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 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.

4th and 1: Trey Burton, Florida’s Trick Plays, USF and Bowling…

A treat for you.  4th and 1 without a Chris Rainey mention.  Well, besides that one.

1st.  Trey Burton is a big admirer of Tim Tebow and the true freshman seems to excel in one of the areas the former Florida star did: effort.  Burton’s efforts in practice have led to him playing a variety of positions during games.  He’s the backup quarterback, but has also seen time at fullback, tight end, wide receiver, and on special teams.
Burton’s unique talents have allowed him to compete and play at each position, but it presents a bigger question for the Gators.  Is Florida lacking depth at those positions?  Seeing Burton run the ball after taking snaps as a Tebow-like quarterback is what everyone expected.  Seeing him on the field as much as he is at other positions could be a concern.
Not to take away from what Burton can do at those other positions, but where are the players the Gators need to step up.  Who exactly is the tight end?  Where has Andre Debose been?  What about the stable of receivers Urban Meyer and staff have collected?
Burton is gaining valuable experience, but he’s also one hard hit away from being on the sidelines in street clothes.  He can take the punishment, but without a definitive #2 at QB, the Gators need to be careful with him.  There is talent at those other positions.  Unfortunately, no one else has really stepped up.  Burton will continue to see the field and that could be a good thing, but Florida may need him at quarterback sooner or later.  Hopefully he’ll be ready and healthy when that times does come.
2nd.  Omarius Hines.  I’m not sure I can express how utterly amazing Hines is more than I already have, so I’ll let his play speak for itself.
Thanks to Hines – and some gutsy play calling – Meyer’s Gators are now eight-for-eight on fake punts.  Part of it is because of the surprise Florida’s opponents never see coming and part of it is due to execution.  The Gators executed it to perfection against Tennessee and Hines instantly became one of the heroes.
Had a blast watching Omar Hunter out there lead blocking, even if the big defensive tackle didn’t touch anyone on the play.
3rd.  USF has played all of two games this season and the bowl projections have already started.  Right now, it appears as if there are two possible destinations in the Bulls’ future – the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl or the Liberty Bowl.  And three possible opponents – Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, or Southern Miss.  Not very exciting possibilities, but again, USF has played exactly two games.  A lot can change over the remainder of the regular season.  And a lot will.
4th.  Brandon Hanning, hero or idiot?
If you don’t know who Hanning is, here’s the brief recap.  Hanning was the Ohio Bobcat.  Emphasis on was.  After essentially attacking the Ohio State Buckeye on Saturday, Hanning was banned from being involved in Ohio athletics.  The reason goes beyond the obvious attack.
It was Hanning’s goal to attack the Buckeye and he admitted as much.  He claimed to have only tried out to become the Ohio mascot with the intent of tackling Brutus the Buckeye.  Hanning accomplished his goal, got his 15 minutes of fame, and now is no longer a member of the mascot community.
And 1.  Rest in peace Kenny McKinley, Denver Broncos wide receiver and South Carolina’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.

CBSSports.com BlogPoll – Week 14 – First Take

As usual, your thoughts appreciated.
1. Alabama (+2)
2. Texas
3. TCU (+1)
4. Cincinnati (+1)
5. Florida (-4)
6. Boise State
7. Oregon
8. Ohio State
9. Iowa
10. Penn State
11. Georgia Tech (+1)
12. Virginia Tech (+1)
13. LSU (+1)
14. Pittsburgh (-3)
15. Miami (+2)
16. BYU (+2)
17. West Virginia (+5)
18. Oklahoma State (+2)
19. Utah (+5)
20. Wisconsin
21. Stanford (+4)
22. Nebraska (+1)
23. Arizona
24. Oregon State (-9)
25. USC (-9)

The Greatest Gators by Jersey Number: #83 – Dwayne Dixon

#83 – Dwayne Dixon, WR (1980-83)

Dixon is just outside the top 10 on Florida’s career receptions list. He caught 124 passes over his career and was named to the All-SEC First-Team as a senior. Dixon went on to be the wide receiver coach at Florida from 1994-2004 where he coached nine Biletnikoff Award semifinalists and four finalists. He currently holds the same position at Ohio.

Dixon was recently named one of the AFL’s top players of all-time.

Last Year’s Pick: Dixon

Current Gator: David Nelson, WR

One year ago I would’ve been hesitant to even acknowledge Nelson. But over the last half of the 2008 season, he became an important part of the Florida offense. Although he would need a monster season to even be notable in the end, Nelson has gone from an afterthought to a contributor.

To see all of the greatest Gators (that I’ve done so far), click here.