I should probably apologize to my BlogPoll brethren for my absence from the poll the past two weeks. The combination of a failed internet connection, lots of work, and most importantly, a defeated spirit precluded my voting. The first two explanations are self-explanatory. The last, though, probably merits further writing.
There are some Michigan fans who can assess this season and still salvage a harvest of positive sentiments from the football field on which failure festered. There was the last-play win against Penn State; the overtime victory in Iowa City that ended the Hawkeyes' home winning streak; and the overtime victory in East Lansing that probably prevented the earth from opening up and swallowing the entire Wolverine nation into a burning abyss. But all of the capital of warmth earned in thrilling victories was spent during sickening losses of ineptitude against Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The season was officially bankrupt when Michigan lost to the Buckeyes at home in a game that it was lucky to be in to begin with. Given this emotional deficit, and the eviscerating feelings of anger and emptiness that accompany it, one cannot help but regard college football with disengaging embarrassment and helplessness. I just wish that the season would end because simmering in a purgatorial sense of irrelevance is almost worse than the losing.
But still, I soldier on, my passion for the sport ignited by the pageantry and competition that are both larger than Michigan football. College football and I will never break up; we were just on a break.
We got back together yesterday for the conference-championship games and USC's role play, the one in which it was Ike and UCLA was Tina:
Georgia-LSU: Did LSU think that the game was next week? I didn't watch much of this game because LSU never seemed like it was in it, and the third quarter assured me that this was not going to be a game in the fourth. And then the fourth quarter happened and once again, I looked like a genius.
USC-UCLA: See here. But also: Reggie Bush for Blog Heisman. I'm voting for him. Vince Young may be the most valuable player in the country, but Bush is the most effective. Honestly, it really seems like he could score every time he touches the ball. Think about that.
FSU-Vagina Tech: Nothing like a conference title game to ensure that a mediocre team with a downright shitty offense makes it into the BCS. At least in college basketball, a team's regular season isn't completely invalidated or rendered irrelevant by an automatic-bid gimmick. People who don't like a playoff for college football always say that the current system makes every game matter. Look at the FSU season and ask yourself if that's true.
2) Texas - Nicely done, sirs. Just don't pull an Oklahoma next month.
3) Penn State - Journalists who love JoePa have already exhausted all of these story lines. I got nothin'
4) University of Criminology - I would happily watch Michigan in the AmeriDonkey RideThatAss.com Bowl if it meant tOSjoaU weren't going to the effing BCS. I hate my life.
5) Notre Dame - See above and insert Notre Dame where applicable.
6) Auburn - I really like this team for few concrete reasons.
7) Georgia - Every year feels the same to me with this team: Ten wins, some regrets, not that sexy.
8) Oregon - Enjoy that Holiday Bowl. Sucks to play in the Pac-10, huh?
9) West Virginia - Jury is still out...
10) Miami - I don't understand that Georgia Tech loss.
11) LSU - Change your sheets.
12) Alabama - Went from national-title talk to after thought in about two weeks.
13) Virginia Tech - Change your sheets.
14) Florida - Best possible three-loss season, right?
15) Louisville - Um...
16) TCU - Insert SMU comment here
17) Texas Tech - Whatever
18) Wisconsin - I guess this team had a nice season, all things considered.
19) Florida State - Seriously, you still need to fire Jeff Bowden.
20) Boston College - Whatever
21) Georgia Tech - Maddening team. Lost too many games that it shouldn't have.
22) UCLA - Play some defense (clap, clap, clapclapclap)
23) Michigan - Fuck you for tormenting me so.
24) Northwestern - Who else should be ranked?
25) Iowa - Ibid
A note about FSU and Virginia Tech: I have no idea how to rank these teams. I don't think that FSU is better than VaTech; I think FSU was better than VaTech on Saturday. Thus, I a giving the Hokies the benefit of some FSU doubt.