Five weeks in, and it's beginning to look like a normal poll, as strength of schedule begins to actually mean something. Back-to-back 20+ wins over Arkansas and Florida give Alabama the nation's third-strongest schedule and move them to the top of the poll. There's a razor-thin margin between the top four teams; Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, and Michigan each have a 100+ point net margin of victory and multiple wins over the Blogpoll top 50, so the shuffling will likely continue. Clemson comes in fifth only because their margin of victory doesn't stack up; the Tigers have played the most difficult schedule of any team in the nation. On the other end of the spectrum is Wisconsin, which comes in at #7 despite being the nation's most dominant team (a staggering +195 margin of victory). Our skepticism over Nebraska shines through, though, and the Badgers' schedule-to-date remains four games under .500 overall.
At the bottom of the poll, the week's losers -- South Carolina, Florida, and their bastard love child South Florida -- plummet, as do Virginia Tech and Nebraska. Texas A&M and Baylor drop out completely due to losses. Houston and Texas Tech also drop out though they remain undefeated, mostly because each has played one of the nation's easiest schedules and not been particularly impressive in doing so. The poll loves Rutgers, as the Scarlet Knights have played a schedule that is a near-perfect 10-2 in all other games, and have only a 2-point loss to show on the downside. It also loves Notre Dame for many of the same reasons: The Irish have won three in a row after two razor-thin losses to top 25 teams, including victories over #26 Michigan State and #50 Pitt, giving them the second-toughest schedule-to-date.
The bye week was good for Iowa; the Hawks move up five spots to #39, mostly on the strength of their victory over Pitt.
Blogpoll Games of the Week
#2 Oklahoma vs. #10 Texas: After last year's spectacular Longhorn implosion, it's nice to see that the Red River Shootout is moving back to its place of prominence. Texas is an interesting case: No particularly good wins, a schedule that is only 9-5 in other games, and a perfectly average +78 margin of victory in those four games.
#18 Florida at #3 LSU: For the last few weeks, Alabama and LSU have been trading places at the top of the poll. This week, we finally get some emperical evidence. It's not perfect, of course; Florida's starting quarterback is out, and the Bayou Bengals get the Gators at home. Nevertheless, it's the first rough gauge of the strengths of the SEC's leading two teams.
#30 Texas A&M at #32 Texas Tech: One has played a schedule that is 11-4 in other games. The other's opponents are a combined 3-10 and ranked #77, #101, and #117 in the Blogpoll. This weekend in Lubbock, we find out which team will win by 4 points.
Battle of Who Could Care Less: #113 Florida Atlantic vs. #111 North Texas: If you're going to spend five hours every Sunday ranking every team, you might as well put it to good use. These two teams are a combined 1-8 with a net margin of victory, nee defeat of -206. Their opponents are a combined 32-13 on the season (FAU's is an insane 16-4) and include nearly half the SEC because only the Big Ten doesn't schedule any real non-conference opponents. What I'm saying is it takes a lot to knock Western Kentucky-Middle Tennessee State off the front page, and these two teams have it.