You can do this by giving me good arguments for certain rankings or by supporting my own arguments, thus helping confirm that my mind still has a tether, thin though it may be, to reality.
How can a team lose to an unranked team and climb in the polls? By everyone else ranked around them being worse. Seriously, there are seven good teams in the country. The gap between seven and eight is the gap between the 1998 Vols and the 2008 Vols. You can argue Nebraska, Arkansas, South Carolina, or even two-loss Wisconsin and Arizona State for the eighth spot. The B1G is completely incomprehensible to me. Please, please, give comments. Preliminary rankings here, comments after the jump:
3. Oklahoma State
4. Boise State
12. Michigan State
13. Arizona State
14. South Carolina
18. Ohio State
19. Georgia Tech
21. Kansas State
22. Virginia Tech
25. Texas A&M
The Rest of the Elite Seven: Oklahoma State Cowboys, Boise State Broncos, Stanford Cardinal, Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks. You shut down RGIII, you move up. OU over UO because they have more impressive wins, even though their loss is worse. Oregon can probably jump back ahead this week with a dominating performance in a Pacific Northwest rivalry game.
The B1G Muddle: Wisconsin Badgers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Clemson Tigers, Michigan State Spartans, Arizona State Sun Devils. Circular beatpath with Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan State. the record points to Nebraska at #8, but I just can't overlook that pesky 31 point loss in Madison. Although Arkansas won, one can argue that they looked worse in a win than Wisconsin and Clemson did in a loss. I give Wisky #8 for far and away most impressive win, Nebraska #9 for impressive win and only loss to Wisconsin (away), Arkansas #10 because at least they won when they played like crap, and Clemson, MSU, and ASU at #11 through #13 for what I hope are obvious reasons. I wish I could just skip #8 and start back at #15 after the Elite Seven.
Teams Who Haven't Completely Embarrassed Themselves: South Carolina Gamecocks, Michigan Wolverines, Houston Cougars, Georgia Bulldogs. I think the title says it all here. Only one of the four has a loss outside the top 25, and that team has a road win over a top 20 team.
Teams Who Have Completely Embarrassed Themselves, But Still Might Be Decent: Ohio State Buckeyes, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Washington Huskies, Kansas State Wildcats. OSU and GT both have a win over a top 12 team and a bad loss to Miami. Ohio State has more losses, but Michigan State and Nebraska are more forgivable than Virginia. Washington and Kansas State have a string of wins that might be decent and blowout losses to teams that are really, really good.
Somebody Has to Close Out the Poll: Cincinnati Bearcats, Virginia Tech Hokies, Missouri Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies. I told myself I was going to finally rank Penn State, but I just couldn't do it. They and Southern Miss are the two further teams in consideration for adding to the poll. USM has a strong record with a couple nice wins, no extremely impressive wins, and one bad loss. Penn State has a strong record with zero nice wins and a completely forgivable loss. But the eye test takes Cincy, whose resume is similar, over them both. Virginia Tech is in a similar boat, but even though that 14-10 squeaker against Duke tempted me to spike them entirely, they look better than Penn State. Missouri and their 4-4 record might spark controversy, but ask yourself: what would Penn State's record be @Arizona State, @Oklahoma, @Kansas State, vs Iowa State, vs Oklahoma State, and @Texas A&M? If you can argue for better than 2-4, go for it. I'm saying 1-5. I also say that 2-4 in that stretch deserves a ranking. Texas A&M comes in 25th because their first halves are serious top ten football, and even with horrendous second halves, I'm not sure I can leave them out. If you want to argue for PSU or USM instead though, I probably won't fight too hard.
Seriously, this is a mess. Make comments. Make them now or tomorrow afternoon. Because once I've submitted, they don't do any good.