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Blog Pollin', Once More For the Road

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More championship analysis and the late bowl season's vindication of the "resume" ranking method later today. Business this morning, but first, a requiem for 2006:

When can my heart beat again?
When does the pain ever end?
When do the tears stop from running over?
When does "you'll get over it" begin?
I hear what you're saying
But I swear that it's not making sense
So when can I see you...

When can I see you again?
When can my heart beat again?
When can I see you again?
When can I breathe once again?
And when can I see you...

When does my "someday" begin?
When I'll find someone again?
And what if I still am not truly over
What am I supposed to do then, babe...
Do you see what I'm saying?
Even if, if it's not making sense
So when can I see you...

When can I see you again?
When can my heart beat again?
When can I see you again?
And when can I breathe once again?
And when can I see you... again?

We'll miss you, college football. Can't wait to see you again.

Once more, with feeling, the toughest poll of the season:

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

• Florida is Number One. It's great to be contrary sometimes and the opportunity exists to get cute when the favorite has a prominent blemish, but the Gators' schedule was a nightmare, and its first satisfying blowout just happened to be the most impressive single performance of the season in its ultimate contest. SMQ doubts Florida could repeat the show Monday to same dominating extent, but it doesn't have to. The addition of the Ohio State elephant shot to a trophy case that already contains LSU, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama and Florida State is an insurmountable coup de grace on the surprising title run.

• The margin between teams in slots two through nine is too thin for much precision. Pick your poison with any conceivable order, but you can almost certainly justify it, too. So this is a pretty uncertain stab.

SMQ will say this on behalf of USC in the two spot in front of Ohio State: at least its losses were close. Aside from the Buckeyes, Louisville got a long look at No. 2 itself, but the Cardinals' string of wins - West Virginia, Wake Forest, Kentucky, South Florida, Miami, Kansas State - and its last-second loss at Rutgers couldn't quite overcome Southern Cal's unmatched (except by Florida) collection of scalps from Michigan, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oregon and California, only the last of them close. No other team save the Gators has that many powerhouse wins, and even the mythical champs didn't regularly dominate their top competition.

• Still completely uncertain what to do with Boise State. On a game-by-game basis, the absurdly low value of wins against the bottom half of the WAC schedule renders comparison with teams from more balanced conferences mostly untenable. At the top and in the middle, the Broncos can stand up, though, so SMQ sees no reason Boise shouldn't be firmly among the top half dozen. Though they might want to work a little on the non-conference scheduling...

• Massacre in the bowls for SMQ's final regular season slots 12-17, where Notre Dame, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest all lost (only Rutgers, against unranked and overmatched Kansas State, survived). Direct beneficiaries are California and Texas, which leap about six spots apiece into respectable final positions. Virginia Tech collapsed against Georgia in the Peach Chick-Fil-A Bowl but - unless you're very impressed with Boston College's fortunate comeback against Navy - will end the season as still the best-looking team from the ACC, for whatever it's worth. The Hokies, B.C. and Wake all beat one another head-to-head, but more than half of Wake's wins were against teams with losing records, and B.C. stumbled against NC State. Tech more than any other team in that conference put distance between itself and opponents over the second half of the season.