Not a lot of teams played last weekend, and thus not a lot of movement. Houston got beat by Southern Miss in its BCS audition (and boy do I know what it's like to watch Southern Miss ruin your team's BCS chances), and Virginia Tech got blown out by Clemson in the ACC title game. Further thoughts and justifications after the jump.
ragnarok: Question for the voters: if your vote counted, is Alabama #2? Do you vote for someone else to avoid a rematch, even if they're not as deserving?
Berkelium97: I cannot justify ranking Oklahoma State over Alabama. Their in-conference resumes are about equal, but Alabama has a better nonconference resume. Of course, if I were voting in the actual polls, I would put Oklahoma State over Alabama because there’s no point in staging a rematch of teams that played in November. We already have an answer as to whether LSU is better than Alabama.
There is always a risk when staging a national championship rematch. If LSU wins, it confirms what we knew all along; we have learned nothing new from an LSU-Alabama rematch. If Alabama wins, we may have some doubts about which team is better. LSU won once and 'Bama won once. You could make the argument that LSU's win was more impressive, since it was on the road. But Alabama's win took place in our mythical national championship game. So who is better? We still do not know.
To summarize, we either learn nothing new or we give us evidence that there is no clear #1.
Alabama had its chance to prove it was #1. They lost, so we might as well give the next guy (Oklahoma State) a shot. Right now there is a clear answer to the question "Is LSU better than Alabama?" If we stage a rematch, we may lose the clarity of that answer. If we see LSU-Oklahoma State, we can still have a defensible answer to "Who is #1?". If LSU wins, LSU is obviously the best team in the nation. If Oklahoma State wins, it will be much easier to say "Oklahoma > LSU > Alabama" than if Alabama wins and we have to decide whether Alabama or LSU is better. While the transitive property is a crappy way to determine who is better in college football, it's a better method than deciding between two teams who split the season series against one another.
Norcalnick: Regarding the National Championship - I voted for Oklahoma St. at #2. If my vote had any power in real life I might have considered dropping Alabama lower than #3, though I likely would have decided against such a path.
Because if you have a clear preference for Alabama or Oklahoma State based on anything they've done on the field over the last three months, it is wrong. I'm not trying to be mean. It's not your fault. You're not wrong for seeking out the warm embrace of certainty. You're just looking for an answer where there is no answer.
But I side with the Cowboys for pure entertainment reasons. When it's impossible to correctly answer a question, I'll just pick the answer that I find most aesthetically appealling, and Oklahoma St. is clearly the winner in that contest, for many reasons.
ragnarok: If I'm being honest, I put Alabama ahead of Oklahoma State. I don't know which team is actually better, but a late November loss to Iowa State is a black mark that doesn't have an equivalent on the Tide's résumé. However, being honest again, if my vote counted, Oklahoma State would get the #2 nod, because I have no desire to see an LSU/Alabama rematch, and I probably won't even watch the National Championship Game.
TwistNHook: Heres another interesting question, guys. How do you rank Oregon, USC, and Stanford?