We've got a new #1, and a few new faces in the top ten. Oregon State reenters and Florida holds on despite two losses apiece, and the Big East gets back on our ballot (barely).
Overall, I think this ballot is not our finest effort. Basically, I take the aggregate of votes from Yellow Fever, Norcalnick, Berkelium97 and myself, and average everything out points-wise to get an average poll, which you see here. Usually this results in something pretty reasonable, but I've got a few quibbles here. Namely, Alabama is still above South Carolina, despite both having just one loss. Utah flips with Michigan State, as though a beatdown of Iowa State were more impressive than beating previously unbeaten Michigan in the Big House. Stanfurd beats USC and drops three places (perhaps karma for rushing the field after their ranked team beat an unranked foe at home).
Anyway, we do have some justifications for these opinions. You'll find them after the jump.
Obviously, Alabama drops. How far?
Yellow Fever: I don't feel like Alabama needs to fall too far, even with the margin that they lost by - the game was close up until the end, and I think they've earned enough credibility so far to get the benefit of the doubt over most of the other teams out there that haven't had any real signature wins yet.
ragnarok: Yeah, the Tide still have wins over Florida, Arkansas, and Penn State (though how much that win is actually worth is debatable). There aren't ten teams I'd rank above them, that's for sure.
Norcalnick: It's really hard to organize all of the SEC teams. I ranked Auburn above South Carolina above Alabama to try to retain some reflection of the results of games between those three teams, but it's hard. LSU and Arkansas just add to the trouble. I don't like having so many SEC teams in the poll, or that high, but I think they've earned it.
Berkelium97: Auburn is probably the worst team of those spots (in order--Auburn, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas), but they are the only team that managed not to lose.
Who is your new #1? Oregon and Ohio State look like the likely candidates, although both Boise State and TCU's stock went up some not only with blowout wins, but also Oregon State's victory at Arizona. What's your criteria?
Yellow Fever: I'm going with Oregon as my #1 for now, because of the body of work they've had so far and the fact that they were able to still roll to a 20 point win even after losing their starting QB. I'm also making Ohio State my provisional #2 for now, although I could definitely be persuaded that Boise State should be #2 because their win over Oregon State looks that much more impressive. TCU should get a bump for the same reason, but they don't have that other feather in the cap that Boise does with Virginia Tech.
As for why Ohio State should still be ahead of Boise, you know, I'm not entirely sure. Maybe just because I thought of them first because I'd already seen the poll results for this week.
Berkelium97: Oregon and Ohio State are surprisingly equal candidates for the #1 slot. Each has a signature win (vs Stanford, vs Miami), each has made mediocre opponents look silly, and each has looked surprisingly inept when the starting QB left the game due to injury. Stanford looks better than Miami, so I'll give Oregon an ever-so-slight edge.
Norcalnick: With Oregon St.'s annual October resurgence Boise St. and TCU can make a stronger case to pass up Ohio St., and as long as all three stay undefeated it's going to be hard to separate them. And which is a more impressive potential victory: TCU over Utah or Boise St. over Nevada? The answer to that question may be the deciding factor in ranking the potential BCS busters.
If college football was like tennis, where you have to win by two scores, I think Stanfurd and USC would still be playing even now, trading touchdowns. Given how even they looked on the same field, how do you rank (or not rank) these two teams.
Yellow Fever: Stanford and USC definitely look about as even as Jon Isner and that Nicolas Mahut, but Stanford definitely has a much more impressive resume so far this week. USC has a case for being ranked near the end of the poll I think, but a loss to a nondescript Washington team really seems to be a different level from a thus far dominant #1 team.
ragnarok: Right now, USC is this close to being 6-0 instead of 4-2, but their defense honestly looks pretty sieve-like. Almost winning on the Farm doesn't make up for mediocre performances vs. Virginia or Hawai'i, and right now, the Trojans are one of only two wins for Washington (who themselves were crushed by Nebraska and lost to 2-4 BYU). The Fightin' Harbaughs lost only once, on the road, to our new #1 team. On the field, these teams looked equal, but their resumes are not close.
Berkelium97: LSU didn't move up much because for the second week in a row Les Miles used some voodoo magic to win.
Oregon State became the first 2-loss team on my ballot this season. They would be the only team, but I couldn't find anyone for the #25 spot so I put Florida there.
Norcalnick: Oregon St. is an interesting resume. Two of the best losses in the country (to the #3 & #4 teams in my poll) and a solid road win over Arizona. That's enough to make it as the only two loss team in my poll. I considered two loss Cal and Florida, who both have two losses to highly ranked teams. But neither has an impressive win to counter balance the losses. Until Cal notches a better win than at home vs. UCLA and Florida beats somebody better than at home vs. Kentucky they'll stay out of the poll.