BLOGPOLL TOP 25: Return from the Bye Week

Jamie Squire

BracketCat unveils his Week 9 SB Nation BlogPoll ballot for comment and feedback.

Due to an illness, I unfortunately was unable to cast my Week 8 SB Nation BlogPoll ballot in time last week. But here's how I would have voted had I been able to make my deadline:

  1. Florida
  2. Kansas State
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Alabama
  5. LSU
  6. Oregon State
  7. Oregon
  8. Ohio State
  9. Mississippi State
  10. Oklahoma
  11. Texas Tech
  12. Florida State
  13. Rutgers
  14. Louisville
  15. Clemson
  16. Georgia
  17. USC
  18. Ohio
  19. South Carolina
  20. Wisconsin
  21. Louisiana Tech
  22. Boise State
  23. Toledo
  24. Cincinnati
  25. Tulsa

Using those values, I have updated the deltas in this week's ballot to reflect changes from my hypothetical Week 8 ballot and not from the last ballot I cast, which was Week 7.

Scroll down for my Week 9 SB Nation BlogPoll ballot:

Due to my eligibility rules, there's some late October/early November weirdness to explain here (although it should clear itself up by next week):

Kansas State: With three wins over teams currently ranked in the Associated Press poll (two of them on the road), K-State was a no-brainer to move into the No. 1 position, replacing fallen Florida.

Notre Dame: Ditto for No. 2 and Notre Dame, which has wins over two teams currently ranked in the AP (Stanford, Oklahoma) and a third over a team (inexplicably) receiving votes (Michigan).

Alabama: The Crimson Tide finally picked up their first win over a ranked team, deflated Mississippi State, but still lack overall résumé punch. This week finally should address that, one way or the other.

Ohio State/Oregon: The Buckeyes' leap was not due to beating Penn State, a team that has lost all AP power. It was because Nebraska returned to the poll at No. 21, which outweighs Oregon's win over No. 24 Arizona.

One-loss teams with at least one win over a ranked team: Here's how I broke these five teams down this week:

  • Florida: Three wins over ranked teams (Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina); "best" loss (vs. No. 7 Georgia)
  • LSU: Two wins over ranked teams (South Carolina, Texas A&M); second-best loss (@ No. 8 Florida)
  • Oregon State: It was a close call, virtually a tie, but I felt two road wins over lower-ranked teams (@UCLA, @Arizona) outweighed Georgia's one win over a ranked team (Florida) that it very nearly lost, despite the Beavers' worse loss.
  • Georgia: See above (When in doubt, ties will go to the team with better wins, not the one with the "better" loss.)
  • Florida State: The least-accomplished team in this list has by far the worst loss (@N.C. State) and also the "worst" win (No. 10 Clemson).

The last unbeaten: By virtue of being one of the last six undefeated teams, Louisville is promoted to the first waiting position outside the Top 10, but after watching Friday night's game and the Cardinals' other close shaves, I cannot in good conscience put them any higher at this time. Even this position feels a little overrated.

Two-loss teams with at least one win over a ranked team: Here's how I broke these five teams down this week:

  • South Carolina: second-best win (No. 7 Georgia); "best" set of losses (@ No. 5 LSU, @ No. 8 Florida)
  • Stanford: only team with two wins over ranked teams (USC, Arizona); second-worst loss (@Washington)
  • Texas A&M: fourth-best win (vs. No. 22 Louisiana Tech); second-best set of losses (same as South Carolina's, only at home instead of on the road)
  • Texas Tech: "worst" win (No. 23 West Virginia); third-best set of losses (No. 14 Oklahoma, @ No. 3 Kansas State)
  • UCLA: third-best win (No. 21 Nebraska); worst set of losses (No. 13 Oregon State, a horrible Cal team on the road)

(Note: I accidentally included Oklahoma in this list at first, forgetting about the Sooners' eligibility problem. If the Sooners currently were bowl-eligible, the list of six teams would look something like this: South Carolina, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA. That's more due to the quality of the Sooners' pair of top-five losses than anything they have done in the victory category.)

One-loss teams with no wins over ranked teams: Since there's nothing to rank these four teams with in the win category, they're sorted purely by quality of loss. Go beat someone if you don't like it, boys.

  • Mississippi State: @ No. 1 Alabama
  • Clemson: @ No. 8 Florida State
  • Louisiana Tech: vs. No. 16 Texas A&M
  • Boise State: @Michigan State

Two-loss teams with no wins over ranked teams: Due the several currently ranked teams sitting at just 5-2, this list was extremely slim pickings. Don't expect half of these teams (Texas!) to be ranked next week, in other words.

  • Nebraska: Three wins over teams receiving votes (Wisconsin, @Northwestern, Michigan); "best" set of losses (@ No. 25 UCLA, @ No. 6 Ohio State)
  • Texas: A win over a team ranked in the BCS standings (@Oklahoma State); second-best set of losses (No. 23 West Virginia, vs. No. 14 Oklahoma)
  • USC: Five wins over BCS teams (three of them away from home); third-best set of losses (@ No. 15 Stanford, @ No. 24 Arizona)
  • Northwestern: Six wins over BCS teams (two of them away from home); but worse losses than USC (@Penn State, No. 21 Nebraska)

Rutgers: Northwestern originally was No. 25 on my ballot, but after I caught my eligibility mistake, I needed one last team. There really were no good options. I don't think the MAC teams have done much of anything to impress, so I decided not to throw away the Scarlet Knights' season of accomplishments (five wins over BCS teams, three of them on the road) just because of one ugly home loss.

Dropouts: Oklahoma and Wisconsin drop out because of ineligibility. Ohio drops out because of an ugly loss and because beating Penn State no longer counts for very much. Toledo, Cincinnati and Tulsa drop out because they basically were just placeholders last week for teams awaiting eligibility, such as Nebraska and Stanford.

Waiting list: Teams that can jump in this week with a win are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin are out of consideration until they get to 9-3, if they even do. Other candidates for inclusion are Toledo, Kent State, Tulsa, Northern Illinois and Ohio. Man, the bottom end is bad this year.

Random thought: Is Washington the best four-loss team in the country? Sure, the Huskies were killed at LSU and at Oregon, but they held their own against USC and Arizona. Four losses all to ranked teams is nothing to sneer at, and the two wins over top-15 teams makes them look even better. Too bad they're permanently ineligible, huh?

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