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BlogPollin', Week Twelve

Fanfare, it needs not:

Official Blog Poll Ballot, Week 12
This is not a power poll
1. Ohio State
2. Michigan
3. Southern Cal
4. Florida
5. Arkansas
6. Notre Dame
7. Louisville
8. West Virginia
9. Wisconsin
10. Rutgers
11. Auburn
12. LSU
13. Texas
14. Oklahoma
15. Boise State
16. Boston College
17. Georgia Tech
18. Tennessee
19. Virginia Tech
20. California
21. Wake Forest
22. BYU
23. Nebraska
24. Clemson
25. Hawaii

Waiting: TCU, Texas A&M, Penn State

? Michigan, first last week, hangs on at two for now, but the odds of it remaining in that spot after next Saturday are nil, or close. USC will hop the Wolverines with a win over Notre Dame; if the Trojans fall there, or at UCLA next week, a one-loss SEC champion is waiting to make the move - especially if that champion is Arkansas, with the potential to boast wins over Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and Florida, at least two of them by wide margins. The Gators, dangerously assuming they handle lame duck Florida State, might have a tougher case in the long run because the once-impressive victories over Alabama and Georgia are less valuable now than they once were. FSU at this point can only hurt their chances, not help. With LSU and Tennessee under its belt, UF desperately needs Arkansas to come into the championship on a roll to have a prime head to plop on the BCS table to overtake Michigan.

Notre Dame, again, would have to massacre USC beyond comprehension to make amends for the giant egg it laid at home against Michigan in September. This is different than the Arkansas-USC situation: both teams have big early home losses to teams ranked in front of them, but in its best-case scenario now, Notre Dame can only finish "even" with the Wolverines, at one loss apiece, and won't jump them because of the decisive head-to-head. Arkansas, too, will not jump USC if the pair win out and finish "even," with a loss apiece. But if SC loses a second time, and Arkansas continues to win, the resumes are no longer even outside of the opener, and the Hogs move ahead. There's no head-to-head with Michigan stopping Arkansas - or Florida - from jumping the Wolverines if SC goes down - not that this leap is inevitable by either, even if their success is ongoing, only that it's an option depending on the nature of the last two victories. In any case, that hurdle is virtually an impossible one for Notre Dame. And all debate is moot if USC wins two.


Booty makes the Trojans' case: `We're number two!'

? A couple of hops in the lower end of the poll based on some re-evaluation: Auburn moves back ahead of LSU, and Boston College, courtesy of its win over Maryland, goes in front of Georgia Tech. The former flip flop is less a result of AU's victory over Alabama and LSU's struggle with Ole Miss than a re-assessment of the value of Auburn's bigger wins (Florida and LSU) relative to LSU's less damaging losses (Florida and Auburn); the difference here, again, is head-to-head. Whether this reasoning is valid is open to debate, as is whether either or both should be ahead of Texas and/or Oklahoma.

Boston College and Georgia Tech have not played, but BC's wins over Clemson, BYU and Florida State are now seen - with Maryland emphatically added to the lineup - as slightly better than Tech's collective takedowns of Virginia, Miami and N.C. State. Debate: justifiably behind Boise State?

? Cal tumbles as its biggest win, Oregon, loses its luster; Oklahoma, too, suffers a bit from the Ducks' dramatic freefall. Tennessee, ergo, will find it difficult to consider the opener against the Bears a "signature win" any longer. And so LSU with Tennessee, et cetera.

? Welcome Hawaii, best bet to overwhelm a helpless pack of schmoes by five touchdowns. Expect big leaps from the Rainbows or whatever with wins over bowl-eligible visitors Purdue and Oregon State.