The Absurd New Poll, Other Rants and Giving Credit Where It’s Due
1. Why are the voters on the polls so anxious to shake things up?
We saw some serious jumps up and down the first two weeks, but the jumps in the polls reached ridiculous levels this week. It’s not abnormal to have early upsets. It usually takes a few weeks to realize that a lot of the teams we thought were good aren’t, and teams we thought weren’t good are. So, why are they losing their minds over early upsets this season?
The most notable jump was Miami (FL). The Hurricanes jumped 11 spots, from 20 to 9, in this week’s AP Poll after beating down Georgia Tech. It helped that the pollsters were enamored too much with Georgia Tech, which was ranked 14 after a completely irrelevant win over Jacksonville State and almost choking away a victory against unimpressive Clemson. That makes Miami two-for-two against ranked opponents. Is it worth mentioning that each of those opponents dropped out of the top 25 after Miami defeated them? Miami looks pretty good, but I’m not wild about having them hurdle TCU (2-0) and Cincinatti (3-0). They’re eight spots above Houston, which is also 2-0 and has a win over a top-5 team to its credit. And they’re one decent win away from overtaking undefeated Boise State, which is just one spot ahead of the Hurricanes. That was too big a jump for Miami.
There were two other big stretches. Having Florida State move from unranked to 18, overtaking four undefeated teams (Missouri, Michigan, North Carolina and Kansas) was ridiculous. They pummeled BYU in Provo, and they deserve credit for that. But they should have to climb the ladder like everyone else. One win does not a season make. But the pollsters are trying to make it so. Just like they are with Washington. Again, a team with one loss (at home) overtook undefeated Missouri to jump into the top 25 for beating the USC Trojans (who were missing their starting QB) at home. That is not worthy of such a big jump.
And, again, Missouri is sitting on the outside looking in, despite being undefeated. Granted, they haven’t played a challenging schedule to date, but can anyone honestly tell me what justifies an undefeated team sitting behind…
1. Nebraska, who lost a miserable game to the only ranked opponent they’ve played
2. Washington, which lost at home to an LSU team that hasn’t looked great
3. North Carolina, undefeated but unimpressive against an unimpressive schedule
4. Georgia, 2-1 with skin-of-their-teeth wins over South Carolina and Arkansas
The Tigers were supposed to have a huge dropoff this season, and the pollsters seem determined to make that prediction correct, regardless of the circumstances on the field.
ESPN.com has a great article in hypocrisy involving poll shuffling by comparing Oklahoma to Ohio State here. It’s a good read.
2. More SEC Yapping
Nothing like seeing grown men act like little boys. After their win, Florida coach Urban Meyer attributed his narrow victory to his team being hit by the flu and holding back because Tennessee wouldn’t win with their conservative play calling, anyway.
Lane Kiffin responded today, and I regretfully admit that I don’t like his response.
I love his response.
After responding to a question about their conservative play calling, Kiffin was asked if he was concerned about Tennessee being hit by the flu. He responded, “I don’t know. I guess we’ll wait and after we’re not excited about a performance, we’ll tell you everybody was sick.”
Zing! I’m still not a Kiffin fan, but Meyer totally deserved this. Trying to hold tight to the No. 1 spot by insisting that you were conservative in your play calling because your opponent also was (like nobody wants insurance points) and that you bravely overcame a flu epidemic is just lame. You know who didn’t go yapping about having the flu? Among others, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Texas. Speaking of which…
3. Colt McCoy Eats Kid Food; Muckelroy Does Not…As Far As We Know…
The Associated Press reported earlier today that Texas QB Colt McCoy used peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Pedialyte to overcome weakness he was experiencing from having flu-like symptoms all week. He said he didn’t still have the flu, but was tired from recovery.
“I just felt weak. I wasn’t myself,” McCoy said. “[At halftime] I ate a bunch and drank a bunch. I felt recharged. I ended up playing great.”
The 15-for-18 he threw in the second half was definitely an improvement over his 9-of-16 performance in the first half. He threw an INT in each half, but his only TD pass came in the second, after the sandwiches and Pedialyte. Maybe this should become a halftime ritual.
And who knows what might be next…naptime? Why not?
At least one teammate who didn’t need performance enhancing snacks was linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, who was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his seven-tackle, one-sack performance against Texas Tech. It was the second week in a row that a Longhorn has received the honor. Lamarr Houston was named Defensive Player of the Week for his game against Wyoming.