College football rankings poor determination of teams’ strength this season
Is it just me, or are the college football rankings a little overzealous this year?
In the past, newcomers to the top 25 would drop in anywhere from No. 20 to No. 25, depending on how big the win was. Sunday, previously-unranked Auburn joined the top-25 at No. 17.
But that makes sense because the Tigers are 5-0 and playing in the nation’s power conference, right?
Wrong. Auburn has beaten five unranked opponents and has yet to face any of the SEC greats. So why does the simple fact that they’re 5-0 mean they deserve to be ranked above BYU, OU, Mississippi—all of whom have faced ranked opponents?
Auburn’s nonsensical jump isn’t the only oddity with the rankings this year.
After losing to No. 20 Miami in week three, No. 14 Georgia Tech dropped completely out of the rankings.
After BYU beat Oklahoma in week one, the Cougars jumped 11 spots and the Sooners fell 10. To put that in perspective, when No. 3 USC lost to Washington, the Trojans dropped just nine spots.
But those were close games, decided by just a handful of points. What happened when teams were blown out?
In week three, No. 9 Miami was completely annihilated by No. 11 Virginia Tech 31-7. The Hurricanes dropped big-time for being manhandled, right?
Wrong. Miami dropped just eight spots.
After last weekend’s 21-20 loss to the Hurricanes, the Sooners dropped 11 spots.
Miami lost to Virginia Tech by 24 points and was penalized eight spots, but OU lost to Miami by one and was penalized 11?
It continues. Iowa stunned No. 5 Penn State 21-10 to earn the 13th ranking, and Oregon blasted No. 6 California 42-3 to grab the 16 spot.
South Carolina toppled No. 4 Mississippi 16-10 and… remained unranked? After improving to 4-1 with a win over South Carolina State, the Gamecocks finally broke into the top 25. But the entrance into the rankings was a week late.
Was the Ol’ Ball Coach’s win over Ole Miss any less impressive than Iowa’s win over Penn State? Mississippi was ranked one spot higher than Penn State, but South Carolina scored five points fewer than Iowa did.
Something has the pollsters unsure whom they like and why. There are inconsistencies and unexplainables strewn all throughout the first five weeks of the top-25. Some teams, like Miami, are allowed to stumble, but other teams are expected to stay perfect.
But it’s all OK in the end, I guess. According to the pollsters, no one has a chance to beat Tebow anyway.