We're back for another edition of Poll Dancin' as we analyze the AP Poll and who/where voters have their Top 25 after the opening weekend of college football. If you didn't already know about it, Pollspeak is where you can find all this info and is an incredibly cool website I'd highly recommend to anyone. As always, we'll first focus on the Sooners and where the voters had them on their ballot. Then we'll look into the rest of the Top 25 and some of the rankings that stood out, both good and bad. First up, OU.
The Sooners were ranked as high as #1, evidenced in their 32 place votes and #1 overall ranking, and as low as #4. Let's first start with some of the names you might recognize that had OU #1; Andy Staples (SI), Chris Fowler (ESPiN), Craig James (5 Hooker Snooker), Dave Matter(Columbia Tribune), and John Shinn (Norman Transcript).
If you've seen the poll already, you know that LSU jumped Bama going from #4 last week to #2 this week. In fact, this week LSU collected the exact same number of 1st place votes (17) that Bama had last week. Bama, now third overall, tallied nine first place votes. Boise State was the only other team (2) to earn a first place vote.
OU had eleven 2nd place votes, ten 3rd place votes, and seven 4th place votes. I think I have a pretty good idea about those 4th place votes, but let's take a closer look just to be sure. Before digging in, I'd expect for some combination of the other three teams who received 1st place votes (LSU, Bama, and Boise State) to fill out a voter's ballot who deemed OU the fourth best team in the country. And for the most part that is what I found. Even as great as my bias is towards the Sooners, I can see how there is an argument to be made for all three of those teams just as there is one in favor of OU. So I found mostly what I expected, however there was one exception. Eric Hansen (South Bend Tribune) was one of those voters and while he understandably has Bama #1 and LSU #3, in between those two he has Stanford #2. Hansen was the only AP voter to place Stanford that high and he really, really likes his Andrew Luck Fathead.
As much as I love seeing OU at/near the top of the rankings, it doesn't provide much entertainment for something like this post. So the rest of the Top 25 is where you can find some very interesting opinions and where you separate the intelligent AP voters from the downright stupid.
* Fellow top four teams: Alabama finished no worse than #5, LSU no worse than #7, and Boise State no worse than #12.
* Heading into their Friday night matchup with Mizzou, Arizona State checks in at #26. Otherwise known as the leader in the "others receiving votes" category. The Sun Devils were ranked as high as #14 (Doug Lesmerisis) and unranked, which was their most common ranking (34 times).
* Arkansas was one of several teams that almost took this week's prize for most wide ranging vote. The Hogs were as high as #6 and unranked by at least two voters. They were denied the award thanks to the dumbest vote we've had yet this year, well aside from anyone including Texas in their preseason Top 25 of course, but we'll get to that a little later.
* Auburn's impressive showing against Utah State earned them votes as high as #16 to unranked (their most common with 37 times) and placed them #27 in the poll.
* Cinderella slayer the Baylor Bears enter this weeks poll at #20 overall, but how did they get there. Well Mike Hlas (Cedar Rapids Gazette) was REALLY impressed, in fact so impressed that he put Baylor at #6! Amazingly though, that wasn't even the dumbest vote on his ballot, but again we'll get to that. Non-moron vote wise, Baylor placed at high as #12 and as low as unranked which was actually their most common ranking (14 times). But obviously still garnered enough Top 25 votes to enter the poll after a big win. Found it a little interesting that they were able to enter the poll for the first time and jump Mizzou.
* Florida State moved up one spot to #5 overall this week, but actually was ranked as high as #2 in the country by Randy Rosetta (Baton Rouge Advocate). Mr. Rosetta apparently wants to see an early season #1 vs. #2 match-up on Sept. 17th in Tallahassee. Nobody else agree with Rosetta, they FSU did get two 3rd place votes, but their most common ranking was #5 (21 times).
* Weekly moron Scott Wolf (L.A. Daily News) continues to defy logic and put Mississippi State in his Top 10 (#8).
* Nebraska is apparently a top four team according to Ira Schoffel (Tallahassee Democrat), who had them higher than any other voter. Ahead of teams like FSU, Boise State, and Stanford.
* Even in spite of their embarrassing loss and near witnessing of a head coach's head actually exploding on the sideline (seriously, have you ever seen a human being that red faced before?), you knew there would be some
Lou Holtz disciplesidiots who left the Golden Domers in the Top 25. They finished as high as #22, but more appropriately unranked 53 times.
* Oklahoma State was #9 overall, but #4 material for Bob Condotta (Seattle Times). Ahead of the likes of Stanford, FSU, Boise, and Wisconsin.
* Oregon was another team that had a wide range, going from #6 to unranked (Ray Ratto) though that was just by a single voter. A little harsh considering he had them at #4 before losing to an LSU team he had at #3. So apparently losing to a top three team, even as out manned as they looked at times, constitutes a drop of at least 22 spots. Really?
* Texas A&M finished #7 overall and drew rankings as high as #5 and as low as #15 (Phil Miller). Oh, Mr. Miller if you only knew what you've just done to yourself. You can expect a harshly, misspelled, poorly formed argumentative email from a gentleman by the name of Beerguy. I can only warn you sir, that logic will not be an effective weapon against his feeble attacks. Enjoy!
* So I've kept you on the hook long enough. The award for this week's dumbest vote goes to a gentleman we've already talked about (see Baylor) in Mike Hlas. He had to go and out do himself after putting Baylor in his Top Six, by pulling this little gem. Drum roll please . . . . . . . The University of South Florida is a Top 5 football team ladies and gentlemen! Mr. Hlas, you sir have just taken up residence slightly above a douche by the name of Craig James. You have to live that all week. Good luck!
* And finally, as we like to do, we'll close things with our good friends to the south. The mighty Texas Longhorns, coming off an impressive victory over the mighty Rice Owls. And having to reach into the Boise State/gadget/fluke/thisisreallywhatTexashasresortedtoonoffense bag of tricks in order to actually score touchdowns. The Longhorns were ranked as high as #15 (Jermey Sampson, seriously bro?) and more commonly (25 times in fact) unranked by the actual intelligent voters. Despite that most common unranked placement, the Horns were actually able to pull themselves out of the "other receiving votes" category and squeak their way into the big boy poll at #24.