Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday blogpollery, Week 13

It goes like this:

1 Alabama 1
2 Texas 1
3 Oklahoma 2
4 Florida --
5 Penn State 2
6 Texas Tech 5
7 Southern Cal 1
8 Utah --
9 Oklahoma State --
10 Ohio State --
11 Missouri 1
12 Georgia 1
13 Oregon State --
14 Boise State --
15 TCU 1
16 Cincinnati 3
17 Ball State --
18 Mississippi 7
19 Michigan State 4
20 Iowa 6
21 California 5
22 Georgia Tech 4
23 Boston College 3
24 Florida State 2
25 Northwestern 1

Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (#18), Brigham Young (#20), Maryland (#21), North Carolina (#22), Miami (Florida) (#23), LSU (#24).

1-4: Alabama = obvs. As for the Oklahoma-Texas-Texas Tech round robin, I'm essentially standing by my thoughts from last week on this subject--that between the Longhorns having played .5 home games in the round robin to the Sooners' 1.5 and Missouri, they deserve to edge ahead of Oklahoma despite the Sooners' nonconference efforts. Only for now, though--if the Sooners go and the road and rout the same Oklahoma St. team that the 'Horns had so much trouble with at home, they'll flip-flop. Both teams are well out in front of Florida, whose loss is worse and who has nothing like "win over otherwise undefeated Oklahoma/Texas Tech" on their resume.

5-8: By adding another top-25 scalp in decisive fashion and seeing the Oregon St. demolition grow in value with each successive week, Penn St. takes a couple of steps forward. Tech can only fall so far when they have the nation's only win over Texas and the Oklahoma St. beatdown--and certainly not behind USC, who still has just the Ohio St. win and not much else to justify moving them any higher. I think an argument can be made that by winning the Oregon St. comparison and an undefeated championship in a league that's owned the Pac-10 this year, perhaps Utah should leapfrog the Trojans as well. But this is where common sense I think has to come in; USC didn't beat Oregon St. the way the Utes did, but I'm fairly sure the Trojans would have put more than three points between themselves and New Mexico, too.

9-17: Not much to see here, aside from Michigan St. and Cincinnati exchanging places and Georgia slipping a spot. With LSU's demise the Dawgs basically don't have a marquee win to their name. Neither does Missouri, but the Tigers have been much more decisive in dispatching the rabble.

18-25: Ole Miss is a pretty easy pick at 18 with wins in Gainesville and Baton Rouge; no one else in the remainder of the poll has anything like a road win over the Florida. The closest contender is Iowa with the Penn St. upset, but even with that I couldn't put them ahead of a Michigan St. team that has fewer losses, better losses, and beat the Hawkeyes head-to-head.

From there the candidates are the ACC contingent of the week, Cal and Oregon, Pitt, and a Northwestern team with an ugly loss to Indiana but also a 9-3 record that includes wins over Iowa and Minnesota (for what the latter's worth). I decided Cal's Michigan St. and Oregon wins were enough to overcome their four losses, and followed them with Georgia Tech-BC-Florida St. in head-to-head order. Pitt (with good wins but ugly losses) and Oregon (with understandable losses but no big wins) will re-enter the poll next week if they can take down West Virginia and Oregon St., respectively, but until then I think Northwestern's done enough for the final spot.

Waitlist: The only other team I looked at even halfway seriously was Western Michigan, but the Broncos' 10-point loss at merely okey-dokey Central Michigan cancels out whatever they might have gained by beating a seriously overrated Illinois team.


Brandon said...

If Florida's not the best team in college football, I don't know who is. Yeah, there was that ugly, flukey loss to Ole Miss at home when the Gators came out flat early in the season, but other than that, they have dominated every team on their schedule. I don't think any team in the country can beat UF at this point. No offense, but your top 25 mirrors everything that's wrong w/ the polls. Why not vote on teams based on how good they are, not just how good their record is? I'm not saying you should throw out the records; they should definitely be considered; but do you really believe that Texas or Oklahoma would beat UF head to head? Alabama? (I guess we'll find out)?? I don't. Do you really believe that Utah, Oklahoma State, and OSU are better than UGA? Northwestern over LSU? Ball State over FSU? Something doesn't smell right.

Jerry Hinnen said...

Well, Brandon, I vote the way I do because "how good they are" doesn't have a lot to do with how results actually play out. USC's better than Oregon St., right? Florida's better than Ole Miss, right? You can't just assume Team A would beat B or otherwise, what's the point of even playing the game? Just stuff Florida and USC into the title game now and be done with it, otherwise. You're entitled to your opinion, certainly, but I'm going to continue to make my vote based on the data we actually have rather than hypothetical guesswork.