Herewith, my Week 1 Blogpoll ballot -- or is it Week 2? Whatever, this is my second ballot, with one week of actual meaningful games in the books.
I have no idea how other people put their ballots together from one week to the next, but when jotting down this one, at least initially, I didn't look at my preseason ballot at all. I'm not going to sit down with the previous week's ballot each time and try to figure out how many slots I should move a given team up or down; each week I plan on approaching this completely independent of whatever rankings came before -- deciding which teams would beat which other teams on a neutral field that day, only looking back on the previous week's poll to make sure I didn't make any truly indefensible moves or leave anyone out. I'm also not one of those people who sticks to a strict as-long-as-you-win-you-keep-moving-up policy, particularly this early in the season. Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech on Saturday, but they sure didn't look like the fifth-best team in the country doing so; hence, they get knocked down.
Enough blather; here's the list.
Games watched: South Carolina-Mississippi State, Georgia-Western Kentucky, Oklahoma-UAB, Notre Dame-Georgia Tech, Louisville-Kentucky, Florida State-Miami; bits and pieces of Michigan-Vanderbilt, Ohio State-Northern Illinois, Auburn-Washington State, and Tennessee-California.
1. Ohio State (last week: 1)
Sorry to kill the suspense, but the top four is unchanged from my preseason ballot. It was tempting to move Texas up here, but as good as Colt McCoy looked I can't make a move like that until I see him in action against someone tougher than North Texas. But oh look! They face none other than Ohio State this weekend. Convenient how that works out.
2. Texas (2)
3. Auburn (3)
4. LSU (4)
5. Iowa (7)
6. Southern California (6)
7. Louisville (8)
8. Tennessee (19)
As a Georgia fan, probably the most unsettling game of the entire weekend. Some have tried to downplay Tennessee's apparent dominance over Cal by pointing out that the Bears tackled like a bunch of Special Olympics kids, which they did, but even if you assume that Erik Ainge isn't really as good as Cal made him look Saturday, that still doesn't explain away Tennessee's defense -- thought to have been ravaged by graduation and the draft -- locking down on Marshawn Lynch. Florida's defense could very well turn the Vols' stagecoach back into a pumpkin in two weeks, but until then, I'm terrified of these guys.
9. West Virginia (9)
10. Florida (10)
11. Oregon (23)
The Ducks got an even bigger boost in my rankings than Tennessee did, and I'm still a little unsure about that; maybe I'm just suddenly a lot higher on them because it is now Oregon, not Cal, who looks like the biggest threat to USC's dominance in the Pac-10. But it's also possible I had Oregon under-ranked from the get-go. Either way, they looked damn good against Stanford.
12. Virginia Tech (14)
13. Michigan (13)
14. Notre Dame (5)
Sorry, guys, but just because I'm Catholic doesn't mean I'm going to anoint you one of the ten best teams in the country. (Heh, "anoint." I didn't even plan that.) If that's the best Brady Quinn can do against a Georgia Tech secondary that was supposedly really shaky, then they could be in trouble against Penn State this week.
15. Florida State (16)
You'd think that the 'Noles would get more than a one-spot bump after knocking off Miami, but then again, you'd also think they would've accumulated more than one freaking yard rushing the entire game. If you think either one of those teams is a legitimate national-title contender, I'd like to have some of whatever you're smoking. Still, I wish to God we'd succeeded in recruiting DeCody Fagg a couple years ago -- some of the grabs he made against the 'Canes were sensational. Comparing that against Georgia's current band of droptastic wideouts makes my soul die a little.
16. Miami (11)
17. Georgia (15)
Hate to drop my Dawgs, after a win no less, but the QB situation didn't work itself out anywhere near as neatly as I was hoping it would against WKU. Actually, our entire offense looks like it could stand a few more minutes in the oven before we start putting it up against conference opponents.
18. Texas Tech (18)
19. Oklahoma (17)
One of the instances in which I did make a correction after going back over last week's ballot. I originally had them above Texas Tech in the #18 slot, but it didn't seem fair to drop TTU after a convincing win; it did seem perfectly fair, however, to drop the Sooners after nearly getting humiliated by UAB. Paul Thompson needs to step up fast, or Adrian Peterson's going to get keyed in on so much he may not survive the season with all his limbs intact.
20. Nebraska (NR, although if you counted my "honorable mention" teams, they would've been 27th)
21. Clemson (24)
22. Boise State (21)
23. UCLA (NR)
24. Penn State (NR/30)
25. California (12)
To give you an idea of just how much their bedshitting against Tennessee cost them, the only thing keeping them in the top 25 this week was the fact that I couldn't move Georgia Tech up into the rankings after a loss. Yup, I was actually considering putting Cal below the Jackets. Jeff Tedford, you got some 'splaining to do.
The next five: Georgia Tech, Texas Christian, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Boston College.
Dropped out: Utah (20), Boston College (22), Texas Christian (25).