A couple commenters beat me over the head until I bumped Nebraska and Virginia Tech down a couple spots, with disastrous consequences to the 'Huskers and Hokies' chances of achieving the coveted high BlogPoll rankings. Final ballot here. Thoughts after the jump:
- The top of the poll is fairly boring, with nine teams separating themselves from the pack, six standing out as elite, and three generating the vast majority of the hype. Wisconsin and Boise are still machines, but they'll need something special or some losses by teams above them. Oklahoma State controls their own destiny with a home date against Oklahoma on Championship Saturday.
- The major theme of this poll is teams with ugly losses making a resurgence. Arkansas lost by 24 in Tuscaloosa, but they've beaten a pair of ranked teams (one badly), and who else has done that? Nobody outside the top ten, that's who. A&M sits at #11 despite two losses, but both were close, both were to top ten teams, and they have three wins over reasonably solid teams in Texas Tech, SMU, and Baylor. Notre Dame had two flukey losses early, but their destruction of Michigan State looks better and better. Arizona State's blowout wins over 5-1 Southern Cal and not-quite-dead Utah offset close road losses to a scary Oregon and a decent Illinois. Speaking of Oregon. . . they fit our theme: you can lose to LSU and still be scary.
- Washington and Kansas State just keep flying under the radar and picking up wins. I'm high on Washington this year, but I don't know if I'm top fifteen high. How long will they stay, and how far will they fall? We'll see. The Huskies face a stiff test in Palo Alto this weekend, while Kansas State gets a should-be-pushover rivalry roadie before hosting the Sooners on October 29th.
- A couple potentially good teams with sparse resumes are looking to stay that way. West Virginia and Houston may not see a ranked team all year (outside of WVU's possibly somehow somewhat impressive blowout loss to LSU), and it may be that neither sees a solid team until mid-November. WVU plays at Cincinnati November 12th, and Houston faces SMU at home November 19th.
- As always, lots of up and down teams in the back end of the poll. Do we really know what we'll get week to week from South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Auburn, and Michigan? Well, perhaps Michigan. We're going to get Denard Robinson out-athleting teams with bad secondaries and throwing picks to teams with good secondaries. Life is so much different without Rich Rodriguez.