2. Southern Cal
4. Miami (Florida)
5. Penn State
7. Virginia Tech
8. Louisiana State
10. Ohio State
11. Notre Dame
16. West Virginia
17. Texas Tech
20. Florida State
21. Fresno State
22. Georgia Tech
I have Texas #1 because they have both an offense and a defense, unlike their esteemed rivals in South Central, who have one, but not the other (although the Wazzu game was a step in the right direction for the SC D.) This is not to say that I would take Texas on a neutral field, especially if Pete Carroll has a month to prepare for Texas' spread option. Alabama is an unenthusiastic #3, mainly because I'm still annoyed that Auburn and LSU were ignored by pollsters for the past two seasons. Either Bama will prove that they belong in the next two weeks by showing an offense that can cross the goal line or they won't, in which case the Miami/Penn State/Oregon/Virginia Tech/LSU/Georgia debate begins.
And speaking of the Ducks, they might actually be persuasive evidence of an East Coast Bias. (Cue angry music from the Yale Whiffenpoofs.) The Ducks have one loss to #1 USC in a game that was at least close for a half. They've beaten everyone else on their schedule, including handing Fresno their only loss. They're two very winnable games from 10-1. Why are they not in the discussion with the other one-loss teams?
I have Florida State and Auburn lower than the human polls do. (By implication, does that last sentence mean that I'm not human?) I defy anyone who has watched Florida State over the past few weeks to tell me that they're a good team. That win over Miami looks more and more like a fluke as time goes on. Of course, it also looked like a fluke at the time, so what have we learned? As for Auburn, is it impolite for me to ask that the beat a decent team? (And no, South Carolina minus their quarterback doesn't count.) I'm sure there are Auburn fans cackling and saying "Just wait until this weekend." We'll see.
I have Colorado a lot higher than the human polls do, mainly because their two losses were both on the road to top five teams and the Big XII, as bereft of top teams other than Texas as it is, doesn't have any bad teams and Colorado has beaten all comers, most in decisive fashion. I get the sense that no one likes Gary Barnett anymore because he (or someone under him) had the outlandish idea of using sex to sell his program, but the guy is a good coach.
And I can't believe I didn't respond to last week's blogpolll on the coaches I would most like to knock back a few with, but here's my belated response:
1. Ron Zook - Just because I would like to buy him about seven Red Bull & vodkas to see what would happen. I'm imagining the night ending with Zook being riddled with bullets while shouting "I'M RON ZOOK!!! WHEN YOU'RE F***ING WITH ME, YOU'RE F***ING WIDDA BEST!!!"
2. Houston Nutt - During the 1/1/99 Citrus Bowl, my friend Bob and I dubbed Nutt a "snakecharmer." He just seemed like the kind of guy who would be preaching about damnation from fluoridation in a tent in Macon's Central City Park. Consequently, he would probably have access to some sort of vile grain alcohol that could make me exhale purple fumes, fart lightning, and make out with a dart board. Just call this a hunch.
3. Tommy Bowden - I put the over/under on reducing Bowden to a blubbery, "Daddy's so good! Daddy's so smart! Why can't Tommy be like Daddy? WELL NO ONE EVER ASKED TOMMY HOW THAT MAKES HIM FEEL!!!" mess at five beers. And then he'll pull a Commodus, suffocate his father, and order 100 days of South Carolina fans being slaughtered by like Tigers on the banks of Lake Hartwell.
(3a. would be Glen Mason for the same reason as Bowden, along with The Ohio State University standing in for Papa Bowden.)
And the three I would not like to blow suds with:
1. Bill Snyder - Makes William F. Buckley seem like Will Ferrell in comparison.
2. Barry Alvarez - There are few things I hate more in life than the guy who eats the pretzels so fast that I don't get my fair share.
3. George O'Leary - Something about those ruddy cheeks implies to me that he would put me to shame.