Introducing the DudeYouCrazy Top 25 Poll
I’ve flirted with doing this for a while, but I’m ready to jump into the polling biz.
Here’s how my poll is going to work and what I’m prioritizing.
How the Poll Works
Tactically speaking, you can look for a revised poll every Tuesday morning. These rankings aren’t going to be based on hot-takes or tomfoolery. In fact, they will mostly mirror the AP Top 25 poll but with an emphasis on re-ordering.
Why am I copying the AP Poll? Well, I hope I’m not. But whether you agree with that polling process or not, it’s hard to escape its impact on media coverage and team perception. I’m not going to upstage the AP Poll, but I do think I could add a component of consistency to the process and that’s what I aim to do.
What am I prioritizing?
First and foremost, I want to pay attention to what’s been done on the field. Admittedly, it’s hard to do that early in the season (when nobody has done very much) and that’s where I think using a universe of ranked AP teams will help focus on what the rest of the nation is focusing on.
In general, I’m of the opinion that games between ranked opponents are the best judge of what a team can and can’t do. As it relates to the poll’s purpose, I’m seeking to carve out a firm opinion on the Top 4 by year-end. I’m of the belief that what you do against good teams matters tremendously if you want to be in the College Football Playoff. So, big wins vs. big teams will be the top priority.
When it comes to splitting hairs on losses, obviously margin of defeat matters as will quality of opposition. To state what shouldn’t need to be stated: losing on the road to a ranked team by a small margin looks a lot better than losing at home to an FCS team.
But in general, I don’t really care about the “fat middle” of a team’s schedule. Assuming teams are taking care of business, I don’t view a comfortable 20-point win over a trash in-conference or Power 5 opponent any differently than I view a 45-point win vs. an FCS regional school. You aren’t winning a spot in the playoff for either of those games. You’re winning a spot in the playoff for beating good teams.
I’m also putting an emphasis on remaining games against ranked foes and even projected conference championships. I think it matters that #23 Arizona State has four more games against ranked opponents while #21 Miami only has one — especially if I view both teams through the lens of what’s happened so far.
Further, I care tremendously about where a team was ranked at the time of the game. To use a very recent and relevant example (at least for Georgia fans), I do think it matters that South Carolina was ranked when Georgia played. Had the Gamecocks not played Georgia, they likely would still be ranked. And quite assuredly they would be ranked highly had they beaten Georgia. Georgia deserves credit for foiling then-ranked South Carolina.
Lastly, this is not a ass-backward way of putting Georgia at no. 1. I have Georgia third in the initial poll. The Bulldogs are one of just two teams with identical rankings in my poll relative to the AP. Further, the Dawgs are the only team I have ranked in the top seven that aren’t higher than their natural AP positioning.
That’s all I got/