It's a good thing I have two rational, reasonable cohorts to help compile this Top 25 every week; this week, their votes helped to temper my own outrageously reactionary vote: Oregon at #1.
Yes, our final ballot has Oregon at a much more reasonable #4, below three undefeated powerhouses (Florida, Alabama, Texas), but my uninhibited exuberance is the reason they're so high in the first place. Perhaps I'll rethink my vote next week, but for now, Oregon's dismantling of one of the greatest college football dynasties of our time has me completely rethinking what it means to be #1.
But wait, didn't Boise State beat Oregon already this season? And not in a flukey manner, either. Shouldn't they be above the Ducks? I disagree. Boise beat an Oregon team, but not this Oregon team. Oregon is a much, much better team over the last six weeks compared to the first three, after Jeremiah Masoli learned to throw the football and the running game opened up. I'd favor this Oregon team over Boise by at least a touchdown, maybe a good bit more. Frankly, Boise State's overall body of work (which includes not just who they've beaten but how they beat them) is just not as impressive as Oregon's run through a much tougher schedule.
And how can I rank Oregon above the other undefeateds? In particular, Florida and Alabama have played SEC schedules, and Texas has bullied its way through the Big XII. So? The Gators at least have a win at LSU (currently ranked No. 9 in the BCS standings), a 13-3 defensive struggle that only a defensive coordinator could love. Alabama's best win is over No. 23 Virginia Tech, and Texas' best wins are over Oklahoma State and a surprisingly beatable Oklahoma. Good records, worthy of the Top 5, but none of those teams has a win as good as Oregon's. Can you discount the loss to Boise? No. But I've been waiting all year for one team to really impress me, to really show that it was the #1 team in the land, and while Texas' dismantling of Oklahoma State might impress those who thought the Cowboys were really good in the first place, I submit that no performance this year has been impressive as the Ducks' win over USC. And it's not a fluke -- Oregon has looked this good for six weeks now. Had the Ducks scheduled Charleston Southern, like Florida did, or Wyoming, like Texas did, or Florida International, like Alabama did, instead of Boise State, would you then try and argue that the Ducks didn't deserve to be #1?
A little shuffling at the top, while Cincy drops two spots to make way for the much more impressive performances put up by Texas and Oregon last weekend. I guess beating Syracuse by three touchdowns just doesn't do it anymore.
In no way do I think Iowa is the 7th-best team in the country, but they somehow keep winning. Not only do they overcome 5 interceptions (and 6 total turnovers) to mount a 4th-quarter comeback to beat Indiana, but they somehow managed to cover the 17-point spread. Amazing.
The king is dead! USC tumbles after being completely pantsed by the Ducks last Saturday night, and while I wanted to drop them further, it's hard when teams like Pitt and Penn State still lack an impressive scalp amongst all those wins they've racked up. Heck, Arizona cracks our Top 15, and their best showing so far was only losing by 10 at Iowa!
Oh yeah, these teams. They're better than the teams below them, I guess. Maybe. I don't know why Ohio State suddenly jumped six spots; they still have yet to impress me this year, and blanking New Mexico State doesn't prove anything.
|Last week's ballot|
Well, as much as I didn't want to, everyone else in CFB sucks so much that I really had no choice but to vote for our Bears. They were hardly impressive down in Tempe last weekend, but a win's a win's a win. Their best win this season? Perhaps. UCLA, Minnesota and Maryland ain't impressing anyone these days.
Dropped Out: South Carolina (#16), Central Michigan (#21), Mississippi (#23), Navy (#24).
I'm sorry I ever voted for South Carolina -- Spurrier's offense has looked putrid at times this season, and I shouldn't have drawn conclusions from the few bright spots. Ole Miss is winning the 'most overrated team' award this year, and Navy repaid our confidence in them from last week by losing to Temple. However, that's 'bowl eligible Temple', in case you missed it. Crazy.