I apologize for my delay in posting yesterday’s postgame wrap-up, but it wound up being a busy weekend. My wife had a family get-together at her parents’ home on the north side of town on Saturday, which meant that my brother-in-law, Craig, and I left Sanford Stadium after the game and headed (or tried to head; traffic management was less than optimal) to the side of Atlanta to which I am unaccustomed to traveling. In short, it took us three and a half hours to sit in the stands and watch the game, but it took us four hours to get back from the game.
Needless to say, that threw off the schedule more than a little, which was why I was late getting a recap up on the internet (and I still have not read any other weblogs, the open comment thread, or any news reports more in-depth than a box score), but I have had time to compile my latest BlogPoll ballot.
This is closer to being a resume-based ballot than my previous efforts, so the arrows are apt to indicate a fair degree of movement; this is because I paid no attention whatsoever to last week’s ballot when assembling this week’s ballot.
I pulled out a legal pad and put three headings at the top of four sheets of paper: "5-0," "4-0," "4-1," and "3-1." I listed all the teams with those records under the proper heading, then went through and listed the teams each had beaten and (where applicable) the teams to which each had lost. I then ranked all the 5-0 teams in order, all the 4-0 teams in order, et al. I eliminated some teams (e.g., Pitt and Texas A&M), then I input the eight 5-0 teams on my ballot, followed by the three 4-0 teams, etc., before making appropriate adjustments. Here is the result:
|Last week's ballot|
I also gave consideration to ranking the Mississippi Rebels, the Oklahoma St. Cowboys, the UCLA Bruins, and the West Virginia Mountaineers, although what I mean by "I gave consideration" is, of course, "I did not dismiss out of hand." (I did not look at, but I might be willing to look at, a two-loss team.) I watched the Colorado-West Virginia game on Thursday, I watched the Pitt-Louisville game on Friday, and I attended the Georgia-LSU game on Saturday.
While there is a heavy resume component to this ballot, it is not a pure resume ballot in any sense that would obtain the Matt Hinton seal of approval. I used resumes as the first, but not the sole, factor in assembling the top 25 because there is a point at which human judgment comes into play.
The only part of this ballot that strikes me as truly weird is the fact that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are ranked higher than the Michigan Wolverines, even though both have identical 4-1 records and the lower-ranked team beat the higher-ranked team. The problem is that the Maize and Blue have done nothing else of note except eking out a four-point win over the Golden Domers at home; Michigan’s other victims were directional MAC schools and an Indiana Hoosiers outfit that fell in the Big House by a three-point margin before being beaten 33-14 by the Ohio St. Buckeyes in Bloomington. Notre Dame has at least partially respectable wins over the Nevada Wolf Pack and the Washington Huskies, as well as a victory over the selfsame Michigan St. Spartans who just beat the Wolverines.
As always, your feedback is appreciated. Your questions, comments, and corrections are most welcome in the comments below. The deadline for submitting final ballots is not until early Wednesday morning, so I have time to make changes in the event sufficiently persuasive cases are made.