Some see them as a joke, while others see them as a necessity in determining the 25 best college teams in America.
Unfortunately, the two ideas don't seem to be mutually exclusive. And this convergence played a part in the first polling snafu of 2009.
How else would the Associated Press arrive at the conclusion that Oklahoma State (No. 16) is still better than Houston (No. 21) despite having been beaten by the Cougars at home by 10 points?
I don't agree with those that say Houston is necessarily better than Oklahoma State. Could they be? Yes. But are the Cougars actually as talented from top to bottom as the Cowboys? Probably not.
But therein lies the problem: How can you rank these teams when there's so little yet to go on, especially during a two-week period when most national powers are beating the snot out of some out-classed opponent?
And let's not start on the USA Today Coaches' Poll, in which some 60 head coaches from around the country blindly make their weekly selections presumably based on nothing more than what they see on SportsCenter at the end of each Saturday.
The polls don't objectively list the top 25 teams in the country; they do so as influenced by any number of factors that can occur from week to week. College football polls operate under a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, here-today-gone-tomorrow mantra. It's what keeps each Saturday interesting, I suppose.
Funny enough, whether sportswriters, head coaches, or BCS computers are the ones doing the evaluating and critiquing, we accept these polls as doctrine. Even before each season begins.
We always have and we probably always will.