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Final BlogPoll Ballot of the 2011 Season Happily Excludes ...

It's the final BlogPoll ballot of the 2011 season (soon to be followed by the first BlogPoll ballot of the 2012 season, but I digress). Read it and look at the mess of made of the whole endeavor, with things falling apart roughly at No. 3.

Okay, so I'm going to guess that the first two aren't really that controversial, but there is always the "Alabama didn't win its conference" thing. And while Alabama might not have quite as many truly high-caliber wins as LSU, they played one of the best games anyone has played all year on Monday. (Yes, I said that, and I'll be glad to debate anyone who disputes it.) I'm impressed enough to put Alabama first in the BlogPoll ballot, since the Les Miles rule says they are undefeated in regulation.

Oklahoma State, Oregon and Arkansas are kind of all the same team to me -- a great offense paired with a suspect defense that can play when it needs to. Arkansas probably has the best defense of the three, but it also probably has the worst offense.

The rest of the Top 10 is kind of what's left of the Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC. (ooh, South Carolina) And Boise State, because the Broncos only beat Georgia and then a handful of decent teams and got upset by their best opponent at home. Still, it's slim pickings this year.

The rest of the Top 15 is kind of Big 12-heavy, but I actually think that the Big 12 was at least the second-best conference in college football. At least. Michigan State and Michigan get in here almost on auto-pilot, but Michigan State had the better bowl win and the head-to-head and the better overall resume.

I see the problem with TCU. Their resume is basically Boise State and ... a loss to Baylor? They still deserved to be in the Sugar Bowl more than Virginia Tech did, but a group of pet orangutans wearing football helmets deserved to be in the Sugar Bowl more than Virginia Tech did.

Then there's West Virginia and three teams that really wish bowl season had never happened. I considered dropping Clemson out of the poll altogether, but they still had a great season that just happened to end in the football equivalent of the sack of Rome.

Southern Miss would be higher were it not for a pair of outright bizarre losses at Marshall and at UAB. Those might be the two worst teams to beat anyone in the Top 25. But Houston loss to Southern Miss and doesn't have a win that has the value of beating itself, so the Golden Eagles go first.

Florida State, Cincinnati and Rutgers are kind of filler, but they allow me to say with much pride: Virginia Tech does not appear on my BlogPoll ballot despite their 11-win season. You see, Northern Illinois also has 11 wins and arguably has a more difficult schedule -- and they're not ranked, either.