AP College Football Poll: Hey, have you beaten somebody?

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix was hit by Florida linebacker Jonathan Greenard as he released the ball in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday. / Associated press photo by John Raoux

You’ve heard it before. People love to tell you your favorite team isn’t any good because, “They haven’t beaten anybody.” But your guys must have beaten somebody, because they’re 6-0. Of course, what they mean is that they haven’t beaten anybody GOOD. But what does “good” mean? Six weeks into the season “good” is in many cases still very, very debatable.

And that’s why we have college football polls. So we can agree and disagree about who is good and who is not so good.

Now, as far as not beating anybody goes, Alabama and Clemson remained at No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP poll this week despite not beating anybody. No, really … they didn’t beat anybody. The Tide and the Tigers both had byes.

Have they beaten “anybody” all season, in the figurative sense? Not really, compared to what some other unbeaten teams have done.

Before we get into this next part, I want to remind you again that I follow the AP voting guidelines and rank the teams on what they have done this season, not prior. So, no extra credit for being defending national champions or having invented the game. And that’s why I made what looks like a crazy choice (yeah, more radical than having Georgia at No. 1) and put Florida at No. 2 when most of the other voters have them at No. 7. Thanks to Mark Whicker (who has the Gators at No. 4) and Joe Dubin and Ryan Aber (No. 5) I don’t feel like I’ve completely lost my mind.

Reasoning?

For one, pretty much the same as for having installed Georgia at No. 1 after it beat Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago. The Bulldogs and Gators are undefeated, and they have the best wins of the season so far. Taking down Auburn 24-13 is really close to beating Notre Dame 23-17. Yeah, I know … why not extend the logic — or lack thereof, I’m sure some are saying — and put Florida at No. 1?

What about the good old eyeball test?

If that’s the case, just forget about the rest of the season and the playoff and give the championship to Ohio State right now.


The bottom line is Georgia and Florida have beaten somebody … or at least somebody better than the others have to this point.

Here are the best wins for the teams I ranked 3 through 8, in order — Ohio State: Cincinnati or Michigan State; Oklahoma: Texas Tech; LSU: Texas; Wisconsin: Michigan; Alabama: Duke; Clemson: Texas A&M. That’s right. Alabama and Clemson at 7 and 8 … for now.

A lot of this will mean something different or be completely meaningless as soon as this Saturday. And that’s why AP says don’t be afraid to change your ballot drastically from week to week.

Florida plays at LSU where the Gators opened as 14 1/2-point underdogs, so there’s a good chance their stay at that lofty perch will be short-lived. Both of these teams enjoy a great home-field advantage. But this year the Tigers get it. The Group of Five equivalent is Hawaii at No. 14 Boise State (5-0), where the Warriors (4-1) are 13-point underdogs on the blue carpet. If this game were at Aloha Stadium, Hawaii would probably be about a 3-point dog, especially after that domination at Nevada. Yes, AT Nevada. Don’t forget this also: UH is coming off a bye. Even though Hawaii has never won at Boise since they’ve been conference mates, has the money line ever looked so good?

And yes, of course. If Hawaii wins at Boise it will be ranked come next Sunday for the first time under coach Nick Rolovich.

This part is just a bonus: Arizona, which UH beat by 1 yard, hasn’t lost since Week Zero. The Wildcats are starting to look like somebody, too.


Here’s the entire AP poll, followed by my ballot (first-place votes and last week’s ranking for team’s that moved in parentheses):
1. Alabama (32 first-place votes, 1st last week)
2. Clemson (15 first-place votes, 2nd)
3. Georgia (3 first-place votes, 3rd)
4. Ohio State (10 first-place votes, 4th)
5. LSU (2 first-place votes, 5th)
6. Oklahoma (6th)
7. Florida (10th)
8. Wisconsin (8th)
9. Notre Dame (9th)
10. Penn State (12th)
11. Texas (11th)
12. Auburn (7th)
13. Oregon (13th)
14. Boise State (16th)
15. Utah (17th)
16. Michigan (19th)
17. Iowa (14th)
18. Arizona State (20th)
19. Wake Forest (22nd)
20. Virginia (23rd)
21. Southern Methodist (24th)
22. Baylor (NR)
23. Memphis (NR)
24. Texas A&M (25th)
25. Cincinnati (NR)
Also receiving votes: Minnesota, Missouri, Appalachian State, Washington, Tulane, California, Michigan State, Arizona, UCF, Iowa State, USC, Pittsburgh

Here’s the ballot I submitted:
1. Georgia (1st last week)
2. Florida (6th)
3. Ohio State (3rd)
4. Oklahoma (4th)
5. LSU (7th)
6. Wisconsin (9th)
7. Alabama (2nd)
8. Clemson (5th)
9. Notre Dame (12th)
10. Auburn (8th)
11. Penn State (11th)
12. Texas (14th)
13. Michigan (20th)
14. Oregon (13th)
15. Boise State (15th)
16. Iowa (10th)
17. Arizona State (16th)
18. Memphis (21st)
19. Baylor (NR)
20. SMU (NR)
21. Tulane (NR)
22. Appalachian State (23rd)
23. Wake Forest (24th)
24. Utah (25th)
25. Minnesota (NR)
Dropped out: Michigan State (17th), Cal (18th), Washington (19th), UCF (22nd)

COMMENTS

  1. A-House October 7, 2019 1:17 pm

    hey, hey, hey! everyone asleep??????

    getting ready for Saturday?????????

    just a lazy, hazy day?????????

    “I’m so tired and so weary, I’m so tired and so blue,
    Now she’s gone and left me, oh what am I gin to do??
    ( Al for the Love of a Girl ) guy who sang ‘ Sink the Bismark’


  2. seewhy October 7, 2019 6:24 pm

    Dave, thank you so much for doing what the other poll voters are too scared to do. Your ballot logically sound makes the most sense given the criteria from AP guidelines. Quality wins > Conference affiliation. Can’t wait to see your ballot plays out as the season goes on.


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