The D1scourse 30

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One really interesting development nearly two-thirds through the season is how few quality victories the teams in the chase for Nos. 21-40 have this year.

My Harris poll ballot is below, and I feel pretty good about those top 20 teams. After that, it feels like a complete crapshoot.

And here’s why: That top 20 has very few losses to the next tier of teams.

Part of that is because one really good victory coupled with a two-loss (or less) record will get you into the top 20.

But there aren’t many 4-3 teams floating around with that impressive win right now. Nix that. There’s one – Clemson.

Here’s the breakdown of the 18 losses by the top 20 teams below:

TO OTHER TOP 20s (12)

Arizona against Iowa
California against Oregon
California against Southern California
Georgia Tech against Virginia Tech
Louisiana State against Florida
Miami against Virginia Tech
Ohio State against Southern California
Oklahoma State against Houston
Oregon against Boise State
Penn State against Iowa
Virginia Tech against Alabama
Virginia Tech against Georgia Tech

TO SUB-.500 TEAMS (5)

Arizona against Washington
Houston against Texas-El Paso
Ohio State against Purdue
Pittsburgh against N.C. State
Southern California against Washington

TO .500+ NON-TOP 20s (1)

Miami against Clemson

And in case you forgot, Clemson lost to Maryland. It takes a little more than an overtime win 45 minutes from Miami’s campus to clean that smudge off.

As always, record, regulation record (all OT games treated as ties), last week’s rank and notable wins and losses are included.

Team                           W-L     Reg.     Pvs.      Notes
1. Alabama                  8-0       8-0       1          * Virginia Tech (N), South Carolina (H), Mississippi (A), Arkansas (H)
2. Florida                     7-0       7-0       2          * Louisiana State (A), Tennessee (H), Arkansas (H)
3. Iowa                                    8-0       8-0       3          * Penn State (A), Arizona (H), Michigan (H), Wisconsin (A)
4. Texas                       7-0       7-0       4          * Texas Tech (H), Oklahoma (N), Missouri (A), Colorado (H)
5. Boise State               7-0       7-0       6          * Oregon (H), Tulsa (A)
6. Cincinnati                7-0       7-0       5          * Oregon State (A), South Florida (A),  Rutgers (A)
7. Southern Cal                        6-1       6-1       14        * Ohio State (A), Cal (A), Oregon State (H), Notre Dame (A); L: Washington (A)
8. Georgia Tech                       7-1       7-1       9          * Virginia Tech (H), Clemson (H), North Carolina (H); L: Miami (A)
9. Texas Christian        7-0       7-0       10        * Brigham Young (A), Clemson (A), Virginia (A), Air Force (A)
10. Oregon                   6-1       6-1       8          * Cal (H), Utah (H), Purdue (H); L: Boise State (A)
11. Louisiana State      6-1       6-1       13        * Georgia (H), Auburn (H), Washington (A); L: Florida (H)
12. Houston                 6-1       6-1       11        * Oklahoma State (A), Texas Tech (H); L: UTEP (A)
13. Oklahoma State     6-1       6-1       12        * Georgia (H), Missouri (H), Texas A&M (A); L: Houston (H)
14. Virginia Tech         5-2       5-2       15        * Miami (H), Nebraska (H), Boston College (H); L: Alabama (N), Georgia Tech (A)
15. Miami                    5-2       5-1-1    7          * Georgia Tech (H), Oklahoma (H); OTL: Clemson (H); L: Va. Tech (A)
16. Penn State              7-1       7-1       18        * Michigan (H), Minnesota (H); L: Iowa (H)
17. Pittsburgh               7-1       7-1       19        * Navy (H), South Florida (H), Connecticut (H);  L: N.C. State (A)
18. Arizona                  5-2       5-2       23        * Oregon State (A), C. Michigan (H), Stanford (H); L: Iowa (A), Washington (A)
19. Ohio State              6-2       6-2       27        * Wisconsin (H), Navy (H); L: Southern Cal (H); Purdue (A)
20. California              5-2       5-2       20        * UCLA (A), Minnesota (A); L: Oregon (A), Southern Cal (H)
21. West Virginia         6-1       6-1       22        * Connecticut (H), East Carolina (H), Colorado (H); L: Auburn (A)
22. South Carolina       6-2       6-2       29        * Mississippi (H), Kentucky (H), N.C. State (A); L: Alabama (H), Georgia (A)
23. Notre Dame                       5-2       4-2-1    32        * Boston College (H), Mich. St. (H); OTW: Washington (H); L: USC (H), Michigan (A)
24. Wisconsin              5-2       4-2-1    31        * Minnesota (A), Michigan St. (H); OTW: Fresno (H); L: Iowa (H), Ohio State (A)
25. Oregon State          4-3       4-3       24        * Stanford (H), Arizona State (A); L: Cincinnati (H), Southern Cal (A), Arizona (H)
26. Mississippi             5-2       5-2       NR       * Arkansas (H); L: South Carolina (A), Alabama (H)
27. Brigham Young     6-2       6-2       16        * Oklahoma (N); L: Texas Christian (H), Florida St. (H)
28. Utah                       6-1       5-1-1    28        * Colorado State (A), Louisville (H); OTW: Air Force (H); L: Oregon (A)
29. Central Michigan   7-1       7-1       33        * Michigan State (A), Western Michigan (A); L: Arizona (A)
30. Michigan                5-3       5-2-1    21        * Notre Dame (H); OTL: Michigan St. (A); L: Iowa (A), Penn State (H)

Patrick Stevens

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