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BlogPoll Ballot, Week Four

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Call SMQ Mr. Conventional this week, both in manufacture and result, as the "resume" system has many identical entries, and he has not the time to break them down rationally.

As usual, results are based only on what's happened to date, sans all predictions, bias, preconceived notion and tasty gift baskets delivered to curry favor (this policy could change...hint...):

Week Four BlogPoll Ballot
This is not a power poll...

1. Ohio State:  Why such breathlessness when OSU wasn't up 21-0 after three plays? The Texas win on the road still ranks, narrowly, as the best by anyone to date.
2. Southern Cal:  Spent a couple minutes at No. 1. Since the defense appears to have picked up the slack for the inescapable running back "dropoff" (there's still at least one all-PAC Ten player back there), what exactly has changed, again?

It's the same old #%@&* song and dance

3. Michigan:  Saturday rivaled OSU over Texas for September's best win to date. The Midwest is duly terrified.
4. Auburn:  Kenny Irons was almost MIA most of the day, and the defense didn't exactly dominate LSU, but what is it, 17 points allowed now in three games?
5. Florida:  SMQ feels sorry for UF fans, because most teams getting past a game like Tennessee look ahead, say "hurdle cleared," and see the direct path to the conference championship game. The Gators see Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia, and possibly South Carolina. This doesn't even include Florida State (and maybe shouldn't).
6. Louisville:  As recently as September, beating Miami had cachet, as George Costanza might say, cachet up the ying yang. Combined with Florida State's tepid response to its Labor Day win, not so much now, but it remains a fact that U of Hell has played an opponent of widely-regarded quality and still not been challenged.
7. West Virginia:  SMQ is eating crow to date here, where nobody's even considered developing a concept of an effective plan yet to slow the Mountaineers down. But then, who have they played that would?
8. Texas:  Getting too much credit for two routine bloodbaths and one Minnesota-worthy loss to a highly-ranking opponent? If SMQ had to vote over again, he'd replace the `Horns with...
9. LSU:  At least played its chart-topping rival within a couple yards of a win, and moved the ball with much more consistency on the road despite the mere field goal on the board.
10. Oregon: Made the plays to earn a very quality win, so they're still ahead of...
11. Oklahoma:  ...which has every right to gripe. But not to get the game wiped from the books. Too many other notoriously incompetent calls have stood to allow that great of a concession (i.e., "Tuck Rule," etc.).
12. Notre Dame: Still has two quality wins, one big, which is not to be discounted, but regaining mythical championship contender status would be a minor, um, miracle. Massive adulation will resume with bloodthirsty vengeance at Michigan State.
13. Tennessee:  The close call with Air Force hurts more than a one-point loss to an apparently very good group out of Florida, which could have gone either way. After three weeks, SMQ's assured in saying the usual thinking applies here, which is to say, 2005 evidently was an injury-riddled fluke.
14. Boston College:  All wins are good wins, but close calls against Central Michigan and BYU don't engender a ton of confidence. Only this high because the Eagles beat...
15. Clemson:  ...which actually outplayed BC on the road, and fell after a questionable possession replay itself. Dominated Florida State, other than the blocked kicks, which - given this cost them the BC game, too - is maybe the most persistent problem. But consider Boston College where it is purely via association with the impressive Tigers.
16. TCU: Hours of television time should be devoted to film breakdown of what Texas Tech normally does to score 45, what it did to score 70 against TCU two years ago, and what the Frogs did Saturday to hold Tech's "prima donnas to a field goal. SMQ would watch every second of this.

Must-see TV.

17. Boise State: The Oregon State win remains better than any West Virginia has to date, but this seems like a different team away from home. Would Wyoming have come within a touchdown on the seagull killing fields of the blue turf? What is the explanation for this?
18. Michigan State: Has quietly taken care of business, and rolled up previously impressive Pittsburgh. The rest of the season, mentally, probably depends on at least competing until deep in the second half against Notre Dame - not that SMQ is precluding a Spartan victory at all, just laying the minimum for the stability of MSU's fragile psyche. A particularly wrenching loss in the fashion of Carlyle Holiday to Arnaz Battle in 2002 could set off the kamikaze alarm.
19. Georgia: This is a nice schedule to bring a kid like Matt Stafford along, especially when the also-young defense isn't allowing a peep from the `Visitors' side of the scoreboard.
20. Arizona State: 21-3 over Colorado means little until CU actually, you know, wins a game. Big test against Cal this week.
21. Nebraska: Depending on how good USC actually still is, probably still has a Big XII title/BCS shot (Texas is in Lincoln in a couple weeks), but the bonanza of the early returns has yielded to sober uncertainty.
22. Iowa: Has plenty of time to show better efforts than Syracuse and Iowa State (ISU was the shakiest 2-0 possible entering last Saturday, and controlled the first half). About 20 times better with Drew Tate than without, but he can go maddeningly cold, too.
23. UCLA: 3-0 2-0, Utah's an OK win at this point, so here they are. But you know, whatever.
24. Virginia Tech: Northeastern, North Carolina, Duke...this may be a regret pick, too.
25. Rutgers: Better than Florida State? OMG! No, not better than FSU, but if Team A has two routs over the likes even of lowly Illinois and Ohio, and a double-digit win over a North Carolina, where Team B has a close, should-have-been-worse loss to Clemson, a sketchy win over Troy and a three-point win in a no-show offensive effort against a team that just lost by 24 to Louisville, which team are you, voter, taking? In retrospect, SMQ should have bumped Missouri or Wisconsin up instead.

Yes, this list is completely warped. Better effort next week.

Waiting: Wisconsin, Missouri, Florida State, California, Miami