|Last week's ballot|
I didn't have 25 teams to rank this week, which explains 7-1 Central Michigan (win over Michigan State, loss to Arizona) sneaking in at the end there. I was this close to ranking 5-2 Temple out of sheer frustration, but I decided against it at the last moment.
By this point in the season, I can't really justify ranking any one-loss team below a zero-loss team (unless there were major scheduling differences; I'm talking a 7-0 team with Rutgers' OOC schedule and Boise State's conference schedule). You want to win the national title? Don't lose. Or pray the supposedly-unworthy teams ahead of you lose. This season I've come over to the side of the playoff, after years of BCS-defending.
Let's just get 16 teams, 11 conference champs and five at-larges, seed them with a committee, and play this mother out. Home games for the top eight teams the first week; quarterfinals in the Cotton, Fiesta, Holiday and Gator bowls, the semifinals and finals rotate between Sugar, Orange and Rose.
Problem solved. For the people who say "But Temple should never be considered for a national title!" then it's time to drop the MAC and Sun Belt to I-AA, because they serve no purpose (other than inflating the win totals of the Big 10 and SEC) in college football's highest tier. Otherwise, every I-A team ought to have a clear path (as in: don't lose) to the championship.
If there's nothing that TCU and Boise State can do to make the BCS title game, then there's no point in even playing the season. At least with a playoff system, everybody knows exactly what they need to do to have a shot at a national title. If you get shut out of one of the at-large bids, well, tough luck: you should have won your conference.
I get the feeling all of that will take care of itself anyway and we'll end up with zero or one or two unbeatens by the end of next month.
Anyway, here's the ballot. Not a whole lot of changes here, other than the teams who lost (Miami). The big gainer, inexplicably, is Notre Dame. Sixteen is way too high for a team with their resume, and West Virginia on second thought should be above them. Every other team from 17-25, though, is just a pile of middling horse dung with few good wins. Plus in Houston, Ohio State and Miami's case, rally bad losses.
The continuing stratification of teams (1-3 being a subjective level above 4-7, and 4-7 being roughly equal with 8-15, and the rest fluctuating wildly) means there's only slight changes elsewhere on the ballot. Maybe I'll win one of those blogpoll awards this week.
Feel free to attack.