Last week, as Peyton and I were working through the logistics of getting the MP ready to roll, I was 99% certain I was going to cast a two-team ballot, as Alabama and Georgia had been head and shoulders above every other D-1 program.
Then came Texas A&M. That led me to an internal debate over what I wanted to rank this week, best team or likely playoff field. It was a very close call — I spent more time on the philosophical question than I did filling out my ballot, to be honest — but in the end, I elected to go with the latter approach. I think it’s easier to start there and whittle things down as the season inevitably continues separating the wheat from the chaff than it is to start with one team and then perhaps have to backtrack.
Besides, in the end, if Georgia’s as good as they seem, I’ll wind up in the same spot, right?
Based on the eye test and advanced stats, here’s my initial ballot:
- Ohio State
Yeah, there are two one-loss teams there. I can’t eliminate an Alabama team that’s started there and finished with a natty several times. And if I’ve got ‘Bama on my ballot, Ohio State, which has the best offense in the country, deserves it, too. Besides that, the top of the Big Ten isn’t a joke this year; if Ohio State makes the playoff, which I expect, it’s going to have to beat some decent teams to get there.
The closest call I had on that list was Michigan, mainly because, at least on the surface, Michigan State is also 6-0 and picking one without the other made me think for a minute. The rest of the list was pretty obvious to me.
Share your thinking in the comments. Results of the first MP of the season will be posted tomorrow.