Behold, WBE’s BlogPoll ballot for Week 3:
|Last week’s ballot|
Some weird-looking stuff and a lot of new faces, I know. But this is Week 3: we’re far enough in that I don’t want to reward teams that haven’t played anybody, but at the same time if you’ve only played three games and already have a loss, that counts for something, too. Breakin’ it down:
1: I don’t like it any more than you do. But you and I both know how 2007ish Florida looked on offense and Texas got outgained by a rebuilding Tech squad at home. Meanwhile, Greg McElroy has one of the higher passer ratings in the country.
2-4: Honestly, after Florida St.’s blowout in Provo and the ‘Canes hog-tying of the Yellow Jackets, Miami ought to be No. 2. But I still want to see what Harris can do against a D of Va. Tech’s caliber.
5-8: No, I don’t think LSU is remotely the 5th-best team in the country, but that win at Washington now looks like a genuine achivement, and who do you replace them with? Until Cal’s and Cincy’s road victims prove more (and Oregon does more than wheeze past overrated opponents at home in Boise’s case), LSU’s U-dub victory is the best of the available bunch.
9-10: Play somebody, guys.
11-17: Each of these teams has an undefeated record and at least one BCS-conference victim to their credit, and are basically ranked according to how good that win was, with a bonus for it coming on the road or at a neutral site. (UNC got a huge boost from UConn this week–the Huskies took down a good Baylor team on the road and look as legit as ever. UCLA takes a flying leap up the ballot, but that’s a correction–they should have been ranked last week.)
18: Win or lose against Clemson, TCU’s not holding steady next week.
19-25: No team goes in front of a team that beat it straight-up. Well, Washington’s behind Southern Cal, but when a team went 0-12 last year, I think one more week of skepticism is necessary.
Waitlist: Sorry, Kansas. Maybe next week. Notre Dame might sneak back in, but after Nevada laid an egg against Colorado St., that opening-week win looks a ton less impressive.
On to …
1. Alabama. With the offense whirring along, the last hope is that the defense is overrated. Help us out here, Hogs.
2. Florida. Lots of pressure on the Gators to satisfy Gainesville’s bread and circuses demands, and they never looked particularly comfortable with it, did they?
3. LSU. If the Washington win looks a thousand times better, struggling with Vandy at home more than Miss. St. did on the road lo0ks a thousand times worse.
4. Ole Miss. Memphis-bye-SELA. Rebel fans probably feel like the kid standing by the window watching all his friends play outside.
5. Auburn. I’m telling you: the West Virginia win will wind up Auburn’s best regular season nonconference W since the Pat Dye era.
6. Georgia. So I figured the Dawgs would give up around 40 points to the Hogs and lose. Half right equals all wrong in this case. Sorry, Dawgs.
7. South Carolina. Game effort between the Hedges looks even better after Dawgs’ trip to Fayetteville.
8. Arkansas. Florida returned a bunch of bad defenders last year and improved dramatically. Arkansas returned a bunch of bad defenders this year and thus far are still just bad. Willy Robinson, you’re on notice.
9. Kentucky. All those who foresaw Rich Brooks taking over total ownership of the L’ville-UK rivalry, raise your hands … even if I don’t believe you.
10. Tennessee. Say this for Kiffin: that’s one hell of a job managing fan expectations he’s done, what with the universal praise for having his team in position to be fortunate to lose to his archrivals by only two scores.
11. Mississippi St. After Bulldogs’ domination of the ‘Dores and with Mullen’s offensive revitalization already showing serious signs of life, LSU might want to be on guard a bit when they go to Starkville Saturday.
12. Vanderbilt. Tempted to say “It was fun while it lasted, Vandy,” but they lost this game last year, too.