After 4 weeks, creating a Top 25 list is starting to get easier -- and a whole lot harder. We've finally got a decent pile of data to work with, but some of that data starts contradicting itself as teams start giving uneven performances. Miami (FL) looked good in winning its first two, but was outclassed at Virginia Tech. Cal erased all memory of its 3-0 start in getting blown out of Autzen Stadium, and did the same Iowa team that needed two blocked kicks to beat Northern Iowa at home actually beat Penn State on the road? Really? Anyway, here's this week's best guesses:
Alabama benefits when Virginia Tech takes out Miami, reclaiming the top spot in our poll. VaTech benefits quite a bit themselves, while Boise State is aided by Oregon's resurgence. I have no idea why Florida jumped Cincy and Texas; probably because I didn't look at last week's ballot when I voted this week.
Have you compared LSU's résumé to Auburn's? They're remarkably similar. LSU - W 31-23 @ Washington, W 23-9 vs. Vanderbilt, W 31-3 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, W 30-26 @ Mississippi State. Auburn - W 37-13 vs. Louisiana Tech, W 49-24 vs. Mississippi State, W 41-30 vs. West Virginia, W 54-30 vs. Ball State. Other than LSU's willingness to play (and win) on the road, there's not much difference. Is UW a better win than West Virginia? Is playing Miss St at home that much an advantage? Frankly, I can't see much reason why LSU is in the Top 10 while Auburn is unranked.
TCU jumps as a whole bunch of teams lose. Probably too high, but I'm guessing they'll come down to earth soon enough. That win at Clemson can only be worth so much. Iowa jumps back in our poll after taking out Penn State on the road. Impressive, or was PSU just overrated to begin with? Meanwhile, Miami drops a bunch, especially coupled with Florida State's choke job vs. South Florida, but two good wins still means they can only drop so far.
Oregon takes a big leap for obvious reasons. Wisconsin jumps into our poll for mysterious ones, while South Carolina gets a vote of confidence after surviving an ugly win over Ole Miss. Blame Avi for that one; I didn't think either team merited Top 25 consideration.
|Last week's ballot|
Michigan almost lost to Indiana. At home. That's almost a fireable offense right there; what they're still doing in the Top 25 is a mystery to me. South Florida beats FSU to debut in our poll, but how much is that win worth? The Seminoles looked great in beating BYU the week before, but nearly lost to Jacksonville State the week before that. Will the real Florida State please stand up?
Dropped Out: California (#8), Penn State (#9), Florida State (#11), Washington (#16), Brigham Young (#19), Mississippi (#22).
I don't think I really need to explain why most of these teams dropped out of our poll, but it's probably worth noting that BYU dropped because Florida State gagged vs. South Florida and their non-Matt Grothe quarterback. If I don't vote for FSU, I certainly can't vote for BYU at this point, road win over Oklahoma or not.