The draft blog poll ballot is not in the usual format because my regular laptop hasn't yet made it back from Apple Store repair. In a stroke of amazingly good luck, the backup laptop I normally use in such situations is experiencing hardware issues and is therefore frequently freezing. What a pain in the patootie.
Instead, you get a somewhat ugly format, but with some notes attached to the individual teams. What this season looks like so far is that Florida, Texas and Alabama appear to be much better than the mush below them. Well, except for the fact that Florida and Texas have played no one to this point that have really challenged them. At least Alabama has a win over another top five-ranked team.
Five weeks into the season, and the only thing we really know is that non-conference scheduling has made a joke of the polls. Some might say that polls shouldn't come out until later in the season, but without them, how would you know what games to follow? Seriously - how would you know that some of these games were "big" games if they weren't given some relativity?
In last week's prediction segment, I mentioned that an Oklahoma loss to Miami would be a big blow to the Big 12's prestige. It didn't help that Texas A&M lost badly to Arkansas. After the non-conference season has largely completed, Oklahoma State's victory over Georgia stands out as the conference's lone marquee win. Time to rationalize on behalf of the conference.
Besides the SEC, who plays no one in the non-conference, can another conference really say much more anyway? (How's that for a good start?)
1 - Florida
2 - Alabama - probably should be ranked #1, but I stick with my old-school mentality that until last year's national champion gets beat, there's no reason to drop them.
3 - Texas - so far Texas has proved nothing, but get accolades anyway. High expectations?
4 - Virginia Tech - shouldn't drop just because Duke was close. With Tech's offense, all games will be close, won't they?
5 - Boise State - The Broncos are here due to a win over Oregon. They'll probably still be here at the end of the season due to their win over Oregon. They play no one else of substance.
6 - TCU - Same with TCU except that TCU will play a tougher schedule
7 - LSU - probably doesn't deserve this ranking, but they continue to win.
8 - USC
9 - Ohio State
10 - Kansas - Kansas has really played no one to deserve this ranking. That doesn't make them much different than a lot of other teams.
11 - Miami (Florida) - gets a bump for knocking off Oklahoma. Oklahoma
12 - Nebraska
13 - Iowa -
14 - Missouri
15 - Oklahoma State - why do the regular polls have the Cowboys ranked above Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska? Big 12 South mojo? Perhaps it's overrated this year.
16 - Mississippi
17 - Cincinnati
18 - Oregon
19 - Oklahoma
20 - Brigham Young
21 - Auburn - could be ranked higher, perhaps?
22 - South Florida
23 - Georgia Tech
24- Penn State - the only real team they've played, Iowa, beat them. They deserve no benefit of the doubt. That's what you get for playing a high school non-conference schedule. Where the regular polls have them right now is a joke.
25 - Wisconsin
Houston - lost to UTEP, giving up 58 points in the process. That's ridiculous, ain't it?
Cal - crushed by USC
Michigan - lost to Michigan State