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BlogPoll Ballot, This Week

Rank Team Delta
1 LSU --
2 Kansas 2
3 Missouri 2
4 Ohio State 2
5 West Virginia 2
6 Georgia 3
7 Virginia Tech 1
8 Oregon 6
9 Oklahoma 6
10 Arizona State --
11 Boston College --
12 Texas --
13 Florida --
14 Tennessee --
15 Illinois 3
16 Southern Cal --
17 Virginia 2
18 Clemson 3
19 Connecticut 2
20 Michigan 3
21 Boise State 3
22 Brigham Young 3
23 Cincinnati 3
24 Texas Tech 2
25 Hawaii 1

Dropped Out: Mississippi State (#22), Kentucky (#23).

Things are starting to move less and less as we get more and more evidence of exactly how good these teams really are. There will be some jostling around in the next couple of weeks, to be sure, but the arrows are settling down a little bit, meaning (to my mind, anyway) I'm moving toward what I think to be the best ballot possible. This doesn't mean it is the best ballot -- for each person, that's a different one -- but it is as close as possible for how I see things.

To the Ranks.

1 LSU
The Tigers have an enormous advantage here. With the possible exception of strong wins against Missouri and Oklahoma by Kansas, I don't see anyone knocking the Bengals out of the top spot if they win out. If.

2 Kansas
3 Missouri

I've already laid out why Kansas should be No. 2 here, though reasonable people can disagree, and the Mayor did so here. I could make a case for Missouri being a slot above Kansas, but the Jayhawks are undefeated and I don't get worked up about something that’s going to be decided one way or another at the end of the week.

4 Ohio State
Sigh. I thought we were rid of them.

5 West Virginia
Sigh. I thought we were rid of them.

6 Georgia
Sigh. I thought we were rid of them.

7 Virginia Tech
This is probably the Hokies’ high-water mark. It might take a lot for Tech to remain above the Ducks, Sooners and Sun Devils.

8 Oregon
The end of Dennis Dixon's career was the end of the Ducks' title run. I'm afraid it might be all downhill from here.

9 Oklahoma
Texas Tech? It wouldn't have bothered me if Oklahoma had been able to stop Tech on a consistent basis on defense. Their quarterback is hurt, so some offensive sputtering is expected. But the Raiders took over this game on offense and were rarely stopped. This is not your father's Oklahoma defense -- or maybe it's not Bob Stoops' brother's Oklahoma defense.

10 Arizona State
This late in the season, and I'm still not sure if Arizona State is an elite team or merely a good one. But getting through this year's Pac-10 with only one loss -- and remember, they have to play every other team in the conference -- would be a good indicator.

The rest after the jump...

11 Boston College
12 Texas
13 Florida
14 Tennessee
15 Illinois
16 Southern Cal

To me, these are all essentially the same team, and any difference between them is just shades of gray. All of them have some embarrassing losses and inexplicably close wins. All of them also have some accomplishments to tout.

17 Virginia
Al Groh might be the most boring coach in college football. He doesn't face dozens of scurrilous rumors about which team might go after him next, he doesn't compare team losses to national tragedies and he doesn’t have an offense that impresses. He just wins games that you probably don't watch.

18 Clemson
This is disgusting. But who else you gonna put here?

19 Connecticut
This week, we finally find out if they’re for real. I think.

20 Michigan
I'm not sure they deserve to be ranked at all. But there's symmetry to this year if Michigan ends up underperforming all projections and is still not bad.

21 Boise State
Ahh! A mid-major cracks the Top 20! The WACpocalypse is upon us!

22 BYU
23 Cincinnati
24 Texas Tech

The vagabonds at the bottom of the poll. Solid wins by otherwise underwhelming teams or mid-majors that have performed well. Enjoy your fifteen minutes.

25 Hawaii
There's no one left. I'm sorry. I tried. But Fresno State and Nevada are competent and breathing, if not quality foes, so it’s impossible to keep the Warriors out of it for another week. Will they get some credibility from the WACpocalypse?

Viewing disclosure: My family and friends refuse to acknowledge that college football should rank above things like farewell parties, birthday parties, etc., so my viewing was a bit limited this past weekend. I did watch almost all of Oklahoma-Texas Tech; a good bit of Ohio State-Michigan and LSU-Ole Miss; and bits of West Virginia-Cincinnati and BC-Clemson. I listened to or watched a good deal of the second half of Oregon-Arizona and watched the first half (give or take) of Hawaii-Nevada.