About this whole Florida/Michigan thing: Look, I feel for the Wolverine fans here, and Lord knows I wish it was Michigan that had had their tickets to Glendale punched weeks ago and Ohio State was the one sweating out their bowl destination. But can Michigan fans really take that much offense at the fact that people didn't want to see the Buckeyes and Wolverines play the same game twice in a row?
What Michigan really needs to do right now is focus on beating USC in the Rose Bowl and thus avoid the Kansas State Syndrome frequently contracted by teams who feel like they deserved better bowl bids than what they actually got. If Michigan loses to USC, then they've basically validated all the poll voters who thought they weren't good enough to deserve a second shot at the Buckeyes. But if they beat USC, there are two possible outcomes: Either 1) Florida does what neither Michigan nor anyone else could do and upsets OSU, thereby earning a national title fair and square, or 2) Florida loses to OSU, drops in the polls, and Michigan rises back up to No. 2 -- which is where pretty much everyone (Michigan fans included) thought they should be to begin with.
Look, you want to pass around the petition that says the BCS is a crock of bullshit, I'll sign it twice. But this year, at least, it is what it is. There's nothing that can be done about it now except to a)beat the Trojans and b) tell your Big Ten university presidents/ADs to lobby for changes in the system.
Anyway, now that the proselytizing is over with . . .
Games watched: First half of Louisville-Connecticut, flipped back and forth between Wake Forest-Georgia Tech and Army-Navy, the last couple minutes of UCLA-USC, Florida-Arkansas, part of Oregon State-Hawaii before I fell asleep.
1. Ohio State (last week: 1)
2. Michigan (2)
3. Florida (4)
Yeah, I've got Florida still below Michigan in my ballot, but I hardly think it should just be taken as a given that the Wolverines would beat the Gators. The BCS is fucked up, but it was fucked up long before this latest controversy arose.
4. LSU (5)
5. Oklahoma (9)
Though I consider myself a Longhorn fan, I have to feel a little happy for any team that recovers from the dismissal of their starting QB and a season-ending injury to their star tailback and a world class jobbing at the hands of the refs to fight their way into a BCS bowl anyway.
6. Louisville (6)
7. Wisconsin (8)
8. Arkansas (7)
Have to give them credit for at least putting up a fight, thereby treating us to the first SEC title game since probably LSU-Tennessee in 2001 that wasn't decided before the Dr. Pepper football throw at halftime. Everybody and his brother are going to be touting the Razorbacks for an SEC and, probably, a national title in 2007.
9. Southern California (3)
10. West Virginia (12)
11. Boise State (11)
A feel-good, the-system-actually-worked story in a BCS season that desperately needed one. A win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl would be 10 times bigger than Utah pasting a mediocre Pittsburgh team two years ago.
12. Auburn (13)
If Alanis Morrissette is still confused as to what actually constitutes irony, here's what it is: Irony is Tommy Tuberville bitching and moaning practically the entire season about how an SEC team can't make it to the BCS title game under the present system, and then having to watch as an SEC team does just that -- and it's a team he beat earlier in the season. I giggled just typing that.
13. Rutgers (10)
Michigan fans, you want to know what being screwed is? It's being no more than a triple-overtime two-point conversion from going to the Orange Bowl, but getting knocked down to the Texas Bowl, which 90 percent of the country couldn't even watch if they wanted to because it's on the fricking NFL Network, instead.
14. Tennessee (14)
15. Texas A&M (17)
16. Texas (18)
17. Wake Forest (20)
This is not to take anything away from Wake's victory, because I think it's awesome they've won their first conference title in nearly four decades, but the ACC should be embarrassed by what they saw in Jacksonville last weekend -- not what they saw on the field (though the game was certainly a snoozer), but what they saw in the stands. If I had just been idly flipping through the channels and didn't know what I was seeing, I would've assumed it was the C-USA title game, or worse. Even UAB can pack more people than that into the stands once every season or so.
18. California (15)
19. Notre Dame (16)
20. Boston College (21)
21. Virginia Tech (19)
On paper they should probably stomp the Bulldogs in the Peach Bowl, but the way Georgia's been playing the last couple weeks I'm not so sure. I'm just glad we ended up with a good bowl and a strong matchup.
22. Brigham Young (23)
23. Nebraska (22)
24. Georgia (24)
25. Texas Christian (NR/25)
The next five: Clemson, Georgia Tech, Oregon, State, Penn State, Missouri.
Dropped out: Georgia Tech (25).