The Washington Times - October 2, 2011, 12:01PM

The Harris poll (which is one element in the BCS rankings) conducts its first balloting this week.

For the third straight year, I’m on the panel.

SEE RELATED:


Unlike the Associated Press poll, the Harris poll does not release ballots every week – only the last week of the season (i.e. the only one that really matters). But I’m all for transparency, which is why I post this every week.

A reminder: This is results-based, so teams can fluctuate rapidly early in the season. For example, Wisconsin didn’t own a particularly valuable victory until hammering Nebraska on Saturday. The Badgers jump from No. 15 to No. 5 – though it should also be noted that I don’t look at my previous ballot until I finalize a new one.

The point is to constantly re-evaluate teams’ resumes, not to mindlessly move a team up three spots when it winds and down six spots when it loses – regardless of context.

Also, it ensures things like Auburn being ranked ahead of South Carolina or Arizona State being ranked ahead of Southern California (thanks to head-to-head wins) when the teams are otherwise comparable. It also leads quality victories being re-evaluated (for example, Oklahoma State’s best win takes a minor hit when Texas A&M loses to Arkansas).

Onto this week’s top 30 (which, unlike the actual Harris ballot, includes a Southern Cal team ineligible to be included in that voting):

No. Team
W-L    LW     Resume
1. Louisiana State
5-0 1 * Oregon (N), WVU (A), Mississippi St (A), Kentucky (H)
2. Alabama
5-0 3 * Florida (A), Arkansas (H), Penn State (A), N.Texas (H)
3. Oklahoma
4-0 2 * Florida State (A), Missouri (H), Tulsa (H), Ball St. (H)
4. Clemson
5-0 5 * VT (A), Florida State (H), Auburn (H), Troy (H)
5. Wisconsin
5-0 15 * Nebraska (H), Oregon St. (H), N. Illinois (N), UNLV (H)
6. Oklahoma State
4-0 4 * Texas A&M (A), Arizona (H), Tulsa (A)
7. Boise State
4-0 7

* Georgia (N), Toledo (A), Nevada (H), Tulsa (H)

8. Georgia Tech
5-0 14

* UNC (H), NCSU (A), Kansas (H), Middle Tennessee (A)

9. Michigan
5-0 9 * Notre Dame (H), WMU (H), SDSU (H), Minnesota (H)
10. Stanford
4-0 16 * Arizona (A), UCLA (H), Duke (A), San Jose State (H)
11. Auburn
4-1 23 * S. Carolina (H), Miss. St. (A), Utah St. (H); L: Clemson (A)
12. Illinois
5-0 19

* Arizona State (H), NW (H), W. Michigan (H)

13. South Carolina   
4-1 6 * Georgia (A), Navy (H), Vanderbilt (H), ECU (N); L: Auburn (A)
14. Arkansas
4-1 25 * Texas A&M (N), Troy (H), New Mexico (H); L: Alabama (A)
15. Oregon
3-1 17 * Arizona (A), Nevada (H); L: LSU (N)
16. Florida
4-1 12 * Tennessee (H), Kentucky (A), UAB (H), FAU (H); L: Bama (H)
17. Nebraska
4-1 11 * Washington (H), Fresno St. (H), Wyoming (A); L: Wisc. (A)
18. West Virginia
4-1 20 * Maryland (A), Marshall (H), BGSU (H); L: LSU (H)
19. Texas
4-0 18 * BYU (H), Iowa State (A), UCLA (A), Rice (H)
20. Kansas State
4-0 28 * Baylor (H), Miami (A), Kent State (H)
21. Arizona State
4-1 24 * USC (H), Missouri (OT-H), Oregon State (H); L: Illinois (A)
22. South Florida
4-1 8

* Notre Dame (A), UTEP (H), Ball State (H); L: Pitt (A)

23. Southern Cal
4-1 29 * Utah (H), Cuse (H), Ariz. (H), Minn. (H); L: Ariz. St. (A)
24. Baylor
3-1 10 * TCU (H), Rice (H); L: Kansas State (A)
25. Virginia Tech
4-1 13 * E. Carolina (A), Marshall (A), Ark. St. (H); L: Clemson (H)
26. Notre Dame
3-2 NR * Michigan St. (H), Pitt (A), Purdue (A); L: Michigan (A), USF (H)
27. Houston
5-0 30

* UCLA (H), Louisiana Tech (A), UTEP (A)

28. Texas Tech
4-0 NR

* Nevada (H), Kansas (A), New Mexico (A)

29. North Carolina
4-1 26 * Rutgers (H), ECU (A), Virginia (H); L: Ga. Tech (A)
30. Texas A&M
2-2 21

* SMU (H), Idaho (H); L: Oklahoma State (H), Arkansas (N)

 

Fell out: No. 22 Texas Christian, No. 27 Iowa State

Patrick Stevens