This week's rankings provided two particular challenges: ordering the four most impressive teams (Kansas State, Notre Dame, Alabama and Oregon) at the top, and sorting out the 1-loss mess in the SEC (Georgia, Florida and LSU). How did our professional opinionators stack 'em up?
Alabama, Kansas State, Oregon or Notre Dame?
norcalnick: Wins that impress me (i.e, wins over good-to-decent teams):
Alabama: Michigan, Mississippi State
Oregon: Arizona State, Arizona, Washington
Notre Dame: Stanford, Oklahoma, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami
Kansas State: Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Miami, West Virginia
Notre Dame has more impressive wins (I was on the boarder line about including Miami, for what it's worth) but Kansas State has nearly as many and by significantly more impressive margins.
Alabama and Oregon are both lagging behind, but they get bonus points for utterly destroying the teams they've faced.
Frankly, any order could be easily justified. I suspect that Alabama and Oregon will eventually end up #1 and #2 in my poll when they beat the most impressive teams on their schedule. But for now K. St. and Notre Dame take the cake.
atomsareenough: I still have K-State and Oregon at 1-2, because they both have legit defenses, but the fact that they have explosive offenses on top of it puts them over the top for me still (sorry Crimson Tide supporters!). I switched the order this week, though. Oregon had a weak opponent, but they put up 70 points on a conference foe. However, Colin Klein and K-State put up 55 points on a good Texas Tech team that shut down Geno Smith.
Alabama, with an impressive win over formerly ranked Mississippi State, slides up to #3 after the Florida loss.
Notre Dame's strong win on the road over Oklahoma catapults them to #4 for me, after I had dinged them for a close game against BYU.
Berkelium97: With Florida (6) losing to Georgia (5), Kansas State (1) rises to the top. Like Nick, I am very impressed with how K-State has been dismantling solid opponents over the past couple weeks.
I was impressed with Alabama’s (3) win over Mississippi State (16), but I was more impressed with Notre Dame’s (2) blowout win over Oklahoma (13).
ragnarok: Picking between Notre Dame and Kansas State was tough for me, but this week I went with the Irish because they have slightly larger margins of victory over their common opponents (vs. Miami, @ Oklahoma).
Like Nick, I suspect that Alabama and Oregon will eventually end up #1 and #2, but if the season ended today, I'd have them both on the outside looking in.
Georgia, Florida and LSU (+ South Carolina)
norcalnick: Sorting between Georgia, Florida and LSU was somewhat difficult. I gave Florida the nod because their loss to Georgia seemed a bit fluky. LSU is ahead of Georgia because the Dawgs have a blowout on their resume.
atomsareenough: Georgia's win over last week's #3 team in my poll, Florida, brings them up to #8 this week. Florida follows at #9, and LSU slides up 1 spot to #10 after the bye week.
The reason LSU slid up was because of losses by Oregon State, Oklahoma, USC, and Rutgers. My #7-10 teams from last week are now #15, #17, #18, and #25 respectively.
BTW, I notice that two of you have South Carolina at #9, whereas I have them at #20, and Nick has them in between at #14. There is a little bit of an SEC conundrum here, as the Gamecocks beat Georgia handily, got beaten by Florida handily, and Georgia just beat the Gators last week. However, South Carolina also has a a loss to LSU. They struggled with Tennessee this past weekend, and they lost Lattimore, and while I expect them to beat Arkansas and Wofford the next two weeks, I think Clemson will probably take them down in the final week of the season. So I think they clearly deserve to be ranked, but I don't really see them as a top-10 team.
Berkelium97: I gave them a pass for struggling to put away Tennessee since Lattimore's injury put a damper on that game. I meant to drop them a few spots because Lattimore will miss the rest of the season, but I forgot to consider that.
One of the main reasons I have them ranked so highly still is because I was so impressed with their win over Georgia (whom we now know is a solid team). To dominate a team of that caliber for 60 minutes is an impressive feat.
atomsareenough: Yeah. That's literally their only credible win though. They struggled with 4-4 Vandy (a team Georgia completely destroyed btw), lost against the only other two good teams they played, and their out of conference slate includes East Carolina, UAB, and Wofford. That's why I'm skeptical. Someone needs to start holding SEC teams accountable for their cupcake addiction, and I'm happy to be the one who starts.