I present to you Week 10 of the Bring On The Cats Top 25 Poll, in which Arizona and Georgia took a rather violent southward plunge:
As always, your slate of voters is myself, Curtis Kitchen, EMAW 4 Ever, Jon Morse, JT VanGilder, Luke Thompson, nugget1224, PurpleBrunette, wildcat00 and KSUEMAW!
The top 10 were fairly static this week, with only minor shuffling occurring after a quiet Saturday on which only the prior No. 10 lost. Said team, Mississippi, plummeted a whole two spots after its second consecutive loss.
Curtis switched his first-place vote from Mississippi State back to Florida State after the former's continued struggles, but nothing much else changed.
This week, Oregon strikes back in the flashy points game, hopping back over TCU to claim a top-four spot vacated by Alabama. The Tide's fall was unusually large for a bye week, but I attribute it mostly to losses by both their best win (West Virginia) and loss (Ole Miss).
While the top 10 was sedate, the bottom 15 was anything but. A spate of second losses opened the door to teams such as LSU and Duke, the latter of which nearly doubled its points count.
Or take UCLA, which jumped eight spots and increased its points tenfold. Conversely, two of the most variance-prone teams, Arizona and Georgia, did themselves no favors by losing again, and voters who already were casting a skeptical eye toward the Wildcats and Bulldogs pulled open the trap door with great fervor.
The continued upward moves of Ohio State and Nebraska are due less to endorsing votes, but to the elimination of competition for their votes as more one-loss teams fall, eliminating other possibilities to promote over the Buckeyes and Huskers. Hell, even JT voted for Nebraska this week, so that tells you all you need to know.
Variance continues to stay low across the board, with all but two of the top 14 registering single digits, including nine of the top 10.
The only new faces this week are UCLA and Clemson, both of which are rejoining the top 25 ranks. North Dakota State was left out by just a few votes, though.
- The BOTC voters agree with the Associated Press on the rankings of No. 1 Mississippi State, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Auburn, No. 8 Notre Dame, No. 10 Baylor, No. 11 Arizona State, No. 12 Mississippi, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 20 Utah and No. 21 Arizona. I just want to point out that we already had Notre Dame at No. 8, so the AP was mirroring us this week.
- The biggest positive AP divergences were four-spot boosts for Duke and Colorado State (ah, the value of just one loss!), and a six-spot increase for Marshall (ah, the value of simply no losses!)
- On the negative side, Alabama (-3), Clemson (-4) and Georgia (-8) were not particularly popular.
- New this week is a comparative feature I meant to introduce last week (but ran out of time), which is the addition of the College Football Playoff poll. I thought it would be interesting to see if our voting patterns are more in line with those of the selection committee or the AP voters.
- The BOTC voters agree with the selection committee on the rankings of No. 1 Mississippi State, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Auburn, No. 4 Oregon, No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 16 LSU and No. 23 West Virginia.
- Early returns are that we seem to sync better to the AP, except at the top, which is where it really counts. It's worth noting, though, that with the exceptions of Duke, Georgia and the two teams that CFP doesn't rank, we were within two to three places for every other team. That's pretty good, I'd say, for 10 amateurs (which is two less amateurs than the selection committee has, amirite?).
- Marshall retains the variance title for the fourth straight week, ranging anywhere from eighth (JT) to 24th (Curtis). Among the 19 teams ranked on all 10 ballots, Nebraska, Mississippi and Alabama were next highest, with the last two in a virtual dead heat. The Huskers checked in from 10th (Jon) to 25th (JT), the Rebels from eighth to 18th and the Crimson Tide from second (Curtis) to 11th (Jon and JT).
- Marshall and Nebraska also had the most variance overall, but Colorado State was hot on the Huskers' heels. The Rams, despite being left off four ballots, ranged from 13th (JT) to 23rd (two ballots).
- The highest-ranked teams not to appear on every ballot are UCLA and Utah, each left off one ballot. Same with Clemson.
- Of the unranked teams, only North Dakota State appeared on at least five ballots. As you can see from the "Others Receiving Votes" list, it would be quite difficult to piece together a consensus top 30 at this point in time. There's just so much mediocrity.
- East Carolina received votes last week (and even was ranked), but not this week. The fall from grace is long and hard.