As one might have expected, last weekend's slate of college football produced results that challenged the prevailing BlogPoll power structure. And just like the Oklahoma-Oregon (non-)game, this week's ballot will likely be somewhat controversial; fueled by speculation and overreaction; and ultimately meaningless when it comes time to select a national champion (oh snap!).
Last week's ballot is here.
Michigan vs. Notre Dame
Maryland vs. West Virginia (partially)
Defensive drills watched:
LSU vs. Auburn
Falls from grace watched:
Miami (FL) vs. Louisville
Oklahoma vs. Oregon
Entirely-expected-but-nonetheless-still-staggering acts of nepotism watched:
Clemson vs. Florida State
Florida vs. Tennessee
Nebraska vs. USC
Some notes about the ballot:
- Ohio State remains #1 given the generally high level at which it has performed and the impressive road dominance in Austin. But, with Michigan's win in South Bend, Florida's win in Knoxville, and Auburn's win over a legitimate top-ten team, there are suddenly a handful of impressive triumphs that all argue for consideration as the season's "best win." Discuss...
- There is a legitimate argument to be made for Auburn to be ranked higher, as it has dominated the dominatable and completely shut down an LSU offense with plenty of talent. I mean, Russell, alone, is a walking freak of nature--he can flick a football fifty yards. Probably one of the most intriguing players I can ever remember, mostly because he seems to have so little personality and yet is such a physical anomaly. (Were this ESPN, I'd likely have to say something crazy like, "The Bayou Bengals have more offensive talent than the Detroit Lions. That's a fact!" Right, dunny?)
But I am left to wonder about the potency of its own offense, and USC--with its own stellar, fast defense and more sophisticated passing game--would be a pretty good match up. Thus, I don't know that the Trojans merit a step down on the ballot.
- While the Florida defense just looks lights-out fast and really, really good, the offense continues to be a little underwhelming. I don't fully trust Leak; the running game seems to be fueled almost exclusively by DeShawn Wynn using a spin move more than I do on PlayStation; the offensive line has some alarming moments of weakness; and before the snap, there is always a lot of running around in the backfield that ultimately results in nothing. Why does it seem like the Gators run five plays over and over again? And by the way, I don't want to go too far out on a limb, here, but when Tim Tebow is in the game, I bet you that he's running up the middle. I know: crazy, right?
Unrelated: Brandon James might be the scariest special teams player that I have seen in a long time. My God!
- Georgia is probably now primed for a fall thanks to its freshman QB and remaining SEC schedule, but if it continues to play such dominant defense and special teams, it can stay in my top ten for a while. And using the transitive property, the Bulldogs look pretty good given the beatdown that they administered to a seemingly competitive UAB team.
- Michigan makes the week's biggest jump following its coming-out party in South Bend. The defense looks aggressive and smart; the offense can run the ball and stretch the field. I'd like to see UM use more of the field in the passing game, and the Conservative Carr tendencies poked through on offense at the beginning of each half, but overall, not much to dislike about the Wolverines right now. If the team stays motivated and aggressive, hard to think it won't be 6-0 heading into Happy Valley on 10/14, and possibly 7-0 when it comes home to play Iowa. If it makes it out of those games unscathed, I like the chances that Michigan will travel to Columbus for another 1 vs. 2 match-up to end the season. That is A LOT of contingencies, though. And it's only been three games.
- LSU stays in the top ten. No question.
- Oregon and Iowa flip flop because the Oregon run defense is not good and the undefeated record shouldn't excuse that.
- TCU moves way up because: 1) everyone else seems pretty indistinguishable right now; 2) holding Texas Tech to 3 points is pretty remarkable. Who else has done that during the Mike Leach era?
- Regarding Oklahoma: Yes, it got screwed. Those calls were atrocious and embarrassing. But the ensuing histrionics are a complete abortion of decency and affront to college athletics. Maybe the Oklahoma President should spend more time making the school a top-notch center of learning and adhering to the rules and less time writing absurd letters and making crazy threats. Read Pat Forde. Also, officiating is a part of sports. It sucks, but that's life. Find something better to do with your time, Sooners. Start by playing defense and beating Texas.
- For the rest of the ballot, I basically threw darts. FSU, Miami, and Georgia Tech drop out because I don't really think any of them are all that good and other teams have made stronger cases that they deserve to be ranked. Nebraska drops because it looked pretty overmatched on Saturday and it really hasn't done anything else of distinction.
- Arizona State, Cal, UCLA, and Wisconsin should all sort themselves out this weekend.