God dammit Oregon.
All you had to do was beat Stanford, at home. Notre Dame did it, and they need three overtimes to beat Pitt. Hell, washington did it, and they couldn't even win the Apple Cup. The Cardinal only scored seventeen points in a full game, plus an overtime. You guys had scored 42 or more in every game so far in the season. Score eighteen points that night, and you'd have been the ones beating the snot out of Notre Dame last night.
Oregon fans, and pretty much any fan of good football, are dreaming of an Alabama-Oregon national title game. If this were 2015, Oregon would have gotten the Fighting Irish in a national semifinal, with Alabama playing Florida in the other game. But alas, the BCS is still on life support because we haven't finalized its replacement. And since the Ducks couldn't beat Stanford at home, they get a pat on the back and a Fiesta Bowl trophy. Nothing more. So as you look at Noah and my last BlogPoll for the year, remember: it won't time-shift to a world where Oregon gets a title shot, nor will it mean anything for next season. It's just a reminder of how good this Oregon team is, maybe the best ever, and how that still feels just a bit empty.
Now for some stats:
- No team finished in the same place they started, proving all the more that preseason rankings are crazytown bananapants.
- There was a three-way tie for fourth, with my picks being the tiebreaker; if Noah had been doing this post, Stanford and Notre Dame would be switched.
- You might notice Georgia, who dropped two spots despite demolishing Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. This is due to Noah being wholly unimpressed with the Bulldogs, and dropping them three spots in his personal ballot. For comparison, he only dropped Nebraska one spot for giving up 45 points and losing by two touchdowns.
- Did you know Tulsa went 11-3 this year? Neither did I, until I went to make my ballot this week. Sure, the loss to Arkansas is a head-scratcher, but they have wins over Fresno State, Rice, UCF twice, and Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl. I'd ranked UCF four times this year, and the Golden Hurricane only once. A grievous oversight on my part.
- What would you have thought in September if I told you Utah State would finish with a higher ranking than LSU, and San Jose State would outrank both Oklahoma and Florida?
- Noah and I both have Johnny Football fever.