Alright, everyone. The votes are in and tallied and the Top Ten is ready for public consumption. We’ll get to the poll in a moment, but first, a note about the methodology. The votes are compiled and stacked ranked according to average finish. Ties are broken by counting the number of polls each team appears in. They are further settled by the number of Playoff (Top 4) votes each team received. If a tie still exists, I do whatever I feel like.
Also, as a reminder, if this poll victimizes your team, just remember that it’s because I am a hater.
To the poll!
10. Michigan State Spartans (6)
Dantonio’s team has continued its steady slide. I didn’t rank them in my personal poll because they all-but-lost to Michigan. You don’t deserve to stay propped up by a win you earn after getting beat for 59 and a half minutes–and that’s rounding down. Michigan State was a sexy pick to win their conference in August, not so much anymore.
9. Florida Gators (10)
Welcome to the Bench Points Poll, where teams can still move up after a loss. There’s not any reason to abide by the pressure to drop teams when they lose to better teams. The Gators are an example of that. Florida is one woeful quarter of defensive football and a couple trick play touchdowns from beating LSU. I realize that’s a lot of stuff to fix, but they came in at 9th. Imperfect teams can be 9th.
8. TCU Horned Frogs (8)
TCU to their credit has started to look more the part of a top ten team in recent weeks, and Boykin is a guy you like to see excel. That said, I still think their status as a top ten is completely fabricated, but we’re so inundated with the noise of how good TCU is, it’s impossible for many to separate reality from hype. TCU plays in a bubble and the Big XII sucks. TCU has struggled mightily with bad teams–most recently with Kansas State who subsequently got dismantled by a pissed off Oklahoma team that dropped a game to Texas. Yes, that Texas. Teams like TCU make me want a bigger playoff, so they can be put in safely and get crushed by a high seed that actually plays defense. I obviously disagree with the majority of our voters, but that’s why we vote. It’s more interesting.
7. Stanford Cardinal (N/R)
Stanford rockets into our top ten after back to back impressive victories. Forgiving an opening week loss is easy when you bounce back the way Stanford has. At this rate, they are hurtling towards a PAC-12 championship and a playoff birth. I’m not sure they lose again with how the conference has played out so far. Stanford vs. Utah would be one for the ages, assuming Utah doesn’t drop to USC this weekend.
6. Alabama Crimson Tide (N/R)
I have written numerous times about the Tide’s Georgia-like loss to Mississippi. They turned the ball over 5 times and gave up a ridiculously lucky touchdown to lose by six. Since then, Alabama has made opponents look like bad Pop Warner teams. They demolished an A&M team that, to me, appeared quite capable. All signs for Alabama point to the LSU game as make or break for the Tide. I’m hoping that game is as good as advertised. If Alabama keeps crushing teams, they’ll be back in the top 4 in a matter of weeks.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (3)
It was all I could do to not hijack this ranking and drop it down further, but I didn’t. You’re welcome. Still, the voters have kept Ohio State propped up for the past few polls. The Buckeyes beat a bad Penn State team and all of a sudden, they’re “playing more like a defending champion.” Ohio State will bounce along until they play Michigan State and Michigan in back to back weeks at the end of November. Meyer seems to have finally sorted out his team’s drama at QB and they continue to increase Elliott’s utilization in the offense. I think Ohio State will be fine, but they haven’t looked it yet.
4. Clemson Tigers (9)
Clemson has a put up or shut up game coming up against divisional rival Florida State. They’ve won every game they were supposed to, albeit ugly against Notre Dame. Watson came out of his shell and tuned up a bad Georgia Tech team with an over 40 point exhibition. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Tigers get beat by FSU, because Dabo has turned Clemson’s name into a verb synonymous with choking. And Dabo roiling against using “clemsoning” in that fashion makes it so much funnier. Clemson smells like a pretender this season, but that doesn’t mean they ought to be out of the playoff if they win out.
3. Utah Utes (7)
So far, the Utes have cleaned up against conference opponents and have notched some good wins against athletic teams. They play USC this weekend, and the Trojans are favored at home. Think about that for a second, the number three team in the country is an underdog to an unranked team that just fired its coach. Utah should be pissed off by the lack of respect. I think they beat USC in a close one and cruise to the PAC-12 championship where they’ll play Stanford. But, let’s be clear, Utah is excellent and plays solid football. They look like a complete team that deserves to be in the playoff of the season ended today.
2. Baylor Bear (2)
Like I said with TCU, Baylor plays in the Big XII bubble. This makes it pretty damn difficult to figure out what Baylor’s actually got. I think they get wrecked by any of the SEC, PAC, or B1G teams in the top ten, but again, not just me voting. Unlike conference compatriot TCU, Baylor has easily won its games. That’s why they deserve a higher ranking. I don’t think you can keep Baylor out of the top 4 if they keep eviscerating opponents. I’m not so secretly hoping both lose so I can throw them out of the top ten. Just saying.
1. LSU Tigers (1)
The Bayou Bengals used trickery and their trained monster, Leonard Fournette to win a hard fought game against the Gators. LSU is 6-0 with half of those wins coming against at-the-time Top 25 teams. I think the Tigers have to notch a win against Alabama to make the playoff this year. The way the Tide is playing, I don’t think there is any way LSU represents the SEC West if they lose to Alabama. Fournette’s Heisman hopes are tied to the success of the team, as the team will have immense difficulty winning if someone shuts him down. It may even be outside the realm of what’s possible. At present, the Tigers are your best team in college football and were either first or second on every ballot.
And there it is! Your definitive and obviously indisputable top ten.