As an Illinois fan this college football season went by way too slowly, but as a college football fan in general, it's gone by too quick. Last weekend was the last full slate of action we're going to have this season, as this weekend's games are mostly conference championships, and then we're off into bowl season.
A bowl season that will see Notre Dame playing for a national title in a month and a half against the winner of Saturday's SEC championship game. There will be so many people who have no idea what to root for come that January night in Miami.
THE TOP FIVE
1. Notre Dame - A lot of people will tell you that Notre Dame has gotten lucky this season -- and it most certainly has caught some breaks -- and that it's living off an easy schedule. Which is an idiotic thing to say. As of right this second Notre Dame has won games against two teams (Oklahoma and Stanford) ranked in the top 11 of the BCS -- more than both Alabama and Georgia have. The Irish have also beaten 9 teams that are bowl eligible this season. Alabama (5) and Georgia (4) have combined for that same total. So who exactly has played the easy schedule this season?
2. Alabama - The Tide got a huge test this weekend from Auburn! That said the formula still keeps the Tide ranked this high, though if I was doing this based purely on my opinion of teams, I'd have Florida here right now. Unlike Bama and Georgia, they've played a lot of really good teams and beat most of them.
3. Ohio State - I mentioned earlier that Notre Dame has beaten 9 teams that are bowl eligible this season. Well, if you include Penn State -- which has the wins to qualify -- Ohio State has beaten 7 bowl eligible teams this season. So combine that with a 12-0 record and you could make a good argument that the Buckeyes should be ahead of Alabama here too.
4. Oregon - The best team in the Pac-12 didn't win its own division and won't be playing for a conference title. If only the Ducks were in the SEC because then that would be enough to give it a title shot. Instead the Ducks will have to settle for a BCS at-large berth.
5. Georgia - Georgia's best win this season was against Florida in a game that the Gators turned the ball over 6 times. It's second best win is Vandy or Ole Miss. It also got pasted by South Carolina. Add that all up, throw in SEC and you get a team playing for a berth in the title game this weekend. And although I think Georgia is pretty overrated -- THAT DOESN'T MEAN I THINK GEORGIA SUCKS BY THE WAY -- I also wouldn't be shocked to see the Bulldogs knock off Alabama this weekend because the Tide are probably overrated as well.
-- I'm sorry Florida. I think you deserve to be ranked higher than every team above you aside from Notre Dame. You're a lot like Notre Dame in that you tend to play to your opponent, and you also have 4 wins against teams currently in the top 13 of the BCS standings. No one else even comes close to that.
-- I don't think Northern Illinois beats Clemson. But that's not going to stop the formula from putting the Huskies ahead of the Tigers this week.
-- I also think Oklahoma would beat both MAC teams. But as we've talked about all season, the formula isn't all that fond of the Sooners, and considering that Oklahoma has won its last three games by a combined score of 143-131 you can sort of see why.
-- Look at all those non-AQs. You'll notice in the major polls this week that non-AQ schools are showing up with greater regularity. This is something my formula has been doing all season, and this week is no different as 6 teams from outside the BCS powers appear in my Top 25.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
Michigan, Rutgers, UCF, Penn State, San Diego State
WHERE IS ILLINOIS?
We are still ranked #82 ahead of only Kansas and Colorado. Thank god the season is over.