|Last week's ballot|
Dropped Out: Oklahoma (#19), South Florida (#21), Kansas (#22), Utah (#25).
OK, I know what you're thinking. At least, I know what you're thinking if you really did peruse the ballot with a critical eye. You're wondering why the bottom of the ballot is weird. Why did I drop a team that won (Utah) and add in a few teams that lost, some ugly? (Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Auburn.)
The answer is because this: The first 17 teams are not so hard to rack and stack in my head. After that, it's a big ugly soup of uninspiring wins over crappy teams and losses that shouldn't happen. So I went back to using my patented, copyrighted, trademarked method which everyone should use. I took all the teams in the soup (there are 14), ranked each team's games from 1 to 6 (or 7) and then ranked all of each team's best games against each other, second-best games against each other, etc. So for example, Ohio State's best win is 31-13 over Wisconsin, and South Florida's best win is 17-7 over Florida State; respectively, those are the best and worst "best wins." South Florida gets a 14, Ohio State gets a 1, everyone else gets something in between. Lather, rinse, repeat for the other five. (Teams with seven games, their fourth-best gets cut.) Add together all the rankings and each team gets a sum; lowest sum, highest ranking. Very scientific.
And it confirmed some things I sort of thought already. Kansas is a fraud. I told you that last week. Out of the 14 teams I ranked, they came out 14th. Utah is also a confirmed fraud and probably shouldn't even have been in last week's rankings. It put Ohio State near the top, which I sort of thought might happen. So they get to stay ranked, albeit with a major crash, and I don't have to justify dropping them out entirely.
The only problem is it turns out some surprises. You kind of have to adjust a little for common sense. Notre Dame came out ahead of both Ohio State and Michigan, which ain't happening because Michigan beat them. So they get a bump. I wanted to common-sense Auburn right out of the rankings, but that's impossible because common sense does not allow for any of UConn, USF, Ole Miss, BC, Utah, or Kansas to be ranked either. Yes, Auburn just clunked one to a crappy Kentucky team and yes, Boston College just housed NC State, but we Blogpollers are not distracted by shiny things like the media is. Objective comparison of the resumes means Auburn is still better than Boston College. Besides, if I were a shiny-things voter, I'd put THE ONLY CONFERENCE-UNDEFEATED TEAM IN THE ACC in my ballot.
Some other bullet points:
- Oklahoma has lost by a grand total of five points to three of these ranked teams and two top ten ones. However, you only get so many chances. 3-3 is not a rankable record. Wins matter. It's why Boise State is above USC now, and why Cincy is above Miami and such. By this time in the season, being undefeated carries some hefty weight, and losing too much, no matter to whom, is highly frowned upon.
- It's also why Iowa took a bigger jump than you might expect given their fairly pedestrian win over a fairly pedestrian team on Saturday. That, and Michigan's mildly surprising return to the rankings.
- Likewise, USC drops mainly because Ohio State drops.....but not too far because Notre Dame is now back. However, the 6-12 section is the squishiest of the ballot and probably the most vulnerable to change brought on by a convincing argument.
- Texas/Florida gave me some pause. Of all the wins the two teams have, Florida's over LSU is the best. However, Texas has the two next best (Texas Tech, Oklahoma.) And I compared games where the teams have struggled (Colorado, Arkansas) and Texas ended up grabbing the Ralphie by the horns, so to speak, while Florida needed a missed field goal to help them beat the Razorbacks. So.
- I kind of wish someone else would defeat Houston. They have a very nice win (Oklahoma State) and another one that's not too shabby at all (Texas Tech) but of all the one-loss teams in the whole country, and that includes surprises like Idaho, their one loss might be the absolute worst (UTEP.) UTEP is just horrible and I wish they hadn't beaten Houston because then I'd have Houston up there with the Boise States of the world and carry no qualms about doing it.