Berkelium97: Now we’re at the point in the season where losses begin to pile up and it becomes increasingly difficult to put together a justifiable poll.
ragnarok: On the other hand, we're starting to get a reasonable body of evidence for most of these teams, so we can try to justify our rankings based on the results on the field. Now if only those results didn't frequently contradict each other!
norcalnick: The top 9 were pretty easy. There are 9 teams that are both undefeated and have at least one meaningful win. After that it's an interesting mixture of teams with 1 loss and 1 good win or undefeated teams without a marquee win.
atomsareenough: First of all, I'm not exactly sure why being undefeated matters; we're not even halfway through the season. Let's wait till week 8 or 9 before we really start crediting teams for being undefeated. Mississippi State is undefeated, but I absolutely refuse to rank them because I'm not going to reward them for beating Kentucky, a bad Auburn team that just lost to a miserable Arkansas team, and a bunch of nobodies. Similarly, I had to drop an undefeated Ohio team off my poll for a truly uninspiring close win over Buffalo.
Berkelium97: Ohio (25) is in danger of falling off my poll. They barely beat UMass-Amherst (arguably the worst team in the nation) last week and they struggled against Buffalo (another bottom-feeder) this week. Frank Solich is a great coach with a solid offense, but they need to realize their potential.
atomsareenough: I finally decided to give Notre Dame some credit after dismantling a 4-2 Miami (FL) team, so now they're my #9 after sitting at #19 last week. It's not always linear progression here. Cincy blew out the other Miami (of Ohio), and I don't understand why they're so low for everyone else. I have the Bearcats at #10. Maybe it's the Cal fan in me, but I really like it when historically underachieving teams do well, so I try to not be intrinsically suspicious, just like I don't want to rank bluebloods just for being bluebloods. So, Rutgers is my #11, and even though Northwestern lost at Penn State by allowing a flurry of 4th quarter TDs, they're 5-1 and I kept them at my wildcard #25 spot. 5-0 Louisville sticks around at #19.
ragnarok: Without going into it too much, I disagree with almost everything in this paragraph.
Berkelium97: I am fond of drinking the Big East haterade, but I’m impressed with Rutgers (14) so far. Their defense has only given up 54 points so far this year and they’ve won three road games.
norcalnick: If you went by pure resume rankings, I'm not convinced that Alabama and Oregon should occupy the top slots. I firmly believe that those two teams are the two best teams in the country and thus have minimal qualms keeping them at the top. But Oregon's best win is over a meh Arizona squad and they haven't won on the road yet. Meanwhile Alabama's only good opponent has been Michigan. Both teams will have plenty of opportunities to burnish their resumes, but objectively speaking they haven't faced many challenges.
atomsareenough: Thanks a lot, my former #2 Seminoles, for rewarding my confidence by DERPing it on the road at NC State. I don't think NC State is that bad actually, but after beating Clemson, there was really no excuse for Florida State to lose to anyone except possibly Florida the rest of the year. I still think they have a chance to finish the season as a 1-loss team, but they totally Hokie'd it this week. Anyway, this now puts me in the slightly awkward position of ranking Clemson (#7 after some attrition) over FSU (now #8) even though FSU beat them. Ironically enough though, Clemson's one loss is a better one because it's to a ranked FSU team.
Berkelium97: Ohio State (9) has no business being a top-10 team. They’re 6-0, but they’ve only played one road game and their opponents are combined 13-15. Unfortunately, there’s decent a chance they’ll win out and not be exposed in a bowl game. Looks like that bowl ban might pay off…
norcalnick: I placed Stanford at #11. I don't actually believe that Stanford is remotely worth ranking at #11. But the fact remains that they beat USC, and that's a better win than every other one loss team. I fully expect them to lose a few more games and get passed up as other teams notch strong wins. But for now they stay high. Ugh.