This is not a power poll. I don't attempt to rank teams based on how good I think they are. I only rank teams based on their resume. What have they done? Not how talented are their payers or how other polls project them to do, but what have they done?The poll is designed to be dynamic. I try to start from scratch every week. I do attempt to reward teams for "quality losses", while punishing them for bad performances. I do not give excessive credit for stomping horrible teams. I reward quality play, win or lose, particularly against other good teams. I am not bumping team A 10 spots and docking team B 10 spots when team A beats team B by a field goal in what was essentially an equally played game.I like to reward playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punish losing to poor teams more harshly than I reward defeating poor teams. To that end, Cincinnati and Boise will not climb higher in my poll for the rest of the year.
I Reward Grinders. I reward those who play difficult schedules. Teams that play a tough team every week don't get to spend extra time preparing for their tough games, and they also don't face the attrition other teams face because they are able to pull their starters in blowouts. Fewer plays for important players reduces the chance those players will get injured.
So, my top 25, after the jump, with explanations.
Miami has the most impressive resume to date, beating an impressive FSU team and crushing a quality Georgia Tech squad. If they beat VTech this weekend, they will most likely not drop.
Alabama is #2 on the strength of one of the most dominant performance of the year, in my opinion.
I give a lot of weight to teams who travel cross country and win, as we've seen much better teams attempt the feat and consistently lose to poor teams. So Cincinnati, Cal, FSU, LSU, and UCLA get credit there.
I do not count 1-AA wins, no matter how dominant or poor.
The top 1-loss squads, in order:
Georgia (L @ OKST, W USCe, W @ ARK).
FSU (L v. Miami 38-34, W @ BYU 54-28).
Washington (L v. LSU close, and arguably outplayed the Tigers, W v. USC)
Southern Cal (W @ OSU, L @ Wash)
Oregon (L @ Boise, W v. Purdue, W v. Utah)
Clemson (L @ GT, though arguably outplayed Tech, W v. BC-held Eagles to 54 total yards, the most dominant defensive performance I have seen in years)
South Carolina (W @ NCST, L @ UGA, both close)
Okie State (W v. UGA, L v. Houston)
Ohio State (L v. USC, and um, dominated a decent Toledo team Notre Dame (have to give credit for quality play,equally weight their loss @ Mich, with their Win v. Mich St., plus they crushed a decent Nevada team).
Snubs & Subs (Who the AP Poll has that I don't, and Vice-versa)
So, I'd like your thoughts. Who should be higher, lower? What team should be dropped? With whom would you replace them? Keep in mind if you bring the "team A is better than team B" stuff, I'll simply ignore you. Please argue with our criteria in mind.
And remember, next week I'll break out the excel sheet and do it all over again.