The nutty Michigan coverage isn't so much about Harbaugh as it is a signal to the Big Ten that Fox wants to party.
In all its wobbly glory. There are a few slight moves due to my policy of not looking at previous ballots because my opinion from last week isn't that valuable. Pay no attention to Oklahoma moving around a little bit. I did mean to slide FSU up above the Big Ten duo since Wisconsin's win over UNLV doesn't look quite as impressive after Washington State(!) did the same thing to the Rebels and Nebraska was struggling with Fresno State until they got a return touchdown.
Explanations of major moves follow.
YOU DID BAD AGAINST BAD TEAM BUT DID NOT LOSE. Ohio State, Virginia Tech, WVU, and Texas all get dinged for shaky performances against mediocre competition. Yeah, WVU blew out Norfolk State but being down at the half is worth a ding.
YOUR PREVIOUS VALIDATING WIN IS WAY LESS IMPRESSIVE NOW. South Florida and Northwestern both bubbled up last week because they beat real competition. South Florida hangs on because ND does look like a team worth beating if they ever stop turning it over five times a game, but BC lost to UCF 30-3. They are not a real opponent, so Northwestern gets the boot.
I put Illinois back in because of their throttling of SDSU… I watched parts of the NU-EIU game and was underwhelmed.
I'M NOT SURE WHY BUT YOU DESERVED IT. Baylor drops; Maryland drops out. Baylor didn't play so they backslid as others won.
MOVES UP. I didn't move anyone up on merit much except South Carolina, which beat a real live SEC opponent, but Michigan State and Arkansas benefited greatly from the above falls. Auburn also gets to debut fairly high because I still think Mississippi State is an eight or nine win team; Arizona State also beat a real live opponent.
MICHIGAN? Not until the offense isn't based on Jeremy Gallon out-jumping defensive backs.
Just snuck this under the wire. Have to remember I'm actually voting now. My guideline early in the season is that I do use preseason expectations to guide my balloting until about week five, when the poll should be all results.
GEORGIA, I KILL YOU. This may be an overreaction to being so wrong about the Bulldogs but I booted them entirely. Their defeat was comprehensive. I was less violent towards Oregon since their problems were considerably more turnover-based and, honestly, because I wasn't way out there by thinking Oregon would be good this year.
LSU gets the obvious bump, as does Boise.
I AM VERY IMPRESSED BY VICTORIES OVER MEMPHIS. I don't look at my previous ballots when putting these together because it's not like they're precise enough to matter. Sometimes this has weird effects like a win over hapless Memphis warranting a nine-slot jump while beating Marshall comprehensively in a lightning storm gets you dinged two spots.
So I have no idea why I flipped Alabama and Oklahoma. Data is thin.
I DOUBT THE OBC. I did mean to knock South Carolina down several pegs after they struggled against ECU—I think it was @TeamSpeedKills who was so incensed that he called for Spurrier's suspension in retaliation for suspending Stephen Garcia. After the dust cleared from a nutty game featuring nine turnovers, Not That USC had outgained ECU by six yards.
It is likely too late for corrections; I'll do better next week.
Tim's departure and SBN's takeover of the poll's maintenance means I can re-join the voting public without putting myself in the strange position of criticizing my own ballot.
So here it is. I won't go through the relatively chalk portions of the ballot but will explain large deviations between it and the AP poll:
Stanford was an ass-kicking machine last year that returns the best quarterback in the country, two potential first round picks on the offensive line, another at tight end, and most of the starters from a top 20 defense. Even if their talent level isn't quite up to par with the usual profile of a national championship contender, having Luck more than makes up for that. Most of the top ten have questions at the most important spot on the field.
I'm voting after their starting quarterback may or may not have kicked a marine in the head but probably might have did. Even if he didn't, Jordan Jefferson is terrible and always has been and LSU skated by last year on insane occurrences en route to the #86 yardage offense.
This is when it all caves in for the Mad Hatter.
I HATE BOISE STATE
Potatoes are overrated and I loathe putting teams that no one will know anything about so high up.
THE HOLGORSEN EFFECT
Blame Smart Football and EDSBS for my belief that Skulletor is the real deal and can install his system lickety-split at West Virginia. Thus I'm higher on WVU than the AP and slightly down on Oklahoma State.
WISCONSIN AND NEBRASKA AT THE EDGE OF THE TOP FIVE
The Big Ten's best teams benefit from the above three items and pass Texas A&M based on my belief that LSU wasn't really that good last year. LSU had a shiny record, though, and A&M beat them up, and therefore A&M is this year's designated Team Everyone Overrates Because Of A Bowl Game. Ole Miss says hi.
I AM SECRETLY DOUG GILLETT
I do have Georgia extremely high. Aaron Murray was secretly great last year; Isaiah Crowell can be an instant impact RB, and the defense returns seven starters as it enters year two under a new coordinator. Bounce coming.
Nathan Scheelhaase exploded towards the end of last year, going from a no-pass all-run guy to Denard Robinson junior. I think they'll get into that 8-4 range that teams at the end of the poll tend to.
TELL ME THAT I'M INSANE
They've moved the deadlines to Monday this year but if you tell me the insane things here I'll change them if I'm convinced.
UPDATE: People have told me I'm insane. Scheelhaase did not finish last year blazing except against terrible defenses and they've lost big chunks of their talent, so they're out. Not having South Carolina was an oversight, so they draw in. I've moved ND down a little and WVU up, as well.
As always, this will be in flames by week three.
MGoBlog Ballot - Week 12
|3||TCU Horned Frogs||--|
|5||Boise St. Broncos||-1|
|9||Michigan St. Spartans||--|
|10||Ohio St. Buckeyes||--|
|11||Alabama Crimson Tide||--|
|12||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||--|
|16||South Carolina Gamecocks||5|
|17||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||2|
|19||Nevada Wolf Pack||4|
|20||Texas A&M Aggies||4|
|21||Virginia Tech Hokies||-1|
|22||N.C. State Wolfpack||3|
|Dropouts: Utah Utes|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
As always, comments are open for questions, suggestions, merciless insults, etc. Resume chart.
MGoBlog Ballot - Week 11
|3||TCU Horned Frogs||1|
|4||Boise St. Broncos||-1|
|9||Michigan St. Spartans||3|
|10||Ohio St. Buckeyes||3|
|11||Alabama Crimson Tide||-5|
|12||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||5|
|19||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||1|
|20||Virginia Tech Hokies||5|
|21||South Carolina Gamecocks||-3|
|23||Nevada Wolf Pack||1|
|24||Texas A&M Aggies||--|
|25||Central Florida Knights||--|
|Dropouts: N.C. State Wolfpack, Florida St. Seminoles, Baylor Bears|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
- At the top, Auburn has a few more impressive pelts on their wall, but Oregon has been winning their games more convincingly. The two are essentially tied at the top.
- The big win over Utah bumps TCU ahead of Boise, despite the Broncos' similarly convincing win over Hawaii. Utah is a much better victim.
- LSU and Stanford are essentially tied. Just like at the top of the poll, the SEC team has less convincing wins over a slightly better schedule.
- From 8 to about 19, there are arguments for reordering the teams. I'm certainly open to hearing them in the comments. I sort of want to move Alabama down, so if you can provide good reasoning for that, let me know.
- I was struggling to find teams for the end of the poll (like usual). Texas A&M has only one "good" win, that being over Oklahoma, but their three losses are to my current #12, #16, and #18 teams, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now.
The resume chart lives here, if you're interested in the raw data. Comment away.