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Monday, October 26, 2009

Mumme Poll Ballot: Week 8

Of my top 12 from last week, only Miami came away with a loss this week, so there aren't many changes to this week's list.

The Top Five:

1.) Alabama - I still think the Tide is the best team in the country, but they can't keep up this pace unless Greg McElroy remembers how to play QB. No passing TDs in the last 13 quarters of action. On the other hand, Leigh Tiffin has 11 field goals in that span.

2.) Florida - You get the feeling that if they came across a team with any semblance of an offense, the Gators might have at least two losses already. Four of their five conference wins have come by a total of 33 points, and even their blowout victory over Kentucky included a blocked punt for a score and just one passing TD. The Gators have topped 30 points just once against a BCS foe this year after doing it 10 times last season. Or maybe I'm just nitpicking.

3.) Texas - The Longhorns dominated an underwhelming Missouri team and really have yet to prove much of anything this season other than a lackluster win over three-loss Oklahoma. Of course, if they get by Okie State this week, it should be smooth sailing to the national championship game. That's a sad statement considering that there's a good chance they'll play in that national title game without having beaten a single team that ends the season with fewer than three losses. But, yeah, Cincy and Boise State don't deserve a shot, right?

4.) Cincinnati - Let's see: The Bearcats thump Louisville with a backup QB and drop from fifth to eighth in the BCS standings. They get more respect from me.

5.) Southern California - It wasn't exactly impressive, but USC did avenge last year's loss to Oregon State, which was just a touch more impressive this week than what Iowa did, moving the Trojans into my top five.

The Next Seven:

6.) Iowa - For the fourth straight week, Iowa barely got by an inferior opponent. This time it was Michigan State -- the same team that fell to Central Michigan earlier this season. At some point I'm going to need to decide which feeling is stronger: My gut instinct that Iowa might be a really good though not pretty team or my absolute certainty that the Big Ten is utter garbage. For this week, I'm leaning toward the latter.

7.) Boise State - Another team that took a tumble down the BCS standings this week for no good reason. OK, Hawaii stinks. But that road trip -- 3,306 miles and two time zones -- is no easy task regardless. The Broncos then handed down a 54-9 stomping of the Fightin' Shane Victorinos. Oh, and as an amusing side note, here are the Google directions on getting from Boise to Honolulu:

1. Head northwest on W Front St/US-20 W/US-26 W toward S Capitol Blvd Continue to follow US-20 W/US-26 W - About 2 mins

2. Continue onto I-184 W - About 3 mins

3. Take exit 0 to merge onto I-84 W toward Ontario, Entering Oregon - About 3 hours 47 mins

4. Take exit 179 to merge onto I-82 W toward Umatilla/Kennewick, Entering Washington - About 2 hours 11 mins

5. Merge onto I-90 W - About 1 hour 32 mins

6. Take exit 10 to merge onto I-405 N toward Bellevue - About 3 mins

7. Take exit 14 for State Route 520 E toward Redmond

8. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for State Highway 520 W/Seattle and merge onto WA-520 W - About 5 mins

9. Take the Montlake Blvd exit - About 1 min

10. Slight left at NE Pacific St - About 2 mins

11. Slight left at NE Northlake Way

12. Slight left at 6th Ave NE

13. Slight right at NE Northlake Way - About 3 mins

14. Kayak across the Pacific Ocean, Entering Hawaii - About 14 days 5 hours

15. Continue straight

16. Turn left at Kuilima Dr - About 1 min

17. Take the 3rd right onto HI-83 W/Kamehameha Hwy - About 20 mins
8.) Oregon - USC goes to Washington and loses. LSU goes to Washington and barely escapes. Notre Dame hosts Washington and narrowly edges out a win. Oregon goes to Washington and dominates, picking up a 43-19 victory. I'm more impressed by the Ducks every week.

9.) Georgia Tech - The Jackets didn't exactly look exceptional this week, but it was another pretty easy win. You watch them and think, "Man, if teams just knew how to tackle better, that offense isn't that good." But maybe I should be thinking, "Man, those running backs just can't be tackled."

10.) TCU - The win over BYU was certainly impressive and keeps the Horned Frogs in the discussion for BCS buster status. But I think Boise State's win over Oregon was more impressive and Cincinnati has a better overall body of work, so I'd still put TCU third in the "dark horse" category. For now.

11.) LSU - Good win over what might now be a pretty bad Auburn team. The real test comes in two weeks in Tuscaloosa though.

12.) Oklahoma State - The only newcomer to the list. I wrestled with putting Penn State or Virginia Tech here, but Okie State continues to look impressive even without Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant. Of course, we'll know more about the Cowboys next week.

Best of the Rest:

13.) Virginia Tech - Their two losses were against two of my top nine teams. There's probably a very good argument to be made that they belong over Okie State.

14.) Penn State - A joke of a non-conference schedule for a team that plays in a joke of a conference means it's going to take a lot to impress me.

15.) Houston - At year's end, I think that loss to UTEP might be chalked up as one of the year's most inexplicable.

Not Buying:

Pittsburgh - They've beaten absolutely no one and lost to a bad NC State team.

Notre Dame - I hate Notre Dame.

* If you haven't submitted your Mumme Poll ballot, CLICK HERE and do it now.


rbubp said...

Re: Texas and the NC--

If Alabama and Florida win out and play a close game in the SEC championship game, there is a good chance they remain 1 and 2 in the BCS and undefeated Texas loses out--because they will have played crud all year including the Big 12 championship game, where their SOS may actually go DOWN (who will they get? Kansas State????).

UF's and UA's SOS will go up. And if the game is close voters will have a hard time knocking one of them very far down.

The math worked like this in 2006, when Michigan and Ohio State were 1 and 2, then played a close game and reversed positions with OSU on top and UF at number 3, But UF got to play another game, the SEC title game, and jumped Michigan to get to #2 and the right to beat the tar out of OSU.

It's unlikely that Texas gets screwed this way, but it is very possible. That schedule is a real albatross this year.

Anonymous said...

David, Our ballots look an awful lot alike. I, however, disagree about Texas. I think their defense is playing very well and it may very well be that the Mizzou win is a sign that the offense is back in form. If that's true, then I think they're number one considering both Bama & Florida are looking relatively pedestrian on offense. All three are very good on defense but none have jaw dropping wins over super-quality teams. Bama's win over Va Tech has, I think, run out of gas.

I also disagree on the "dark horses." I'm not sure TCU can do anything more to surpass Boise-nnati State if mudstomping BYU wouldn't do it. I think they're the best of the three because they're going to these other teams and beating them soundly. The win at Clemson looks better all the time and it's coupled with better wins than Boise can pull together. Cincinnati is pretty scary, but I give the edge to TCU. This week. I think by the end, if Cincy is undefeated they'll be in the mix.

I ranked UH. I left GT outside. GT is in the ACC and are genetically predisposed to lose once more. Prolly after T-day.