Tag:Poll Reactions
Posted on: September 11, 2011 9:31 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Big East poll reactions, Week 2

Posted by Chip Patterson

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big East fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.

West Virginia (AP:18/Coaches: 20) - The Mountaineers got a quick scare from Norfolk State when they trailed 12-10 at the half, but quarterback Geno Smith got the offense clicking in the third quarter and West Virginia pulled away with a 55-12 win. But things will not get any easier for Dana Holgorsen's squad in the next weeks with a road game at Maryland on Saturday and then a visit from No. 3 LSU on Sept. 24.

South Florida (AP: 20/Coaches: 22) - The Bulls were all business against Ball State on Saturday, showing no signs of a Notre Dame hangover in front of the largest crowd for a home opener since 2008. BJ Daniels set career-highs for completions (28), attempts (29), and passing yards (359) while the defense put together a three quarter shutout. South Florida's greatest challenge this season begins Sept. 29, when the Bulls play four conference road games in six weeks.

Other receiving votes - Pittsburgh and Syracuse are the only teams in the conference still undefeated, but close wins over Maine and Rhode Island on Saturday did not attract any extra positive attention that would result in votes. As far as the polls go, I'm not expecting to see anyone from the conference other than the Bulls or Mountaineers anytime soon.
Posted on: September 11, 2011 7:40 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2011 1:38 pm
 

ACC Poll Reactions, Week 2

Posted by Chip Patterson

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the ACC fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.

Florida State (AP: 5/Coaches: 5) - No real change in the polls after taking care of business against Charleston Southern, putting away the Buccaneers early on the war to a 62-10 route.  until proven otherwise I'd say many would agree Florida state to the best team in the "second tier" of title contenders.  The Seminoles first real test in 2011 is also their greatest opportunity to move up in the polls.  The eyes of the nation will be on Tallahassee on Saturday, when the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners come to town for a showdown under the lights.

Virginia Tech (AP: 13/Coaches: 12) - An expected dip here after being ranked at No. 11 heading into the weekend. The Hokies' offense struggled through three quarters to move the ball through the air against East Carolina's defense, which was somewhat alarming to Virginia Tech fans. Logan Thomas did prove to me much more of a rushing threat, but the Hokies showed some vulnerability in the 17-10 victory.

Other Receiving Votes - Despite an off weekend, Maryland picked up some points from voters. They've got a date with No. 18 West Virginia on Saturday in Byrd Stadium, and a victory should be enough to get them into the poll. Georgia Tech, who once again put up surprisingly high numbers with their passing game, also collected some votes from both polls. North Carolina and Clemson received votes in the coaches poll, once again proving that most coaches (or the ones responsible for their votes) do not get much time (or care) to survey the day's action before voting.
Posted on: September 11, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 9:28 pm
 

Big Ten poll reactions, Week 2

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big Ten fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches)

7/8. Wisconsin

I grumbled yesterday about the fact that Wisconsin's ranking was too low relative to the actual quality of its team, and to the polls' credit, the Badgers moved up a spot in each poll. Granted, that was only because Texas A&M enjoyed its bye week early and was summarily punished for that by pollsters, which, all right I guess you showed them, but it's a start. I've got the Badgers sixth on my personal ballot, and that might still be too low, but the fact that the Badgers are moving up is a step in the right direction.

10/10. Nebraska

Nebraska held steady at No. 10, meanwhile, but this is just that silly lazy pollster mentality than a reflection of the season Nebraska has put together thus far. The Huskers struggled for a second straight week to justify their lofty praise, beating a middling Fresno State squad 42-29 and looking decidedly average in the process. For that, Nebraska's No. 18 in my poll, and if that sounds like OMG MEDIA DISRESPECT, keep in mind we're hit over the head year-round with the "every week counts" mantra from the BCS elite, so if we're going to be honest about what that actually means, then we need to be able to look at Nebraska's first two games and realize that it has not played at a Top 10 level thus far. Taylor Martinez is a wonderfully gifted runner, but as a passer he is a ticking time bomb. The way he's thrown the ball in the first two games won't be enough to lead Nebraska to even a division title, much less the conference crown and a BCS bowl bid.

15/15. Michigan State

The Spartans made slight jumps in both polls after their throttling of Florida Atlantic, and that ranking is just about right so there's no qualms here from me. Their defense is going to get a major test with a trip to South Bend this week, and let's not kid ourselves -- even at 0-2, Notre Dame is a very dangerous opponent. If Tommy Rees and his compatriots hadn't turned the ball over five times in each of the first two weeks, they'd probably be 2-0 right now, and a borderline Top-10 team. If MSU survives this road test, it deserves to move up in the polls. Way up.

17/16. Ohio State

Just as I was bearish on Nebraska for its underwhelming performance against Fresno, I'm mortified by Ohio State getting taken to the wire by Toledo, so to see the Buckeyes only drop from 15th in both polls to here is a bit of a joke. They still deserve to be ranked, and they've got nothing but BCS opponents from here on out so the stage is set for earning a return to national prominence, but right now it sure looks like the Buckeyes are three or four spots too high. Hey, every week counts, right?

Others receiving votes: Michigan (104 AP votes, 97 Coaches votes), Northwestern (19 AP votes, 31 Coaches votes), Penn State (18 AP votes, 29 Coaches votes)
Posted on: September 11, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Big 12 Poll Reactions, Week 2

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big 12 fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.

Oklahoma (AP:1/Coaches:1) - Much like a player shouldn't lose his job to injury, pollsters feel that a team shouldn't lose its spot atop the polls due to a bye week. While I would put LSU ahead of Oklahoma on my ballot at the moment thanks to that win against Oregon, it's hard to blame people for feeling otherwise. Of course, should the Sooners head to Tallahassee this weekend and hand the Seminoles a loss, it'll be hard to argue putting Oklahoma anywhere else but at the top of your ballot.

Oklahoma State (8/7) - The coaches are higher on the Cowboys than the media is at the moment, but either way, it's hard to be angry with a spot in the top ten if you're Oklahoma State. This offense has not disappointed through it's first two games, scoring 98 points and amassing 1,260 yards. What's more important, though, is that the Cowboys defense has proved capable through the first two weeks, and this team should be off to a 3-0 start after a trip to Tulsa on Saturday. The first true test of the year will come in two weeks, however, when the Cowboys travel to College Station to take on the Aggies. Speaking of Texas A&M...

Texas A&M (9/9) - Much like Oklahoma, the Aggies took the week off after playing a game last Sunday night. The Aggies' performance against SMU was strong enough to warrant this spot and keep them there, and that's not likely to change when Idaho comes to town this weekend.

Baylor (19/24) - I guess coaches have short memories. After a bye week Baylor sits at 24th in the Coaches Poll while TCU is at 23rd. I'm still trying to figure out what world we have to be in for that to make any kind of sense. At least the AP Poll was able to hold on to some semblance of credibility by putting the Bears at 19th, four spots ahead of the Horned Frogs team they beat last week.

Texas (24/21) - Much like last week, I'm not exactly sure what Texas has done to deserve to be ranked just yet other than being Texas. The Longhorns beat a Rice team that it should have beaten, but then struggled against BYU at home to eek out a 17-16 victory. Surely there are other teams in the country who have had a better start to their season than Texas. We'll have to wait and see if Texas can really earn this ranking when it travels to UCLA next weekend seeking revenge for that home loss in 2010.

Drop Outs: Missouri - I didn't think Missouri would be able to go into Tempe and get a win against Arizona State after a poor showing by the offense in Week 1, and Missouri didn't. That being said, the Tigers offense performed much better on Friday night. With a very winnable game against Western Illinois this weekend, it's possible that the Tigers can sneak back into the polls next week, though a date with Oklahoma in Norman looms after that.

Receiving Votes: Iowa State picked up a couple of votes in the Coaches Poll after beating Iowa in double overtime. Two votes that I'm happy to see the Cyclones get because beating Iowa hasn't been an easy task for anybody in recent seasons, but Iowa State doesn't deserve to crack the Top 25 just yet either. Though that could change with a winnable game on the road against UConn coming up, and then a home date against a Texas team that just hasn't impressed me much.
Posted on: September 11, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 4:16 pm
 

SEC Poll Reactions, Week 2

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the SEC fared, from the top of the polls to its bottom, and what it means.

ALABAMA/LSU. Entering this week, there was some expectation that a comprehensive performance from the Crimson Tide in Happy Valley might allow Alabama to retake the No. 2 slot in the media poll and consolidate their lead on the Bayou Bengals -- scheduled for what was little more than a light scrimmage against Northwestern State -- in the Coaches.

Thanks to getting that comprehensive performance, the Crimson Tide did indeed leapfrog the Tigers into No. 2 in both polls--but their margin for error in either balloting remains thinner than Nick Saban's patience for unforced mistakes. In the AP, Alabama has eight fewer first-place votes but a miniscule six-point lead all the same (1,422 to 1,416); in the Coaches, the margin is 38 points, less than half the gap between LSU and fourth-place Boise State.

Frankly, this is how it should be; both teams have decisive victories over quality opponents (though Oregon does look a good bit stronger than the Lions at the moment), both have overpowering defenses and a few offensive questions, and both spent one week dallying against lesser competition. If it looks like the pollsters are pslitting hairs at the moment, that's because those hairs ought to be split.

SOUTH CAROLINA. Interestingly, the team just ahead of the Gamecocks in each poll -- Virginia Tech -- happened to face the same team in Week 2 -- East Carolina -- Carolina had faced in Week 1. So between the Gamecocks' road victory over a desperate Georgia team and Tech's weaker performance against the Pirates, it's only fair that Steve Spurrier's team jumped the Hokies in both polls, going from No. 12 to No. 11. The Gamecocks are even within striking distance of the top 10 in the AP, sitting only five points back from Nebraska.

Too bad the Gamecocks won't have much of a chance to make an impression the next two weeks--they take on Navy and Vanderbilt.

ARKANSAS.
The Hogs blasted New Mexico, but given that the Lobos may not be much better than Arkansas's Week 1 FCS opponent Missouri State, there can't be any complaints out of Fayetteville about staying at No. 13 in the Coaches and No. 14 in the AP.

FLORIDA. The Gators blew past overmatched UAB in a second straight tune-up, but thanks to Mississippi State's loss and Ohio State's ineffective performance against Toledo, the Gators moved up anyway to No. 17 in the Coaches and No. 18 in the AP. That's a jump of four spots from the Gators preseason rank in each poll, just for beating the hapless Blazers and even-more-hapless FAU--sometimes scheduling cupcakes pays, apparently.

AUBURN. Weclome back to the AP poll, Tigers; Auburn's win over previous No. 16 Mississippi State has the defending national champions re-included at No. 21 in the AP and up three spots to No. 19 in the Coaches.

It's not a bad reward, but there's an argument to be made that the AP could do even more for the Tigers, though, and are still overreacting to the Week 1 escape against Utah State. After all, look at Florida--the media started the season with Auburn just one spot behind the Gators. Since then, Auburn has beaten two teams better than either of Florida's opponents--and now sit five spots behind the Gators.

MISSISSIPPI STATE. The Bulldogs can thank their New Year's Day Gator Bowl pounding of Michigan for just remaining in both polls this week, clinging to the No. 25 rung; without that emphatic victory, there's no doubt MSU doesn't enter this past week at No. 16/17, and (in turn) even less doubt they lose that top-25 spot. At this point, it's not like beating Memphis (47-3 losers to Arkansas State) should be worth anything in the voters' minds.

TENNESSEE. It's time for the voters to pay more attention to the Vols. After throttling a likely bowl team in Cincinnati, Tennessee has accomplished more in the win column and looked more impressive in doing so than, say, West Virginia, which beat Marshall in Week 1 and somehow trailed middle-of-the-road FCS program Norfolk State at halftime in Week 2. But the Mountaineers are ranked 20th in the Coaches and 18th in the AP, while the Vols limp along deep in the "Also Receiving Votes" category.

That's not to say the two teams should necessarily be switched; the young Vols still have a lot to prove. But there's no way the gap should be that wide given the results on the field.

Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:30 pm
 

Big Ten poll reactions, Week 1

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It wasn't a terribly eventful week in the Big Ten. The most notable opponent anybody in the conference played in Week 1 was Boston College, who was felled by Northwestern in a 24-17 thriller. Other than that, Indiana lost to Ball State in a game that had precisely zero effect on the polls, and everybody else not named Purdue more or less rolled to victory.

[MORE: View full AP rankings here, and Coaches rankings here.]

Accordingly, there wasn't much movement in the polls this week, since wins over cupcakes don't often stand out as reasons for voters to bump teams up a notch or two, and well, there were a lot of cupcakes in Big Ten play in Week 1. Onward!

(AP/Coaches)

8/9. Wisconsin 

For as much as I grouse about the "win go up lose go down" mentality of voters, I have to hand it to the AP for pushing Wisconsin not just past Oregon, but above fellow winners Nebraska and Oklahoma State after Week 1; both teams led the Badgers in the preseason poll. Unfortunately, no such push happened in the Coaches Poll, where Wisconsin only passed up Oregon. Objectively, this ranking is a sham, because Wisconsin would definitely beat Texas A&M (one spot above Wisconsin in both polls) on a neutral field, and they would give Boise State and Stanford mountains of hell. This is a bad ranking. Let's fix it already.

10/10. Nebraska

The Huskers didn't look quite on Wisconsin's level, or much better than any number of high-major programs that smacked their cupcake opponents around, but polling entropy being what it is they stay more or less put. That's fine, I guess, but it's terribly boring. We have small sample sizes! Let's abuse them!

15/15. Ohio State

Ohio State looked like a team that belonged a lot higher in the polls in its opening week performance against Akron, and the voters responded; OSU went up three spots in the AP and one in the Coaches. The upcoming battle with Miami doesn't exactly have the teeth it used to, but the likely OSU romp in that game ought to improve the Buckeyes' standing in voters' minds anyway. The real fun begins in October, though, when Luke Fickell's boys host the next team in the rankings in the conference opener.

17/16. Michigan State

That next team in the rankings is Michigan State, who didn't put together a very sharp performance in Week 1 as it beat Youngstown State 28-6. The Spartans' road to glory is already fraught with peril (though the road date with Notre Dame doesn't look quite as daunting as it did a week ago), so a quick start to this weekend's matchup with woeful Florida Atlantic should help convince voters that the MSU offense does actually match the hype.

23/20. Penn State

The Nittany Lions made a big splash with their easy dismantling of Indiana State in season-opening action. Splashes don't have much effect on the ocean, though, and wouldn't you know it -- the Tide's coming in to Happy Valley this week. Suffice it to say, PSU's either going way up or way down in the rankings after facing Alabama.

Others receiving votes:

Northwestern (40 AP votes, 30 Coaches votes), Iowa (29 AP votes, 44 Coaches votes), Michigan (17 AP votes, 15 Coaches votes).
Posted on: September 6, 2011 7:16 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Big 12 Poll Reactions, Week 1

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that actual games have been played, the polls actually carry some kind of weight. Sure, the majority of schools in the country played lightweights this week, but at least we got to see them on a field actually playing football. It's a lot easier to judge the strength of a team that way -- and much more accurate -- than staring at a depth chart.

So let's take a look at where the teams of the Big 12 landed on the latest AP poll.

1. Oklahoma - Shocking update here. The team that started the year on the top of the poll went out, won a game rather easily, and stayed on top of the poll. Not that the Sooners don't deserve to be here, mind you. They went out and did exactly what you expect a team of this caliber to do against an inferior opponent on Saturday night. The offense did churn out 663 yards and 47 points after all, so it's rather hard to say that Oklahoma doesn't deserve this ranking. That being said, in a perfect world where preconceived notions didn't exist, you could argue that LSU deserves to be on top considering it demolished a fellow top five opponent on Saturday.

7. Texas A&M - It seems the voters were just as impressed as I was with the Aggies on Sunday night in their 46-14 win over SMU, as Texas A&M jumps up a spot from No. 8 to No. 7. I'll admit I had some doubts about Texas A&M being ranked so high coming into the season, but if Ryan Tannehill continues to play like he did against SMU all season, and that Aggies defense keeps on terrorizing quarterbacks, they'll be up here for a while.

9. Oklahoma State - The voters still think you're good, Oklahoma State. Even if you wore what might be the worst uniform combination of the hundred or so different ones you now have. It's just the voters weren't impressed enough with your win over Louisiana-Lafayette to justify moving you further up in the polls, and that's the right call in my opinion. Yes, the offense exploded for 61 points, but it does have to be somewhat concerning that you allowed 24 points to a Sun Belt school, doesn't it? How about the fact that Brandon Weeden managed to throw three interceptions against a Sun Belt defense as well? That won't fly against bigger opponents, and the Cowboys get a bigger test this week against Arizona.

20. Baylor - Hello, Baylor! While I've loved you for a few years now thanks to the turbo boosters located on Robert Griffin's shoulder and feet, it seems the rest of the world was introduced to your special brand of roller coaster football on Friday night. Will you be able to keep edging out 50-48 victories through the entire year? Probably not, but a victory over TCU is still something to be proud of, and this spot in the polls is well-deserved. Even if it does turn out to be short-lived.

21. Missouri - I thoroughly enjoyed having college football back last week, and the five straight days of games at my disposal, but there were a few hours on Saturday morning I didn't enjoy quite as much as the rest. Yes, Missouri won, but it was not a pretty victory. Nor did it come cheap as the Tigers not only lost two defensive starters, but a running back as well. The pollsters may have enough faith in you to allow you to stay at 21 this week, Mizzou, but personally I don't think you deserve this spot just yet. I had high hopes coming into the season, so it's up to you to restore my faith, James Franklin.

24. Texas - I'm sorry, Longhorns, but I didn't get to see your game on Saturday night because I'm part of the 98% of the country that doesn't get the Longhorn Network. So because of that fact, it'd be incredibly unfair of me to judge whether or not you belong in this spot just yet. That being said, you are Texas, and you won a game easily against Rice, so this is where you find yourself. Congratulations, you're behind Baylor.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 6:06 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 7:35 pm
 

ACC Poll Reactions, Week 1

Posted by Chip Patterson

Preseason polls are silly, they are based entirely on predictions of performance parties who may/may not have looked past the school-provided spring notes. Thankfully, after one week of football the Associated Press voters have some concrete results as a basis for their decisions. Granted, it's only been one game and many teams competed against inferior opponents, but there are concrete results nonetheless.

5. Florida State - The Florida State defense put on quite a show in their 34-0 shutout against ULM, and the voters rewarded the Seminoles with a one spot bump in the rankings. Until Florida State plays top-ranked Oklahoma on Sept. 17, I can't see them climbing over the Sooners, LSU, Alabama, or Boise State. No. 5 could be the highest spot FSU gets this year, or the springboard to a memorable season in Tallahassee.

11. Virginia Tech - The Hokies avoided a repeat of 2010's FCS upset at home, and blasted Appalachian State 66-13. Running back David Wilson has silenced his doubters and added his name to the list of Heisman dark horse candidates. Virginia Tech's schedule works in their favor, but it also means there will likely be no huge jumps in the polls. But as long as the Hokies keep winning they'll hang around the top ten. Just like Survivor, Frank Beamer's squad needs to outplay each opponent and outlast the competition.

Other receiving votes

31. Maryland - The Terps put on a show knocking off Miami 32-24 in primetime. Danny O'Brien ran a high-tempo offense and the defense turned two of Miami's four turnovers into 14 points on the way to the win. Another statement win opportunity awaits Sept. 17 with No. 19 West Virginia coming to town.

41. North Carolina State - The Wolfpack withstood the early game miscues and finally hit their stride to pull away from Liberty in the second half. While new quarterback Mike Glennon struggled at times, NC State got some great running from backup running back Curtis Underwood and a swarming back seven on defense looked improved from 2010.

47. Georgia Tech, Clemson - Each of these teams received one vote in the poll, presumably from someone looking to reward them for appearing to turn around from disappointing 6-7 finishes in 2010. Both teams did look better, but have a long way to go before they break the Top 25.
 
 
 
 
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