors due to their impressive swashbuckling effort against the high scoring Cougs, and Northwestern (that's right, much like the Outback bowl we value quality of wins and how hot they are at this moment over one additional loss) makes their first appearance on the year. The clutterfudge that is the Pac-10 gets credit for being the deepest conference in the country this season, though how to seed them fairly and accurately is a rather inexact science.
As per usual, below is our draft based on some thought and deliberation in this moment in time Sunday afternoon. We have until Wednesday to revise things, so any suggestions/critiques made below will factor into the final ballot until post-bowl season.
|1||13-0. Alabama dominated Florida in all aspects of play Saturday afternoon in the Georgia Dome to take the SEC Championship 32-13. Mark Ingram made one last ditch push for the Heisman Trophy, accumulating 113 yards on 28 carries with 3 TDs. Alabama's defense kept the Gators off the scoreboard all afternoon including a late INT in the end zone on the Tebowchild by Javier Arenas. Next up: BCS Championship Game vs. Texas, Thursday, January 7th, 8 pm (ABC).||2|
|2||12-0. Arguably the most impressive team in the country, TCU ended their season they way they'd carried themselves so much of the season blowing first year head coach Mike Locksley's New Mexico Lobos out of the water to the tune of 51-10 a week prior. In wrapping up their first undefeated season since 1938, the Horned Frogs finish the season with the nation's 4th best offense (469.08 yards per game) and the nation's best defense (allowing just 233.25 ypg). TCU will sadly have to settle for a consolation rematch of last season's Poinsettia Bowl, which frankly very few fans including those in the TCU and Boise State fan bases want to see. Next up: Fiesta Bowl vs. Boise State, Monday, January 4th, 8 pm (FOX).||2|
|3||13-0. Texas needed literally every second of game clock to outlast a championship effort from previously unrheralded Nebraska and should be Heisman winner Ndamukong Suh and win the Big XII Championship Game 13-12. Senior kicker Hunter Lawrence hit a 46 yard field goal sure to live in infamy as time expired to clinch the win for the Horns. Texas' vaunted offense was limited to just 206 yards of total offense, and potentially once Heisman candidate Colt McCoy ostensibly played his way out of the discussion with a 20/36 attempt for 184 yards with no touchdowns and 3 interception afternoon. Texas will have to do a lot of soul searching after two underwhelming efforts in two consecutive games, but fortunately will have plenty of time to do so before the BCS title game. Next up: BCS Championship Game vs. Alabama, Thursday, January 7th, 8 pm (ABC).||1|
|4||12-0. Ohio's other BCS team rallied from 3 touchdowns down at Pittsburgh to win the de facto BCS Championship Game 45-44. Cincy QB Tony Pike rallied from a disastrous start and found Armon Binns on a 29 yard corner of the end zone strike to even the score following a botched handle on their previous PAT try. UC wideout Mardy Gilyard was mansome all afternoon, including a life resuscitating 99-yard kickoff return for a TD in a moment that arguably saved the Bearcats' season. Next up: Sugar Bowl vs. Florida, Friday, January 1st, 8:30 pm (FOX)||1|
|5||13-0. Bye Week. We kid; Boise housed hapless former Buckeyes victim New Mexico State 42-7. The Broncos put up 544 yards of total offense in wrapping up their 2nd consecutive undefeated regular season (given the overall relative quality of the WAC, is anyone that surprised?). Kellen Moore wraps up a Heisman caliber season in which he totalled 3325 yards through the air, 39 TDs, and and just 3 INTs. Next up: Fiesta Bowl vs. TCU, Monday, January 4th, 8:00 pm (FOX).||1|
|6||12-1. This pretty much sums it. Florida's defense had an uncharacteristic off day, and the offense was unable to put the ball in the end zone to counter Alabama's lengthy, calculated strikes. Florida will have to wait for another chance at the first undefeated season in school history. Next up: Sugar Bowl vs. Cincinnati, Friday, January 1st, 8:30 pm (FOX)||5|
|7||10-2. Regular Season complete. Next up: Rose Bowl vs. Oregon, Friday, January 1st, 4:30 p.m. (ABC).||--|
|8||10-2. The Ducks needed everything in their arsenal to with "The Civil War" against in-state rival Oregon State 37-33. Former controversy lightning rod LaGarrette Blount returned, rushing 9 times, for 51 yards, and a TD in spelling the scary good LeMichael James, who rushed for 166 of his own and 3 TDs. The question now becomes how much success will the Oregon offense have against tOSU's elite level D? Next up: Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State, Friday, January 1st, 4:30 p.m. (ABC).||--|
|9||10-2. Regular season complete. Next up: Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech, Tuesday, January 5th, 8 pm (FOX).||--|
|10||10-2. Regular season complete. Next up: Capital One Bowl vs. LSU, Friday, January 1st, 1 pm (ABC.)||--|
Dropped Out: Southern Cal (#16), Clemson (#19), Houston (#21), California (#22). (Last Week's Ballot)