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Who Needs A Blogpoll: Week Three

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A lot of moving and shaking early in the season, as some teams (like our new No. 1) have actually played quality teams.

Don't let the Big Ten stank fool you. This is a great team.
Don't let the Big Ten stank fool you. This is a great team.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Blech. This weekend sucked, didn't it? At least nationally we have a better idea of how good (or not) some teams are.

The actual, historical Spartans had two kings. This blogpoll has just one, but it is a Spartan.

Rank

Team

Last Week

1

Michigan State Spartans

5

2

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

2

3

Ole Miss Rebels

13

4

Texas A&M Aggies

7

5

UCLA Bruins

6

6

LSU Tigers

20

7

Ohio State Buckeyes

3

8

Clemson Tigers

9

9

Georgia Bulldogs

10

10

Alabama Crimson Tide

1

11

Baylor Bears

11

12

TCU Horned Frogs

12

13

Oregon Ducks

14

14

Florida State Seminoles

17

15

Oklahoma Sooners

18

16

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

8

17

Arizona State Sun Devils

21

18

USC Trojans

3

19

Oklahoma State Cowboys

-

20

Utah Utes

19

21

BYU Cougars

-

22

Wisconsin Badgers

24

23

Arizona Wildcats

-

24

Northwestern Wildcats

-

25

California Golden Bears

-

Also Considered

Tennessee Volunteers - Having failed its biggest test, the Vols must show that they can regroup, be consistent, and win the ones they're supposed to. This has not happened, despite the talent that Jones has surrounded himself with.

Stanford Cardinal - That Northwestern loss was inexcusably listless and Hogan has looked terrible - again. For six of their twelve quarters of play, this team has been a 6-6 outfit.

Boise State Broncos - Top 25 teams, and I think BSU is one, bat down Hail Mary attempts. Too bad there aren't any more marquee chances for the Broncos this season.

Missouri Tigers - As illusory a 3-0 record as you will see. Don't think we didn't see what the Tigers sharted all over Faurot Field on Saturday versus UConn, one of the nation's 20-worst teams. Problems are ahead in SEC play.

Miami Hurricanes - Brad Kaaya is the real deal, but with an iffy running game and a spotty defense, let's see how they fare in ACC play. Great game Saturday, though.

Memphis Tigers - Has completely revamped itself from a defensive terror into one relying on the unheralded Paxton Lynch, and an opportunistic defense. Everyone seems to forget Justin Fuente ran TCU's offense for years and is at heart a guy who loves points. This week versus Cincinnati should be for AAC supremacy.

NC State Wolfpack - I want to see the 2015 Wolfpack beat someone competitive. Just one. I think they will, however. Dave Doeren is a very good coach and QB play can carry this team to 8-9 wins...when their season starts in October.

Be Gone

Auburn Tigers - I caught hell for the belief that the Tigers were only ever a borderline Top-25 squad. I'll take a victory lap now. This team can't run, can barely throw, Jeremy Johnson is as bad an SEC starter since the Croom-era, and the defense is both banged up and is as nougaty-soft as Ellis Johnson's bunch. Worse than all of that, is that AU has no identity; hell, it barely had one last year. When Tre Mason graduated, he took Weagle's toughness and identity with him. Auburn is a 4-point favorite in Starkville this week. Take the Bulldogs and pay off your mortgage: Dak is going to have a huge game.

Arkansas Razorbacks - You could see Auburn's problems coming from a mile away; you can't say the same about the Hogs. Losing JWill was huge, but Brandon Allen has regressed, and the defense has made even more of a backslide. Someone should have been fired for the playcalling versus Toledo; but the effort versus a 7-5ish Texas Tech team was despicable.

Missouri, Tennessee - See above

Oh, Hai!

Oklahoma State - No impressive resume of which to speak, but this was the year that 2014's troubles and youth were meant to salve. A finally-seasoned offense, a salty defense, and an underrated coaching staff make a tough out in B12 play.

BYU - Nice pair of pelts in Nebraska and Boise State, and a one-point loss to UCLA. They'll beat Michigan too.

Arizona - Some injury concerns, and they haven't played anyone, but the death by a thousand cuts offense is as potent as ever.

Northwestern - Solid CV in a win over Stanford and Duke, both bowl teams and probable divisional contenders. Not sure how Northwestern has revamped itself into a tough, gritty defensive team, but you have to think this is more Pat Fitzgerald's style of play.

Cal - Preseason, I said Cal was the Indiana-type team that I loved. The running game (of all things) made the difference in DKR over the 'Horns. This team is going to torch a whole lot of PAC 12 defenses and win a lot of games. A 3-0 start earns the Golden Bears some love.

Social Promotion

Michigan State - The defense can do it all, and has shut down the Ducks' spread, WMU's pro-syle offense, and Air Force's triple option. The offense has tastefully scored more than enough points along the way with one of the country's best QBs and some underrated RBs. The return teams are still a concern, as is letting off the gas, but this is the most complete team I've seen. If Sparty decides to be consistent for the season, and drop the hammer for all 60 minutes, I can't say for a certainty there's anyone who can beat them.

LSU - Prediction: By season's end the domination against Mississippi State will be a better win than the trouncing of Auburn - State has a defense that is willing to actually hit you back. Still, the Auburn game was as much fun as I've had watching manball since Alabama circa 2009. The quarterback situation is a little better, but I'm not sure if I trust it in a game where points will be needed in droves (A&M, Ole Miss.) Until then, I'll be in my bunk watching Leonard Fournette terrorize Rudy Ford and Blake Countess if you need me.

Texas A&M - The young defense still makes mistakes, but unlike last season, they adjust now - it's called coaching. The offense can turn it on like a light switch. The addition of a power running game makes A&M the country's most complete offense. When I close my eyes and think of Myles Garrett and company versus the Alabama offensive line, I drink heavily. When I think of the Aggies' wide receiving corps and Kyle Allen versus the Alabama secondary, I bite the pillow and cry myself to sleep.

Ole Miss - Absolutely nothing resembling defensive depth (the bagman was good for one recruiting cycle only,) which will be an issue down the road against teams that don't turn the ball over five times and actually commit to the ground game. Still, one-through-eleven, this looks to be one of the country's most fundamentally-sound defenses again. The offense doesn't have a running game, nor does it need one. Chad Kelly benefited from some flukes and short fields to be sure, but the kid is fast, unflappable, has a cannon for an arm, and has fantastic touch on the ball - he is what Freeze wanted from Bo Wallace. Special teams are...special. Solid punting, great return defense, automatic kicking game. Joins Notre Dame and Sparty as the three most complete teams in the nation.

Play Someone

TCU, Baylor. I've had chemotherapy; as nauseating as that experience was, these two schlubs' schedules make me want to wretch more. Do better.

Held Back

Alabama - Seems that whole "nation's toughest schedule" thing wasn't a joke. Spotting a Top-10 team 24 points, creating five short fields, and losing the turnover battle 5-0 is no way to win any ballgame. Lost in the rightful criticism of special teams play, occasionally iffy interior protection and run blocking, and bizarre offensive game plan is that the receivers had a hideous day. ArDarius Stewart is as responsible for one of Coker's interceptions as Jacob was. Too many drops, too little field awareness, and a general lack of toughness from a unit we've come to expect to be very physical and sure-handed. Also, I'm split on the BDS crowd: The place was rocking and at times as loud as it will ever be; but, the 6,000 or so who hit the ramps at the beginning of the 4th quarter need to stay at home next time. The scoreboard is as scoreboard reads: out-hit, out-hustled, out-performed, outcoached by Ole Miss again. Saban is now 2-2 against the Marmot. That's not a fluke.

Ohio State - Too much focus on the QBs (and they're struggling,) and not enough feeding the ball to one of the best RBs in the country. This team (as I've said before and stick to it) is really missing Tom Herman. Take a lesson from Les Miles and Mark Richt and use your best weapon. All of the talk (and apparent Buckeye belief) of inevitability, coupled with Meyer's traditional inmates-running-the-asylum coaching style, has a way of manifesting into lackluster returns. At its present level of mediocre play. I can easily see this team tripping up on the road against a middle-of-the-pack club before getting blasted by Sparty. Then again, you can easily see the Buckeyes regrouping and running the table...except for getting blasted by Sparty.

Georgia Tech - No shame in losing a one-score road game to one of the nation's best teams. Still the class of a weaker-than-expected ACC.

USC - Sarkisian is still Armenian for "underperforms relative to talent level." That was absolutely a pitiful effort by one of the nation's best offenses, it's best offensive line, and a defense that stockpiles as much talent as anyone in the nation. This team's coaching and headspace makes it as close to an 8-4 squad as it does an 11-1 team.

Florida State - The defense is miles ahead of 2013-2014's units, which had more NFL talent. The offense, outside of Dalvin Cook scares no one, but that's one helluva scary weapon in the arsenal. If Jimbo and company realize that this team is built to pound, they could be UGA 2.0. I don't trust Clemson and still think Deshaun Watson is going to get exposed a time or two. As long as FSU has FSU talent (and they do,) they're still the best of the infinitely-more competitive Atlantic division.