Here's the breakdown on Week 12. Barking Carnival has one of the highest divergence rankings from other blogs and a few forward bets I made are paying off (ranking Southern Miss two weeks ago, refusing to rank Cincy, dissing Penn State). I'm convinced a couple of teams that everyone else thinks are really good aren't and I'm sticking to my guns until the bowl season reveal.
- I don't think as highly of Houston and Virginia Tech as the BlogBorg. Voters are always overly impressed by a having a 0 in the loss column, but let's do a simple debunking exercise: Houston finds itself in the Big 12 or SEC. What's their record? Thank you.
- I think Wiscy is the cream of the Big 10 crop though they hit an athlete wall pretty quickly. And I like USC a bit more than most. USC has discovered a running game and their D is starting to cohere. The game against Oregon will be an entertaining shoot-out.
- Alabama is, IMO, the 2nd best team in the country. But I don't want a rematch. If OSU wins out, I'm happy to move them to #2.
- TCU busts into the Top 25 on the strength of their win in Idaho on the Smurf Turf. This team was unimpressive early in the season and they've grown immensely over the past 2-3 weeks. Casey Pachall is a legitimate stud and I'm consistently impressed with Patterson's ability to identify and develop three star talent. They're going to experience some shock in the Big 12 - particularly when they play several Top 25 teams in a short time period - but I really like their long term prospects. They've got a nice story to tell to DFW athletes.
- Once you get past #20 in my poll, you can reasonably place a dozen different teams in those slots. Watch out for Virginia as a late season I-didn't-even-know-they-still-had-a-football-team comer.
Attack and mock!