My cohort in crime threw up his SEC BlogPoll rankings yesterday and I dropped my response (we differed on the 8-9 spots only). See, we love each other.
I've been pretty critical of rankings lately, mostly because I thought USC was undeserving of the No. 1 spot, and LSU was. I won't say I told you so, but ...
In the past I've really only focused on the top four or five, but after a second straight week of absolute madness, the AP, Coaches and Harris polls are so rediculously out of whack right now, it makes me sick.
If I were a voter (which I'm not, but if I ran the world, I would be and things would be so much better), my philosophy would be as follows. After three or four weeks, teams would be ranked on body of work, not what my preseason thoughts were in June. I would separate teams into groups, based on loss totals. Then I would rank all the undefeated teams in Group A, all the one-loss teams in Group B, all the two-loss teams in Group C and so on.
While ranking teams in each group, it would make it so much harder for a voter to do something stupid like rank a two-loss Georgia team (that lost to Tennessee) ahead of a two-loss Tennessee team.
Then, I would break down each ranking position to two spots. I start at No. 1. It's my highest no-loss team versus my highest one-loss team and I pick a winner. On to No. 2. Repeat the process. Eventually I get to my highest one-loss team versus my highest two-loss team. In some cases (like UConn or Hawaii) a no-loss versus a one-loss versus a two loss. Or a one-loss versus a two-loss versus a three loss.
You get the idea. That said, use the link to see my top 25 and the reason why I have each team there. I fully expect Geaux Tigers to chide me on plenty of selections.
1) LSU - LSU has beaten three teams I have in the top 25, nobody else can say that.
2) Cal - Cal has the best win of anyone in the top 25 by beating Oregon on the road.
3) Ohio State - I actually believe this to be the second best team in the country, but based on body of work, the Purdue win isn't quite as good as the Cal's win over Oregon.
4) South Florida - They've won at Auburn and over West Virginia. I know, it's weird to see USF ranked fourth, but at this point, they deserve it, and that's what it's all about.
5) Missouri - The Tigers took Nebraska behind the woodshed, and did it way worse than USC did. They've also got a win over Illinois, which didn't seem like much a month ago, under their belts.
6) Oregon - The ducks only loss is to No. 2 (in my rankings) Cal. They waxed Michigan and have destroyed everyone else in their path.
7) Boston College - Matt Ryan is destroying opponents. It was a flip of the coin between the Eagles and Oregon, and the Ducks barely won out in my mind. It was the close loss to Cal that was the difference.
8) Illinois - The I-L-L, I-N-I have lost to only No. 5 Missouri (in my rankings) by six. They've also got one of the best wins by beating Wisconsin.
9) South Carolina - The Gamecocks only loss came to top-ranked LSU, on the road. But they've beaten Georgia and Mississippi State, who based on this ranking set, is still in the top 25.
10) Arizona State - How about what Dennis Erickson has done. ASU is 5-0, and they've beaten teams that have big wins. But they don't have one themselves ... yet.
11) Kansas - The Fighting Mangino's knocked off Kansas State on Saturday , about time they played a team with a pulse.
12) West Virginia - If South Carolina and Oregon have the so-called best losses this year, West Virginia's is next, at least at this point. Right now, there's no shame in losing to South Florida and a win over Maryland is strong.
13) Virginia Tech - The Hokies have lost only at LSU. Granted it was a woodshed beating not seen against a top 15 team in quite some time, but the Hokies have rebounded nicely.
14) Oklahoma - The Sooners destroyed their first few opponents before a heartbreaking setback at Colorado. They rebounded against Texas, but how good of a Longhorn team is it?
15) Purdue - The Boilermakers were posting astronomical numbers against the Southwest Little Sister of the Poor Tech at Columbus. Still, to be held to seven againt TOSU (they insist on being called The Ohio State University) is weak.
16) Wisconsin - The Badgers fell to Illinois (who I have ranked eighth), which in terms of body of work, isn't that bad. But the Badgers could use a big win.
17) Cincinnati - The Bearcats do have wins over Rutgers and Oregon State and have scored 34 or more in five of six games. Oh yeah, they haven't lost.
18) Indiana - Really? Indiana? At No. 17? The Hoosiers only loss came to Illinois by 13. They don't have a big win, but who else below them does?
19) Kentucky - The Wildcats only have a loss on the road to South Carolina (No. 9 here) but their best win keeps looking worse as Louisville keeps losing.
20) Florida State - At 4-1, FSU has lost only on the road to Clemson in the first week. Since, the Seminoles have wins over Colorado and Alabama. While I'm not completely sold, once you hit the 20s in the rankings, its pretty much a crap shoot. Props to people who do this every week.
21) Mississippi State - I know, I know, Mississippi State? But look at the results. The losses are to to LSU (No. 1) and South Carolina (No. 9) and they have a win at Auburn. There's a long way to go, but when going strictly by results, you have to put them ahead of the Plainsmen.
22) Auburn - Imagine if the hadn't lost to Mississippi State. The Tigers would likely be ranked somewhere between No. 8-13 with a chance to make a statement at LSU. As it stands I have to put them behind the Bulldogs they lost to.
23) Florida - After sitting in Tiger Stadium on Saturday, this was the hardest thing I had to do on this top 25. Florida is probably one of the best five teams in the country, but based on the body of work, I can't put them any higher than this ... right now. I fully expect the Gators to be back in this top 10 or 15 with in two weeks.
24) Southern California - I'm not exactly sure how you lose to Stanford at home and still slip in the top 25, but it happened. The Trojans are much better, wait, much more talented, than this. But until they do it on the field, they'll get nothing and like it.
25) Tennessee - The Vols have lost to Cal and Florida, nothing to be ashamed of. The Vols have lost two games by an average of 26.5 points, something to be ashamed of. Then they go beat Georgia by 21, so who knows what the identity of this team is.