I present to you Week 5 of the Bring On The Cats Top 25 Poll, in which Oregon and Alabama continue to see-saw back and forth for control of the top spot:
As always, your slate of voters is myself, Curtis Kitchen, EMAW 4 Ever, Jon Morse, JT VanGilder, Luke Thompson, nugget1224, PurpleBrunette, wildcat00 and KSUEMAW!
Lack of consensus remained the theme this week in the Bring On The Cats Top 25 Poll, with four teams received either two or three first-place votes. Florida State's definitely the one on the slide, though, slipping to No. 4 today.
A mere 24 points separate first from fifth this week, continuing a trend that has been apparent for a few weeks now.
Otherwise, slight shuffling occurred throughout the poll as teams jostled for style points and won certain voters over (or lost them with poor performances). A big factor was my ranking of multiple one-loss teams for the first time.
The only teams to stay put were the Mississippians and the Mormons. Otherwise, most teams moved up or down one to two spots, based mainly on picking up votes from Texas A&M and teams that fell out of the poll.
Noteworthy moves included the Aggies' three-spot slide, attributable mainly to barely winning a game in overtime against a team that went 0-8 versus the SEC last season, and Oklahoma State's corresponding five-spot rise.
K-State picked up my vote again by taking care of business against UTEP, helping the Cats to rise four places and tie Georgia for 18th. TCU also benefited from the Big 12 bias again, completing a 10-spot rise in just two weeks.
Obvious dropouts were Arizona State, which looked simply pathetic; two-loss South Carolina; and stumbling Duke.
- The BOTC voters agree with the Associated Press on the rankings of No. 5 Auburn, No. 8 UCLA and No. 15 LSU. Most of the top 10 also was close, along with Mississippi State and East Carolina.
- The biggest AP divergences were five-place boosts for BYU, Kansas State, TCU and Arizona (more on this in a minute); a whopping seven-spot boost for Oklahoma State (yeah, there's clearly no Big 12 bias here...); five-place deficits for Georgia and Ohio State; and a six-spot ding for USC (blame Colorado State for this). There's clearly skepticism for some of the perennial national favorites.
- Despite now being ranked on all 10 ballots, Oklahoma State continues to experience the most variance of any team in the poll. The Cowboys checked in anywhere from seventh to 23rd. Among teams ranked on all ballots, BYU still has the second-highest variance, ranging from ninth to 22nd.
- This week, Wisconsin had the most variance overall, having been left off two ballots entirely, but checking in at No. 12 in two others. Georgia came in second, being omitted on two ballots as well, but checking in at sixth on one and 16th on four others.
- The highest-ranked team not to appear on every ballot is Mississippi State, which basically checked in at No. 26 on one person's submission. LSU and TCU also were omitted from one entry apiece.
- The BOTC Top 25 got a little more holy this week, as voters performed an exorcism and cast out both the Blue Devils of Duke and the Sun Devils of Arizona State. The most questionable beneficiary of this collective decision was ASU's in-state rival, which rose seven spots despite being less than two weeks removed from a near-faceplant at home against a Cal team that subsequently required three overtimes and 59 points to beat lowly Colorado. I predict Oregon clears this mess up rapidly Saturday.
- The co-No. 26 teams, Arizona State and Missouri, were left out despite appearing on six of 10 ballots, while being jumped by the aforementioned Wildcats, who ascended on the strength of just three votes.
- Two people liked Marshall enough to rank the Herd 17th, even though they still haven't beat anyone of note. (JT, Akron doesn't count. Pittsburgh might go 6-6 this season.)
- Some other surprising and perhaps questionable ballot entries included N.C. State (which really should have won that game, but still doesn't seem to me to be top 25 material), Louisville (what is Luke seeing there that rest of us aren't?), West Virginia (while the Mountaineers might have the best two losses, that's pretty much all they have) and Yale. OK, JT, ranking North Dakota State is one thing. The Bison have beat six FBS teams in the last seven years, all on the road, and won three consecutive FCS national championships. That's defensible. But ranking a Yale team that beat Army by one point in a shootout? That's ... something. Army is terrible.
- Teams that received votes last week, but not this week: Duke, Memphis (sorry, Jon), Oregon State, Penn State, Utah and Washington. Tough luck for the Pac-12. Ugly home losses were a theme here.