All good things must come to an end, and like many other SEC bloggers, I have figured out that the hegemon's streak of BCS Title Winners cannot last forever. What the heck I'm thinking with regard to their replacement is really anybody's guess.
Commentary after the jump.
I wondered which of the following questions the ballot should answer:
- Which are the twenty-five best teams in the country?
- What will the post-season ballot look like?
- What will the polls look like after the regular season and championship games are over? I decided that it should answer the last one. For the most part the ballot just before the bowls is the one that matters the most. It reflects general national interest in your team, which could influence which bowl chooses your team. And, of course, it matters a great deal to the top two teams in the country. Ask Georgia, Utah, and Boise State exactly how much it matters to be ranked #2 after the BCS Title Game; it's not so cool or memorable. So, yes, I think that TCU and Ohio State will end the regular season with spotless records and play for the BCS Title. In the BCS era, only three SEC teams have gotten past the first weekend in December without a loss. And in the SEC Championship era, that's only happened four times. History gives us no reason for expecting that to happen again in 2010.
TCU and Ohio State have that "finish what we started" aura about them that ought to remind you of Alabama in 2009. And with preseason ballots, "history" and "aura" is about as precise as you can get.
With regard to other teams, I'll make specific mention of Arkansas. Many have accused the Razorbacks of being the "Ole Miss of 2010." I think that's true ... if the Ole Miss team you're thinking about is Ole Miss circa. 2003. The more specific way of saying "defense wins championships" is to say that "teams lacking defense don't." That doesn't mean they will not win games.
You might also notice SMU there. Funny, huh? Lots of folks think that SMU has decided to be serious about football again in the June Jones era, but I expect them get noticed this year. The Mustangs have chances to prove themselves against Texas Tech and Texas Christian. The Red Raiders host their opener against SMU and might still be trying to jee-haw their Leach personnel to their Tuberville philosophy. Meanwhile, they get a transitioning East Carolina out of the C-USA West, along with Tulane.