Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of 1,000's and 1,000's of Pirate fans. Call 252.637.2944 for flexible options & rates.





OBrien: LSU, USC top my ballot

By Denny O'Brien
Dec. 2, 2007

Editor's note: For the second year in a row, Bonesville columnist Denny O'Brien was a member of the voting panel for the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, commissioned by the Bowl Championship Series. O'Brien was nominated to the panel by Conference USA. The Harris Poll is a component of the BCS Standings. The final BCS Standings for 2007 were released on Sunday.

Ranking teams is no exact science, and this year made the voting process an increasingly difficult task.

Though I’ll never be a proponent of a playoff, the 2007 season has provided the best argument yet. Even so, there is enough evidence to at least differentiate who is in the championship conversation, and who isn’t.

I feel strongly that only five schools have a legitimate argument for consideration for the Bowl Championship Series title game. Those programs have the most complete résumés, and quality wins, strength of schedule, and the overall strength of the conference weigh heavily.

Other factors that I use include a team’s health, how it performed down the stretch, and, in tie-breaking scenarios, an overall head-to-head assessment.

All that said, here are the best:

1. LSU: Sure, the Tigers have two losses, but both occurred in triple overtime. LSU had the most treacherous path and plays in by far the best conference. Any win in this league is a quality one. The Bayou Bengals get bonus points for winning the SEC championship game with their backup quarterback. Ditto for doing it amid speculation surrounding the future of their head coach.

2. Southern Cal: Another two-loss team, but the Trojans are peaking. Southern Cal lost both of its games when it was depleted with injuries, and now is healthy and surging at the right time. It was difficult to overlook the Stanford loss, but that did occur very early in the season. The Pac Ten wasn’t too far behind the SEC this year, and finishing out with convincing wins over Oregon State, Cal, Arizona State, and UCLA really boosted the résumé. And in the end, I just think the Trojans would take Oklahoma in a head-to-head match-up.

3. Oklahoma: It was tempting to slide the Sooners into the No. 2 spot, but they weren’t as consistent as LSU or USC. When the Sooners were on — see Missouri twice — they were as good as anyone. When they weren’t — Colorado and Texas Tech — they were hardly impressive.

4. Georgia: The Dawgs are penalized because they didn’t even qualify for the SEC title game, let alone win it. Georgia is a great team and had no business bowing to South Carolina earlier this season. That loss likely cost the Bulldogs a shot at the title.

5. Ohio State: Though the Buckeyes have one loss, I have a hard time believing they are championship material. Maybe it’s because they don’t have a marquee win. The Big Ten was down this year, and beating heated rival Michigan was anything but impressive. Ditto for Wisconsin and Penn State. And using your non-conference schedule to feast on MAC opponents? Seriously, you belong in Pasadena. You’ll be wishing you were once LSU finishes with you.

The rest…

6. Missouri: If only Oklahoma didn’t make this year’s schedule. Even so, how do the Tigers get left out of the BCS, and Kansas gets in? Mizzou beat both Illinois and Kansas and gets the Big XII’s dregs.

7. West Virginia: Were those bottles I saw being thrown at the Pittsburgh players?

8. Kansas: Mark Mangino can expect a big, fat, contract extension. No pun intended. That said, the Jayhawks didn’t deserve a BCS spot over their border rival.

9. Virginia Tech: That 48-7 shellacking in Baton Rouge still looms large. That any ACC school finished third in the BCS standings means somebody wasn’t paying attention.

10. Hawaii: Sorry, but rallying to escape a Pac 10 bottom dweller isn’t very impressive.

11. Florida: Gators are a preseason favorite next year.

12. Illinois: The Fighting Zooks join the Gators as a trendy pick in ’08.

13. Arizona State: Dennis Erickson knows how to coach. He also knows how to bolt.

14. Clemson: The Tigers had the ACC’s best talent. Too bad they couldn’t close the deal.

15. Tennessee: Fulmer does just enough to keep his job, and just enough to tick fans off.

16. Wisconsin: The Badgers eternally live in the land of 9-3.

17. Texas: Talk about puzzling losses. Kansas State and A&M?

18. Boise State: The Broncos got stronger as the season progressed.

19. Virginia: To think fans wanted Al Groh fired.

20. Brigham Young: The Cougars are the hottest team you don’t know about.

21. Boston College: Overrated for most of the season.

22. South Florida: What happened during that three-week stretch?

23. Central Florida: If Kevin Smith returns, the Knights will grow accustomed to this kind of press.

24. Arkansas: The Hogs’ ability to run makes them a threat against anyone. Just ask Les Miles.

25. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders completely dismantled the Sooners.

View the final 2007 BCS Standings.

2007 Harris Poll Voting Panel

Aillet, Bobby
Alberts, Trev
Aldridge, Denny
Arnsparger, Bill
Bestwick, Dick
Biddle, Joe
Bishop, Blaine
Brandt, Gil
Browning, Wilt
Bruce, Earle
Buckner, Brentson
Carlin, Chris
Casciola, Bob
Cavagnaro, Charlie
Cawood, David
Collins, Tony
Copeland, Jim
Corrigan, Gene
Crowder, Eddie
Curci, Fran
Dawkins, Pete
Dickey, Doug
Dohn, Brian
Donnelly, Boots
Dorsey, John
Duhé, Kevin
Dunlevy, Bob
Esiason, Boomer
Fehlberg, Rondo
Francis, Anthony
Frederick, Bob
Glazier, David
Goldsmith, Fred
Grace, Mike
Griffith, Howard
Grim, Bob
Grosscup, Lee
Hammond, Tom

Hicks, Tommy
Hines, Clarkston
Housel, David
Jacoby, Fred
Jacoby, Joe
Joe, J.J.
Johnson, Dr. Charles
Johnson, Scott
Kearney, Joe
Keech, Larry
Kerkhoff, Blair
Kern, Mike
Kolen, Mike
Kramer, Roy
Kurtz, Jesse
Lachey, Jim
Lapides, George
Lawrence, David
Leach, Bobby
Lessig, James
Limon, Iliana
Lucas, Mike
Lude, Mike
Luicci, Tom
Luis, Cindy
Mandich, Jim
Matthews, Loren
McConnell, Joe
McGee, Mike
McIlhenny, Lance
McLellan, Bill
Melick, Ray
Miller, Ted
Minter, Cedric
Moody, Darrell
Moran, Mike
Morse, Jim
Morton, Craig
Moss, Jack
Neverett, Tim
O'Brien, Denny
Owens, Steve
Paschall, David
Perles, George
Pinkett, Allen
Pont, John
Ponti, Gene
Preece, Steve
Pruett, Bob
Richter, Pat
Rimington, Dave
Roach, Paul
Robinson, Earle
Roda, Kenny
Sandusky, Jerry
Schiller, Harvey
Schmidt, Dr. Terry
Schneider, Paul
Smallwood, Irwin
Smigiel, Joe
Socci, Bob
Stephenson, Ron
Taylor, Rick
Thalman, Budd
Thulin, Ron
Toner, John
Urick, Max
Valdiserri, Roger
Vardell, Tommy
Vruggink, Jim
Wagner, Bob
Walden, Jim
Watson, Graham
White, Jack
Windegger, Frank
Yoshida, Hugh

©2007 All rights rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. A Harris Interactive press release contributed to this report. Graphic courtesy of Harris Interactive.

12/03/2007 05:22:43 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.