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BLOGPOLL TOP 25: I Coulda Been a Pretender

The billing for the week that was centered on the exposure of a handful of supposed contenders, who turned out instead, in a variety of variously ugly losses, to be pretenders.

What has surprised national observers is that K-State was not among them.

Now they're waiting to see if we stub our toe against you-know-who this week before they decide whether to fully embrace this team with a week-long hype-train of unprecedented (for the last decade, anyway) proportions.

Follow the jump to see how I sorted it all out in this week's SB Nation BlogPoll ballot.

The Arkansas-Oregon swap will give the ESS EEE SEE fans some jollies, but I think it's justified.

Although Oregon looked fairly impressive against Arizona State even while starters were going down left and right, that game represents the Ducks' only win over a ranked opponent.

Arkansas has two, both over teams ranked higher than ASU in the AP poll.

Our win at Texas Tech was validation enough for me to slide the Cats up to just outside the top 10, where they will remain until they prove than can beat a top 10* team.

(*You all know which one I'm referring to. It continues to challenge my methodology, although I succumbed to groupthink again this week and kept it at No. 3, despite its lack of any AP Top 25 wins, something every other top-nine team has in its back pocket.)

The rest of my increases and decreases should be fairly obvious and intuitive, I would think.

Now, a word about the newcomers. I'm not yet prepared to rank two-loss teams in this thing, although I'm getting close. My eye is on a couple of 5-2 squads, but I want to see them win one more time before I pull the trigger on it.

That means I had four spots left to fill due to two-loss dropouts, but the pickings are getting a little slim.

So think of the last few spots (I'm not counting Washington here because I probably should have had the Huskies ranked last week, instead of the Demon Deacons — hence, their relatively high debut) as midseason pats on the back, more than me trying to identify possible contenders.

Despite a paucity of "quality" wins, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns lead the pack because their only loss was on the road to a BCS top-five Oklahoma State team.

ULL is running away with the Sun Belt Conference with a first-year coach. Pretty salty gumbo, if you ask me.

SMU enters after disciplining UCF and emerging as Houston's primary Conference USA rival. The win over TCU was solid and the loss at Chocopockets was forgivable.

Finally, this week's Mr. Irrelevant also is Mr. Ineligible. But I fully expect the Trojans to be dispatched Saturday by the Fighting Irish, who then would replace them as one of the first two-loss teams to re-enter my ballot.