The Week Five BlogPoll (full results here) keeps Alabama as an overwhelming #1, but their first-place votes have dropped from 92 to 85, with Oregon, Florida State, Kansas State, Stanford, Notre Dame, and even Florida getting in on the action. And, true to its declared purpose of putting more focus on resume than the traditional polls, the poll sees Oregon and Florida State jump LSU into spots #2 and #3, with Kansas State riding an upset in Norman to the #6 spot. While Oregon made a similar jump in the AP and Coaches polls, Florida State still languishes behind LSU and Kansas State behind South Carolina.
Between LSU and Kansas State rests the team with Tennessee's singular focus: the Georgia Bulldogs. Despite a dominating win over Vanderbilt, they dropped behind a Seminole team that simply did it against a better team. Following Georgia is Kansas State, South Carolina, Stanford, Notre Dame, and West Virginia. Tennessee's last major opponent sits just outside the top ten, with the Florida Gators--the lowest-ranked team to garner a first-place vote--pulling in at #11.
Other major changes include Clemson dropping six spots to #16, Oklahoma dropping eleven spots to #17, and Oregon State and Rutgers making huge jumps to break into the poll at #19 and #23. Nebraska also joined the poll at #24, much to the chagrin of the Head-to-Head Police, and Michigan, UCLA, and Arizona dropped out. Also, Michigan State rose two places after struggling with Eastern Michigan. Don't ask me how. They dropped eight spots in our ballot. And somehow ended up exactly where we voted them.
Much to the credit of the voting populace, the BlogPoll top seven match up perfectly with the Rocky Top Talk ballot, with the first disagreement coming at #8, where we placed Notre Dame one spot ahead of their overall #9 ranking. Our first major disagreement comes at the 10 and 15 spots, where the Rocky Top Talk ballot and the final poll have reversed West Virginia and TCU. We were unimpressed with the Mountaineers' failure to do horrible things to this week's four-touchdown underdog (Maryland), and. . . well, who doesn't like Gary Patterson's defense?
Other major disagreements include us having Clemson at #12, four spots higher than the poll at large and putting unranked (and not terribly close to being ranked) Louisiana Tech and Michigan at #18 and #21. On the negative side, we saw no reason to rank Northwestern after wins over Syracuse, Boston College, and Vanderbilt (Minnesota wants to know why they can't be ranked after beating Syracuse and Western Michigan, the latter of whom may well be better than Syracuse, Boston College, or Vanderbilt), and we don't see what Nebraska has done to be ranked over UCLA, who racked up 650 yards on the 'Huskers not long ago.
Our full ballot in all its glory:
- The Rocky Top Talk ballot, after having one extreme vote two weeks ago and a couple iffy ones last week, has gotten more normal. The most extreme vote on the ballot was being in a four-way tie for Louisiana Tech's second-highest vote at #18, five spots behind Blatant Homerism's #13 vote. TCU was voted as high as #6 (by House of Sparky), Clemson as high as #9 (by Hustle Belt, Bucky's Fifth Quarter, and Mountain West Connection), and Michigan as high as #16 (by Shakin' the Southland). On the other side of the coin, West Virginia was voted as low as #21 by Team Speed Kills.
- Tennessee, fresh off a late collapse against Florida and a closer-than-expected win over Akron, still received three votes, #18 from Tomahawk Nation, #22 from RazorBloggers, and #25 from CougCenter. Tomahawk Nation and RazorBloggers are the only voters to have the Vols in all four ballots this season.
- This week's opponent, on the other hand, got no votes lower than #17, and that from the tough-love anti-homers Dawg Sports. Their second-lowest vote was #15 from Black Shoe Diaries, and they received as high as #2 from Tom Fornelli and #3 from a host of others. Nobody said this weekend wouldn't be a challenge.