Week 8 College Football BlogPoll: Where The Florida Gators Get One Spot Closer To No. 1

Week 8 of the college football season has come and gone, while my entry in the SB Nation College Football BlogPoll Top 25 has remained much the same. The players in the top 10 are the same names you saw one week ago, but there has been some movement. Even if that movement is minimal.

A few points:

• While some have moved our mighty Florida Gators to No. 1, I haven’t gone that far just yet. However, I do move the Gators to No. 2 with an eye on the top spot. Both Florida and the Alabama Crimson Tide have looked impressive, but the Tide’s balance at the moment gives them the edge for me. The Gators scored 44 against the South Carolina Gamecocks with minimal offensive production. Imagine what they could have done if firing on all cylinders. Until that happens though, Florida is just off of that top spot.

• The Oregon Ducks take the hit for Florida’s success and the continued rise of the Kansas State Wildcats. Oregon has done nothing to hurt itself, but Florida and Kansas State have been that much more impressive against better competition. The Ducks are a great team that could play for a national championship, but not if that game were played today.

• No. 5 and No. 6 continue to be held by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Oklahoma Sooners. That won’t be the case much longer as the two face off this coming Saturday. One will drop (if only slightly), while the other may find itself ranked even higher. Most have the LSU Tigers as their top one-loss team, but if the two faced off today on a neutral field, I think the Sooners would take it…easily. That’s a Fantasyland game that isn’t on the schedule, but I’d still imagine most would take Oklahoma.

• The West Virginia Mountaineers are in serious danger of falling right out of the top 25. Two weeks ago I had them at No. 4. After the blowout loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, they fell to No. 17. After another convincing defeat–this time to Kansas State–they have fallen to No. 24. Not only can’t the defense stop anyone, the offense is starting to struggle to score points as well. We have to all believe that those two losses won’t be the only ones the Mountaineers experience this season.

• Finally, the No. 19 Ohio Bobcats rose three spots this week. At 7-0, the Bobcats deserve the ranking, but even if they manage to get through the regular season undefeated, this isn’t a top-10 team.

The Full Week 7 College Football BlogPoll: Where The Florida Gators Go Up, But There First-Place Votes Go Down

Monday, my ballot. Today, the full Week 7 SB Nation College Football BlogPoll.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 7

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (62) 24.64 0.84
2 Oregon Ducks (3) 23.32 2.15
3 Florida Gators (5) 22.51 1.40 Arrow_up 2
4 Kansas St. Wildcats (1) 21.99 1.36 Arrow_up 2
5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4) 21.30 1.81 Arrow_up 2
6 LSU Tigers 18.41 2.62 Arrow_up 3
7 South Carolina Gamecocks 17.05 2.44 Arrow_down -4
8 Oregon St. Beavers 16.89 3.84 Arrow_up 2
9 Oklahoma Sooners 16.18 3.44 Arrow_up 5
10 Ohio St. Buckeyes (1) 16.05 5.49 Arrow_down -2
11 Florida St. Seminoles 13.70 3.69
12 USC Trojans 13.09 4.69
13 Georgia Bulldogs 11.82 3.12
14 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 10.21 3.80 Arrow_up 5
15 Louisville Cardinals 9.88 3.84 Arrow_up 3
16 Clemson Tigers 9.49 4.56
17 West Virginia Mountaineers 9.29 3.46 Arrow_down -13
18 Texas Tech Red Raiders 8.32 4.52 Arrow_up 13
19 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 7.33 3.61 Arrow_up 1
20 Texas A&M Aggies 6.36 3.70 Arrow_up 4
21 Cincinnati Bearcats 6.24 3.87
22 Stanford Cardinal 4.83 4.42 Arrow_down -5
23 Ohio Bobcats 3.96 4.92
24 TCU Horned Frogs 2.11 2.61 Arrow_up 4
25 Michigan Wolverines 1.76 2.58 Arrow_up 4
Others Receiving Votes: Boise St. Broncos | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Iowa St. Cyclones | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Northwestern Wildcats | Nevada Wolf Pack | Texas Longhorns | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Northern Illinois Huskies | Toledo Rockets | North Carolina Tar Heels | UCLA Bruins | Wisconsin Badgers | Virginia Tech Hokies | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Nebraska Cornhuskers | Ball St. Cardinals | Utah State Aggies | Kent St. Golden Flashes
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 9:30 AM EDT

A few points:

• The Florida Gators lost four first-place votes, but moved up two spots. Basically, less believe the Gators are the nation’s top team, but more believe they should be near that No. 1 spot. It really came down to South Carolina and West Virginia losing. The two dropped and the Gators started their climb.

• Alabama is the overwhelming No. 1, as expected. Both Oregon and Florida received first-place votes, along with Kansas State, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. I’m assuming the Buckeyes ranking didn’t take their defense into account.

• LSU is the top one-loss team, but I disagree. The Tigers’ win over the Gamecocks’ was impressive and a check in the positives column. Their three outings before that showed that they may not be as good as many want to believe. I put them back in my top 10, but I’m not thinking this is an elite LSU team. I could see them losing again before all is said and done.

• Texas Tech one spot below West Virginia? Nope. That’s wrong. That wasn’t an upset, it was a destructive blowout. Plus, the Red Raiders one loss is to Oklahoma, who has one loss to Kansas State. Texas Tech deserves to be the higher team.

• Stanford belongs, but two losses already hurts. Especially when one of those losses isn’t to USC.

Week 7 BlogPoll: Where The Florida Gators Become (A Justified) Top-3 Team

We’ve come to the week where the college football landscape is taking shape. Teams are halfway (or more) through their regular seasons and, while some are dead in the water, others still hold on to national championship hopes. Suddenly – and rather abruptly – our own Florida Gators are among those that remain in the discussion. You may not believe it, but the polls say so, and now so does the first official BCS rankings of the 2012 season. But that’s not this; this is my ballot in the week 7 SB Nation College Football BlogPoll.

A few points:

• I don’t have Florida No. 2. I don’t have them far behind at No. 3, but Oregon is my No. 2. Tell me I’m wrong. That’s fine, but the Ducks’ ability to score in bunches makes me believe that if the two played right now, the Gators would struggle to keep up. It would be the best defense Oregon would face by far, but they match Florida when it comes to speed. It would be a great game and in a couple of weeks I’d imagine I may change my stance on that, but for now, the Ducks are No. 2. Of course, I also have the feeling this matchup could very easily become West Virginia/Texas Tech.

• Maybe I’m subconsciously keeping the Gators away from the top spot or getting them too close to it. Look what I did to South Carolina. Gave them the top spot and now they need some luck to put themselves back into title contention.

• Oklahoma didn’t just impress me; the Sooners impressed a lot of people. That’s a defining win if there ever was one. The one loss hurts, but Oklahoma looks like they’ve rebounded nicely. No, much more than nicely. Tremendously.

• I don’t know what happened to West Virginia, but it was ugly, ugly, and a whole lot more ugly. Texas Tech enters the poll, although the delta doesn’t reflect that. No they weren’t No. 17 last week; they weren’t ranked.

• Duke didn’t last long at all. They lasted one entire week. My jinx is alive and well y’all. (Taking “y’all” out for a spin there. It didn’t work, did it? No. Moving on.)

The Full Week 6 College Football BlogPoll: Where The No. 5 Florida Gators Get 9 First-Place Votes

Yesterday, my ballot. Today, the full Week 6 SB Nation College Football BlogPoll.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 6

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (64) 24.37 1.43
2 Oregon Ducks (4) 23.20 1.65
3 South Carolina Gamecocks (7) 22.61 1.50 Arrow_up 4
4 West Virginia Mountaineers (1) 21.34 1.98 Arrow_up 4
5 Florida Gators (9) 21.23 2.03 Arrow_up 6
6 Kansas St. Wildcats (1) 20.23 1.81
7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1) 19.47 2.21 Arrow_up 2
8 Ohio St. Buckeyes 16.74 4.67 Arrow_up 4
9 LSU Tigers 14.67 3.73 Arrow_down -5
10 Oregon St. Beavers 13.82 4.28 Arrow_up 3
11 Florida St. Seminoles 12.52 4.18 Arrow_down -8
12 USC Trojans 12.14 5.00 Arrow_up 2
13 Georgia Bulldogs 12.06 3.24 Arrow_down -8
14 Oklahoma Sooners 11.75 4.34 Arrow_up 3
15 Texas Longhorns 10.97 3.34 Arrow_down -5
16 Clemson Tigers 9.64 4.46
17 Stanford Cardinal 9.63 4.38 Arrow_up 1
18 Louisville Cardinals 8.95 3.67 Arrow_up 1
19 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 7.84 4.09 Arrow_up 2
20 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 5.85 3.64 Arrow_up 3
21 Cincinnati Bearcats 5.38 3.73 Arrow_up 5
22 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 3.78 3.80 Arrow_up 7
23 Ohio Bobcats 3.60 4.31 Arrow_up 2
24 Texas A&M Aggies 3.51 3.35 Arrow_up 6
25 Iowa St. Cyclones 1.68 2.63 Arrow_up 13
Others Receiving Votes: Boise St. Broncos | Baylor Bears | TCU Horned Frogs | Michigan Wolverines | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Michigan St. Spartans | Duke Blue Devils | Penn St. Nittany Lions | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | N.C. State Wolfpack | Northwestern Wildcats | Nevada Wolf Pack | North Carolina Tar Heels | Nebraska Cornhuskers | Oklahoma St. Cowboys | Northern Illinois Huskies | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Toledo Rockets | San Jose St. Spartans | Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners | UAB Blazers
Updated: Oct 9, 2012 9:46 AM EDT

A few points:

• Good for the nine of you that gave the Florida Gators first-place votes. No really. But you’re out of your minds. The Gators have performed admirably and better than expected thus far. They have put together some impressive wins and look every bit like a team that realistically belongs somewhere between No. 3 and No. 8. They aren’t the nation’s best team though.

• LSU deserved a bigger fall. They lost to what we are seeing is a good Florida team and an elite Gators’ defense, but that’s also the third-straight week the Tigers have not played like a top-10 team. With six games to look at and three less-than-impressive outings, No. 9 is a dream that just isn’t true at the moment.

• Florida State and Georgia took the biggest dives here and did in my ballot as well. The Bulldogs’ loss was worse by the looks of it, but also to a much better team. At the moment, I believe Georgia should be the (ever so slightly) higher team. Ask me again tomorrow though and I might change my mind.

• We’re all starting to wonder just how far Oregon State can go.

• If Clemson and FSU were to play again, what would the outcome be?

Week 6 BlogPoll: Where A New SEC Team Takes Hold Of The No. 1 Ranking

It’s the week six BlogPoll and there’s a new No. 1 in town. For me, that’s South Carolina. For most, it’s probably not new at all because I’ll go ahead and predict that Alabama still holds the top spot for the entire poll. Regardless, the Gamecocks’ win over previously unbeaten Georgia was enough for me to give them the top ranking – for one week at least. We’ll see what this upcoming weekend brings.

A few points:

• Alabama has an elite defense. South Carolina has a defense I’m literally scared of. Being scared ranks slightly higher than elite status. No. 1 goes to the Gamecocks.

• The SEC took a slight hit with only three teams in the top 10 this week. Of course, that’s because the two teams that fell out were beaten by two others that stayed in.

• The AP Poll had the Gators as high as No. 4, but I’m more inline with the Coaches Poll. I was impressed with the comeback victory and am very happy with where Florida’s defense is headed, but I’m still cautious. October isn’t close to being over.

• Florida State taking the biggest dive had nothing to do with them being Florida State and everything with them giving away a 16-point lead to an unranked team. One of these years, we’ll stop saying the ‘Noles are back until we’re actually sure they’re back.

• Yes, that’s Duke at No. 23. It may not last long, but the Blue Devils make my top 25.

The Full Week 5 BlogPoll: Where Oregon State Gets A First-Place Vote

Yesterday was my first ballot of the 2012 college football season. Today is the full Week 5 BlogPoll.

College Football Rankings 2011

Results for Week 5

# School Points/blog SD Delta
1 Alabama Crimson Tide (76) 24.81 0.68
2 Oregon Ducks (3) 23.24 1.84
3 Florida St. Seminoles (1) 22.01 2.82
4 LSU Tigers 20.62 2.84
5 Georgia Bulldogs (1) 20.55 2.22
6 Kansas St. Wildcats (2) 19.21 2.68
7 South Carolina Gamecocks 18.79 2.14
8 West Virginia Mountaineers 17.79 3.23 Arrow_up 2
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1) 16.79 3.00
10 Texas Longhorns 15.71 2.79 Arrow_up 2
11 Florida Gators 15.55 3.28
12 Ohio St. Buckeyes 12.75 4.12 Arrow_up 2
13 Oregon St. Beavers (1) 10.72 4.68 Arrow_up 6
14 USC Trojans 9.99 5.30 Arrow_down -1
15 TCU Horned Frogs 9.89 4.45
16 Clemson Tigers 9.68 4.62
17 Oklahoma Sooners 8.13 4.77
18 Stanford Cardinal 7.55 4.29 Arrow_down -10
19 Louisville Cardinals 7.46 3.56 Arrow_down -1
20 Northwestern Wildcats 5.07 4.25 Arrow_up 2
21 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 4.74 3.76
22 Nebraska Cornhuskers 4.24 3.11 Arrow_up 2
23 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 3.01 2.93
24 UCLA Bruins 2.60 3.63 Arrow_up 4
25 Ohio Bobcats 2.11 3.47
Others Receiving Votes: Cincinnati Bearcats | Texas Tech Red Raiders | Washington Huskies | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs | Texas A&M Aggies | Michigan Wolverines | Boise St. Broncos | Baylor Bears | Arizona St. Sun Devils | Michigan St. Spartans | Miami Hurricanes | Oklahoma St. Cowboys | Iowa St. Cyclones | Virginia Tech Hokies | Western Kentucky Hilltoppers | Tennessee Volunteers | Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders | Utah State Aggies | Purdue Boilermakers | Troy Trojans | Washington St. Cougars | Ball St. Cardinals | Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners | Tulsa Golden Hurricane | Nevada Wolf Pack | Duke Blue Devils
Updated: Oct 2, 2012 9:01 AM EDT

A few points:

• Oregon State comes in at No. 13 – which is exactly where I had them. But they have a first-place vote. They have played well and won games (those are both good things), but they aren’t the No. 1 team in the nation. Maybe that’s me thinking too deep into what would happen if they played certain other teams, which isn’t necessarily the goal of the BlogPoll, but just look at their instate rivals for a team more worthy.

• Also receiving first-place votes are Alabama and Oregon – we’re all good there; Florida State – can’t really argue that, but the win over USF wasn’t as impressive as expected; Georgia – surprised West Virginia doesn’t get a vote in the We Don’t Need No Defense camp; Kansas State – I’m listening; and Notre Dame – meh.

• Washington was the one team I had that the full poll didn’t. I’m okay with that.

• Ohio was the one team the full poll had that I didn’t. I’m also okay with that.

• While it’s October – and that’s better than September – it’s still early. Those out-of-left-field, first-place votes will look very different in a few weeks.

Week 5 BlogPoll: Where 5 SEC Teams In The Top 10 Is Not Only Encouraged, It’s Justified

For a number of reasons, or just for two, I waited until October to join the BlogPoll fun this season. Reason number one has to do with time being precious and all those sorts of things. Reason number two is because long ago I planted my feet in the No Polls Until October camp and although I’ve broken that belief many, many, many times, I’m sticking with it for 2012. So without any additional rambling, here’s my first BlogPoll ballot of the 2012 college football season…just in time for week five.

A few points:

• Putting five SEC teams in the top 10 is acceptable, reasonable, and right. The SEC is that good. I know it. You know it. We all know it.

• Having to play three of those plus Florida State over the remainder of the Florida Gators’ regular season schedule is not acceptable reasonable, or right. But it’s what makes college football, and especially the SEC, great.

• I value unblemished records. Winning all of yours games is a good thing, but less-than-impressive wins over teams you should have beaten soundly is not. Take care of business appropriately and you will be rewarded.

• West Virginia at No. 4 is high considering they don’t play anything resembling defense. Still, someone has to outscore them to win and I’m not quite sure they don’t have more 70-point games in their future.

• The Urban Meyer-led Ohio State Buckeyes may very well be the Big Ten’s best team. That still means there are five SEC teams better than them. BOOM!

Day 1 Is Complete; Bring On The Rest Of The College Football Season

It’s official; the college football season has begun. We were witness to it all last night. The big plays, the rusty teams, the fans – it’s all back. And it’s only the first day of five consecutive days of games. Not only is college football back, but it’s back in style.

We had a chance to witness the SEC right away. Always a treat, even if there were plenty of kinks to work out. South Carolina got the win – which was expected – but it was hardly convincing. 67 passing yards may get you a victory on occasion, but it won’t work if you hope to maintain a No. 9 ranking. The Gamecocks will have serious troubles if Connor Shaw can’t remain injury-free – his backups combined to go 0-for-4. But where South Carolina lacked a passing game, they made up for it with a running game. Marcus Lattimore looked to have no lingering effects from last season’s injury. 110 yards and 2 touchdowns was a nice way to open the season. Shaw added 92 on the ground despite having an arm hanging lifelessly from his body. The Gamecocks’ defense was solid for the most part and will be their strength, but the offense needs to find the ability to stretch the field with the pass, otherwise that top 10 ranking will quickly disappear.

We were also treated to Mike Leach’s return to college football, although he may want that first game back. The Washington State offense was very unLeach-like, but that may have been expected early. He did put the ball in the air 45 times, compared to 16 recorded rushes, but couldn’t generate an offensive touchdown. It could be a rocky season for Leach and the Cougars, but success and excitement is ahead. (For those wondering, I made it to halftime of this game.)

Also on the slate were big wins for Arizona State, UCF and UCLA. And then there was this…

“Holy moly” is right. Welcome back college football.

A College Football Season Like No Other

One hour from now, the season begins. Saying I get excited this time of year is an understatement. I’ve been over-the-top pumped for months just thinking about today. Quite simply, I love college football.

If you know me, you already know that. If you don’t, but have visited this site or followed me on Twitter, you would know it as well. It’s something I think about the entire year. The season never ends and spring practice, summer camps and, of course, recruiting fuel me through the quiet months. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t read or watch something about the sport. It’s the greatest one we have and my goal has always been to take it all in.

Each year, I prepare for the season like most diehard college football fans. I read the preview magazines, spend more time than I should on various websites and blogs, debate the ratings of the virtual players in the NCAA video games, review the schedules, spend way too much on apparel, and get ready for the chaos that is about to commence.

I’m never alone in this. My wife is also quite the fan and supports the craziness that fills our household every season (yes, I’m very lucky and very aware of it). I have close friends who care a little too much, like I do. And, obviously, I run this site. I’m lucky that I have a great group of people to enjoy the world’s greatest sport with me. College football takes over every television in the house and that’s the way we like it.

We are understandably excited for the seasons ahead for the schools we attended – Florida and USF – but we also can’t wait for South Carolina at Vanderbilt to kick off 2012. This time around, you can amplify that by 10. Or closer to 100.

Seven weeks ago today, we welcomed our first child – a son – into the world. Not that gender matters; in our family a daughter would learn to love college football just as much. Life has more than changed since then, but we’ve loved every minute of it. Sure, it’s cliché to say that, but I’m a proud father and I no longer care if what I say is mushier than anything anyone may want to hear.

Seven weeks ago, we were introduced to our son. Tonight, we will introduce him to college football. Let me be clear with that: we will have college football on in the background while we’re tending to his every need. How much we pay attention to what’s occurring on the field of play is up in the air.

I don’t have misconceptions of how my following of college football will go this season with a newborn. There will be games on in the background paused and restarted on the DVR too many times to count and others we’ll miss outright. Tonight at 10:15, Washington State faces BYU. Show of hands for those that think I’ll stay awake for it. Nobody? Nothing? I didn’t think so.

Regardless, I’m more excited for a college football season than I ever have been. Tonight’s reading before my son goes to bed will be his Florida 101 book with excerpts from various college football preview magazines. He’ll go down for the final time right around the start of the late game. His father won’t be far behind as sleep overtakes our entire family. It’s okay though, this will be the best season yet.

Why Is Florida State At The Center Of Conference Expansion Talks? Viewers, Of Course

Ask most Florida fans about the possibility of Florida State moving to a “bigger” conference and their orange and blue bias could take the discussion down a variety of paths. And rightfully so due to the rivalry between not only the athletic teams, but the fans of both schools as well. But look deeper and you can see FSU’s value from a football standpoint and, recently, from a basketball perspective as well.

A Tomahawk Nation reader – NYC_CFB Fan_16 – posted a detailed analysis of the ACC and viewers to try to determine if the Seminoles’ value was overstated. It turns out, in comparison to the rest of the ACC, it was not. At its most obvious point, more viewers are better for advertisers.

Giving credit where credit is due, NYC_CFB Fan_16 does a great job researching the issue at hand and compiling a great deal of information into his post. With so many marquee teams firmly locked into their conferences, it seems reasonable that the Big 12 would consider FSU.

While you may not like the ‘Noles – be it in your DNA or something learned over time – there is a case for their pursuit by other conferences. I have yet to determine my position on FSU to the SEC should it ever come up, but I can understand why the Big 12 may want them to come aboard over others.