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).

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.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Oh my God, pinch me. I can’t believe this is actually going to happen. In my heart of hearts I’m probably hoping he has some level of success, but as someone who thinks that the Duke Blue Devils are…well, the Devil, this is about at schadenfreude-tastic as it gets. Enjoy 50 sacks, 20 INTs and a 2-10 season, Greg.

(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 Draft Week 14

No matter how the Big 12 was settled, someone was going to get the shaft. Oklahoma and Texas are both excellent teams, and even with the 45-35 Longhorns victory in the Red River Shootout, the teams are almost completely even and equally deserving of the division title. (Of course, if Texas gets a gimme interception against Texas Tech, Michael Crabtree doesn’t score with 2 seconds to play, and we’re not having this discussion. But that’s another story.) I still have to give Texas the edge based on the head-to-head win.

The rest of the poll…is just plain weird. BC and Georgia Tech make the top 25 by virtue of finishing better than 8-4 in the ACC. As Virginia Tech, well, the Coastal division title has to count for something.

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

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).

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