1.10.2009

Michael's Final Poll crowns Utes



1. Utah
Why They Belong: Not only did the Utes run the table, but they capped it off in the heart of SEC country in a bowl game they weren't expected to size up in, and absolutely dominated an Alabama team that was a few minutes away from a title game berth.
Key Wins in 2008: Alabama, TCU, BYU
What to look for in 2009: Contention in the MWC, but no repeat.

2. Florida
Why They Belong: They shut down the best offense in the country and the Heisman winner Sam Bradford, while using their spread attack to become the most feared attack in the nation.
Key Wins in 2008: Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia
What to look for in 2009: A reprise of the 2007 Gator season.

3. USC
Why They Belong: Carroll's defense is the best since Miami's 2001 squad, and they dominated every team they played other than the annual blip at Oregon State.
Key Wins in 2008: Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State
What to look for in 2009: The nations best offense with 10 returners should Mark Sanchez stay.

4. Oklahoma
Why They Belong: Blowouts against threats like Oklahoma State and Texas Tech showcased their offensive machine, and they ability to score style points.
Key Wins in 2008: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri, TCU
What to look for in 2009: The hot seat for Bob Stoops, especially if Bradford declares for the draft.

5. Texas
Why They Belong: Colt McCoy did so much, with so little, and their lone loss shouldn't have happened, as a dropped pick against Texas Tech cost them a possible title.
Key Wins in 2008: Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Ohio State
What to look for in 2009: The nations best offense with 10 returners should Mark Sanchez stay.

6. Alabama
Why They Belong: Althought very vanilla at times, they were #1 until the very end, and should have beaten the Tebows.
Key Wins in 2008: Georgia, LSU
What to look for in 2009: Other than a transition at QB, a flawless transition to an '09 title run.

7. Penn State
Why They Belong: Other than Florida and USC, Joe Pa's team speed is lightning fast, and opposed to the two juggernauts mentioned, they're disciplined.
Key Wins in 2008: Ohio State
What to look for in 2009: A trip to the Alamo Bowl, because just about all of their studs will be playing on Sundays.

8. TCU
Why They Belong: Other than 'Bama, they have the 2 best losses in the country, at Oklahoma and at Utah. They soundly beat Boise State and blew out a tough BYU squad, and are possibly the best coached team in the country.
Key Wins in 2008: BYU, Boise State
What to look for in 2009: Much of the same, hard nosed and underrated TCU football, with a strong shot at a MWC title.

9. Ohio State
Why They Belong: They played Texas better than anyone else, that's it.
Key Wins in 2008: None
What to look for in 2009: A landing back on earth, including a young D.

10. Oregon
Why They Belong: Belloti's spread offense never stops reloading, Blount and Masoli looked like Jonathan Stewart and Dennis Dixon the last half of the season.
Key Wins in 2008: Oregon State, Oklahoma State
What to look for in 2009: A strong run at the Rose Bowl, watch out 'SC, the Ducks will be soaring.

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