A Response and Solution to College Football's Mysterious Ranking Systems

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A Response and Solution to College Football's Mysterious Ranking Systems

As I do every Sunday around 2:00 p.m., I logged onto ESPN, clicked the "Rankings " link, and found myself looking at yet another miserably put together group of rankings of the Top 25 football teams in the nation.

I check back an hour later, and to my great displeasure, I find myself looking at the second of the polls—the USA Today rankings.

I find these rankings somewhat improved than that of the AP, but still does not satisfy my own or the rest of the nation's opinions.

These two systems consistently show many discrepancies between each other.

My first observation is that I see defeated teams ahead of teams that still possess the prized number of defeats in "zero". These teams include the likes of TCU, Boise State and BCS schools in Cincinnati and Iowa.

In the AP poll, Oklahoma barely hangs on, yet is still slotted as the No. 25 team in the country with a 3-3 record. They have beaten powerhouses like Baylor, Tulsa, AND Idaho State.

In the right column, you will not find the Sooners ranked, but rather in the outsiders looking in while receiving 18 votes of confidence from pollsters.

To give credit where credit is due, I agree with the coaches in this case.

However, this is just one example of confusion among college football's rankings. In one poll, you will find Alabama sitting in the throne of the college football world.

In the other, you see Florida as No. 1.

So I ask you, which team is the best in the land?

In one, TCU ranks as the seventh best team in the country.

In the other, barely holding on to a top 10 spot.

These are the same polls in which we place our faith in choosing who will play for the national championship after enduring a tough season of 12 football games.

We place that faith in polls that rank our team's in regards to many factors rather than actual playing competition. Thus, our team's are being ranked in comparison to other team's that most have not met on the gridiron.

The BCS rankings are compiled with contributions from three different ranking systems: the Harris interactive poll (114 writers), the USA today coaches poll (60 coaches), and the mysterious computer polls (six independent systems averaged together).

Although the computers are most reliable in my eyes, they still allow room for improvement. Unless you are a mathematical genius, most people couldn't fully explain to you how the computers share their views on the latest rankings.

On the other hand, human polls are rather self-explanatory. However, these same polls allow opportunities for bias and personal ranking methods.

I, for one, cringe at the thought of allowing a combination of mysterious computer calculations and possibly biased human voters to vote for the national championship of the college football season that I endure 12 months out of the year.

After this week's and recent polls, I now know why people are calling for a playoff system.

Even our own president is pushing for an eight-team, three round playoff system that will help determine our national champion without unnecessary debate and "what-if's?".

"Eight teams. That would be three rounds to determine a national champion. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do." said the president on "60 Minutes".

If we must face the question marks week after week from each released poll, it is only fair to the top eight teams, and their fans, in those "rankings" to shoot it out for the hardware.

There will no longer be cries of Boise St. or others not getting a chance to play for the title.

There won't be any arguments about the No. 3 team in the country being left out.

"Utah is a great team, it's unfortunate. … I guess you've got to come with a better system so you can determine who the real true national champion is." Florida wideout Louis Murphy last season on Utah being left out of a national championship berth after going 12-0 and "stunning" Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, 31-14.

Seed the BCS worthy teams, give them three weeks in the end of December into early January, and let them decide fair and square who our nation's real national champion is.

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