Wednesday, January 9

Road Games Top 25 Ballot

In this ridiculously crazy season, it’s nearly impossible to come up with a list of the top 25 teams. Actually, it is impossible. But rather than complain about how the AP writers and coaches got things wrong (and there is much to complain about), I thought I would give it a crack myself. My perspective is going to be somewhat unique in that I was actually able to see most of these teams play in person. However, because of that, I rarely got to see the remaining slate of games on any given Saturday. So take everything with a grain of salt. I just found this a unique challenge so I gave it a shot. Note that these rankings are based on season-long performance, not “who would win right now.” Because that would be an exercise in conjecture and inherently debatable.

1) LSU
2) West Virginia
3) Georgia
4) USC
5) Missouri
6) Kansas
7) Ohio State
8) Oklahoma
9) Virginia Tech
10) Oregon
11) Auburn
12) Boston College
13) Texas
14) Cincinnati
15) Clemson
16) Arizona State
17) Michigan
18) Florida
19) Illinois
20) Oregon State
21) Wisconsin
22) Kentucky
23) BYU
24) Texas Tech
25) Penn State

Notes: LSU is the clear number 1. In fact, that is the only clear thing here. They easily performed the best this season. Sure, I was there for the Virginia Tech game, which was a blowout, but there's no other team whose resume comes close. OK, the other clear thing is that Michigan should be ranked ahead of Illinois, no matter what the other polls say.

I was extremely torn on Georgia/WVU. I’d like to call it a tie, but that’s chickening out. It was a very close call. WVU had the better resume by a whisker in my opinion.

I may be penalizing USC a bit because I saw them play three times and they never looked that strong to me in any of the games. That and they lost to Stanford. They were unfortunately given a bowl opponent who had no business in the BCS, so they didn’t truly have an opportunity to be tested like other teams. Same could be said for Georgia, actually. It’s not their fault, but there’s also nothing we can do about it.

Handling the Big 12 top three is more impossibility. Oklahoma doesn’t deserve a top ranking based on their season, and they only looked so-so when I saw them beat Texas. But they beat Missouri two times. I eventually opted to treat each team’s opponents as faceless entities and ended up with what you see. An argument could be made any which way, and they’d all be correct. And all wrong, too.

Normally I don’t believe in it, but because this year has so much randomness, I gave a few teams benefit of the doubt in injury situations. This includes Michigan (ranked above Wisconsin) and Oregon (ranked as highly as they are).

Whither Hawaii? They squeaked by again and again this season. Had they put up a fight against Georgia, they’d have made the list. But they didn’t. Strongest win for them this year was beating 4-9 Washington thanks to a fluke carom at the end of regulation. I believe any of the above teams would have easily beaten them at any point in the season.

Disagree? Comment away. I may even revise if the arguments are compelling enough.


Daddio said...

The older I get, the more I realize that (A) I don't know very much, and (B) it's fun to watch and listen to the next generation. So, I have no critique or suggestions. In reading this, your latest sports report, a suggestion for innovation came to me:
Since you've seen so many games in person, why don't you add a ranking of the 25 best head coaches/coaching staffs, the 25 best QB's - and maybe even the best stadiums? You could built a whole new career on that, maybe.
Your admiring Daddio.

Reed said...

That's an interesting thought. But it sounds like a whole lotta work. I think I'll stick to the Eye Candy...

Anonymous said...

I think USC should be #1, by far. Wait... we're ranking which school has the hottest QB right?

I <3 JDB

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