Monday, October 4, 2010

Poll Watch: The Coaches Make Me Eat My Words

Sorry guys, I've been running a little bit behind right now. I'm one of those guys who does this when he's not stressing out over classes, and well... classes got to me over the weekend. If you want a thorough review of the game, I suggest you hop on over to Lake the Posts for his recap. Although I will say this... if there are two quarterbacks to watch in the Big Eleventy-Twelve, they are Denard Robinson and our man, Dan Persa.

Last week, I speculated that we would not make a showing in either active poll (AP or USA Today). However, after the week that was in college football, it appears that we earned quite a bit just by not losing. More on that after the jump:

Associated Press Poll:

Last week's ranking: 35th, with 4 points.
This week's ranking: 30th, with 25 points.
Who we passed: Penn State (L-Iowa), Oregon State (W-Arizona State), UCLA (W-Washington State), Clemson (L-Miami), N.C. State (L-Virginia Tech)

Who passed us: No one.

Not quite the "addition by subtraction" that we saw last week with this team. Granted, the pundits are taking notice that we haven't lost yet. I think that's why, regardless of how close we shave using Golden Gophers, we hopped ahead of Oregon State and UCLA. And in looking at the slate for next week, there are more opportunities of the same -- marginal teams in the Top 25 who could lose major ranking points should they lose again. What I would really enjoy, however, is getting ranked ahead of Texas.

USA Today Coaches Poll:

Last week's ranking: 30th, with 21 points.
This week's ranking: 25th, with 67 points.

Who we passed: Penn State, Texas (L-Oklahoma), N.C. State, Air Force (W-Navy), West Virginia (Off)
Who passed us: No one.

Hey, we're ahead of Texas! Unfortunately, this poll looks a lot more like "no one had a clue whom they wanted at #25, but Northwestern won in the logjam" than having any real consensus as to whom #25 should be. Yes, we're ranked, but the next-best team (Florida State) is a whopping 97 points ahead of us in the ranking. Meanwhile, Texas is nipping at our heels, garnering 61 points. Air Force and West Virginia are not too far behind, either. Yet again, we see our undefeated record amounting to something, as we pass a one-loss Air Force team that edged out the Naval Academy in a low-scoring affair.

So like I said, I'll probably be eating my words from last week. Should the college football landscape change quite a bit over next weekend, we could find ourselves in both Top 25s for the first time in a while. But, I wouldn't be surprised if Texas and West Virginia pass us up in the Coaches' Poll next week and we find ourselves unranked after Week 6. Of course, all this speculation would be moot if we forget to show up against Purdon't on Saturday. Under the lights, at home. That would be a waste.

In other polls, Sagarin's computer ratings put us at 35th overall, one spot above "worst" undefeated team Kansas State. Due to losses by Vanderbilt and Rice, our strength of schedule is a measly 107th and continues to be a major hindrance. The idiots at College Football News has us ranked at 47th, only one spot ahead of Illinois and--get this--ten spots behind Notre Dame. I think someone should remind the gentlemen over there that they've forgotten how to play football over in South Bend.

(To see the rankings together, you can find them here at ESPN.)

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