My impeccable timing allows me to enter into the Blogpoll a priori and post-Apocalyptic Top 25 meltdown. As Mergz of Saurian Sagacity kept saying to me, eyebrows arched and voice tremulous with the deep, dark fear attendant on facing Road Brandon Cox: “Colorado over Oklahoma, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria!” That’s exactly what this poll looks like: mass hysteria.
Right off the bat: USC-LSU as co-number one is now so quaint it’s practically antediluvian. It’s Louisiana State and the rest of us. Tulane first half blip aside, the Tigers scare me so bad I’d probably use a picture of Glenn Dorsey instead of Ex-Lax. Am I bailing on USC? Not entirely. I had them as number two before this weekend and now they’ve dropped to three, getting leapfrogged by the Cal Golden Bears of the University of California-Berkeley, which is in Berkeley. The Oregon that got beat by the inhuman Desean Jackson was not the Oregon of your father, if your father is a year older than you and spent the past couple of seasons watching the Ducks jump out to early season hyperbole only to be shot down by quarterbacking (Leaf as an alternative to anyone?) or the kind of no-hats-or-certain-colors fashion police state employed by some prep schools to avoid death by gang association/retina flare. And if your father is indeed older than you, congratulations: those are some impressive genes you have there if your pop’s seminal vesicles were active at a scant twelve months. High five you virile man child, you.
USC and Ohio State now seem, impossibly, like mirror images of each other: statue quarterbacks with an anonymous wide receiver core and a predictably vicious defense. USC’s tailbacks and Chris Wells manage the same thing as well, which is the untrammeled destruction of the opposing team. USC gets the edge because Pete Carroll could totally steal your wife, while Tressel would just sit at the bar and stare at you and the lady all night before spilling his gin martini on his way to his car. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we all know a single flare from the nostrils of Carroll’s immaculately broken nose has been known to cause Genesis-like flooding in all nearby female genitalia. The resultant poll disparity is the result of Pete’s pheremone domination. So there’s that, Trojan fans. Plus this: don’t ever dress your team up like Notre Dame because you might end up playing like them. Still, it’s not looking good for USC and its week to week infirmary. It’s three weeks of semi-cruising until Autzen. The state of California had better approve and fund stem cell research in the interim because we are dropping like flies with the DNA of Chad Pennington, and we need new organs, people. Think of the children.
Chilo Rachal is now a part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. His request: tacos.
South Florida is, for lack of a better word, legit. In the New Math South Florida is India: teeming with computer engineers/cheetah-like defenders, eager to break away from sullen, relatively poorer neighbors like Pakistan/Florida State and angling to attain everything their former English/Floridian masters stand for. USF and Indians both like curry, incidentally.
Kentucky, Missouri and Boston College are all grouped together under the heading of THANK GOD MY TEAM DOESN’T HAVE TO PLAY THAT QB. Each one of them could, if found on USC’s schedule, cause my testes to shrink into very, very small testes. Wisconsin seems to be a Texas-like smoke and mirrors operation but they’ve kept it up so far. The only reason I have the Badgers ahead of BC is thanks to the courageous efforts of the Minutemen of UMass, who failed in the whole beating BC thing but succeeded in making the rest of us eye the score with increased scrutiny which, if you’re beating Holy Cross by 10, is about the only thing you can hope for.
Everything else is kinda meh: at this point no one with two losses gets in, and anyone who looks good now – or at least record wise looks good (I’m talking about you, Virginia!) – but got blown out earlier also does not get in. This includes: Miami, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Texas, UCLA and other teams too embarrassing to be mentioned (I’m talking about you, Virginia!). There are a few teams who slipped into my ballot that were kinda sorta blown out. Boise State is one of them, losing by two touchdowns to Washington. I suppose the Broncos did get their asses handed to them in the form of Ian Johnson not running for a hundred and the offense not scoring a single point in the second half, but it didn’t feel nearly as bad as the losses suffered by the above teams. West Virginia, on the other hand, was a game that was never really that close – the Bulls’ defense so thoroughly handled the ‘eers it was, occasionally, a boring game even in the student section. That the final outcome was within one score is the only thing keeping them on my ballot. This is not a hard and fast rule, but considering that only five weeks of football have been played it’s pretty hard to forget something like Oklahoma throttling the Canes or UCLA being UCLA.
The only other thing of note: Kansas and Purdue are just toss ups, since they’ve played exactly no one. Also: it’s extraordinarily surreal to be debating about Illinois and Indiana in terms of the Top 25. Indiana misses the cut thanks to a head-to-head loss, and Florida State manages to undo several years of “Ahhh, don’t worry. It’s Florida State,” by beating ‘Bama and seriously meriting consideration in the bottom end of the 25.
EDIT: On second thought, screw Kansas and un-screw Kansas State. That road loss to the Auburn Tigers of War Eagle Plainsmen fame is looking better and better.