Now, if we used some unreasonable system of ranking the teams in America, this week would be the week that eases our madness because our ballot requires 25 teams and guess how many undefeated teams are left in FBS!
But while our ballot is made to spark discussion, we do not so deliberately at the cost of all reason. We are prepared to admit, for example, that there is positively no good reason to exclude a 3-1 Iowa (who hasn't beaten anybody, but, at least, had the cajones to travel to Tuscon) in favor of a 3-0 Indiana team. Three wins over three patsies is equal in my book, and Iowa gets style points for leading the nation in total defense. The same might be said about Penn State, if they weren't hanging out at 67th in the nation in total offense.
The same cannot be said about 4-0 teams, especially since there is still no 3-1 team with an elite win. Prove me wrong on that, if you can. A provisional ballot with some notes follows after the jump.
2. Ohio State
4. Boise State
By virtue of its wins over two then-ranked-teams with three wins, Alabama has the best resume in the country. All four wins are over FBS teams, and three of them come from BCS opponents (Duke counts). Ohio State's big home win over Miami is the third best win by any team over any other team yet. Oklahoma has two wins over three-win teams (Florida State and Air Force). Boise looked better against Oregon State than did TCU.
In Oregon's first test of the season they looked human, which is not surprising. Auburn has two conference victories and another against 2-1 Clemson. Stanford beat UCLA who beat Texas. Is that a transitive quality win? Meanwhile, LSU has four FBS wins (UNC, Vanderbilt, MS State, WVU). No other team can claim that. They have just looked awful notching them.
11. NC State
14. Kansas State
You're WTF moment is brought to you by the Raleigh-Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau. Don't believe in NC State? Well, Russell Wilson has 1112 passing yards to prove you wrong. After curb-stomping Georgia Tech in Atlanta, I took a closer look at the Wolfpack. The Thursday night win over Cincy looks increasingly worse, but their Top 20 scoring offense looks primed to make headlines in the next two weeks against Virginia Tech and Boston College. Nevada and Kansas State are here to remind you that they've beaten a pair of breathing Pac-10 opponents. And Nevada is ranked 4th nationally in total offense.
17. Southern California
Welcome to the "ain't beat nobody" brigade. You'll find Nebraska way down here because, even though they get 471.3 ypg offensively and allow only 265 (good for Top 15 in both categories), they did their dead-level best to lose to South Dakota State. You won't win my heart that way, Bo Pelini. Meanwhile, Northwestern and Missouri haven't tripped over their own genitalia yet.
21. Michigan State
23. South Carolina
That's right, Sparty, you're the worst-ranked 4-0 team in the country. Know why? Because Notre Dame isn't good and you don't have Denard Robinson. Boom! Roasted. Arkansas, South Carolina, and Miami are all teams that sport quality losses (the 'Canes and 'Cocks on the road). Texas, meanwhile, is still second in the nation in total defense, despite their hiccup against 2-2 UCLA. And the Longhorns still have a decent win over 2-1 Texas Tech.