Sunday, December 04, 2005

College Football Rankings: December 4th

The regular season and conference championships are finished, so this will be the last poll before the post-bowl season, final rankings in early January. In the interest of full disclosure, I will mention that due to another committment I only watched about 15 minutes of game action on Saturday (14 of which was from Army-Navy), though I did catch most of the first half of Fresno State-La. Tech on Friday night. But I did watch the highlights of USC-UCLA and the Conference Title games about 5 times on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

1. USC
2. Texas
3. The Pennsylvania State University
4. The Ohio State University
5. Notre Dame
6. Virginia Tech
7. Georgia
8. LSU
9. Auburn
10. West Virginia
11. Oregon
12. Miami-FL
13. Alabama
14. TCU
15. Florida
16. Louisville
17. Texas Tech
18. UCLA
19. Clemson
20. Boston College
21. Florida State
22. Wisconsin
23. South Carolina
24. Georgia Tech
25. Michigan

Honorable Mention: Navy, who beat Army yet again, and finishes the season at 7-4.

A few other notes:

• I'm predicting a runaway Heisman win for Reggie Bush. The guy is just incredible. Vince Young will finish second, followed by Leinart, then Brady Quinn. Those will be the four who get invited to the ceremony, though for the three of them not named Reggie Bush, it will simply be a nice vacation to New York City.

• Speaking of Brady Quinn, it turns out that he's cousins with the guy who played Brad on Home Improvement. The things you learn watching ESPN Hollywood.

• Nice of the College Football gods to pit Michigan and Nebraska (two of my least favorite teams) against each other in the Alamo this year, robbing me of the chance to root against them. Instead, I'll just ignore the Alamo Bowl, like I do every year.

• Of the non-BCS games, I'm probably most excited about the Sun Bowl matchup of UCLA and Northwestern. Those two offenses could easily combine for over 100 points, and win or lose, Maurice Jones-Drew will probably be good for 350 all-purpose yards.

• The only bright side of the Bowden vs Paterno matchup in the Orange Bowl is that it will likely produce a story that reporters will beat into the ground, burying the "Oregon belonged in the BCS" stories in the back pages of newspapers and archives of websites.

Since I can't think of any other way to finish this column, I'll give my picks for who deserves to win the post-season awards:

Heisman/Maxwell (Player of the Year)
Reggie Bush, RB, USC

Bednarik Award (Defensive Player)
AJ Hawk, LB, The Ohio State University

Biletnikoff Award (Wide Receiver)
Jeff Samardzija, Notre Dame

Lou Groza Award (Kicker)
Mason Crosby, Colordao

Ray Guy Award (Punter)
Danny Baugher, Arizona

Davey O'Brien Award (Quarterback)
Matt Leinart, USC

Outland Trophy (Interior Lineman)
Haolti Ngata, DT, Oregon

Jim Thorpe Award (Defensive Back)
Michael Huff, Texas

Doak Walker Award (Running Back)
Reggie Bush, USC

Coach of the Year
Mack "The Knife" Brown, Texas (JoePa as a close second)


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