So first, the obvious: if we're operating off the assumption that the winner of the LSU-Alabama game is the best game in the land and this is purely power-poll based, then I'm pretty sure Alabama doesn't move in the rankings below 2. I'm not sure I buy it that way, at least not yet; Alabama did lose, sure, but the problems that AJ McCarron had last night are a warning sign against elite defenses. Then again, Alabama may not face an elite defense until whatever BCS game they're in at this point - provided LSU holds the SEC West.
Further down in the poll, I still have no clue what's going on, and I'd like to petition to only rank 10 teams. Also, anything below 11 or so is a nuclear wasteland. There are no right answers, only ones less wrong than others.
2. Oklahoma State
5. Boise State
12. Michigan State
13. South Carolina
18. Virginia Tech
19. Kansas State
20. Georgia Tech
21. Southern Miss
25. Penn State
As always, notes below the jump and I haven't a clue what's going on.
- Team Driver's Seat: LSU, Oklahoma State, Stanford. These are the guys who control their own destiny - well, somewhat. The awkward question of what happens if none of these teams lose will be
so much fun for all involved exactly like 2004...well, not quite unsolvable, but like the rest of this poll, one with many right answers and no correct answers. Then again, if only Oklahoma State and Stanford lose from this group, there's a more awkward question to ask.
- Team Waiting Room: Alabama, Boise State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Arkansas. There's a big skill gap from the top to the bottom here, but all these teams need help. The loss of Ryan Broyles will hurt Oklahoma's chances greatly - think when Justin Hunter went down - which incidentally helps Okie State. Oregon-Stanford looks like a play-in to the #1 contender at this point, and Arkansas is sitting on one of the quietest 8-1 SEC seasons I can recall. That being said, if they beat LSU, it feels like they're the Texas Tech to Alabama's Oklahoma and LSU's Texas, respectively. Boise State, as usual, is starting to look a bit bridesmaidish unless chaos reigns.
- Team The Only Remaining Good Teams: Wisconsin, Clemson, Houston. Yeah, it's starting to fall apart. I know. I'm fine with Wisconsin up this far because I don't put a whole lot of stock in losing games on Hail Marys - twice, no less. It reminds me a bit of why I was generally okay with 2007 LSU (the whole no losses in regulation thing). Besides, there are eight good teams this year. Anything after that is a wild guess. Houston stays up here because we're just running out of teams to put above them.
- Team Vacant Stare'n'Shrug: Michigan State, South Carolina, Georgia, Cincinnati, Texas, Nebraska. Yes, I know South Carolina lost. Yes, I know Georgia's come on. Yes, I know about head-to-head. Yes, I know Nebraska lost. But ...yipes. This is like handicapping a race between three-legged horses. I think Georgia's probably at the top of this group, maybe, but head-to-head?
- Team Mosh Pit: Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Southern Miss, Michigan, TCU, Baylor, Penn State. At least the guys above these guys have three legs. And please, someone talk me out of ranking Penn State without using the phrase "Texas A&M" or "Missouri". I'll give K-State credit for playing Okie State basically even, but that doesn't excuse Oklahoma. I'm ranking TCU so we can say Boise State beat another ranked team; that's a flimsy reason, I know, but ...man. What a mess.