This week’s BlogPoll ballot is almost entirely my fault. No one else here quite felt like voting after this weekend. After I had put it together, Yellow Fever convinced me to move Cal back up to 7 (I had them at 9) and ahead of Oregon, which I can definitely see the logic in. Everything else here, however, is my Sunday afternoon stab in the dark.
(Pay no attention to the deltas. I didn’t. Like I do most weeks, I started this ballot from scratch.)
The California Golden Blogs Top-25
So who’s #1? Well, it’s clearly not Cal anymore, and the thought of moving Ohio State up to #1 after they beat up on another cupcake (this week’s patsy: Kent "is not a" State) repulsed me. Plus, I still remember how Ohio State waltzed through a soft Big 10 schedule last year into the NC Game and then got creamed by an opponent that actually had some team speed. Anyway, I waffled back and forth between LSU and South Florida, before battling it out in my head, and deciding that on a neutral field, I’d still take the Tigers over the Bulls. But I wouldn’t be surprised if South Florida won. I don’t know if I’d be surprised by much of anything this year anymore.
For the rest of the top 10, I wrote down a list, in no particular order, of all the teams I’d consider "top 10" material. That list of 13 teams comprises the top 13 you see above. Things to note:
- LSU beat South Carolina at home. South Carolina beat Kentucky at home. Kentucky beat LSU at home. Thanks, guys, that helps a lot. My solution: UK at 3, USC at 4, reserving the right to change my mind at any juncture.
- Oklahoma continues to impress. More and more, I’m writing off that loss at Colorado as a blip on the radar, much like I’m hoping Cal’s loss to Oregon State was.
- Re: Ohio State, BC, ASU, Kansas and Hawaii. Not having lost isn’t as special as winning impressively. I’m reserving judgement on all of them.
After the top 13, I extended my list to include all the teams I would consider "top 25" material (although I really had to stretch my definition of "top 25" to get a large enough list). The resulting list of around 32 teams was then whittled down and ranked according to the oh-so-accurate "would team X beat team Y on a neutral field?" thought experiment method. Of note:
- In my mind, the gap between 13 (West Virginia) and 14 (Kansas) is pretty large. Kansas has won big, but they haven’t played much of anyone besides Kansas State, and they still haven’t left the state of Kansas this year. Which is hard to do, when you consider there are only 2 teams in Kansas.
- Penn State is on here mostly because I felt I should include a second Big 10 team, and neither Illinois nor Wisconsin was going to cut it. I thought about including Michigan instead, but that App State loss is such an albatross around their shoulders. Maybe next week.
- After watching Hawai’i escape San Jose State with an overtime win last Friday night, all I could think was "isn’t this San Jose team the same one that got shut out 37-0 at Stanford?" Although USC fans might not consider that such a shameful result. Still, conditions were sloppy and an undblemished record should still count for something (after all, there are only 6 left), so Hawai’i still gets to be ranked this week.