Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday 09/25 Quickie: Ole Miss Exposed,
Vick, Penn State, Canes, Verlander, More

Allow me this existential moment, inspired by today's SN column:

What is "overrated?" To be overrated, doesn't someone have to overrate you? Or can you be overrated simply by existing?

Here's the quandary: Ole Miss is what Ole Miss is. They were not a Top 5 team that "got exposed" or "was overrated." They were a merely OK team whose abilities were vastly overrated...

By the pollsters.

This is why a non-"resume"-based ranking system -- using preconceived, unjustified preseason assumptions as the baseline for everything that happens in the actual season -- is terrible.

Ole Miss had done nothing to actually justify a Top 5 ranking this week, except beat Florida and Texas Tech LAST season and have a ton of preseason expectations and hype.

And yet there the AP voters were (I don't even count the coaches), propping them up. (Kudos to Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who has been using this season's resume to -- mostly -- do his rankings; he had Ole Miss at No. 24, and even that was probably overrated.)

It's why USC gets to retain a Top 10 ranking, despite losing to Washington -- while Washington "debuts" at No. 24 (or, according to the coaches, remain unranked).

I shouldn't care about the rankings -- they are ludicrous and, ultimately, meaningless (at least heading into Week 4 of the season).

The beauty of college football is that these things shake themselves out -- sometimes quickly (Oklahoma), sometimes after a few weeks (BYU), sometimes on a Thursday (Ole Miss).

Penn State gets a Top 10 ranking despite feasting on cupcakes all season long. They will beat Iowa tomorrow, but only because they are playing in Happy Valley (I won't even count the vengeance factor). But at least they will finally have a "quality" win.

It's why I can't understand how anyone can't rank Alabama No. 1 -- sure, they have a couple of cupcakes like everyone else -- they also have one of the best "prove-it" wins of the season.

So does Houston. So does Washington.

I'm not even sure how much to credit South Carolina -- they played a great game, especially defensively. But did they beat a REAL Top 5 team, or just a team propped up by bad rankings?

All we know is that one more week of college football provides one more set of data by which to evaluate and compare teams. Not losing is important; WHO you beat should matter, too.

More you'll find in today's SN column:
*All eyes on Mike Vick.
*Twins-Tigers for 4 games, starting Monday. Quasi-playoffs?
*The David Lee offseason saga is over.
*Plus a lot more.

I'm still in Florida -- relocated from Gainesville to St. Augustine -- but will be posting later today (CFB picks, among other things) and tomorrow (CFB Live-Comment). Sunday will be light (travel day) and no posts on Monday (Yom Kippur). If this will be your last check-in before next week, have a great weekend.

-- D.S.

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