Sunday’s Sloppy Seconds- USC Plummets in the Rankings

Welcome to our new weekly segment- Sunday’s Sloppy Seconds! This will replace my normal rant about the college football rankings…oh wait, no it won’t, I’m just renaming it because the folks at ESPN have analyzed the crap out of most of the game played yesterday. Hency, today you get the sloppy seconds from Sloppy Joe. Although as you know, I tend to focus on what they don’t talk about- how utterly terrible the college football rankings system truly is.

Let’s examine what happened in the Pac-10 this week. Stanford hammered USC and Cal edged out Arizona. This made the Pac-10 race to the Rose Bowl very interesting. Oregon controls its own fate, but with Arizona and Oregon State coming up, don’t expect them to just glide through. The now better-than-most-thought Pac-10 is going to be very interesting. One thing however is very clear. Ohio State will be coming to the Rose Bowl, and they will get slaughtered by whichever Pac-10 team shows up.

Now lets look at the rankings and how they were affected by this Pac-10 shakeup. First, I’m glad to see USC ranked so low. Finally. What worries me is why Oregon State is ranked ahead of them in both polls. They have identical records, and last time I checked, USC beat Oregon State. With identical records, tie breaker ALWAYS goes to head to head matchup. Unless your Texas in 2008, in which case the voters figured you actually weren’t better than a team you beat by 10 points.

So where are the screw ups with identical records where head to head matchup was thrown out? Try 8-2 Oklahoma State who lost at home to 8-2 Houston. OK State is number 12, Houston is 24. Virginia Tech is 7-3 and lost at home to 7-3 North Carolina. Virginia Tech is number 16 and North Carolina is not even ranked in the AP Poll. Iowa is 9-2 and beat Wisconsin 8-2 on the road. Yet in the coaches poll Wisconsin is 14 and Iowa is 15. Penn State is 9-2 and lost at home to 9-2 Iowa and is ranked 13 and Iowa is 15. Stanford is 7-3 and lost to Oregon State who is 7-3, yet Stanford is 14 and Oregon State is 20. This one is the best- North Carolina JUST beat Miami (FL) this weekend! Yet Miami (FL) remains ranked ahead of North Carolina, who also happened to beat Virginia Tech, a team that murdered Miami (FL). Do these voters even watch the games? Do they see who these teams play against at all?

The obvious answer is no. Voters must all suffer from short-term memory loss. Seeing as how the excuse that excludes non-BCS teams from the championship is that “the whole body of work through the season” is accounted for in the rankings, this is not making a lot of sense. If the whole body of work were considered, none of the above problems would exist at all. That said, here are the real rankings:

1. Texas- look the best to me
2. TCU- biggest blowouts have been against some of the best teams they played
3. Alabama- only one real scare this season, comfortable wins every other game
4. Cincinnati- Getting it done with a backup QB
5. Florida- has not looked at all impressive, especially this week
6. Boise State- Nevada is the last hurdle
7. Georgia Tech- definitely the best one loss team around
8. Pitt- Not as close as the score showed against ND
9. Oregon- I think is the best two loss team
10. LSU- only losses to 1 and 2
11. Ohio State- good wins, but doesn’t look like top 10 material
12. Iowa- gave Ohio State all they could handle on the road with a freshman quarterback
13. Rutgers- decimated South Florida
14. Penn State- best mediocre team out there
15. Wisconsin- shame they don’t play Penn State
16. Oklahoma State- pulled it out against Texas Tech
17. BYU- close call against New Mexico
18. Central Michigan- Den Lefevour for Heisman?
19. Utah- did little more than BYU did against TCU
20. Houston- losses to UCF and UTEP, not good teams
21. Stanford- certainly looks like the best 3 loss team out there
22. North Carolina- beat Virginia Tech and Miami, what do you want from them?
23. Clemson- showdown coming for the ACC title
24. Temple- great running back, they just keep winning
25. Nebraska- because I think they would beat USC right now

Others receiving consideration: USC, Virginia Tech, Oregon State, Miami, Cal, Navy, Arizona and Nevada

What do you think of my rankings? Let me know in the comments!