Changes and Rationalization
7-4 Nebraska has been dropped from our ballot this week (thanks, BCMike). The best team they have beat is a 9-2 Western Michigan team way back on August 30. Replacing Nebraska is 9-3 Northwestern, a team that beat an 8-4 Iowa team on the road, but curiously lost to 3-7 Indiana. We moved Northwestern down to #25 as Michigan State beat them soundly back in
We jumped Georgia Tech back up the poll to No. 14 after their Thursday night home beatdown of Miami (FL). This knocked Oregon State and Ball State down a bit, even after wins, but that's just one of the quirks of averaging out the two ballots.
Again, we are sticking with Texas as our No. 2 this week over Florida and Oklahoma. The reasons have been covered in blogfrica ad nauseum, so here are just a few highlights:
Texas beat Oklahoma on a neutral field by double digits back in October. Texas's lone loss was on the last play of the game on the road in Lubbock. On the last play of a grueling four game stretch of games that included playing the No. 1, 11, 6 and 7th ranked teams in the country. Both losses are better than Florida's loss at home to Ole Miss.
Texas had a tougher Big XII North schedule - @ Colorado, @ Kansas, and Missouri, compared to Oklahoma's North schedule of Kansas, @ Kansas State and Nebraska. Texas has the #1 ranked strength of schedule, while Oklahoma's strength of schedule is 6th best (Florida's SOS is #4 in the country).
Some Sooner lobbyists point to Oklahoma's non-conference schedule as being stronger than Texas's non-conference slate. Not so fast my friend. The combined record of Texas's non-conference opponents is 22-22, while the combined record for the Sooners out of conference opponents is 19-25, including a winless Chattanooga and winless Washington.
In our eyes, this debate has already been answered on the field. It's not a circular argument. Each team has 1 loss, one team played a tougher schedule statistically, and one team BEAT THE OTHER by 10 points in a stadium that seats half Sooner fans and half Longhorns fans. If you don't like it, take it to the comments section.
|5||Southern Cal (9-1)||1|
|6||Penn State (11-1)||1|
|7||Texas Tech (10-1)||5|
|10||Boise State (11-0)||2|
|11||Oklahoma State (9-2)||2|
|13||Ohio State (10-2)||2|
|14||Georgia Tech (8-3)||2|
|15||Oregon State (8-3)||2|
|16||Ball State (11-0)||2|
|19||Boston College (8-3)||4|
|21||Florida State (8-3)||5|
|22||West Virginia (7-3)||4|
|23||Michigan State (9-3)||6|
|24||Brigham Young (10-2)||6|
Dropped Out: Pittsburgh (#20), North Carolina (#22), LSU (#24), Miami (Florida) (#25).
Welcome! Oregon (#20), Florida State (#21), West Virginia (#22), Northwestern (#25)
Waiting Room: Virginia Tech, Nebraska, Mississippi, Pittsburgh, Clemson (for Jeff)