Tuesday, October 28

Poll dancing, week 9: Last ballot before Armageddon.

OK, I think I've fully recovered from my post-LSU stupor and can reason coherently again. Well, as much as I could before, at any rate. So here's one more BlogPoll ballot before the Cocktail Party this weekend, after which I will either be running bare-assed down Highland Avenue once again or sighing to myself and pinning my personal happiness on an Obama landslide the following Tuesday.

Games watched: West Virginia-Auburn, Florida-Kentucky, Georgia-LSU, the first half of Alabama-Tennessee before I passed out.

Waiting room: Kansas, Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia Tech.

Dropped out: Kansas (15), Pittsburgh (17), South Florida (18), Georgia Tech (20), Northwestern (21), Cincinnati (22), Boston College (24), Arizona (25).

· A little bit of action in the top 10, but not in the top three -- in my first draft I realized I'd moved Florida up two spots for destroying a bad Kentucky team while moving Penn State down for beating Ohio State in Columbus. So that got changed in a hurry. That said, the Gators are easily the best one-loss team in the country at this point, and yes, I'm including Georgia.

· Here's something I wasn't in any hurry to change: I dropped Oklahoma four slots for beating Kansas State, but dropped Oklahoma State only one slot for losing to Texas. My rationale is thus: Oklahoma State played Texas closer than anyone else has this season, and has yet to display any truly glaring weaknesses; the Sooners, on the other hand, got shelled by K-State's passing game and are giving up an average of 32 points per game in Big 12 play. Their résumé is marginally stronger than OSU's, but other than that, I'm cagey about calling them an elite team at this point; if that's the best they can do on D, they've got at least one more conference loss coming.

· Also not elite: Ohio State, who gave Penn State a tussle but now have two losses and are basically out of the national-title hunt, and LSU, whose defense could give Oklahoma's a run for its money in the race for the What The Hell Happened To Us Award.

· In the addenda to my last ballot, I described everything from 19 on down as "pretty much a peanut gallery of the kinds of teams whose time in the top 25 you'll probably be able to measure with a stopwatch." And sure enough, everyone from the 15th spot on down, with the exception of Missouri and Tulsa, incurred losses that varied from the respectable (Arizona falling by only a touchdown against USC) to the just plain fricking humiliating (Kansas getting 63 points shoveled onto them at home by Texas Tech). In their place, a whole new passel of teams you probably won't be able to admire here for more than a week -- Oregon, Oregon State, newly back-from-the-dead West Virginia, massively improved Minnesota, Florida State, Connecticut, Michigan State, and didn't-do-anything-last-week-but-what-the-hey South Carolina. As with last week, if you think I should bail on any of these in favor of some sleeper pick I've forgotten, make me an offer. At this point, if you can make a case for putting Florida International in here, I'll listen.

· I really, really want to put Virginia in the top 25, but everyone who does anything good or takes a division lead in the ACC this year only goes out and wets their pants in their very next game. If the Hoos can take care of bidness at home against Miami this weekend, they'll get ranked; otherwise, it looks like 6-1 Florida State is this conference's standard-bearer for the time being. Funny, that doesn't look nearly embarrassing on the page as it sounded in my head.

Now the SEC Power Poll ballot:

1. Alabama -- Nice to see that the Tide rediscovered the art of closing out a game in the second half. Or maybe they just discovered a terrible offense to go up against.

2. Florida -- It's not fair. They found the three fastest human beings on the entire planet and they put them all on the same offense and IT'S NOT FAIR!!1!!!1!1!! [/five-year-old girl]

3. Georgia -- Me? No, not doing much of anything, just reveling in the Dawgs having hung half-a-hundred on LSU in their own stadium. Huh? We allowed nearly 500 yards of total offense? Nope, don't know anything about that, dum-tee-da-da, dum-tee-doo . . .

4. LSU -- Let's just say there's a bi-i-i-ig dropoff from #3 to #4 on this list. I can't in good conscience put LSU below any of the next few teams, but all that means is that, yes, the SEC has fallen off a bit this year. Sorry, but you give up half-a-hundred on two separate occasions, you ain't an elite team no mo'.

5. South Carolina -- Didn't play this past weekend. Don't worry, I'm sure Stephen Garcia managed to do something douchey in his spare time.

6. Ole Miss -- I kind of get the feeling Houston Nutt was hoping to beat Arkansas by more than two points. Actually, I kind of get the feeling the rest of the country was hoping for the same thing, too.

7. Vanderbilt -- Vanderbilt, meet 5-7. 5-7, Vandy. Oh, wait, you've already met.

8. Kentucky -- Managed to hold Tebow and the Gators below 70. Great success!

9. Arkansas -- All things considered, not an altogether terrible performance against the Rebels; even Casey Dick looked decent. Petrino might actually have the Hogs whipped into shape by next year.

10. Auburn -- Good news, Rest of the Conference! Down by two touchdowns to Auburn in the first half? No worries -- just wait long enough and they'll implode on their own.

11. Tennessee -- Tennessee, meet 5-7. 5-7, Tenne -- oh, wait, I already used that joke.

12. Mississippi State -- Maybe the Croomdawgs pull an upset against Kentucky, Arkansas, or Ole Miss down the stretch, but even then I think they're gonna have to be satisfied with four wins.


Joshua said...

I don't disagree with much of anything except one thing, Southern Cal at 5. That's just assinine right there. They should be around 9 or 10. They haven't played the same level of football as teams you have behind them. UGA, Okla St, OU, Texas Tech should easily be ahead of them. Hell, I think Utah might be better and would make for a good game. Otherwise, good stuff and solid analysis.

Anonymous said...

Move down both USCs. That Arizona game was full of bad calls/non-calls (apparently, it's okay for a DB to plant himself in the WR's armpit) and mind-bogglingly bad late-game decision-making by Mike Stoops. It was not the Trojans' finest hour.

And please, please, anyone but South Carolina. Whenever some ranks us, it ends up being bad news. (And I'd argue UNC probably has a better resume right now.)

Anonymous said...

You are a complete and ignorant fool if you are hoping for an Obama victory next Tues.
Love this site though.

Bulldog Nation

beast in 'bama said...

Late to the party, but...

You are absolutely right (for now) about OU and the little brother formerly known as Okie Lite. The Cowboys are the best team Texas has played thus far, and I believe (and pray) they are going to wind up being the Big XII's second best team once the smoke clears.

November is going to be a Big XII South round-robin between OU-OSU-TTech. They'd better order ahead now and get more bulbs for the scoreboard at that OSU-Tech game.