Thanks to Big Red Network for supplying this week's questions.
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?
Starting next week, the BlogPoll Top 25 is getting MSM support as a major media outlet will be publishing the poll right alongside the AP and Coaches Polls.
Here's hoping those pollsters' week in and week out insanity doesn't sully the impeccable reputation we've worked so hard to cultivate.
On to the roundtable...
I assume that we are talking about the National race as opposed to the conference race here so I am going to say USC. As I wrote this week, I am still surprised that the media is already assuming that the Trojans are going to run the table, even though there is plenty of supporting evidence to prove that they are mostly likely going to lose another game before the end of the season. If on the other hand Pete Carroll and his band of 4 and 5 star recruits and all the publicity a team could want manage to run the table and do so convincingly, then public perception will get them back in the discussion. This is a team that has become very predictable over the last few years and while they can't seem to beat the teams they are supposed to roll over, they have certainly proved that they will be ready to roll by the time their bowl game rolls around.
Q: But what does this mean for Ohio State? Are they back in?
Come back to me after this weekend's Wisconsin game. They win that (which I don't think they will and yea, they are back in it. I still don't think there is enough negative will among the pollsters to keep them out of the National Championship because of a 2 loss Big 12 or SEC team. A large part of it also depends on the Nittany Lions only losing that one game and looking strong in all of their others.
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.)
No, a WHOLE LOT of things still have to happen for a non-BCS team to get into the National Championship discussion. Don't get me wrong, it certainly helped and there will be plenty more match-ups and upsets throughout the course of the season that will continue to work in the favor of the little guys. But there is a very good chance that a 2 loss SEC team and MAYBE a two loss Big 12 team could still be ahead of any undefeated mid-major not named BYU.