You may remember that on Monday's last year I would post my Blogpoll ballot and then go about explaining it to you. Well, there is no Blogpoll this year, but my formula for ranking teams still exists, and I still like using it. And while I use it to submit my Top 25 to CBSSports.com, I'd like to give it a bit more play here.
Now, if you aren't familiar, I have a formula for ranking teams based on their actual performance. While your record is the major factor in these records (you'll notice that only one team with a loss is in the top 40 because one loss is just too many this early), my formula also takes into account the teams your playing, margin of victory and things of that nature.
My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with these rankings, and you know that because, if it did, Illinois would be #1. Also, you should know that early in the season things can look a bit crazy based on limited sample size, but generally by the end of the year my rankings are pretty accurate.
So let's take a look at the top 40 teams in the country based on what we've seen in the first two weeks and nothing more.
This could seem a bit high considering that the Tide didn't look all that great against Virginia Tech, but keep in mind we're comparing Alabama to Alabama here. They still went out and beat a BCS team by 25 points. Which, this early, is good enough.
2. Florida State
Another team that's only played one game but looked very impressive while doing so. Jameis Winston will be the new It Guy the next few seasons.
It's weird to think of LSU as a darkhorse in the SEC, but there wasn't a lot of talk about the Tigers during the preseason. Well, don't look now, but not only is LSU 2-0 but it's also averaging 46.5 points per game.
4. Ohio State
Losing Braxton Miller for an extended period of time could hurt, but the Buckeyes offense should be fine in the short term.
Clemson was actually ranked first in last week's rankings, but a game against South Carolina State hurt its strength of schedule and caused it to fall this far. Like I said, with a small sample size, even minor changes cause big moves.
Stanford pretty much looked like Stanford against San Jose State.
A thorough beating of Central Michigan followed by a win against a ranked Notre Dame team is certainly enough to get you in the top ten this early. I wouldn't be shocked to see them stay here, either.
Good news, Illini fans! According to my rankings we're playing a top ten team this weekend. Though, again, small sample size.
It's hard to discount what Northwestern's done so far. Two wins against BCS conference opponents, with one of them coming on the road.
10. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys defense regressed a bit this week, but to be fair, UTSA's offense is probably better than Mississippi State's.
Hey, Oregon, we love you but beating the shit out of Nicholls State and Virginia just isn't worth all that much just yet. Beat Tennessee and you'll climb.
15. Texas A&M
Kind of a big game for Johnny Manziel and the Aggies this weekend.
This week's game against Arizona State will tell us a lot more.
23. Michigan State
24. Penn State
25. Northern Illinois
Another team from the state of Illinois ranked ahead of us, and we're 2-0! What the hell?
28. Bowling Green
30. East Carolina
31. Ball State
34. Ole Miss
35. Arizona State
The only team with a loss to make the top 40. Beating South Carolina will do that, especially when you're only loss is a three-point loss to our #5 team.
38. Texas Tech
39. Georgia Tech
40. Boston College
Just Outside: Missouri, Illinois, Utah, Duke, Houston
Yes, that's right. The Illini just miss the cut because that eight-point win against Southern Illinois did not impress the formula all that much. However, if the Illini can beat Washington this week they should jump up the rankings.