Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This Week's BlogPoll Top 25 Ballot: BYU!

The BlogPoll ballot after the first week of the season is usually the wildest -- I like to lean heavily on what happened on the field, with weighting for teams that beat other good teams, that looked sloppy beating other good teams and generally just reward tough early-season scheduling:

1 Brigham Young 16
2 Alabama 5
3 Oklahoma State 8
4 Boise State 6
5 Florida 4
6 Texas 4
7 Southern Cal 2
8 Penn State 5
9 TCU 6
10 Georgia Tech 2
11 California 3
12 Mississippi 6
13 Cincinnati 11
14 LSU 5
15 Ohio State 2
16 Baylor
17 Kansas 1
18 Utah
19 Nebraska
20 North Carolina
21 Notre Dame
22 Miami (Florida)
23 Virginia Tech 2
24 Georgia 5
25 Oklahoma 21
Last week's ballot

Dropped Out: Oregon (#12), Iowa (#20), Oregon State (#22), Florida State (#23), Central Michigan (#25).

Do I think BYU is better than Florida or Texas? No. But after one week, BYU is the team with the impressive win at Oklahoma on their resume, while Florida and Texas (and USC and Penn State and so many others) chomped on cupcakes. Please improve this ranking by leaving your comments below, and based on your good arguments, I will shuffle as necessary.

UPDATE: You may mock the internal inconsistencies of my logic, but please recognize I see them. It feels like after BYU, Alabama and OK State, I went back to the Biggies -- did Florida's win really reveal that they are the best team in the country? (Well, a little, but not enough.)

Why do Texas, USC and Penn State make the cut but others don't? Why does TCU move up despite being idle? (It has a little to do with BYU's tide lifting all MWC boats, I think.)

Why did I lift Cincy so high? Because I think they destroyed what many considered to be a good Rutgers team, and I think Cincy has been slept on because everyone hates the Big East, forgetting that Brian Kelly is one of the Top 5 coaches in the country.

It feels like after the Top 10 or 11, I had to start overlooking Game 1 flaws (Ole Miss, LSU, Ohio State, -- or I wanted to give some love to teams that earned their way into my ranking (like Baylor and, yes, Notre Dame).

And I'm not quite sure why I have three 0-1 teams at the bottom, except that they were bold enough to schedule really good season-opening games and none were throttled. All three are Top 25-quality teams, and if they had played the requisite 1-AA cupcakes, they would all have found themselves roughly in their preseason slots, despite the new evidence -- unearthed in their real games -- that they aren't as good as their preseason ranking, that we probably wouldn't have seen for a few weeks, but is most certainly there.

Again, each week, this list gets more and more refined. But I was thrilled to finally have something besides last season's biases and offseason "paper" qualities to base a ranking on.

-- D.S.

UPDATE: Great column by my old Northwestern classmate Doug Lesmerises about why he ranked Bama, BYU and OK St ahead of Florida -- hey, just like me.


Eric said...

I don't like your logic, but I guess I understand it. I just believe your entry should reflect how you feel each team actually ranks. BYU may have a 1 in 8 chance of beating Florida and maybe a 1 in 4 against Alabama and some others. I think you should place Florida #1. Until they lose or struggle mightily there is no one with a better argument. (Disclaimer, I'm a USC fan). After the weekend I like 1. Florida, 2. Alabama, 3. Texas, 4. USC, 5. OK State. I'm not really impressed with BYU beating a deflated OU. I would place them around 8-10. I think Boise St is intriguing at home against anyone, but overall I have them just above BYU. Notre Dame did look solid though (maybe 15), Nevada is not a bad team.

Lastly, I know you're not a USC fan at all, but the school doesn't go by Southern Cal. I don't know if you're just going with a natural abbreviation or if it is your personal dig.

Anyhow, keep up the good work!

Art Vandelay said...

No Missouri? Absolutely destroyed what was considered a pretty good Illini team on a neutral field.

Dan Shanoff said...

"Southern Cal" is hard-coded into the BlogPoll voting software, unfortunately. Not much I can do about it, but it's not my choice.

Good ideas, by the way. It's really tough to navigate, especially this first week.

As for the BYU comment, don't overlook that while Bradford was in there -- and presumably fully healthy -- the Cougars D (which was not expected to be any great shakes) was handling OU's offense.

We may yet find out that Oklahoma is merely an ordinary team now -- especially without Bradford -- but I'll take at least this week to give BYU the benefit of the doubt on the road against a preseason Top 3 team.

TJ said...

Even with resume ranking, I don't like Boise that high. They did not play all that well against what looked like a horrible Oregon team. Missouri, Cincy, FSU, and maybe even Cal all had better wins. Hell, I even Washington, Navy, and Wake might not have played as poorly as Oregon.

I know Boise will move down as the cupcakes pile up, but still, let's not overrate what we learned about Boise on Thursday: not much.