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Who Needs a Blog Poll Week 5: Who’s Number Two is the season’s most interesting question

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There were a few upsets in the Top 25, but it could have been much worse.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama rarely fuels up the Death Star to serve notice to the Alderaans of the CFB Universe. But, when it does, the fully functioning battle station is a thing of violent beauty. You could spill thousands of gallons of ink on the performance and why the Tide is the team to beat, but one gif really tells the entire story.

The real question this week, as it has been for the past month, is who is the nation’s number two? Ohio State made a fleeting preseason appearance. Clemson served notice early. For weeks, Oklahoma State looked to be the most complete offense in the nation. This week, we again consider Clemson, but, to that mix, we now include the Georgia Bulldogs. The front seven is nasty, and, while the offense has underperformed somewhat, this team is Clemson’s doppleganger: tons of talent that can put up points in bunches. Still, Georgia didn’t struggle against Boston College. At home.

Whether you prefer the ‘Dawgs or the Tigers will largely depend on whether you think Auburn/at Louisville is more impressive than Bulldogs/at Notre Dame. I think Notre Dame is a hair better than those other three, so we go with UGA in the BlogPoll formula: “some combination of a power poll, SOS, injuries, derpy playcalling and/or coaching, luck, consistency, and the oh-so-nebulous eyeball test.”

Here’s this week’s carefully-reasoned, not-at-all-arbitrary poll #sarcasmfont

Week 5 Blogpoll.csv

Rank Team Last week
Rank Team Last week
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1
2 Georgia Bulldogs 12
3 Clemson Tigers 3
4 Penn State Nittany Lions 5
5 Oklahoma 4
6 Washington Huskies 6
7 Michigan Wolverines 8
8 WIsconsin Badgers 9
9 USC Trojans 10
10 TCU Horned Frogs 21
11 Virginia Tech Hokies 13
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys 2
13 Ohio State Buckeyes 11
14 Washington State Cougars 16
15 West Virginia Mountaineers 15
16 Utah Utes 18
17 MIami Hurricanes 23
18 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 22
19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish --
20 Mississippi State Bulldogs 14
21 UCF Knights --
22 Memphis Tigers 20
23 USF Bulls 24
24 Duke Blue Devils --
25 Texas Tech Red Raiders --
Dropped out
Iowa Hawkeyes
FSU Seminoles
LSU Tigers
San Diego State Aztecs
Considered
Auburn Tigers
NC State Wolfpack
SDSU Aztecs
Iowa Hawkeyes

Most of this is self-explanatory, including who dropped out. I suspect Oklahoma State is still hell-on-wheels. That’s going to be a tough team to beat now that the expectations are removed. And, they’re not at all out of the picture either, potentially having the opportunity to rack up three ranked wins over OU and/or West Virginia. Seen the Pac 12 lately? Seen who’s left in the ACC? Hell, seen the SEC? A one-loss Pokes team isn’t at all out it.

TCU takes a deserved jump up. Ohio State did nothing to fall, but they still don’t have the resume or consistency of the teams above it. The rest of the Top 10 underwent minor adjustments after Ok. State’s loss. The Sooners spend a week at No. 5 to think about what they’ve done. Baylor? FFS, really?

The middle was shuffled somewhat: Wazzu has been playing fantastic ball this year, outside of a half against Boise State. Ditto Virginia Tech. WVU gets demerits for being gashed by Kansas in a closer-than-it-looked game in Lawrence. I had Miami 10th in the preseason poll. I still think that team has potential to get there. However, until they started playing some games there was no way to evaluate them.

A lot of teams are going to lose at Air Force, but you need more than a win at Arizona State, Aztecs. Memphis stunk it up for three quarters against SIU. USF still can’t throw a forward pass. UCF obliterated Maryland on the road. The AAC race is probably those three: Houston’s offensive inconsistency, Navy’s sliding back somewhat, Temple’s tanking, and Tulsa’s tough road slate.

Welcome: Duke, Texas Tech. Both are 4-0 with a pair of good wins. Duke, in particular, is under the radar with a home win over Northwestern and a road victory over arch-rival North Carolina. In addition to UCF, welcome the Irish. Take a look at that schedule: This team could win 9-10 games with consistent play, steady coaching, and injury luck (all have been big asks under Brian Kelly, I know.) They have blast teams teams they should, thoroughly demolished Sparty on the road, and played UGA to a near-draw at home. This is a good team...for now.

What about: Iowa. I still like this team; I’d like them more if they didn’t give up 600 yards at home in a crucial night game and then play prevent on a 4th and Goal final play. FSU. The ‘Noles are 0-2 with no reason to think that they’ve deserve to be ranked. If you see FSU ranked somewhere this week, that is solely a product of preseason hype and not on-field production: NC State whipped their ass in Tallahassee. Falling flat remains a Jimbo Fisher hallmark. Auburn. Two tough wins against a bad team and an FCS team; a blowout of the worst P5 team in the country; and a moral victory where they were still badly outplayed -- win some games, and then we’ll talk. LSU already lost by 30 to a good-not-great State team. Then, they played awfully against Syracuse. This team doesn’t deserve to be ranked.

Playoff Prediction:

Ohio State, Alabama, Washington, Oklahoma State

Take the poll and make your case for No. 2 below. I’m genuinely interested.

Poll

Who is your No. 2 team?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Penn State
    (29 votes)
  • 10%
    Oklahoma
    (58 votes)
  • 56%
    Clemson
    (326 votes)
  • 16%
    Georgia
    (95 votes)
  • 1%
    Washington
    (9 votes)
  • 2%
    TCU
    (12 votes)
  • 1%
    USC
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Michigan
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Wisconsin
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    Alabama, because I’m a troll
    (37 votes)
  • 0%
    Other, below.
    (2 votes)
576 votes total Vote Now