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BlogPoll Calling: Initial Ballots for Week Two

A little something to brighten your Monday.

Todd's Ballot:

1. Oklahoma: Up from number three, 'cause these guys look plain unstoppable, while USC was off in week two and struggled against Idaho.

2. USC: Still have plenty of reason to believe they'll wind up in the title game but, like I said, they've only had one game and they looked a little flat in it.

3. West Virginia: They struggled early against Marshall, and my friend Van, who had come over to watch football with me, was all about a Thundering Herd upset. I wasn't worried, since it's kind of the Mountaineer MO to keep things tight and then blow up in the second half, and that's exactly what they did.

4. LSU: Looked impressive again against an increasingly craptacular Hokies squad. Not totally convinced by them yet.

5. Penn State: Up from six with UGA's fall from the top ten.

6. Texas: It would have been easy for the Longhorns to collapse against TCU, but they did what they had to do and finally looked like they were clicking in the second half.

7. Cal: Had some trouble with the Rams, but they get the bump up with both UGA and Hawaii's drop in the poll.

8. Wisconsin: The Badgers finally make it into my top ten. Had quite a scare at UNLV, but, like Texas, they dug down and did what they needed to to win.

9. Florida: Another first appearance in the top ten. Still not too convinced, but Tebow can throw, and we'll know more about them in a few weeks.

10. Ohio State: Another team I'm not convinced about, but they'll contend with the Badgers and Penn State for the Big 10.

11. Alabama: Up from #12, 'cause we won, and I'm a homer.

12. Georgia: I had them all the way up to #4 last week, and then they go and play like that? For shame, Dawgs, for shame.

13. Nebraska: Looked lost at Wake, but should still win the Big 12 North.

14. Hawaii: Fallen from the top ten after needing overtime to top La. Tech.

15. UCLA: BYU made it interesting late, but the Bruins managed to pull it out with a late score.

16. Louisville: Terrible performance from the D means a drop from #15.

17. South Carolina: Up from #20 after a good win against UGA. Still not sure what to make of them, though.

18. Georgia Tech: Beating up on Samford doesn't prove much, but they'll benefit from other teams dropping.

19. Oregon: Running up a score on Houston and Michigan doesn't say much, but Dixon is good, and I was very impressed with their showing Saturday.

20. Rutgers: Ray Rice is looking like a stud, so they'll pop up in my rankings for the first time this season.

21. Virginia Tech: Man, did they look ever so crappy at LSU. That freshman QB looked decent, though, so there's hope for them yet.

22. Tennessee: Won against a respectable Southern Miss team, but will need a lot of help this weekend.

23. Boston College: Two solid wins to start the season, and I'm liking BC.

24. Washington: Good win over Boise gets them an appearance here.

25. Texas Tech: They're 2-0, so why not?

Dropped Out: TCU, Boise State, Florida State, Miami, Auburn

OTS's Ballot:

1. USC: Off week for the Trojans, but they must have been salivating at Nebraska's struggles with Wake Forest.

2. West Virginia: Marshall proved them to be not that good in the first half, and the other top teams would eat their lunch. But again, the schedule is so easy that an undefeated season is very possible, especially considering Louisville's defensive meltdown. These guys have it made.

3. LSU: After a sluggish start against MSU, they hammered Virginia Tech and looked great in doing so. Consistent play over the next eleven weeks is the concern, as they probably have the toughest road of anyone.

4. Oklahoma: The Sooners have looked as good as anyone in the country, and their schedule is set up just great (the Red River Shootout is the only real question mark). Some Sooner people are talking national championship game, and that's realistic with the way they've played. No one in the country has impressed me more the past two weeks than Oklahoma.

5. Texas: Struggled early, but rallied late to beat a good TCU team with relative ease. The Red River Shootout could launch them on a national championship run.

6. Florida: Tebow looks very good, and they should jump out to 3-0 with a win over Tennessee in Knoxville. The first team defense looks good; they're still a contender. This team could very well go into Baton Rouge 6-0.

7. Penn State: After a dominating performance against Notre Dame, they have to be the favorite to win the Big Ten. They'll blow out Buffalo next week, and should take out ten years of frustration on Michigan the following week, dooming the Wolverines to a 1-3 or 0-4 start.

8. Wisconsin: Drops a couple of spots after almost losing to UNLV.

9. Ohio State: So-so performance against a non-BCS conference team, but as bad as Michigan and Wisconsin have looked, they are in pretty good shape. The road trip to Seattle to face Washington is a scary one.

10. Cal: Narrowly held off Colorado State, but the game wasn't as close as most thought, with Cal leading 31-14 in the fourth. Probably still the second best team in the Pac-10.

11. Rutgers: Solid win over a solid Navy team, as long as Rice stays healthy, this will be a tough team. A BCS bowl is possible if they can knock off West Virginia.

12. South Carolina: Great performance on the road against a good team; great defense, efficient offense. The SEC East is a possibility for them now. I knew something was up when the Ol' Ball Coach was practically giving up before the game.

13. Louisville: Incredible offense, laughable defense. The latter will yield a couple of losses.

14. UCLA: Still some question marks, but they did beat a relatively solid BYU team.

15. Nebraska: Not a particularly good team, but they move up simply because a lot of teams around them lost. USC will probably have a lot of fun with these guys next week.They are firmly entrenched in a battle for the Big 12 North with Missouri for the right to get dominated by OU / Texas in the Big 12 title game.

16. Georgia: Not a big drop after losing a hard-fought contest to a South Carolina team that looked very good. It was the best game of the day. The Dawgs aren't done in the East just yet.

17. Tennessee: Survived a scare against Southern Miss, and looked good on down the stretch. Still, a loss likely coming next week against the Gators. This team may be 3-3 going into the Alabama game.

18. Hawai'i: Drops after a relatively poor performance against La Tech in Ruston, where they needed overtime to survive. Still, with Brennan and the run and shoot, 10+ wins is still probable.

19. Boston College: 2-0 after comfortable wins over Wake Forest and North Carolina State. A worst case scenario is that they are 5-1 going into the Notre Dame game, and a win at Georgia Tech this week could put them going undefeated well into the heart of the schedule.

20. Clemson: Had a blowout win over ULM; could legitimately jump out of the gate 4-0, if not more.

21. TCU: Dropped a couple of spots after losing to Texas when they ran out of gas late, but they showed themselves as arguably the best non-BCS team in the country.

22. Washington: Tyrone Willingham's squad pulled off a very nice victory over Boise State, and they legitimately look like a team that could make a run or eight wins and a bowl game. The next three weeks will be brutal (Ohio State, UCLA, and USC), and they have the opportunity to prove that they are back with a win over the visiting Buckeyes in six days.

23. Alabama: Rolled with relative ease over what could be a fairly decent Vanderbilt team, despite terrible QB play from John Parker Wilson. Defense looks better than expected.

24. Oregon: Still not sold on them, but they annihilated Michigan like the Wolverines rarely have been annihilated, and if nothing else they marked the definite end of the Lloyd Carr era, and possibly put them on the path to a losing season.

25. South Florida: I'm not convinced on Auburn at all, but it was still a big win for the Bulls, despite countless special teams meltdowns. That was likely the biggest win in program history.

Dropped Out:

Virginia Tech: I've been skeptical of them all off-season, and LSU exposed them as what they are: a terrible offense, a very overrated defense, and special teams that, despite all of this "Beamer Ball" crap you hear about from the talking heads, isn't very good. The Hokies have a pretty easy schedule, but even so, I'd be very surprised if they manage better than 8-4.

Auburn: Just like a week ago, Auburn proved themselves as a team with no offense, and a defense that will have to do everything. They lucked out when K-State beat themselves, and now they sit at 1-1 with Florida, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia, and Alabama on the schedule. If this team goes 8-4 or better on the regular season, count me as shocked.

Florida State: They struggled big-time against lowly UAB. I suspect they'll improve a good bit on down the stretch, but for the moment, they just aren't very good. Let's just hope the crap-tacular continues until after the 'Bama game.

Texas A&M: Squeaked by Fresno State when the Bulldogs handed it to them. As usual with Fran, the Aggies aren't much. Boise State : Cinderella usually doesn't strike twice.