College Football Rankings: Who Got Screwed in Week 5 Coaches and AP Polls

Stephen MeyerDeputy MLB EditorOctober 3, 2010

College Football Rankings: Who Got Screwed in Week 5 Coaches and AP Polls

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    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    Each week in college football, we are reminded of the arbitrary process known as the NCAA rankings system.

    Even before the implementation of the controversial BCS later in the season, there still remains plenty of debate and disbelief.

    Whether the USA Today Coaches Poll or the AP Poll, numerous programs are overlooked due to a lack of strength of schedule, an unexpected rise viewed as lacking staying power, and many other reasons.

    I am going to look at 10 such schools who were overlooked and "screwed" for the wrong reasons in the polls following Week 5 action in NCAA College Football Saturday.

    Who do you think deserves to be No. 1 (both on this list and in the real rankings)?

10. Michigan State Spartans

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    The Spartans are rightfully ranked ahead of in-state rival Michigan, but they are curiously ranked behind Miami and Arkansas—who are seemingly being praised for “losing close” as opposed to beating anyone.

    On the other hand, Michigan State has played fantastic and spirited football without their head coach, who is recovering from a heart attack and blood clot scare in recent weeks.

    They beat the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers in a huge Big 10 matchup, and deserve more respect.

9. Wisconsin Badgers

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    Speaking of those Badgers, they have actually gotten the short end of the rankings stick in Week 5 as well.

    They have dropped from No. 11 all the way to No. 20 in the polls, though it seems like a rather harsh freefall.

    Wisconsin played the previously mentioned Spartans who were playing with more than just pride and determination—there was an extra intangible with them on the field in front of a raucous home crowd.

    Losing a close road game against a respected rival is not a horrible loss, and they did not deserve to nearly drop out of the Top 25 for doing so.

8. Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Iowa is ranked No. 15 in the polls this week, and that seems very fair at face value.

    The problem is, they are sitting behind a Miami team that has beaten no one, and two teams, Arkansas and Florida, who have proven nothing other than the ability to lose to No. 1 Alabama.

    The Hawkeyes are coming off an absolute drubbing of No. 22 Penn State this weekend, and showed every bit of the defensive fire that makes Iowa a dangerous Big 10 player in most years.

7. Air Force Falcons (USA Today Coaches Poll)

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    While being given their due respect in the AP polls with a No. 25 rankng, they have again been left out in the cold by the USA Today Coaches Poll.

    Any way you slice it, this military school is far better than Northwestern, who currently mans the No. 25 spot.

    While having a great year for their personal program, beating the likes of Rice, Vanderbilt, Illinois State, and Central Michigan is not exactly impressive.

    Beating Minnesota on the road is a decent win, but it is not comparable with Air Force’s resume of beating BYU, Navy, and losing an absolute heartbreaker to No. 7 Oklahoma on the road.

6. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Similar to the situation in Iowa, the Gamecocks current ranking of No. 20 seems fair coming off an idle week.

    With teams like Michigan and Stanford ranked ahead of them, however, they deserve a little more poll love.

    Beating Georgia and nearly taking out one of the hottest teams in all of college football on the road at Auburn is more impressive than anything either of the two teams ahead of them has done to this point.

5. Utah Utes

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    Sometimes it seems as though these non-BCS schools could upset Alabama on the road and still not get any respect.

    Granted, Utah does not have a killer win on their resume to this point, but beating a well-coached team from a BCS conference like No. 22 Pittsburgh in the season’s opening game is worthy of recognition.

    To be ranked by the coaches behind an LSU team that has proven nothing but offensive ineptitude does not seem fair.

4. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Let’s be up front about one thing here…Texas is clearly not a very good football team by Longhorns standards in 2010.

    That said, any time the Sooners can beat Texas in Red River Rivalry on the road, it is a big achievement. Texas might not have Vince Young anymore, but their stadium is no easier to play in.

    For the Sooners to be ranked behind a fellow Big 12 team in Nebraska who has beaten no one but Western Kentucky, Idaho, Washington, and South Dakota State is absolutely ludicrous.

    The AP Poll has it right this week in this area, but the USA Today Coaches Poll is as wrong as it gets.

3. Arizona Wildcats

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    Arizona has beaten a Top 10 team in Iowa (who was ranked No. 9 at the time) and proved they can win without Nick Foles having a great game by taking out Cal 10-9.

    Stanford, meanwhile, has beaten absolutely no one of significance, and is coming off a beatdown at the hands of No. 4 Oregon.

    Somehow the coaches feel this makes them a more impressive team than the Wildcats, who are ranked behind them in the polls in Week 5.

2. Auburn Tigers

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    Outside of No. 1 Alabama, there may be no hotter team in the SEC right now than Auburn.

    Their quarterback Cam Newton is maturing by the snap, and they are as confident as can be heading into a rough part of the schedule that includes home games against No. 11 Arkansas and No. 12 LSU.

    Thus far on the season, Newton and his Tigers have beaten Mississippi State on the road, taken out Clemson, and upended a very talented South Carolina team on Sept. 25.

    Somehow the polls continue to disrespect them off a poor 2009 season, as they are ranked behind Nebraska and TCU in Week 5.

1. Boise State Broncos

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    The Broncos have done all they can to get respect and to climb up the polls.

    Teams refuse to play them in most cases as an out-of-conference opponent, preferring to get fat on FCS opponents than dare test out the blue turf of Boise.

    They scheduled highly respected teams Virginia Tech and Oregon State before the season, and began ranked at No. 3.

    So what does beating both opponents get Boise State? Do they climb up to No. 2 ahead of an Ohio State team beating up on cupcakes? Nope…instead they fall down to No. 4 behind Oregon.

    The better Virginia Tech continues to play down the stretch will improve the perception of that opening night victory, but as of now they have gotten virtually nothing in return for taking on two high-quality BCS opponents.