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Top 25: LSU is No. 1. The rest is noise.

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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Now in its seventh year, the College Football BlogPoll is a weekly effort of dozens of college football-centric Web sites representing a wide array of schools under the oversight of SB Nation. As always, this is an ever-evolving snapshot meant to judge teams exclusively on their existing resumés. It pays as little regard as possible to my guess as to what's going to happen over the course of the season, or what would happen in a make-believe game "on a neutral field" or anywhere else. It's subjective, but ideally, it's not a guess: It's a judgment on the evidence that actually exists. It is not a power poll.

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LSU is No. 1. LSU is so No. 1, even a score-settling upset by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game can't knock it out of No. 1. If the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide a second time, they'll ascend to the ranks of the greatest teams of the last 30 years. If I could reserve my entire top five exclusively for LSU, I would.

Now for that other thing. I did rank Oklahoma State No. 2, because the structure of the poll mandates that there must be a No. 2, but my default position remains that Oklahoma State and Alabama are 2a and 2b. Oklahoma State has a better set of wins — three vs. ranked teams to Alabama's two, seven vs. winning teams to Alabama's three — but the Crimson Tide have been more dominant against a perfectly respectable slate and didn't lose to a 6-6 team.

Alabama's case is not furthered by S-E-C chest thumping because a) The Big 12 easily matched or exceeded the SEC for quality depth, and b) Alabama didn't face either of the best teams in the SEC's East Division, Georgia and South Carolina. Oklahoma State endured a nine-game, round-robin conference schedule that did not include any weeks off to casually feast on Georgia Southern, and survived the grind to win the conference title outright. Alabama didn't win its own division. Under the circumstances, I would think the Crimson Tide would be satisfied to call it a wash.

I don't think that's the 'statement' you meant to make. Every team ranked in the top 20 this week has beaten another team ranked in the top 20, with two exceptions: No. 18 Virginia Tech and No. 19 Georgia, fresh off conference championship humiliations that put their relatively cushy schedules into perspective. Between them, the Hokies and Bulldogs were 0-5 against ranked opponents, with four of the losses coming by at least two touchdowns and none coming in a true road game. (Early losses to Clemson and South Carolina were in Blacksburg and Athens, respectively; the others were at neutral sites.) If your best claim to a quality win is at Georgia Tech — and late-November-fade Georgia Tech, at that, not the burn-it-all-to-the-ground Yellow Jackets from early in the year — your argument is hanging by a thread.{YSP:MORE}

On that note… In retrospect, Boise State is too high at No. 5. The Broncos' only notable win was over the season-opening rout over Georgia, which is fine. But with the rest of the conference schedules now played out to conclusion, the Broncos' next-best wins — over Tulsa, Toledo and the 7-5 rabble of the Mountain West — don't justify a 10-position spread re: TCU or a 20-position advantage over Southern Miss and Houston. A very meh Las Vegas Bowl date with 6-6 Arizona State when the nearest competition is squaring off in the Rose, Cotton and Sugar bowls isn't going to help, either.

Had the Broncos simply made that stupid field goal against TCU on Nov. 12, I really think they'd be packing their bags for the BCS Championship Game right now. Instead, when the final ballot comes in January, they're in for a hard fall that probably should have already come. Sorry, guys.

Proof. This week's resumé grid for public consumption:

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L: Losses
PPG: Average margin of victory (points per game)
YPP: Average margin per play (yards per play)
Sked: Strength of schedule (as calculated by Jeff Sagarin)

As always, everything will be completely different next week.
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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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