This week's Top 25:
California Golden Blogs Top 25 - Week 13
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||5|
|3||Florida State Seminoles||--|
|4||TCU Horned Frogs||--|
|6||Ohio State Buckeyes||2|
|7||Mississippi State Bulldogs||6|
|12||Arizona State Sun Devils||6|
|14||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||8|
|15||Kansas State Wildcats||3|
|16||Michigan State Spartans||1|
|18||Marshall Thundering Herd||1|
|19||Colorado State Rams||--|
|23||Boise State Broncos||NEW|
|25||Duke Blue Devils||7|
Based on Miss State's unimpressive performance in a loss, TCU and FSU's unimpressive performances (against weak opponents no less) in a win... It made it REALLY easy for me to move Oregon up to #1. I'm going to put Alabama 3. I am going to move Baylor up to 2 because their bye was more impressive that FSU and TCU's wins. Putting FSU 4 with TCU on the outside at 5. But I'm hardly committed to that.
Further I'm going to slam Mississippi State for this reason - despite their awful OOC (which I've been complaining about), what we've been hearing over and over is how they beat 3 Top 10 teams, which of course were SEC teams which of course got the bias bump in rankings... You know what, NONE of those top 10 teams they beat are even ranked anymore. And this isn't revisionism, turns out aTm should have never been ranked high but they were almost solely because they had that impressive win at South Carolina, and we all know how good that win was now, but again because of the bias toward "SEC teams being great" aTm soared so that when Miss State beat them they got credit for that.
I gave Wisconsin a huge bump because they've been steamrolling people.
Arizona State, you're KILLING us. A solid win and we could have easily had two Pac12 teams in the top 4. But nope.
Moving Ohio State up, because as least their uninspiring win was on the road against another ranked team.
And then the rest is an absolute crap shoot.
atomsareenough: I got rid of Nebraska, Duke, Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, and Minnesota this week, because they all had bad losses. Well, Minnesota didn't have a bad loss actually; they played a very good Ohio State team pretty close. But they were on the edge anyway and I felt like Oklahoma had a slightly better resume mostly thanks to their OOC schedule. I had a hard time picking for the last couple of spots, to be honest. I have some 7-3 teams like USC, Utah, Oklahoma, and Auburn. I feel like most of those teams had a pretty decent claim. USC has some good wins and close losses to good teams. Auburn has wins over Mississippi and Kansas State, plus a butt-kicking of LSU on its resume, and no losses to terrible teams (though the A&M and Georgia losses have pushed them down significantly). I was really on the fence about Oklahoma, as they don't have a win against a ranked opponent, but their non-ranked victories are still pretty decent. Finally, I was torn between including the aforementioned Minnesota and Boise State for that last spot, but went with Boise State for the time being. Their only two losses are to ranked teams, and Minnesota has that random loss to Illinois, plus their OOC schedule is pretty light. If the Gophers beat Nebraska next week they'll probably get back on my ballot in time for their showdown with Wisconsin to close the season though.
I agree about sending Mississippi State down a little, but they're still a 1-loss team with some decent wins over decent teams, and if their one loss is a 5-point loss to a top-5 Alabama, then that's not a bad loss. I sent them to #6. Out of the playoff at this point, but still within striking distance. I do appreciate FiatLux's concern about giving too much credit for previous wins by teams that turned out not to be quite as good as we thought at the time, but like... I think that might be a problem for the official media polls, but I don't think it's even remotely a problem for our poll here. Nobody here has thought South Carolina or aTm were top-25 kinda teams for many weeks now. I'm quite confident that we're weighting those wins appropriately at this point. I think aTm is probably a top 35 or 40 team, though, so it's still a decent win, but not a marquee one. Anyway, my point is I don't think we need to overcorrect for a problem that might be showing up in the media poll but not really showing up in our poll. Just make an honest assessment.
Berkelium97: I do not understand Arizona and Georgia. Those teams are either on fire or horrific.
I finally feel justified ranking Georgia Tech. I'm looking forward to next week's Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate
I agree with FiatLux that we need to re-evaluate some of these highly ranked SEC West teams. Mississippi State's schedule looks pretty lame now.
I still can't believe that Andy Ludwig's offense is averaging over 350 rushing yards per game.
With Mississippi State's loss, Alabama moves into my playoff bracket with Ohio State as the first team out.
Nick Kranz: This was hard. Everybody has flaws, even my presumptive playoff picks.
-This was as disastrous week as Florida St. could have imagined without actually losing. The Seminole resume depends on wins over Oklahoma St., Clemson, Notre Dame, and Miami to make them look good. Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma St. all lost games they shouldn't have lost, and as a result FSU's resume looks all the weaker. The fact that they struggled to beat a team that has already lost to Nebraska doesn't help. I jumped Oregon and Alabama over the Noles, and if FSU loses a game they will not be high on the 1 loss team pecking order.
-TCU stays over Baylor by the slimmest of margins after struggling with Kansas, and I think I'm leaning towards pushing Baylor ahead of TCU if they both win out. It will be a tough choice though, and I'll look more closely at some of the underlying stats (MOV, most primarily) should that scenario come to pass.
-The number 8 team in my poll lost at home to Virginia Tech, the #9 team lost to Oregon St. and the #12 team lost to Florida AND South Carolina. Warts up and down the ballot.
-More and more I find myself just wanting to rank Pac-12 (6 teams), Big-12 (4 teams) and SEC teams (6 teams). Will be interesting to see if my conference biases hold true in bowl season.
FiatLux: I see you ranked Duke at #25, Berkelium... Look at Memphis's schedule, and who they lost to - Ole Miss, only trailing by 4 going into the 4th quarter, and barely losing at UCLA - and tell me that's not better than Duke.
Berkelium97: I give the nod to Duke over Memphis because Duke has a better record in a tougher league and a win over a ranked team, Georgia Tech.
atomsareenough: re: Memphis and Duke, you can probably argue that either way (Duke has fewer losses, its losses are close and to decent P5 teams, and they actually beat a very good Georgia Tech team), but at this point I wouldn't rank either of them.
Fiat, what's your rationale behind ranking Mississippi so low, all the way down at #20? The Rebels only have 2 losses, both of them very close losses, both to decent teams. They beat your #3 team, Alabama, they trounced Memphis and Boise State in their OOC schedule, which are two teams you also have ranked. So, unlike some other SEC teams, they don't even have a terribly soft non-conference schedule to hold against them. They have pretty dominant wins over decent middle-of-the-SEC teams such as Tennessee and Texas A&M. I just don't see why you would have them ranked far behind teams like Arizona State, or Michigan State, or even 3-loss teams such as Utah and Oklahoma. Just last week you had them 4 spots higher; what did they do over the bye week to get dropped again? I really don't get it.
FiatLux: Because there's trending. They've lost their last two games. (I'm certainly not going to count a win against Presbyterian). So they're trending down. One to a team that's no longer ranked one to a team that's lost three games. I think the teams ahead of them are better but whether they're 20th or 15th doesn't matter to me. You have them as the best of the two loss teams, SEVEN places ahead of Wisconsin. You have them ahead of Georgia. Those way more questionable to me.
Marshall 10th (or 12th for that matter) is ridiculous to me. I know you're rationale so you don't have to go into it again. I don't mind getting the non traditional school into the mix, but at least play SOMEONE out of conference, which they have not. Their schedule is laughable.
atomsareenough: Wait, I thought you were taking a holistic resume approach? Anyway, I for one certainly think "trending" is something to take into account... See: Ohio State. The Buckeyes started the season poorly but then they started playing extremely well and I was inclined to weight the more recent data a little more heavily. Auburn for example, I knocked down slightly after they lost to A&M but then I slammed them 14 spots for getting blown out by Georgia because it seems they're not quite the same as they were earlier on. But Mississippi... I don't see much of a trend. They lost a couple of close games, but that's after being undefeated all year beforehand. They have lost to some decent teams, and again, by very close margins. LSU has a crummy offense, but the Tigers have a fantastic defense. Remember they even played Alabama close. Sometimes low-scoring games can go either way.
Anyway, I do think the Rebs are the best 2-loss team. I have absolutely no problem ranking them ahead of Wisconsin. The Nebraska game is the first truly impressive win the Badgers have had, and even that one, well, I've been skeptical of Nebraska all year thanks to the McNeese State game, and I dropped the Huskers off my ballot thanks completely to this week's shellacking. Wisconsin lost by 4 at home to LSU, while Mississippi lost by just 3 in Death Valley, so I'll give the edge again to Ole Miss. And the Rebs' other loss is to a ranked Auburn team, whereas Wisconsin lost to Northwestern. Yes, that Northwestern. The Badgers do have a phenomenal talent in Melvin Gordon, but they are very one-dimensional. It's a great dimension, but I think that's a limitation against elite opposition.
As for Georgia, their losses are to South Carolina (which you've been complaining about for weeks now as being mediocre), and also to Florida, who've been bad enough that their head coach isn't coming back next year. The Florida loss was by 18 points, and it was at home in Athens! UGA have also had some good wins though, particularly against Mizzou, and this week against Auburn, and they had that nice OOC win against a decent Clemson team, but they have more warts than Mississippi does. I had the Bulldogs at #17 last week, and I bumped them up 5 spots this week for their big win, but I'm also downgrading Auburn. We'll see how they do against Georgia Tech to close out the season, especially now that Todd Gurley is out again.
Re: Marshall, I have absolutely no problem with you thinking that #10 is too high. That's pretty close to their ceiling for me given their schedule, but this week Arizona's high wire act against Washington made me want to bump them down a couple spots, and ASU lost ahead of them as well, so the Herd benefited from that. We'll see what happens next week, maybe they get leapfrogged again.
But thinking I have them too high at #10 is one thing, not ranking them at all is another thing, and I think it's almost asinine not to even rank them. I mean, they are 10-0, and the average score from a Marshall game is 47-16. I get that they're not in a great conference, but they're an FBS team. They are playing FBS opponents. They are literally doing everything an elite team could conceivably do against the schedule that they have, weak though it certainly is.
I mean think about it, they are playing FBS opponents every week, and their scores are nearly comparable to Cal vs. Sac State. That's a Power 5 (hopefully soon to be bowl-eligible) team against a mediocre FCS team. And Marshall is doing it every week to other FBS opponents. Conference-USA opponents, sure. Not Power-5 teams. But it's something. And to not even rank them?? That boggles my mind.
FiatLux: "Anyway, I do think the Rebs are the best 2-loss team. I have absolutely no problem ranking them ahead of Wisconsin. The Nebraska game is the first truly impressive win the Badgers have had, "
Whatever you're smoking I'll have some.
In their last four games - all conference games, 3 of the 4 already being bowl eligible teams - Wisconsin has outscored its opponents by 145 points! one hundred and forty five points. No, those opponents aren't murderers' row, but 145 point differential in 4 games is insane. They beat Nebraska so bad they started removing their starters in the THIRD quarter. And before you say how bad the Big10ish is, you gave Ole Miss credit for beating what can only charitably be called a middling Tennessee team.
"and the average score from a Marshall game is 47-16."
Ah so that impresses you. That 31-point margin. Let's see, in the last 4 games, against power 5 bowl bound teams, Wisconsin's average score is 46 - 9. I'm sorry, what was your point again?
atomsareenough: Well, the difference is that I do have Wisconsin ranked up at #15, but you don't have Marshall ranked at all. That's a very big difference. So what's YOUR point?
Look, I am giving Wisconsin plenty of credit. Their output the last few weeks has indeed been impressive. The Badgers were much less impressive earlier on, but they've certainly steamrolled their opponents the past 4 games. Four big wins isn't the same as 10 straight blowouts though, and the Badgers' first 6 games and their losses count too.
As for Mississippi vs. Wisconsin, I'd rate Tennessee slightly better than Maryland or Rutgers, but sure, they're comparable. Memphis and Boise are better than Maryland and Rutgers though, and Purdue is one of the worst P5 teams. Northwestern might not go to a bowl game, and they beat the Badgers. And again, Ole Miss beat Alabama, which is a way better win than anything Wisconsin can claim.
FiatLux: You just changed your story.
First it was "The Nebraska game is the first truly impressive win the Badgers have had," and now it's "Their last few weeks have indeed been impressive."
I give up.
atomsareenough: I meant that taken together it's been a good run, but the Nebraska win was the first dominating win against a good opponent. (By the way - I'm not quite sure how we went from "how do you leave Marshall completely unranked??" and "Should Ole Miss be ahead of Wisconsin" to "Marshall vs. Wisconsin", which I have basically no opinion about)
FiatLux: "the Nebraska win was the first dominating win against a good opponent"
Aside from the bowl bound teams they've walloped.
And of course, Marshall's faced so many good opponents....
Also, your deviation from the norm re Marshall on the national polls is greater than my deviation re Wisconsin.
Full balloting below: