Poll Dancing: Week Eight

(This is a guest series by MotSaG reader Jason Nafziger. He’ll be taking a weekly look at the college football polls and pointing out the absurd, the laughable and the head scratchers. Please note that Jason is not talking about the BlogPoll. Or my ballot to the BlogPoll.)

“ [#1 Oklahoma faces] #11 Missouri this Saturday. At night. On the road. Can you feel it?” – Me

Yeah, I’m patting my own back, deal with it. Perhaps just out to prove that the BCS is a complete traveshamockery, Bob Stoops essentially quit last week, punting with just over two minutes left in the game and his team down by nine. There is no way to justify this, and Stoops even admitted that a 9- point loss would look better later on than a 16-point loss (had an attempt to, you know, win failed, Missouri would have been in prime position to score again). It should be noted that in the previous two weeks, former #1’s Alabama and Ohio State each lost a road game by more than nine points. This is the world of the BCS, which has now successfully transformed the college football national championship into figure skating. Thanks.

1. Auburn

Last week, I discussed my suspicions about Auburn as a top team by pointing out that they have three 3-point victories so far against less-than-stellar competition. This week, they managed to beat LSU by seven at home. What got Auburn to this spot is the fallacy that LSU is a good team. Yes, they were undefeated up to this game and that is important. But that’s where the BCS stops looking, and that’s a big problem. Much like Auburn, LSU was just squeezing by, with only three of their wins by more than 6 points (two of those were against Vanderbilt and McNeese State).

Now, I hear your chants of the ’02 Buckeyes, and that’s a valid point; sometimes, you can win ugly all the way to the bank. (Although it’s frequently forgotten how that Ohio State team dominated its early opponents, some of whom were actually good.)

I’m not saying that Auburn is going to lose to Ole Miss this Saturday. At night. On the road. I’m just saying that sometimes patterns form for a reason.

2. Oregon

The Ducks bumped their offensive pace up to 0.92 points per minute with their 60-13 tar-and- feathering of UCLA Thursday night. If this team continues to improve on defense, it will be unstoppable regardless of the opponent in the title game. If not, well… at least we’ll get a hell of a shootout.

Then again, the Ducks play a resurgent USC this week. The Trojans are a rare team with nothing to lose or gain. Are the Ducks ripe for plucking?

3. Boise State

Boise State didn’t play last week, which is a lot like Boise State playing.

4. TCU

TCU beat Air Force 38-7. Right now, I’d pencil them in as the team who will beat Missouri in a bowl game.

5. Michigan State

While I must admit I am enjoying watching our old buddy Dantonio having success (and proving he can smile), as a Buckeye fan, I really hope Ferentz takes him out this week. If that doesn’t happen, I’m not sure if this team can lose. I’m also not sure how they’re not ahead of at least TCU.

The Breakdown (full Top 25): 24% SEC, 20% Big 12, 16% Big Ten, 16% mid-major, 12% Pac-10, 12% ACC, 0% Big East


  1. Yes, LSU was such a weird team these first seven weeks. Smoke and mirrors only gets you so far.

    It’s ironic that for years we have rooted for the Ducks to take down the Mighty Trojans. My, how quickly the tables turn.

  2. So true about Ducks/Trojans. I guess once you’ve lost, you have to cheer for everybody else to lose too, so when you get left out, you have something to complain about! It’s the BCS Way!

  3. It’s the same thing when I’m watching the Summer Olympics — “please Chinese gymnast, don’t land that dismount. Stagger! Stagger!”

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