BHGPoll Week 10: High Tide

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Alabama passes Notre Dame, Oregon lurks beneath, and Florida still somehow lost to Georgia.

We couldn't prevent it any longer: With its first legitimately big win of the season, Alabama moves into the top spot. The victory at LSU and corresponding spike in strength of scheedule, when combined with their absurd margin of victory to date, trumps Notre Dame's schedule strength after a triple overtime win over lowly Pitt. The Irish are still a solid second in our poll.

After this week's win against USC, I'm unsure how any computer model can place Oregon behind Kansas State. The Ducks' schedule-to-date has a better record (Oregon is 8 games over .500; KSU is 2 over), and even though Kansas State's biggest victory (Oklahoma) carries more weight than Oregon's (USC), the bulk of Oregon's schedule is better, especially given the collapse of West Virginia and mediocre performance of Texas Tech.

Florida's loss to Georgia is still the most surprising win of the season, and has thrown a wrench into the process. Florida ranks third in pure statistics, but with a head-to-head loss to Georgia and a similar record, poll logic demands we move them back (and Georgia up). Confounding things is South Carolina, which utterly destroyed Georgia and then lost to Florida, creating the poll's greatest illogic not named Washington's entire season.

There's a boatload of mid-majors late in the poll, and none of them are Louisiana Tech (which are 38th in the poll). San Jose State is 7-2 with a surprisingly strong schedule (12 games over .500), a +111 margin of victory, and losses to two good opponents (Stanford and Utah State). Compare that to Tech, which has a horrendous schedule (18 games under .500), though a better margin (+165) and comparable loss (Texas A&M). The 30-game schedule difference more than makes up for the extra loss. The Spartans are your Cinderella.

(There was an early Blogpoll deadline last week, and we didn't get the numbers back from the Black Heart Gold Actuary in time, so there was no Blogpoll ballot last week. There wasn't much change: Notre Dame #1, Alabama #2, Kansas State, Oregon, and Florida rounding out the top 5.)

BHGPoll Games of the Week:

#9 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama: It's common knowledge that we don't particularly like the cut of Georgia's jib, but the Bulldogs have put themselves in position to win the SEC East and face Alabama in the league's championship game. If you ask us, that means the best chance of Alabama losing before the BCS Championship Game is this weekend, when Johnny Football and the Aggies come to town. Must-see game, even if Alabama is a deserved two-touchdown favorite.

#10 Oregon State at #14 Stanford: The final three weeks in the Pac-12 will be fascinating, with the three teams in contention to win the Pac-12 North (and host the conference championship game) all set to play each other and UCLA and USC playing for the South division later this month. This week's game is basically an elimination game; the scenario for the loser to win the conference requires more steps than James Vandenberg's dropback.

#20 Penn State at #18 Nebraska: Yes, it even sucks for the Big Ten in our poll. Nebraska and Michigan made it, with the Huskers now the overwhelming favorite to take the Legends division. Penn State continues to transcend everything that happened a year ago, mostly because the conference is terrible.

Game of the Weak:

#124 Massachusetts at #109 Akron: There are two FBS teams with zero wins. Massachusetts, new to FBS this season, is one of them, and the worse of the two. UMass has scored 90 points in nine games. They have conceded nearly 400. Their best chance of getting a win this year is this week, at 1-9 Akron. Which, of course, means they will beat Central Michigan in their season finale and put the cherry on top on Iowa's 2012 sundae.

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