For the third consecutive week, Alabama was an overwhelming #1 (with Stanford the only team to garner another top vote), and three other future Tennessee opponents made the top 25 in week four of the BlogPoll (full results here). In addition to the Tide, Georgia replaced Southern Cal in the top four, South Carolina cracked the top ten at #9, and Mississippi State jumped into the poll at #24. With their next two games against South Alabama and Kentucky, Vol fans should expect that ranking to last at least until Tennessee's October 13th visit to Starkville.
There seems to be a very strong consensus on Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Georgia, and Florida State as the top five, although some may dispute that ordering, as Florida State may just be one win away from overtaking the Bulldogs. Stanford rode a great defensive performance up 14 spots to #8, joining Oklahoma, West Virginia, South Carolina and Clemson in the top ten. #10 Clemson visiting #5 Florida State this weekend will give us our second top ten matchup of the season--fair warning: the spread is larger than it was when the Tide took down the Wolverines.
Outside the top ten, Notre Dame (up seven), Texas (up three), and Florida (up four) impressed voters enough to shoot past Kansas State and Ohio State, while Southern Cal took a 13-spot tumble to #16 and Michigan State dropped 14 spots to #22.
Rocky Top Talk was generally less reactionary, keeping Stanford lower and Southern Cal and Michigan State higher than the poll at large. This was intentional, and you can see our thought process here. Our largest disagreements with the final poll are on Michigan State, who we put at #12, ten places higher than the voting public, and West Virginia, who we put at #16 and the voters--impressed with the Mountaineers' ability to devour cupcakes--placed #7. We also had Stanford, Florida, and UCLA each five spots lower than they finished in the poll. Finally, our #24, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, came in just tenth in the "receiving votes" category. Evidently, the voters have less respect for the state of Virginia (or the difficulty of playing at night in Lane Stadium).
Full ballot and extreme votes after the jump:
- While Rocky Top Talk was high on Georgia Tech, we did not provide an extreme vote, as five ACC blogs and On the Banks (it's okay that I'm counting Notre Dame as an ACC blog, right?) put the Jackets as high as we did, with their top vote coming at #20 from From the Rumble Seat. However, our #12 vote was Michigan State's highest, with their next best tally coming at #14 from From Old Virginia. We at RTT do not typically cast extreme votes, but we have done so once before this season, as the only blog to leave Virginia Tech out of the top 25 last week. We felt we had good justification then, and the justification this week is a combination of us being a little higher on Notre Dame than the poll at larger and a suspicion that Notre Dame poses a matchup problem for the Spartans. After all, last year's Michigan State team finished in the top ten with wins over Wisconsin and Georgia but still lost by three scores in South Bend.
- On the other side of the coin, five voters put West Virginia below our #16, nine put Stanford below our #13, six put Florida below our #18, and three put UCLA before our #23, with two leaving the Bruins off their ballots.
- Despite an ugly last 20 minutes on Saturday, eight voters still believe in Tennessee, with the Vols' highest tallies coming at #22 from Card Chronicle and Red Cup Rebellion. Tennessee's next top 25 battle will come in two weeks when they travel to Athens to take on #4 Georgia.