The final AP college football Top 25 was released earlier this week, and it continued its rich tradition of making some boneheaded mistakes from top to bottom.
Silly us for thinking that a full regular season plus bowl games would finally educate voters about how good a team is compared to the rest in the country.
Here are some of those mistakes.
I never bought into Houston all season long, but a dominating win on the field over a team that was ranked 24th in the country the week before has to count for more than just moving up two spots in the polls.
Baylor moved up two spots for playing no defense. Michigan State jumped two spots for winning a game it should have lost. And even TCU, who needed a fourth-quarter comeback against Louisiana Tech, got slotted two higher that it was before the bowls.
The Cougars are, without a doubt, the worst one-loss team in the country, but they are definitely better than 18th.
Before the national championship, I wasn’t sure if an Alabama win would be enough to put the team in the top spot. The way that the Tide did it certainly changed my mind as well as a number of other peoples’ minds.
But then, four AP voters put Oklahoma State in the top spot instead.
Are you serious?
They should have their voting rights revoked. Not only is the Cowboys’ loss to an unranked Iowa State, but they should have lost the Fiesta Bowl. They were outgained 590-412, had 12 less first downs and held the ball for half the time Stanford did.
If the Cardinal had made the field goal at the end of regulation, would those same voters put Stanford as the best team in the country? Of course not.
If you’re going to rank a team first in the country when it didn’t play in the BCS National Championship, that team has to have dominated its bowl opponent, and that couldn’t be further from the truth here.
USC, Oregon and Stanford split all of the games between them, but the AP somehow managed to get the order of these teams completely wrong.
While the Ducks had the lone postseason win out of the three, you have to rank the Trojans above them for winning in Autzen Stadium. Instead, they are two spots behind.
You then have to rank Stanford behind Oregon, because the Cardinal got dominated. Instead, they are one spot behind the USC team they beat on the road.
You can’t fault the Trojans for not playing a bowl game, but that appears to be the case, because when teams that played head-to-head are ranked so close together, you have to get the order right.
The Hokies beat Michigan in every aspect of the Sugar Bowl except for the final score, and many people argue that it would have been an entirely different outcome if Danny Coale’s catch wasn’t overturned.
So, naturally, the AP dropped the team four spots in the polls.
But what was even dumber than that is putting Clemson, a team that beat Virginia Tech twice, 22nd in the country, which is one behind VT. The Hokies shouldn’t have dropped that far to begin with, but that is at least something people understand.
As I said earlier, when teams are ranked so close together, the head-to-head matchups have to be honored. In this case, there were two of them, and the AP still got it wrong.