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Who Needs a Blogpoll: Week Three - Bobby Petrino shows no mercy

Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State, USC — it’s a bad season for many to be a blue blood program.

Florida State v Louisville
What a bad, bad man.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Criteria: Just a reminder: this not a power poll, a projection going forward, nor a straight SOS or MOV analysis. The WNaBP does take into account some injuries, bye weeks, background intangibles, and it does pay a little attention to the point spread.

  • Best collection of wins
  • Single best overall win
  • Competitiveness & MOV (even in a loss)
  • Talent level
  • Schedule, including how past opponents looked against their opponents
  • My lying eyeballs
  • And, finally, Baylor shall never be ranked. Those coaches, that ex-chancellor, and the former AD all need to need to be indicted not celebrated in any respect.

Dropped Out:

Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Oklahoma Sooners, Ole Miss Rebels, TCU Horned Frogs, Iowa Hawkeyes

Also Considered:

Iowa Hawkeyes, North Carolina Tarheels, Ole Miss Rebels, Utah Utes, Arizona State Sun Devils

No. 1 and why?

Alabama. The Tide erased a three-score lead and then went up by three scores, in a road SEC game, against a very talented Ole Miss team. They did it with defense, special teams, and a nasty, nasty running game. Alabama has now beaten three bowl-type teams with its second-closest MOV being 28 points. All this despite slow starts, new coaching staff all over the field, and new starters at key positions. A few teams are playing better overall (looking at you, Louisville and Ohio State,) but no one has come close to this kind of resume against a better slate of foes. This one is a no-brainer.

Louisville or Houston?

Louisville has one of the most impressive wins of the season, probably the single best win of the year, in fact. However, on balance, Houston's neutral game shellacking of the Sooners followed by a 24-point road win against a better-than-average Cincinnati team is a better body of work than a huge home win that's been circled on the Petrino calendar the past two seasons. With OU in a funk, and with Houston now into the heart of its AAC schedule, Louisville should slide up, simply because there are more opportunities for the Cards to pass the Cougars.

All those one loss teams?

When you're dealing with one-loss teams, and there are some good ones, then you have to consider the wins on the schedule as well as the "better" loss. Despite getting walloped, Florida State's win over Ole Miss is the clear best of this bunch, followed by ND (Texas,) at BYU (UCLA,) Pitt (Oklahoma State) and Moo U (LSU.)

Shamfraudclowns, which is to say, which team(s) are headed for a fall?

Sad to say, but the SEC is best poised to take a dive. Florida, Georgia and Tennessee are about to sort one another out. Of the three, the Gators are playing the best overall football, but have now lost Luke Del Rio.Tennessee has played one half of competent football in three games. Georgia is probably not that very good, but the Dawgs just keep winning.

In the West, LSU keeps winning yet somehow looks worse and worse doing so. The Aggies are an unsteady 3-0, but have a night win in Jordan Hare over a much-improved bend-don't-break Auburn defense. I suspect the lack of a running game and run defense are going to let this very talented team down...again. Arkansas has two razor(back) thin wins, and that kind of luck doesn't endure over eight SEC games.

Looking outside the conference, other teams with some losing to come appear to be the Florida State Seminoles and the Texas Longhorns. Iowa shouldn't hang its head too badly: losing to the 5-time reigning FCS champion by two points is comparable to losing a conference game to an 8-4, 9-3ish type team.

Lowkey great moments to come:

Circle your calendar for October 22. In addition to an exhausted Alabama team playing its 8th straight game, and facing the Aggies (off a bye, of course,) the MAC-West (thus, the MAC overall) will be decided when the class of the conference meet as Central Michigan travels to Toledo.

Don't look now, but despite the preseason hype surrounding the Clemson-Florida State game, the real barn-burner looks to be the Hurricanes versus the 'Noles, just like old times.

Surprisingly good teams no one is talking about:

Georgia Tech - much improved defense, better skills positions players than they've had in a while.

Miami Hurricanes - another much improved defense, and a coaching staff that knows how to get mileage out of a talented offense.

Boise State - The Broncos are a handful on both sides of the ball. Harsin's group is going to have a very good year.

Michigan State - As anonymous and blue collar a crew as you'll find. The ground game is more punishing than last season, and the defense has retooled quickly. Dantonio does more with relatively less than anyone.

Playoff Projection:

Washington Huskies: Perhaps the easiest path of all the contenders. If UW can beat Stanford and doesn't lose any dumb games to a P12 with few elite teams, the Doogs are in.

Alabama Crimson Tide: If you would kill the king, make sure he is well and truly dead. And, this one is still wielding his scepter and smashing people in the skull with it.

Louisville Cardinals: The Cards have the best player in the country, or, at least a player having a magical season. The defense is improved, the offense is lethal. This may be Petrino's best team at any level. However, alongside Alabama, the Cards have a lot of hurdles to overcome in-conference.

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are playing the best all-around football of any team out there. The alleged two-game schedule (Oklahoma, Michigan) just added a third leg, if the Spartans can hold serve. With Washington, the Buckeyes have a ridiculously easy rout to the playoffs.