The latter balloting appropriately produced a tight race atop the conference, where Georgia received 11 first-place votes to claim the No. 1 spot in a close 247-245 decision over Florida. The Gators were the recipients of eight first-place votes and L.S.U. stood on top of the heap on three ballots to come in third with 232 total points.
This logjam among the ostensible league elite seems fitting. All three frontrunners came into the season with questions which appear at least partially to have been answered: Georgia’s passing game, Florida’s defense, and Louisiana State’s quarterback situation all seem in better shape than anticipated a month ago. Nevertheless, none of these teams appears invincible, so the scattering of first-place votes and the narrowness of the margins are fitting.
Likewise, there was little change in the upper echelons of the BlogPoll. Southern California retained custody of 65 first-place votes among the 76 ballots cast and the top four remained unchanged, with Oklahoma (3 first-place votes) coming in second, Florida (3) finishing third, and Georgia (1) remaining in the No. 4 spot.
The gaps, however, remain narrow: U.S.C. received 24.8 points per ballot, 1.9 points ahead of the Sooners’ 22.9, but O.U. leads U.F. (22.4) by a scant 0.5 and the ‘Dawgs (22.2) trail the Saurians by a paper-thin 0.2.
On a more personal note, I managed once again to go unmentioned among the extracurriculars. Given the psyche-scarring excoriations to which I routinely am subjected whenever my top 25 deviates appreciably from the norm, this is a good thing.