Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Top 25 Rant

Since I started the day with a rant about the Top 25 poll, I might as well get some closure, now that the new list is out:

Ohio St-Texas are 1-2:
Unsurprising, but nevertheless refreshing to see the voters kick ND down a peg (or two), setting up a de facto playoff game to determine at least one half of the national title game.

(Will it be fatal for the loser? Hardly. While the winner gets a virtual free pass, the loser -- by winning out -- will almost certainly put itself at the top of the mix of once-beaten teams in the event the game's winner is the only unbeaten team left at the end of the year.)

Outrage: Somehow, West Virginia dropped from 5th to 6th, even though it won handily this weekend. And yet Notre Dame stays AHEAD of WVA. The drop from 2 to 4 isn't dramatic enough to reflect the game's result on Saturday.

FSU's reward for beating a Top 12 team? A mere two-spot bump. Again, as I said this morning, they earned a Top 5 spot...at least for THIS week.

Louisville holds at No. 13? You can't possibly tell me that Louisville is the same No. 13 team it was a week ago when it was No. 13 without all-world RB Michael Bush. Apparently, the AP voters don't think losing a Heisman-caliber RB makes a team worse. And yet...

Oklahoma dropped from 10 to 15 as voters begin to realize how foolish they were to keep OU in the Top 10 even AFTER they lost Bomar.

And saving the biggest joke for last: Even with the first REAL week of data, the AP pollsters were unwilling to swap out even a SINGLE team from the original Top 25. The same 25 teams are still there.

Teams in the "Also Receiving Votes" area apparently don't just have to play well (like, say, UCLA), but they have to hope the teams ahead of them lose...even in Week 1. What a crock.

-- D.S.

12 comments:

Mark (Austin, TX) said...

Ok don't hold back...tell us how you really feel :)

I know a lot of sites do a fan poll of the top 25. What would it take to get one poll setup as a nationally recognized poll? Some openness about votes for sure, discounts or eliminations of votes from home town teams maybe? I probably watch as much if not more college football than most of the AP writers, so I couldn't do worse could I?

Anonymous said...

maybe it's my east coast bias, but how the hell is cal still ranked? they got smoked!! there has to be someone out there more deserving.

jeff (kc) said...

Anyone else surprised that Texas moved to two for the 1 vs 2 angle? Anyone? Didn't think so. $$$ rules.

Anonymous said...

Home Slice,

I was at the UT/Cal game and you are exactly correct in your analysis. The result of the game is much more an indictment of Cal (and the Pac-10) than it was an announcement of "Tennessee football is back" (as I saw the loser UT fan sitting next to me, who didn't stand the whole game cause he was holding hands with his girlfriend, text some other loser). The UT touchdowns right before and right after the half we're on identical plays, the corner completely blew both tackle attempts (defense in the pac-10) and the UT receiver had the speed to go the distance. The running play that made it 35-0 was embarrassing for Cal, I haven't seen tacklers quit on a play like that since the UF/Nebraska Fiesta Bowl.

Cal has no business being ranked after a performance like that and UT hasn't shown anything to move up. Watch for UT to blow out Air Force and have an inflated ranking going into the game against the mighty Gators. Take UF and the points.

Crabdogg

LoganAvatar said...

I never understood what all of the poll fuss was about before the halfway point of the season. As teams start to win or lose, they will drop off or move into the top 25, and as we see how teams play, their places within the 25 will become more inline with reality.... it doesn't matter where you start (like ND), it matters where you finish

Anonymous said...

Shanoff your right on with each segment of this post.

Declan said...

Hi Dan,
Don't forget that rankings only truly matter when the season is over, and BCS rankings haven't even come out.
That said, how can you punish Notre Dame for winning a game (on the road) that most experts picked them to lose, and praise Texas/West Virginia for beating a buffer team (at home)from the Sun Belt/Conference USA.
I don't fault a team for scheduling patsy teams for game one, but I wish experts would take in to account the opponent when rating the overall performance, especially this early in the year. Sure, Cal lost at Tennessee, but is their loss to another top 25 team as telling as Texas putting up two touchdowns a quarter on North Texas?
I hope you'll consider your reasoning concerning Notre Dame's win, when next week no. 1 or no. 2 loses. Will you drop the loser out of the top 5 in favor of other undefeated teams, or will you praise both teams for scheduling the game?
Is a 2-0 Notre Dame (with wins over Georgia Tech and likely Penn State) better or worse than a 1-1 Texas or a 1-1 Ohio State whose wins came against North Texas or Northern Illinios?

jeff said...

But it does matter where you start. I'm no Auburn fan, but look what happened to them a few years ago when they missed out on a shot at the National Championship because they started out too low in the polls.

Anonymous said...

Hende is queer bait.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you're celebrating your plunge deeper into the Gator Nation- in which end zone were your seats for game? I had north end zone seats (front row!), which were amazing when the team came to sing the fight song/alma mater. You're welcome at our tailgate any time.

CorrND said...

Your logic is a bit flawed, Dan. You lambast the preseason rankings for being baseless, then use Miami's preseason ranking as the basis for FSU's new ranking. I'd say that's no basis at all!

Also, I highly doubt you actually watched the ND game. The score may not reflect it, but ND was utterly dominant in the second half, on both sides of the ball. Check out a play-by-play recap (or even just a drive chart) and it's obvious. ND only punted once and even that was after a 5 play, 39 yard possession. GT's offense -- basically Calvin Johnson -- was completely shut down; their best possession only netted 30 yards.

Good second half teams are a sign of a good coaching staff that is able to make the necessary changes (along with the players willing and able to make them).

#1MavsFan said...

Couldn't agree more Dan.