Now in its fourth year, the Blog Poll is a weekly effort of dozens of college football-centric Web sites representing a wide array of schools under the oversight of founder/manager/guru Brian Cook at MGoBlog, and now appears on CBS Sportsline. It’s an effort to provide a more rigorous check on the mainstream polls that actually, like, count toward the mythical championship, and enthusiastically shines a light on its voters' biases. But mainly, it’s fun.
I explained in detail Sunday why I expected Oklahoma to move ahead of Texas in the BCS, based on the same argument I've been making for most of the last month, and it's the same reason I swapped UT for the Sooners at No. 1 this week: Oklahoma has a better overall resumé because of its wins over TCU and Cincinnati, which are 20-2 against the rest of their schedules, and Texas has no out-of-conference wins that come close to matching either one. As anyone who's ever read this space before knows, it's not about who's "hot," or any guess about who'd win tomorrow -- it's only about the resumé. And Oklahoma, at the moment, has it. (See here for a side-by-side comparison of the entire schedules, and note especially Oklahoma's six "quality wins" to Texas' four.)
As for aggrieved Texans, no, it's not fair. It's the BCS. As I said Tuesday: Someone is always screwed when there are more than two qualified teams for only two positions. It could have been Oklahoma; instead, it's you, along with USC, Utah and Penn State. I've tried to make this point several times before, but I don't think I've done as well as Oklahoma-voting Michigander Brian Cook in emphasizing that there is no answer:
So, I say this to Peter and Texas fans everywhere: I don't know. I don't know if you are a better team or had a better season than Oklahoma. I don't know if Florida or Alabama did. I don't know if USC or Penn State did. Since the devolution of college football scheduling has deprived us of more than a half dozen meaningful comparison points between one conference and another, I am guessing. Totally. And in this case attempting to pick between Texas and Oklahoma is impossible. I read Texas supporters' justifications and think they're totally reasonable.
Co-signed. (Except for the exclusion of Texas Tech's win in Lubbock from any head-to-head argument. I could spend the next eight paragraphs explaining why that is not reasonable.)
Anyway, because I've been predicting it for weeks and broke it down Sunday, moving Oklahoma in front of Texas wasn't nearly the most difficult decision this week. That would be, as it was last week: What to do with Alabama? It seems very wrong to rank the Tide below USC and Penn State, whose schedules and quality wins don't quite measure up to those of Oklahoma, Texas and Florida. But compared with the rest of the "Big Eight," I still have a gnawing concern about the shockingly low winning percentage of Alabama's opponents, and the fact that, when I put them side-by-side, I can hardly tell the difference between Alabama's resumé and Utah's:
Last week, I solved the Bama/Utah problem by dropping Alabama below USC and Penn State. This seems harsh in retrospect, so this week, I decided to bump Bama back in front and just accept that I may be treating Utah slightly unfairly at No. 7 because of the logo on the side of its helmet; it just seems intuitively wrong to boost a team when the majority of its wins are over Michigan, UNLV, Utah State, Weber State, Wyoming, Colorado State, New Mexico and San State. If only the Wolverines hadn't collapsed ...
Elsewhere: Oklahoma State and even Missouri do not move from Nos. 11 and 12 despite their losses Saturday, partly because only Boise State jumps the Cowboys and Tigers this week (the Broncos replace Georgia at No, 10). Georgia Tech and Boston College have clearly separated themselves from ACC Row, which is looking rather thin this week with Maryland, Clemson, Wake Forest and Miami all falling out of the picture -- only Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are hovering around those usually ACC-occupied slots between 20 and 30. It's replaced by Pac-10 Row: Oregon, Oregon State and Cal occupy three of the four slots between 20 and 23.
And Ball State: Sorry, bros. BSU's best win, Central Michigan, lost to Eastern Michigan. I can't promise anything for beating Buffalo for the MAC Championship, but win a bowl game to finish 14-0, and I can guarantee the Cardinals will be out of the "Waiting" section on the final ballot.