Commentary: Texas, Alabama deserve championship bid, says Pool's Power Rankings
The regular season has basically come to an end, and it’s official: Alabama is No. 1, and EMU is No. 120.
It was already known last week the Eagles would finish last, but they didn’t finish as the lone winless team. Western Kentucky blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter last week and finished 0-12, too.
Alabama sealed No. 1 after convincingly defeating Florida, 32-13, in the Southeastern Conference championship.
Last week was filled with great finishes, including last-second wins by Texas, Cincinnati and Arizona, but the best finish came in Champagne between Illinois and Fresno State.
Not only did Fresno State score with 2 seconds left (reviewed and upheld), but coach Pat Hill decided to go for two and the win. What ensued was a near sack, which turned into a tipped ball that ended up in the hands of a lineman, who ran it in for the conversion for a 53-52 victory over Illinois.
The bowl games have been announced, with the exception of a strange scenario in which Temple will either play UCLA or Army in the EagleBank Bowl, pending the results of Army’s game against Navy on Saturday. If Army wins, it’ll play Temple. If Army loses, UCLA will play Temple.
Before we get into the week 15 and final edition Pool’s Power Rankings, I’d like to point out that my No. 1 and 2 matched that of the BCS. Let’s get to it:
1. Alabama (13-0, 51.5 Average Win Percentage, 0 Average Loss Percentage) rolled Florida for the SEC championship last week. It’ll get a chance for its 13th national title and first since 1992. Next opponent: Texas (2) national championship
2. Texas (13-0, 59.1, 0) needed a last-second field goal to win the Big 12 championship last week over rival Nebraska, 13-12. It’ll play for its fifth national title and first since 2005. Next opponent: Alabama (1) national championship
3. Cincinnati (12-0, 66, 0) outscored Pittsburgh in the second half to rally to a 45-44 win in the closing seconds. It was helped by a Pitt botched extra point. Next opponent: Florida (6) Sugar Bowl
4. Texas Christian University (12-0, 70, 0) waited this week, hoping for a shot at one of the big boys in a BCS game. It got into a BCS game but is playing a fellow non-BCS school. Next opponent: Boise State (5) Fiesta Bowl
5. Boise State (13-0, 76.5, 0) went through the motions last week and was in control the whole way against New Mexico State en route to a 42-7 victory. Next opponent: TCU (4) Fiesta Bowl
6. Florida (12-1, 67.9, 1) didn’t show up to make things exciting in the SEC championship and lost, 32-13, and missed an opportunity for its third national title in four years. Next opponent: Cincinnati (3) Sugar Bowl
7. Georgia Tech (11-2, 61.6, 28) earned a spot in the BCS with a 39-34 victory over Clemson for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Next opponent: Iowa (11) Orange Bowl
8. Central Michigan (11-2, 83.2, 52) makes its first appearance in the top 10 after a 20-10 victory last week over Ohio for the Mid-American Conference championship. Its bowl game is the only non-BCS bowl to feature conference champions. Next opponent: Sun Belt champion Troy (22) GMAC Bowl
9. Oregon (10-2, 45.4, 26.5), as Adam Sandler would say, was “quacktastic” against Oregon State last week and won the Pac 10 with a 37-33 victory. Next opponent: Ohio State (10) Rose Bowl
10. Ohio State (10-2, 50.6, 68) knows who its opponent is and will try to win its first bowl in four years. Next opponent: Oregon (9) Rose Bowl
111.) Ball Sate (2-10, 98, 67.5) was finished last week and has moved on toward fixing the wreck that was this season. Last bowl appearance: 2009 GMAC Bowl (45-14 loss)
112.) Memphis (2-10, 100.5, 61.2) fans can remember the glory days by watching former running back DeAngelo Williams play, but then they have to watch the Panthers. Last bowl appearance: 2008 St. Petersburg Bowl (41-14 loss)
113.) North Texas (2-10, 105, 76) didn’t have a mean season and made everyone who watched green. Last bowl appearance: 2004 New Oreleans Bowl (31-10 loss)
114.) San Jose State (2-10, 113.5, 56.4) had a chance to escape the bottom 10 but handed Louisiana Tech a 55-20 victory instead. Last bowl appearance: 2006 New Mexico Bowl (20-12 win)
115.) Vanderbilt (2-10, 118.5, 48.2) is one of two BCS teams to finish in the bottom 10. Last bowl appearance: 2008 Music City Bowl (16-14 win)
116.) Washington State (1-11, 13, 49.3) is the other BCS team representing the bottom 10. Last appearance: 2003 Holiday Bowl (28-20 win)
117.) Miami (Ohio) (1-11, 75, 60) only thinks about hockey, Wally Szczerbiak and Ben Roethlisberger these days. Last bowl appearance: 2004 Independence Bowl (17-13 loss)
118.) New Mexico (1-11, 100, 60.5) was a valley in the Mountain West Conference’s dream year. Last bowl appearance: 2007 New Mexico Bowl (23-0 win)
119.) Western Kentucky (0-12, 0, 78.7) was winning 20-10 in the fourth quarter last week but blew it in a loss to Arksansas Stat to finish 0-12. Last bowl appearance: 2002 Division I-AA champions
120.) EMU (0-12, 0, 83.9) can try to take a page out of the men’s and women’s basketball books and achieve more wins next season than they did the previous. Last (and only) bowl appearance: 1987 California Bowl (30-27 win)