Buckner's Final Harris Poll
Greenville, SC-Brentson Buckner's final Harris Poll vote did not stray too far from the majority. He obviously had Southern Cal number-one and Texas number-two on his final ballot, but he gave Notre Dame the advantage when it came to the at-large comparison between Ohio State and Oregon.
RB- Laurence Maroney Minnesota Ol- Jonathan Scott Texas Lb- D'Quell Jackson Maryland Db- Tye Hill Clemson Player of the year- Reggie Bush USC
Buckner was the only active NFL player to vote in the Harris Interactive poll that was used in the BCS compilation this year. This was the final Harris Poll vote of the year, but Buckner will release his final poll after the bowl games in January.
"I ranked Notre Dame fourth, ahead of Ohio State (fifth) and Oregon (seventh). I was just impressed with Notre Dame all year and the way Charlie Weis ran his team. Ohio State probably played a tougher schedule overall. But, both teams had two losses. That will be quite a bowl game in January.
"There was a lot made about Oregon and how they should have gotten an at-large bid. But, I didn't think the Pac-10 was that great this year. Oregon started out too far back and that is probably one of the faults of the poll system and the reason we should have a playoff. Their only loss was to Southern Cal, but some of their other wins didn't look all that great because the Pac-10 was mediocre overall.
"Don't get me wrong, I still like Oregon's team. Give them credit, they have been in the hunt quite often since we went into the 21st Century. They should have been in the National Championship game in 2001."
Buckner was impressed with the finish for some teams, particularly West Virginia, but dropped Virginia Tech and UCLA out of the top 10 after regular season finale losses.
"I was impressed with Rich Rodriquez team because of the way they won. First, they were impressive, they took care of business against teams they were suppose to beat. And, they did it with toughness. They run the ball and stop the run and I like that in a team. They have some consistency. Their only loss was to Virginia Tech when they were third in the nation in playing well. West Virginia deserves to be in a BCS bowl in my opinion.
"UCLA just never had a defense. I dropped them after the loss to Southern Cal, but if you look at their entire season, their defense caught up to them. They got down by three touchdowns too many times. Coming back from large deficits was their motto all year, but that is not good football. When they couldn't match Southern Cal in terms of scoring they got dismantled.
"Virginia Tech losing to Florida State was not that big a surprise because Florida State had their backs to the wall. All week all they heard about was how bad they were. That got Florida State back to Florida State football and Virginia Tech became over confident.
"I was also impressed with Georgia's win over LSU and put them back in the top 10. Georgia fans are wondering what could have been if D.J. Shockley was healthy.
"When I look at Georgia and a lot of teams this year, it tells me even more how much we need a playoff. Georgia might be undefeated if it had had a healthy Shockley all year. Now he is healthy, it would be interesting to see what kind of run they could make in an eight-team playoff.
"But, overall, it was great to be a part of the process this year, and I hope to do it again next year. I always follow college football, but voting in the Harris Poll made me even more involved in it."
View Buckner's entire poll, and his own hand-picked All-America team, at http://www.brentsonbuckner.com/harris.html. Read Buckner's commentary on Panthers and Clemson football at http://www.brentsonbuckner.com/buckshots.html.
Following is Brentson's final top-25 for 2005:
Brentson Buckner's 2005 All-America Team
QB- Brady Quinn Notre Dame
RB- Jerome Harrison Wash. St.
RB- DeAngelo Williams Memphis
TE- Vernon Davis Maryland
Wr- Mike Hass Oregon St.
Wr- Jeff Samardzija Notre Dame
Ol-Greg Eslinger Minnesota
Ol- Marcus McNeill Auburn
Ol- Marvin Phillips California
Ol- Joe Thomas Wisconsin
Pk- Jad Dean Clemson
Kr- Cory Rodgers TCU
All Purpose Athlete- Reggie Bush USC (any position he wants to play)
Dl- Elvis Dumervil Louisville
Dl- Mario Williams NC State
Dl- Dan Bazuin Central Michigan
Dl- Haloti Ngata Oregon
Lb- Chad Greenway Iowa
Lb- DeMeco Ryans Alabama
Lb- Paul Posluszy Penn St.
Db- Ko Simpson South Carolina
Db- Jimmy Williams VA Tech
Db- Brandon Merriweather Miami
P- Ryan Plackemier Wake Forest
PR- Maurice Drew UCLA
Coach of the Year- Joe Paterno Penn St.
Defensive Player of the Year- Elvis Dumervil Louisville
Offensive Player of the Year- Brady Quinn Notre Dame
Freshman Of the Year- Tyrell Sutton RB Northwestern
RB- Laurence Maroney Minnesota
Ol- Jonathan Scott Texas
Lb- D'Quell Jackson Maryland
Db- Tye Hill Clemson
Player of the year- Reggie Bush USC