The good people of Bulldog Nation were asked which college football team would win the 2006 national championship and Dawg Sports readers responded with their votes.
There can be little doubt that shameless homerism accounted for the fact that Georgia finished in the top spot, receiving 27 per cent of the first-place votes cast. A more realistic second-place finisher was found in the form of defending national champion Texas, as the Longhorns received 13 per cent of the vote as a good bet to repeat.
When not looking at the world through red-and-black-colored glasses, Dawg Sports readers believe college football fans are likely to see this scene repeated next January.
The third-leading vote-getter was the ever-popular "none of the above," which will look mighty funny hoisting the crystal football, but this unnamed competitor garnered 12 per cent of the ballots. Given the nine teams I listed by name, I can only presume that these votes were cast in favor of L.S.U., but I don't know that for sure and I would welcome comments from any of the voters who chose this option, so that I might have their thinking explained for the good of the order.
Ohio State came in fourth with 11 per cent and there was a two-way tie for fifth place between Notre Dame and Oklahoma. The Fighting Irish and the Sooners each received nine per cent of the popular vote, with the Golden Domers making a strong late push after not being ranked No. 1 by any of the first 58 or 59 voters.
Auburn (7%), Florida (5%), and West Virginia (4%) trailed behind the squads from Norman and South Bend, with Southern California (3%) rounding out the field in last place among likely national title contenders.
One of the Trojans' three votes allegedly was cast by Matt Leinart, who still thinks U.S.C. is the better team. (Photograph courtesy Sports Illustrated.)
Discounting the local groundswell of support for the Red and Black (which I hope is correct but believe to be wishful thinking), it seems clear that the 2006 national championship race is wide open, which ought to make for an interesting season.
As always, I thank those who participated by voting and I invite your observations and opinions in the comments below or in the diaries available on the right-hand sidebar.