Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blogpollery, Week 7 (right? 7?)

With Blog Poll voters now instructed to get a draft ballot in by Monday a.m. and the JCCW just not ready to think about Auburn football yet--hey, have you checked out this hot picture of British actress Lucy Griffiths yet?--I decided to spend a bit of my Sunday afternoon distracting myself with a new Blog Poll ballot.

It came out thusly:

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

Dropped Out: Northwestern (#17), Tulsa (#21).

1-4: These are the top four teams in the country, and it's not debatable. I'm begging you, fellow Blog Poll voters: please, for the sake of our credibility, do not follow the lead of the AP and coaches and place Oklahoma St. behind Oklahoma. Both of these teams have dispatched the opponents in the nougaty filling portion of their schedules with ruthless efficiency. Both of these teams have now faced one their fellow contenders for the Big 12 title. One of them lost. One of them won. The team that lost (at a neutral venue) should not be ranked ahead of the team that won (on the road). Period.

As for Texas vs. Alabama, the Tide's win at Georgia holds up against the Horns' win over the Sooners, but their wheezes past Tulane and Kentucky don't hold up to Texas's annihilations of the likes of Colorado, UTEP, Rice, etc.

Penn St. couldn't have been more impressive in destroying the same Wisconsin team that pushed Ohio St. for the full 60 minutes, but none of the Nittany Lions' victims are remotely in the class of, say, Georgia or Missouri. You shouldn't feel any sympathy for the Nits anyway: they're one win in Columbus (over a Buckeye squad who just got finished failing to score an offensive touchdown at home vs. Purdue) from coasting into the national title game.

5-13: With Michigan's immolation and Oregon looking iffier by the week, Utah's and Boise's resumes have backslid to the point that a one-loss heavyweight with any kind of quality victory will have passed them. Florida heads up the list via their bleauxout of LSU, with USC's similar thumping of Ohio St. good enough for the next slot. Georgia's road wins (and general excellence) keep them ahead of Va. Tech, whose pair of solid wins over North Carolina and Georgia Tech keep them ahead of Oklahoma, who for all their firepower still haven't beaten anyone better than Cincinnati. Cal has the Michigan St. scalp but the win over Arizona St. looks near-worthless and the loss to Maryland isn't entirely explainable--so they go behind the two high-profile mid-majors.

14-16: With Illinois's and Auburn's implosions over the weekend, neither Missouri nor LSU have any wins of true value at this point. Texas Tech doesn't either and even if they're still undefeated, after narrowly escaping a visiting Nebraska team that Missouri crushed in Lincoln (not to mention getting outgained by the same Nevada team that just lost to New Mexico St. at home), they don't deserve to be ranked any higher. They're a fraud, and if the bludgeoning of Kansas St. in Manhattan wasn't just impressive enough they'd be down there with BYU and Ball St. at the mid-major kiddie table.

17-21, 24-25: Here comes the second wave of BCS one-loss teams, headed up by the Notre Dame, Miami, and UConn-beatin' Tar Heels. Wake Forest and Michigan St.'s work across the board is likewise just a bit better than the one-note (i.e. win at USF, win vs. Kansas) resumes of Pitt and USF. Vandy's loss to Miss. St. was U-G-L-Y but the improving win over Carolina and roadie over Ole Miss keep them around. Kansas doesn't have any real wins of note but the loss (at USF) was understandable and I think they're probably just plain better than the teams chasing them.

22-23: That the tougher-than-it-looked 21-3 win over New Mexico might be their best victory of the year should tell you why BYU's ranked this low, and while Ball's pretty well handled their business at every turn their best win is 35-23 at home over Navy. It's just not enough until the big boys start taking their second losses.

Waiting list: Every week I think I'm going to have to find a way to get Georgia Tech into the poll, and every week they don't quite make the cut. Tulsa can't beat the likes of SMU by less than a touchdown and expect to stay in the poll with their schedule (though it's worth noting they whipped New Mexico with substantially more ease than BYU did). Minnesota gets punished for a terrible nonconference slate, ditto Florida St., and South Carolina can't overcome the stigma of two losses quite yet.

Unlike my previous Blog Poll ballots, this one's been submitted with plenty of time before the ballot goes "official" Wednesday a.m., so feel free to leave any suggested corrections with your logic behind them in the comments.

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