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We’re Going Polling: Week 1

September 4, 2012

It’s Year 3 of We’re Going Polling, an annual attempt to bring to light the insane voting tendencies of voters in both polls, the BCS and people who put together power rankings on the Internet.

With WGP I bring to light fraudulent schedules (Normally Wisconsin and most SEC schools), fraudulent teams (Florida) and the under-the-radar teams who deserve to have their moment in the sun (Ohio).

In this spot, teams don’t drop out of the poll because they lose by four points on the road against a national championship contender; they don’t remain steady in the top 10 because they barely escaped El Paso with a crappy W; and they definitely don’t crack the top 25 when they schedule an FCS team and win 84-0.

Onto the rankings:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide – The Tide played very well Saturday in Arlington. AJ McCarron wasn’t great, but threw two TDs and didn’t turn the ball over. Four Tide running backs, led by freshman T.J. Yeldon (11 carries for 111 yards) combined for 232 yards at 6.2 yards a carry. The Tide looked great, but I’m confident in my belief that Michigan won’t win more than seven games this year and will struggle mightily on defense at times. So while this win looks great right now it’s shine might weaken by the end of the season.
  2. USC Trojans – I debated putting a couple different teams here who played tougher opponents in their opener, but USC dominated from start (A 75-yard TD pass to Marqise Lee on the first play of the game) to finish (only 264 total yards allowed) against Hawaii.
  3. LSU Tigers – The Tigers didn’t blow away North Texas, but were dominant in their own right. They only gave up 219 yards of offense, and one of the two touchdowns they allowed was on an 80-yard pass on blown coverage. Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue combined for 264 rushing yards on only 29 carries, with Hilliard scoring twice.
  4. Oregon Ducks – Even with the losses of its quarterback, top running back and two top receivers, the Ducks didn’t miss a beat in their opener against Arkansas St. Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 18 0f 22 passes for 200 yards and three TDs and ran for 24 yards in his first collegiate start. Speedy sophomore DeAnthony Thomas ran for 64 yards on three carries, caught four passes for 55 yards and scored three TDs.

    Oregon QB Marcus Mariota passes the ball Saturday night against Arkansas St. (

  5. Michigan St. Spartans – I thought they were under-ranked at 13 before the season started and now they sit at 11, still way too low. Sparty’s D is legitimate – It didn’t allow a touchdown to Boise St. Friday night and held D.J. Harper to eight yards on 15 carries.
  6. South Carolina – Beat a tough Vanderbilt squad in Nashville thanks to a suffocating D that only allowed 62 rushing yards and sacked Jordan Rodgers five times, plus had nine tackles for loss.
  7. West Virginia – The Mountaineers’ Big 12 debut came against a Conference USA opponent, Marshall, but that didn’t stop them from putting up Big 12-like offensive numbers. Geno Smith was 32/36 for 323 yards and four TDs, plus 65 rushing yards and a rush TD. The Mountaineers rushed for 331 yards on only 35 carries.
  8. Tennessee Volunteers – The first shocker of WGP brings us the Vols, who played well against a North Carolina St. squad that led the nation in interceptions last year. Tyler Bray completed 27 of 41 passes for 333 yards and two TDs without tossing a pick. Cordarrelle Patterson, a juco transfer, burned All American cornerback David Amerson for a 41-yard TD and then ran past Amerson on a 67-yard TD run later in the game.
  9. Clemson Tigers – No Sammy Watkins, no problem. The Tigers out-gained Auburn by 154 yards behind the two Andres – Andre Ellington, who rushed for 228 yards on 25 carries, and DeAndre Hopkins, who caught 13 passes for 119 yards and a TD.
  10. Ohio Bobcats – Penn St. joined Michigan as the only two Big 10 teams to lose last weekend. But the Nittany Lions didn’t lose to a nobody. The Bobcats made noise last year, ending the season 10-4, and were picked by at least one analyst to go undefeated this year. They’re led by junior QB Tyler Tettleton, a dual-threat sleeper Heisman candidate, who scored three TDs Saturday, which accounted for the last 21 points of the game in Happy Valley.
  11. Florida St. Seminoles – They crushed undermanned Murray St. in Tallahassee but the loss of stud DE Brandon Jenkins could be a detriment to the Noles’ title hopes.
  12. Georgia Bulldogs – They allowed 23 points to a Buffalo team that didn’t even average that many last year, but the Dawgs were without several defensive starters so we’ll let it slide.
  13. Nebraska Cornhuskers – Southern Miss is a more than respectable opponent that Taylor Martinez completely obliterated.
  14. Ohio St. – Urban Meyer’s debut went as planned, with Braxton Miller compiling 368 total yards and three TDs.
  15. Virginia Tech – It took an overtime period, but the Hokies beat a quality Georgia Tech team.
  16. Louisville – Kentucky isn’t any good, but the Cardinals played fairly well against an SEC team.
  17. Oklahoma Sooners – I touted them as a national championship contender last week, but their 24-7 snooze fest, closer-than-it-looks win against UTEP is more than concerning.
  18. Arkansas Razorbacks – Struggling against an FCS team at home isn’t really how you should want to open up a season, but with all the not-that-bright voters who put the Hogs eighth in this week’s poll I guess it’s all right then.
  19. Texas Longhorns – Questions are still aplenty for the Horns but they’re probably better than the rest of the teams out there.
  20. Wisconsin Badgers – Struggled against Northern Iowa but all the pieces are still in place for a solid year.
  21. Boise St. Broncos – I’m not going to penalize you for playing a great team on the road to start the year. Boise almost beat a top-10 team on the road – again.
  22. Michigan Wolverines – Same for the Wolverines except the almost winning part.
  23. BYU Cougars – Won in convincing fashion over a BCS-conference team.
  24. Georgia Tech – A poor interception away from what could’ve been a great win.
  25. Northwestern – Somebody’s got to be No. 25 and at least Northwestern played a big-conference team and won on the road, unlike Florida or Oklahoma St.

 

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