No. 1 Southern California garnering 65 of 70 first-place votes makes perfect sense, as does the placement of Oklahoma at No. 2. Georgia fell to fourth, however, behind a Florida club that took over the third spot and even claimed a first-place vote while idle. A similar math allowed the Saurians to move into first place in the S.E.C. Power Poll, where U.F. edged Georgia 261-257 despite having received fewer first-place votes (8) than the Red and Black (14).
Uh, walk me through that one if you would. If you had a preseason perception of the Gators as better than the Bulldogs and stuck with it, fine. If you thought last week that Florida’s win over Miami was more impressive than I thought it was, O.K. What happened between last week and this to vault the Orange and Blue ahead of the Red and Black, though? Since when is going on the road and winning a hard-fought defensive struggle on three straight touchdown-saving stands late in the game against a conference rival to whom you lost last year less impressive than spending the weekend answering e-mail and doing laundry?
I get why Georgia dropped to the third spot in light of the Sooners’ strong performance. That makes sense; I upgraded Oklahoma on my ballot, as well. However, it makes no sense for people whose expectations for the ‘Dawgs in Columbia failed to account for the historical reality to reward the Gators, quite literally, for idleness.
To reiterate, a reasonable person could have had Florida ahead of Georgia a week ago and thereafter elected to keep Florida ahead of Georgia this week, but anyone who had Georgia ahead of Florida before and moved Florida ahead of Georgia after Saturday believes winning sometimes is less impressive than not taking the field at all. Such a voter is rewarding sloth. What will it take for the Bulldogs to reclaim lost ground in such a voter’s eyes? Will Evil Richt have to break out wrath, avarice, and gluttony against Arizona State? Does the first team to exhibit all seven deadly sins win the national title?
Beyond that, my ballot featured only in one of the extracurricular categories---I placed fifth in the running for Mr. Manic-Depressive---but my desire to avoid the sorts of scathing rebukes to which resume rankers and other independent thinkers once were subjected appears misplaced. Writes Brian Cook:
I can go into ballot oddities if you like, but you know the story already: voting exclusively by results on the field in the first few weeks is an exercise in wild swings and weird rankings.
I get that it’s early, but where is the guy who used to subject me to this?