Don't blame me, Nick; I'm not the one whose team lost last weekend, now, am I? - Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE
The Alabama Crimson Tide's loss on Saturday shook up the college football top 25. Which of the contenders is the new No. 1, and how does the SEC shape up now that 'Bama has been proven mortal?
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.