ragnarok: So, we finally got to watch a bunch of games this weekend. But what do any of them mean? If Team A beats Team B, does that mean that Team A is good, or that Team B is bad?
Berkelium97: I'm trying to incorporate resumes as much as possible this week, although there's not enough evidence to toss the preseason rankings completely out the window.
ragnarok: Well, I try to ignore whatever preseason rankings I came up with, but you're right in that with only a week's worth of games completed, it's hard to ignore our previous biases.
Norcalnick: I was watching Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech battle in OT as I filled out the ballot. I had moved GT all the way to 2nd when it seemed like Frank Beamer's spectacularly awful clock management ensured GT's win. When VT came back I moved them to #6 and bumped GT down to 25th. It's funny to think about the huge differences in perception based on these incredibly close games that could end either way.
Ultimately you have to judge these teams on wins, but the margins are just so, so thin.
ragnarok: As usual, more thoughts and justifications after the jump.atomsareenough: Top 5 do their jobs and so nothing changes for me there. Clemson moves up after a nice win @Auburn, though that causes Auburn to fall out of the rankings. They were in the 20s for me last week, and a loss can knock you out at this point, even if it's to a good team. Michigan was the only losing team who managed to hang on, and that's because they lost to a great Alabama team. It still knocked them down to #20, though. Anyway, things are going to move around in the first few weeks while we are still collecting data points.
Norcalnick: Alabama, Michigan St., Virginia Tech, Clemson and South Carolina are all rewarded for winning games against real teams. (Yes, I'm including Vanderbilt in that category.) Michigan, Boise St. and Georgia Tech aren't really punished for losing games against excellent teams on the road. In fact, I moved up Boise St. a bit because I think that highly of Sparty.
Berkelium97: Alabama (1) leapfrogs USC (2) after throttling a completely overmatched Michigan (24) team. Michigan State (5) moves up after an impressive defensive effort against Boise State (19). They held the Broncos to 206 total yards-their lowest output in over ten years.
atomsareenough: West Virginia moves up to #7 after destroying Marshall, and Arkansas floats up by attrition after taking care of business against Jacksonville State, as does Georgia for doing the same against Buffalo. South Carolina moves down provisionally to #14 after struggling with Vandy, but I'll keep an eye on Vandy to see if they might merit getting on the list themselves at some point, and then I'd credit that back to the Gamecocks.
Berkelium97: Wisconsin (17) tumbles after letting Northern Iowa make things a little too competitive in the fourth quarter. O'Brien looked good, but that big, bad O-line looked pedestrian against an FCS team. I feel justified in voting Oklahoma (21) in the teens in my preseason poll. That offense continues to be a mess. There is no reason they should be in a one-score game against UTEP with only 10 minutes left.
Atomsareenough: Oklahoma moves down to #15 after having a bit too much trouble with UTEP, and Wisconsin gets punished and sent to the bottom of the list after struggling at home with Northern Iowa. This isn't the NCAA tourney, folks. Ali Farokhmanesh is not in the building.
Norcalnick: Wisconsin and Oklahoma both fall after performing poorly against lower tier opposition. I considered ejecting them entirely but that's rash and a pure resume poll after week 1 is silly anyway.
ragnarok: Yeah, but what other evidence do we have that these teams are actually good? The name on the front of their jerseys? The recruiting rankings from 3-4 years ago? In my opinion, games played on the field matter way more than that stuff -- that's why we play them.
atomsareenough: Michigan State gets bumped up with a win over Boise State, but that unfortunately drops the Broncos off my list from the #21 spot. Oklahoma State blows out a crappy opponent, and usually I don't reward teams for doing that unless they completely dominate both sides of the ball. Well, 84-0 is exactly that. Nebraska played well against a half decent opponent, so they move up. Utah played very well against a crappy opponent... not quite OK State-level domination, but they move up as well.
Berkelium97: Playing with consistency and solid execution on both sides of the ball, Utah (15) looked like the third-best team in the Pac-12.
Atomsareenough: Texas, Kansas State, and Va Tech do their jobs, so they float up a little. I will say I was pretty thoroughly unimpressed with Va Tech's offense watching the game though, so if they struggle again, I'm going to be fairly quick to ding them.
Berkelium97: I'm not sure which Kansas State (22) team to rank, the one that only led 16-9 after three quarters or the one that put up 35 points in the fourth quarter.
ragnarok: Often, the hardest part of filling out a ballot is finding a few teams worthy of rounding out the Top 25. Sometimes, it involves holding your nose and just grabbing anybody who looked the least bit impressive. How did you guys finish out the back end of your ballots?
Norcalnick: Ohio and Nevada enter towards the bottom of the poll because they beat mid-tier BCS teams on the road. We'll see if they can stay up there with weaker schedules.
Atomsareenough: Cincy and TCU have bye weeks, so they don't move a lot. I needed two teams to replace Boise State and Auburn, and I didn't want to pick someone who played a directional school, so I looked around and picked Ohio State and Baylor, who beat up on Miami (OH) and SMU, respectively. The other choice was Notre Dame, who blew out Navy, so I went with those the Bears and Buckeyes for now.
Berkelium97: Nevada (25) rounds out the poll for posting a solid road victory over a winning team in 2011 from a BCS conference. Not too many teams can say that at this point in the season.
I just can't rank any of the Big East teams. How much longer is that conference going to have an automatic BCS bid?
Norcalnick: So many meaningless games. So so many.