Sunday’s Sloppy Seconds- Pac-10 Shaping Up

This week’s college football rankings are starting to look more and more like they should, but there are still issues. At least one issue is resolved- we know a team from Oregon is definitely headed to the Rose Bowl. This year’s Civil War could be the biggest one ever. A BCS bowl, millions of dollars, prestige, recruiting advantages and plenty more hang in the balance between Oregon and Oregon State this year. We’ll see how that all plays out in a couple weeks. For now, let’s look at the idiocy of the pollsters once again.

The day was September 26, 2009. Nolan Ryan celebrated the 28th anniversary of his record setting fifth no hitter. Lenna Kurrmaa, the Estonian singer of the group Vanilla Ninja, celebrated her 24th birthday. It was the 429th commemoration of Sir Francis Drake completing his circumnavigation of the planet. Clearly there were plenty of noteworthy events to somehow distract the pollsters from watching Iowa beat Penn State on the road. Perhaps they were busy celebrating the 91st birthday of the FTC. Maybe they were in Indonesia, commemorating the 59th anniversary of the country being admitted into the United Nations. Whatever it was, clearly the coaches and AP voters missed the Hawkeyes 21-10 victory on the road over the Nittany Lions. It would be inconceivable for two teams to go 10-2, with one beating the other, and have the victorious team be ranked behind a team they pummeled on the road. Yet their seasons are over. They have played their 12 games. Iowa proved they are a better team than Penn State in convincing fashion. And yet the mindless mob that votes in our official college football rankings must have been listening to Abbey Road, the Beatles’ final studio album which had been released the same day 30 years ago. For shame…

There is still the usual complaint that Houston is ranked so far behind Oklahoma State, a team they beat on the road and who has an identical record as them. I guess what you do on the field doesn’t have much bearing on where you get ranked. Oh no, your conference makes all the difference there.

But how about LSU and Ole Miss? Both 8-3, Ole Miss JUST beat LSU yesterday, and yet the pollsters much have missed that game, because LSU is ranked way ahead of Ole Miss in both polls. Or how about the fact that North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Miami (FL) are all 8-3. And even though UNC beat both of them, they are ranked behind them both. And how did Oregon State sneak ahead of USC, who they lost to? Because they beat up on near winless Washington State? What an accomplishment.

My personal favorite this week is Cal sneaking three places ahead of USC in the AP Poll. Last time I checked, Cal was beat down at home by USC to the tune of 30-3, no small margin. I’m convinced they must make a dartboard of all teams with less than 4 losses and arbitrarily throw around until they get a top 25. Because there is certainly no rhyme or reason to the rankings at all.

My favorite part of the ranking process is that the “little guys” are always kept out because they just don’t play a hard enough schedule. Well, wake up Texas, you should be ranked number 5 by that mentality, as Alabama, Florida, TCU and Cincinnati have all played tougher schedules than you statistically. And I’m sure Cincy will only get a boost if they beat Pitt. But don’t count on Cincy to make the title game ahead of Texas. No, they need a big win against Nebraska for that to happen.

So here are the real rankings based on what has been accomplished on the field, not schedules or conferences.

1. Texas- I don’t think anyone in the country can beat them the way they are playing right now.
2. TCU- I also don’t think anyone could beat them…except maybe Texas
3. Alabama- Mark Ingram for Heisman?
4. Cincinnati- big game against Pitt coming up
5. Florida- running up the score on Florida International…class act Urban
6. Boise State- might be scoring more points than their basketball team
7. Georgia Tech- best one loss team in the country
8. Pitt- only other one loss team in the country
9. Oregon- beat USC, Ohio State didn’t
10. Ohio State- will get destroyed in the Rose Bowl whoever they play
11. Iowa- might be headed to the BCS
12. Penn State- potential BCS buster as well
13. Houston- they did beat Oklahoma State on the road
14. Oklahoma State- not looking very impressive lately
15. BYU- finally looked good against decent competition again
16. Utah- would love to go to Provo and beat their rivals
17. Central Michigan- looking ahead to the MAC championship
18. Temple- been rolling after a slow start
19. Clemson- best three loss team
20. North Carolina- on a roll
21. Virginia Tech- can’t put them ahead of UNC
22. Miami (FL)- can’t put them ahead of V Tech
23. Nebraska- shaky at times, but headed to the Big 12 championship
24. Oregon State- pull of the upset and its Rose Bowl time
25. Cal- big wins against Arizona and Stanford

Considered: Troy, Ole Miss and Nevada