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2023 Blog Poll Week 9 — What if everyone just kind of sucks?

My god, was yesterday a tire fire

NCAA Football: Virginia at North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, you were probably paying attention to any number of the ranked matchups that Saturday gave us: Third Saturday, Penn State/Ohio State, Duke/Florida State, and several others. But there was something that was just striking with almost uniform application:

There just aren’t any complete teams this season, including and especially among the Top 10.

Ohio State’s defense is still a complete unknown — they’ve not exactly faced a murderer’s row of efficient offenses. Oklahoma’s fraudulent defense threatens to rear its head almost every week and implode — as it almost did at home against Gus. The Longhorns are threat to beat themselves on any given Saturday — as they almost did yesterday. Utah — constantly injured, and with a limited passing attack. Washington — absolutely abysmal schedule and a terrible defense. Alabama — no team in America prepares so poorly or adjusts so well. And the two with the worst schedule? We know nothing about them, truly. The Bulldogs are often a flaky mess, with a laughable slate, the best win of which was Georgia, at home. And what can be learned from the Wolverine’s schedule that is 86th in the country? Show me the best win: UNLV? Rutgers? Bowling Green? Minnesota?

Not everyone’s SOS turns out to be strong after the fact, but it was a choice to sign up for UNLV, Bowling Green, East Carolina, UAB, Ball State, and UT Martin.

Nor are gimmes necessarily gimmes this year, not in a season where everyone looks weak as hell in some fundamental way (or remains a giant mystery).

Texas required a gift from the Big 12 officiating crew to escape out of Houston — screwing the Coogs out of a first down twice.

Washington was bailed out of a loss to a 1-5 Arizona State team with a waved off flag, as the Sun Devils were driving, and time expiring.

Then, the enigmatic Mack Brown did it again, as UNC straight-up pulled an Amber Heard and crapped all over the bed, dropping a game to the 1-5 Virginia Cavaliers.

At home.

Did we mention that Caleb Williams has had such a bad two weeks that his Heisman odds are now identical with Jalen Milroe.

There’s always a week or two where chaos reigns, as the scrappy underdogs have their day. But this wasn’t one of those Saturdays...this was just a lot of incomplete teams playing bad football.

The Bye week could not have come a second sooner.

Without further ado, here is the Week 8 Blog Poll; 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.

A few quick notes follow:

  • The Big 10 actually did Michigan and Ohio State no favors, delaying competitive games for almost two months and — aside from one another — ensuring that the hardest contests were home games. Sure, you may get to the playoffs like that, and you can stat-pad a player to New York, but when you’ve not faced another playoff caliber team? It could get ugly. Again. And this time you can’t even steal signs.
  • I think Tennessee is probably still a marginal Top 25 team. Like everyone else, the Vols have limitations, but yesterday it was plainly the failure of coaching.
  • Washington is in for some trouble when they meet physical DBs that can shut-down that one-read, screen game. Their defense is awful, and the running game doesn’t exist.
  • Oregon and the Huskies get the pub, but I’m not sure that Oregon State and Utah aren’t the best teams in the P12.
  • James Franklin remains the worst.
  • Tulane’s real challenger in the AAC this year is a team lurking just off the radar: the SMU Mustangs. Heard it here first.
  • Eli Drinkwitz was on the hot seat entering the year. I’m not sure Mizzou is not the best team in the East at the moment though. If they had a defensive line, I’d take them vs. Georgia straight up.
  • We were all prepared for a Texas State — Georgia State Sun Belt title game, right?
  • JMU is riding high now, but their back-loaded schedule smells like some Ls — Coastal, App. State, Georgia State. They’re not running that gauntlet.
  • If Tommy Rees can stay inside the locker room and only emerge after halftime, Alabama is a legitimate title contender...but that LSU game in two weeks was always going to be the toughest non-Texas tilt.
  • We are setting up for an outstanding Air Force — Fresno State MWC finish. And you can’t write off Wyoming either.


Which undefeated is probably the biggest fraud?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (221 votes)
  • 16%
    (141 votes)
  • 32%
    (279 votes)
  • 19%
    (170 votes)
  • 6%
    Ohio State
    (60 votes)
871 votes total Vote Now