Tim, I was wondering what the rationale for having Boise State ranked ahead of Auburn. Is there something in particular that gives them the edge? In my estimation, Auburn's strength of schedule and wins are more impressive than Boise's but maybe that's not enough to push them ahead. Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws that will keep Boise out of the championship game . . .
Blogpoll Week 8 Draft Ballot
MGoBlog Ballot - Week 8
|2||Boise St. Broncos||--|
|6||Michigan St. Spartans||3|
|7||TCU Horned Frogs||-3|
|9||Alabama Crimson Tide||2|
|12||Ohio St. Buckeyes||-9|
|13||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||1|
|18||South Carolina Gamecocks||-2|
|19||Florida St. Seminoles||--|
|21||West Virginia Mountaineers||2|
|22||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||--|
|Dropouts: Nevada Wolf Pack, Air Force Falcons, N.C. State Wolfpack, Michigan Wolverines|
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Just a couple notes:
- I think I was undervaluing Auburn last week, which helps explain their jump over Oklahoma.
- I hesitate to move LSU any higher because they've looked so shaky, but they have the best group of good wins in the country, if you ask me.
- Oregon State kills TCU a little bit. Boise escapes unscathed in that exchange because they have a bit more quality to their resume. That probably won't hold up much longer though.
- I like the order of the Big Ten teams, not so sure on where in the poll each of them sits. Iowa could also be closer to Wisconsin/Ohio State, but I hesitate to move them ahead of a couple undefeated squads.
- Toward the end of the poll, I had a semi-scramble to find viable teams. Any and all suggestions are welcome there.
The resume chart can be found here. Questions, suggestions, etc. are welcomed in the comments so I can put together a solid final ballot for Wednesday.
Also agreeing with this. Based on resume only, Auburn's top 5 wins all value higher than Boise State's. Hell, even their 6th win in Arkansas State has been more competitive in their games even with low level BCS-AQ teams than New Mexico State (Boise's #6).
Hell, I think there's even an argument for OU over Boise on resume data. That's a harder sell based on OU's lack of dominance, but wins over MUCH greater competition are wins.
South Carolina drops 2 after losing to Kentucky? Kentucky cancels Alabama in my world.
I'd have Wisconsin jump up over Alabama. Their only loss is to top 10 MSU and they have a better win than Alabama in Ohio State over Florida respectively. The South Carolina loss for Alabama also should hurt the Tide.
Quality wins = 1 (Wisconsin, and that was at home.. ND and Michigan are proving to be Top 50 teams at best). Also, good line from this weekend's coverage was 'let's see how they do when they actually have to play outside the state of michigan" (i.e. their two "road" games were the Sacrifice Bowl at Ford Field and game vs. UM)
I'd still go 'bama and Utah over Sparty at this point. Now that will change the next couple weeks as MSU plays Iowa, but right now as a snapshot I'd put them 8, 9, or 10. Big Ten to me this year is probably deepest league in country in terms of 1-10 depth (Minnesota is dead to me now), but I don't see a national champ type team in the conference. By end of year, probably have 1 top ten team, but 8-9 top 50 teams.
As much as it pains me to write this, MSU has the potential of running the table - their schedule sets up perfectly. Until someone beats them, its tough to put a 1-loss team in front of them. That said, I think each of the teams ranked ahead of Spartie beat them 8 times out of 10.
That's the point of resume voting. Who will Sparty have beat at the end of the season? Iowa and Wisconsin. They played no one in the OOC and don't play the best team in the conference. If the winner of the SEC West (Bama, Auburn, or LSU) has fewer than two losses, they should be ahead of MSU solely on the basis that the wins against the other two will be better than the wins against Iowa and Wisconsin. Also, MSU would have to smoke PSU to win the comparison against Bama.
That said, based on your analysis, there should be several other teams ahead of Boise State, right? Boise's schedule this year is extremely weak compared to numerous other 1-loss teams but they remain ranked in the Top 5 while Alabama, OSU, etc. are ranked lower. So its not as simply as you make it seem.
First of all, I do think that MSU will smoke PSU, so that part won't be a problem. That said, that game wasn't a super blowout, and the mitigating factor is that Alabama got PSU at home, and MSU has to go to Happy Valley. If MSU wins by 2 touchdowns it will be comparable, and I think they will.
If MSU wins out, they will have wins over Wisconsin and Iowa (along with the rest of the Big Ten and ND) and no losses. This should automatically put them ahead of Boise State, because VT and Oregon State are not Wisky and Iowa, and the rest of MSU's schedule is much more difficult.
Against an undefeated SEC, Pac Ten or Big 12 team, it would be a tough call to go with MSU. But against a one loss SEC team like you said, I don't know. If Alabama beats LSU, Auburn and Arkansas with one loss to South Carolina, that would be a tough call. MSU being ahead of them now helps.
True from a resume basis, but I do think that BSU beats MSU. I guess that is the problem with a pure resume ballot. MSU beat a good Wisconsin team, but needed a fake FG to beat ND and hasn't looked dominant very often. Outside of Wisconsin, there is not a lot that impresses (sorry, but we didn't make them earn their win over us).
BSU's VT win is looking better than before, while its OSU win is less impressive, but when they have played lesser teams they have destroyed them. They outscore those teams about 50-7 in the first half, and then play backups the rest of the game. They beat San Jose St. 48-0, while Wisconsin beat SJSU 27-14. BSU cannot really be defended on a pure resume basis, but if you watch them play, they are a very complete team.
Without getting too much into the intricacies of the rest of your post...
Who the hell has Utah beaten that's better than Wisconsin. For that matter, who have they beaten that's better than Michigan or Notre Dame?
Oregon, OK, Auburn, Alabama, OSU, Wisc
I know the en vogue thing to do these days is run down Boise St since they were darlings the past three years, but to this point they're not just squeaking by their competition, they're blowing them out of the water, including their BCS scheduled competition.
They didn't exactly blow out VT. They did beat Oregon State fairly soundly, but at home, and they haven't even played the good WAC teams yet. Just the same WAC-snacks everyone else schedules. So they blew out Toledo - so did Arizona. So they blew out SJSU - so did Alabama and Utah. Kansas and UTEP blew out NMSU.
Oregon State is probably equivalent to Miami in the ACC. Or maybe UNC. How high would an ACC team be ranked if they'd squeaked past VT, beaten UNC at home, and blown out a bunch of WAC-snacks? At the very least nobody'd be arguing they should be a top-5 team, let alone 1 or 2.
That argument illustrates why preseason rankings are so important. Had VT defeated Boise St. and not stumbled against JMU, they'd be a top-five team in the poll voters' eyes. Boise St. gets much of the same benefit of the doubt because of the preseason polls.
I don't know how good Boise is because using preseason polls is building from an unverifible premise.
If VT hadn't lost two games, they'd be ranked higher. What a novel idea.
I'm in the "do not like Boise State" group but I can't go as far as to say that OSU and Wisconsin are better than Boise. If my opinion, I think Wisconsin would get absolutely hammered against Boise. OSU-Boise would be a more interesting game, but I'm not sure that OSU is a better team. In fact, I think Boise wins 6 out of 10 against the Buckeyes.
I agree with the above posters that Auburn should be ahead of Boise based on SOS and quality wins. I also am not sure if I would have dropped Nebraska so far. Based on their collective season so far, I view them as one of the best 1-loss teams so far. It's hard to view what Nebraska has done so far and then justify them being only the 4th best Big12 team in the poll. I see them in the 10-12 range. Of course, just my opinion.
I'd bump FSU up to the spot above Iowa. They looked bad at Oklahoma, but that is turning into a more and more understandable result. They are rolling now and I would not be surprised to see them end up 11-1.
Honestly, even with Oregon blowing teams out, I think Auburn's top-to-bottom resume is better than Oregon. MSU's resume is better than Boise. I know Boise is a good team, but their VT win isn't better than a win over Wisconsin, and the win over Michigan is right up there.
I'd rank the undefeateds as: Auburn, Oregon, Oklahoma, MSU, LSU, Boise, TCU, Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma State.
I think Wisconsin should be above Alabama. Wisconsin's loss came against a better team (#6 MSU vs. #18 South Carolina) and their signature win came against a better team (#12 OSU vs. NR Florida). Alabama has looked a little more dominant against the mid-level competition, but Wisconsin has stepped up more in the big games.
I also think that Missouri should be a little higher. They're undefeated and crushed a decent Texas A&M team on the road. When I compare their schedule against OSU (with whom they share a common opponent), I have trouble concluding that a home win against Miami and a road loss to Wisconsin is better than a road crushing of A&M and a home crushing of a creampuff. The rest of the schedules are fairly comperable.
"Alabama has looked a little more dominant against the mid-level competition, but Wisconsin has stepped up more in the big games."
Games, as in plural? They were awful at MSU, losing handedly despite being +3 in turnover margin. Besides the OSU game, they have been thoroughly average. Alabama, meanwhile, has looked really good in every game but one.
I'm not sure how you can describe Wisconsin's loss as "losing handedly" when they were up by 10 at one point and kept themselves within 3 points of MSU for something like 20 of the final 30 minutes. Meanwhile Alabama went on the road against a lesser opponent, fell behind by 4 eight minutes into the first quarter and never again got closer than to be down 7.
So, yes, in their two biggest games Wisconsin won a big home upset, and took a tough road loss against a (now) top 10 team. In Alabama's three biggest games, they fell behind in both road games to teams (now) ranked in the high teens, and put a beating on an unranked rival (who subsequently lost the next two games). I just don't see the "really good" play from Alabama that you do. (I personally put Alabama's play so far in roughly the same realm as Iowa's, though slightly better.)
I see both of those comparisons differently. Wisconsin clearly is not as good of a team as Alabama, regardless of how their games have played out thus far. Wisconsin may have lost to a #7 ranked MSU but there are no grounds to claim that MSU is better than the Gamecocks (they may be, but there is no supporting evidence). Alabama clearly has a stronger team than Wisconsin and I think should be ranked higher.
With respect to Missouri being ranked over OSU, I guess I do not find Missouri's win over an average Texas A&M as convincing as you do. OSU's loss at Camp Randall is not surprising and Wisconsin is a much better team than A&M. That said, it is always difficult to rank a team with a loss over an undefeated team.
I think game for game, Michigan's resume stacks up better than USC's. Consider:
- UConn 30-10 vs. Cal 48-14: about equal.
- Notre Dame 28-24 vs. WSU 50-16: Wazzu is 1-6. Blowout is nice, but ND is a much stronger opponent and that game was on the road. Edge Michigan.
- BG 65-21 vs. Hawaii 49-36: Edge USC, since Hawaii is turning out better than usual.
- IU 42-35 vs. Minnesota 32-21: If you're going to get into a dogfight with a Big Ten team, the clear advantage goes to the road win over a 4-2 team rather than a home game against the 1-6 one that just fired their coach. Huge edge Michigan.
- UMass 42-37 vs. UVA 17-14. Believe me when I say UVA fans would be very nervous about our chances vs. UMass. Even.
- MSU 17-34 vs. Stanford 35-37. Edge USC, slightly.
- Iowa 28-38 vs. U-Dub 31-32. No business losing to Washington. Edge Michigan.
I think it's too early to go all Straight Bangin' on Michigan, but especially not in favor of USC.
At least we're on the same page.
I've had this debate with a couple people out here. Here is why USC shouldn't be ranked if you don't rank Michigan.
They have the same record, 5-2. Neither school has beaten a quality opponent, USC's best win is maybe Cal, but Cal got blown out just as bad by Nevada and hasn't beaten anyone. Their other wins are Washington St. (worst team in the Pac 10), Minnesota (worst team in the Big Ten) Virginia (worst team in the ACC? even bottom half of that league is BAD) and Hawaii. Hawaii, Virginia and Minny just about went down to the wire.
Comparing their losses to ours: We've lost to 2 top 15 teams. USC, OTOH, has an understandable loss to Stanford, but lost to a 3-3 Washington team that lost to BYU, ASU and got blown out by Nebraska.
Essentially, our wins are as impressive as USC's and our losses are better. It's not like they're winning by larger margins for the most part either, they blew out one terrible team and a pretty bad team, and had close games the rest of the way.
I agree with Wolverine in Exile, Sparty isn't that good. And if they run the table and play in BCS, they're toast. It took a trick play to beat ND at home. They're schedule is weak. Does it sound like I hate em?
Here's why I want MSU to play in a BCS game - It will mean that our other good teams (2 of Iowa, Wisconsin and OSU) will play a lesser opponent than if they were in a BCS game, giving the Big Ten a better chance to look good overall.
Any tennis players out there? It would be like taking your #4 singles player and slotting him at #1. That way, your real #'s 1-3 play easier opponents, getting you more wins overall. MSU is our sacrificial lamb.
That way, if MSU gets smoked, we get to tell them how they didn't deserve to be there, and if they pull it off, then the Big Ten will get a lot of props, and I like that during bowl season.
if that team down south finishes strong, there's a chance there will be two Big Ten teams in BCS bowls, which means significantly more money for everyone. Sparty and OSU are the only two in position to make that happen, I think ... if Iowa runs the table, they'll have to beat both of those two, and even if Wisconsin wins out, their remaining strength of schedule is ugh. A quality win over Iowa would be followed by desperately hoping everyone else in the Big Ten wins.
There are only so many teams you can pass if you aren't playing top teams, and even OSU is pretty far back right now. I'd guess both Boise State and TCU have better odds of getting an at-large bid than Wisconsin and Iowa do.
Side note: Billingsley doesn't even have Missouri in his top 25? lolz. (His system is beyond sketchy, I know, but still.)
why is arizona below iowa? there best win is beating iowa. Iowas best win is beating a team worse than arizona. Arizona also has a better loss. I also want to switch TCU and LSU other than that, i like the poll
If you're looking for teams to put in the bottom of the polls, use Virginia Tech. If you start thinking of them as a top-25 team now, you'll be less surprised when they win the ACC.
They have one terrible loss and zero quality wins. They haven't earned anything yet.