Ballot Detail

Go to poll results >>

Ballot Type: human

Overall Rationale:
Normally I'm a resume voter, throwing out all preseason expectations/biases within about 2 weeks and ranking teams based on their on-field performances. Unfortunately that's not really possible right now, with some teams having played 4 games and many others not starting their seasons for another month. As a result, my poll is a wishy-washy combination of preseason expectations and on-field performances. Regarding the handling of teams that have not played yet, my personal preference would be to exclude them entirely. However, it was voted on to include teams that have a season officially scheduled, and it didn't feel right to go against the consensus just because I have a different opinion. With that in mind my general approach was to treat these teams like I would in a normal season where, for whatever reason, they are starting many weeks behind the others. It's not uncommon for teams to have a week 1 bye in a normal season, and they aren't expected to be dropped out of the polls entirely just because of that. I'm attempting to extend that process to these teams now, just taken to an extreme.

Rank Team Reason
1 Alabama Crimson Tide Alabama and Clemson are an easy top 2, with Alabama getting the nod due to a slightly better overall performance in the competitive portions of their win over Missouri than Clemson in their win over Wake Forest.
2 Clemson Tigers
3 Miami Hurricanes Miami at #3 is probably the most contentious part of my poll, but personally I think this is an easy decision. They put away decent opponents in their first 2 games without much trouble, and absolutely demolished an admittedly atrocious FSU. Their performance to date has been exactly what you would expect out of the 3rd ranked team in the country, so that's where they go.
4 Ohio State Buckeyes OSU hangs in at #4 based on their recent history and lofty expectations coming into the season - I had them at #1 in my own preseason poll - but without any games played they drop, and will continue to do so, as they have no resume to speak of. They, along with PSU and Wisconsin, are not going to last much longer in my polls until they start playing in late October.
5 Florida Gators 5-8 are all teams with both high expectations coming into the season and questionable results. However, it still being so early in the season I'm giving them a little slack. Florida looked the best, featuring a very frightening offense.
6 Auburn Tigers Auburn and Georgia looked less great, but again this being week 1 (for them) gives them a little leeway for not-so-great performances.
7 Georgia Bulldogs
8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Notre Dame had some tough sledding against a very bad Duke team until they just out-athleted the Blue Devils as the game wore on, to go along with a blowout over a severely overmatched USF.
9 Mississippi State Bulldogs It's hard to talk too definitively about the SEC with this being their week 1, but I feel that MSU's win over LSU says more about LSU than MSU. Still, this was a double-digit win on the road against the defending national champs, so welcome to the top 10 Bulldogs.
10 Pittsburgh Panthers It hasn't necessarily been pretty, but Pitt is tied for the best record in the country. Syracuse and Louisville aren't great, maybe not even average, but for this weird season they're enough to elevate the Panthers to the top 10.
11 Texas Longhorns Trailing by 15 with under 4 minutes to go against a not-very-good Texas Tech is not a good look.
12 Penn State Nittany Lions
13 UCF Knights
14 Oklahoma State Cowboys
15 Wisconsin Badgers
16 BYU Cougars
17 Texas A&M Aggies
18 Virginia Tech Hokies
19 Cincinnati Bearcats
20 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
21 Baylor Bears
22 North Carolina Tar Heels
23 Tennessee Volunteers
24 Kansas State Wildcats
25 Oklahoma Sooners I won't go over the rest of my ballot in detail, but I'll address probably the other contentious choices with my ballot, dropping Oklahoma to 25 and LSU out entirely. As I said above, I think the MSU/LSU result says more about LSU. Losing by double digits at home is really bad, and with all of the question marks they had coming into the season with the huge number of losses to both the roster and the coaching staff, we confirmed (at least for week 1) the fears that people had for how they would reload for this season. As for Oklahoma, they could definitely be slotted higher based on expectations, recent pedigree, blowout victory in game 1, etc. However, I absolutely could not justify ranking them higher than the Kansas State team that beat them head-to-head in Norman.

Submitted: Mon 28 Sep 2020 11:50