As usual, I asked for feedback when I submitted my weekly BlogPoll ballot, and, also as usual, I received it; viz., drothgery raised these objections to my ranking of Missouri ahead of Oklahoma State:
Oklahoma State still has the same record as Missouri, still plays in the same conference, still beat them at their place, and still lost to better teams.
Although I had an explanation for that during my lunch hour, I revisited the issue once I got home and I concluded that drothgery was right, for these reasons:
- Although the Tigers had the tougher non-conference schedule, that advantage was overcome by the Cowboys’ tougher Big 12 slate. Overall, the two teams compiled superficially similar resumes, as both went 9-3 and each claimed five victories over teams with losing records, three victories over teams with winning records, and one victory over a Division I-AA opponent from the Show Me State.
- Mizzou and Okie State each won eight games by more than a touchdown and won one game by seven or fewer points. The Pokes’ nailbiter (at Missouri) obviously was more impressive than the Tigers’ (at Baylor).
- The Cowboys had the better set of losses, to the three 11-1 teams tied atop the Big 12 South. Oklahoma State lost to Texas and Texas Tech on the road and fell to the Longhorns by a narrow margin. The Tigers’ setbacks came against five-loss Kansas, three-loss Oklahoma State, and one-loss Texas, with two of those defeats coming at home and the loss in Austin coming by a substantial margin.
- Missouri’s best win was at four-loss Nebraska. Oklahoma State’s best win was, of course, at three-loss Missouri. Oklahoma’s overall body of work was adequate to overcome the fact that the Sooners lost to Texas, but the Tigers’ total resume was too similar to the Cowboys’ to overcome Oklahoma State’s head-to-head victory.
That’s good enough for me, so my revised top 25 looks like this:
Once again, I thank drothgery and everyone else who regularly questions and critiques my weekly rankings.