Fed up with the moral high horse-ing of folks going against the spirit of ranking the best teams in college football, we don't exactly stage a protest vote, but make no qualms about matching those voters' arbitrariness.
Since there are no standardized rules/enforced guidelines on how to vote in the BlogPoll Top 25 and since there are site specific systems in place ranging from formula produced rankings to power polls to explicitly anti-power polls to arbitrarily ranking teams based on how fun they were to watch in that one time said voter watched one of their games, we're combining all of these not-100%-true-to-the-spirit-of-the-poll methodologies and making no apologies about it.
Because 8 voters excluded Ohio State altogether from their top 25's (and who knows, maybe more will this coming week; do we hear 9? 10?), we're voting them #1. They're unbeaten with no chance to lose. Notre Dame is unbeaten but particularly when they play Alabama (sorry, UGA) in six weeks, they'll be almost double digit underdogs that'll have what one would deem a better than 50% chance to lose. So they're out of the mix for our #2. Alabama's the best team we've seen all year, but they possess two remaining chances to lose. They will crush Georgia we estimate, and then be engaged in an interesting affair with Notre Dame that could go either way (but they'll probably win). When that happens, they'll earn our #2. Or #1. We'll see which way the wind blows then.
Texas A&M is super fun to watch. Their defense was good enough to up end college football's best team on the road, at least in a one off scenario, and while they'll probably lose to an inferior team like Texas in the Alamo or Cotton Bowl (because that's what happens in context abandoned arbitrary match ups after 4-5 weeks off), we're going with them #4 until they do. Gig 'em. Stanford's playing as good of football as anyone. The Cardinal's already 10 point favorites to beat UCLA a second straight time next weekend in Palo Alto, and when they do, they'll be Rose Bowl bound against Nebraska or Wisconsin. On ward and upward, Trees. Three BCS bowls in three years is no joke.
Florida comes next because their loss to Georgia seemed arbitrary and weirdly disparate from the rest of their body of work. We get the sense if they played UGA at home, they'd have won, and in a non-interception fest environment where these two teams meet 10 times, Florida probably wins 7 or 8 of them.
That brings us to Georgia. We're sure to get the ire of UGA fans/bloggers/et al, but prove us wrong UGA fans. Hell, if you beat Alabama, we promise to make you #1 next week, even though we think Notre Dame matches up favorably with you. We said last week it's unfair to judge a team by their worst week, so we'll toss the 28 point road loss you suffered, the worst of any team not named Kansas State the top 8, right out the window. Still, you struggled with Kentucky and Tennessee, who are Michigan State level caliber this year at best. That's not a good look.
And if that's not enough, Georgia only beat five bowl eligible teams this year where as Notre Dame beat nine and Ohio State beat seven. Fact of the matter is, per Sagarin, Florida played the 13th best schedule in the country, Stanford the 5th, Texas A&M the 25th, and Notre Dame the 30th. Georgia? Way down at 42nd. That's just 9 spots above Ohio State, who draws the ire of just about everyone for not having "played anyone". Sagarin also ranks the 'Dawgs 8th, FWIW.
We have absolutely no biases about the SEC; in fact I personally contribute on the regular at the biggest college football site out there with an unapologized for focus on college football's best conference. But this isn't a Georgia team that's wowed me (or many other unaffiliated third parties) this year. I think Ohio State and Georgia are actually pretty comparable, in all honesty, and though 'Dawgs fans would never entertain the thought, would probably play a pretty competitive game. But since our methodology is explicitly uneven this week, you're unfortunately the beneficiary of a protest vote coupled with a mix of power rankings and teams-that-are-playing-well-right-this-second being ranked higher than you. Sorry about that.
There's nothing else too bizarre the rest of the way down. We're far more traditional in approach after spot 9 or so. It sucks we even have to play these games as these sorts of things make what was supposed to be the mission behind the BlogPoll null and void and take any fun associated with it completely out of the picture. People are entitled to their opinions. If you, in your heart of hearts, believe Georgia or Ohio State is worse than 5, 10, 15 other teams in college football, you should be entitled to vote them accordingly. But when you move the goal posts and make up your own rules as you go along for the sake of it, you get ballots like this one. It doesn't help lend the poll as a whole any further credibility, and leads to situations where readers email me en masse and we're forced to think about using AP/BCS rankings in our headlines next year because using the BlogPoll is actually hurting ours.
Here's our ballot in its entirety: