Before the college football season began, all the major sports reporting outlets gave us their predictions of how the teams would do with the added prediction of who the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy would be. I use Sports Illustrated as a barometer since we get the magazine and it's easy to keep and refer to.
SI spotlighted 7 Heisman contenders none of which was the eventual winner, Touchdown Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M.
The teams SI and most experts chose as the top teams were, beginning with number one: Alabama, USC, Oregon, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Michigan State, Georgia, West Virginia, Florida State, Arkansas, Michigan, Clemson, Texas, Kansas State, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Nebraska and Georgia Tech.
How the final year end rankings ended up beginning with number 1:
Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Oregon, Georgia, Kansas State, Stanford, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida State, Clemson, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, UCLA, Utah State, Michigan and Boise State.
Many who made the final top 20 weren't even in the original (Notre Dame!) and a number in the first group totally fell out. Most stunning to me is Northern Illinois who will be playing in the Orange Bowl tonight, a rare appearance for a so called minor conference team. They must be really good if they overcame the obstacle of the BCS voters normal inclination to go for the big name teams.