Maybe Next Week: California, Minnesota, Connecticut, Oregon, Notre Dame, Boston College
This is my first week of strict "resume ranking". I will no longer rank teams based on who I think is simply better (i.e. I think Oklahoma might still be the best team out there, but they had their chance). My basic criteria is to take each team considered for my Top 25 and run them through this wringer:
1) Who have they beaten?
2) How did they beat them?
3) Where did they beat them?
4) When did they beat them?
5) Who did they lose to?
6) How did they lose?
7) Where did they lose?
8) When did they lose?
Take 1 through 4, evaluate with 5 through 8, compare and contrast with other teams, and rank accordingly.
This takes a hell of a lot more time than just power-pollin', but since we're about halfway through the season, I figure that comparing overall resumes is the fairest way to go.
--Gotta love the first week of resume ranking; some teams who won yesterday drop (UGA, Ohio State, Kansas, Ga Tech), some teams go from one end of the poll to the other (LSU, Okie State), some idle squads jump into the poll (FSU, Pitt), and some teams with very impressive wins yesterday don't rise all that much (Penn State, UF).
--About the Bayou Bengals....they suffered the most this week and not just because of their brutal undressing at Florida; the Tigers haven't beaten anyone worth a crap, and they looked so-so in two of those wins (Auburn, Miss. State). All the hype surrounding LSU in '08 was based on last year's "national title" season; a season of inexplicable good fortune in which they lost twice, gave up 50 points at home to an unranked team in the last regular season contest and yet still found a way to play in the BCS title game in their own backyard. And let's not mention the legion of nutty 4th-down calls that somehow just worked throughout '07.
--In contrast, Oklahoma State rockets up the poll; beating current #10 on the road and averaging close to 50 points per game is certainly one of the five best resumes so far this season, no?
--Before you complain about USC's placement, remember that this is where I rank their season resume to date. Yes, they have a loss to an unranked team, but they also obliterated my current #12 and blasted another team I considered for this week's ballot (Oregon). Their remaining slate, however, does not offer much room for them to move up much higher unless the other teams surrounding them go on losing sprees.
--Vanderbilt, as predicted, was due for a fall...they just stumbled a week earlier than I thought. But they get a chance to move back in with their remaining schedule and if South Carolina (their only noteworthy victory) continues to improve.
--I think everything else is fairly self-explanatory if you look at each team's total performance thus far.Comments and/or questions are most welcome.