Round 1 of my final ballot...
Yes, I did put Utah as #1. I have been down on the non-BCS teams all year (BYU still is overrated) but Utah was very good in their win over Alabama. This vote is in part a protest vote (picture me burning my bra as I flip off the BCS or don't try to picture it, your choice). But the current system eliminated Utah before the season ever began. Unless you are a BCS program you have absolutely no chance of being the mythical national champion.
Let's take a blind look at two teams and you tell me which should be the national champion.
Team A - beat two teams ranked in the final top 10, three in top 20, four in top 25
Team B - beat two teams ranked in t final top 10, three in top 20, three in top 25
razor slim slight edge to Team A
Team A - beat only common opponent 31-17
Team B - beat only common opponent 31-20
slight edge to Team A
Team A - undefeated
Team B - lost, at home
advantage Team A
Team A - non-BCS conference (hint: team A is Utah)
Team B - BCS conference
TRUMP CARD - Team B wins
Utah did everything in its power to put itself in position to be the best. They scheduled two BCS caliber teams and TCU who finished 7th in the final poll. When they scheduled Michigan who would have thought the Wolverines would have their worst season in school history? Not exactly Utah's fault. The Utes knew they would need a tough schedule to even get into a BCS game. They went to Michigan, went to Oregon State, hosted TCU and hosted BYU.
Scheduling the one FCS school hurt them, but does anybody believe that if they would have scheduled a MAC school or Boise State or Minnesota that they would have actually been in the title game? No chance. It should also be noted that Oklahoma and Florida both played FCS schools, it didn't seem to harm their stature.
Are they the "best" team in the country? We will never know but Utah did absolutely everything they had to do, the reason they finish #2 is because they are not in the country club. I believe that even if Michigan was a top 20 team and they had scheduled a BCS team in place of the FCS team they would still be sitting at #2.
Florida comes in at #2 on my poll because they did beat an Oklahoma team that I thought was very good. USC was incredible in the Rose Bowl and if there were a playoff I think they would win it. I think they are the "best" team out there. But I'm not predicting here, just voting on what I have to work with.
4th and 5th are as they are because Texas beat Oklahoma and they won their BCS game so I believe they belong one spot ahead (title game be damned).
Unless I get ripped for missing an obvious team or blatantly mis-ranking someone this will be my final ballot.