This week's BlogPoll, presented by discipline

The longer this season goes on, the easier it gets to order teams based simply on wins. There are only 30 teams with four or more wins over fellow D1A competition, including our beloved Boise State Broncos who climb to No. 13 this week. Is my system perfect? No. Does it take me far less time to sort 30 teams with similar win totals than it does 60 teams? Yes. That tells me the system works. Anything that lets me play more Minesweeper is a good thing.

For a refresher, here the mission statement for my Top 25:

My Top 25 operates under the assumption that all FBS football teams are equal because, if they weren't, the NCAA obviously wouldn't group them all into the same classification. That would just make no sense.

Therefore, to choose the best from the FBS, I am building my BlogPoll based on one very big factor: Wins over fellow FBS teams. When ties happen within my standings (and they happen A LOT early in the season), I will do the tie-breaking based on a new stat every week, like, say, points allowed or Dairy Queens per capita. You know, real scientific stuff.

This week's tie-breaking method is accepted penalties per game. There were no adjustments made for games played against D1AA competition because, really, if you're getting 10 penalties called against you while playing Directional Utah you deserve to have those count.


  • Boise State moves up to No. 13 on the strength of the Broncos only being penalized an average of 4.8 times per game. The only four-win teams with lower penalty rates are Kansas State, Penn State, and Texas.
  • Kansas State has the nation's lowest penalty rate at 1.8 flags per game.
  • Rutgers, at No. 30 in the poll, has the nation's highest penalty rate at a whopping 10.2 flags per game.
  • Were we going with penalty yards as opposed to plain old penalties, Kansas State would have still been No. 1, and the winner for total penalty yardage to date would be UCLA. The Bruins have 519 penalty yards through week six. Tulane has 900 yards of total offense.
  • You'll notice some ties in the Top 25 tiebreakers below. Ties were broken by the whims of Google Docs autosort.
  • If you are to draw any sort of conclusion from the penalty numbers, it is probably that penalties matter far less in the win-loss column than you might think. Sure, they can turn a game - slowly and methodically - but they can also be overcome. Oregon is No. 110 in the country in penalties per game, and they're doing just fine.

The complete Top 25 table is below.

Team Wins FCS Wins Real Wins Penalties/Gm
1 South Carolina 6 6 4.5
2 Ohio State 6 6 7.7
3 Alabama 5 5 4
4 Notre Dame 5 5 5.4
5 Ohio 6 1 5 6.5
6 Georgia 5 5 7.3
7 Florida 5 5 7.6
8 Oregon 6 1 5 8.2
9 Louisiana Tech 5 5 9.4
10 Kansas State 5 1 4 1.8
11 Penn State 4 4 4.2
12 Texas 4 4 4.6
13 Boise State 4 4 4.8
14 Duke 5 1 4 4.8
15 Mississippi St 5 1 4 4.8
16 Clemson 5 1 4 4.8
17 Northwestern 5 1 4 5
18 West Virginia 5 1 4 5
19 Tulsa 5 1 4 5
20 Northern Illinois 5 1 4 5.3
21 Stanford 4 4 5.6
22 Michigan State 4 4 6
23 Louisville 5 1 4 6.2
24 Toledo 5 1 4 7.2
25 Nevada 5 1 4 8.2
26 LSU 5 1 4 8.3
27 UCLA 4 4 8.8
28 Oregon State 4 4 9.5
29 USC 4 4 10
30 Rutgers 5 1 4 10.2

Got a suggestion for a tie-breaking procedure? I'm all ears.

Got a beef with the way I do my polling? Beef away in the comments.

Got some ways to make this Top 25 better? Please help. I'm easily swayed.

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