Last week's surprising results pose one of the most interesting questions for college football poll voters in quite some time: what do we do with Boise State? How much do we still value Boise State's Labor Day victory over Virginia Tech, now that VT went home and proceeded to lose to I-AA James Madison? Is JMU actually really good? Or is Virginia Tech terrible? What do we do?
As you can see, we at CGB decided to drop the Broncos four spots to number five. Not a precipitous drop, but climbing back up those final four rungs may prove beyond the ability of Boise's remaining schedule.
More discussion and some justifications after the jump.
Yellow Fever: I'm willing to give Boise State the benefit of the doubt for now since I don't want to completely wipe away what they accomplished either in DC or previous years, and they were impressive (and Virginia Tech looked a lot better in that game than they did against JMU).
ragnarok: I kinda feel the same way. For those of us who watched Boise's win over VT, it's a little harder to downgrade them as far, because Boise did look like a very good team in beating Tech, however good the Hokies might end up being. It's also worth pointing out, too, that VaTech was coming off a deflating loss on national TV with only four days off in between. Still -- James Madison?!?
Berkelium97: Virginia Tech will not receive a top-25 vote from me unless they run the table in the ACC. Top-25 teams do not lose at home to James Madison. That said, Boise State’s win looks much less impressive.
Norcalnick: Boise's situation immediately becomes similar to every other team on the ballot - they no longer have a win to point to and say 'That is our proof that we are an elite team.' I moved them from first to seventh based on the devaluation of the Virginia Tech win, and they would have assuredly fallen further if they didn't have a body of evidence in past seasons of talent. But unless they author a complete beat down of Oregon St. they will have an incredibly difficult time rising in my ballot over the rest of the season.
Thank goodness Boise is moving to the MWC next year, which should provide them a decent enough schedule that their national worth isn't dependent on their ability to schedule good teams and have them hold up their end of the bargain by not LOSING TO JAMES MADISON!!! Boise St., to their credit, has attempted to schedule marquee, difficult games. I don't want to punish them because Virginia Tech may suck, but it would be even more unfair to reward them when they haven't earned it. Unfair? Perhaps, but that's the reality of college football in the BCS era.
ragnarok: You know, however, even had Virginia Tech managed to win, I might still have dropped Boise, simply because while after week one, neither Alabama nor Ohio State had a great win they could hang their hat on, they both do now after week two. Last week, I felt like the Broncos had the best partial resume in the country, and now they don't. Dropping them is as simple as that.
Moving on to other teams...
Norcalnick: I only feel like the first 16 teams on my ballot deserve a spot based on an established reputation and/or actual results. This is the week when wimpy non-conference scheduling makes ranking the hardest. So few teams have played a game that gives you an idea that they might be good. But plenty of teams have struggled or even lost to competition that makes them unrankable. And that's how you end up with Penn St. and Miami holding on to a spot in the poll despite losses and Cal and Fresno St. finding spots at the bottom. I don't want to rank any of them, but who has proved themselves? Arizona St, by beating two FCS teams?!? Auburn, by knocking off Arkansas St. and struggling beating MSU by 3? Texas A&M, for winning two body bag games? There's enough data to make you question every single pre-season assumption, but not enough data to really evaluate a team or create a relevant resume. Why did I volunteer to do this?!?
ragnarok: Ha, this is my fourth season doing the BlogPoll now, and the more you do this ranking exercise, week in and week out, the more you realize just how difficult it is to come up with a completely justifiable ballot.
Berkelium97: I considered moving Oklahoma into the top-3, but that narrow victory over Utah State still hurts them. Florida has stumbled two weeks in a row—no more top-15 ranking for them. And West Virginia was bumped from the top-25 after a lackluster showing at Marshall.
ragnarok: I might not have penalized West Virgina that much for struggling on the road at an in-state rival, but then, I didn't even rank the Mountaineers last week, so I saw no reason to do so this week.
Yellow Fever: I'm reluctant to drop USC out completely because they did end up winning, though they obviously could have been more impressive in doing so.
Berkelium97: USC is not top-25 material. At this point, they look like they’re on the same tier as ASU and Washington in the Pac-10.
ragnarok: I ranked the Trojans, but in no way did I feel good about it. I'm definitely with Nick on there being a dearth of Top-25 worthy resumes out there right now.