Blogpoll Roundtable - Week 5 Chaos Edition
Starting next week, the BlogPoll Top 25 is getting MSM support as a major media outlet will be publishing the poll right alongside the AP and Coaches Polls.
Here's hoping those pollsters' week in and week out insanity doesn't sully the impeccable reputation we've worked so hard to cultivate.
On to the roundtable...
Q: Of the four presumed national title contenders to go down this past week--USC, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin--which team has the best chance to get back in the race by the end of the year?
A: As fun as it was to watch the seemingly invincible Trojans drop another game to a ho-hum conference foe, they've still got the best shot to end up with only one loss. Should Florida or Georgia win out in the SEC they'd definitely be in but neither has looked like a national champion yet. (Florida could render this argument irrelevant in two weeks and be back in the hunt with a win against LSU.) Wisconsin? Seemed like the Big 10 needed an undefeated champion to be in the discussion and that now looks like Penn State. So, if it was unbelievable late Thursday night, just by avoiding a second loss the USC reputation and destruction of Ohio State could still be enough to overcome this September loss.
Q: But what does this mean for Ohio State? Are they back in?
A: I'm glad this happened because we might actually get to test the prevalent preseason theory that if Ohio State lost (badly) at USC, the voters would keep them out of any national title discussion. As much as I wanted to believe this, I always felt it gave the voters too much credit. It was, after all, perfectly logical based on past results.
So now, Penn State is a surefire top 5 team if they wake up undefeated on October 12. The Lions face Wisconsin on the road October 11th and either Texas or Oklahoma will have a loss after that day. If the Buckeyes are undefeated going in to their game with Penn State on October 25th, they're a top 10 team. Beat an undefeated that late in the season and, assuming we're left with a bunch of one loss teams, it might take the very voter uprising many were predicting before the season.
I'd vote that way but it still seems like a pretty large assumption.
Q: Did the week that was open the door for any of the undefeateds out of some of the non-BCS conferences like the Mountain West or the Big East? (Yup, that's a cheap shot. Thanks, Virginia Tech for not allowing me to make it about the ACC.)
A: I'm not sure the upsets this past week proved much more than that we have a deep field of good but flawed national title hopefuls and that's bad news for teams like BYU and Utah. Based on resume they might top some of the big name losers but nobody really thinks they'd beat USC or Florida on a neutral field. Sure, they'd have a shot. A better shot than Oregon State or Ole Miss just had last Saturday but for all but one of them it'll have to remain a theoretical match-up.
The real interesting case here is USF. The Bulls only have one future opponent who is currently ranked and that team, fellow undefeated UConn, just lost their starting quarterback for the next month or so. Is an undefeated Big East season enough to secure the top spot if you're the only team without a loss left?
I don't think it is but for the rest of the country to vote that way would require some serious testicular fortitude from the pollsters and how often would you associate that with the polls?
At least now, or next week, you'll be able to see such voting alongside the more traditional format. Next target: Inclusion in the BCS.