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The Final BlogPoll of 2011

I didn't submit a BlogPoll last week, so there's no point to showing the Deltas. Instead, I'm going to go through my ballot team-by-team and defend each ranking, as this is the most important ranking of the year.

1 LSU. Clearly the best team in the country.

2 OKLAHOMA ST. I value resumes above all else, and I look at who you beat ahead of who you lost to. That's been consistent for me since I started voting, as is my value in conference titles. OSU wins all of the metrics I personally value.

3 ALABAMA. I'm concerned by their lack of good wins outside of Arkansas, but they did show their quality by being the only team to play within two scores of LSU.

4 OREGON. I'm not shocked by Stanford's support, but the difference in record is because UO played LSU and Stanford didn't. UO won the conference and the head-to-head.

5 STANFORD. Still, one loss teams from the power conferences don't grow on trees.

6 WISCONSIN. There's a huge glut of two-loss teams, but Wisconsin won the Big Ten and avenged one of their losses on the season. Also, both losses were by a single score.

7 USC. Southern Cal is playing great right now, but let's not forget they lost by 21 to a 6-6 Arizona St team. While "bad losses" are all the rage, let's look at that one.

8 BOISE ST. The Georgia win looks a lot better right now, and they lost their one game on a missed field goal. This team is legit.

9 KANSAS ST. Finished second place in probably the toughest top-to-bottom conference in America. The SEC is more top heavy. They just go out and win.

10 ARKANSAS. I'm not totally sold on the Hogs as they don't have a lot of big wins, outside of South Carolina, and they were blown out by LSU and Alabama.

11 MICHIGAN ST. Won their division by a game, and the only thing separating them from Wisconsin is a miracle pass play (in both the win and the loss). Titles count, which is why Wisky gets the bump.

12 GEORGIA. 10 wins and the SEC East champ. Their defense showed it was legit against LSU. I'm not holding title game losses against teams, though I do give a big bonus for winning it (well, not quite true, see Houston).

13 BAYLOR. Finished 3rd in the Big 12 and beat Oklahoma and TCU. The A&M loss is a big demerit, and the only thing keeping them out of the top ten.

14 MICHIGAN. I've never been sure what to do with the Big Ten this year, but this seems about right for a two-loss team with a big win over Notre Dame.

15 SOUTH CAROLINA. Ten wins and a big win over Clemson. In a dead heat with Michigan, really. Instead of being an SEC homer, I gave the tiebreak to an out of region team. Sorry.

16 VIRGINIA TECH. Honestly, I might be over-ranking them. Their win over Georgia Tech, who I rank in the top 25, is their best win.

17 HOUSTON. I might be over-ranking them as well as that was a massive beat down in the C-USA title game. But they were a game away from the BCS.

18 CLEMSON. Yes, I have them behind VT. They made up a lot of ground, but they did lose by 14 to GT, 24 (!) to NCSU, and 23 to South Carolina.

19 WEST VIRGINIA. Like Alabama, their best win is a loss to LSU. Only their loss is by over 20 points. Nice Big East title, though.

20 OKLAHOMA. They lost three games and didn't sniff the conference title. They lost to a pretty bad Texas Tech team. Every team ahead of them either won 10 games, won their conference, or beat OU head to head.

21 NEBRASKA. Finished in the back of the Big Ten logjam. Closer to Penn St than to the contenders, honestly.

22 TCU. Huge win over Boise, and the loss to Baylor is quality. But this is a team that lost to a 7-5 SMU team and has no other quality win other than Boise. I think that game was a bit of a fluke.

23 SOUTHERN MISS. Congrats on winning C-USA and enjoy the trip to Hawaii.

24 GEORGIA TECH. The win over Clemson gets them a spot in the top 25 given the lack of strong contenders at this point. They also have a pretty fun offense.

25 CINCINNATI. Shared in the Big East title despite a stunning lack of quality wins and a 22 point loss to Tennessee.

Feel free to tell me what I got wrong.