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Final Week 3 Blogpoll Ballot

This week’s blogpoll ballot was exceptionally difficult for me. It’s sort of that tedious balance between preseason expectations and resume results so far this season and figuring out when exactly to sever the ties of expecations and “where they ranked last week”.

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

We’re not straight resume rankers, we’re not creating a power poll, we’re simply trying to meld all of those things together for the Top 25 teams in college football right now, based on talent on the roster, results on the field, and all that totally immeasurable stuff. Clearly, that lends itself to some oddities and things which defy common sense. For example, is it still prudent to rank Ohio State over USC? BYU over Oklahoma? Both those questions have different answers, and depending on how you feel, it means you either love or hate this particular ballot.

There’s a ton of random things to note in this particular version, so let’s just start at the top. Alabama finds itself in the top spot this week because of dominating performances, one of which was against a Top 10 school in our mind in Virginia Tech, hence, the Crimson Tide find themselves at #1. For Florida and Texas, it isn’t an unreachable goal by any stretch, and frankly, it is more of a result of the two of them beating not nearly as impressive opponents in not nearly as impressive fashion. Same goes for Ole Miss and Penn State, who have won, but have played virtually no one, hence they stay the same. Cal jumps not for impressive wins, but certainly for impressive style points.

The biggest gainer this week was Miami, not surprisingly, after their domination of Georgia Tech last Thursday. The biggest drop, still in the poll, is BYU, a 16-point drop down to #24. There’s just as much reason to drop them totally out, but their win over Oklahoma does carry a bit of weight and keeps them in… for now. Though I’m not entirely sold on this particular line of thought, which means they stand a very good chance of dropping out entirely.

In my mind, the Top 5 or 6 could basically be any order and it’s easily justifiable. Past there is where you get into valuing certain opponents and outcomes more than others, and with any exercise steeped in subjectivity, it’s a trainwreck. Should Southern Cal be 12th or 20th? Does it really matter? If you believe, like I do, that the Washington game was a combination of an underranked Washington team and a USC team that just played poorly.

Georgia, for me, is perhaps the most puzzling team to watch. Is Georgia the team that looked putrid against Oklahoma State or the team that lit up the scoreboard against Arkansas and South Carolina. More importantly, do they have any defense whatsoever? 22 for now is where they stay, as I can’t really justify dropping them and sure as hell can’t raise them.

One thing that is sure is past about #15, it’s basically a “Pull one of 30 teams out of a hat” situation, since any could make a valid argument. Other randomness:

  • Dropped Out This Week: Georgia Tech (#16), Utah (#17), Pittsburgh (#25). Georgia Tech and Utah because of a loss, Pitt simply because other teams seemed more deserving. A flukey win against Navy, letting Buffalo ring up 500 yards, and beating Youngstown State isn’t impressive.
  • In This Week: New to the poll this week… Washington (#21), Florida State (#23), Missouri (#25), mostly for obvious reasons.
  • Waiting Room: North Carolina, who I’m still waiting on to play anyone noteworthy. Pitt for the same reasons. Kentucky, who has the chance to knock off Florida and does sit at 3-0. Auburn, who also sits at 3-0. Georgia Tech, who plays the aforementioned Tar Heels.
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