Notre Dame No. 21, USF Unranked: Are Voters Biased?

Jeff KalafaAnalyst IIINovember 1, 2009

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Wide receiver Taurus Johnson #89 of the University of South Florida Bulls sets for play against the Kansas University Jayhawks at Raymond James Stadium on September 12, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Week 10's USA Today Coaches Poll was just released, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish moved up four spots from last week to No. 21.

The thought of Notre Dame (6-2) even being listed in the Top 25 while the South Florida Bulls (6-2) were completely left out of the rankings has to raise an issue with all open-minded college football fans.

Isn't it reasonable to ask oneself, "where is the quality win?" Any ranked team should have at least one win that could be called a "quality win." If not a quality win, maybe just a good win!

No. 25 BYU beat Oklahoma. No. 24 Virginia Tech beat Miami. No. 23 California and No. 22 Wisconsin don't have much in the way of a quality win. They both beat Minnesota (5-4).

What about Notre Dame. Where's the quality win?

Wins against Washington (3-5), Purdue (3-5), Michigan State (4-5), and Washington State (1-7) certainly can't be considered as quality wins.

They beat Nevada (5-3) and Boston College (6-3), but neither of the two are anywhere near anybody's Top 25, so it's unlikely they could be considered as quality wins.

Once again it seems like the signature win for this team is a "loss," against USC. The highlight of Notre Dame's season thus far is a 34-27 loss to USC in a game where they were driving toward the end zone when the clock ran out.

When fans think of Notre Dame's relative strength as a football team, do they recall the last minute comebacks against a bunch teams ranked somewhere between no. 40-100, or is it the USC game that stands out in their minds?

Do the South Florida Bulls have a quality win? Yes. Friday night they beat then-ranked No. 21 West Virginia (6-2) 30-19. They also have a good win, beaintg FSU(4-4) on the road earlier this year.

One must also ask oneself, "what about the losses, are they good losses?"

Notre Dame lost at home to USC (6-2) and Michigan (4-5) on the road. USC is weaker than usual and Michigan is not a good football team.

The USC loss is a good loss, but the Michigan loss can't be considered as a good loss.

Although California and Wisconsin didn't have much in the quality win column, one has to consider their losses. Cal lost to Oregon and USC. Wisconsin lost to Ohio St and Iowa.  No problem here!

South Florida has lost to No. 7 Cincinnati and No. 14 Pittsburgh—two quality losses and, combined with their win over West Virginina, they deserve better!

If the numbers aren't enough to make one see there's probably an injustice in the rankings, think about USF's two All-American defensive ends chasing down Jimmy Clausen, doing to him what USC was able to do.

If one still isn't convinced, think about Notre Dame trying to contain USF quarterback BJ Daniels. They can't contain anyone!

Are you getting the message?

Here's a bulletin: The AP poll was just released, and Notre Dame is ranked no. 19 and South Florida isn't ranked.

Is something wrong here?