Blogpoll, Week 11

I have no idea how Penn State fell out of this poll, but they did.

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama
2 Florida
3 Texas 3
4 Cincinnati
5 TCU
6 Georgia Tech 4
7 Boise State
8 Pittsburgh 6
9 Iowa 6
10 LSU 1
11 Ohio State 6
12 Oregon 4
13 Houston 2
14 Miami (Florida) 1
15 Arizona 3
16 Utah
17 Southern Cal 2
18 Oklahoma State
19 Virginia Tech
20 Wisconsin 2
21 South Florida
22 Brigham Young 1
23 Navy
24 Clemson
25 Central Michigan 5
Last week’s ballot
Dropped Out: Penn State (#12), California (#19), Duke (#23), Idaho (#24), Oklahoma (#25).

Blogpoll Ballot Week 9

You wanted to be ranked in this poll, Virginia Tech? You shouldn’t have lost to a team that was winless in the ACC. HEY-OH!

Rank Team
1 Alabama
2 Florida
3 Iowa
4 Cincinnati
5 TCU
6 Texas
7 Boise State
8 Oregon
9 LSU
10 Georgia Tech
11 Houston
12 Penn State
13 Miami (Florida)
14 Pittsburgh
15 Southern Cal
16 Utah
17 Ohio State
18 Arizona
19 California
20 Central Michigan
21 Brigham Young
22 Wisconsin
23 Duke
24 Idaho
25 Oklahoma

Week 7 Blogpoll

Scrutiny is below.

Rank Team
1 Alabama
2 Florida
3 Texas
4 Cincinnati
5 Iowa
6 Boise State
7 LSU
8 TCU
9 Miami (Florida)
10 Southern Cal
11 Georgia Tech
12 Brigham Young
13 Virginia Tech
14 Oregon
15 Oklahoma State
16 Houston
17 Pittsburgh
18 Penn State
19 Utah
20 West Virginia
21 South Florida
22 Texas Tech
23 Central Michigan
24 Boston College
25 Idaho

At the top: Not much surprise. Florida has shown a bit less sheen in the armor than Alabama. Mark Ingram looks like he can get 150 yards by blinking right now. Cincy and Iowa go ahead of Boise simply because of their schedules.

In the middle: I have almost no idea what to do with teams below the top 9 or 10. There just isn’t enough in terms of schedule or style points to separate them too much.

At the bottom: Yes, I put Boston College and Idaho in my top 25. Do you have someone better?

Week 5 BlogPoll Draft

Week 4 Blogpoll, Posted Way After Brian Wanted You to See It

Apologies for the lack of posting this week and happy October. We are only now getting to the crux of the season, but already the frontrunners have been dropping like flies. That’s what makes this poll look stranger than any other I can remember seeing.

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama 2
2 Florida 1
3 Texas 1
4 Houston 9
5 Cincinnati 5
6 Boise State
7 TCU 14
8 LSU 1
9 Virginia Tech 9
10 Ohio State 2
11 Miami (Florida) 2
12 Georgia 5
13 South Carolina
14 Iowa
15 Brigham Young 1
16 Oklahoma 5
17 Oklahoma State 2
18 Southern Cal 4
19 Georgia Tech 6
20 Oregon
21 South Florida
22 Michigan
23 Missouri
24 UCLA
25 California 20
Last week’s ballot
Dropped Out: Penn State (#4), Mississippi (#8), Florida State (#15), North Carolina (#20), Washington (#23), Auburn (#24).

Explanations: Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on Penn State and Ole Miss; maybe they are still top 25 caliber teams. The truth is that neither team had faced a quality opponent before their embarrassing losses. Those games being the only true indicator of where they stand, they probably deserved being dropped from the poll this week. Cal, while having a much worse performance at the hands of Oregon, has at least impressed against decent opponents prior to their meltdown.

If I;m completely honest with you, though, I’m really not sure about the poll after the top 13 or so. Why did I leave Auburn and Kansas out? Why did I place Missouri and UCLA in their stead? Aside from the Bruins’ win in Knoxville, your guess is as good as mine.

Blogpoll Preseason Rountable: In Which I Go Goldfinger on Your Hineys

College Football starts today, so we’ll (briefly) take a look at the national picture in this week Blogpoll Rountable. Hosting the Preseason Week festivities is Georgia blog Hey Jenny Slater.

1. Without naming names, a few teams seem to have popped up frequently on everyone’s “overrated” lists in the preseason, so let’s forget about them for the moment and concentrate on a different group: sleepers. Which currently unheralded team are you currently putting at least a few of your chips behind in the hopes that you’ll be able to say “totally called that” once they’ve accomplished big things by the end of the season?

Cincinnati. I know they’re the defending conference champs, but the program is still extremely obscure, and the Big East being shut out from the polls makes anyone from the conference “unheralded”. Their offense is relatively intact, more so than West Virginia, Rutgers or UConn. Also, take a look at their schedule. If the Bearcats can win in Corvallis on September 19th, 10-2 or even 11-1 isn’t out of the question.

2. In a similar vein, pick a sleeper player on your team whom nobody’s talking about right now and tell us why we will be talking about them by December.

I could say wide receiver Dwight Jones or running back Jamal Womble, but I will go with Grant Shallock. Yes, punter Grant Shallock. He is 6-7, 225 pounds, can boot a football into the upper deck and could beat Matt Bosher in a deathmatch. And Matt Bosher is the world’s toughest kicker.  Shallock is my darkhorse pick for the Ray Guy Award, if there’s such a thing as darkhorse for the Ray Guy Award.

3. Florida is about as big a consensus favorite as we’ve seen in recent years, but remember, USC got 62 out of 65 first-place votes in the AP’s 2007 preseason poll and still managed to lose to Stanford. Given how difficult it is to go undefeated period these days, where do you think the Gators are most likely to stumble in the regular season?

I oh so badly want to say the repeat’s not going to happen. The odds against a team being the best at their level, in any sport besides European club soccer, are mind-bogglingly high. The mere nature of amateur athletics makes it even less likely. Even the unstoppable 2005 USC and 2002 Miami teams were denied in the final seconds of their season. And yet, I look at their schedule, look at who returns to the team, and I can’t possibly justify not putting them at #1. There are only three possible roadblocks: Baton Rouge on October 10th, the SEC Chapionship and the BCS bowl. They could falter, but I have to see it to believe it.

4. Which regular-season game not involving your team or conference are you most looking forward to this year?

The Red River Shootout. I could hand a carnie at the Texas State Fair literally anything that somewhat resembled food (say, Hakarl) and they will bread and deep fry it for me. For chrissakes, they found a way to fry butter! It’s more than a rivalry game, it’s a culinary event that combines the best of Mexico and Scotland. (Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be an inaccurate description of Texas itself.) Who can pass that up?

Oh, and there’s that whole “national title implications” thing.

5. In honor of Georgia’s opening-weekend opponent and their most prolific booster, let’s say you somehow come into T. Boone Pickens money and can buy anything you want for your program — facilities upgrades, an airplane for recruiting, buy out the contract of that coach you hate, you name it. Where does your first check go?

A distant Colombian relative finds El Dorado directly underneath his house. He sells the mining rights for billions of dollars. Somehow, a percentage of this fortune makes its way into my bank account. I use part of that money to buy a 1,000 acre compound in Cashiers, North Carolina. I invite every referee in the ACC to my compound to “discuss what games to affect this season”, promising payment at the end of the meeting. Sensing absolutely nothing unusual (I’m looking at YOU, Ron Cherry), they oblige. I proceed to trap them all in the compound and lure each referee into an unnecessarily complex, yet thoroughly satisfying, Bond-style death.

I watch from a room with 20 TV screens and eat fried ostrich with beautiful bikini-clad women as everything unfolds. I pay Wolf Blitzer to report that they died invading a tiny Caribbean nation or something. I pay John Swofford to bring in Mongolian Wrestling refs who, in addition to wearing festive outfits and being the coolest old guys on the planet, allow teams like Wake Forest to score 80 points per game.

It’s morning in the ACC.

(Belated) Final Regular Season Blogpoll

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a family member who used to work for the University of Texas in some capacity. Having said that, Oklahoma is playing as well as, if not better than, anyone in the nation right now, and they have a better out of conference schedule than Texas or Florida. But if a poller believes that a playoff system, fundamentally based on head-to-head matchups, is viable, then that poller must respect Texas’ victory over Oklahoma and hold it against the Sooners when ranking them. That is not to say that the Sooners are not worthy; they are. But 45-35 is still the reason why I placed Texas ahead of Oklahoma in my ballot.

In the ACC, the three teams with nine wins are in the top 25, including both of the ACC Championship participants. Barely.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas 1
2 Oklahoma 1
3 Florida 1
4 Alabama 3
5 Texas Tech
6 Southern Cal 2
7 Penn State
8 Utah 2
9 Boise State
10 Ohio State 1
11 Cincinnati 1
12 Oklahoma State 2
13 Georgia Tech
14 TCU 2
15 Virginia Tech 9
16 Michigan State 2
17 Brigham Young 3
18 Oregon 3
19 Pittsburgh 7
20 Mississippi 2
21 Northwestern
22 Iowa 1
23 Oregon State 3
24 Boston College 5
25 Buffalo 1

Dropped Out: Missouri (#14), Ball State (#17), Rice (#25).

Blogpoll Week 12 Draft

I don’t care how ridiculous this poll looks. Until an ACC team proves they can finish better than 8-4, no one from my beloved conference is going to appear in my top 25. I do this because I care.

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas Tech
2 Alabama
3 Texas
4 Florida 1
5 Oklahoma 1
6 Southern Cal
7 Penn State
8 Utah
9 Boise State
10 Oklahoma State
11 Missouri 2
12 Ohio State 2
13 Georgia 2
14 Michigan State 2
15 Oregon State 9
16 Cincinnati 1
17 TCU 3
18 Brigham Young
19 Pittsburgh 2
20 LSU 1
21 Ball State 1
22 Northwestern 4
23 Iowa 3
24 Oregon 2
25 Central Michigan 1

Dropped Out: North Carolina (#12), Florida State (#17), South Carolina (#23), Miami (Florida) (#25).

BlogPoll Draft Week 11

Rank Team Delta
1 Texas Tech 1
2 Alabama 1
3 Texas 1
4 Oklahoma 2
5 Florida
6 Southern Cal 2
7 Penn State 4
8 Utah 1
9 Boise State 2
10 Oklahoma State 3
11 Georgia 2
12 North Carolina
13 Missouri 1
14 Ohio State 3
15 Cincinnati 4
16 Michigan State 2
17 Florida State 9
18 Brigham Young 3
19 LSU 3
20 TCU 10
21 Pittsburgh 5
22 Ball State 2
23 South Carolina 3
24 Oregon State 2
25 Miami (Florida) 1

Dropped Out: Georgia Tech (#15), Maryland (#20), Northwestern (#22), West Virginia (#23), Air Force (#25).

Also Considered: Air Force, Wake Forest, Boston College, Maryland, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Tulsa, Rice, Oregon

Texas Tech moves ahead of Alabama in part because of how the Red Raiders destroyed Oklahoma State and in part because of The Crimson Tide’s struggles against a team that they should have beaten more comfortably.

With the exception of Oklahoma State and Georgia, I have to put North Carolina ahead of other 2-loss teams by virtue of not being blown out in either of their two losses, as well as playing a schedule that hasn’t had a guaranteed win since Rutgers.

TCU dropping ten spots is not so much because of their loss to Utah (it was a good game by both teams) so much as it is tacit acknowledgement that, with few exceptions, I can;t put the Horned Frogs ahead of other two-loss teams from BCS conferences.

All in all, the top ten is pretty straightforward, and 11-25 is just plain weird.

Blogpoll Draft Week 10

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama 1
2 Texas Tech 4
3 Penn State
4 Texas 3
5 Florida
6 Oklahoma 1
7 Oklahoma State 3
8 Southern Cal 3
9 Utah
10 TCU 2
11 Boise State 1
12 North Carolina 6
13 Georgia 5
14 Missouri 1
15 Georgia Tech 11
16 LSU 6
17 Ohio State 2
18 Michigan State 8
19 Cincinnati 7
20 Maryland 1
21 Brigham Young 1
22 Northwestern 4
23 West Virginia
24 Ball State 3
25 Air Force 1

Dropped Out: Minnesota (#14), Tulsa (#16), Florida State (#17), Virginia (#24), Connecticut (#25).

Also considered: California, Florida State, Central Michigan, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Miami, Oregon State

Texas Tech, without doubt, deserves to jump ahead of Penn State after beating Texas. They’ve earned it.

The top 11 is solid (though I’m not quite sure how Oklahoma State drops three spots), but after that it gets quite a bit shaky. Of Nos. 12-25, every BCS team listed has two losses. Is North Carolina the best two-loss team in the nation? I don’t really know. Are North Carolina and Georgia Tech the only major two-loss teams who haven’t been blown out at least once? Absolutely. That’s why they are both in my top 15.

Air Force makes in appearance due to their 7-2 record and the general awesomeness of the Mountain West Conference’s top half.

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