I could just follow the crowd and summarily move Alabama and whatnot up to the top of charts with a bullet. But here's where I make my stand.
Look, I don't like this any more than you do.
Correction: I don't like the outcome of this any more than you do.
Louisiana State isn't close to being the best team in the country. If the Bayou Bengals were playing Alabama tomorrow on a neutral, I'd make the Crimson Tide a 10-point favorite.
However, if I really do intend to reward teams based on achievement, I have to keep teams like LSU up near the top of the poll for playing winning three games against BCS conference teams, two of which were away from Tiger Stadium.
You have to respect the process, though. Anyway, we're three weeks into the season; we still don't know much about these teams' resumes. So chill, because all will be revealed in due time.
The haters probably will appreciate me dropping LSU from No. 1, though, in favor of Ohio State. While I'm not impressed by the fact that the Buckeyes have played three games at home, I think OSU's dismantling of The U constitutes the best skin on any team's wall. Plus, North Carolina's home loss to Georgia Tech really hurts the Tigers' case.
You can bet your bottom dollar that the winner of Arkansas-Alabama will be on top next week.
On to the ballot...