The biggest question for any poll voter this week is, who’s No. 2? Alabama or Oklahoma State?
For an ACC country voter, a secondary issue was whether to rank Clemson ahead of Virginia Tech.
First, the national.
Oklahoma State won its conference, the Big 12, and did so emphatically Saturday night against Oklahoma.
Alabama did not win the SEC West, but its loss was by three in overtime to LSU, a team that housed everyone else in its wake, including conference champions Oregon and West Virginia, not to mention Arkansas and Georgia.
Conversely, the Cowboys’ loss was at 6-6 Iowa State, in double OT, albeit the night after a campus tragedy: the plane crash that killed two of the school’s women’s basketball coaches.
I side with Alabama but understand completely those who do not.
On the Tech-Clemson question, I sided with the Tigers (10-3). Yes, they’ve lost one more game than the Hokies (11-2), and their performance at North Carolina State was putrid.
But Saturday’s 38-10 thrashing of Tech in the ACC title game, combined with a 23-3 regular-season romp in Blacksburg, are too convincing to ignore.
The coaches’ poll disagrees, ranking the Hokies 11th and Tigers 14th. Yeesh.
Good to know the coaches count for one-third of the BCS standings, which will be released around 8:15 p.m., Sunday.
I dropped the Hokies from sixth on my ballot last week to 15th. My comrades punished them even more. The consensus was Tech 17th, with Clemson 14th, which is where I ranked the Tigers.
Here’s my penultimate ballot:
1. LSU (13-0): Honey Badger weaved his way into Heisman chatter Saturday night as the Tigers dusted Georgia 42-10 in the SEC championship game.
2. Alabama (11-1): Nick Saban chilled with the College GameDay crew Saturday. Dude isn’t bad on TV. Now he and the Tide anxiously await their BCS fate.
3. Oklahoma State (11-1): T. Boone Pickens was pitching his school hard after its 44-10 demolition of Oklahoma.
4. Oregon (11-2): The Ducks toyed with UCLA in the inaugural Pacific 12 championship game, winning 49-31. They’ll encounter far more resistance in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.
5. Stanford (11-1): Andrew Luck headed to New York for the Heisman ceremony. Cardinal likely headed for Fiesta Bowl.
6. Southern California (10-2): Sanctions rendered the Trojans ineligible for postseason. Shame, because they closed regular season strong.
7. Arkansas (10-2): Might the Razorbacks return to their Southwest Conference roots with a Cotton Bowl bid?
8. Boise State (11-1): Kellen Moore concluded his home career with a 45-0 trouncing of New Mexico. But it won’t be enough to get Broncos in BCS.
9. Wisconsin (11-2): I should have DVR’d the Badgers’ 42-39 Big Ten championship conquest of Michigan State. Wisconsin returns to the Rose Bowl. Does Montee Ball get a Heisman invite to New York?
10. Michigan State (10-3): Is the Spartans’ consolation prize a Bloomin’ Onion Bowl bid?
11. Kansas State (10-2): The Wildcats survived Iowa State 30-23 Saturday for their first 10-win season since 2003.
12. South Carolina (10-2): Stunned that Steve Spurrier didn’t return fire after last week’s salvo from Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. Perhaps too busy working on his short game.
13. Michigan (10-2): The Wolverines are sweating the final BCS standings. Need to be among top 14 to be at-large eligible and head to Sugar Bowl.
14. Clemson (10-3): The Tigers back in the Orange Bowl for the first time since their 1981 national championship season.
15. Virginia Tech (11-2): The Hokies rebounded admirably from their first loss to Clemson.
16. Georgia (10-3): The Bulldogs held LSU without a first down in the opening half. Then they got freight-trained.
17. Baylor (9-3): Heisman candidate Robert Griffin III makes the Bears worth watching, witness their 48-24 rout of Texas on Saturday. Griffin shredded a very good Longhorns defense.
18. TCU (10-2): Needing to jump two spots in the standings to secure a BCS bid, the Horned Frogs rolled UNLV 56-9 Saturday. Great year for Gary Patterson’s team after last season’s Rose Bowl perfection.
19. Houston (12-1): The Cougars were a home win away from the Sugar Bowl but got drilled by Southern Mississippi 49-28 in the Conference USA championship game. Now could be relegated to Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Hey, at least it’s Honolulu.
20. Oklahoma (9-3): The Sooners were preseason No. 1.
21. Nebraska (9-3): A Florida bowl, the Capital One, is on the horizon.
22. Southern Mississippi (11-2): The Golden Eagles’ rout of Houston prompts a question. How in the name of Brett Favre did they lose to UAB?
23. West Virginia (9-3): A final play field goal at South Florida gave the Mountaineers a 30-27 win Thursday and share of the Big East title. Presuming WVU finishes ahead of other co-champs Louisville and Cincinnati in the BCS standings, it heads to the Orange or Sugar Bowl.
24. Penn State (9-3): The more Jerry Sandusky talks – a four-hour interview with the New York Times?! – the worse he and Penn State look.
25. Notre Dame (8-4): The Irish likely headed for Champs Bowl against an ACC opponent. They’re already 3-0 against the conference this season.
In: Southern Mississippi.
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDPCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun