Sunday, November 5

Blogpoll ballot #11: Pardon our progress.

No funny (or even painfully unfunny) intros this week; I'm still on suicide watch from the Kentucky game, and I'm also hosting this week's blogger roundtable (coming soon), so . . . here's the ballot.

Games watched: SMU-UAB, Louisville-West Virginia, Air Force-Army, Kentucky-Georgia (radio), Nebraska-Missouri, the last excruciating 10 minutes of Mississippi State-Alabama, the last few minutes of Maryland-Clemson, most of LSU-Tennessee.

1. Ohio State (last week: 1)
Think that nearly watching the country's top two teams get punked by Illinois and Ball State is going to stanch the embarrassingly orgasmic anticipation on the part of ESPN and the rest of the sports punditocracy for the OSU-Michigan game in two weeks? Yeah, me neither.

2. Michigan (2)

3. Texas (3)

4. Arkansas (4)

5. Louisville (13)
Terrific win by the Cards over WVU on Thursday. At first I was very cagey about ranking them this high, but after seeing Auburn and Florida loaf around against decidedly mediocre opposition this past weekend, who's to say Louisville wouldn't beat either one of them? I will say this: There's a big dropoff between the top three teams in this ballot and everyone else. But that said, if the choice for the national title game comes down to an OSU-Michigan rematch or the OSU-Michigan winner versus an undefeated Cardinal team, I don't want a rematch.

6. Auburn (5)

7. Florida (6)

8. California (8)

9. Southern California (10)

10. LSU (15)
Maybe had the second most impressive win of the week. Maybe the most impressive. I was as surprised as anyone to see they actually had it in them to win a big game.

11. Tennessee (7)

12. West Virginia (9)
They're still formidable, and they may yet win the Big East title since Louisville has some very dangerous games left on the slate. But you just can't claim elite status with a defense that got perforated the way the Mountaineers' did on Thursday night.

13. Notre Dame (11)

14. Wisconsin (18)

15. Oklahoma (12)

16. Boise State (16)

17. Georgia Tech (19)

18. Wake Forest (25)
Jim Grobe has done a stellar job of coaching this season, but his biggest task is still in front of him, because everybody and his brother has already anointed Wake the Atlantic Division champions in spite of the fact that they still have to face an angry FSU team, a Virginia Tech team that seems to have gotten its second wind, and a 7-2 Maryland team that just punked Clemson (whom Wake lost to earlier). Focus is going to be paramount these last few weeks, because a loss in any of those games could open the division race right back up again.

19. Rutgers (21)
Scarlet Knights vs. Razorbacks in the national title game. You know you want it to happen.

20. Boston College (14)

21. Virginia Tech (20)

22. Oregon (22)

23. Maryland (NR/30)

24. Clemson (17)
Has the swoon begun? I can think of less plausible scenarios than Clemson finishing the regular season on a four-game skid.

25. Nebraska (NR)

The next five: Texas A&M, Brigham Young, Penn State, South Carolina, Hawaii.

Dropped out: Texas A&M (23), Iowa (24).

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