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California Golden Blogs College Football Top 25 Poll: Week 6

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How would the CGB writers vote if they were responsible for the national college football rankings?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Here is this week's Top 25:

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

California Golden Blogs Top 25 - Week 6

Rank Team Delta
1 Utah Utes --
2 Clemson Tigers --
3 TCU Horned Frogs --
4 Baylor Bears --
5 LSU Tigers Arrow_up 2
6 Florida Gators Arrow_up 3
7 Texas A&M Aggies Arrow_up 4
8 Michigan Wolverines Arrow_up11
9 Ohio State Buckeyes Arrow_down 4
10 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_up 2
11 Michigan State Spartans Arrow_down 1
12 Florida State Seminoles Arrow_up 2
13 Oklahoma State Cowboys Arrow_up 8
14 Stanford Cardinal Arrow_down 1
15 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Arrow_up 3
16 Ole Miss Rebels --
T-17 California Golden Bears Arrow_down 1
T-17 Iowa Hawkeyes Arrow_up 5
T-17 UCLA Bruins Arrow_up 3
20 Northwestern Wildcats Arrow_down12
21 Temple Owls Arrow_up 2
22 Toledo Rockets Arrow_up 1
23 Memphis Tigers --
24 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_down19
25 Duke Blue Devils NEW

Teams dropped from last week's Top 25USC Trojans

Others receiving votes: Georgia BulldogsBoise State Broncos, Houston Cougars, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers


Only one team dropped off the poll this week, and that team was the USC Trojans after their loss to Washington and the ensuing Sarknado. There was no movement at all at the top of the poll, with the top 4 teams staying exactly the same from last week. Michigan and Northwestern roughly swapped places after the Wolverines' big shutout win against the Wildcats. Oklahoma took a big tumble in the rankings after losing to Texas. Oklahoma State has started to get some attention by remaining undefeated, so they're trending upward. Otherwise, there wasn't a ton of movement. I will note that Stanford stayed ahead of Cal, despite its loss to Northwestern looking worse, its win over USC looking worse, Cal's wins over Washington, Texas, and Washington State looking better, and Cal playing top-ranked Utah extremely close on the road. I was the only voter who had Cal ahead of Stanford on this week's ballot.

We do have a CGB Top 25 first this week! For the first time, the discussion thread actually convinces a voter to make a specific change to their ballot. Will wonders never cease.

Anyway, let's hear from the voters. Apparently we're worn out already, despite only being 6 weeks in. Maybe the Cal bye week will refresh us and allow us to take in some of the other games nationally this week in a more relaxed mindset.

fiatlux:

I've now started focusing on the playoff scene... I've also decided to rank good one-loss teams above undefeated teams. I think we should also have a special shout-out to the end of Wake Forest's thrilling 3-0 win over BC... as CBS reported, it was "grippingly bad."

By the way, PerryScope, your ballot has improved impressively this week!

PerryScope:

Thanks, I'm still not sure about some of these though haha. Next week will really shake things up.

fiatlux:

I'm not either... next week will shake up things... and then the next week... and then...

Berkelium97:

It's frustrating to see Utah sitting at only 4th in the national polls, because they have the best resume in FBS.  Ohio State hasn't beaten anyone noteworthy, Baylor has looked good but they only have two P5 wins, LSU doesn't have much to stand on besides the SEC's increasingly shaky reputation, and TCU has had some close calls in recent weeks.

Speaking of the SEC, I'm having a hard time gauging the quality of the conference because the conference has such a weak non-conference slate.

I've rewarded teams for playing tough games against top-5 foes and this week Cal gets a slight bump by taking Utah to the wire despite an awful performance by the offense.

Nick Kranz:

1. It wasn't too hard to rank the undefeated teams, based on the quality of their best win(s). It wasn't too hard to rank the one loss teams, based on the quality of their best win and the difficulty of their one loss. What was hard was integrating those two rankings, to decide how to compare an undefeated team with a weak schedule (Everybody in the B1G! LSU!) to a one loss team with a tough schedule. As much as possible I'm trying to respect head-to-head, which is why Florida > Ole Miss > Alabama, and why Michigan > Northwestern > Stanford, etc. That will be more and more difficult soon, I suspect.

2. Michigan State's resume took another massive hit. Oregon looks like maybe the 9th best team in the Pac-12, and that's still Michigan State's best win. The Spartans have now won three games against lower half Power 5 teams by less than one possession. I think they'll get crushed by Michigan, and if they do they probably won't be in my top 25 next week.

3. I struggle with Baylor and TCU right now. I personally believe that Baylor is the better team - they have looked better against common opponents and their defense is almost certainly healthier and stronger. But TCU has played a tougher schedule so far, so they're a few spots ahead of the Bears - for now. This is the type of issues that will work itself out as the season progresses.

4. Oklahoma State takes a big jump in my poll by notching their first solid win on the road against West Virginia to go along with their unbeaten record.

ragnarok:

Like most of the rest of you, I have Utah at #1, because they have clearly the best resume so far this year. Michigan at #2 feels okay to me, given their three consecutive shutouts - Utah's been the only team to score on them at all.

I have Clemson at #3 because of the win over Notre Dame, and then after that, the rest of the undefeated teams have increasingly less to hang their hat on; Baylor has been destroying teams, but I don't know that they've beaten anyone truly impressive yet.

Ohio State falls down to the teens until they beat someone I'm impressed by, as does Michigan State, which has struggled and seen its marquee win over Oregon drop precipitously in value. Cal's resume actually got a big boost last week, despite the loss (on the road to a Top 5 team), as Washington (@USC), Texas (vs. Oklahoma) and Washington State (@Oregon) all got big wins last weekend, thus boosting the value of their 3 power 5 wins.

atomsareenough:

Really rags, Stanford at #8? Their best win is what... Arizona sans Anu Solomon? USC, who also lost to Washington? It feels surprising to me that you have them above Notre Dame and TCU and Ohio State, or even so far above Cal really. Our loss is a lot better than theirs, and our wins are better in total than theirs. I think if they beat UCLA, then I can see moving Stanford ahead, but not yet, not this week.

ragnarok:

OK, that's fair, #8 is too high. Let's move them down to #10, below Notre Dame and TCU [Editor's note: DONE!]... but I think they've been playing really well since their season-opening dud, which has looked not so bad since Northwestern has (mostly) played well. I'm pretty meh on Ohio State, really, and yes, I think beating SC in the Coliseum (even if Washington has duplicated the feat) and the pasting they put on Arizona (even without the Wildcats' starting QB) are better than anything the Buckeyes have done so far this year.

mpeters10:

I know I'm going to be burned at the stake for not having Utah at number one, but I simply can't rank a team first if they can't win by more than six points at home after forcing six turnovers. I don't think Utah has the best team in the nation, so I'm not going to put them at number one. React to it how you will. They are in my top four, which means they would have a chance to settle it on the field in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma, Georgia and USC drop out. Boise State, Houston and Memphis move into my top 25.

atomsareenough:

I'm not going to burn you at the stake, but I just don't think any team in the country has 3 wins that can stack up with Utah's 3 best (Michigan, Cal, Oregon). TCU, your top team, had a 3 point win against Texas Tech and a 7-point win against Kansas State. They were on the road, but I also don't think either of those teams is as good as Cal.

Nick Kranz:

This brings up an interesting debate topic: How do we all factor in margin of victory into our rankings? That can have a pretty big impact on how we view teams like Utah, Baylor, TCU and Michigan State, just to name a few. Is it better to destroy mediocre teams or struggle against decent teams? The biggest knock on Utah is that they aren't winning by big margins, so one could argue that they've been a bit lucky so far.

mpeters10:

It certainly plays a part. I continue to drop Michigan State for narrowly beating teams like Purdue and Rutgers. I'm starting to penalize Ohio State more severely as well. As far as TCU, I'm not penalizing them as much for winning a close game on the road against a Kansas State team that is an ok team, and will probably end up with a winning record. Meanwhile, I thought Utah played reasonably well compared to a typical Utah performance, but failed to put away a Cal team that turned it over six times; which I found not to be overly impressive. So, in summation, margin of victory plays a role. So does caliber of opponent and how that opponent played on that particular day. I guess my method is to just factor in all of these things, plus injuries and other little factors to churn out a ranking of which teams i think are the best at this moment. It's not too structured, but it's the way I rank them.

fiatlux:

6 weeks in and I don't care.

Berkelium97:

I tend to forgive teams like Utah for narrowly beating quality opponents.  Likewise, I give credit to teams that hang with but ultimately lose to top teams (Texas Tech's close game against TCU earlier this year, Cal's loss this week).  I'm generally skeptical of big wins over weak opponents unless a team can consistently win by 30+ (see Baylor, who did not enter my ballot until a couple weeks ago).  However, the effect of these margins of victory diminishes over the course of the season, as I have more games to judge whether a team is any good.  But if a team continues to scrape by against sub-par competition, I'll start to penalize them (see Memphis, who has dropped out despite a 5-0 record).

Full ballots below:

cgb t25 w6 v2