College Football

Nebraska Football Getting Hosed in Polls, Where Huskers Should Be Ranked

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 5: Running back Ameer Abdullah #8 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 5, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Erin SorensenContributor IOctober 16, 2013

Polls are an essential element to the college football landscape. They are also entirely subjective in nature.

Those polls have also hosed the Nebraska football team so far in 2013 and left many wondering why.

The Huskers are currently ranked No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. As for the AP Poll, the Huskers fall just outside of the Top 25.

Inconsistency immediately stands out. How the Huskers can be ranked so differently in one poll versus another is frustrating. It's bound to only be more confusing once the BCS Poll is released on Sunday.

Week 7 is not the first time Nebraska has been ranked differently in separate polls. In Week 3, prior to facing UCLA, Nebraska was ranked No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Huskers were seven spots lower in the AP Poll.

Coaches have been arguably more generous to the Huskers this season. With so much inconsistency between the two, many have wondered who is more correct in their rankings.

The 62 voting head coaches in the USA Today Coaches Poll have the Huskers ranked higher than Florida, Northern Illinois, Michigan and Washington this week. Those same coaches didn't even rank Wisconsin after their victory over Northwestern.

Instead, Washington is ranked as high as No. 20 in the AP Poll. Both Auburn and Wisconsin make appearances as No. 24 and No. 25, too.

Does Nebraska deserve to be ranked higher? The answer is yes, especially in the AP Poll.

Many will argue the strength of Nebraska's schedule, which will absolutely be reflected in the future BCS Poll. However, it appears the AP Poll voters are hosing the Huskers more than deserved.

To date, Nebraska has only one loss. That loss is to a team ranked No. 9 and No. 10 respectively in each poll.

The way the Huskers lost to UCLA may be a weighing factor on AP Poll voters. While possible, it can't be what holds voters back from placing Nebraska higher.

Looking at a pure prediction poll, Nebraska falls at No. 25. This is based solely on wins and losses. It's as "politically correct" as a poll can get.

Auburn falls to No. 26, just below the Huskers. Northern Illinois falls to No. 63.

Based on that alone, Nebraska should be ranked higher than both teams.

Wisconsin, however, ranks as high as No. 8.

Again, strength of schedule is what voters and fans will point to. Unfortunately, the strength of schedule argument is outweighing a team's margin of victory.

Nebraska shouldn't be ranked higher than Wisconsin. The Huskers should be higher than Northern Illinois and Auburn, though. In the AP Poll, this would place Nebraska around No. 23.

With that said, the USA Today Coaches Poll seems to be more on point with the rankings. At No. 21, the Huskers are more appropriately placed in relation to their margin of victory so far in 2013.

When a team has lost only to a team ranked in the top 10, that makes much more sense than not ranking at all.

Also, it appears the coaches may be factoring how Nebraska is winning versus the AP voters. A certain amount of credit does need to be given to the Huskers for keeping their margin of victory high under the leadership of two backup quarterbacks.

Losing a starting quarterback for a series of time can plague a team. Instead, Nebraska has done just fine. AP voters are most likely not considering this aspect of the Huskers' play.

The good news for Nebraska is that conference play should help with the strength of schedule. It won't be significant, but it should push the Huskers into the Top 25 in the AP Poll if the team continues to win.

In the meantime, Huskers fans can take comfort in knowing Nebraska should be ranked in the Top 25 across the board. In fact, Nebraska should be ranked more appropriately at No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Head coach Bo Pelini and his team have nothing to worry about. Rankings are subjective. Getting to the Big Ten Championship is ultimately more important.

That doesn't mean Nebraska is still not getting hosed, though.

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