The TBG entry in the BlogPoll in all its glory with expanded commentary below…
LSU and Oklahoma State hold the inside track to play for the national title, but you already knew that. Houston keeps winning, but is as much of a long shot as Boise State is year after year. The Broncos and Stanford did make the picture a little clearer though by bowing out of the race. Where things will get interesting is if the Tigers or Cowboys lose.
If LSU does lose a game, can you realistically take Alabama or Oregon – two teams the Tigers beat – over them? No you can’t, but as we’ve seen in the past, losing late in the season hurts more than losing early. The Ducks’ loss to the Tigers has almost reached out of site, out of mind status.
If Oklahoma State drops one, is the possibility of a LSU-Bama rematch restored? The Crimson Tide would be the most attractive team to play for the title with only one very close loss to the nation’s top team, but they also wouldn’t have won their own conference. Of course, the alternative isn’t much better. The Ducks could win the Pac-12, but like Bama, Oregon has already lost to LSU.
All of that and it boils down to this, the picture is only clear if the Tigers and Cowboys win out. If one, or both, don’t, enjoy the chaos.
The big climbers of the week are Georgia (up four spots) and Michigan (up five). The Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East, which is almost laughable considering none of us expected that before the season. It wouldn’t be the first time the “experts” crowned a champion too early. The Wolverines are part of a Big Ten contingent at 8-2 that makes that conference about as easy to figure out as all the scandal surrounding it.
The biggest losers of the week are Cincinnati (falling 10 spots) and Penn State (a 12-spot drop and a season that will be difficult to salvage due to one of the darkest clouds hanging over it we’ve ever seen). The Bearcats still have the inside track to the Big East while the Nittany Lions 5-1 Big Ten record could quickly become 5-3 with visits to Ohio State and Wisconsin to close the regular season.
One team to keep an eye on is Southern Miss who could quietly move into the top 10 before all is said and done.