The protestors can vote for USC or Utah at number one if they so choose, but Florida ends the 2008-'09 on top of Homerism's final power poll. Everybody knew the rules going in--winner of the BCS title game is national champ.
For the most part, there's little to quibble with in either of the major polls. After all, not much matters after the top spot. Below is Homerism's final power poll for this season, followed by a very premature top five for next season, based on who I think is turning pro and who isn't. (Basically, I tend to think anyone who is a likely first-rounder is gone.)
Blatant Homerism Weekly Power Poll: Final
6. Penn State
9. Virginia Tech
10. Boise State
Blatant Homerism Blatantly Premature Power Poll: 2009
As great as Tim Tebow is, Homerism expects he won't like what he hears from the NFL advisors. Why not come back for your senior season and stake your claim as the best college quarterback ever? Percy Harvin and Brandon Sikes look to be turning pro, but most of the Gators' major contributors will be back. This is the top dog until proven otherwise.
Like Florida, the Longhorns aren't losing much. The defensive line is taking some hits with the graduation of decorated defensive end Brian Orakpo and tackle Roy Miller. Senior receiver Quan Cosby departs as well. However, this is Texas, where coach Mack Brown stockpiles in-state blue-chippers, so he'll have plenty of studs waiting in the wings for their shot. With superstar QB Colt McCoy coming back for his senior year and underrated WR Jordan Shipley gaining a sixth year of eligibility, there's not much separating Texas from Florida.
With the losses the Trojans are sustaining on the defensive side of the ball, I can't put Pete Carroll's team in front of the two teams above, even if QB Mark Sanchez returns for another year. However, no matter who is under center for Southern Cal in 2009, there will be plenty of points scored in Troy next year. Nasty prospects such as DE Everson Griffen and LB Chris Galipo are more than ready for a chance to replace one of the best defensive units in college football history. Pretty soon, the Trojans are going to avoid the stunning regular season slip-ups we've witnessed since they lost in the 2006 Rose Bowl. When they do, don't bet against Carroll in the title game.
4. Virginia Tech
The Hokies are return plenty of contributors in 2009 from this year's ACC championship team. They include promising QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Darren Evans and the majority of a tough defense. Unfortunately for Frank Beamer, the ACC could be pretty competitive, as North Carolina and Florida State should improve on their success from the season past.
5. Ohio State
Talented Buckeye RB Beanie Wells has left for the NFL already, but Homerism suspects the loss could be a blessing in disguise for coach Jim Tressel. Wells is at his best running out of conventional power sets, and that's not the future of Ohio State football. Terrelle Pryor has yet to show much polish as a passer, but he's the next Vince Young. Tressel may be stubborn, but that isn't lost on him. Look for Ohio State to move to more of a zone-read offensive scheme that allows Pryor freedom to create and maximize his considerable talents. The Buckeyes take back the Big Ten in the fall.