Alabama maintained its stranglehold on the top spot for yet another week with 60 of the 77 first-place votes in the week ten BlogPoll (full results here), but after a loss by Florida and a dominating win over Texas Tech, the Kansas State Wildcats vault into the #2 spot, gaining 11 first-place votes. They're followed by Oregon (2 first-place votes), and Notre Dame (3). The top five is rounded out by LSU, and the other first-place vote goes to #8 Ohio State.
Georgia, riding head-to-head, edges out Florida for #6, and Florida State and Clemson break into the last two spots of the top ten, followed by South Carolina, Louisville, Oregon State, Oklahoma, and Stanford. Texas A&M and Mississippi State, at #16 and #17, are the last two SEC teams in the poll, and Southern California drops to #18, six spots ahead of the Arizona team that beat them Saturday. Dropping out of the poll are Rutgers, Ohio, and Michigan, replaced by #21 Nebraska, #24 Arizona, and #25 UCLA, which gives the Pac-12 six ranked teams, SECond only to. . . you get the idea.
According to Andy Hutchins' recap, very few blogs dared rank Florida ahead of Georgia, despite the circular beatpath containing South Carolina and the impressive LSU and A&M wins, and we were among them, but those teams are all so closely bunched together that we didn't stray much from the overall poll by inverting them.
Our biggest deviation from the poll as a whole is Clemson, who we ranked #19 and was placed #10 overall. This was discussed in the comments, as Clemson is a tricky case. They've destroyed most teams in their path, but one can argue that their best win is against Ball State. The difference between them and Toledo is that the bad teams they've destroyed have been ACC teams and not MAC teams.
On the other side of the coin, we were one of the few to rank Arizona ahead of the Southern California team they beat Saturday, putting the Wildcats at #16, eight spots ahead of their overall #24. Sadly, I don't expect us to get the kind of vindication with Arizona that we got last week, as they have to come off a big win and go on the road with a banged up quarterback, where they're three point underdogs to UCLA. On the plus side for Wildcats fans, if they win and Southern California loses, Arizona will have the inside track on the Pac-12 South title. If UCLA wins, on the other hand, it may well come down to their cross-city showdown.
We were also kind to Oklahoma, whose two losses are both against top five teams, and Texas Tech, whose blowout loss was against the #2 team in the country. We ranked Oklahoma #11 and Texas Tech #15, both four spots of where they landed in the final poll.
In our ballot but not in the final poll are #21 Toledo, #23 Utah State, #24 Oklahoma State, and #25 Northern Illinois. In the final poll but not in our ballot are #20 Boise State, #21 Nebraska, and #25 UCLA, who beat Nebraska and was one of the last teams to miss the cut on our ballot.
- Despite the love of Arizona and hatred of Clemson, we did not cast an extreme vote for either team. Arizona received a #11 from From Old Virginia, and Clemson received several #20 votes and a #23 from Frogs O' War. Between pro-Arizona and anti-VT, we seem to be doing pretty well on our extreme votes this year, although maybe it's just me remembering the good ones. We were Arizona's second-highest vote this week.
- We also did not cast extreme votes for Toledo, who received #13 from the crazy kids at OBNUG, or Utah State, who hauled in a pair of #22 votes from OBNUG and CougCenter.
- Nobody left on Tennessee's schedule is receiving any votes at all. Then again, neither is Tennessee. The Vols' five losses are to teams ranked #1, #6, #7, #11, and #17.