On Thursday afternoon, immediately after posting the results of the most recent poll, I offered a new question for Dawg Sports readers to consider.
Since the new question concerned teams from non-B.C.S. conferences that are good enough to qualify for B.C.S. bowls, I pointed it out to fellow SportsBlogs Nation weblogger Block U, who sprang into action by posting a notice at his site and passing the word along at a Utah Utes message board.
Respect Block U's authoritah!
The loyal Utah fans responded in droves and word began to spread. My poll question sparked a discussion of the relative merits of the W.A.C. and the Mountain West. Perhaps for the purpose of rubbing it in after last year's Emerald Bowl, a Ute fan posted a link at a Georgia Tech message board. (If you're a Yellow Jacket fan and you arrived at Dawg Sports by that route, by the way, please note that I said some nice things about the Ramblin' Wreck recently and I believe Nathan and Dan would vouch for me, in-state rivalry notwithstanding.)
My poll question also got some attention at a T.C.U. message board, which got the Horned Frog fans in on the act, as well.
Since the Texas Christian message board comment thread expressed surprise at "an SEC team board ha[ving] something on it that isn't just kissing SEC....you know the rest," I should offer an aside: I had T.C.U. ranked 16th on last year's final BlogPoll ballot and I have argued in favor of reconstituting the old Southwest Conference with the Horned Frogs in the same division as the Longhorns and the Aggies, so I believe I give Texas Christian its due as a legitimate team.
How 'bout them Frogs?
I believe that I likewise give credit to such other prospective "B.C.S. busters" as Boise State and Fresno State, inasmuch as I gave the Broncos considerable credit heading into last fall's season opener in Sanford Stadium and I have deemed the West Coast Bulldogs worthy of inclusion in a Pacific Coast Conference alongside U.C.L.A. and U.S.C.
Furthermore, I am forthright in acknowledging my own biases. Regular Dawg Sports readers are well aware that the underpinnings of my loyalty to the Bulldogs come from my family background and my personal experience. To the extent that I am an S.E.C. homer, I openly admit it and I have argued that other college football webloggers should do likewise.
In addition to owning up to my preconceptions, I make a concerted effort to overcome them, with respect both to my team and to my conference. In short, I try to tell it to you straight, but, to the extent that my own biases may get in the way, at least I let you know in advance what they are, so you can decide for yourself how much of what I have to say needs to be discounted.
Unlike these guys, I admit that I'm not objective.
Now, to the matter at hand. Typically, I have halted the voting on poll questions when the vote total reached 100, if only because I went to the University of Georgia and not the Georgia Institute of Technology, so math is not my strong suit. Obviously, I have not done so this time, because this is the most hotly-contested Dawg Sports poll question since the epic battle between Mary-Louise Parker, Ashley Judd, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
That being the case, I'd like to keep the ballot box open and further the discussion. As soon as this posting hits the web, in fact, I plan to leave a link to it at the Navy weblog Pitch Right and e-mail it to the proprietor of the Fresno State Football Blog, since they each have vested interests in the outcome of the voting.
The Fresno State Football Blog, by the way, is operated by the selfsame MDG who covers college football at MDG CFB . . . where he has identified his non-B.C.S. top 15, of which Boise State, Fresno State, Navy, T.C.U., and Utah are five of the top seven teams. (The other two are Tulsa and U.T.E.P.) This provides further grist for discussion and debate.
U.T.E.P.? I totally didn't foresee U.T.E.P. getting in on the conversation.
Because this topic is one of considerable interest (especially as we head into a season in which the non-B.C.S. leagues have a much better chance of making it into major bowl games), I have elected not only to leave this poll question up for a longer period of time, but to invite the visitors to my site to offer their views upon the subject in the comments below or in the diaries available on the right-hand sidebar.
How will it all play out among the non-B.C.S. leagues? Who will win such potentially huge games as Boise State at Utah on September 30, Texas Christian at Utah on October 5, and Fresno State at Boise State on November 1? Will upsets be scored by Utah over U.C.L.A. on September 2, by Boise State over Oregon State on September 7, by Fresno State over Oregon on September 9 or over L.S.U. on October 21, by T.C.U. over Texas Tech on September 16, or by Navy over Notre Dame on October 28?
By all means, take the time to vote . . . but, while you're at it, tell me what you think, too.