If the preseason top 25 represents the best amalgam of past success and anticipated outcomes, the week one Blogpoll has got to be the worst, a hulking zombie of half-dead expectations struggling to life against Little Debbie competition. And like anything fed on junk food, it's not exactly the best-looking thing in the world.
Mangino, junk food aficionado, attempting to eat the lean, tender Bob Stoops.
A few ground rules: teams that played and won earned a higher ranking.
Thus the wacky drops of LSU and Purdue in our ranking; if you didn't play, you didn't earn a ranking. Teams that played primo competition earned huge leaps--see Georgia Tech for that--and teams that played a sweet-cuppin' cupcakes without burying them horrifically were jostled around accordingly.
Again, an issue consuming any would-be pollster remains: where exactly are you slicing your sample from? The best teams as of 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning without considering your guess at their real talent level? Even if they didn't play? Or do you cobble together the best list of teams based on the observations you could make based on game tape and analysis of the games you couldn't get to? We've opted for more of the latter.
The advantage comes in the form of temporality: looking back at the season, you'll be able to detect the swings in performance and the voting public's estimated value of the team. The dowside comes in dramatic swings; early in the season, last year's reputation will buoy some team's rankings, while others will make stunning drops or entries in the poll. This will even out as your sample size increases, but for the first few weeks vertigo could take hold as things go topsy-turvy and back again.
Editor's Note: The bloggers have conferred and realized some errors due to late night blogging. Thus changes will appear throughout and be noted in italics. We also would like to note that polls only begin to have a chance of accuracy after the first month
Without further excuses:
1. USC. Captain Cook was the last visitor to meet an unhappy end in Hawaii. Everyone else has had smooth sailing since then.
2. Virginia Tech. Thought about moving Tejas up here, but the Hokies played a real team that hit real, real hard and won on the road. Advantage Hokies, and they stay put.
3. Texas. Cupcakes taste good, but you gotta eat 'em in one bite. Mission accomplished.
4. Iowa. Could have scored a hundred on a cursed Ball State team.
Iowa was too high and although we are in agreement that we will artificially depress the rankings of teams that still haven't taken the field... LSU will get some EDSBS charity here and be exempted from that ground rule. They were preseason top 10, haven't done anything to move up yet, but as no other team cried out to be in the top 4 we'll let our heart strings be our guide and make LSU #4.
5. Georgia. Huge leap from last week's 17, but they bombed Boise into the stone age. Enjoy just desserts.
6. Ohio State. Won, played mad defense, and got Ginn the ball. Ain't nothing changed but their change in Columbus.
7. Arizona State. Heapum points + bad, bad opponent = a merely huge nine point move from last week.
They looked good... but not that good. If they win this week, expect a top 10 spot, but they have been too up and down in recent years to get there with one win over Temple. Lets give this spot to Iowa.
8. Georgia Tech. Purely a week by week thing, this Blogpoll. Win a bigass road game, make a bigass debut. The joys of week one, a benefit also enjoyed by...
9. Notre Dame. Another grande debut, but they pounded Pitt bad enough to deserve the move.
They looked like a top ten team, but there has to be a Wanstedt discount factor. They sure will have a chance to earn it this week. We'll drop them to #10 for now.
10. making them 9. Michigan. Victory? Yes. Comfort? No--the D still looked shakier than Billy Graham's hands.
(We know, we know. Express elevator stuff right there.)
11. Florida. The talent is there but they are still learning the scheme. We'll grade them on a curve for another week.
11 12. Tennessee. Ainge looked atrocious, and UAB moved the ball on them well enough. They'd be lower except Clausen will start next game. 12. 13. TCU. Debuting with a bullet at 12, but deservedly so. Right place, right time.
14. Arizona State: But with a chance to make a big move next week.
13. 15. Louisville. They won, but dock points for sloppy execution. Rich Brooks will have some of the hardest losses in the nation this year. 14. 17. Clemson. Beat a good A and M team, and ran the ball harder than the Tigers have since the Woody Dantzler days. They drop just a bit because we undervalued BC's win at Provo a bit... and because A&M needs to prove they weren't over rated. 15. 16. Boston College. A cross-continent, at-altitude shutdown of an offensive power away. A tougher job than anyone's acknowledged this week. 16. 18. Wisconsin. Turned the game around when they remembered how much bigger they were on the lines and started leaning on BGSU's undermanned D. Thank God for Cheese. Way to survive a baffling offense. 17. 19. Cal. A pyrrhic victory. Ayoob misses ten passes against Sac. State and Cal looks less sexy than they did a week ago. 18. 20. Florida State. How do you win and lose spots? Jeffy knows how. 19. 21. Miami. Kyle Wright will be fine, given time and two guards who can block. In other words, it could be a disaster if the line play doesn't improve. 20. 22. Oregon. On here mostly for their pitch-perfect Utah '04 imitation that ended a potential trap game against Houston. 21. 23. UTEP. Why the hell not? 22. Lousiana State. Hurricane relief from the EDSBS week 1 rules. 23. 24. Texas Tech. Didn't play, can't rank them over teams who did. 24. 25. Purdue. Ditto. 25. Duke.