Thearon W. Henderson
Oregon jumps into the top spot, Alabama stays at #4, and five SEC teams land in the top ten. This and more in the week 12 BlogPoll.
Oregon received 44 first-place votes and jumped into the top spot of the week 12 BlogPoll (full results here). Kansas State also moves into championship berth position at #2, with 24 first-place votes. #3 Notre Dame only netted 4, as voters were gun shy after uninspiring wins over Pittsburgh and Boston College. The two remaining first-place votes went to #4 Alabama, who must've impressed people a lot in games other than last weekend's.
Following #4 is a huge gap. Alabama received 21.81 points per blog (where a first-place vote = 25 points), but #5 Georgia received just 19.67. There was modest separation between them and #6 Florida and again between Florida and #7 Florida State, but then came a mess. #7 FSU, #8 LSU, #9 Ohio State, and #10 Texas A&M all garnered between 17.86 and 17.52 points per blog.
Next we have a group of four teams that everyone agrees is pretty solid, led by Clemson and including South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Stanford, before an even bigger jump (13.03 to 9.29) down to #15 Nebraska and the rest of the rabble. Oregon State, after narrowly falling in Palo Alto, dropped to #16, and Louisville's crushing defeat in the Carrier Dome dropped them eight spots to #19.
At this point, I usually talk about the major differences between the poll results and our ballot, but there aren't many. In the top 20, our biggest disagreement is Clemson, who was ranked #11 overall and #16 in our ballot because Chris did the preliminary and he's in the Clemson Skeptic Club (had I done the preliminary, they would've been #14).
Beyond that, the poll included #22 Rutgers, #23 Kent State, and #24 Michigan, none of whom appeared on our ballot. The first two didn't appear because, while Kent State (who beat Rutgers handily) has had all the hallmarks of a ranked team for two months, the Golden Flashes lost by 33 points to Kentucky, and we're still having a hard time forgiving that. On our ballot but not in the poll where #21 Utah State, #22 Northern Illinois, #24 Cincinnati, and #25 Texas Tech. Worth noting: Utah State plays #20 Louisiana Tech in Ruston this week, and #25 Oklahoma State hosts Texas Tech.
- This wasn't a week for extreme votes, but we had two that came close. Only Team Speed Kills (#18) put Clemson below our #16, and only Coug Center (#19) put Utah State above our #21.
- As usual, no future Vols opponents received votes. Past Vols opponents were ranked #4 (Alabama), #5 (Georgia), #6 (Florida), #12 (South Carolina), and #30 (Mississippi State).