Dropped Out: Clemson (#22).
I got the poll done early, mostly to avoid studying for an accounting exam. Thoughts:
- There's two ways to look at the college football landscape this season: everyone's good, or everyone sucks. It's either "wow, look at all those teams that have a chance to win," or "wow, look at all those teams that apparently don't want to win." I'm kinda looking at things the second way. I feel like teams three though ten are all overrated, but who else is there?
- OSU and Michigan stay on top. There's no question there. The question will be how far to drop the loser of The Game. And I don't have an answer to that yet.
- USC has played well since their loss, and if they get through the rest of their schedule, they will have earned this ranking, so I stuck them there.
- I think I've figured out the SEC: it's like one of those post-apocalyptic pseudo-paradise civilizations you see in books and movies (I'm thinking The Island, but only because I saw it recently and Scarlett Johansson is nice to think about. You're welcome to think Logan's Run if you prefer). Apparently some teams have realized the truth: that if you actually win the SEC, you don't get a trophy; you get killed! And Arkansas is the idiotic guy who hasn't figured it out yet. So he's thrilled about the possibility of winning, while Tennessee and Auburn are running through the vents, trying to escape. On paper, Arkansas is probably the fifth best team in the SEC, but they're the only ones that actually seem interested in winning it on a week to week basis.
- Rutgers moves up because I've adjusted my thinking on the quality of the conferences. That isn't to say that I've decided the Big East isn't so bad after all; I've just decided everyone else is worse. I mean, is there any real difference between the Big 12, ACC, and Big East in terms of quality? The best team in the Big 12 just lost to Kansas State (!), and Wake Forest has become the best team in the ACC. With that much absurdity elsewhere in the country, I don't think the Big East looks that bad by comparison.
- Notre Dame has looked impressive in their quest to win the Commander in Chief's Trophy. With a win over Army, they will have beaten all the service academies. If this was 1945, I'd be impressed. However, it's 2006, and the service academies aren't any good. However, Notre Dame deserves credit for simply not screwing up, something most of college football has trouble with.
- Florida needed two blocked kicks to beat South Carolina. So you could either be impressed that they dug deep and made the big plays, or unimpressed with the fact that this game was that close. I'm just amused that they run their short-yardage plays out of the shotgun. When your best short-yardage back is a backup quarterback, you have a problem.
- JaMarcus Russell has exceeded my expectations in the last few big games for LSU, managing to avoid the backbreaking interceptions I'd come to expect from him. When he plays well, they win. And lately, he's played well.
- I don't think Wisconsin is a top ten team, but who else is there? And being a one-loss team in the Big Ten counts for something, so I stuck them at number nine.
- Cal's loss against Arizona was all kinds of bad. However, there's still plenty of talent on this team, and they still look like the second best team in the Pac 10.
- So, apparently that defensive secondary for Texas is really really bad. Nobody should give up that many points to this Kansas State team.
- I have West Virginia at 13, but I expect them to beat the #5 team. If the BlogPoll is supposed to rank teams based on who would win heads up, I'm sure doing a crappy job of it (it is, and I am, incidentally).
- I'm not sure what caused my enthusiasm for Maryland. They played well against Miami, but beating Miami isn't so impressive. I think I just wanted to move another ACC team ahead of Georgia Tech to punish them for not getting Calvin Johnson more involved. Listen, Reggie Ball: unless there is nobody within ten yards of another receiver, you throw to Calvin Johnson. Always. No exceptions. Alright?
- I'm really unexcited about those last five teams. But who else is there?