Here is your blog poll at the end of four weeks of play, and we touch ‘em all, rounding the bases.
The usual caveats apply: the Blog Poll takes into account strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, head-to-head where possible or prudent, and lying eyeballs.
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||1|
|5||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||6|
|8||Ohio State Buckeyes||7|
|9||West Virginia Mountaineers||11|
|12||Penn State Nittany Lions||13|
|14||North Carolina State Wolfpack||16|
|15||Mississippi State Bulldogs||5|
|19||San Diego State Aztecs||19|
|20||Oklahoma State Cowboys||8|
|21||Boise State Broncos||21|
|25||Fresno State Bulldogs||24|
|Earn your way back|
|Virginia Tech Hokies, Arizona State Sun Devils, Colorado, Mizzou|
|On the outside, but looking good|
|Memphis Tigers, USF Bulls, Duke Blue Devils, Maryland Terps||, Sparty, Colorado|
- Alabama looked like an unstoppable murder machine again...at times. Obstinately running into the face of run-blitzes all game is no way to get on our good side though, Locks. There is a lot to clean up on this team: still too many penalties, linebackers have to play smarter, and the offensive line needs to be challenged. Saban called off the dogs much earlier than he would have against another team. And I don’t know why; Jimbo was playing garbage ball down the stretch. Texas A&M, like other contenders in the west, has serious issues across the offensive line. LSU’s fiddle-farting around with La. Tech was the most predictable thing ever. In accordance to Ed O Havoc, they’ll probably beat their next two division opponents by three touchdowns...sort of like Kentucky did to Mississippi State.
- That wasn’t a fluke either. The Wildcats mauled the Bulldogs on defense and then lined up and took on the strength of ‘State’s team — the defensive line. I am having a hard time typing today, because Benny Snell’s jock is weighing down my laptop. He has been one of the best, most consistent college backs the last several years. In a perfect world, he would get an invite to New York as a nod to lifetime achievement if nothing else. With Florida rebounding, that win in the Swamp is looking better and better too. Nick Fitzgerald is still a crappy-to-mediocre quarterback, which puts an effective ceiling on CLANGA. But this is UK’s day: you have to judge who they’ve beaten, and it’s a lot better resume than most.
- Auburn got outgained by Arkansas...and Arkansas didn’t gain that many yards to begin with. Still, Auburn had a short field all night making this look worse than it was. That offensive line keep falling back each week, not stepping up. The problems are deeper than at center up front.
- I don’t care that I’m cheating on head-to-head: How badly do you think Washington wants a mulligan on that ‘Barn game? If the Huskies can out-Ute the Utes and out-Herm Arizona State, they could probably out-Barn the Barn in a rematch. The Huskies’ game against won’t-die Stanford should be appointment viewing, but first the Tree has to get by the Irish this week. Mario Cristobal and the Ducks pissed away a golden opportunity last night to serve notice they were back...aided by #Pac12refs: that 14-point swing when OU was up big was a killer.
- With all the focus on the North, this is a perfect opportunity for Colorado to play spoiler. This team could be 6-0 when it travels to Seattle. We’ll find out over the next three weeks if they’re capable of beating scrubs and bowl teams: UCLA, Arizona State, and Southern Cal.
- Notre Dame and Clemson both decided to go with their young guns who can do the little things, like complete forward passes. The results were teams that finally looked like they can live up to their promise. Kelly Bryant lost his job in Atlanta yesterday against Ga. Tech, while Brandon Wimbush left his captaincy behind in Winston-Salem. The Irish looked really good against Wake Forest.
- Two games no one is really talking about? Syracuse-Clemson and NC State - Clemson: The Orange drubbed UConn, and the Wolfpack’s convincing road win at Marshall is a lot better than it looks. Justin Fuente has a very young team in Blacksburg, but that was a winless Old Dominion team that toyed with Bud Foster’s defense, gaining more yards than any team he’s faced in three decades. Virginia Tech’s offense still hasn’t lived up to its billing after three years under Fuente either (pssst, Mike Norvell is a better coach anyway.)
- Some teams never made it off the tarmac, especially in the Big 12. Oklahoma State did its usual win-a-big-game, lose-a-dumb game, giving Kliff’s Red Raiders a new lease on life. For all its firepower, is it possible West Virginia’s best unit is the defensive line? I haven’t ranked TCU all season; you can’t based on potential alone. The Frogs are 0-for-decent teams in 2018. And, yes, even if you operate on the assumption TCU and USC are 7-5ish kind of teams, Texas has still beaten them. It’s not pretty, they’re not back, and they’ve not played a B12 road game yet, but that’ll get you ranked this early in the season.
- People wonder why I keep slagging on the Sooners; each week the defense looks worse and the offense more limited: Kyler Murray is having to carry that team, but he’s doing it pretty well. I still think the Dirt Burglars have two losses in them...even in a down Big 12.
- Ohio State and Penn State are mirror images: can’t play defense to save their lives, flaky on the road, running it up against the hapless, and you still don’t trust them if they face a quality team. Their game next week? Whatever it is, take the over. Urban Meyer simply didn’t look right last night. It’s an old trope, but is family time coming? He’s never taken criticism very well, and he’s finally being called to the carpet for a decade-plus of running morally lax programs.
- Wisconsin - Iowa was old-school Big 10 porn. Highly enjoyable. Unforced errors cost the Hawkeyes down the stretch. Michigan State took care of its business pretty handily on the road against a decent IU team. The Wolverines seal-clubbed winless Nebraska. If UM keeps rolling the pocket for Shea Patterson, instead of 1994’s 7-step drops, 85% of this team’s problems seem to disappear.
- Fresno State, Boise State, and UCF still seem to be the class of the Group of 5. But, undefeated South Florida is winning with defense this year, which is weird in the AAC, and Memphis can’t buy a stop.
- Notre Dame, and man, is the 1-loss winner of the UM/OSU/Penn State round robin going to be pissed.
- SEC, and it’s not particularly close either.
- Big 10, by a very shaky default.
- P12, at least at the top.
- Big 12, at least in the middle.
- ACC — Iffy Atlantic, garbage Coastal