BlogPoll Week 14 Invaded by the non-BCS

Kirk Irwin

Notre Dame and Alabama stay 1/2, and Georgia remains at #4, well-positioned to jump to #2 with a win this weekend. Meanwhile, in the back half of the poll, the MAC and WAC make huge gains.

Notre Dame stayed a strong #1, raking in 61 of 71 first-place votes, and the entire top four remained unchanged in the Week 14 BlogPoll (full results here), which seems happy enough to view the SEC Championship Game as a national semifinal. The other first-place votes went to #2 Alabama (5), #4 Georgia (1), #5 Florida (1), and #6 Ohio State (3).

Alabama, with 5 first-place votes, remained well clear of Oregon for the number two spot, while Georgia is nipping at the Ducks' heels, trailing by just .39 points per vote. Georgia is followed by Florida, Ohio State, and Kansas State, while Stanford leads the two-loss charge at #8, followed by LSU and Texas A&M.

The SEC remained one spot short of nabbing six top ten teams in the BlogPoll, as South Carolina finished just #11, followed by Oklahoma, Florida State, Nebraska, and Clemson. The 16-20 spots are where the non-BCS teams start appearing, as Oregon State and UCLA are followed by Kent State, Northern Illinois and Utah State. Rounding out the poll are Northwestern, Michigan, Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Texas.

Somehow, despite gains of five or more places by Kent State, Northern Illinois, and Utah State, San Jose State fell just short of the top 25, trailing a more familiar non-BCS school from Boise. While I applaud the BlogPoll for getting past name recognition and recognizing the great work done by the MAC and WAC this year, I'm struggling to see a reason other than name recognition for putting Boise State ahead of San Jose State. Boise State is 9-2, San Jose State is 10-2. Boise State has no wins over ranked teams and two losses to unranked teams. San Jose State has no wins over ranked teams and no losses to unranked teams. They have three common opponents. Boise State beat Colorado State 42-14, beat BYU 7-6, and lost to San Diego State 21-19, all at home. San Jose State beat Colorado State 40-20, beat BYU 20-14, and beat San Diego State 38-34, the last on the road. The most impressive win by either team is probably the Spartans' 52-43 triumph over Louisiana Tech, and the most impressive loss by either team is probably the Spartans' 20-17 defeat to Stanford. So I ask the BlogPoll: why is Boise State ranked ahead of San Jose State?

Another place for a familiar complaint comes in the ranking of Oklahoma State, who dropped two places after losing to Oklahoma. They lost, in overtime, on the road, to a team ranked ten spots ahead of them. To me, that seems that they're performing at least as well as their ranking should indicate. Unless the teams around them have been very impressive (hint: they haven't), I see no reason to punish the Cowboys.

As that comment may indicate, our biggest disagreement with the final BlogPoll is the placement of Oklahoma State, who we put #16, eight spots ahead of their overall #24. On only two more occasions did we disagree by more than 3 places. We did not rank #21 Northwestern, and our #19 San Jose State was not ranked overall.

Other teams in the final poll that did not make our ballot were #23 Boise State and #25 Texas, while other teams in our ballot that did not make the final poll were #23 Louisiana Tech, #24 Ball State, and #25 Arkansas State. Our full ballot is here:

  • We did not provide an extreme vote for Oklahoma State, who received two votes higher than our #16, topping out at #13 (from Rock M Nation). San Jose State had five votes higher than our #19, including #12 from OBNUG. Louisiana Tech had just three votes, but the other two were both higher than our #23, as OBNUG put them #11. Ball State had three votes higher than our #24, getting as high as #21 from OBNUG (notice a pattern). We were, however, in a three-way tie for Arkansas State's highest vote, as Building the Dam, Block U, and Rocky Top Talk were the only ones to cast votes for the Red Wolves.
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