|Last week's ballot|
So, right, sorry for not displaying the final blogpoll here yesterday. For reasons typically called "life," I was unable to make changes to the draft poll, so it went in as final. I am ok with this. I might have put Cincinnati in and dropped Central Michigan, but that would have been it. I was, however, called out in the "whack-ballot watchdog" portion of the writeup over at CBS for reasons that I feel have been justified by this space. So I'm not overly upset about it, nor did I take it as too big of a slap. In my preseason ballot, I state the following:
Last year, East Carolina came out and beat Virginia Tech (then #17) and then smoked West Virginia (then #8). Suddenly, the resume of East Carolina - in the patsy-filled college preseason scheduling world we live in - was the strongest of anyone's in the country. As a result, the resume zealots had to vote them close to #1, if not #1. Did anyone actually believe that East Carolina was going to win it all? Again, the goal of my poll is to look at who the best team in the country is at a specific point in time. Just because East Carolina upset a few ranked opponents doesn't mean they're more impressive than, say, a Florida team who is beating Citadel (or whoever) by 70 points. Says more about VT and WVU than ECU, if you ask me.
As a mid-major, you have to prove above and beyond the scope of winning your conference that you belong with the big boys. This means a mediocre team from a BCS conference will probably be ranked higher than an awesome MAC team, even if that MAC team is undefeated. Boise State and Utah have earned their way out of this quagmire, but even that only takes them so far.
Here's the deal: Houston most certainly beat Oklahoma State, and for that, they are given credit by being ranked in the first place. However, their victory does not change the fact that I believe that Oklahoma State is a more talented football team. Sometimes more talented football teams make mistakes. Compounding this is the fact that I still have Oklahoma State hovering just outside the top ten. I believe, despite the loss, that they are worthy of that ranking. A hair's breath from dropping precipitously, sure, but for now they're safe. To rank Houston higher would mean that they are a top ten team, which isn't the case. I think that the majority of the teams ranked higher than Houston in this poll (all 22 of them) probably beat them. To drop Oklahoma State down to number 20 or something is equally dumb, because I believe they can beat, say, Iowa. Or Miami.
The same goes for the Oklahoma vs. BYU scenario I've got going. BYU beat an Oklahoma team without Bradford, and then that Oklahoma team went out and rolled up 60+ points on their next opponent. Boise State is being rewarded for beating an Oregon team that, as it turns out, sucks. Mid-majors deserve to go to BCS bowls when they're undefeated and have a good non-conference resume. If BYU goes undefeated, they will deserve to go to a BCS bowl. And if they win that BCS bowl, they will be rewarded richly in the final poll, which is the only one that really matters anyways. So yes, I suppose I do hate me some mid-majors, but at least it's explained in the prologue.