Week 14 BlogPoll Ballot: Championship Weekend Produces Only Incremental Changes in College Football Top 25

College football’s championship weekend is a bit of an oddity, as few teams are playing games yet most of the games that are played carry more than merely ordinary consequences. Only 15 of my top 25 teams were in action this past weekend, including just two of my top nine and just five of my top 16, so, when assembling this week’s rankings, I started from last week’s BlogPoll ballot and adjusted where circumstances warranted. These are the rankings thereby produced:

Here, in a nutshell, are my reasons for ranking the teams as I did:

  • Absent a reason to move a team relative to the squads around it, I left a team alone. For instance, the Sooners leapfrogged the Badgers because Oklahoma’s wins over No. 11 Oklahoma State and No. 19 Nebraska trumped Wisconsin’s win over No. 10 Ohio State.
  • There is still no comparison between Auburn’s resume and Oregon’s. Both teams went 9-0 against conference opponents, with the Tigers carding a thirteenth victory to set alongside the twelve collected by the Ducks. The Plainsmen beat No. 5 Arkansas, No. 8 Louisiana State, No. 14 Alabama, No. 20 South Carolina (twice), the Gator Bowl-bound Mississippi St. Bulldogs, the Liberty Bowl-bound Georgia Bulldogs, the Meineke Car Care Bowl-bound Clemson Tigers, and the BBVA Compass Bowl-bound Kentucky Wildcats, while Oregon defeated No. 9 Stanford, the USC Trojans, the Alamo Bowl-bound Arizona Wildcats, the Holiday Bowl-bound Washington Huskies, and the Music City Bowl-bound Tennessee Volunteers. The Ducks may well get the better of the Tigers in Glendale on January 10---I hope they do, as a matter of fact---but any blogger who’s still voting Oregon No. 1 at this point isn’t Addicted to Quack, he’s addicted to crack.
  • Yes, I continue to allow logic to dictate the sequence in which I have the three 11-1 Big Ten co-champions ranked. The Badgers, the Buckeyes, and the Spartans all have identical ledgers, both overall and in conference play, and none of them has a meaningful win against a team from outside the league. All other things being equal, Michigan State’s win over Wisconsin gets the Spartans ranked ahead of the Badgers and Wisconsin’s win over Ohio State gets the Badgers ranked ahead of the Buckeyes.
  • I considered ranking the Fresno St. Bulldogs after Pat Hill’s squad defeated the bowl-eligible Illinois Fighting Illini, but, since the West Coast FSU finished 8-4 and lost at home to the Hawaii Warriors, who went 10-3, I couldn’t very well include the Bulldogs in the top 25, and I wasn’t about to rank the Aloha State Islanders after they lost to the Colorado Buffaloes, so the idea of a third WAC entrant into the top 25 was a non-starter.
  • With Fresno State and Hawaii thus eliminated, the spot in the top 25 vacated by the Northern Illinois Huskies very nearly went to the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, who upset NIU in the MAC Championship Game to run their record to 9-4. Unfortunately for Miami (Ohio), the Mid-American Conference champions’ 45-3 road loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats disqualified them from inclusion, so the last spot went to Connecticut, an 8-4 Big East co-champion bound for the most undeserved BCS bowl berth ever. Yes, I’m just as embarrassed about that ranking as you are.

As always, I welcome your constructive criticisms in the comments below, where I will be happy to answer any questions. I still have time to adjust my ballot in the event anyone states a persuasive case why I should do so.

Go ‘Dawgs!

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