Blogpoll Week 3 Draft Ballot

Submitted by Tim on September 13th, 2010 at 8:14 AM

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

MGoBlog Ballot - Week 3

Rank Team Delta
1 Ohio St. Buckeyes Arrow_up 1
2 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_up 1
3 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_up 7
4 Oregon Ducks Arrow_up 1
5 Boise St. Broncos Arrow_down -4
6 TCU Horned Frogs Arrow_down -2
7 Iowa Hawkeyes Arrow_up 1
8 Nebraska Cornhuskers Arrow_up 3
9 Texas Longhorns Arrow_down -3
10 Wisconsin Badgers Arrow_down -1
11 Florida Gators Arrow_up 2
12 Utah Utes Arrow_up 2
13 Auburn Tigers --
14 Michigan Wolverines Arrow_up 11
15 Arkansas Razorbacks --
16 Stanford Cardinal --
17 South Carolina Gamecocks --
18 LSU Tigers Arrow_down -2
19 Arizona Wildcats --
20 West Virginia Mountaineers Arrow_up 3
21 Miami Hurricanes Arrow_down -14
22 Penn St. Nittany Lions Arrow_down -4
23 Florida St. Seminoles Arrow_down -8
24 USC Trojans --
25 Michigan St. Spartans --
Dropouts: Virginia Tech Hokies, Oregon St. Beavers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Pittsburgh Panthers, Clemson Tigers

SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »

A few notes:

  • I composed the ballot without looking at last week's offering, so some of the deltas may not make sense. Pay less attention to them this early in the year.
  • That said, I'm uncomfortable with Michigan that high (obviously), but... who should be above them? They're one of the very few teams in the nation to take down two BCS-level programs, and they pounded one of them. Who deserves to be ahead of them?
  • Boise State suffers from Virginia Tech's embarrassment. Such is the way of college football. The Broncos have a chance to move up if they can beat Oregon State next week, but that will probably be their zenith, barring unforeseen developments.
  • Also near the top of the poll, I'm willing to give Oklahoma the benefit of the doubt from week 1 after their performance on Saturday. There's also a chance that Utah State will end the season near the top of the Mountain West WAC, so the result may not be as bad as it seems.
  • Florida has struggled in the first couple weeks, but they've still come away with two wins, both by convincing scores, and one of them against an up-and-coming BCS program.
  • I don't like West Virginia moving up after their nailbiter against an apparently-bad Marshall team (or is Ohio State just really good?). Still, the teams behind them all got nuked in high-profilematchups against top teams.
  • The last couple spots in the poll are reserved for a pair of teams that have taken care of business by getting wins against poor teams, but doing so unimpressively.

I haven't had a chance to watch many games other than Michigan-Notre Dame thanks to my travel to and from South Bend, but my opinion may change on a couple of teams as I roll through the DVR.



September 13th, 2010 at 8:34 AM ^

If it's based strictly on resume here, I don't think Wisconsin can be sitting at 10 given their incredibly unimpressive set of wins against non-BCS teams. Aside from John Clay rumbling on Saturday, they were a painful bunch to watch.

And I second OSU at #1. Their total dismantling of Miami was impressive.

Hardware Sushi

September 13th, 2010 at 3:06 PM ^

...Although I don't think we should really expect anything different from Wisconsin this season. They gave up a TD on a defensive miscue to make it seem a little closer, but the game was never in doubt and Bielema knew that.

Old school Big Ten football. They got the win and didn't sweat at any point in the game. Jay Valai pulls in that INT and the game is 37-7. I wouldn't read into this one too much, especially with a chance to see them play an OK Pac-10 team this week. 10ish is fine with me. They haven't opened half of their playbook yet (RE: play action pass) and once that happens, hello big yardage rushes.


September 13th, 2010 at 9:08 AM ^

What has Penn State shown to justify being ranked at all? This screams Michigan last season when we peaked up into the top 25 and then stumbled once we hit decent opponents. The same hols true for PSU this year. They have too many young kids at skill positions who are not used to the pressure yet. I can see them easily losing 5 games this year and anyone who thought the PSU Alabama game was going to be good is crazy. PSU's defense as always is good but that's not enough to hold them in.

steve sharik

September 13th, 2010 at 9:11 AM ^

That said, I'm uncomfortable with Michigan that high (obviously), but... who should be above them? They're one of the very few teams in the nation to take down two BCS-level programs, and they pounded one of them. Who deserves to be ahead of them?

  • Stanford
  • South Carolina

Remember, ND was an unranked team.  That win will take on different significance if ND beats MSU and Stanford, but until that happens it's not like we won at Kinnick or Camp Randall.

Number 7

September 13th, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

I was going to post exactly this, so I'll just say yes.  Outside of USC (NTUSC) and Stanford, though, it's hard to see who deserves to be much higher.  I suppose you could say LSU, for beating an actually ranked team in a non-home game -- but it was a doubly flawed win, and wasn't an away game either.

Also, with due respect to the OSU, I just can't see how Oregon and Alabama can be denied #1 and #2 (in that order, in my view).


September 13th, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

Yep, I was also going to post the same thing.  South Carolina took care of business against UCLA and handled Southern Miss (a generally above average mid-major).  Stanford dominated UCLA and Sacramento State.  I'm not saying it's a lock that those two teams are better than Michigan but there are decent enough arguments for their rise in the polls.

I would put LSU ahead as well.  They have beaten UNC, and there is a large probabiblity they took it easy in the 2nd half because of how far they were up and all the talk about UNC's suspended starters.  Obviously a bad idea but it might have been very hard to keep the player's focus at halftime.  They also beat down on Vanderbilt for 2 BCS program wins.

So, I would make it

14. South Carolina

15. Stanford

16. LSU

17. Michigan

18. Arkansas

However, if this were a non-Michigan blog I would really only be arguing to drop Arkansas below the other three and leaving Michigan at 14.

Hardware Sushi

September 13th, 2010 at 2:58 PM ^

...That UConn or ND haven't? Georgia still doesn't have a capable QB outside of his ridiculous recruiting hype and neither does SC even though he's been the starter and playing in the same system for four years.

No hate on SC, I'm fine having them ranked above us. But where is all this love coming from? From what I saw, they have a defense that shut down a noob QB without the best wide receiver in the country and a SC QB that still doesn't know how to play.

Georgia was one red-zone fumble and a missing wide receiver from SC falling completely out of the top-25. This is a LSU over UNC-esque victory to me.

I still agree, though, Michigan feels high. 15-20 range seems appropriate.


September 13th, 2010 at 3:43 PM ^

This goes to the argument that BHGP and others have made.  You either go directly by preconceptions or you give them one degree of seperation (i.e. they're a good time because they seem like one VS. they're a good team because they beat a what seems like a good team).  I view the indirect assumptions as better than the direct ones.

ND/UConn may be better than Georgia, but based on preseason talk and recruiting rankings and history, our best guess is that Georgia is probably a better team. 

These conversations make college football fun.

My main point of disagreement here is that Tim seems to want to rank UofM really high but doesn't want to confidently say "they're that good, CK-award-wrath be damned".  He seems to be saying "I just can't find anyone whose done more", when obviously this early in the season any half-baked logic works just fine.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

They beat two teams who may or may not be good this year

You could say this about any team ranked above Michigan as well. So from a resume standpoint, Michigan is 2-0, with a road victory, both of the wins coming over BCS Qualifying Conference/Team opponents. Ranking them high makes sense from that standpoint, even if that doesn't really make sense from a power poll at all.


September 13th, 2010 at 9:38 AM ^

I think Michigan is probably ranked a little bit too high.  At the very least, I'd put Arkansas and South Carolina ahead of the Wolverines right now. 

Hardware Sushi

September 13th, 2010 at 2:53 PM ^

But if Michigan gets into top-15 territory, we'll be getting into the territory where every QB of a top-15 team could conceivably shred our secondary. It's only two weeks in and I completely agree our secondary needs tons and tons of work, but I find this argument to be somewhat simple and surface-level.

Dane Crist, Kyle Rudolph, and Michael Floyd were all unanimous 5-star recruits. So was half of the ND line and Armando Allen was a high 4-star recruit. They're going to have a great passing attack this season. I was pleasantly surprised with our secondary, minus the 95-yarder.

These next 2 weeks (and week 5 versus an exceptional Indiana QB) should help us to gain experience needed in the secondary, granted they don't all transfer/get injured/spontaneously combust.

If judging whether our secondary would get shredded by a top-15 QB, then we won't ever crack the top-15 this year. I don't disagree we probably fall more into the 15-20 range, but I also don't like the point about our secondary getting shredded should be the basis for our ranking. The goal the entire season will be to bend but not break.


September 13th, 2010 at 9:46 AM ^

I'd move both South Carolina and Stanford in front of us. South Carolina's showed both offensive productivity (mostly against USM, but they dominated Georgia up front) and a tough defense, holding Georgia to 6 points is impressive, even with Green out. Their  only ding is that both games were at home.

Stanford obliterated UCLA @ the Rose Bowl without Luck having a good game. UCLA looked at least competent against Kansas State, and while the Rose Bowl is not exactly an intimidating venue, that's still 35-0 against a conference opponent on the road.

I'd consider 1. Arizona and 2. LSU as well, but those are far more shaky, given 1. the competition and 2. the general panic LSU showed against UNC, second string edition. We'll know about Arizona next week, anyway, after they face Iowa. Promoting those teams are far more about "let's not inflate our hopes" than merit. Other than that, there are a bunch of teams who either haven't played anyone or haven't impressed

I also think Miami could be higher too. By all reports, that game was relatively close other than the turnovers. (I know, I know... "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?)

MI Expat NY

September 13th, 2010 at 9:53 AM ^

These are the two I would bump up first.  This clearly isn't a strictly resume based ranking (see Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, etc.), and we're not a top 15 team yet.  Hell, UConn and ND might be .500 teams at the end of the year.  Not to even mention the obvious flaws with our defense and non-denard running game so far.

As a mixture of performance to date and pre-season expectations, at the very least, South Carolina and Stanford should be above us.  Maybe even LSU, while I think they'll eventually stumble, there's no denying they have talent and have also beaten two BCS teams (I know UNC was playing backups, but that's not exactly their fault).  I also agree with your Arizona promotion.  In short, i second your entire post!

Hardware Sushi

September 13th, 2010 at 2:45 PM ^

I believe Georgia is going to struggle mightily this year, especially until they get AJ back. It's a lot easier to stop a run game by stacking the box when you don't have to defend (RE: double-team) the best wide receiver in the country. Plus, all due credit to Lattimore, Georgia didn't exactly tackle worth a darn in that game, allowing a 1 or 2 yard stop at the line to turn into a 6 or 7 yard gain. Product of Georgia's D or Lattimore's talent? I can't be sure right now but it's just how I feel.

I may be completely wrong and I'm sure we'll find out in the coming few weeks. I just think that South Carolina should be viewed with the same relative skepticism that many of us are viewing our beloved Wolverines. 


September 13th, 2010 at 9:57 AM ^

14?  Wow.  That's a rapid ascension. 

Nose to the grindstone.....don't worry about what you can't control.  I always tell my players "Do....Your....Job" and the scoreboard will take care of itself.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:12 AM ^

has beaten 2 BCS teams as well

Standord and SoCarolina deserve to be above UofM.

I also don't think you necessarily need to ding PSU and Miami for losing to elite teams.  Michigan may not do have done as well in those situation.

Bottom line - its still very early in the year to legitimately say "I just can't rank Michigan any lower."  The resume-based ranking is still too unclear this early in the year.  As impressive as Denard has been, the rest of the team hasn't proven much.  They're one play away from being 1-1 despite not playing anyone especially impressive.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

I don't care what Michigan "may have done" against Bama or OSU. This is a results-based charting service, and both of those teams got blasted off the field. 


September 13th, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

you encourage playing cupcakes, rather than risking a loss to a quality team. 

While Penn State got killed, Miami was competitive.  To me, thats more impressive than beating a 1AA team or a low level BCS team.  A quality loss should elicit more respect than a cupake win.


September 13th, 2010 at 3:37 PM ^

Not exactly.  There are a lot of 2-0 teams that aren't ranked at all while Penn St, Miami and Florida St. are all still ranked.  After week 1, Pitt, Virginia Tech and UNC were ranked even though they were 0-1 (going by the listed dropouts).  A quality loss does elicit more respect than a cupcake win but neither of those teams have a quality win themselves.  So what have they done to be in the top 20?

Until week 5 or 6, it is very hard to do strict resume ranking unless you do weird stuff like BHGP's margin of victory ranks.  There's just not enough information yet.  As the season goes on and Miami and Penn State beat some good teams they will rise in the rankings and the loss to Alabama or OSU won't weigh them down as much as a loss to Kansas State (for example).


September 13th, 2010 at 4:15 PM ^

It is reasonable to include preconceptions at this point (and pretty much impossible not to with doing stuff like BHGP does).

If you assume a quality loss is better than a cupcake win, you need to use preconceptions.  But its not like you can get around that by using W-L record. You can't argue Michigan (at least convincingly so) has done much either, because to do so means you have preconceptions about ND and UConn being quality teams.  In other words, Michigan's resume is only as good as your preconceptions about their opponents...same goes for other teams.


September 13th, 2010 at 5:42 PM ^

There is nothing in there that disagrees with what I said.

My point is that the fact that Miami, Penn State and Florida State are ranked at all is indicative of the fact that losses to quality teams do not kill one's chances in the (blog)polls.  All three of them have 1 win against a crappy team and a blowout loss to a supposedly very good opponent.  While a "quality loss" is better than a cupcake win in some sense, you still have to have positives in order to get ranked highly.

UNLV has lost to Wisconsin and Utah, Marshall has lost to OSU and West Virginia, San Jose State has lost to Alabama and Wisconsin.  All three of those teams have 2 quality losses, so we should rank them higher than Arkansas, Nebraska or Arizona because they only have 2 cupcake wins?


September 13th, 2010 at 9:46 PM ^

LSU barely managed to defeat UNC which was missing somewhere between 8 and 16 starters (I never got that number nailed down).  LSU's other win is over Vandy... yeah.  I know Northwestern is on the rise and I truly like Pat Fitzgerald, but NW managed to beat Vandy at home in week 1.

So, yes, LSU has beat 2 BCS conference teams BUT one of those teams as at 1/2 strength (at best) and the other is the doormat of the conference.  They seem to be ranked slightly too high for me.  In the third quarter of LSU, the score was 10-3 at one point, not exactly confidence building.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

Miami is a much better football team than Penn State.  With that in mind, I make Ohio State my number 1 team over Alabama (or maybe 1a?  They are both good teams).

Also, I understand and agree with your logic about Michigan as the number 14 team... but are they really the 14th best team in the nation?  I hope so, but I can't be convincingly sold on that yet...


September 13th, 2010 at 10:26 AM ^

look a bit low camp too. Florida seems high. I like Auburn and USC over them in that they have have at least beaten SEC opponents.

I like Oregon over OU right now, too, given the resume of both of their first two games.  I think dismantling Tennessee on the road is someone on par with OU throttling of FSU at home. OU's put one game together. Oregon's put 2.

Overall seems pretty solild.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:35 AM ^

I definitely agree with the sentiment here that Michigan is ranked waay too high.

South Carolina and Stanford should get second looks at being ranked higher, and even Miami(FL) shouldn't drop so far, seeing how they played considerably the best team in the country.

I could warrant a Penn State drop just because they were a bit overhyped to begin with, but Miami(FL) is more than likely going to win 9 games this year at the least and should be near #10.

Give it time and I could see Michigan moving up to that spot, but they are not the #14 team in the nation right now, despite the two convincing victories.


September 13th, 2010 at 9:38 PM ^

I'd agree that Miami should be higher.  OSU and Alabama both appear to be far better than anyone else (right NOW).  Thus, losing to OSU in the 'Shoe isn't that humiliating compared to other losses that have happened in the first 2 weeks of the season.

I think they should be slotted around 13, just under Utah.


September 13th, 2010 at 10:59 AM ^

Florida State is the perfect example why there's absolutely no reason to schedule anybody decent out of conference.  They went out and crushed a terrible I-AA team and still had all the morons in the media saying "look out, the 'Noles are i know it was just Samford, but they looked good, blah blah blah."  Then of course the next week when they play somebody good they get annihilated like always.

Now I know picking on FSU is really unfair considering they're playing Oklahoma and Florida out of conference this year, if anybody deserves to play a team like Samford it's them.  But if you were FSU why on earth would you schedule a team like Oklahoma when you could just crush I-AA and Sun Belt teams and the pollsters would still love you anyway??  Their conference is awful so they still have just as much of a chance of anybody to win it, and they could be sitting there in the BCS championship game. 

My point is, this is why college football needs some sort of play-off in the worst way, and Florida State should not be ranked.


(//get off my lawn)


September 13th, 2010 at 9:33 PM ^

FSU is one of the few name brand programs that can simply win against a I-AA team and "be back" in the media's eyes.  Michigan is one of those teams too.  The others would be exactly who you think- USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Miami, OSU, Florida, Alabama, and to a slightly lesser extent Nebraska and PSU.  Essentially, the traditional cream-of-the-crop don't have to schedule great OoC to get great press.

FSU had to schedule someone good besides Florida though because the ACC is perceived (rightfully so apparently) as being terrible.  Because of that, they need marque wins against top teams in order to be eligible for the BCS title game.  Think about this, if FSU played some cupcake instead of Oklahoma, squeaked by Florida and then ran the table in the ACC (with close games to Miami, GT, and an okay win over VT) would they really be considered for the title game over an undefeated OSU, 'Bama, Texas, or Nebraska?  No, not at all.  But, if you add a win over Oklahoma, then they're right in the thick of that discussion.

Unfortunately, that go completely demolished and further hurt the ACC's reputation making it all the harder for them ever to get "in" if/when they ever are "back".


September 13th, 2010 at 11:44 AM ^

I could see putting us above your bottom 4 teams who have all shown nothing, but I think everyone you have at 21 or higher should be favored to beat us.

Miami is too low. They were competitive against OSU in the shoe.

You might want to consider some under-the-radar teams like Cal (who just obliterated Colorado) and Missouri.


September 13th, 2010 at 9:27 PM ^

I'll agree with this.  Every time I flipped over to the Miami game, they were finding ways to get sacked or give OSU the ball; good teams don't do that.  And, yeah, the ACC is looking WORSE than the Big East, something that I did not think would happen with Bill Stewart leading WVU and Brian Kelly leaving Cinci.


September 13th, 2010 at 11:45 AM ^

I'm higher on Stanford, Arkansas, and South Carolina than you have them.  Michigan at 14 is way too high.  Miami dropped a bit too much imo for losing to the #1 or #2 team in the country.


September 13th, 2010 at 1:07 PM ^

South Carolina for sure.  They beat a pretty good Southern Miss program convincingly and then beat Georgia Saturda in a game they largely dominated.  I definitely agree with Stanford too.  Arkansas I'm less sure about, but my "move Michigan lower!" instincts are kicking in.  The CK Award scares me.

Hardware Sushi

September 13th, 2010 at 2:37 PM ^

While South Carolina has two solid victories, I don't really consider Southern Miss to be a 'pretty good team' any more than I consider Western Michigan a 'pretty good team'. Pretty good for a lower-level conference, yes. Worse than Vanderbilt or Indiana/Minnesota/Illinois? In my opinion, yes.

The South Carolina game showed me Saturday that they: 1. Have a helluva freshman running back stud in Marcus Lattimore, 2. Stephen Garcia still sucks. He sucks. After four years of starting in the same system, you should be better than that, 3. Georgia blew some opportunities and continues its downward spiral from last season and will end up, at best, 3rd in an extremely weak SEC East (Vandy, UK and Tennessee are all bad, so that will help them finish 3rd.), and 4. USCe still can't run Steve Spurrier's offense. Lattimore will win them some games, but I don't think they deserve top 15 status yet.

Nothing against South Carolina. They've won some good games so far. It just seems like there's a lot of SC kool-aid being passed around after 2 weeks. I would say the same for Michigan but our offense can actually score. 16 seems appropriate to me for SC. 


September 13th, 2010 at 12:30 PM ^

They have a convincing win over BYU, which definitely qualifies as a better resume than about half the teams on your ballot, including Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Auburn, Arkansas, Arizona, West Virginia, Miami, FSU, USC, and MSU. Even if you're not ranking solely on resume yet, they deserve some credit.