I present to you Week 9 of the Bring On The Cats Top 25 Poll, in which almost everyone finally agrees on who the No. 1 team is:
As always, your slate of voters is myself, Curtis Kitchen, EMAW 4 Ever, Jon Morse, JT VanGilder, Luke Thompson, nugget1224, PurpleBrunette, wildcat00 and KSUEMAW!
And then there were two. Just two undefeated Power Five teams crown our poll this week, with Marshall and North Dakota State also making appearances further down.
Mississippi's fall benefited most of the top 10 with place jumps, but in terms of points, almost all of them went to Florida State and Auburn. Alabama only increased its points total by 2, despite sliding up to fourth.
If you look at how the former No. 7 jumped No. 6 for fifth place, I would put it to you that TCU just showed the Ducks what flashy styles points are all about. Touchdowns, not uniforms, Phil...
The Wildcats gained 20 points, normally good for two spots, but only slid up one space because the top two are hogging all the extra available points.
The gap between No. 2 and No. 3 is 23 points, but working down, there isn't another significant points gap again until the 18 points between Mississippi and Baylor, and then the 25 between Georgia and Arizona State.
Things are continuing to sort themselves out.
The Arizona-Georgia swap likely is due to a combination of the 'Dawgs being idle and increasing skepticism about their schedule, because if you're getting hopped by variance-prone Arizona...
A strange re-ordering took place in the lower teens that I can't exactly explain.
Nebraska, Ohio State and Utah all experienced what I would characterize as corrective three-spot jumps, which came at the expense of mid-majors such as East Carolina and Marshall. I don't know why it happened, but it did.
The Pirates suffered the most — losing just 15 points cost them a whopping five spots.
But Marshall had the most ignominy — the Thundering Herd lost only eight points, but managed to decline three places. They're still ranked four spots higher here than in the AP poll, however.
Perhaps no one had it tougher this week than the West Virginia Mountaineers, though.
After collecting an impressive road win at Oklahoma State, the 'Eers gained 14 points in our poll, but inexplicably slid down one space. What gives?
Oklahoma had it tough, too. The Sooners received exactly the same amount of points as last week, but this week, they fell one spot. Tough sledding for the two-loss Big 12 teams.
Variance continues to stay low across the board, with all but one of the top 14 registering single digits, including all of the top 10.
The only new face this week is Colorado State, sliding in at the expense of the clearly overrated (even at No. 24) Minnesota Golden Gophers. Nice road loss, guys.
- The BOTC voters agree with the Associated Press on the ranking of No. 1 Mississippi State. That's it. And just when I thought we were starting to get along... All jokes aside, though, almost all of the teams were ranked within one to two spots of their AP rank.
- The biggest positive AP divergences were a a four-spot boost for Marshall (discussed above), a four-spot boost for Kansas State and a five-spot boost for TCU (still Big 12/purple bias!), and the usual eight-spot increase for North Dakota State.
- On the negative side, there was SEC skepticism across the board this week. Voters dinged Mississippi (-3), Georgia (-4) and LSU (-5) more than your average ESPN staffer might expect. And despite its three-spot rise this week, Ohio State (-3) still has some work to do to catch up with its AP ranking (although it's right in line with the playoff poll).
- Marshall retains the variance title for the third straight week, ranging anywhere from 13th to 24th. Among the 19 teams ranked on all 10 ballots, Georgia and Ohio State came in a close second and third, checking in from fifth to 19th and 12th to 25th, respectively. I guess that explains some of the prior bullet point.
- Marshall also had the most variance overall, with North Dakota State and LSU barely coming in second and third, in that order. The Bison were left off just three ballots this week, but JT ranked them 13th for a nice boost. LSU was left off one ballot and ranged anywhere from 14th to 25th on the others.
- The highest-ranked team not to appear on every ballot is Nebraska, hated by JT to no small degree. I left off the Sooners again until they prove they can handle Iowa State on the road, and LSU and West Virginia also were omitted from one ballot apiece.
- Of unranked teams, only Clemson appeared on a majority of ballots. We basically have a Top 25+1 at this point, with no teams other than Clemson and UCLA appearing on more than one ballot.
- Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Minnesota, USC, Virginia Tech and Washington all received votes last week, but not this week. I don't think some of them are ever coming back. (Looking at you, Cowboys!)