BlogPoll Ballot: Week 14

By Luke Zimmermann on December 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

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 Alabama 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). UP2
2 TCU 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). UP2
3 Texas 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). DOWN1
4 Cincinnati 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) UP1
5 Boise State 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). UP1
6 Florida 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) DOWN5
7 Ohio State 10-2. Regular Season complete. Next up: Rose Bowl vs. Oregon, Friday, January 1st, 4:30 p.m. (ABC). --
8 Oregon 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 Iowa 10-2. Regular season complete. Next up: Orange Bowl vs. Georgia Tech, Tuesday, January 5th, 8 pm (FOX). --
10 Penn State 10-2. Regular season complete. Next up: Capital One Bowl vs. LSU, Friday, January 1st, 1 pm (ABC.) --
11 Brigham Young 10-2. Regular season complete. Next up: Las Vegas Bowl vs. Oregon State, Tuesday, December 22nd, 8 pm (ESPN). --
12 Georgia Tech 11-2. While everyone was busy watching the turf dry in Arlington, Georgia Tech and Clemson staged a classic of their own, as the Yellow Jackets claimed their first ever BCS berth with a 39-34 victory in the ACC Championship Game from Tampa. Jonathan Dwyer's 15 yard touchdown run capped a brilliant, game winning drive with just under a minute and a half to play. This mark's the Wramblin' Wreck's first major bowl appearance since 1966, when they also went bowling in Miami. Next up: Orange Bowl vs. Iowa, Tuesday, January 5th, 8 pm (FOX). --
13 LSU 9-3. Regular season complete. Next up: Capital One Bowl vs. Penn State, Friday, January 1st, 1 pm (ESPN). --
14 Miami (Florida) 9-3. Regular season complete. Next up: Champs Sports Bowl vs. Wisconsin, Tuesday, December 29th, 8 pm (ESPN). --
15 Virginia Tech 9-3. Regular season complete. Next up: Chick Fil-A Bowl vs. Tennessee, Thursday, December 31st, 7:30 pm (ESPN). UP2
16 West Virginia 9-3. WVU picked off Rutgers' QB Tom Savage late to clinch a 24-21 victory and end the Scarlet Knights' eight-game November/December winning streak. The 'Neers wrap up another solid season under second full season headman Bill Stewart, who's undefeated in his previous 2 bowl games. Next up: Gator Bowl vs. Florida State, Friday, January 1st, 1 pm (ESPN). UP9
17 Nebraska 9-4. Nebraska lost the aforementioned heartbreaker to the Longhorns 13-12. Next up: Holiday Bowl vs. Arizona, Wednesday, December 30th, 8 pm (ESPN). UP7
18 Pittsburgh 9-3. A missed PAT sealed their fate as the Panthers fell from BCS bowldom to a Muffler Bowl. Next up: Meneike Car Care Bowl vs North Carolina, Saturday, December 26th, 4:30 pm (ESPN) DOWN3
19 Oklahoma State 9-3. Regular Season Complete. Next up: Cotton Bowl vs Ole Miss, Saturday, January 2nd, 2 pm (FOX) UP1
20 Oregon State 8-4. The Beavers lost a tough one against Oregon, coming up just short 37-33. Next up: Las Vegas Bowl vs. BYU, Tuesday, December 22nd, 8 pm (ESPN). DOWN2
21 Arizona 8-4. Juron Criner lunged for the game winning TD as thousands of Los Angelinos feigned interest as Arizona went ahead for good to defeat USC 21-17. Arizona wrapped up an eight win regular season and capped coach Mike Stoops' 09 season off with his first ever victory over the once mighty USC Trojans. ext up: Holiday Bowl vs. Nebraska, Wednesday, December 30th, 8 pm (ESPN) --
22 Stanford 8-4. Regular season complete. Next up: Sun Bowl vs. Oklahoma, Thursday, December 31st, 2 pm (CBS) UP1
23 Central Michigan 11-2. The Chips fired their way to a 20-10 victory over the Ohio Bobcats in winning their third MAC Championship in four years. Senior QB Dan LeFevour was 28 of 39 for 255 yards with 2 TDs and an interception. He also tacked on 51 yards on the ground. Next up: GMAC Bowl vs. Troy, Wednesday, January 6th, 7 pm (ESPN) --
24 Northwestern 8-4. Regular season complete: Next up, Outback Bowl vs. Auburn, Friday, January 1st, 11 am (ESPN). --
25 East Carolina 9-4. East Carolina picked up Houston QB Case Keenum on a near heroic game winning TD in the end zone to wrap up the CUSA Championship Game 38-32. Giavanni Ruffin and Dominique Lindsay both ran for 2 TDs in the winning effort for the Pirates. Next up: Liberty Bowl vs Arkansas, Saturday, January 2nd, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN) --

Dropped Out: Southern Cal (#16), Clemson (#19), Houston (#21), California (#22). (Last Week's Ballot)