Another hastily-assembled effort from SMQ, but one that still managed to include some significant and original re-thinking (see below); SMQ never looks at a previous poll, disregards the relevance of the "delta," starts afresh each week with the "resumes" of the 35 or 40 teams he deems worthy of evaluation. And that means some changes that may or may not follow the poll's internal logic, and are still too beholden to groupthink. Except where West Virginia is involved, because its schedule so far still sucks.
BlogPoll Ballot, Week Six
This is not a power poll...
1. Ohio State
4. Southern Cal
9. Notre Dame
11. West Virginia
12. Georgia Tech
14. Boise State
18. Boston College
Waiting: Georgia, Washington, UCLA, BYU, Virginia Tech, NC State, Tulsa, Navy, Wake Forest, Florida State (very deliberately listed behind Wake Forest)
Idiosyncrasy and Bullet Points of Instant Regret:
♦ The big re-evaluation this week involved Louisville and West Virginia in relation to other undefeated teams without a win over a ranked opponent, namely, Rutgers, Missouri and Boise State. Louisville had been cruising in the top five following its convincing win over Miami, but in retrospect, there's no reason that game means any more than Missouri's dismantling of Texas Tech, the game that's pretty much solely responsible for the Tigers' rise this week. In the most objective terms, Miami's shown nothing this year to suggest it's any better than, say, Maryland, and treating a win over the `Canes as a major victory would put SMQ at risk of becoming the Beano Cook of his generation at a much too early age. Rutgers' resume is still devoid of meat; West Virginia remains ahead of Georgia Tech on comparison of their respective games against Maryland. Again, this was not as well thought out as SMQ had hoped.
♦ Georgia was not really considered strongly enough. It wasn't really considered at all, actually, which is not a fatal oversight but still a possibly unwise snub. UGA probably has at least the merits of Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and LSU and will get a little makeup consideration next week if Vanderbilt is suitably dispatched.
♦ Speaking of LSU, the Tigers have some great games against terrible competition, but nothing to hang its hat on. The loss to Auburn hurts more than it did a week ago, with little aid from the miscues at Florida. They're still a month from the next chance to make noise, against Tennessee and Alabama back-to-back, so mediocrity against Kentucky and/or Fresno State could get LSU kicked to the curb until the.
♦ SMQ can't convey the eeriness of looking at Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin back-to-back-to-back-to-back and the dark malaise he feels attempting to distinguish between the merits of these nearly identical and mostly red-swatched Midwestern programs, whose main merits to date include lackluster wins over Iowa State (which, though superficially the epitome of this group, doesn't fall in, but Minnesota does), a couple unnecessary overtime games and being ripped off by the refs. Do "Heartland" people think of Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina and Mississippi State in the same geographically condensing way? `Cuz that would be messed up.
♦ Clemson over Notre Dame doesn't make much sense. This can only be SMQ's ongoing repentance for ranking the Irish No. 1 in the preseason, which began with abandoning them so quickly after the Penn State game (yes, Penn State, not Michigan - SMQ's irrational team-directed puppy love dramatically shifted the moment he picked the Wolverines). Game for game, the losses (Notre Dame big to Michigan, Clemson close and mostly undeserved to Boston College) probably favor the Tigers by the slightest possible margin, but the Tigers' too-narrow win at Florida State doesn't match Notre Dame's victories at Georgia Tech and Michigan State and probably, considering the margin, not against Penn State, either. The Irish may be actually underrated by SMQ's own standards, which will be reconsidered and corrected accordingly next week.
Brady's thrilled that SMQ vows to look more closely at the Irish
♦ Auburn over Arkansas? Sí! The head-to-head rule is invalidated because the Tigers have a had a far better season to date. There's a reason Arkansas wasn't considered for the poll just last week: the Hogs got run over by USC - not all that impressive since - barely beat Vanderbilt late and relied on an epic kicking/conservative playcalling meltdown to get by so-so Alabama. Auburn had its "marquee win" over LSU (which also lost some value this week) but also was able to deliver a string of appropriate blowouts against Washington State, Mississippi State and the like before hanging on for life against South Carolina. Like Clemson and Boston College, the head-to-head can't blindly overwhelm the entire season to date. Yet.