The Senator already has his final Mumme Poll up for the year and the final poll will be posted to his site next Monday. In the interim here is my final Mumme Poll for review. Any thoughts or criticisms are welcomed.
Bold notes #1 overall, while asterisks note the rest of the top five.
Rest of the top 5
This is how I think the vote should go. I don’t know how you can delineate the respective resumes of Utah, Florida, and Texas and come up with a completely infallible defense for your argument. I prefer the Orson Swindle method and think that the pie should be split. Utah, Florida, and Texas have all earned the right to be #1 based on their resumes and common opponents. I refuse to believe in this notion of “Team A could beat Team B on a neutral field, therefore they deserve the nod”. This is idiotic logic as it completely devalues the idea that the regular season is important. Honestly, does anyone believe that had the New England Patriots and New York Giants played again a week later after the Super Bowl that the Giants would be favored? Absolutely not, as New England’s resume (their regular season) was indicative of the type of team they are. The Giants had one amazing game and are crowned champions although they were less than impressive during the run to the regular season. That’s my biggest argument against a playoff in college football. Once the field gets large enough to accommodate average teams we will get watered down champions and the regular season accomplishments will be devalued because of one flukey play or one weird game for teams that dominated their regular seasons. Off my soapbox now. Here are my explanations for my rankings.
-Ultimately, I’m going with Utah as #1. If we are going to split hairs between them and Florida, Utah did not lose at home to a 4 loss team. Also, both played Alabama on a neutral field with Utah manhandling ‘Bama unlike Florida. Obviously, Andre Smith was a bigger factor than we realized, but Andre Smith doesn’t play defense from what I remember about his playing days.
-Florida showed that it could slow down the juggernaut that was Oklahoma’s offense. If the GPOOE comes back for his senior year, he may well go down as the greatest college football player of all time (GPOAT). This team is very young and will likely lose Spikes and Harvin to the NFL. However, if the Golden Child returns, I have a sneaking suspicion they will be preseason #1 next year. It’s hard to argue this team doesn’t deserve the #1 ranking, and as I said earlier I believe they all should be voted #1. However, there ultimately is only one #1 and I felt that Utah’s resume was harder to poke holes at.
-Texas played a less than stellar game against a team they were favored to beat pretty easily (I guess someone forgot to tell those Vegas boys that Ohio State always plays pretty good defense). The voters in the AP and Coaches polls are holding this against Texas as an indictment on their conference and Texas itself. Texas had a killer schedule in the middle of the season where they played four straight top fifteen ranked teams (humiliating Missouri, BTW) and were able to survive it with only one loss. If that doesn’t impress you as a college football fan, then you are one cold person. Ultimately, I feel their resume is strong enough to warrant #1 recognition. My only knock on them is the same I had on Georgia last year. They did not win their conference. It’s a very weak argument though as you could argue back that they were screwed by an idiotic tiebreaker process, and that’s why I’m lobbying for the split #1 vote. Just because Texas beat a supposedly inferior opponent unimpressively in their last contest does not wipe away all the goodwill they built up during that gauntlet run.
-Oh USC, what should I do with you? Your coach argues that you are the best team in the country and that no one could beat you right now. That may be true, but I’m voting based on resume. Quite frankly, you played no one of importance other than Ohio State during the regular season, you lost to a four loss team in miserable fashion, and you have smelly feet (I couldn’t think of another logical reason to put USC down, but I wanted to make a list). USC is typical of why the power poll experience is wrong. They want people to see what they are right now, which is arguably the best team in the country, and ignore that blip on the radar in Corvallis. Just because you could beat them by 100 today still doesn’t change the fact that you lost to them in September.
-Oklahoma showed me a lot of heart last night. They were put into submission by the GPOOE in the second half, but they were playing to win. They were told for weeks that Florida was going to clamp down on them on D, which Florida did to the tune of 14 points, and that the defenses in the Big 12 are terrible, which turned out to be untrue as Oklahoma held Florida to its lowest point total since the LSU game in 2007. Oklahoma did everything it needed to and took advantage of the tiebreaker to win its conference and be in contention for a national title. I would have no problem replacing Florida with Oklahoma in my split pool had they won last night. It was tough for me to pick Oklahoma over Alabama for this fifth spot, but I think Oklahoma played a slightly tougher schedule out of conference, Cincinnati – Big East Champion and TCU. Oklahoma is a fine football team, but they are not worthy of #1 talk because of the losses to Florida and Texas inherently make their resume look worse than those of two victors.
-TCU played perhaps the best bowl game of the season. I was colored with envy watching their defense in that game wishing that Reshad Jones would take a hint (Write slams head repeatedly into desk thinking about it). TCU’s only losses were to Oklahoma and Utah, both of whom played in BCS bowl games and were both in the running for the #1 ranking prior to Oklahoma’s loss to Florida.
-Texas Tech sure laid a whale of an egg in the Cotton Bowl. I’m thinking they were less than satisfied to be completely left out of the BCS talk despite only having one loss and having beat Texas. They didn’t seem to interested to be there and it showed. Overall, Tech had a great season. They beat one of the teams that I consider top ranked during the season with one of the most dramatic endings to a game I can remember. They humiliated Oklahoma State, but were buzzsawed by the monster at Oklahoma. I didn’t see Ole Miss beating them by outgunning them though. That was a peculiar outcome to me.
-Alabama had one heck of a season considering not much was expected of them this year. They rode their mauling offensive and defensive lines to the top of the polls for nearly half the season. One could argue at the end of the season, Bama’s ascension to the top was built like a house of cards that started tumbling. In the polls, their quick rise was due to complete demolitions of highly ranked Clemson and Georgia on the road, both of which turned out to be average to good football teams this year. You still can’t discount a team that went 12-0 in the regular season and 8-0 in conference play as lucky. They earned every win. I don’t penalize them much for the loss to Florida because Florida was playing at the highest level I’ve seen a team play since the mid-90’s Nebraska teams with Tommy Frazier. They went punch for punch with Florida and played one of the most memorable SECCG’s since the game started in 1992. Alabama’s biggest concern was its lack of depth and it showed once Andre Smith was removed from the equation. Alabama maybe had the biggest thud of a loss in the BCS games, but I’m not going to penalize them highly for losing to what I consider the top team in the country.
-Boise State made it through the regular season with only one loss to Utah and played one of the most memorable bowl games against TCU. I enjoyed that one thoroughly. This is a team that’s going nowhere and is going to remain in the eyes of the public for awhile to come.
-Penn State did what Big 10 teams do when they play USC. They got shellacked. That one shellacking doesn’t discount how impressive their regular season was to me. Their only blemish prior to the Rose Bowl was a last minute field goal loss to Iowa. They beat Oregon State soundly, who beat USC BTW, and beat a pretty decent Ohio State team on the road. This may have been Joe Paterno’s best coaching job of the last 10 years and he celebrated by signing a lifetime contract (snarky sarcasm hinted).
-Ohio State has certainly evolved from a respected program to media punching bags for their repeated failures on the big stage. They played well in every game this season except the debacle in LA and the Fiesta Bowl against Texas. They took the best shots their conference had to offer and nearly won the thing had they beat Penn State at home. They’ve got a freshman QB that really needs to learn to throw the ball, but once he does that offense could be really scary.
-I wrestled with this last spot between Georgia and Ole Miss, both of which I had reservations about adding to the poll. Frankly, three losses is better than four and that’s why I put Georgia here. Georgia didn’t blow away Michigan State like some thought would happen, but the defense played like its hair was on fire the whole game. I only hope for the future going forward this was a show of the defense to come and not an anomaly. Georgia’s best win of the season was over Michigan State. It got beat soundly by Florida and Alabama, and humiliated by in-state rival GA Tech. For a team that had so much hopes and aspirations pre-season, that was a loud thud you heard coming from Athens at halftime of “the funeral”.
This poll took me way longer than any of the others I’ve done this season because I spent a lot of time thinking about the top ranked team and came to my conclusion that it deserves to be split, but if there can only be one it must be Utah. I’d say I spent a good hour and a half thinking and compiling my thoughts.