You'll be cheering for a ranked team this week. And if they win, next week will be even higher. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE
The BlogPoll for week two has been released, and while there were relatively few changes in the top ten, the next fifteen teams shifted wildly, including a 10-spot bump for the University of Florida after a win over Texas A&M. The Gators went from just outside the top 25 to #17, setting up a top 25 showdown in Knoxville with #24 Tennessee, who was actually the only school outside the top ten whose ranking did not change from week one to week two.
In the top ten, Alabama received 88 of 94 first place votes, with the others going to LSU (2), Southern California (3), and Ohio State (1). LSU jumped Southern California for the #2 spot, and Georgia jumped three places to #5, edging out Florida State, while West Virginia received a three-place punishment for an early bye week, dropping behind Oklahoma and Michigan State to #9. Clemson, rounding out the top ten, remains steady at #10.
After that, we saw an eight-place jump to #12 for Kansas State, the ten-place jump for Florida, a twenty-one place jump to #20 for UCLA, and a debut at #23 for Arizona, who received no votes just a week earlier. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Arkansas took corresponding tumbles, all receiving votes, but none cracking the top 30 vote-getters.
As usual, Rocky Top Talk felt better about some teams than the pollsters at large, placing #4 Oregon at #2 and #8 Michigan State at #4. While the disparities outside the top ten are naturally larger, they shrunk significantly with one more week of data, as only one team--#25 Ohio University--was ranked in the BlogPoll more than five spots lower than in the Rocky Top Talk ballot, where they were 17th. Of course, Rocky Top Talk did rank five teams (Boise State, Mississippi State, ULM, Baylor, and Oregon State) that did not make the BlogPoll top 25, but all of those teams finished very high on the "receiving votes" list. The biggest disparity between our ballot and the final poll was Boise State, who we placed #20 and was 32nd in the overall poll.
On the other side of the coin, Rocky Top Talk was bearish on Southern California, who was ranked #3 in the overall poll but just #6 in our ballot, Oklahoma, who garnered a #7 ranking after we placed them 10th, and West Virginia, who rose to #12 in our ballot but only dropped to #9 overall. Rocky Top Talk also remains skeptical of #14 Virginia Tech and #17 Florida, who did not appear in our ballot. Also not ranked on the Rocky Top Talk ballot were #22 Stanford and #24 Tennessee (yay superstition! Win this week and you're in--only question is how high).
Our full ballot and a few additional comments after the jump
- While Rocky Top Talk was higher on several teams than the voters at large, we turned in few extreme votes. We were one of nine voters placing Oregon #2 and were the third highest vote for Michigan State, who From Old Virginia and Card Chronicle placed #3. Ohio received four votes higher than our #17, with Black Shoe Diaries, after seeing the Bobcats in person two weeks ago, placing them #10. Boise State also received four votes higher than our #20, with On the Banks giving them their high at #16.
- On the other side of the coin, seven voters had USC below our #6, with Blatant Homerism providing their low vote at #21. Rocky Top Talk did, however, provide one extreme non-vote, as the only blog to leave Virginia Tech off the ballot. We did consider them, but ended up leaving them on the "first teams out" list. Evidently I'm the only one who was more impressed by Oregon State's statistical dominance of Wisconsin than Virginia Tech's overtime win over Georgia Tech. But the Hokies will have their chances to break in, even though their first ranked opponent is #10 Clemson on October 20th. They do play Cincinnati and North Carolina before then, and thus will have a chance to prove that they can score points. And yes, I just put Pittsburgh in the same category as Bowling Green and Austin Peay.
- As noted at the beginning, this week's two Gameday participants both find themselves in the rankings, although the loser will likely have a short stay. Florida, #17 overall, has three top ten votes, #3 from Blatant Homerism and #4 from Tomahawk Nation (rivalry. . . you're doing it wrong) and OBNUG. Tennessee has just one top ten vote, a #6 tally from Tomahawk Nation.