Now that my list is out there for all the world to see, the rest of you can share in wonder and amazement. And, I'll even throw in a special treat at the end, my projected BCS bowl matchups. Really!
So, on with my poll. This is not a power poll. This is how I think the polls will look like at the end of the regular season and conference championship games, but before the bowls. I've considered each team's strengths and weaknesses, gone through each team's schedule, and have come up with this mighty fine list. Projected records in parentheses...
1. Ohio State (12-0)First off, I know what y'all are thinking....well maybe I don't, but if I had stumbled across this poll, the first thing I would be thinking is that it would be near impossible to have 9-3 Oklahoma, Michigan and Virginia Tech squads sitting in the low teens/high twenties. And in a normal year, that wouldn't happen. But this isn't anywhere near a normal year. There isn't any single dominant team entering this season, which means that there's an unprecedented level of parity for 2006 and that is why you could see 9- and 10- win major conference teams sitting well outside the Top 10. This year, it will really matter when you lose.
2. Notre Dame (11-1)
3. Auburn (12-1)
4. Texas (11-2)
5. USC (10-2)
6. LSU (10-2)
7. Florida State (11-2)
8. Louisville (11-1)
9. California (10-2)
10. Clemson (10-2)
11. Nebraska (10-3)
12. Iowa (10-2)
13. West Virginia (10-2)
14. Florida (9-3)
15. TCU (11-1)
16. Utah (10-2)
17. Oklahoma (9-3)
18. Georgia Tech (9-4)
19. Michigan (9-3)
20. Georgia (9-4)
21. Virginia Tech (9-3)
22. Miami (8-4)
23. Texas Tech (9-3)
24. Oregon (8-4)
25. Penn State (8-4)
Also considered: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Boston College, Navy, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCF, UTEP
BCS Bowl Picks
So now we get a super-duper national championship game this season, although I'm not quite sure what this was supposed to accomplish. As best as I can tell, all the BCS has really done is just added another BCS game, called it the "BCS National Championship Game" (oh to have been a fly on the wall at that "Possible Names For The BCS National Championship Game" executive meeting), placed it in one of the 4 BCS cities on a rotating basis (huh? why?), and therefore opened up two more at-large spots to soothe the howls from the small conference folk as well as the 2004 Cal and 2005 Oregon type teams.
Anyhoo, here is the schedule of BCS Bowls for the 2006 season:
Jan. 1, 2007 - Fiesta Bowl- Glendale, AZ
Jan. 1, 2007- Rose Bowl- Pasadena, CA
Jan. 2, 2007- Orange Bowl- Miami, FL
Jan. 3, 2007- Sugar Bowl- New Orleans, LA
Jan. 8, 2007- National Championship Game- Glendale, AZ
The ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10 and SEC will each have an automatic tie-in to one of the bowls for their conference champ, provided that said conference champ doesn't qualify for the National Championship Game. That said, the tie-ins are:
The poor ol' stepchild Big East gets no such tie-in, although the Big East champ will take one of the open slots along with 3 other at-large squads.
So, that fun little explanation aside, here's how I see the BCS bowls shaking out:
Fiesta Bowl- Texas (Big 12 champ) vs. California (at-large)
Rose Bowl- USC (Pac-10 champ) vs. LSU (at-large)
Orange Bowl- Florida State (ACC champ) vs. Louisville (Big East champ)
Sugar Bowl- Auburn (SEC champ) vs. Clemson (at-large)
National Championship Game- Ohio State (BCS #1/Big Ten champ) vs. Notre Dame (BCS #2)
And there you have it.