As I have mentioned before I am voting in Senator Blutarsky’s Mumme Poll. You can read the basics about it here and check his site for the results. In a nutshell is doesn’t begin until this week (week six of the season) and voters vote on twelve teams without ranking them only designating which five are the top five, although in no particular order.
It is a performance based poll and therefore other polls, especially ones that started in the pre-season have no bearing on this.
I did it like this:
I perused the conference standings focusing on record because it was an easy place to see all the information. At this point there are fifteen unbeaten teams in the country; five from the Big 12, two from the Big 10, three from the SEC, and five from the non-BCS conferences (the Pac 10, Big East and ACC have none). To make sure I didn’t exclude a deserving team I also looked at the one-loss teams from the BCS conferences only (sorry other conferences). There were twenty one-loss BCS teams; one from the Big 12, three from the Big Ten, three from the SEC, three form the Pac-10, four from the Big East, and six from the ACC.
Next I looked at total record of opponents and while I thought this would give a better indication than it did I found that of the unbeaten teams only two have played opponents that have a composite winning record, Alabama (17-14) and Vanderbilt (15-14) and one had a break-even opponent record, Missouri (13-13). The other seventeen’s opponents had composite losing records.
Another startling trend was that all of the non-BCS unbeatens had wins over two-A opponents. Of the BCS unbeatens, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, LSU had wins against two-A competition. Texas Tech had wins over two FCS teams and they became a poll exclusion as did all the others with inter-division wins with the exception of LSU, who had a quality win against a ranked opponent* and Utah, whose opponent composite was the best of all the non-BCS unbeatens (15-18).
This is hard stuff. You can’t just put in the unbeaten teams. First of all there are too many and second, the road that they took to get to unbeaten was not near as hard as that of others. You have to be able to make comparisons. Out of the five non-BCS teams – Utah, BYU, Ball State, Boise State, and Tulsa – you can’t make me believe that they are more deserving to be ranked than at least half of the BCS one-loss guys.
I was beginning to get confused so I put in the teams that I knew were in. Of the unbeatens there were seven obvious choices; Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Penn State, Alabama, Vandy, and LSU. All these teams except Texas have beaten a ranked team and LSU was the only one with a FCS opponent.
I next chose the top five out of the seven and that was relatively easy. Missouri, Oklahoma, Penn State, Alabama, and LSU. LSU does have the Appalachian State game on their resume but their lines and skill players are phenomenal, I don’t know how you can not include them.
Next I looked at the one-loss teams and tried to determine the best teams from that group. Georgia was easy, their one loss was to Alabama and they never gave up in that contest. USC, despite their loss to Oregon State is a solid football team. Florida’s loss to Ole Miss hurts them but I believe that they could beat any of the teams I had chosen and I am certain they would beat any of the unbeaten non-BCS guys (really, their schedules are abhorrent) and the same could be said for Ohio State, so I included them (their victory over Wisconsin helped them). After including those four I was left with one spot for twenty-three candidates. I watched Utah’s come-from-behind win last Thursday and I gave them the nod.
This was my ballot (top five in all CAPS):
Next week will be easier as more teams lose (LSU plays Florida, Texas plays Oklahoma, plays Oklahoma State plays Missouri) and I already have a pool established of likely candidates. Some of the teams that are on the waiting list are: Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Northwestern, BYU, Michigan State, Florida State, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, and Georgia Tech. A loss by Florida or Georgia would send them to purgatory.
I’m really interested in how this progresses. The thing I learned this week is that your resume can hurt you as well as help you. Playing weak competition can bring you down or keep you from getting the benefit of the doubt. That, whether fair or unfair, is what separates the BCS schools from the non-BCS schools and the power conferences from the weak conferences. Every 5-0 does not compare to every 5-0, 4-1 or whatever.
It’s also a good thing that just oner person does not decide a poll. There are opinions out there that will counteract mine and likewise and that is probably a good thing