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Blogpoll Roundtable 4.3

Hosted by Big Red Network.

Q: Of the four presumed national title contenders to go down this past week--USC, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin--which team has the best chance to get back in the race by the end of the year?

I'm not sure Wisconsin really counted as a national title contender going in, so the loss to Michigan seems to keep them out for sure, unless they completely run roughshod over the remainder of their schedule.

Florida and USC both lost to vastly inferior opponents, and the Gators had the added "benefit" of doing it on their home field. The Gators, however, face a schedule that is sure to give them the opportunity for several more quality wins over the course of the season. USC, on the other hand, is playing in the relatively weak PAC-10. Only their run of "dominance" (which really seems to have ended a couple years ago) that has voters constantly voting them high can possibly keep them in... and of course they destroyed former #2 Ohio State.

Georgia got completely housed in its home stadium, but at least they lost to a team that was previously undefeated, and is now likely to be the #1 or #2 team in the country by any reasonable standard. The SEC schedule (and a possibly-quality OOC win against Arizona State on the road), including a championship game if they get that far, more than gives them the opportunity to work their way back into the MNC game - assuming Bama stumbles somewhere along the way. 

Q: But what does this mean for Ohio State? Are they back in?

They are back in, but only in the sense that it brings USC, Georgia, and Florida one step closer to having two losses this early in the season. Ohio State will have to be a full game better than any of those teams to make it back to the championship. It may not be fair for the Buckeyes, but in the world of college football, perception is everything, and getting killed in front of a national audience in their last three big out-of-conference games makes the Buckeyes comparatively weak.

Q: Did the week that was open the door for any of the undefeateds out of some of the non-BCS conferences like the Mountain West or the Big East? (Yup, that's a cheap shot. Thanks, Virginia Tech for not allowing me to make it about the ACC.)

The door is theoretically open, but BYU or Utah would have to perform well against their non-conference competition (Utah has its last chance against an Oregon State team that just thoroughly dominated USC, and BYU's last effort will be against... Utah State) AND beat the other team, on top of running the conference table. BYU's non-conference run was less impressive, so Utah probably has a better chance to make it to the MNC game.

However, like Ohio State, these two teams are playing at a major disadvantage in terms if perception. BYU has a little more histroy on its side, but Utah's season would be more impressive if they finished undefeated. Either way, it will require that no BCS-conference team is undefeated, and more likely that there are very few legimiate contenders with only one loss.

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“Blogpoll Roundtable 4.3”