Week 15 BlogPoll Top 25: The Rematch Is Real

The last one of these for a while as the regular season came to a close. Bowl season is now upon us and that means no more weekly updates. I know, I know. It’s a sad time. You crave weekly polls to justify your belief that some team should be ranked No. 16 and not No. 17. Well I’m sorry, but it’s over. That ship has sailed and we move forward toward bowls aplenty and a rematch for the national championship.

My thoughts are in tune with that of the BCS Standings. The LSU Tigers will face the Alabama Crimson Tide for all the candy and that crystal football. You may not agree with rematches and you may believe the Oklahoma State Cowboys made their case for No. 2 with a huge win over their biggest rivals, but Bama has the better loss (only in sports do we talk about “better losses”). My question is who gets the title if the Tide pull out a 9-6 overtime win? Maybe Orson Charles can split the football in equal pieces for both teams.

The big winners of the week were the Clemson Tigers, a team that was given little or no chance to win the ACC Championship. The Tigers proved beating a team twice in one season may not be so hard after all.

The biggest losers were the previously undefeated Houston Cougars. Drop your undefeated season in the fashion they did and you’re sure to plummet.

There it is, the last poll of 2011. Miss it. You know you will.

The Bull Gator Week 12 BlogPoll Top 25

The TBG entry in the BlogPoll in all its glory with expanded commentary below…

LSU and Oklahoma State hold the inside track to play for the national title, but you already knew that. Houston keeps winning, but is as much of a long shot as Boise State is year after year. The Broncos and Stanford did make the picture a little clearer though by bowing out of the race. Where things will get interesting is if the Tigers or Cowboys lose.

If LSU does lose a game, can you realistically take Alabama or Oregon – two teams the Tigers beat – over them? No you can’t, but as we’ve seen in the past, losing late in the season hurts more than losing early. The Ducks’ loss to the Tigers has almost reached out of site, out of mind status.

If Oklahoma State drops one, is the possibility of a LSU-Bama rematch restored? The Crimson Tide would be the most attractive team to play for the title with only one very close loss to the nation’s top team, but they also wouldn’t have won their own conference. Of course, the alternative isn’t much better. The Ducks could win the Pac-12, but like Bama, Oregon has already lost to LSU.

All of that and it boils down to this, the picture is only clear if the Tigers and Cowboys win out. If one, or both, don’t, enjoy the chaos.

The big climbers of the week are Georgia (up four spots) and Michigan (up five). The Bulldogs are in the driver’s seat to win the SEC East, which is almost laughable considering none of us expected that before the season. It wouldn’t be the first time the “experts” crowned a champion too early. The Wolverines are part of a Big Ten contingent at 8-2 that makes that conference about as easy to figure out as all the scandal surrounding it.

The biggest losers of the week are Cincinnati (falling 10 spots) and Penn State (a 12-spot drop and a season that will be difficult to salvage due to one of the darkest clouds hanging over it we’ve ever seen). The Bearcats still have the inside track to the Big East while the Nittany Lions 5-1 Big Ten record could quickly become 5-3 with visits to Ohio State and Wisconsin to close the regular season.

One team to keep an eye on is Southern Miss who could quietly move into the top 10 before all is said and done.

The Bull Gator Week 11 BlogPoll Top 25

Plenty more to come on this Monday, but we start with this week’s TBG entry into the SB Nation BlogPoll. A three-loss team enters the poll for the first time and while the undefeateds rule, Alabama still has the upper hand over Boise State and Houston.

The Bull Gator Week 10 BlogPoll Top 25

The top five remains the same in this week’s SB Nation BlogPoll entry. A change should occur after this week’s games though as no. 1 LSU battles no. 2 Alabama. We have six undefeated teams at this point and I may give too much credit to Houston, they are among those without a loss. Florida doesn’t make my ballot, nor should they, but three of the teams they lost to do and the fourth – Auburn – would be just on the outside looking in.

With additional commentary, here’s the top 25…

The Bull Gator Week 9 BlogPoll Top 25

Plenty of movement this week as we lost a few among the ranks of the undefeated. It starts to get interesting now with few left with no losses. LSU and Alabama will play each other, so another will fall soon, giving any of those next few in line a chance to move into the top two.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

The Bull Gator Ballot – Week 9

Rank Team Delta
1 LSU Tigers Arrow_up 1
2 Alabama Crimson Tide Arrow_down -1
3 Oklahoma St. Cowboys Arrow_up 2
4 Stanford Cardinal Arrow_up 2
5 Boise St. Broncos Arrow_up 2
6 Clemson Tigers Arrow_up 3
7 Kansas St. Wildcats Arrow_up 4
8 Oregon Ducks
9 Houston Cougars Arrow_up 5
10 Arkansas Razorbacks
11 Michigan St. Spartans Arrow_up 7
12 Wisconsin Badgers Arrow_down -8
13 Nebraska Cornhuskers
14 Oklahoma Sooners Arrow_down -11
15 Penn St. Nittany Lions Arrow_up 1
16 South Carolina Gamecocks Arrow_down -1
17 Virginia Tech Hokies
18 Michigan Wolverines Arrow_up 1
19 USC Trojans
20 Texas A&M Aggies Arrow_up 3
21 Georgia Bulldogs
22 Texas Tech Red Raiders
23 Texas Longhorns
24 Arizona St. Sun Devils
25 Cincinnati Bearcats
Dropouts: West Virginia Mountaineers, Washington Huskies, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Illinois Fighting Illini, Auburn Tigers, SMU Mustangs
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »

Morning Reading: Is Oklahoma State Done?

With a number of teams playing their sixth game this weekend, we’re already at the halfway point. Hard to believe we’ve flown through the first half of the season that quickly, but it’s what we have to deal with. This is where conference championship races start to shape up and national title contenders are made. Some of the teams near the top face tough opponents this week and a number will be pushed out of the championship race. While some losses hurt more than others, the goal is to just keep winning. While a loss later in the season to Georgia may affect Florida more than one in two days to LSU, it’s not worth exploring that scenario. Just keep winning.

Oklahoma State’s loss to Houston was bad enough – especially considering what happened to the Cougars last weekend – but their schedule was going to make it tough for the Cowboys to really contend for the Big 12 title in the end anyway. Getting past Georgia to open the season was a good start, but Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma – all ranked teams – all remain on Oklahoma State’s schedule. It was going to be a rough road for the Cowboys and it just got a little rougher.

All-American wide receiver Dez Bryant has been ruled ineligible for apparently visiting the home of Deion Sanders and working out with the former NFL star. Actually, he has been suspended because he lied about it. Bryant denied meeting with Sanders when questioned earlier by the NCAA. The case will obviously be appealed and Bryant will claim he has a personal relationship with Sanders and therefore didn’t think it was a violation.

If Bryant truly did have a personal relationship with Sanders, is this another case of the NCAA going too far? It seems as if a player isn’t allowed to have any interaction with anyone outside of the program these days. Now if Bryant was meeting with agents “illegally” then it sounds like a clear violation, but if it was innocent, why can’t he hang out with Sanders? And why can’t Sanders buy Bryant lunch if he wants? The current restrictions seem a little tight in my opinion.

Morning Reading: Penn State Is Still Better Than Iowa

Remember when Hawaii used to score points? It wasn’t that long ago. Last night, however, they put a total of two field goals on the scoreboard. Blame June Jones for taking his “system” elsewhere. The Warriors have lost the one thing that made them remotely exciting to watch.

I don’t actually think Penn State is better than Iowa. After Saturday night, the Hawkeyes proved on the field that they are better than the Nittany Lions. No one knows what would happen if the two were to play again. Penn State could avenge their loss or Iowa could win again and by even more. All we have to go on is what happened on the field on Saturday and that’s why I (and the AP Poll for that matter) have the Hawkeyes two spots ahead of the Nittany Lions in the rankings.

On the other hand, the Coaches Poll and Harris Poll believe the title of this post is true. The Harris ranks Iowa two spots below the team they just beat and the Coaches takes it one step further with Penn State at #13 and Iowa at #17. The Harris does believe, however, that Houston is better than Oklahoma State, but the Coaches, again, does not. It makes you wonder what exactly individuals base their ballots on.

The first thought is that many voters rank based on how they see the season finishing. They’re looking ahead, not behind. 4-0 may be better than 3-1 right now, but it doesn’t mean much to them if they think 3-1 will turn into 11-1 while 4-0 turns into 9-3. But looking at the schedules, there’s no reason to believe Iowa can’t finish as well or better than Penn State.

Each team has eight games remaining with seven of those against Big Ten opponents. Of the eight, six are the same. You could say Penn State may match up on paper better against those six opponents and you may be right, but on the field – not on paper – Iowa beat Penn State, making me think Iowa should stand just as good, if not better, of a chance against those six. The other Big Ten opponent for the Hawkeyes is Wisconsin and for the Nittany Lions is Illinois. You may have to give the edge to Penn State here since Illinois has looked awful and Wisconsin appears to be the tougher opponent. However, you never really know with either of those teams. The Badgers have crapped the bed against lesser opponents in recent years and the Fighting Illini have had their share of upsets. We can go ahead and throw out the final game on the schedule; Arkansas State for Iowa and Eastern Illinois for Penn State.

Basically I’m saying I don’t see how you could have Iowa behind Penn State regardless of how you’re voting. If you’re looking back, the Hawkeyes won, plain and simple. They don’t get another chance to play each other. That was it, and Iowa won. And if you look behind, the Nittany Lions don’t necessarily have an easier road. After eight more games, Penn State could have the better record, but right now, they don’t. They have a loss to the very team they’re being compared to.