This week's Top 25:
California Golden Blogs Top 25 - Week 7
|T-3||TCU Horned Frogs||14|
|5||Florida State Seminoles||1|
|6||Mississippi State Bulldogs||6|
|8||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||--|
|9||Michigan State Spartans||6|
|10||Alabama Crimson Tide||6|
|14||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||NEW|
|15||Kansas State Wildcats||9|
|17||Texas A&M Aggies||11|
|19||East Carolina Pirates||3|
|20||Oklahoma State Cowboys||--|
|21||Marshall Thundering Herd||1|
|22||California Golden Bears||NEW|
|23||Ohio State Buckeyes||NEW|
I have mixed feeling about Cal at 18 in my poll. Their only loss is to an undefeated team on the road via a hail mary. But they also almost lost to two of the weaker teams in the Pac. But they also have two power 5 road wins and Northwestern is suddenly looking competent.
atomsareenough: Auburn has the most credible claim to the throne this week, with an extremely impressive win over LSU, and a great out-of-conference road win in their pocket at Kansas State. They jump above Baylor for me this week. Ole Miss makes a big jump up to #3 thanks to their win over Alabama, and the Rebs also knock the Crimson Tide out of the top ten in the process. Notre Dame jumps up a few spots for its last minute win over Stanford, though seemingly others of you weren't as impressed. As for Stanford, he second loss and terrible offense combine to knock the Cardinal off my ballot entirely. TCU's big win over Oklahoma also allow them to join the top ten, as does Arizona's huge win in Autzen, as well as Mississippi State's win over the Aggies. FSU, Georgia, and Michigan State round out that group.
In the 10-15 range we have former top ten teams that lost, plus Oklahoma State and East Carolina. I didn't want to move the Pirates very much because their win over SMU was less impressive than other teams' wins over the hapless Mustanges. Kansas State and Utah move up a bit (thanks for making me look good, Utes!). Marshall moves up a spot. Then we have a couple of teams that took pretty big hits due to how they lost. Texas A&M got walloped, albeit by a good Bulldog team, and UCLA lost to a solid but not-elite Utes squad.
My back 5 are new to my ballot from last week: Georgia Tech, Louisville, Ohio State (who seem to have gotten back on track after early-season stumbles), California (Go Bears!), and Kentucky.
Teams that dropped off my ballot this week: Wisconsin, BYU, Stanford, LSU, Nebraska
Berkelium97: We now have enough games for each of these teams that I'm getting more comfortable with their rankings.
Auburn had the most impressive victory of the SEC West showdown, even if it was against an increasingly questionable LSU.
Arizona's complete performance on offense and defense earns them one of the largest jumps in my ballot.
I'm still not particularly impressed with Florida State, so they're at the tail of the undefeated teams in my top-10. I haven't watched them, but I have not been impressed with the box scores of their victories.
Stanford is the only 2-loss team on my ballot because that is a world class defense. The Pop Warner offense has some work to do, however.
I noticed that Nick and I seem to have Georgia Tech and Marshall in opposite positions. I was hesitant to include Georgia Tech at all because they have had a slow start in each of their games except the Georgia Southern game, when they gave 28 up consecutive points in the second half before retaking the lead in the final seconds. Marshall, meanwhile, averages a 32-point margin of victory, leads the nation in total yardage, and is the most efficient offense in the nation with an incredible 7.82 yards per play. Despite a pedestrian 60% completion rating, QB Rakeem Cato is among the top-ten QBs with 9.5 yards per passing attempt. He also has 195 rushing yards on 7.22 ypc and has 4 rushing TDs. I can understand penalizing them for a weak schedule, however. They have not played any Power 5 teams (although only one of their four FBS foes has a losing record).
atomsareenough: Georgia Tech's had slow starts, but they're undefeated at 5-0, which we know isn't trivial, and while Wofford and Tulane aren't anything to speak of, Miami (FL), Va Tech, and Georgia Southern are actually decent wins. Are they worth ranking super highly? Probably not. I don't really see a case for putting them in the top 10 other than the fact that they're undefeated. They haven't been dominating enough, for me.
Meanwhile, I definitely think Marshall is a top-25 team, and they truly have been dominant, but their schedule is so completely soft that I'm going to be moving them up slowly week by week, and maybe if and when they make it through the season undefeated, they'll finally crack my top ten.
Berkelium97: I agree with you about Marshall's schedule, atoms. I've had them highly ranked for most of the season, but they are reaching their ceiling in my rankings due to that incredibly soft schedule. It's a shame. An OOC win over Power 5 middleweight like South Carolina, Texas, or Clemson would give them some credibility.
FiatLux: I think you guys all make decent points. This week has been so ridiculous I can't really quibble with a lot of stuff.
Here's my only thing... I just refuse to give Miss State and Ole Miss too much credit for wins against "ranked" SEC teams as it totally is a result of those baked in preseason polls. Miss State soars up the polls for beating aTm at home, but what has aTm done, really? Their signature win is against beat and increasingly unimpressive looking South Carolina who just lost to Kentucky! So then when Miss State beats them, they get the bump from beating a highly ranked team.
The Pac12 has the season's best OOC performance of any of the Big 5. We play fewer cupcakes and do better than the other conferences. We need to start rewarding that. With that in mind...
I am going to put Arizona #1. There is zero reason they should be behind any SEC school. They absolutely have the most impressive win of the season. If you argue that you're dead to me ;-) They went into Autzen and beat Oregon. You can certainly argue their #1, but they're 5-0. If they lose they'll fall.
I'm giving TCU a huge bump. That is the year's second biggest win.
Cal has two Big5 Road wins and they're only loss is on a Hail Mary to a team that is 5-0 (and I have #1). So up they go... it's like the ESPN Pac12 blog said, why not?
My only thing is to keep BYU ranked. I hate to knock a team too much when they lose their QB, if they lose again tho, out they go.
atomsareenough: I'm just going to point this out, but FiatLux has put a Pac-12 team at the #1 spot on literally every single ballot so far. He hopped onto the weekly rankings after Week 2, so here are his #1 votes up to this point:
Week 3: #1 USC
Week 4: #1 Oregon
Week 5: #1 Oregon
Week 6: #1 UCLA (with Oregon at #2)
Week 7: #1 Arizona
My question for Fiat is, do you start by automatically putting whichever Pac-12 team you think is at the top of the conference that particular week at #1, and then work your way down from there, or do you just happen to independently reason yourself into a case for that particular week's Pac-12 team being #1?
FiatLux: Honest answer. We play the toughest OOC schedule. We do well in that.
I had SC #1 because the had just beat Stanfurd.
I had Oregon #1, that was one off from the other polls. Not exactly a huge deviation there.
I put UCLA #1 because, as I articulated many times because of their resume. But I also said, if they lose I drop them.
And now I have Arizona #1. 5-0. The most impressive win of the year.
I'll stack UofA's wins against anyone else's and if they lose they fall. Actually as I think about it Ole Miss should be higher. Memphis is looking pretty good so that win is looking better. And their win against Alabama is certainly noteworthy. They could probably go up to 4 (would you do that for me and bump everyone else down).
atomsareenough: Look, I absolutely loathe east coast bias, and the lingering perception that when SEC teams beat each other it's proof of quality and parity, but when Pac-12 teams beat each other, it somehow means that everyone sucks. But I'd rather see a fair assessment, not one that's simply biased the other way. We do play a tough schedule, and I think we are clearly one of the top two conferences in the nation this year, top to bottom. I definitely think Arizona deserves to be a top ten team at this point for beating Oregon at Autzen and being undefeated. Will they finish the season there? Doubtful, though I'm willing to give them credit for what they've done thus far. But #1 overall? Are they really the best team in the country? Come on. They're no more the best team in the country than UCLA was last week before they promptly went out and lost at home. You'll stack their wins up? A 3-point win over 1-4 UTSA? A 7-point win over Nevada? A fluky play to avoid losing at home to Cal? That's the best team in the country? The only close Ole Miss game so far has been against a very good Alabama team that had dominated its opponents up to that point. Auburn has blown out LSU and Arkansas, and their only close game was on the road against a highly ranked Kansas State team.
Other odds and ends I noticed:
- All the ties are at the top of the poll this week, thanks to all the movement.
Despite his Pac-12 solidarity, Fiat went from having UCLA at #1 to not ranking them at all this week, which seems like a very stiff punishment for a 2-point loss to a decent Utah team. He also went from having Oklahoma at #3 to having them unranked as well, despite losing a relatively close game on the road to a ranked TCU team that we had on our poll last week, and which now sits in the top 10 on everyone's ballot. I'm no Sooner fan, but that seems pretty harsh. In fact, Fiat shut the entire state of Oklahoma out of his ballot, as he didn't vote for the Cowboys, either.[EDIT: Nevermind all that, FiatLux submitted a revised ballot which does have Oklahoma on it this time at #12, and which demonstrates his abiding affection for all things UCLA by placing them at #13, which is once again higher than anyone else placed the Bruins. Still no Oklahoma State though. T. Boone Pickens is scowling somewhere, I'm sure.]
- I'm slightly surprised that I'm the only one who voted for Kentucky. They're 4-1, with their only loss coming in triple overtime on the road at Florida. I really like what Mark Stoops is doing over there. I'm interested to see how they handle LSU and Miss State in the next few weeks.
- Also, Nebraska? Why are we voting for Nebraska, people? I had them last week as a placeholder and fully expected them to lose to Michigan State, which they did. I watched some of the game; it was ugly on both sides, and as a result I didn't even bump the Spartans up one spot despite the victory.
As always, full ballot below, including FiatLux's revised votes: