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crownebeach Ballot for 2022 Week 4

Ballot Type: Human

Submitted: Sept. 19, 2022, 6:36 p.m.

Overall Rationale: Did not do a full re-rank: took Week 3, updated for performances that dramatically changed my perception of a team and cut some overcorrections out of the mix. I am using advanced metrics less than in years past, but I consult FPI and to a lesser extent SP+ to make judgments. All feedback on rationale is welcome, especially if you think I got it wrong or overlooked some x-factor that contributed to a win or loss. Primary source for roster info is Athlon. More predictive than resume-based.

Rank Team Reason
1 Georgia Bulldogs Evaporated South Carolina on the road. I thought South Carolina was bad, but not that bad.
2 Ohio State Buckeyes Toledo's got a dude at quarterback, and otherwise this would have been a shutout. No change.
3 Oklahoma Sooners I had Oklahoma and the under. Both cashed...but that under made me sweat.
4 Alabama Crimson Tide Nobody watched this football game.
5 Michigan Wolverines I actually watched this football game. I hope Connecticut got a big check.
6 USC Trojans Bud Elliott thinks USC's defense is a bottom-half group in FBS. I'm not sure whether I would go that far, because both Stanford and Fresno State have significant upside on offense, but it's not above average.
7 Penn State Nittany Lions Penn State opened at #11 for me and people ripped my head off. Maybe y'all are gonna listen to me from now on?
8 Oklahoma State Cowboys ASU as a win looks bleh, and I hate Spencer Sanders so very much. But they didn't have to try very hard this week.
9 Clemson Tigers This offense is embarrassing, and I do not have any faith in Dabo to be ruthless with his offensive staff. They're still much too physical to do any worse than 9-3.
10 Arkansas Razorbacks I still think Arkansas is a really good team, but they're here more out of the lack of other candidates than anything else.
11 Utah Utes San Diego State is pretty underwhelming, but Utah treated them like it. Nice that they held up against a team that runs the ball, but SDSU does not have the lateral quickness of a Florida so this wasn't much of a test.
12 NC State Wolfpack This is one where the Pack lost the box score -- Tech outgained them overall and per play, and lost because of poor third down efficiency and turnovers, which aren't especially repeatable. I think Texas Tech might be quite good, so I'm not moving either team very far in my rankings. But NC State has to figure out this playcalling.
13 Minnesota Golden Gophers They just evaporated Colorado, but that says more about CU's current level of "over it" than it does about the Gophers. I do think Minnesota is likely to win the Big Ten West, and if you got that bet in before the season you would have gotten phenomenal value.
14 Tennessee Volunteers This might be too high or too low. I'm open to either interpretation, but I sort of have them indexed to "about as good as Pitt, maybe a little better," so I'm excited to see what happens this week. Pleasantly surprised by the balance from them so far.
15 Oregon Ducks Bo Nix still is not good, and you can't fool me with isolated good performances -- Oregon outclasses BYU in talent just about everywhere on the field, and it showed.
16 Kentucky Wildcats I don't think Will Levis is that good. Jake Locker vibes. But UK has been reliably good for a couple years now and I think putting them any lower would be unfair to the rest of this team.
17 Washington Huskies They paddled Michigan State, but I was one of the only voters who started the year with MSU unranked, so there's a limit to how high I can elevate them for this. I do think Washington has ten-win upside, no doubt.
18 Pittsburgh Panthers Starting to show serious injury concerns, but the talent and coaching are there to win the ACC again if they can just start catching a few breaks.
19 Texas Longhorns People are making really sweeping statements about how they would be better with Ewers, and maybe that's true, but how do we know that? From a blowout of a bad Monroe team and one (1) quarter of action against Alabama that resulted in no touchdowns? I think they're just good-but-not-great and I don't think QB is the X-factor.
20 Washington State Cougars Colorado State is a bad football team, but Wazzu absolutely choked the life out of them on defense and this game was over at halftime, which is what you would expect from a borderline top-25 team in a dress rehearsal-type OOC game. Fun to watch.
21 Cincinnati Bearcats Cincinnati looks like a second-half team this year, and that's okay, but they didn't really blow away Miami OH this week. I just don't think they have "it" this year, but they still feel as good as SMU and better than Tulane or UCF, so their conference and NY6 odds remain decent.
22 Texas A&M Aggies I guess? I mean, this game did not show me a ton of reason to be optimistic that the offense is going to get better maybe ever, but in a matchup of two coaching staffs that hate modern football and refuse to be good at it, Texas A&M convinced me their talent is going to squash inferior teams despite their scheme.
23 Ole Miss Rebels This schedule is not good enough to really tell me anything meaningful about Ole Miss, but they handled Georgia Tech better than Clemson did, and a soft T-25 bubble doesn't leave me a lot of options here, so I'll take a flier on them maybe being good enough to beat Kentucky in Oxford.
24 Wisconsin Badgers Here because of strong preseason projections. To stay here next week, I need to see Wazzu stay within roughly two scores of Oregon, and Wisconsin beat Illinois by double digits.
25 Texas Tech Red Raiders I went out on a limb for Tech and so far they've rewarded me. They dominated Houston on the line of scrimmage, and hung tough with what I think is a very good NC State. But they are not going to be a good team and maybe not even a bowl team if they stick with Donovan Smith, who simply does not have P5-caliber decisionmaking yet.

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