Normally when I'm putting this ballot together, I struggle with the teams at the bottom. Filling slots 20-25 are a pain most weeks because the margin that you're looking at seems slim. Although I know that no one really gets too upset about who fills out the bottom of a ballot.
This week, though, the pain comes at the top.
There are six undefeated teams, and it is hard to look at them and figure out who is number one. The candidates:
Alabama, who has a defense that is allowing 8.1 points per game so far this year through eight games. They've allowed fewer points all season than Southern Methodist scored against Houston two weeks ago (72).
Notre Dame, who has the second best defense this season. The most points the Irish have allowed in a game this season? 17 against Purdue in week two.
Ohio State, a team on probation and ineligible for the postseason, in the midst of a coaching change, basically relying on the talents of a mercurial quarterback and guile most weeks to win games.
Kansas State, a team that is built around a good defense and a bulldozer of a quarterback that has vaulted himself into the Heisman campaign.
Louisville, representing the beleaguered Big East Conference. Wholly unspectacular at times, but getting the job done with a coach that should've gotten a shot a long time ago, and is proving his mettle as each season passes.
Oregon, strafing everything in sight on offense and basically playing a third of a game each week. The Ducks lead the nation in points per game (53.4) and also in pushups by a mascot.
Louisville hasn't really played anybody of note. Oregon's schedule is weak right now, but it (potentially) is backloaded. Ohio State is ineligible for the postseason, and that might wind up being a good thing for the BCS, as it removes one team from the mix. Also, Ohio State's schedule is a bit weak as well, with Michigan State and Nebraska being the only ranked teams they Buckeyes have played.
A down Big Ten hurts Notre Dame a bit as well, and the win in Norman would've been more impressive if the Wildcats hadn't already gone into Norman and beaten the Sooners. Notre Dame did look really good, though.
Kansas State has played strong(ish) opponents the last couple of weeks, and have destroyed both of those teams. Alabama has dominated their competition, but their most difficult task is still ahead this Saturday night in Death Valley in Baton Rouge.
Who's number one? I'm sticking with Alabama. Even though I believe in metrics and numbers to a certain extent, I still trust my eyeballs and have Alabama as number one. After Saturday night, though, who knows?