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2014 Underdogs Poll, week 4: ECU making its run at BYU

BYU is in a league of its own, and ECU is proving it is not if you win, but who you beat that matters.

ECU quarterback Shane Carden has ECU in the driver's seat for a strong AAC debut.
ECU quarterback Shane Carden has ECU in the driver's seat for a strong AAC debut.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, winning isn't enough. This week's Underdogs Poll shows that winning, and winning big won't keep you safe. Like the College Football Playoff selection committee, the Underdogs Poll voters put heavy weight on strength of schedule.

1 BYU (17) 283 1
2 ECU 229 7
3 Marshall (1) 228 2
4 Cincinnati 218 3
5 NIU (1) 193 5
6 Boise State 182 6
7 Navy 162 8
8 Louisiana Tech 107 20
9 UCF 96 4
10 Nevada 92 10
11 Utah State 74 13
12 San Diego State 65 14
13 Bowling Green 57 25
14 UTSA 42 9
15 Colorado State 41 15
Dropped Out: Louisiana-Monroe, CMU | Others Receiving Votes: Middle Tenn. (28), ULM (25), UTEP (21), UAB (16), CMU (15), Georgia Southern (14), Houston (12), Temple (11), Memphis (9), Fresno State (8), Old Dominion (8), Wyoming (6), Arkansas State (6), Tulane (6), Toledo (5), UL-Lafayette (5), Western Kentucky (4), Air Force (4), Rice (3), FAU (3), New Mexico State (1), UConn (1)

One of the reasons BYU has kept increasing its lead in this poll is because of who the Cougars have beaten. UConn, Texas, and now Houston, and all in impressive fashion. Taysom Hill is as dynamic of a playmaker as you'll find, and he's putting up numbers (and Ws) against solid competition.

Marshall on the other hand, is slipping, and it's undoubtedly because of the teams Marshall has played. The Thundering Herd looked fantastic in their 44-14 beatdown of Ohio, but Miami (Ohio), Rhode Island, and Ohio aren't good teams. ECU leapt up five spots this week, leapfrogging Marshall, because of good performances against much tougher competition. The Pirates knocked off a ranked team this week, and hung tough with South Carolina a week ago.

And how about Navy? The Midshipmen looked great, even without Kennan Reynolds at the helm this week. If an injury to Reynolds couldn't slow Navy down, that's bad news for opposing defenses.

Then we have the curious case of Cincinnati and Gunner Kiel. In his collegiate debut (and the Bearcats' season-opener) he orchestrated a 58-34 blowout of a solid Toledo squad, but UC still managed to drop this week. As I said, sometimes winning isn't enough.

The Underdogs Poll is a weekly ranking of college football's top non-power FBS teams. Voters from SB Nation sites Bull RunDown The DriveHustle BeltMiner RushMountain West ConnectionThe UConn BlogUnderdog DynastyVanquish The Foe, and Voodoo Five.