Here is my week one ballot for The Best Damn Poll In the Land.
- Louisiana State - LW 1 - Stays number 1 until they lose, but they actually did a good job with Appalachian St. QB situation still seems unsettled, but has the talent to make another run. Schedule looks tougher though with Alabama looking much improved
- Southern California - LW 2 - Looked flat out dominant in a blow out of a UVA squad coming off a 9-4 season. I was very impressed with Mark Sanchez coming off a dislocated knee cap. The team to beat in my mind.
- Florida - LW 6 - Moves up three spots due to fears over the improvement of the defense being allieved and the overwhelming team speed. It was only Hawaii, so if the defense sputters Florida will drop right back down the rankings, however even in their easier games, the UF defense look poor last season. So it seems safe to say the defense is at least improved.
- Oklahoma - LW 4 - Feasted on overmatched opponent per usual. Man do they look dominant in doing it though.
- Georgia - LW 3 - Drops due to injuries and not performance. Looked great in the opener before Richt put in the backups. However the loses of their starting LT's and DT's will be big down the road, and as good as UGA is, I don't think they can overcome them.
- Ohio State - LW 7 - Looked great against Youngstown St. and injury to Chris Wells doesn't look major. Hopefully it won't linger into the season. I'm lower on OSU than some, but in two weeks they can prove me wrong and vault to the top.
- West Virginia - LW 8 - Where has this Pat White been? Makes biggest Heisman statement of week 1. I like WVU a lot this year. They should move up as teams above them falter. Can they get the monkey (actually Bull) off their back this year and beat USF?
- Missouri - LW 5 - Strange to drop a team after beating a top 25 team but the defense made Juice Williams look like Doug Williams (and that is a complement) and could seriously hold this team back this year. Mizzou can probably beat any team above them, but the defense does not look championship worthy. Plenty of big games this season to dispel the notion though.
- Texas - LW 9 - Took care of business with FAU, a surprise team from last year that looked like they could make some noise in this game. Texas is one of the teams I feel will move way up before the end of the season. Just some advice to future Longhorn opponents though, keep your mouths shut: Howard Schnellenberger told a FAU student paper before the game, "Texas always has a very polished team that has great talent, but they aren't tough, they aren't a physically tough team." Yikes.
- Kansas - LW 10 - Beat up on the worst D1A school from Florida. I'm actually higher on Kansas than a lot, but a lack of beef in the schedule will prevent them from moving up much and they will likely be jumped without winning huge most weeks.
- Auburn - LW 11 - The spread didn't take in week 1, but it never does the first season, so no big concern. The starting QB seems to be up in the air, but the defense looked great as usual. Better watch out for SM this week though.
- South Florida - LW 16 - A nice jump up due to some losses and great performance. Many think USF was a one year wonder, but they have a ton of speed and should challenge WVU for the Big East crown. Need to avoid a mid season swoon like last season.
- Fresno State - LW 21 - Biggest in poll mover of the week. They were my favorite non-BCS team, but a brutal schedule temperered expectations. However they really shut Rutgers down in the second half and I was impressed that they won comfortably despite them having to travel thousands of miles across the country for their first game against an upper echelon Big East team. Wisconsin better watch out. Even if FSU loses to Wisconsin in a close game, I think they can be the first non-BCS one loss team to make the BCS games, provided the win out.
- Wisconsin - LW 14 - I should have probably swapped Fresno and Wisconsin, but that will be rectified one way or the other in two weeks. Looked okay but not great against Akron. Still is my pick to win the Big10. Big test against FSU will be telling.
- Alabama - LW NR - Alabama completely manhandle clemson. 0 yards rushing. Just unbelievable. I would have moved them hire, but I felt Clemson was overrated to begin with. I thought Bama was one more season away from contending, but I could be wrong. They looked great, but I'll wait until SEC plays to move them further up.
- Penn State - LW 24 - Looked good against a team without a pulse. Not a lot to say. Won't be able to tell much for several weeks until the Illinois game as Oregon State looks like one of the Pac10's worst and is followed by Syracuse and Temple
- Texas Tech - LW 17 - Defense doesn't looked like it has improved (24 to Eastern Washington?) meaning no better than 5th best Big12 team.
- Illinois - LW 12 - Was overranked to start the season. I should have started them at 16 or 17. Thus I'm not really penalizing Illinois here as I was impressed with how well they played against Mizzou (despite the defense looking highly overrated). Should remain a top 25 team throughout the season (though they won't move up much unless they improve the D).
- Brigham Young - LW 19 - The trendy BCS buster pick looked sloppy versus Northern Iowa. Four fumbles in the second half needs to be fixed. Still, winning out will almost assuredly result in a BCS bid. Could there be two BCS busters this year.
- Arizona State - LW 20 - Looked less than stellar against Northern Iowa. Interesting games the next few weeks. Will have a chance to shoot way up against UGA later on in the month, but don't sleep on UNLV and Stanford.
- Cincinnati - LW 22 - Another team who beat up on a non-D1A school. Nothing much to tell. -Dustin Grutza looked very good though to the relief of Cincy fans. Chance to make big noise this week against OU. I think OU wins comfortably, but I don't see a blow out.
- Florida State - LW 23 - Moved up on a bye. FSU will take what it can get hehe. Starting QB chosen but not named. Still, has a very manageable schedule for the several weeks. Should move up while others fall. Still my darkhorse pick for ACC champs.
- Wake Forest - LW UR - Like with Wisconsin, wish I flipped them with the team above. Baylor isn't a worldbeater, but Wake looked good against them and might be the class of the ACC.
- Virginia Tech - LW 15 - The ACC looks to dominate the bottom of the top 25 this year. People might question VT ahead of ECU, but I do feel VT is a better team and that is what a poll is supposed to be. I overranked VT a bit to start the season, but they still have a great defense and special teams, which ironically is what did them in against ECU. Should win the Coastal division still.
- South Carolina - LW UR - A lot of people aren't impressed with SC because of the ugliness of their win, but they still shut out a BCS team 34-0. I feel the QB play will improve dramatically and therefore will make SC a dangerous team with that defense which will vie for best in the SEC and thus the nation.
POW: Mark Sanchez - The Navy RB got a lot of love and deservedly so, but Sanchez brought back memories of Matt Leinhart and Carson Palmer with a thorough dismantling of Virgina. And he did this coming off a busted knee a few weeks ago. This got him a POW vote from me.
- Clemson - LW 13 - Didn't fall in love with Clemson like some did, but I still overranked them. Pathetic performance versus Alabama. 0 yards rushing is inexcusable with the talent at RB. They can still win the ACC, but unless they improve the offensive line play it will be a long, disappointing season.
- Tennessee - LW 18 - I was high on UT's team this season, but underestimated the loss of Erik Ainge. There is a good team here if they get better QB play and the OOC realizes that running the ball is a good strategy when your avergaing over 7 yards a carry and your QB couldn't find an open receiver with a GPS and a search team.
- North Carolina - LW 25 - My sleeper team looked horrid against McNeese St. Could have been first game jitters, but no excuse for looking that bad and they aren't getting ranked until they prove something now.
New to Poll: Alabama, Wake Forest, South Carolina
On the Cusp:
- East Carolina - Could have easily ranked them instead of Virginia Tech, but I think they played over there heads. Playing WVU close will move them into the rankings for sure.
- Boston College - Strange road game versus Kent St. Offensive was not up to par, but the defense look dominant as expected. With the state of the ACC they could make some noise with that defense.
- Oregon - Looked better than I thought they would versus Washington. I still don't think this is a great team after all their losses, but if they keep performing like they did this week, they will move up quickly
- UCLA - Front four looked amazing against UT. If their QB can play like he did in the 4th quarter as opposed to the first half this team can do some damage in the Pac10. Then again you can never tell with this team.
- Utah - Beat a Michigan team that won't be very good this year. I think Utah could be good this year, and will have the chance to prove it, especially since fellow BCS cinderella Brigham Young is their conference.