Q: Seems like (especially in the last few years) a trend has developed seeing highly ranked teams losing games throughout the season. Is this an indicator of a: talent being spread around the NCAA; or b: lack of a championship caliber squad. An indirect follow up: are voters told to vote on the “best team” or the “team with the best season as of now” for rankings? Or is it similar to baseball, where the definition of MVP causes more discussion than direction.
A: Voters are encouraged to feel free to shake up their rankings each week depending on the results, so in that sense, you can leapfrog teams if they have a big victory. Alabama and Texas vaulting to No. 1 are examples of that. There is no specific criteria on who should be No. 1, so that is why a difference of opinion emerges.
I think the the past two years there has been parity at the top, which might mean there is no championship caliber club but no one is clearly better than everyone else.