|Last week's ballot|
Dropped Out: Texas Tech (#18), Nebraska (#21), Michigan (#25).
Tackle Eligible: Kansas, Cal, Central Michigan, BYU, Texas Tech
Not much movement in the poll this week; TCU gets the requisite bump after pummeling Brigham Young, Penn State continues to roll through a schedule that is significantly better than we initially thought, and Pitt is strangely intriguing.
So let's talk Cincinnati.
Long-time followers of the poll know I have no problem with Cincinnati; they held the #1 spot for a couple weeks early on, and on style I give them high marks. But they have played absolutely nobody. The Bearcats' top three wins, in order of quality:
Oregon State, 4-3 and middling in the Pac-10. With that said, their three losses are all to teams in the top 14, and they hold wins over Stanford and Arizona State. Their record belies their talent, in direct contrast to the next two teams.
South Florida, 5-2 after getting curbstomped by Pitt this weekend. USF's two losses are by a combined 44 points. Their five wins are against two I-AA opponents, Western Kentucky, and two "names" (FSU and 'Cuse) who are shells of their former selves. Those five wins are against teams that are 10-26 on the year.
Rutgers, who is 5-2 against a schedule that might be even worse. The Knights have the same two losses as USF (by a combined 39), but have beaten two I-AA's, Florida International, Army, and the worst team in a BCS conference (Maryland).
Not only does Cincinnati have the worst opponents' record of all the teams in the top 25, but that record might actually be overestimating the quality of the opposition; USF and Rutgers might well be the worst 5-win teams in the country. Is 13 low? Yeah, probably, but not egregiously low given the body of work we have to rely upon, and I can't find a reason to put Cinci higher than any of the teams listed above them.