I played with this a lot last night and decided to sleep on it. I had to work today so I took a leisurely drive into the city and flipped on ESPN just in time to hear Jon Kinkade pretty much bash SC about not being as good as advertised and once again how the Big 12 and SEC are better or something to that effect. Well of cours that pissed me off knowing that Kinkade is in Atlanta and he has bashed the Big 10 in the past and probably seldom watches any Pac-10 football so it was clear he was biased.
For the most part I usually dont' listen to these guys but for some reason listening to his flippant comments pissed me off and it made me rethink my ballot.
Being in a major conference and being undefeated and S.o.S. matter so ta is how I started this weeks ballot. I decided not to move up teams up simply becasue they won and having a bye week no longer means that you stay where you were last week.
Here is the reasoning for my teams in the top 10.
Alabama...Undefeated with some impressive wins against UGA and Tennessee, yes Tennessee because its a rivalry game and anything can happen, along with solid performances against Clemson (#9 at the time) and Arky at Arky. But it isn't that they won but how they won. Sure they had some stinkers aginst Tulane and the second half of UGA but overall they have made the most of their talent and they are aactually a year ahead of where most thought they would be since Nick Saban arrived. Next weeks game against LSU, at LSU, will tell us a lot about how they will finish the season out.
Penn. St....They have beaten everyone in front of them including Oregon St. and Ohio State. They are one of the most disciplined teams out there but their OOC schedule is a little weak but like I said they are undefeated and have beat all comers and some of those wins were very impressive.
Texas Tech...What a show they put on against Texas! Who didn't like that game! But lets not get carried away...as impressive as that game was a closer look at their schedule tells a different story as it shows their first 4 games were against absolute cupcakes. As much as I have heard so much about how tough the Big 12 is looking at TT's in-conference schedule shows that they were lucky to play most of the bottom feeders in the Big 12. Aside from Texas their only other big win was against Kansas (#23 at the time). The meat of their schedule is back-loaded with games against Ok. St and OU still to come so a loss is almost certain as, I have a hard time seeing them go undefeated.
Florida...With impressive wins against LSU and UGA make a lot of people think that this is one of the best teams out there and some of their performances have been impressive but it all depends on how you want to parse it. Of their 8 games played five have been at the Swamp with three on the road. Their only loss was at home against Ole Miss but those 2 wins against UGA and LSU stand out. The win at Arky was impressive as well. I put them ahead of SC because their in conference wins are better than SC's wins against ASU and UA. The only real difference between UF and USC that stands out is that UF has a weaker OOC schedule and their loss was at home not on the road but those wins were impressive so I think it all balances out.
USC...Regardless of what some pundits, writers and talking heads think about the Pac-10 it is hard to argue against 3 shutouts in four games. This is the best defense in the country...PERIOD! It isn't USC's fault if other teams in the Pac-10 are bad actors. Other teams have the bility to recruit just like SC. The can do all they can to sell the virtures of their respective programs. Because the Pac-10 has a round-robin there is no missing out on a team that may have your number or a team that has a hot hand. There are plenty of teams in the Big 12 and SEC that are sub par as well and as I pointed out in regards to TT some years you get to play them others you don't. So becasue of a decent OOC Schedule and because they have lost one game on the road, in conference they stay at #5.
Texas and Oklahoma...I will address these two because of where they are in all the polls. There is no question that Texas has some impressive wins against OU, Mizzou and Ok St. and as we all saw their only loss was an absolute 2nd half barn burner. But again their OOC Schedule is pretty weak. Oklahoma actually has a better OOC schedule than Texas but because Texas beat OU they are behind the 'horns in my poll. Texas has some "better wins" but with that OOC Schedule I can't put them ahead of SC and because they beat OU I can't in good conscience put them ahead of UT. I probably had OU too high so even though they smoked Nebraska this is a correction of where they should be.
Oklahoma St....Boy they are right there and they are going to give TT a run for their money next week. This is a real good defense and they had Texas almost beat. They beat a pretty good Mizzou team so Mike Gundy has come a long way since last year's tirade. They are fun to watch!
Utah and Boise St. round out the top ten.
So thats it. Feel free to make suggesstions or comments.