Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blogpollery, week 2

1 Georgia --
2 Oklahoma 1
3 Florida 1
4 Southern Cal 1
5 Oregon 1
6 Missouri 1
7 Ohio State 5
8 East Carolina 7
9 Auburn --
10 LSU --
11 Texas 3
12 Fresno State 2
13 California 11
14 Penn State 6
15 Wisconsin 2
16 Brigham Young --
17 Alabama 6
18 Wake Forest 8
19 Oklahoma State 3
20 Utah 2
21 South Florida 9
22 Kansas 5
23 Texas Tech 2
24 Vanderbilt 2
25 UCLA --

Dropped Out: West Virginia (#19), Mississippi (#23).


--This ballot mostly breaks down into several distinct groups: 1-7 are the alleged juggernauts, ranked more on pure potential than on-field accomplishment (though Mizzou's Illinois win and Oregon's Washington pasting are taken into account); 9-11 are the juggernaut "B" group; teams 11-20 have at least one and sometimes two wins over BCS competition as well as a certain amount of potential and are ranked via a 80/20ish mix of both; 21-23 are teams who have yet to face BCS competition but have just enough potential to deserve a spot; 24 and 25 have BCS wins but substantially less potential in my view than 11-20; and East Carolina and Wisconsin are non-group outliers (the former with more accomplishments to date than anyone but substantially less potential than the teams ahead of them; the latter doesn't have the potential of the 9-11 group, in my view, but has also been substantially more impressive in cupcake victory than the 21-23 group). Got all that? No? That's fine.

--Like everyone else, even after defending them in the run-up to the season, I think Ohio St.'s got serious issues: Beanie or no Beanie, rope-a-dope playcalling or no rope-a-dope playcalling, why the hell could the Buckeye offensive line not simply blow Ohio off the ball? OSU sleepwalked through MAC games last year and the year before, too, and they were never so statistically even as they were with the Bobcats.

--Texas slips due to not only seeing UTEP battle them to a draw in the box score, but to Florida Atlantic's struggles (particularly defensively) against what everyone expects to be a rotten UAB team, making the Horns' Week 1 victory substantially less impressive as well.

--Big jumps for Cal and Penn St after annihilations of Washington St. and Oregon St., respectively, but a 24-7 victory on the road over Rutgers is still enough to keep Fresno out in front in the JCCW's book.

--I've said my piece on Alabama already, but the dominance of the Clemson win is still more than enough to keep them in the top 20.

--South Florida's performance wasn't nearly as poor as "overtime against UCF" would suggest--they outgained the Knights by nearly 300 yards--but it's still not enough to give them the benefit of the doubt over teams with BCS wins, either. The Kansas game should be terrific.

--Yes, a comprehensive road win over a decent mid-major and a home win over a middle-of-the-pack SEC school are more than enough to get into the poll. There's an argument to be made Vandy should be higher, in fact.


Chip said...

I think you have Southern Cal too low. Personally, I'd have them #1, but don't have a problem with OU or UGA being ranked higher at this point. But I think they are clearly better than Florida.

When was the last time you've seen Tebow so frustrated on offense? If Miami had any semblance of an offense they easily could have won that game. I'm not at all sold on Florida, and I think their offense is still limited by their lack of a significant threat running the football (not named Tebow). Where is this great Emauel Moody that I'd heard so much about? UF relies too much on small and fast running backs that can't handle turning it up field and running over someone. You put Ben Tate back there, and UF's offense would be something to be feared. As it is, I wouldn't be surprised to see UF drop 2 or 3 games this year, because they are going to play teams in the SEC with defenses just as good (or better) as Miami's who also have offenses capable of doing some damage.

Sullivan013 said...

Be careful drinking that ECU koolaid. Both Va Tech and WVU showed some serious weaknesses in their non-ECU games. Despite losing, Furman sacked the Va Tech qb four times (weak offensive line). Villanova, despite losing by 27 points, put up 399 yards of total offense on WVU's defense (poor defense). Both of these weaknesses were expoited by a good (not great) ECU team in an early season smackdown of two coaching staffs that should have known better (especially WVU, a week after the Va Tech game). I think the later schedule for both Va Tech and WVU will show their preseason ranking to be way off in an ugly, South-Carolina-2007-like way.

Is ECU really better than the mid-tier SEC teams? Highly doubtful. Did Skip Holtz do his homework reviewing his opponents? Absolutely. They also played very well, but don't be surprised if they finish second or third in their own conference. If they get lucky and make it to a BCS or other January bowl, I'll bet that they'll be this year's Hawaii, especially if there's an SEC team on the other side of the field.

Just IMHO, you understand, but most Cinderella stories tend to end in tears rather than cheers.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Chip: Certainly Florida's offense has been sputterific to this point, but in terms of their potential I think it's been offset by the fact their defense has looked better-than-advertised, too, even accounting for how bad Hawaii and Miami's offenses are. Also think enough of Meyer that I think he can iron out the wrinkles ... but you're right that if the offense doesn't show some sort of improvement, they're not going to loses less than 2 SEC games. And oh, as for the poll, SC will move up if they beat OSU.

Sullivan: To some extent I agree with you: this is probably the high-water mark for ECU. As soon as teams like, say, Auburn or Texas or Wisconsin start piling up conference victories, they'll move in front of the Pirates. And I also agree Va. Tech and WVU aren't as good as widely believed (remember, I think I had WVU at 19 in my preseason poll). But at this point, I think you have to give them some credit for beating two decent BCS teams and doing it in such dominating fshion--the Tech game looked close, but ECU ran all over them. That's the thing about the Hawaii comparison--we'll see what happens in CUSA play, but because of the ease of their two wins I'd say their nonconference performance is already more akin to Boise '06 than Hawaii '07.