I really don't like this right now, so please, please give me some good feedback.
4. Penn State
5. Ole Miss
The Gators hold on despite the struggles. Same goes for Texas. I gave serious thought to moving Alabama up, but the Tide's big win came against a team that is famous for self immolation against top five teams. Penn State and Ole Miss have played no one, but who else am I going to put here?
6. Virginia Tech
9. Boise State
Virginia Tech won a game it had little business winning, but I like Nebraska and at least on the scoreboard they were right there with Alabama most of the way. Cal was lackluster in its win over Minnesota; the offense went away from Jahvid Best too much and the pass defense was too porous. Boise State hangs in there as Oregon is looking better by the week.
Miami I'm torn on. I know now that FSU has defeated BYU that the opening win means more, but as long as we're reevaluating teams on a weekly basis, Georgia Tech looks extremely sketchy to me. The Jackets probably should have lost to Clemson and they've played worse in each consecutive week. Miami goes here for now, but I'm not convinced they have a pass defense.
11. Ohio State
Let me just say that I was tired when I put this ballot together last night, and this stretch definitely needs some fixing. I'm fine with Ohio State ahead of USC because the Buckeyes have the better loss of the two. LSU is either too low or too high, but I don't know which. I thought before the season that TCU was the best of the MWC, and I'm back to thinking that now. I've said for weeks that USC is deeply flawed and it came out over the weekend. Nebraska should have won the game against VT and I still think pretty highly of them.
19. Texas Tech
Houston slides a bit because I'm becoming less and less impressed with Oklahoma State by the week. Cincinnati gets points for going on the road and beating Oregon State, even if the Beavers weren't on my polling radar. FSU gets ranked for the first time for demolishing BYU. Texas Tech gave Texas a good fight, outgaining the Longhorns by a good 70 yards and never being totally out of it. TTU is definitely the third best team in the Big 12 South at this point. Georgia still has no defense but ye gods, what a performance by Joe Cox.
- 21. Oklahoma State
- 22. Michigan
- 23. BYU
- 24. UNC
- 25. Washington
Oklahoma State still has the talent to be in the bottom of the polls, but they didn't dispatch Rice with the same authority that Mike Leach's band of pirates did. Michigan is probably too high, but I'm still weighing the relative merits of one solid win versus a great win and a bad loss in the case of the team below. UNC beat a game and pretty good East Carolina team. Washington joins in for beating USC and giving LSU a good fight, but the win over Idaho was uninspiring.
As for BYU, I'm also torn on what will probably be a team with a high standard deviation. Over the course of the past several years, BYU is the one team among the MWC heavyweights (along with TCU and Utah) that finds a way to have bad losses. The Frogs and Utes, when good, only lose to good teams. BYU is the one that loses to a 6-6 Arizona team or a 6-7 UCLA team. This weekend, they got their brains beat in by an FSU team that was defenseless against Miami and was a minute away from losing to Jacksonville State.
I have no idea what to make of them. Maybe this FSU losses was going to be the close loss to the mediocre Big Six team and FSU is simply better than mediocre. What I do know is that the true BYU team is somewhere between the team that beat Oklahoma, as that win was a true aberration giving the Cougars' performance against ranked teams the past decade, and the one that collapsed on Saturday.
For now, they get to sit in the bottom of my poll.