Here we go again. This is my first attempt at a ballot. Tell me why I'm wrong and maybe I'll change it before submission. My rationale after the jump.
|Last week's ballot|
Let's take these in groups of five, and then the teams I dropped.
5. Ohio St.
I should probably rank Bama #2, as they looked awesome. If you believe in Virginia Tech, and I do, then you have to think Bama is one of the very best teams in the country. I'm not overly concerned by Ohio St's close call. They were winning by 16, took the game for granted, and Navy came back. Don't lose focus again, but OSU looked like the far better team.
6. Oklahoma St.
7. Penn St.
8. Ole Miss
Either OSU is a really good team or Georgia isn't very good. I erred on the side of caution and went with both for right now. I'm not sure the Pokes are the sixth best team, but they now have one of the best resumes in the country. Ole Miss and Cal rocket up my ballot partly because of their big wins, but also because the teams ranked ahead of them were all pretty sluggish. My poll is still volatile and I am living up to my promise of not even referring to my preseason ballot to create this ballot. VT actually moved up after losing, which requires a second of explanation. I originally ranked them in the top ten and was convinced to drop them due to the injury to Evans. VT hung with Bama, Tyrod Taylor looked like the real deal, but they still lost to a top five team. No shame in that. VT answered some of my questions positively, even in the loss.
12. Oregon St.
Still no Oklahoma. We'll get to that. I rank teams within their conference first and then place them in the top 25 nationally, and right now, Mizzou is the team in the Big 12 which has proven something. Illinois was actually favored to beat Mizzou and the Tigers went out there and beat the living snot out of 'em. Once again, Mizzou has accomplished something.
I'm still bullish on Oregon St. MSU was one of the few Big Ten teams who looked impressive. LSU falls in my ballot because no team that beats a team coming off a winless season by a touchdown doesn't get to be ranked in the top ten.
17. Boise St.
OU lost what was essentially a home game to BYU. Yes, Bradford suffered an injury, but BYU outplayed OU even before that injury. BYU seemed intent on shooting themselves in the foot, but they pulled out the win. However, I don't see how anyone can rank OU ahead of BYU right now. BYU didn't win by some fluke, they were the better team, and OU essentially had the homefield advantage. Boise shows up on my poll after dominating Oregon. My girlfriend asked me in the second quarter of that game, "Have the Ducks even had the ball yet?"
22. Notre Dame
Ranking Notre Dame causes me physical pain, but they looked pretty impressive against Nevada. Yes, it was Nevada, but they absolutely dominated them, something the Irish wouldn't have done last year. Baylor makes an appearance for their win over Wake on the road. I've got a gigantic soft spot for the Bears, but Griffin looks like the real deal and they have lots of talented speed position guys. Cincinnati takes Pitt's place on the poll in my Designated Big East Slot. I love Brian Kelly and was waiting to rank the Bearcats, who spent most of last year in my poll, because I wanted to see how he rebuilt the defense. Looked pretty damn good on Monday.
Fell out of poll:
Georgia (#7), Oregon (#12), Clemson (#17), Arkansas (#20), Iowa (#22), Pittsburgh (#23).
Georgia had a disastrous first week and their offense, after an impressive first drive, looked lost. I put my faith in their offensive line and they lead me astray. Maybe I'm being to punitive to the Bulldogs, but they will have plenty of chances to work their way back into the poll. Color me a skeptic right now.
Oregon and Iowa are obvious omissions. Let's not rub salt in the wound. Clemson and Arkansas are casualties of strong showings of unranked teams. I still like both of them, but neither knocked my socks off. It's still early and they are certainly on my radar. Pittsburgh falls off in favor of Cincinnati, who I now have rated as the strongest Big East team.
What say you?