The Alabama Crimson Tide remain the nation's No. 1 team in this week's BlogPoll, but the Tide's grip on the top spot has loosened, as 'Bama garnered 64 of 87 first-place votes. Also in the mix were the two SEC East frontrunners, as the Florida Gators were atop nine ballots and the South Carolina Gamecocks were at the head of the class on seven. Regarding the Sunshine State Saurians' sudden surge, Andy Hutchins writes:
Listing the 23 non-Alabama first-place votes seems counterproductive this week, especially because there's more solid reasoning to reward a team that isn't the Tide (which has a win over No. 29 Michigan and ... that's it, really) for winning against tough competition. HOWEVER: Dawg Sports has Alabama No. 8, which just seems mean, and Florida No. 1, which really smells like a reverse jinx.
Other unlikely Florida No. 1 votes come from Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation, Miami blog The 7th Floor, and from SEC blog Team Speed Kills, jointly run by a Florida fan and a South Carolina fan; in a week when their teams each got first-place love, Kansas State blog Bring On The Cats and Notre Dame blog One Foot Down threw their lot in with Florida, too.
Does this all seem a little strange, with Florida getting rewarded by fans who would have the best reasons not to reward it? Yeah. But the beauty of the BlogPoll is that there are a lot of voters who genuinely care about merit, and, on the merits, Florida may have the nation's best résumé, given that the Gators have a win over the highest-ranked one-loss team and are the only squad with two wins over teams currently ranked in the BlogPoll.
The Georgia Bulldogs, alas, dropped eight spots to No. 13. In a possibly not unrelated item, I watched most of "Apollo 13" on AMC last night. Coincidence? Yes, it is, because Apollo 13 returned safely to earth following a major mishap, rather than crashing to end the disaster in tragedy.
There are 71 days remaining until the Mayan apocalypse.