Chairman/Arkansas AD Jeff Long opens up his laptop on the beach in Cabo and fires up his mobile hotspot. After a handful of clicks, the melodious strains of an incoming Skype call stream from 12 other PC and smartphone speakers around the world. Our heroes are in session.
Long: Let's get this show on the road. Who wants to go first?
Clemson AD Dan Radakovich: I'll go, and can we keep it moving? I have a donor to meet in half an hour, a ribbon-cutting ceremony after that with premier sponsors, a gala fundraising dinner this evening - I'm swamped.
Bane of Peter's Principle/Unemployed Something or Other Tyrone Willingham: I am Groot. I am Groot!
Former NCAA tourney administrator Tom Jernstedt: He said, "Yeah, and I'm trying to get nine in this afternoon."
Radakovich: Thanks, Tom. Really weird that you're the only one who understands him. And Tyrone, we can see you, stop making faces at your camera. Anyway, I think the top 6 are Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, and Louisville.
Former US National Security Adviser & Secretary of State Condi Rice: I think I'd rank Oregon ahead of Florida State. Sure it's still early, but FSU's defense might've taken a step back and Oregon's offense looks as good as ever. I like what Stoops is doing in Oklahoma. I love the way Baylor schemes to get speed players free on the edge of the offense, but I'm not sure how it would go against a top defense and I don't know that I'd put them in my top 6. What do you think, Pat?
USC AD Pat Haden: Well, I trust my people, and my people are texting me that USC is the real top team and I should stick up for them. So USC IS NUMBER ONE! The rest of my top 6 are Oregon, ASU, Stanford, Washington, and Oregon State.
Long: Look, obviously Alabama is a modern dynasty and the top team out there in any given year. Auburn's the defending champ, I don't see any reason to put them lower than #2. After that, I think I'd have to go with LSU, then A&M, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese: [muttering] I don't think they even blushed when they said that... Don't put sitting AD's on the committee, I said. I built the Big East, I should know a thing or two, I said. Nobody listens. At least Slive isn't here. [more audibly] Um, that's defending SEC champ, Jeff. There's a defending national champ that beat them, you know. I'd go FSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Auburn...
Willingham: I AM GROOT! I am Groot.
Jernstedt: He says his car's waiting and he wants to go.
Long: Alright, alright, let's do one more round of ballots and get this thing done. And for crying out loud Ty, Dan told you already, we can see you doing that.
As for the OFD Top 25: There were a number of body-bag games this week, but some victims proved to be not quite so willing and some of the more interesting matchups on paper lived up to their promise. Movement in the ranks!
1. Florida State - Idle this past weekend and holding steady. Hosts Clemson this coming weekend, which should tell us something about both teams.
2. Oregon - Teased Wyoming by giving up the first score, but then did their Oregon thing and stomped to the win.
3. Oklahoma - Put away Tennessee pretty easily. Sure, the Vols are down right now, but good job scheduling an opponent with a pulse right before conference play starts.
4. Alabama - Blew away hopelessly overmatched Southern Mississippi. Attaboy, Nick.
5. Auburn - Idle this past weekend, and traveling to Kansas State this coming weekend in a marquee Thursday night matchup. This is the farthest North I can remember an SEC power team playing in a long time. Love it.
6. Baylor - Obliterated poor Buffalo. They've basically played three scrimmages - SMU, Northwestern State, and Buffalo - and are idle in week 4. Hopefully all those cupcakes won't make them lethargic when it's time to play with the big boys.
7. Texas A&M - Beat Rice 38-10, or by 3 points less than Notre Dame did. Just saying. Unlikely to lose this week against SMU.
8. Notre Dame - It's a good sign for the program that Irish fans are disappointed in a 16-point win, feeling like opportunities on both sides of the ball were left on the field.
9. LSU - Beat Louisiana-Monroe 31-0. Hey, that score seems familiar... Much like the valiant Nittany Lions help their in-state brethren at Temple, LSU is just looking out for their neighbors by scheduling Lousiana-Monroe.
10. Michigan State - Re-enters the OFD top 10 while sitting idle. Ah, cheeseburgers. Taking on the mighty
Chippewas Eagles of Eastern Michigan this week, who could probably beat half the Big Ten.
11. Arizona State - Took care of business against Colorado, but there are signs of potential trouble; the defense was not exactly solid, and offensive engine Taylor Kelly could be out for an extended time. Idle this week, though, so they can relax.
12. Stanford - Took on Army, which shows a firm resolve to support our nation's military, not a weak scheduling philosophy focusing on academies.
13. Ole Miss - Lit up Louisana-Lafayette. Who saw that coming?
14. South Carolina - The roller coaster continues. Impressive job by Spurrier to face some adversity and come out swinging in the big win over Georgia.
15. Georgia - Oops.
16. UCLA - Still not buying it after the Bruins eked out a last-minute win over unranked Texas. Holding steady even though two teams above them in last week's OFD Top 25 lost, because I just don't think they're a top 15 team.
17. Wisconsin - Another idle Big Ten team that slides up a spot this week. Maybe the Big Ten just shouldn't play - it seems to go a lot better for them than when they do.
18. Missouri - Easily dispatched Central Florida 38-10. Kudos to them too for playing an OOC opponent that can actually play.
19. Kansas State - Enormous matchup with Auburn this week after sitting idle last weekend. Let's find out how legitimate this K State team is.
20. Clemson - Another cheeseburger-eater climbs as a potential season-defining matchup with the Seminoles looms. You gotta figure Dabo's gonna Dabo it up, though, right?
21. Ohio State - All is well! A dominating win! Against... Lowly Kent State. Who could also probably beat half the Big Ten. With the way the Big Ten is trending, OSU (and other Big Ten schools) will have little room to play OOC games against the Kent States of the world. Enjoy it while you can, folks.
22. BYU - They might be really good, but their schedule the rest of the way is just awful so it'll be tough to tell.
23. Oklahoma State - Their best achievement so far is losing a close one to Florida State before winning two scrimmages, but I still like them to beat either of the teams below them. Good matchup this weekend against
Ryan Gosling's Kliff Kingsbury's Texas Tech squad.
24. Nebraska - Why not, I guess. Interesting matchup this weekend with Miami, who certainly doesn't look like world-beaters but at least is a real OOC opponent. No doubt the Huskers hope the stench of the Big Ten hasn't quite settled on them yet.
25. USC - Sad trombone ranking. I know where they're ranked in the AP and the Coaches' polls, but quite frankly even #25 might be generous for a team that just got pushed all over the field by an unranked Boston College team. If David Shaw were somewhere north of competent offensively, they should've been hammered by Stanford last week too.
Dropped out: #17 Virginia Tech - we hardly knew thee, but we are eternally grateful; #21 Louisville - officially the first bump in the Petrino 2.0 era, but then again the way Virginia played UCLA in week 1 maybe Virginia is just better than we thought.