After taking a week off due to perpetuating the Poseur family line, we're back with the power polls. Don't worry, I did submit a ballot last week, y'all just missed out on the pithy commentary of my full ballot.
Now that we enter Bama Hate Week, it is time to finally downgrade the Crimson Tide from the #1 slot on my ballot. I've relied heavily on horror movie logic when rating Bama all year, and that you have to kill a horror movie villain multiple times before it actually dies. That's all well and good, but eventually the franchise runs out of steam once the audience is no longer afraid of the same old scares. LSU is not the virginal damsel in distress. There's no intimidation at work against us.
1 LSU. LSU has the only offense in the SEC which averages over 7 yards/play (7.19). Brandon Harris has thrown for over 200 yards in three consecutive games. Fournette is so good that we now consider a 150-yard output a bad game. Someone break up this offensive juggernaut!
2 Alabama. They have now dodged so many bullets that they look like Neo in the Matrix.
3 Florida. They are a victory in the Cocktail Party away from booking reservations in Atlanta.
4 Mississippi St. Trying to decide what is worse... losing to Memphis or losing to a team that lost to the team which lost to Memphis. I'm voting in favor of the team that has Dak Prescott.
5 Ole Miss. They still somehow control their own destiny in the West, but losses to Memphis should disqualify them from Atlanta. It should be in the SEC bylaws.
6 Georgia. It's disturbing how quickly the quality drops off this year in the SEC. That said, they can still pull out of this tailspin in Jacksonville.
7 Tennessee. Racking up moral victories at a prodigious rate.
8 Arkansas. Playing better football now, but let "four overtime thriller against Auburn" be your guide as to how much better.
9 Kentucky. It seems it is a lot more difficult to beat good teams.
10 Texas A&M. Aggie football is putting the FUN in dysfunction! I would feel bad for them, but I'm too busy laughing at Chavis.
11 Auburn. So close to getting back to mediocre. So close.
12 South Carolina. Let's see how they play now that they are past their dead cat bounce week.
13 Vanderbilt. Not in the cellar! It's a Halloween miracle!
14 Missouri. The defense is playing pretty well which is a good thing, because the offense is setting new standards for futility.
1 Clemson. They did the Miami boosters a favor and gave them the perfect excuse to fire Al Golden.
2 Notre Dame. The Irish caucus with the ACC, but their two biggest games remaining are Stanford and... Temple?! That can't be right.
3 Duke. Made enough big plays to eke out a victory in Blacksburg. Simply a solid team.
4 Pittsburgh. Won their fourth consecutive game by less than one score. If there's a clutch gene, they have it.
5 Florida St. Perhaps they got a little too carried away with that Dalvin Cook Heisman campaign.
1 Ohio St. Finally playing like the Buckeyes team we expected to see. That said, it was against Rutgers.
2 Michigan St. Sparty are the weeble wobbles of college football. You can knock them, but they just don't fall down.
3 Iowa. Of the five teams remaining on their schedule, only Minnesota has a winning record. They are your stealth candidate to go unbeaten.
4 Michigan. IK still can't believe they lost that game to Sparty.
5 Wisconsin. The Badgers have bounced back nicely from their early season defeats.
1 Oklahoma St. What is this sorcery? A Big 12 team that can play defense?
2 TCU. Speaking of which, the Frogs' lack of defense is eventually going to cost them.
3 Baylor. Yes, they are killing (bad) teams, but I'm giving them the big downgrade until I see what the true freshman QB can do in place of the injured Seth Russell. Devastating loss.
4 Oklahoma. Do not count them out of the race yet. Especially as it seems they have rediscovered their running game.
5 Texas. They have made it through the gauntlet, er, pretty darn scathed. Now they can start playing teams they are more talented than, which is a nice change.
1 Stanford. I think we are perhaps overrating the Cardinal due to the lack of any other viable western contender. This is the same team that lost to Northwestern.
2 Utah. The air is out of the balloon.
3 UCLA. After back-to-back duds, the Bruins found their footing again, preventing a free fall.
4 USC. In the muddled middle of the conference, the Trojans look like a brand new team now that Sarkisian is gone.
5 Washington St. I'm not really convinced they are any good, but they are one of only three Pac-12 teams with one conference loss or less.
This is where I turn to resume polling, and I'm adding the Group of 5 because one of these teams will get a major bowl bid under our new world order.
Group of 5
1 Memphis. Memphis fans should enjoy the last month of Feunte's coaching tenure. He will have his pick of jobs come December.
2 Houston. They lack the gaudy offensive numbers of Memphis, but boast a superior defense. Could be an epic matchup.
3 Toledo. Undefeated #MACtion!
4 Temple. The dream ends this week, but let's enjoy it for now.
5 Bowling Green. The team that came closest to derailing the Memphis party train. Quietly stalking Toledo.
1 Clemson. Not a whole lot of quality wins, but the Notre Dame win counts for a lot. It's the only bona fide top 10 win by a contender.
2 LSU. But their Florida win is pretty close.
3 Ohio St. Starting to rack up the wins, and they are getting easier.
4 Baylor. There's a Big 12 logjam as none of the contenders have played each other yet. Going with Team Margin of Victory, in the absence of quality wins.
5 TCU. Might be in a better position than Baylor, given the health of their Heisman contending QB.