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Blogpoll Roundtable #3

CBS Sports BlogPollFrom time to time, the entity known as the CBSSports Blogpoll will have a batch of questions hosted by one of the members for the other members to post, answer, and pontificate on. This season we’ve seen roundtables hosted by Hey Jenny Slater, and College Game Balls. Today? Barking Carnival! Huzzah!

1. Mack Brown has won three out of the last four games in Dallas against OU. Meanwhile, Bob Stoops continues to pile up Big 12 trophies like NCAA inquiries. With the presumption that Mack will hang up his concho belt in the next two years in deference to the undeniable coaching force that is Will Muschamp, how does this year’s Texas/OU game define Mack Brown’s legacy? Texas wins and it’s likely Pasadena bound. A loss would likely cement this depressing statistic: a 7th conference championships for OU vs one in 12 years under Mack Brown, which was delivered by some guy named Vince Young.

OTP: This year’s UT/OU game will define Mack Brown’s legacy as long as he uses it to springboard the Horns to win a national title. Brown has clearly seen his share of OU victories, so that in and of itself isn’t enough to warrant inclusion in the “elite” brotherhood this season. This game is clearly demanding the eyes of the nation but it is only the first step to a much larger ultimate goal. That conference title, along with the pending national title berth will cement that legacy… assuming the computers don’t screw him or the Longhorns don’t drop a game to a team they shouldn’t. Which to be honest is no certainty given the way they’ve performed this season against lower tier opponents.

2. Flipping the lens, does another OU loss — 4/5 to Texas, 0/5 in the last five BCS bowls — permanently establish Big Game Bob as an overrated, overpaid coach disguised as an asshole? At least sweater vest is an all around nice guy. I just feel sorry for Tressel when he comes up short in big games. When Stoops does it I cackle in a spasmatic fit of primeval laughter. So the natives are getting restless in Norman, and by natives I mean the people that stole the land from the natives that actually lived there. Who neeeds to win a big game more: Bob Stoops, Jim Tressel, or Mark Richt?

OTP: Solely because it is his career on the line, Mark Richt. The natives in Georgia are getting damn restless and without a signature win this season to make up for the epic disaster that was the Tennessee game, Richt may very well be asked to change his staff… and even that might not be enough to guarantee his safety. What isn’t helping is the fact that Florida and Alabama continue to distance themselves from the rest of the SEC, making Richt the third best team in the conference… at best. And that is not a position that Georgia fans ever want to be in.

3. Pick the game that glistens like no other on your remaining schedule. Why does it shine for thee? What portent does it hold at the seat of your BCS or Brut Sun Bowl altar?

OTP: For me, it’s the USC-Notre Dame game this weekend. Once and for all we’re all going to see just what kind of coach Charlie Weis is. A win means the Irish faithful can rest easy for now. A loss and they get more restless than Georgia, Texas, and Oklahoma fans combined. Selfishly, I hope ND wins, not only because I root for them to succeed, but also because I enjoy the chaos and drama that comes with Weis in South Bend. It’s only natural to want the game’s biggest personality on its biggest stage. Wait… or was it its biggest waistline? Shit… I get ’em confused.

4. NC State lost to Duke. Okie State lost to Houston who lost to UTEP who scored more points against the Cougars (55) than it gained in yards against Texas (51). Virginia lost to William & Mary. Not the school but to two motivated kids named William and Mary. USC lost to Washington. I only bring this up as a reminder because USC losses tend to fade from the voting conscious faster than a fresh set of downs for an LSU quarterback. (Which leads to another riddle: Does one become concussed in the mere presence of Tebow?) Vandy just lost to Army. The point is: Big upsets are hard to predict. Riddle us yours for the month of October.

OTP: The top two for me, Alabama and Florida, win out until they meet for the SEC title in my mind. So they’re out. Texas may lost to Oklahoma, though I doubt they will, but that isn’t really all that big of an upset. The Top 25 rarely plays games that seem even remotely losable through October, but I will pick one and feel entirely confident… Michigan upsets Penn State. Go ahead, bet heavily. Thank me later.

5. In a top-heavy year where many of the favorites immolated themselves from national title contention early on, two teams now loom larger than the rest: Florida and Alabama. Assuming they face off in the SEC Championship game and the supremacy of their defenses continues to shroud their offenses in a cloak of 13-10 wizardry, and no other team seems quite as worthy by comparison (this is the SEC after all), should they get a chance to play again in January for a national championship? If not, what undefeated or 1-loss team would have the best positioning? And would the Sooners really be out of it with three losses?

OTP: Whether they will or won’t, the Sooners damn well better. They computered their way into a national title berth last year and God help any resident near the Texas line if they do that again. In terms of Florida-Bama, if the SEC title game is epically close, both were undefeated until that point, then sure… it makes sense for a rematch. Theoretically the BCS exists to pair the two best teams for the national title. And if that situation plays out like that, it would be hard to argue for a spot for anyone else. Both teams cut through the league, the best league in the country, undefeated. That counts. A lot.

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