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BlogPoll: Week #4

Below is my BlogPoll ballot for this week. The games that I watched were few, as I was in Ann Arbor to watch Ron English's brilliant defense put another beatdown on another helpless opponent. More analysis and impressions to come later. Now, the ballot:

Rank Team Delta
1 Ohio State --
2 Southern Cal --
3 Auburn --
4 Florida 1
5 West Virginia 1
6 Michigan 1
7 Louisiana State 1
8 Texas 1
9 Louisville 1
10 Georgia 4
11 Oregon 1
12 Iowa 1
13 TCU 1
14 Virginia Tech 1
15 Notre Dame 2
16 Tennessee --
17 Oklahoma --
18 Clemson 7
19 Cal --
20 Boise State 1
21 Wake Forest 5
22 Rutgers --
23 Missouri 3
24 Wisconsin 1
25 Washington 1

Dropped Out: Boston College (#18), Arizona State (#20), UCLA (#24).

I suppose that the delta figures tell the story, but here's last week's ballot, to be safe.

Some notes about this week ballot:

  • Ohio State is not a clear-cut number one team. As discussed last week, there are a handful of additional teams that could all claim to be college football's best, notably Auburn, USC, Florida, West Virginia, and Michigan, though maybe not in that order. The Buckeyes didn't look so great at home, in the rain, but that second condition makes it hard to drop them for getting the job done against a decent team. That said, don't count me among the ESPN-indoctrinated many who assume that OSU is the only choice for a first-place vote. Thankfully, Iowa is going to help us get more clarity on this issue by Saturday night.
  • Relatively speaking, West Virginia was slowed down, and that gave me just a modicum of doubt.
  • Georgia got punished for struggling against a crappy team. Notre Dame got punished for again looking helpless on defense.
  • There are three distinct groupings in the poll: the top ten, the next ten, and the bottom five. With a few exceptions--no way that Clemson jumps Iowa right now given the weak ACC--the next ten and the bottomr five could each be rearranged fairly easily, so the order is not nearly as important as the rankings band into which the teams fall. Obviously, Oregon beating Oklahoma and Tennessee beating Cal help to inform the ballot's order, but this is still a work in progress as the conference schedules start to test teams.
  • Clemson moved up after easily getting the job done against UNC and looking like it's really coming together. Put another way, among the teams now behind the Tigers, who can make a strong claim that it deserves to be placed ahead of them?