This week's ballot for the Athlon Sports mock playoff poll.
1. Mississippi State
2. Florida State
7. Arizona State
8. Ohio State
*Figuring out what to do with Baylor and TCU consumed most of the psychic energy that I dedicated to this week's rankings.
A couple weeks ago, I tagged the pollsters for tossing out Arizona's head-to-head win over Oregon in their rankings. I always try to give those results their proper due, but I set that aside in this case.
Obviously, Baylor's non-conference schedule just doesn't pass the laugh test. TCU played – and drummed – a Minnesota team that is 7-2 at the moment. That's an extra notch on the belt that the Bears won't have a chance to counter. (Granted, the win over Minnesota will likely lose plenty of luster in the next three weeks.)
Additionally, at this point in the season, TCU has gone through the meat of the Big 12 schedule. The Horned Frogs only have Iowa State, Kansas and Texas left to play. Baylor still has that home date at the end of the season with Kansas State left – which also gives the Bears another chance to make a statement.
If the Bears had taken the Horned Frogs to the woodshed when they played, I might be more inclined to give them the edge right now. Looking ahead, though, there's still time for one of these two teams to stumble and make the call easier for everyone.
*Mississippi St. supposedly played someone this weekend. Guess the Bulldogs won.
This has to be the most anonymous No. 1 team in history. Suspect that comes to an end on Saturday – the No. 1 part, that is.
*On the flip, 'Bama stands to make a big jump by beating MSU in Tuscaloosa. For all the time spent debating where the Crimson Tide should be ranked, they will vault up the polls if they sweep through this finishing leg.
*Going to be very interesting to see what happens to Ohio State. The Buckeyes are rolling, but I can still envision a scenario in which they find themselves on the outside looking in. Ultimately, however, I really like OSU's chances to make the four-team field.