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Who Needs a Blog Poll 2021: Week 5 — Is it really just Alabama, Georgia and then everyone else?

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Who’s our new No. 1?

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Mississippi State vs Alabama

Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The past two weekends have been, shall we say, instructive. A lot of hens came home to roost. And by “hens,” we mean “take your pick of season-long: bad offensive line play, turnovers, fraud scheduling, inconsistent effort, and/or too many poorly-timed penalties.”

Want to know who that doomed in 9 days alone? It’s a big damn list: Boise State, Fresno State, Memphis, Clemson, UNC, Liberty, UAB, Iowa State, Baylor, Maryland, Wisconsin, Marshall, Army, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Buffalo, Oregon, USC, Arizona State, UCLA, Florida, LSU, and Ole Miss. And it almost cost about another dozen.

A few teams in particular stood out above and beyond the pack: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio State. Ho-hum, right? It’s almost like Top 10 teams hoarding talent for a decade yields similar results every season, amirite?

So while much preliminary sorting has already been done, even more gets decided out this weekend. And whereas last weekend the focus was on the SEC, this week we turn our attention to the Big 10, where perhaps the biggest game of the season takes place under the lights in Kinnick: Penn State at Iowa. This could conceivably be a B1GCG preview. And, should Penn State win that tough road game, then the biggest game of the regular season follows: A meeting between the Top 5 Nittany Lions and Buckeyes.

Half of the Top 25 lost 9 days ago, and on Saturday, nearly every conference in the country was thrown in disarray — except for the Big 10 and the Sun Belt. For everyone else? It was a Sorting Saturday.

Here’s your blog poll criteria, and please, actually read them. Some people are laboring under the impression it’s a power poll. It’s not. Or most talented. It’s not. Or the results alone. It’s not.
It is a combination of many things, and above and beyond all of them is that football is a team sport. For instance, UTSA may not be the most talented team in the country, but they are playing well at practically every position. Alabama is the most talented team in the country, but until Saturday, had not even remotely lived up to its potential — teams ahead of them, like Cincinnati, had. So to rank many things into one all-inclusive poll requires a holistic approach.

As usual, here is the blog poll, and a few very brief remarks follow. Usual caveats: The criteria are nebulous, far-ranging, and capricious — strength of schedule, bad and good coaching, injuries, exigent circumstances, home/away results, defense or lack thereof, offense or lack thereof, line play, power poll-ishness, can you cover a spread (Vegas is pretty smart about how good a team is), head-to-head where possible or prudent, and my own lying eyeballs.

2021 Blog Poll Week 5

RANKING TEAM LAST WEEK
RANKING TEAM LAST WEEK
1 Alabama 5
2 Georgia 3
3 Penn State 6
4 Cincinnati 8
5 Iowa 9
6 Michigan 11
7 Ohio State 12
8 Coastal Carolina 10
9 Oklahoma 13
10 BYU 15
11 Ariz. State 14
12 Oregon 1
13 NCSU 18
14 Arkansas 2
15 Wake Forest 20
16 Kentucky --
17 Michigan State 19
18 Ole Miss 7
19 Oklahoma State --
20 Notre Dame 4
21 Liberty 22
22 Texas --
23 SDSU --
24 Oregon State --
25 Army 25
DROPPED OUT Memphis, Fresno, UCLA, Florida, A&M, Aggie
UP NEXT Auburn, Air Force, Wyo., Houston, SMU, TTU

Brief remarks follow:

  • Arkansas is still hiding a good team, but as we saw in Athens, that DL is still a liability, and KJ Jefferson is every bit the limited freshman he appeared — and that’s even healthy. Meanwhile, Ole Miss’s feast-or-famine offense was exposed for its lack of depth at WR and general lack of toughness up front. Again. Notre Dame is in a similar boat: bad, bad offensive line play all year.
  • Alabama, Michigan, and Georgia have not trailed for one second this year. Who you put at No. 1 this week comes down to whether you think Florida and Ole Miss are a better pair of wins than South Carolina and Arkansas — I do. Clemson and UAB are ass, Dawgs fans; every bit the unimpressive wins that Miami and Southern Miss are.
<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">Ole Miss v Alabama

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

  • The Big 10 is filthy-stacked Iowa, Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State — and that’s just the undefeated ones. One-loss Ohio State is morphing into its terrifying midseason form, Minnesota appears to be rebounding, Maryland has improved vastly — and the dirty secret is that even lowly Nebraska has looked dangerous at times.
  • Speaking of dangerous, you know I have stanned Cincy for the last few years — and I generally give the G5 more respect than the media. Good thing I’m not media. Because it has gladdened my heart this year to see the national folks hopping aboard. That is a damned good team. Not “good for a midmajor;” I mean “playoff potential”-good.
  • There are other midmajors that are being overlooked, though. Coastal, Liberty, UTSA, Wyoming, BYU, Nevada, Army, ULL are all very good.
  • Arizona State is an absolute machine. If they show up for 60 minutes and don’t beat themselves (which has been a problem on the road), there’s not a team in the P12 that can come within a touchdown of them.
  • Let’s point and laugh at Oregon and Florida.
  • Have there been two quieter conferences with surprisingly decent teams than the ACC and Big 12? If I told you that NC State, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Va. Tech, and Baylor only had four losses between them going into the second week of October, you’d never believe me.
  • Speaking of quietly decent, all that Oregon State, Wyoming and Nevada do is win, baby. You expect the party to end at some point, but for now, they’re polishing the disco balls.
  • The biggest mess on earth is the MAC — Western Michigan appears to be the class of the MAC this year. But who wants to emerge out of the Eastern division? This week’s WMU-Buff game may be a preview of the MACCG.
  • The Sun Belt isn’t as stacked as we thought it might be. Coastal has been the class of the conference, but Appalachian State and ULL have the potential to win it as well. Everyone else is strictly a spoiler.
  • We still don’t know if Texas and Oklahoma are any good. You can throw Auburn, UCLA, SMU, and Kentucky in that same camp. This may be the weakest, if not weirdest, collective 27-3 record in CFB.
  • You know who’s not? Texas A&M and LSU. Someone should call the federal marshals to come and arrest Jimbo Fisher and Ed Orgeron for interstate robbery. One of these men won’t have a job by Christmas; the other will be drawing $9.15 million-a-year, fully-guaranteed...until 2031.

Poll

Which SEC team is the biggest fraud?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Kentucky (5-0)
    (77 votes)
  • 6%
    Ole Miss (3-1)
    (40 votes)
  • 7%
    Arkansas (4-1)
    (44 votes)
  • 73%
    Auburn (4-1)
    (440 votes)
601 votes total Vote Now