As I noted in last night’s roundball wrapup, I am sick, so this week, I started with last week’s BlogPoll ballot and adjusted the rankings based on this week’s results. Yeah, I know, that’s a little bit lazy on my part, but what can I tell you? I’m under the weather, so this was the best I could do when compiling my top 25:
Last week’s No. 2 team, Kansas State (10-0), ascended to the top spot when the Tide tumbled, as the Wildcats notched a double-digit road victory over a Texas Christian team with a winning record. However, previous No. 4 Oregon (10-0) leapfrogged No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0) by virtue of the Ducks’ dominance over Cal, which was considerably more impressive than the Irish’s more pedestrian performance against their own eight-loss road opponent. Ohio State (10-0) benefited from a bye week bounce.
I really went back and forth between Alabama (9-1) and Georgia (9-1) to be my top-ranked once-beaten team, as the Crimson Tide’s and the Bulldogs’ resumes are remarkably similar. Ultimately, I gave the nod to ‘Bama because the Tide lost a close one to my tenth-ranked team, whereas the ‘Dawgs fell to my 15th-ranked team in a blowout. Florida (9-1) slipped from fifth to seventh after the Gators’ narrow victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, but the Sunshine State Saurians’ previous wins were enough to keep them ahead of Clemson (9-1) after the Tigers trounced Maryland. Florida State (9-1) won, but did not advance, because the Tribe struggled to outlast six-loss Virginia Tech.
Big wins over Alabama and Oregon State, respectively, catapulted Texas A&M (8-2) and Stanford (8-2) into the top eleven, while Louisiana State (8-2) inched up after dropping a 20-point drubbing on Mississippi State. A loss by Oregon State (7-2) and an eight-point win over lowly Baylor by Oklahoma (7-2) caused the Beavers and the Sooners to lose ground, whereas South Carolina (8-2) and Nebraska (8-2) held fast with an 18-point win over Arkansas and a nine-point win over Penn State, respectively.
Attrition allowed Texas (8-2) to inch up after dispatching Iowa State, but a 19-point loss to a middling Syracuse squad caused Louisville (9-1) to plummet. I figured that, if one one-loss Big East squad deserved a spot in the top 20, so did another, which compelled me to rank Rutgers (8-1) 19th following less than impressive victories carded by UCLA (8-2) over eight-loss Washington State by eight points and by Louisiana Tech (9-1) over six-loss Texas State by seven points.
By clobbering Hawaii on the road, Boise State (8-2) moved up, which necessitated slipping Cincinnati (7-2) down slightly after the Bearcats performed more or less only as anticipated. Toledo (8-2) moved down after a close loss to seven-win Ball State, and that left room for San Jose State (8-2) to sneak into the poll following a 40-point conquest of New Mexico State. What can I tell you? There never are 25 teams deserving of a spot in the top 25, so that was the best I could do, though, of course, I welcome your constructive criticisms in the comments below.