This week's draft Blog Poll ballot is after the jump, followed by thoughts on the Top 10 teams and a couple miscellaneous notes. As always, feedback is not only welcome, but encouraged. I frequently, if not always, make changes based on reader input before the final ballot is due.
Before we dive in: I highgly encourage everyone to take a peek at the rankings work being done at Rocky Top Talk, where Joel and Hooper are experimenting with a predictive computer model.
TOP TEN TEAM NOTES
#1 Alabama - BZ says he's not buying Alabama "this year," which is fine, but the Tide have at least for now earned the top spot with the high quality road win in Athens--even with the value of their Clemson win sinking like a rock.
#2 Oklahoma - The Sooners seemed a little off--distracted or bored or something--on Saturday, but dispatched with TCU without so much as a blink. They'll open Big XII play at Baylor before the Red River Shootout.
#3 LSU - Looking at LSU and Alabama's schedules, if both teams win out between now and their game on November 8th, it's likely LSU will be the team with the #1 resume.
#4 Missouri - Missouri hasn't beat any high quality teams yet, but the offense has been so impressive in rolling their inferior opponents that I'm finding it hard to drop them just yet. As other teams rack up quality wins, that would change, but the Tigers open Big 12 play with a chance to make a statement--at Nebraska, vs Oklahoma State, at Texas. A 3-0 swing through that stretch would more than justify their ranking--it would make them a very strong bet to reach the Big XII title game undefeated.
#5 Texas - Though CU is so banged up that Texas shouldn't have any issues in Boulder, right around the corner is a stretch against Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech. Have I mentioned that I love college football? I do.
#6 Penn State - That Oregon State blowout win suddenly looks a lot better than it did. There aren't many teams playing as well as the Nittany Lions right now; this is a group to watch closely.
#7 Vanderbilt - This certainly feels like too high a ranking, but... who above them? The Commodores' resume enjoys a nice boost from Ole Miss's road win at Florida, as VU won in Oxford two Saturdays ago.
#8 South Florida - The Kansas win looks solid now, but I wonder whether it will hold up over the year; my feeling is the Jayhawks have some tough times ahead.
#9 BYU - They're winning--mostly big--but the UCLA thumping is steadily losing value. This is going to be a tricky team to rank for as long as they stay undefeated.
#10 Boise State - The win in Eugene is awfully impressive. Should they be ahead of BYU?
#12/#13 Texas Tech/Oklahoma State - The Cowboys are just rolling on offense against a lousy schedule, while Tech has gotten things done in a number of ways against... a lousy schedule. The Pokes will get the first chance to make a statement when they play Missouri in two weeks.
#15 Southern Cal - Obviously, the loss hurts, but for resume purposes, I become increasingly unsure of how much stock to put in the Ohio State beatdown. It sure looked impressive, and yet... Ohio State isn't doing much on their end to help out USC. The Trojans need to rock Oregon hard to re-establish themselves as contenders.