Before we get to the poll itself, I feel it's important to explain to you that my ballot is not done based on opinion. Since I began submitting a Blogpoll ballot a few years ago I have used a formula for ranking teams. The formula has been tweaked a few times over the years as I've deemed necessary, but for the most part, it's the same formula it's always been.
A number of different statistical categories go into the rankings. Offensive statistics, defensive statistics, wins over ranked teams, margin of victory, a whole lot of things. All of these things are weighted differently in the rankings, but there's one thing that means more to these rankings than anything else.
If you win games, and keep winning games, this formula doesn't care who you are. You can be a MAC team, or a WAC team, or a Sun Belt team or anybody. If you're winning every week, and doing so against FBS competition, this formula will reward you for it.
I won't get into everything else that goes into it because I'm not interested in hearing people tell me what's wrong with my formula, or what I need to fix.
It's my formula, and I'm happy with it. Sometimes it spits out weird things, but I've found that by the end of the season, it's usually pretty damned accurate. So now that all that crap is out of the way, let's get to the actual ballot.
THE TOP FIVE
1. Alabama - I'm surprised that Florida doesn't get more first place votes in the AP and Coaches Poll, but at the same time, I fully understand why Alabama gets so many. The Crimson Tide don't have the same kind of resume that a Florida or Kansas State has, but they haven't shown a weakness yet. The offense will wear you down just as consistently as the defense will. This is a terrifying team.
2. Florida - As I said, the Gators definitely have the better resume than Alabama, but they are still pretty much one-dimensional on offense. That doesn't mean that Florida can't or won't beat Alabama if they meet in the SEC Championship, but at the moment Alabama would still be the favorite.
3. Oregon - Oregon has a lot going for it in that it's not only a very good football team, but it's a football team that's very fun to watch. That being said, while destroying Arizona State was nice, we won't really know how good these Ducks are until November when they play USC, Stanford and Oregon State.
4. Notre Dame - I think that if Kansas State and Notre Dame met on the field that Kansas State would win, but at the moment Notre Dame's 3 wins against ranked opponents compared to Kansas State's 2 -- and the fact that Kansas State has a win against Missouri State which isn't worth as much as an FBS victory in the formula -- are keeping it ahead of the Wildcats.
5. Kansas State - Not much else to say about Kansas State that I didn't just say above. So, uh, how about that Collin Klein? I'd also like to point out that I was raving about Klein back in 2010 when he was still splitting snaps with Carson Coffman for some reason.
- You're right. Oklahoma is too low. If I were doing these on opinion I'd have them much higher, but if Oklahoma keeps winning -- especially against Notre Dame this week -- it's going to climb quickly.
- Ohio State is the highest ranked Big Ten team for obvious reasons. In fact, it's the only ranked Big Ten team. There are more MAC teams on my ballot than Big Ten teams. Ohio State is all that the conference has, and technically, the conference can't even have them.
- Sometimes valuing wins so strongly can lead to things that make me shake my head. Like seeing a Rutgers team crack the top ten even though it's best win this year has been against that powerhouse Arkansas squad. Not to worry, though. Sooner or later Big East will happen.
- The best team in the state is Northern Illinois. It sure as hell isn't us, and it isn't Teddy Greenstein's Big Ten Team either.
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
Michigan, Texas A&M, Texas, Wisconsin, Penn State
WHERE IS ILLINOIS?
You really want to know? Well, they're 79th out of the 85 teams I'm still ranking. Yes, I stop entering data for certain teams from smaller conferences when it becomes painfully obvious they'll never be ranked. I do keep ranking all BCS conference teams, however.