Poll Dancing: Week Four, or Seminole Wind

With each passing week, the task of assigning value to cumulative wins and losses becomes more and more difficult.  I don’t envy the coaches who contribute to the poll as they rack their brains each week to remember which grad assistant they assigned to fill out the ballots this year.

Last week, Florida State seemed to be punished a bit too much for losing to the #1 ranked team in the country, especially when compared to other teams who were dropped similarly for losing to far inferior opponents.  And this week, the Seminoles went and lost again and again they fell the standard 10 spots that had, up until now, been the standard sentence for not being the best team on the field on a particular day.

To be fair, FSU is the only 2-loss team still ranked, although they teeter precariously at #24.  They have also lost by 10 to the #1 team at home and by 5 to the #15 team on the road.  The teams they have beaten (Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern) are laughers, but at least they blew them out.

It’s hard for me to believe I’m taking up the mantle for a team that I despise to the point that they are essentially well-tanned Wolverines in my eyes, but that’s how terrible a job the coaches are doing.  Let’s take a look at some of the teams ranked ahead of FSU:

#23 West Virginia

This week, the Mountaineers lost to #3 (now tied at #2) LSU at home by 26, nearly double the combined margin of both of Florida State’s losses.  Yet, WVU dropped just 7 spots while the Seminoles have fallen a total of 19.  West Virginia’s wins?  1-3 Marshall, Norfolk State (which I’m pretty sure is a railroad college), and 1-2 Maryland, a team that just got BEAT. DOWN. by Temple.

#18 Arkansas

The Razorbacks also lost to a top team this week, the other half of that #2 tie Alabama.  Arkansas’ loss was on the road and only by 24, so they just dropped 6 spots.  The Razorbacks have beaten 1-2 Troy, 0-4 New Mexico (who just lost to Sam Houston State even though I’m pretty sure there is no state named Sam OR Houston), and 0-4 Missouri State (even though I’m pretty sure there is no state named Missouri).

#13 Texas A&M

Maybe you could make an argument for the SEC-bound Aggies since their loss this weekend was just a one-point home drop to #6 Oklahoma State.  For this, A&M fell only 5 spots.  The Aggies’ wins are against 3-1 SMU and 1-3 Idaho.

Here we have three teams who all lost to top-10 opponents and dropped no more than 7 spots in the poll.  Yet, when FSU lost to a top-1 opponent last week, they dropped 9 spots–and then another 10 this week for losing to a top-15 opponent.  None of these teams has a signature win against a good opponent, so there’s no “body of work” argument in play.  For some reason, the ‘Noles losses are being treated more harshly than similar losses by other teams.

This Week’s Laughing Stocks by Conference

ACC – Maryland, N.C. State, Virginia

Big 12 – Dan Beebe

Big East – Toledo/Syracuse replay officials, West Virginia, West Virginia


Big Ten – Minnesota



  1. I’d be tempted to have Indiana as codefendent with Minny. Good grief…

  2. I considered Indiana but felt like it wasn’t really all that surprising. Minnesota almost beat USC & still lost to North Dakota State. AGAIN.

  3. Nothing surprises me with Minnesota. They are like MSU, but they collapse at the beginning of the season.

  4. I just got my Norfolk Railroad McDonalds piece!

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