Thursday, October 26, 2006

This Week's CFB Top 25 Ballot

So last weekend I went down to South Beach to help my brother celebrate his pending nuptials with a bachelor party. It was an extravagant weekend: Shore Club, Nobu, Prime 112 and -- for the first (and possibly last) time in my life, some late-night clubbing.

(You have to understand that since the kid was born, I'm passed out at 10-ish, unless there's a late-ending major sports event on TV. And that's on the weekends. So you can imagine that the ol' wee-hours club life was a, um, unique experience for me. It was my first -- and likely my last -- experience with table service, the economics of which are fascinating.)

I'm usually not a "star-sighting!" person, but there were two sports-related star-sightings that I wanted to pass along: First, at Nobu on Friday night, word spread through my party as we left the restaurant that A-Rod was there. So, naturally, I turned to gawk -- but only for a second. That was all I needed: The guy was HUGE. He is jacked. You can't tell when he's in uniform on TV. But in regular clothes sitting at a normal person's dinner table? He's massive.

On Saturday night, we went to this steakhouse Prime 112. It took forever to get seated, but the delay did give me the chance to see Drew Rosenhaus walk in with an unidentified player. Unlike A-Rod, Rosenhaus looks EXACTLY like he does on TV. He must go there a lot, because he was treated quite nicely (though I have to say, he didn't get seated before we did; it was refreshing to see him have to actually WAIT for a table. I figured guys like him skip to the front of the line.)

What is my point here? Uh, I don't really have one, except to say that normally, I'd post my weekly CFB Top 25 on Monday (or, at the latest, Tuesday), but I apparently was so out of sorts after the big weekend that I neglected to do it. So here it is, and -- as usual -- I welcome your disparaging reactions:

1. Ohio St

2. Michigan
3. WVA
4. USC
5. Louisville
6. Texas
7. Clemson*
8. Arkansas*
9. Auburn*
10. Florida*

11. Notre Dame
12. Tennessee
13. Rutgers
14. LSU
15. Wisconsin
16. Cal
17. Boise St.
18. Nebraska
19. B.C.
20. Texas A&M
21. Missouri
22. Oklahoma
23. Georgia Tech
24. Oregon
25. Tulsa

* - Thanks to reader R.D., who sent me an email making a persuasive case that my Florida bias had gotten a little out of control here. The upshot: I have always preached you have to rank based on the "body of evidence," not projection. My feeling that Florida would beat Auburn on a neutral field shouldn't play into where I rank them THIS week, given that Florida lost to Auburn head-to-head and haven't played since, to give me any evidence they should be ranked higher. (BTW, jumping Clemson over the entire trio of SEC teams is a further nod to that reality.)


Gary said...

Rutgers/UConn Sunday night! I'm excited.

If my alma mater (UConn) sends Rutgers season into the shitter, a rivalry will be officially born.

If Rutgers stomps all over my dismal Huskies (as they should) They will probably jump up a space or two.

Upset special of the week!...

Navy 31 Notre Dame 26

I saw Navy in person, that team is explosive.

Richard said...

Like I've been saying, Rutgers and Boise State should be up with the other undefeated teams until they lose. Say Rutgers finishes undefeated (which they probobly wont), wouldnt they DESERVE to play for the BCS Championship over a one loss Notre Dame, Clemson, Florida, Auburn, and Tennessee?

My new theory I've adopted on rankings is that they are a guess as to which team would win a head to head matchup. Well that's impossible. Since they play such a large factor in deciding the national championship game, shouldn't they be more about which teams DESERVE to play for it? In that case, an undefeated team would get my vote over ANY team with a loss.

That being said, the whole thing is irrelevent since the OSU/Michigan winner and the WVU/Louisville winner will be the only undefeated teams and end up in Glendale.

Unknown said...

How can Notre Dame drop in your poll? I don't understand...Tennessee was in the same game. Florida didn't even play...

and... oh, nevermind.

Unknown said... probably saw Navy BEFORE they lost their QB.

ToddTheJackass said...


BC beat Clemson. BC has a tougher strength of schedule than Clemson... (ranked #2 and #69 respectively on CBS Sportsline), and they are ranked 9 spots below Clemson?

I do not get it Dan. Please explain a difference that big...

Chris W said...

Can someone explain why Auburn is ranked behind Florida in this and other polls? That drives me absolutely insane. We all know who the better team is here.

Steve said...

The only thing I would say is that Georgia Tech got pounded in your poll maybe a bit harshly. LSU is at 14 with 2 losses to # 7 and 9. Georgia Tech is at #23 with losses to #10 and #11. Just doesn't seem like a 9 spot difference to me. Now if you say that there's a huge dropoff between 9 and 10 I could be swayed.

On a side note, someone has mentioned this before, but it would be cool if next to the team you put a little blurb in for why you think they're there.

CorrND said...


Rutgers would NOT deserve to be in BCS championship because they would have beaten NO ONE. Unless you count supposedly good teams like Louisville and West Virginia, who have also beaten NO ONE.

Sorry to say, scheduling matters. Pick up a decent non-conference game if you think you're team is so good that they DESERVE to be in the BSC Championship.

Anonymous said...

On the other topic (A-Rod freakish build): I was absolutely dumbfounded when I saw Urlacher in an underarmor t-shirt and no pads. He is gi-normous. They don't draw comic book heroes that "over the top" with muscles! No wonder there are only 2 decent QBs left in the NFL (remember the Manning hit this weekend? Eventually someone will die, that's why they're using all these silly rules).

And, come to think of it, athletes using steroids is basically a real-life Captain America story times 100, right?

Here's a classic quote I grabbed from wikipedia's Dr. Z bio:
'While covering the NFL draft in the '80s, Zimmerman was asked what the NFL player of the '90s would be like. Zimmerman responded, "The player of the '90s will be so sophisticated that he'll be able to pass any steroid test they come up with." [1]. This was the end of his own television career.'

Too bad he was right.

Anonymous said...

I see every Navy game. I hate to say it, but this isn't the year the streak ends.

BTW, am I the only one that read "South Beach" as "South Bend" and couldn't figure out why A-Rod and Rosenhaus were in northern Indiana?

Geoff-Detroit said...

So Florida is behind Auburn in the AP poll, the coaches poll, and the BCS poll... yet you have them 2 spots higher. Did you block it out of your mind that Auburn actually beat Florida?

TJ said...

I'll get killed on this since I'm lifelong Gator fan, a UF alumn, and a UF student. However: If you're complaining about Dan having Florida above Auburn you obviously weren't around when he stated his disdain for polls based on inertia. I'm assuming this translates to a belief that overall resume is more important than when in the season you lost.

There are two ways to think about it:

1)Imagine you flip the schedule so that one week Florida loses a close game at #2 Auburn and the next week Florida trounces LSU while Auburn gets trounced by Arkansas. Then who do you have ranked higher?

2) Pretend someone wiped your memory and then showed you Florida and Auburn's results so far this season, only they listed the games in random order, so you had no way of knowing when in the season each team lost its game. Who do you rank higher then? If you're honest, it's probably Florida.

That said, I do allow a little bit of inertia to enter into it when I make a top 10, so I have Auburn ranked right ahead of Florida ranked right ahead of Tennessee. But if you're going to kill Dan for having Auburn behind Florida, at least understand that it fits perfectly within his top-25 philosophy.

Geoff-Detroit said...

Um, that is all fine and dandy. But AUBURN BEAT FLORIDA. Like just a week and a half ago. So are you going to tell me that head to head means nothing now, too?

Shaggy said...

I think you should have a blog discussion of your readers who have celebrity sightings run-ins, but they must be purley accidental or random meetings, nothing like a meet and greet or "you knew they were going to be there" type thing. I would be interested to hear some more of your sightings as well as some of your avid readers.

oh and come on ND ranked 11? That just hurts..going to the Navy v. ND game, cant wait. It's the only time I get to see them in person.

oh and I cant believe you actually admitted to seeing Rosenberg out eating..he is a scum bag...makes all agents look bad.

Gary said...

Troy, I didn't know you could be an alum and student at the same time (unless you are going to grad school, which you probably are)

Also, corrnd...Louisville played Miami (in a down year) but these matchups get set years in advance, and one could only expect DA U to be good this year.

If Rutgers runs the table, they are in the discussion. What if they are the ONLY unbeaten. It could happen.

Rutgers somehow beats WVU and Louisville, USC loses to ND, Ohio St. loses to Michigan and there you have it, Rutgers, the lone undefeated BCS conference team. Would you then consider them worthy of the national championship game?

Don't get me wrong, Rutgers is probably going to lose to bothLousiville and WVU, but I'm saying, if it happened.

manninghamheisman said...

Hey Dan,

Who was Arod with? Was he well-dressed? Dude, you should have gone and talked to him. He loves ESPN and CNN SI

manninghamheisman said...

without ESPN and CNN SI he would be...well...just another star... ESPN and CNN SI have given TO, Arod and Miguel Cairo (3 players) a lot of press. They should be thankful and kiss the ground you walk on

Deathwatch Conundrum said...


In your scenario there would be two undefeated teams, not one.


First of if your rankings weren't biased Arkansas and Auburn would both be a head of Florida. If your ranking were intelligent Arkansas wouldn't be in the top ten. And I'm an Arkansas grad. Wait until they choke against Tennesse and LSU.

rukrusher said...


If out of conference schedule means so much, identify the non-conference wins for LSU, Auburn, Florida and Arkansas that makes them better then Louisville and West Virginia? You are arguing that Rutgers beating Louisville and West Virgina is meaningless however it is no different then the SEC beating up on each other and arguing how tough the conference is. If I remember, the SEC champ lost to the Big East champ last year, so if the SEC wants more respect go out and beat more then California to get it.

Similalry, if the Big 12 is more deserving go find me the big out of conference win for Texas or Oklahoma, the fact of the matter is no one is calling West Virginia or Louisville for home and home series, and Rutgers scheduled two BCS conference games, Navy and a mid level team in Ohio. Is it unfortunate that UNC and Illinios never got it together this year, yes, but the schedule was respectable and if Rutgers manages to win out it will have posted three, maybe four, road wins against bowl teams and another two possible home wins over quality competition. I think any undefeated BCS school should be in the National Championship game over a one loss team.

rukrusher said...

And if that undefeated team is non-competitive, all the more reason to move to the playoff everyone wants.

Richard said...

Just to clear it up:

I have no affilliation to Rutgers.

I do not root for them in any way.

I only think any undefeated team should be ranked ahead of any one loss team strength of schedule doesn't matter as much to me as the number of wins.

Remember, every team ahs cupcake games on their schedule including the mighty Buckeyes whose "best" win came at the expense of a true freshman QB.

JeterIs#1 said...

Miguel Cairo, when does ESPN talk about him except that he is an ok fill-in for injured players? I don't think his career has exploded because of ESPN like AROD and TO? They are on every day he is on once a month

manninghamheisman said...

I know, I know...

But Miguel Cairo would never have become such a hero if it wasn't for ESPN.

He's the worst player who got glamorized infinitely by ESPN in May

Mikepcfl said...

I was having a late lunch once in Owings Mills, MD (Will Smith, Ray Lewis and many Ravens have houses there). Anyway, the restaurant is dead and all of a sudden through the door comes this huge African-American guy. He had to duck to get into the restaurant. the bartender and I both did a double take and I asked him "Is that Shaq?" It was.

Anyway, to make this short he is absolutely huge in-person. You cant believe how massive he is until you stand next to him. They gave him, his wife and an older lady a table in the corner and everyone left him alone. The staff were busy calling their friends and I hung around in case I could get an accidental meeting with him. Word soon spread that he was about to leave, but since everyone left him alone, he would sign autographs on the way out. The staff grabbed menus and I just grabbed a notepad that I had. But Shaq went down the line and signed everyone's autograph on his way out. You could tell he was a friendly guy. There was no phoniness or attitude. He really seemed to enjoy signing and even chatting with everyone. I thanked him when he got to me and he said he just bought a house in the area. I know I will never see a larger man or a more down to earth athlete.

manninghamheisman said...

I have actually seen Shaq in person with Dwane Wade. They were staying at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago when I worked near there. I didn't think Shaq was that big at all. i donno

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

I can understand why it was necessary to put Florida behind Auburn, but Arkansas is ahead of Florida because they beat Auburn? And Clemson is 6th why?

Clemson would lose to any of the three SEC top ten teams if they played.

My feeling is that you are now on the other end of the spectrum, purposely underrating SEC teams and especially Florida to show you aren't biased or something. My recommendation is just go by your gut and don't care what a reader thinks. We all have a bias or two.

Josh said...

Dan -

You knew I'd come back for this one. Cal at 16?! Are you serious?! I love how everyone in the media discredits Cal for not blowing out Washington, yet a month ago Washington was a refs error and a 15 yard completed pass from beat USC in LA. Perhaps people actually need to see that Washington is not a team that's going to go quietly into that good night no matter who they play.

My real question is this...what are you going to do after Nov. 18th when Cal walks out of LA with a dominating victory of USC? Will you finally forget about the week one fluke in Tennessee or will you forever be buried in your SEC bias that you can't see how lucky Tennessee really got that day?

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

Clemson just got crushed. I am sure whatever BCS Bowl gets the ACC champ and Boise St. is trying to figure out away to burn down the stadium and collect the insurance money.

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

Josh-Cal sucks. The real Cal showed up against Tennessee. If they beat USC, that will just prove what everyone else knows, that USC is overrated this year. Sorry.

And like I was saying about Clemson.

JeterIs#1 said...

startvinceyoung, that was really funny, one of the few comments i have read and laughed at. very true, i would rather watch the quadruple-A champ St. Louis beat up Detroit over and over again than watch that game

john (east lansing, mi) said...

Joe Livonia - I don't think you can claim that the first game of the season showcases a team's true nature. As much as I admire and am jealous of, for instance, OSU-Texas, I firmly believe in one or two warmup games. Of course you know I realize USC is overrated, but that does not in any way equate to the fact that the "real" Cal team would lose by dozens to the real Tennessee.

Rutgers guy - I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment (re: Rutgers, not Boise State). If Louisville goes undefeated, which I expect, they will probably end up in Glendale. Same with *sigh* WVa. How come Rutgers can't earn that same distinction, despite playing both of those teams?

(The answer is inertia, and it's bullshit, but that's the way of things.)

Auburn complainers -
Auburn got their asses straight kicked. At home. It doesn't even matter who did it, that's grounds for huge droppage. Florida lost a tight game, on the road, to a team that probably belongs in the top 15, at least. It's not that hard for me to handle.

corrnd -
your argument doesn't move me. Just thought you should know. You should also know, though, that I am counting on the Irish in SoCal. I wouldn't even bet against a rematch of that delightful game from Week 3...

That's my stream of consciousness for the night. Although if anybody wants to talk about Michigan, I think we have something like 0 WRs with reception attempts right now. Just kidding, but Breaston doesn't catch TDs. I'm a little worried right now, if only because Mike Hart will be carrying too much weight for the next 2-3 weeks. Also, I think, if any coach of a real team ever would, Lloyd Carr will handle this Arrington situation in a way appropriate to the character of a great program. Just saying it now, so that at least I will have something to brag about when our #2 WR is dismissed from the team.

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

Maybe that's true John about the warm-up needed, but UT has also played better since that loss, against better competition than Cal. You can't just pretend like getting owned by the Vols never happened.

Michael said...

It's outright offensive you have West Virgina ranked higher than Rutgers. Who has WV scheduled? Nobody.
Who has Rutgers scheduled? Nobody.

As long as you reward teams for scheduling cream puffs, college football will still be a joke.

Be a man and drop WVU out of the top ten.

TJ said...

Poor poor Clemson... Did you have to go an jinx 'em like that, Dan?

And you know what, I'm not entirely sure how Arkansas over Florida and Auburn reflects your "body of evidence" theory. Not that it matters how anyone ranks the SEC teams right now, since it's a conference with an actual championship game to settle things.

ToddTheJackass said...

On behalf of my alum, Boston College, we'd like to thank Dan Shanoff for graciously using his jinx to have Clemson lose, thereby improving our chances.

You the man Dan!

CHWVU said...


for once let me speak for all wvu fans when I say that IT IS NOT OUR FAULT THAT BC, MIAMI, AND VA TECH BOUNCED FROM THE BIG EAST...the reason our scheduling non-conference is weak is because we have the now open week that was typically filled by one of these three teams, instead now we are left scrambling to find someone to fill it and the only teams who can do so are D-1AA teams....

with that said..

Take three of the top 4 teams out of any conference in america and see how the remaining teams schedules look...(USC, Cal, Oregon out of Pac-10)...(Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State out of Big XII)..(Ohio state, michigan, iowa out of big 10) get the point..considering that reality, I'd say it's pretty damn impressive what west virginia was able to accomplish last year....

so...heres the deal, we got screwed. and next year we have a home and away starting with cal...the following two years..florida state.....which means we can right the ship because there are finally openings to schedule things like that because of how the acc raped us...

so..lets stop absolutely hating on west virginia for their strength of schedule, because if you were in the same situation with your team your sentiment wouldnt be the same...

oh...and Go EERs, hopefully we can pull out a win on "Blackout Thursday" (all L'ville fans wearing black)....

Anonymous said...

Rutgers DID NOT schedule creampuffs! They're in the Big EAST! If ND scheduled Rutgers, you'd whine because ND loaded up on a creampuff!

They are the Creampuff! They're playing out of their minds!

They'll play WV and Louisville, and that's all we can ask for. Win those, and reward them, lose those and "THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE".

Josh said...

Joe and John your ignorance is even more impressive than the national media's. Truly, it astounds me. I love it though, everyone comes out of the woodworks to bash Cal. They've only taken down every oponent for the last 7 weeks while having one rough game against a VERY underrated Washington team. USC might not be the team it was in the past, but how is a team really "overrated" that's lost ONE GAME since the fall of 2003? Name a single team that's had the same run. So, please continue to disbelieve, but I hope you enjoy eating your words come January 1st. Rose Bowl - Cal vs. the OSU/Michigan loser. Either way it'll be fun to watch for Cal fans as Daymieon Hughes completely blankets Ginn/Manningham and Lynch runs rampant.

Joe (Livonia, MI) said...

Sorry Josh, but the SEC will always have scoreboard, as Tennessee DESTROYED Cal. The game was never in doubt. Cal will get similarly destroyed in a bowl game, as they always do. Washington is an average team, who looks better because they play average Pac 10 teams. Cal will receive their comeuppance in January, I assure you.