Hey, the preseason is over! We've finally got some real games under our belt, meaning we can end our Blogpoll practice of wild, almost baseless speculation!
Well, sorta. Week 1 gives us some data points, but we're still left with a bunch of huge holes. Utah looked pretty good in outlasting Pitt on Thursday night, but will either team end the year in the Top 25? I have no idea.
Anyway, here's this weeks wild, almost baseless speculation:
For those of you who like your balloting reasons justified, some justification follows after the jump. And for those of you who have opinions of your own, go here to vote for the CGB Top 25.
Anyway, some justification:
Berkelium97: My ballot is a combination of power ranking and carryover from the preseason ballot. If a team defeated a solid opponent, it moved up in the rankings. If it lost to a good opponent, it wasn't penalized too heavily. If it defeated a low-level opponent, I tried to avoid moving it up in the rankings. If it was a disappointment against a lowly opponent, it dropped several spots. Oklahoma and USC were both heavily penalized for their thoroughly unimpressive wins. I'd provide more insight into the ballot if I knew about more of these teams. After only one week, choosing positions throughout the ballot is still pretty random.
Norcalnick: I tried to reward teams that played and beat somebody with a pulse, hence the three most impressive wins of the weekend are 1, 2 and 3 in my poll. I also didn't want to overly punish Pitt and Virginia Tech for losing tough openers, so they hung on, but barely. Teams like Michigan and South Carolina who probably aren't great still get a spot at the bottom because convincingly beating UConn and Southern Miss is more impressive than blowing out South Northwest St.
Ordering all of the teams that are probably good enough to be ranked but beat lower tier FBS teams or worse was a random, haphazard task that will be reevaluated and thrown out as soon as real data is available.
ragnarok: Wait, you didn't vote for LSU at all? What happened? Did you forget about them?
Norcalnick: I was already low on LSU - I initially ranked them in the 20s. And perhaps I'm punishing them too harshly for how they looked in a win, but what I saw while watching the game was a team playing in a semi-home environment that deserved to lose to a team missing 13 players, including 6 (or was it 7?) starters from the side of the ball that earned them their pre-season ranking. If LSU can't beat a team crippled by their own (alleged) NCAA malfeasance then I doubt they are one of the best 25 teams in the country. This decision is probably in direct opposition to my stated goal of rewarding teams to play a non-conference opponent with a pulse. But then again, fear of the NCAA put UNC on life support and LSU still almost lost.
ragnarok: I turned in a deliberately wacky ballot, one that specifically avoided ranking any team that didn't play a Division I-A opponent. Harsh? Unfair? Perhaps. But as far as I'm concerned, it's a win that means nothing. At least when Top 10 teams beat down lowly I-A foes such as San Jose State (Alabama), New Mexico (Oregon) or Marshall (Ohio State), the opposing team is allowed the same number of scholarships as the home favorite.
I also tried to avoid rewarding laundry, although then you get into the sticky situation of trying to reward teams for good wins, and then you have to make a judgement call about which wins are "good", and you end up rewarding laundry just the same, just one level removed.
As far as I'm concerned, Boise State, TCU and Utah put up the best wins of the weekend. Will they stay in the Top 3 going forward? Almost certainly not. But to vote anyone above Boise State right now, who went into a clearly hostile environment and beat a good Virginia Tech team, you'd have to take into account previous years' results. Yes, defending champion Alabama is certainly very good, but I couldn't get read on how good in their beatdown of the San Jose State Spartans.