First of all, this ballot is an abomination, and I know it. I just don't know why. There's something that screams out "this is so horribly wrong" -- and yet, I don't know what that something is. So, if you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments.
And I don't think I'm technically allowed to tell you what that logo at the top of the poll means, but it's pretty obvious. The links are to their pages, so the links to the SBN pages have now been moved to the explanation text. Which is sad, in a way, because I really can't explain this. (The ballot moves over here from Garnet and Black Attack, so you'll have to go there to see previous efforts.)
Dropped Out: Auburn (#13), Oregon (#16), Wisconsin (#20), Maryland (#23), Fresno State (#24).
Alabama remains on top after they beat a scrappy Kentucky team that just wouldn't go away. Kentucky's defense is pretty good and Bama was coming off the win against Georgia; if you think I holding that against them, you're wrong. Missouri's impressive win over Nebraska moves them above Oklahoma, who has an impressive win over ... um, Cincinatti? TCU? Baylor? Penn State also gets nudged down one by the Missouri jump, while Texas moves up one after clocking Colorado -- though, I must say, the value of doing that is going down almost as quickly as AIG stock.
Vanderbilt? At No. 6? Yeah, I guess so. They've beaten everyone that's been sent their way, including Auburn, South Carolina (whichlooked much better this weekend) and Ole Miss. LSU comes in below them, mostly on the weakness of their resume and the deteriorating worth of the Auburn victory. Southern Cal returns to the Top 8 after clobbering Oregon, moving Georgia down one. Virginia Tech stays pat after beating Western Kentucky, though the unimpressive nature of the win almost gave me reason to drop them.
Midmajor city. Utah gets the nod at No. 11 after beating Oregon State, which (you might have heard) beat a pretty good team last week. Boise State took care of Louisiana Tech, which might not be worth moving up two, but what are you going to do. Florida takes a hit for underwhelming against Arkansas and seeing the value of its Ole Miss win loss (you know what I meant) drop a bit. Texas Tech actually beat a team with a pulse -- Kansas State -- and did it convincingly, so they move back into the Top 15. BYU beat Utah State, which is the same as having a bye.
This is the "really?" neighborhood of the poll. Ohio State moves back on by defeating Wisconsin. Oklahoma State is undefeated, but needs a few quality wins to break the Top 15. My on again-off again ranking of North Carolina is back on again. Wake stands still after the bye. Florida State moves up after edging Miami.
Cal beats Arizona State, but the Maryland loss becomes a much bigger albatross after the Terps lost to Virginia, so no movement. Pittsburgh appears after beating South Florida, which falls rapidly after the having nothing but the Kansas win to hold them up. Georgia Tech appears because of some okay wins and an acceptable loss (to Virginia Tech by three). Kansas appears because there's no one else worth ranking.
Maybe next week
The South Carolina-Kentucky winner could make it with a win. I need to see a little bit more from Ball State. Wisconsin and Auburn will both have chances to redeem themselves in the future.