Week 10 of the College Football season has came and went, giving way to the Week 11 BCS Rankings. As the season winds down, conference championship games are approaching and each new set of rankings leave less room for teams to make their statement for why they belong in a Bowl game.
These are the rankings for Week 11:
Each week the rankings draw criticism, and rightfully so. When you choose the participants of your championship game based on glorified power rankings, much criticism should be expected. B/R is not different. So without further delay, here is a breakdown of the Week 11 BCS Rankings.
Baylor, Florida State and North Carolina State each dropped out of the top 25 this week. They were replaced by Texas A&M, Kansas State and Florida.
Of the three teams that were dropped from the top 25, Baylor has the most to gripe about. At 7-3, the Bears are coming off a blowout loss to No. 10 Oklahoma State. However, they did beat No. 24 Kansas State in a head-to-head matchup. While their resume of victories is not as impressive as K-State or Texas A&M, they and their fans have an argument to be included in the top 25. But don't be too upset, Bears' fans. They play the Aggies at home this week and will surely jump back into the top 25 if they can win.
The two ACC teams were obviously dropped for teams from stronger conferences. In a down year for the ACC there isn't much room for complaints.
Teams on the periphery looking in include a couple of teams on winning streaks, including Conference-USA front-runners UCF, Penn State and North Carolina.
Last Week: W 33-19 vs. No.19 Oklahoma
This Week: at Baylor
Reason this spot is just right: The Aggies are coming off of what is, undoubtedly, the biggest win of their season, vaulting themselves into the top 25 following the 33-19 victory over Oklahoma.
This is also a nice spot for Texas A&M because their three losses came against teams with a combined record of 22-5 (Oklahoma State, Arkansas and Missouri).
Reason this spot is wrong: Who have they beaten other than Oklahoma? Conference wins against Kansas and Texas Tech aren't the strongest resume boosters.
The Verdict: You'll be hard pressed to find another team to slot in at No. 25 over the Aggies. A case could be made for 7-2 UCF, but right now this is the perfect spot for the Aggies. With tough games coming up against 7-3 Baylor, No. 8 Nebraska and an always tough rivalry game against Texas, in the next few weeks the Aggies will either make their way up the rankings or fall out of them, ceding their spot to a team like UCF that has a much easier schedule.
Last Week: W 39-14 vs. Texas
This Week: at Missouri
Reason this spot is just right: The Wildcats are similar to the Aggies, losing to the better teams in their conference (Nebraska, Baylor and Oklahoma State), and picking up wins where they should.
Reason this spot is wrong: A case could be made for the Aggies having the 24th ranking and dropping the Wildcats to 25th, as Kansas State lacks a win on the magnitude of A&M's win over Oklahoma this past weekend. As with the Aggies, an argument can be made for Baylor in either of these two spots, as all three teams have lost to Oklahoma State.
The Verdict: The Wildcats earn their spot over the Aggies by having a much more impressive set of wins, overall, than their fellow Big 12 team. They may not have a win against a team like Oklahoma, but wins against UCLA, Iowa State and UCF are bigger than any other win on the Aggies resume. As for the Baylor Bears, they lost to OSU by 27 points. The Aggies and Wildcats lost by a combined 13 points against the Cowboys. That can't sit well with the computers and is the reason Baylor is on the outside looking.
Last Week: L 20-41 vs. Arkansas
This Week: at Florida
Reason this spot is just right: The Gamecocks fall four spots from No. 19 to No. 23 after being blown out at home against No. 15 Arkansas. They maintain a tenuous, if not deserved, spot on the top 25 for playing Auburn tough in a road loss and beating defending National Champion Alabama by more than a touchdown.
Reason this spot is wrong: A case can be made for dropping the Gamecocks from the top 25 and replacing them with another team waiting in the wings, especially in a week when Baylor was unceremoniously dropped from the rankings for getting blown out.
The Verdict: It's reasonable to think the Gamecocks should be ranked No. 22, ahead of Florida. They are tied with the Gators. However, this week they travel to the swamp to play them. In what is probably a preemptive strike against the Gamecocks, the favored Gators were placed ahead of them. This time next week South Carolina might be replaced in the rankings.
Last Week: W 55-14 at Vanderbilt
This Week: vs. South Carolina
Reason this spot is just right: Florida is probably going to start moving up the rankings from here on out, so why not start them out back in the rankings with the 22nd spot? They were impressive in a 55-14 beat down of Vanderbilt...but, then again, it's Vanderbilt.
Reason this spot is wrong: What has Florida really done to leap-frog all the teams on the outside looking in and the three teams they are ranked ahead of on the list? They're 24th on the Coaches and AP Poll and 23rd in the Harris Interactive Poll.
The Verdict: The Gators shouldn't have made such a jump. Putting them in the rankings ahead of teams such as Penn State, North Carolina, Baylor and UCF is questionable. Jumping them ahead of teams that have been in the rankings the past few weeks is a bit much. They'll start to move up from here on out, but this week's move was a bit too much too soon.
Last Week: W 63-17 at Idaho
This Week: at Fresno State
Reason this spot is just right: Nevada debuted in the rankings in Week 9 and have been moving up ever since. Their lone loss came on the road against a 7-3 Hawaii team. They've won week in and week out by an average of over 20 points.
Reason this spot is wrong: This really strikes at the heart of the debate about the fairness of the BCS Rankings before we even get to Boise State and TCU. Nevada is 8-1, yet they're behind eight two-loss teams and their hold on this spot is probably gone in the blink of an eye if they drop a second game. The schedule just can't stack up against teams even below them in the rankings.
The Verdict: Mark one down for small-school prevalence. The Wolfpack belong. One could even argue that they should be higher. Let's see how they play Boise State on Nov. 26th. Another question that seems like it's necessary is, what has Utah done that Nevada hasn't?
Last Week: W 28-21 vs. Georgia Tech
This Week: at North Carolina
Reason this spot is just right: Because some ACC team has to be in the top 25, right? The loss to James Madison was an abomination, but they've been playing to make up for it ever since, winning every game after it by a touchdown or more.
Reason this spot is wrong: Because they lost to James Madison! Because the ACC is dreadful this year.
The Verdict: The Hokies get a pass for the James Madison loss. If not for that loss, they would have been much higher in these rankings. They need to beat North Carolina and Miami in consecutive weeks or they might fall out of the top 25.
Last Week: Open
This Week: at Alabama
Reason this spot is just right: The Bulldogs haven't had any outrageous losses, with both coming against teams in this week's top five (LSU and Auburn). They also played Auburn really tough and won on the road against Florida, something that's never easy to do.
Reason this spot is wrong: The reasons this spot is wrong are few and far between. If Virginia Tech had defeated James Madison then sure, they would have a case for being ahead of Mississippi State. You could make a case for a one-loss Nevada team, but there's a limit to the slack mid-majors can be cut for their schedule. The best reason to detract from the Bulldogs is because their conference wins haven't been dominate.
The Verdict: Mississippi State is in the right spot. If anything, they might have a complaint over being ranked behind the two-loss Big 12 schools in front of them (Oklahoma and Missouri) and a two-loss Arizona, as their losses came against tougher opponents.
Last Week: L 17-42 at Stanford
This Week: vs. USC
Reason this spot is just right: The Wildcats dropped three spots following their loss to Stanford. They do have an impressive 34-27 victory against Iowa, so their definitely worthy of a spot in the teens.
Reason this spot is wrong: Because they could arguably be dropped down below Mississippi State or moved up ahead of Oklahoma and Missouri.
The Verdict: This is a good spot for Arizona, as they should probably be below Mississippi State but still ahead of Oklahoma. The change would even it out and leave Arizona at No. 18.
Last Week: L 17-24 at Texas Tech
This Week: at Iowa State
Reason this spot is just right: Missouri has dropped from No. 6 in Week 9 all the way down to No. 17 this week after back-to-back losses. Their resume is not exactly stocked with quality wins, so they should be far from the top 7-2 team.
Reason this spot is wrong: If the image of Roy Helu Jr. running for over 300 yards against Missouri is still emblazoned in your mind than chances are you think they should be dropped down even more.
The Verdict: However, they did beat Oklahoma and Texas A&M. They defeated the latter 30-9. This past week Texas A&M defeated Oklahoma 33-19. As Oklahoma's resume isn't any more impressive than Missouri's, a strong argument can be made for Missouri being ahead of Oklahoma.
Last Week: L 19-33 at Texas A&M
This Week: vs. Texas Tech
Reason this spot is just right: Oklahoma has lost to two ranked teams (Nebraska and Texas A&M) and have an nice out-of-conference blowout victory over Florida State.
Reason this spot is wrong: They lost to Missouri, Arizona has a nicer out-of-conference win and Mississippi State probably has a more impressive resume overall.
The Verdict: Oklahoma benefits from having a higher ranking than most other 7-2 teams prior to the start of the season. In reality, the Sooners probably should be ranked lower than 16th.
Last Week: W 41-20 at South Carolina
This Week: vs. UTEP
Reason this spot is just right: Arkansas' two losses have come against top 15 teams, including No. 2 Auburn. They're route of South Carolina on the road is the biggest win of any 7-2 team this past week, so they get the spot ahead of programs like Mississippi State, Arizona, Missouri and Oklahoma.
Reason this spot is wrong: The Razorbacks don't really have another great win to bank on after the South Carolina game.
The Verdict: It's hard to say Mississippi State has done anything less than Arkansas to belong at No. 19, while the Razorbacks sit at No. 15. But their position ahead of the rest of the 7-2 teams is deserved.
Last Week: L 7-47 vs. TCU
This Week: at Notre Dame
Reason this spot is just right: At 8-1, the Utes belong ahead of most 7-2 teams.
Reason this spot is wrong: Just look what the Horned Frogs did to Utah in Utah.
The Verdict: Two questions predominate when considering the case of the Utah Utes: would any of the 7-2 teams behind them let TCU do to them what they did to Utah at home and what have the Utes done different from Nevada to earn a rank seven spots higher? No and nothing. The Utes were overrated in the Week 10 rankings and they're still overrated in the Week 11 rankings.
Last Week: W 18-13 at Indiana
This Week: at Northwestern
Reason this spot is just right: The Hawkeyes have two losses to ranked teams and have defeated Michigan State. They've routinely blown out opponents, including a tough out-of-conference game against Iowa State, and lost their two games by a combined eight points.
Reason this spot is wrong: Because the Big Ten is just a step below the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-10. As such, they might belong below the rest of the 7-2 teams from those conferences.
The Verdict: The big win against a then No. 5 Michigan State has boosted the Hawkeyes over the other 7-2 teams and they have proved to be a very strong squad. The Hawkeyes are in exactly the right spot.
Last Week: L 20-24 at LSU
This Week: vs. Mississippi State
Reason this spot is just right: The loss to LSU was a road-loss against a tough opponent, as was the loss to South Carolina. On top of that, they've defeated two ranked teams, including a win in Arkansas.
Reason this spot is wrong: Because the Crimson Tide are benefiting from starting the year at No. 1. The respect for the defending champions has kept them artificially higher up in the rankings than other 7-2 teams. Does respect from last season earn them that right?
The Verdict: Yes, it kind of does. It also helps that the Crimson Tide are still a supremely talented team that's already beaten one of the other 7-2 teams and would probably be favored at a neutral field over the others.
Last Week: W 31-8 vs. Minnesota
This Week: Open
Reason this spot is just right: The Spartans are on the outside looking in of the top 10 because they started with a lower ranking than fellow Big Ten one-loss teams (Ohio State and Wisconsin) and because the Big Ten is, as already stated, a notch below the SEC, Pac 10 and Big 12. That being said, they are just a one-loss team.
Reason this spot is wrong: Michigan State doesn't have a very impressive resume and lost big to Iowa, who is ranked below them. Would you take Michigan State over Alabama on a neutral field? Didn't think so.
The Verdict: Nonetheless, the Spartans deserve to be ahead of the two-loss teams and one-loss teams like Nevada and Utah. This is a good spot for the Spartans.
Last Week: W 55-28 vs. Baylor
This Week: at Texas
Reason this spot is just right: How 'bout them, Cowboys! You can't say that referencing the Dallas Cowboys, so why not Oklahoma State? They've defeated three ranked or previously ranked opponents and only lost to No. 8 Nebraska.
Reason this spot is wrong: Because Michigan State has just as much right to be in the top 10 as the Cowboys. Because the Cowboys might be better than several other 8-1 teams.
The Verdict: Much like ordering the glut of 7-2 teams from No. 19 to No. 15, ordering the one-loss teams leading up to the top four is exceptionally difficult. Things like preseason ranking play too large a role because it's too difficult to distinguish between the level of difficulty for Oklahoma State's schedule and, say, Stanford's schedule.
Last Week: Open
This Week: vs. Penn State
Reason this spot is just right: The Buckeyes lost their hold of the No. 1 spot after holding it for less than a week when they lost at Wisconsin, 31-18. But other than that, they've been a thoroughly dominant team, probably the best in the Big Ten.
Reason this spot is wrong: Without a head-to-head matchup against Michigan State, how can one really say Ohio State belongs ahead of them? Especially since the Spartans defeated the Badgers, who beat the Buckeyes.
The Verdict: Sure, Ohio State lost to the Badgers, but Ohio State is probably the best team in the Big Ten. They should be a bit higher and probably will be by the end of the season.
Last Week: W 31-30 at Iowa State
This Weeks: vs. Kansas
Reason this spot is just right: The Cornhuskers are the best team in the Big 12. They have a really bad loss to a 4-5 Texas team in Lincoln, but have dominated the opposition every other week.
Reason this spot is wrong: How do you lose to Texas, a team that's lost to teams like Kansas State and Iowa State...teams that your team has beaten!
The Verdict: Nebraska is a great team. But among teams ranked from No. 8 to No. 5, they have the worst loss of every team. Eight is just right for Nebraska.
Last Week: W 34-13 at Purdue
This Week: vs. Indiana
Why this spot is just right: After losing to Michigan State, Wisconsin has handled both of their next closest competition in the Big Ten in back-to-back weeks, defeating Ohio State at home and Iowa on the road. Their 34-13 road win against Purdue is also impressive.
Why this spot is wrong: Their isn't much reason why this spot is wrong, other than the tendency of losses in September and October to mean less in college football than losses in November, hence Wisconsin's ranking over other one-loss Big Ten teams.
The Verdict: The beef with the BCS Rankings are neither here nor there when considering the merits of Wisconsin at No. 7. They belong. If anything, they belong higher in the rankings.
Last Week: W 42-17 vs. Arizona
This Week: at Arizona State
Reason this spot is just right: Stanford has the best NFL quarterback prospect in the nation and its shown in their results. The Cardinals are stomping on every opponent they've faced other than No. 1 Oregon.
Reason this spot is wrong: Because a team like Wisconsin, Ohio State, Nebraska, etc...could give them a run for their money.
The Verdict: Stanford deserves this ranking. They can probably stand toe-to-toe with any team in the country other than Oregon and Auburn.
Last Week: W 24-20 vs. Alabama
This Week: vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Reason this spot is just right: The Tigers might win ugly often, but when your sole loss is to the No. 2 ranked team in the nation and you have a victory against the defending national champions, you're going to be ranked high in the BCS.
Reason this spot is wrong: LSU might deserve to be higher up in the rankings. They are behind Boise State and TCU teams that they run circles around regarding strength of schedule.
The Verdict: LSU just seems to shaky to be any higher than No. 5. They win, and for that they deserve all the praise they'll get. But even with their difficult schedule, they can't be placed above any of the top four and, given their shaky play and lucky bounces, might be overtaken by another one-loss team in the near future.
Last Week: W 42-6 vs. Hawaii
This Week: vs. Fresno State
Why this spot is just right: The Broncos are one of four undefeated teams this season. Therefore, they deserve a spot in the top four.
Why this spot is wrong: Because they should be No. 1. Well, they have an argument for it. Boise State is 34-1 in their last 35 games. Their schedule is also not a complete pushover. They've defeated two ranked teams and have a third game against a ranked team (Nevada) coming up. They also have a win against 7-3 Hawaii, who beat No. 21 Nevada, and a game coming up against 6-2 Fresno State.
The Verdict: That schedule is nowhere near as difficult as say Auburn's schedule. And they haven't been nearly as awe-inspiring as Oregon. But Boise has a certain underdog charisma that makes it difficult to say they don't belong somewhere higher than No. 4.
Last Week: W 47-7 at Utah
This Week: vs. San Diego State
Reason this spot is just right: Because the Horned Frogs have defeated each opponents by an average of 33 points this season, which is almost as dominating as what the Oregon Ducks and Broncos are doing.
Reason this spot is wrong: The Horned Frogs have beaten who? Utah is overrated. Their only common opponent with Boise State is Oregon State, who the Broncos beat by a larger margin.
The Verdict: Honestly, TCU could easily be flipped with Boise State. Neither program can put forth the proper credentials to jump Auburn or Oregon.
Last Week: W 62-24 vs. Chattanooga
This Week: vs. Georgia
Reason this spot is just right: Cameron Newton is the best player in all of college football and the Tigers have run the gauntlet in the SEC to this point, defeating ranked teams such as Mississippi State, South Carolina, Arkansas and LSU.
Reason this spot is wrong: If you're an SEC fan that believes in the superiority of the conference, then maybe the Tigers belong in the No. 1 spot ahead of the Ducks.
The Verdict: While Cameron Newton is anybody in college football this season, the entire Ducks offense is unlike anything in all of college football this season. The Tigers sit at No. 2, waiting to pounce. A victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa might just be enough to leapfrog the Ducks, whose toughest remaining game is against No. 18 Arizona.
Last Week: W 53-16 vs. Washington
This Week: at California
Reason this spot is just right: Oregon has won their games by an average of 37 points. The Ducks are averaging 54.7 points a game. This Ducks offense is historically good.
Reason this spot is wrong: Would this offense be so great if it had to matchup against SEC defenses week in and week out?
The Verdict: Stanford does not have a bad defense and the Ducks dropped 52 points on them. As the most dynamic team in college football, the Ducks get the nod over the team with the most dynamic player.
This all means that the BCS Rankings are foolish. How a computer differentiates between Mississippi State, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa and Alabama, each with a 7-2 record, is befuddling.
How it further differentiates between one-loss teams like Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Stanford and LSU is even more befuddling.
It was mentioned in the introduction and it will be mentioned again, the BCS Rankings are glorified power rankings.
What if the NFL determined the Super Bowl contestants by using a composite of rankings from writers, coaches and some random formula?
The Patriots, Steelers, Colts and whatever team Brett Favre is playing for in any given year of his never-ending career would probably be in the Super Bowl every year.
The BCS Rankings just continue to push down teams like Boise State and TCU because they only serve to benefit the established power structure.
The only fair shot teams like TCU and Boise State have would come from some sort of playoff system.
It would make determining a champion much easier than going through these silly rankings each week.