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SMQ went to great lenghts before the mythical championship announcement Sunday to objectively justify why he grudgingly endorsed Florida ahead of Michigan on game-by-game, resume-based merits that have nothing whatsoever to do with conference affiliation, championships thereof, desire to avoid/facilitate a system-crashing mythical championship rematch or projected competitiveness with Ohio State. But, judging from the justification of actual coaches' poll voter Steve Spurrier, maybe he shouldn't have bothered:

"Heck, I'm a Gator," he said. "I went there. So I had a lot of reason to vote for them right there. It just appeared they're 12-1, the other team is 11-1, I guess that's about it."

Such logicians, those coaches.

Now, in the face of what seems to him to be overwhelming general sentiment of the "Michigan Wuz Screwed" variety, SMQ is going to put up the same comparison he used to endorse the Gators Sunday, partly because he didn't get any feedback on its validity, and partly because the more he looks at it, the more he likes it:

If you're voting based on an abstract conception of a team's inherent value, and believe Michigan as currently constituted has proven itself eternally "better" than Florida, then, admittedly, raising the Gators after the Arkansas win doesn't jibe with those notions. But SMQ has voted all season solely on to-date resume, and the addition of ten-win Arkansas to Florida's slate pushed UF slightly ahead on strength of schedule-based merit.

The main point: Michigan and Florida are virtually identical. Good arguments exist for both. But there is an objective case for the Gators beyond "Michigan had its chance."

Final Regular Season BlogPoll Ballot
This is not a power poll...
1. Ohio State
2. Florida
3. Michigan
4. Southern Cal
5. Louisville
6. LSU
7. Oklahoma
8. Wisconsin
9. Boise State
10. Auburn
11. West Virginia
12. Notre Dame
13. Rutgers
14. Arkansas
15. Tennessee
16. Virginia Tech
17. Wake Forest
18. California
19. Texas
20. Boston College
21. Texas A&M
22. BYU
23. Oregon State
24. Nebraska
25. TCU

Waiting: Georgia, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Maryland, Clemson, Penn State, South Florida

Non-mythical championship controversy justification:

? USC's complete domination of the non-conference slate from hell keeps it just ahead of Louisville, though the Cardinals are probably only a field goal from the number two spot their own selves. Oregon State's eventual success aided the Trojan cause.

? Finally, Boise State and Wisconsin fall next to one another, where SMQ has suspected they've really belonged for the last month.

? Absolutely not sold on Wake Forest. Besides having an entirely gimmick-based running game, the Deacons still rank in the bottom 10 in the country in passing offense and are outgained overall. Jim Grobe would probably get SMQ's Coach of the Year vote for winning 11 games and a conference championship under those circumstances (plus the backfield injuries), but Frank Beamer over the last month has pulled Virginia Tech together into the best team in the ACC, including an easy defeat of Wake. SMQ sees no way to put the Deacs ahead of V-Tech.

? Reconsideration: only one, Cal raised above Texas, using the same method of reasoning that put Florida a hair ahead of Michigan.

Tier Michigan Florida Advantage
14 at Notre Dame (47-21) +14 Michigan
13 Wisconsin (27-13) LSU (23-10) +1 Michigan
12 vs. Arkansas (38-28) +12 Florida
11 at Tennessee (21-20) +11 Florida
10 at Penn State (17-10) vs. Georgia (21-14) Push
9 at Minnesota (28-14) Alabama (28-13) Push
8 Iowa (20-6) at Florida State (21-14) +1 Michigan
7 Kentucky (26-7) +7 Florida
6 Indiana (34-3) South Carolina (17-16) +1 Florida
5 Michigan State (31-13) +5 Michigan
4 Central Mich. (41-17) Southern Miss (34-7) Push
3 Vanderbilt (27-7) Central Florida (42-0) Push
2 Northwestern (17-3) +2 Michigan
1 Ball State (34-26) at Vanderbilt (25-19) +1 Florida
LOSS at Ohio State (39-42) at Auburn (17-27) +5 Michigan
TOTAL +4 Florida