This week's ballot for the Athlon Sports mock selection committee:
1. Ole Miss
2. Mississippi State
3. Florida State
6. Kansas State
*What a friggin' mess, which is to be expected roughly halfway through a season.
*Again, I rank teams based on body of work. My top eight in terms of pure team strength (i.e., who would be favored on a neutral field):
1. Florida State
4. Ole Miss
5. Notre Dame
7. Mississippi State
*No change in my top three teams from last week. I don't expect it to stay that way next week. Ominous...
*I don't like penalizing Notre Dame so harshly for losing at Florida State essentially at the gun. However, while the Fighting Irish might have the best loss of any team, they don't have a ton of great wins to this point.
*Auburn's case looks stronger this week by virtue of Kansas State's win at Oklahoma. As does Kansas State's body of work, of course.
*It may not look like it, but it does feel as though the ground beneath the rankings is starting to settle. If you asked me today to predict the four playoff participants, I'd say (in order): 1. Florida State, 2. Alabama, 3. Oregon, 4. Ohio State.
*If the champion of the SEC has two losses, would that team get preferential treatment over a one-loss Notre Dame? Food for thought.