s you might expect, week 7 brings a lot more clarity, and with the advent of the first BCS poll, we are beginning to see the shape of this year's bowl picture, if somewhat vaguely and in bas relief.
Of course, anything can happen -- Alabama could lose to a lesser team or Florida. Both of them had strong challenges just last weekend, so we can't say that they are locks for the BCS. We still have the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (Florida vs. Georgia in Jacksonville) and the Iron Bowl (Alabama vs. Auburn), and of course the Third Saturday in October (Alabama vs. Tennessee), which just happens to be this weekend. These are all rivalry games, and as Kentucky fans well know, rivalries mean something. All that just to get to the SEC championship game.
At this point, though, a lot of teams have really firmed up their position barring a surprising collapse. Cincinnati has cemented itself into a very strong position, but it still has three very losable games yet to play. Alabama has Tennessee and LSU with an open week sandwiched in between, and Florida still has to travel to Columbia to play the Gamecocks and host to Florida State as well as the Cocktail Party.
Texas has several tough games left -- at schizophrenic Missouri and at rising Oklahoma State, not to mention their annual hate-fest at Texas A&M with #19 Kansas thrown in for good measure. Of the top five, their schedule looks the toughest from here on out. Iowa's is daunting, too, with road trips to Michigan State and Ohio State, and hosting Minnesota. All of the teams left on Iowa's schedule have a winning record.
Here is my ballot:
|Last week's ballot|
- Cincinnati has convinced me. They are for real. Hence, they are #4. Mouth, meet crow.
- Iowa has also convinced me, although not quite as emphatically as the Bearcats.
- Georgia Tech has a fairly easy path for the rest of the year, with their toughest remaining game being either at Virginia or vs. Georgia. (Virginia has been playing well lately, but Georgia is a better team).
- Oklahoma State is making noise, and they host Texas in two weeks.
- How good is TCU? We'll find out Saturday vs. BYU.
- Boise State has only one team with a winning record left on their schedule -- 6-1 Idaho.
- Oregon is looking strong, but their path starts getting tougher next week.
- Of the ranked ACC teams, Miami's path from here on looks easiest.
Your comments are welcome and encouraged.