Monday, November 9, 2009

BCS Ranking and Poll Travesties

With the completion of week 10, it is fine for another review of the BCS rankings and polls to see who is overrated and who just isn't getting the credit they deserve.

At the very top, there isn't much to argue about as the top-5 in the BCS are the top-5 in my rankings as they are in the Harris and Coaches polls.  After that, a few differences appear.

For some reason, the pollsters have decided that one week after throttling USC, Oregon's competitive loss at a 6-3 Stanford means they fall all the way to #14 and #16 in the Harris and Coaches polls.  How does this make sense?  Oregon has lost, on the road, to an undefeated Boise State and 6-3 Stanford while USC lost to a 7-2 Oregon and 3-6 Washington, and Oregon beat USC, so Oregon goes behind USC?  At least the computers get it right with Oregon #10 ahead of #11 USC as my computer does with Oregon ahead of USC.

But perhaps a bigger travesty is Clemson not even being in the BCS top-25.  They lose to a 1-loss Georgia Tech on the road by 3, an unbeaten TCU by 4, and a loss to Maryland, and you aren't even ranked?  Yes, the Maryland loss was bad but they have wins over a 7-2 Miami on the road, FSU, and a 6-3 Boston College.  At least the AP has them 24 and Harris 25.

Who benefits from these?  South Florida shouldn't be in the top-25 my computer having them at #32, and at least 2 of the computers agree they aren't in the top-25.  They've played non FBS teams Wofford and Charleston Southern, lost convincingly (by 17 and 27) to the 2 best opponents they played (Cincinnati and Pitt), had a good win over West Virginia (but West Virginia is overrated too, see below), and the other wins are against teams with losing records.  So they have 1 win against a team with a winning record and not even the non-FBS teams they played have winning records.

West Virginia too shouldn't be in the top-25, my computer having them #36.  They at least played only 1 non-FBS team and that one has a winning record (Liberty), but they lost to the two decent teams they played (7-3 Auburn and 6-2 South Florida, but as shown above South Florida isn't that great), and their other wins are against losing records or marginally winning records from weaker conferences (5-4 Marshall and 5-4 East Carolina).

A 6-3 team that should be in the top-25 is Stanford.  With a win over 7-2 Oregon (who should be higher in the BCS, see above) and losses to good Oregon State and Arizona teams on the road (6-3 #18 and 6-2 #19), their resume appears stronger than South Florida and West Virginia.

What do you think?  Feel free to leave a comment.