|Jeff Driskel and Florida are not getting the respect they should after two SEC road wins. (US Presswire)|
The latest college football polls are out following Week 3, and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week. Now it's my turn to do the same on the football side.
It's time to take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the voters honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and Twitter, but relationships do not matter; bad votes do.
AP Poll Coaches Poll
(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)
Rodney Dangerfield 'No respect' team(s) of the week: Florida, Louisville
It's hard, in the grand scheme of things, for an SEC team to be disrespected, but that's exactly what the Gators are after this week at No. 14 behind USC, Texas, Notre Dame, Stanford and others. At the beginning of the season, the theory was that Florida was ranked in the top-20 because it was a name brand with a good defense and questions to be answered on offense. Well, after two road wins in the SEC, it's time to conclude that some of the questions have been answered and this is a solid team that is finally looking sharp under Will Muschamp. Though they're not much to write home about during the first half, the Gators have outscored opponents by 37 points in the second and have an easy win against Kentucky coming up. It should be a top-10 matchup between LSU in three weeks, and it's time for the voters to make sure that happens.
I get some of the hesitation by voters over Louisville after its near collapse against North Carolina and the fact that it needed a fourth-down stand, but this is still a solid team that is very young and learning how to play with a big lead. It's pretty clear Louisville is the class of the (stronger-than-expected) Big East and yet, four voters don't have the Cardinals on their ballots (Eric Hansen, Mike Hlas, Ray Ratto, Robert Cessna), and 17 others have them lower than No. 20. They may have their reasons, but they're wrong and need to be admonished as such.
It was tempting to keep Florida State in this spot for another week given its weak schedule and No. 4 ranking, but at least the Seminoles beat an FBS team (Wake Forest) that had their number the past few years, and they looked really good doing so. Instead we'll look to the Longhorns, a team that is No. 12 in the AP and is probably there mostly based on the fact that, hey, it's Texas. The Longhorns beat Ole Miss pretty badly with the offense coming to life once again, answering the one question just about everybody had regarding the team. Quarterback David Ash is completing 76 percent of his passes and been mistake-free while throwing seven touchdown passes and no picks. Still, they are above Florida, Kansas State and Ohio State but shouldn't be, based on resumes, and the fact that Texas hasn't played anybody of note (Ole Miss is an SEC team, but that doesn't hide the fact that it's a bad one). We'll find out how good this team really is when it plays Oklahoma State -- and we can judge appropriately after that.
A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) is an interesting bloc. Some would call the group progressive; others would say extreme, and just about everybody else will call them crazy given the fluctuations in their weekly ballots. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters," so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) from each.
Step right up, Mr. Wilner! Although Ratto made a run at it, his fellow Bay Area scribe takes the cake this week. First off, Florida is way too high at No. 5, even with that nice win at Tennessee. The Gators are top-10ish (as noted above). Michigan State lost at home to a TBD-how-good Notre Dame team, but the Spartans are No. 11, ahead of Kansas State. West Virginia is 15th, below Louisville and one-loss Michigan, while Nebraska -- which lost to UCLA -- is No. 18, right between Oklahoma and Texas and ahead of Clemson. Finally, Boise State beat Miami (Ohio) but is somehow ahead of an undefeated TCU team that picked a road win over a BCS program (Kansas is not much of one, but still).
What were you thinking? Glenn Guilbeau, Greg Auman, Doug Lesmerises, Stanford/USC
Guilbeau has already made his way into this space for putting North Carolina on his ballot, but he gets mentioned here mainly because he put Wisconsin one spot below Florida at No. 21 and ahead of Kansas State at No. 23. On top of all this he's got Oregon State 13th -- 13th! -- and also has Clemson (No. 19) and Louisville (No. 25) way too low. I can't get over the placements of the Beavers and Badgers, neither of whom should be anywhere near a top-25 ranking right now.
Also have to question why Auman decided to rank Fresno State No. 24 when all it did was beat up on the worst BCS program in the country, Colorado, at home. Remember, Fresno State got blown out by Oregon the week before. He also overreacted to Stanford's win and has the Cardinal at No. 4 -- and did the same with the Irish and put Notre Dame No. 6.
Lesmerises is located in Big Ten country, but he's really high on the Pac-12 from the looks of his ballot, with four teams in the top 12 (more than SEC squads). UCLA and Arizona are both really high, and I'm not sure beating Nebraska and a bad Houston team at home deserves a top-10 ranking. Georgia/Stanford/Notre Dame at No. 3/4/5 are at their highest from any voter, and while they're good teams, they're not close to being that good. Finally, he's put Oklahoma No. 17 and Kansas State No. 24 ahead of their upcoming game.