UPDATE: Boise State back to 15, Missouri and Virginia Tech fall as a result. A win over Oregon is probably worth more than beating the entire ACC right now, and I'm still waffling on how much credit to give Missouri for waxing some subpar teams.
Yes, I always ask for your input. But never more so than this week. The weekly chaos in college football has led to a chaotic ballot, with teams going up and down, sometimes with no definable reason. (One of the problems with resume ranking is that teams can move down simply because their resume got "weaker" with a bye week or a weak opponent.)
So all suggestions are welcome, except "rank Ball State," which will be ignored without a second thought and render any other suggestions by anyone who says that moot.
Here's the first draft:
Dropped Out: North Carolina (#14), California (#18), Kansas (#22), Brigham Young (#25).
Texas' annihilation of Missouri moves them into the top spot, dropping Alabama and Penn State down to Nos. 2 and 3. I thought for a moment about moving Penn State ahead of Alabama, and still might depending on how the Tide does against Tennessee and how Penn State does against Ohio State next week. Alabama's tendency to let lesser teams stay in games troubles me deeply. Oklahoma State impresses me, and moves ahead of Oklahoma.
Anyone who's been a reader since my days at Cock 'n' Fire, or even at Garnet and Black Attack, knows my feelings about Southern Cal and Ohio State. I don't like dynasties, and both of them have threatened to be dynasties at times. I also think Southern Cal gets the benefit of the doubt even when they don't deserve it. That said, both teams have looked impressive, and Florida's bye hurts the Gators. Texas Tech moves up now that the Red Raiders are playing decent mediocre BCS-league teams.
Utah's schedule weakens a touch, but they still haven't lost 51-21 to anyone, so they remain a step ahead of LSU. I think the upward movement on LSU has less to do with my perception of their win over the Gamecocks -- I thought it was okay -- than with the idea that I was too harsh on them for the Florida loss. TCU hammers BYU, and the only thing I can say about having Georgia Tech over Virginia Tech is that Georgia Tech beat Boston College and didn't lose to East Carolina, so that overcomes the head-to-head loss to the Hokies. (Besides, the Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech beat Boston College beat Virginia Tech makes the ballot go haywire on head-to-head.)
Missouri gets slaughtered, but still has a slightly stronger resume than Boise State, dragged down by playing Hawaii, much less beating them by "only" 20; it was close at halftime. Boston College's resume is not as strong as Virginia Tech, so I have no problem placing them down here. Pittsburgh continues to win. Florida State moves ahead of Wake Forest because of the Deacons' losses to Navy and Maryland, and the fact that their win over the Seminoles was never really all that impressive to begin with.
22 South Florida
24 Wake Forest
25 Michigan State
Northwestern is the only one moving in the right direction on the bottom of the ballot, but they keep winning -- their only loss is to Michigan State, big losers against Ohio State. South Floria has defeated Tennessee-Martin, UCF, Kansas, Florida International, N.C. State, Syracuse -- with only the UTM, N.C. State and Syracuse wins being by large margins -- and lost to Pittsburgh. I need more to keep them in the Top 25. Vanderbilt and Wake barely remain, thought either could fall from the next ballot with a loss Saturday. And Michigan State holds on, mostly because the alternatives just aren't there yet.