Monday, October 5
Poll dancing, week 5: Gunning for Mr. Stubborn.
When Brian of MGoBlog does his weekly sifting of the BlogPoll ballots, the voter whose ballot looks the least different from his previous week's ballot wins what has come to be known as the Mr. Stubborn Award. I think there's a good chance Hey Jenny Slater will be in the running for that "honor" this week -- with few big games (only five Big 12 teams played at all on Saturday, for example) and almost no big upsets (for the first time all season, it seems), there isn't a lot of swing from last week's ballot to this one. Aside from the always-thrilling "How many yards will Georgia's kick-coverage unit give up before they decide to tackle somebody?" game, it was a fairly bland Saturday.
Games watched: Louisiana Tech-Hawaii, West Virginia-Colorado, most of Michigan State-Michigan, parts of Alabama-Kentucky, LSU-Georgia.
The next five: Brigham Young, West Virginia, Georgia, Notre Dame, South Carolina.
Dropped out: California (23).
· Not much action in the top 10: Southern Cal jumps up after a big road win over California, Miami takes the place of the Oklahoma team they beat, Oregon and Virginia Tech trade places, but that's about it.
· The rest of the poll is fairly static, too: Penn State, Georgia Tech, and South Florida all climb a few slots after fairly convincing wins, while Houston plummets into the 20s after allowing approximately seven thousand points to UTEP.
· California gets dumped right out of the top 25 after a second straight blowout loss in which they only managed three points. They're replaced by Texas Tech, who . . . kicked the crap out of New Mexico on Saturday? Really, they just happened to be in the right place at the right time, I guess. If anyone has a better candidate for the #25 spot -- and I'm sure there's got to be one -- by all means, let me know.
A relatively unsurprising weekend in the SEC means there's not much swing in the Power Poll ballot, either:
1. Alabama -- Didn't jump on Kentucky as instantaneously as Florida did, but neither did they fall victim to what a lot of people assumed was going to be a letdown opportunity.
2. Florida -- No clue what they're going to do against LSU, but after seeing the way the Tiger offense continued to slog around against Georgia, I'd be tempted to rest Tebow, start Brantley, and let the defense take it from there.
3. Auburn -- Monte Kiffin's defense worked as advertised against AU: The Tigers failed to match their 526-yards-per-game average. (They only got 459 yards.)
4. LSU -- Still not convinced they're anywhere near the #4 team in the country after doing everything they possibly could to keep the Dawgs in the game for 59 minutes. Still, they won, so that's something, I guess. Tigers, please send your thank-you notes to our kickoff-coverage unit (and CC the refs while you're at it).
5. Georgia -- Thought the LSU game would finally give us a better handle on what kind of team this is, but they still don't do anything consistently well besides drive me crazy. Neither a 38-35 win at Tennessee nor a 13-10 loss would surprise me.
6. South Carolina -- Experienced the expected hangover after finally beating a top-five team at home, but turned it on in the second half. Still not quite convinced their ceiling is any higher than eight wins.
7. Ole Miss -- Jevan Snead has gone from trendy contrarian's pick for top SEC quarterback to seventh or eighth, and that's if you don't give Mike Hartline any credit for having played a tougher schedule.
8. Arkansas -- Their win over Texas A&M was more an exposé of just how flimsy the Aggies' 4-0 record was than a major turning point for the Hogs, but I bet Jerry Jones was happy, at least.
9. Tennessee -- Why Kiffin is still starting Crompton at this point I have no idea. Even when Crompton performs well, it's usually only because the coaching staff is openly terrified of giving him anything but the easiest throws to complete.
10. Mississippi State -- How do you let Josh Nesbitt complete 11 of 14 for 266 yards? That's like getting smoked by Stephen Hawking in the 110-meter hurdles.
11. Kentucky -- Will get crushed by South Carolina and Auburn the next two weeks but then sweep their soft midseason slate to get to six wins and a Papajohns.com Bowl berth. Let me know if I can recommend any good restaurants in Birmingham, Wildcat fans.
12. Vanderbilt -- Vandy is like a rack of ribs: You know you're going to devour them but you never look good doing so, and you usually feel bad afterward.