Before any of this week’s BlogPoll festivities get started, I want to proclaim it from the highest rooftops: No, there is no fucking way Georgia should be ranked ahead of Tennessee in either the AP or coaches’ polls this week. The fact that Georgia is even ranked period at this point is proof that none of the voting sportswriters or coaches watched a single minute of that game.
And this from a guy who would rather listen to Michael Bolton CDs at the bottom of a well-used Port-O-Let on a hot summer day than say anything nice about Tennessee.
So anyway, please excuse this week’s ballot. My mental state is not stable at the moment.
Games watched: Memphis-Marshall, the first half of Auburn-Vanderbilt (listened to on the radio), the second half of Georgia-Georgia Tech, the Tennessee-Georgia debacle, parts of Florida State-N.C. State, the second half of LSU-Florida.
1. LSU (last week: 1)
Yeah, yeah, I know, if any of those five fourth-down conversions goes awry we may be sitting here talking about what a dumbass Les Miles is. But he’s a great coach if for no other reason than because he had confidence in his players to make those plays, and I can’t think of any better motivational technique than to tell your players, “Yes, you can do this, and you will.” Kind of makes me wish we had more of that on Georgia’s sideline these days.
2. Ohio State (4)
3. California (3)
4. Boston College (5)
5. Oklahoma (8)
6. South Florida (7)
7. South Carolina (9)
8. Oregon (12)
Up four spots this week for doing nothing — mainly because of two things: One, I feel like I hit them too hard last week for what was really an extremely competitive loss to a great Cal team, and two, there’s no way I can put them below Southern Cal at this point. Actually, make that three things: Kelsi Metzler, SI.com’s Cheerleader of the Week, is off-the-charts hot — are you happy now, Andy? — but of course that only means the Ducks are going to get klonged when they play Washington State this week.
9. Florida (13)
Up four spots? After losing to LSU? I have to cut them some slack — they put on a truly inspired performance and would’ve had a stirring bounce-back victory in one of college football’s toughest venues had it not been for Les Miles’s gigantic, chrome-plated testicles.
10. Southern California (2)
I kind of feel like I should drop them even more slots than this, because they lost to Stanford the same way they nearly lost to Washington the week before: turnovers, inconsistent QB play, and a bunch of penalties. As Ian Fleming once said, “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action”; if they pull the same stuff against Arizona next week, they could drop further, even if they end up winning the thing.
11. West Virginia (10)
12. Missouri (19)
13. Auburn (16)
14. Arizona State (11)
15. Kentucky (14)
South Carolina showed that a good defensive performance can throw this team off track, but it’s worth noting that they needed some big defensive plays to do it, and even then, the Wildcats managed to roll up 384 yards. Hence the drop of only one slot this week.
16. Tennessee (NR/27)
Last week I caught some heat for only dropping Oklahoma a few slots in the wake of their stunning loss to Colorado (and for not ranking Colorado at all) because OU did lead 24-7 at one point, after all, and the whole thing seemed “fluky.” Apparently the nation’s poll voters think Tennessee’s win over Georgia was “fluky,” too, because UGA is still ranked ahead of UT in the AP poll (24 vs. 25), whereas in the coaches’ poll, Georgia is still hanging in there at 23 while Tennessee is still in the “others receiving votes” category. WTF?!? Guys, since you obviously didn’t see that game, let me clue you in: There is a difference between “coughing up a 24-7 lead” and “never having a lead to begin with.” Oklahoma waited until the fourth quarter to get caught napping; Georgia was asleep from the opening kickoff and remained that way for the duration of the game. To call Georgia one of the 25 best teams in the country is a damn-near-unforgivable insult to at least 95 others.
17. Illinois (22)
18. Cincinnati (NR/28)
19. Hawaii (23)
20. Arkansas (24)
Things get a little wonky around here — Arkansas up four despite sleepwalking through a game against a who-cares opponent, Texas down only two, Michigan down five after a win — so all I can say is that if these teams had to face each other in the hypothetical neutral-field situation, this is how I think things would shake out. And after a week in which Stanford knocked off Southern Cal in Los Angeles, who are you to judge me?!?!
21. Virginia Tech (21)
22. Texas (20)
23. Michigan (18)
24. Kansas (NR)
25. Wisconsin (6)
The next five: Boise State, Texas Tech, Penn State, Georgia, Maryland.
Dropped out: Georgia (15), Rutgers (17), Penn State (25).