The coaches’ and sportswriters’ polls have been released, and the final verdict of the BlogPoll is forthcoming, though we in the blogosphere take a little more time, in the hope of getting it right. Ere I publish my final top 25 (which I am apt to do in segments, this being the ultimate pronouncement upon 2011 to stand against history), I thought it best to set forth a few minutiae, which you may judge as you choose. These are they:
- The instant the Outback Bowl ended---I mean, the instant the Outback Bowl ended---I switched off the television, and I have not watched so much as a single down of college football (not even a highlight) in the week since. I have, however, followed the box scores after the fact, so I am up to speed on what happened, and how it happened.
- I gave consideration to 34 teams for inclusion in my top 25, those being the 34 Division I-A clubs that finished with records of 9-4 or better. No teams with five or more losses were considered.
- I refused, as a matter of principle, to consider a team for my No. 1 ranking if that team did not finish first in its league. I understand and respect that others feel differently, but I believe it to be simply nonsensical to claim that a team can be a national champion without first being a conference champion; it is a non sequitur, akin to saying I am the tallest person in my neighborhood but the second-tallest person in my household. Accordingly, three of the five one-loss teams (Alabama, Boise State, and Houston) were not considered for my final No. 1 ranking because none of those teams won its conference. The Crimson Tide were relegated to the role of spoiler, leaving me only with the question of which dog had the fewest fleas when choosing between Louisiana State and Oklahoma State squads that both endured ugly losses late in the campaign.
Stay tuned. . . .