It's that time again. Get your gear on, paint your faces, and prick your skin so we all know what colors you bleed. We're going to war.
Ready? Set? Argue.
The polls that you see every Sunday morning are pointless. Look at them. Find your team. Cry about why they're not ranked higher. Move on.
Here are the things that you need to know:
1. All polls are wrong. They doll out a list of 25 teams ranked solely because about 100 people said so. The influence that biased writers and subjective coaches have on these lists is unimaginable. Can any one of those teams beat the other on any given day? Absolutely.
2. All polls are right. To a degree. Unfortunately, the chances of 100% accuracy are non-existent. However, it's nice to know that Ball State can be on the same list as Alabama—even though there's reason to believe that the Cardinals might get swallowed by the Crimson Tide. But I wouldn't know who would be the underdog if it wasn't for the little numbers next to their names.
3. No poll likes the little guy. Even though teams like Ball State and Boise State crack the top lists, there's a wink and a nudge at the thought that it's really and truly all about the BCS conferences. At last check, the Pac-10 and Big East are BCS conferences and the Mountain West and WAC are not. Is it bad that in a head-to-head battle royal, those non-BCS conferences would most likely produce more winners?
4. The polls don't matter. At least right now. Georgia was ranked No. 1 coming into the season, won three straight games, and fell to No. 3. Remember, it's not all about where teams are ranked by humans. Computers end-up making the final decision on who plays in what bowl game.
While the AP poll and USA Today poll get some mention in those outcomes, their influence is, at day's end, somewhat negligible. Besides, we all know that Texas has to play Missouri and Oklahoma; and LSU has to play Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. The whole top 10 will explode in the weeks to come.
5. The polls do matter. See above. What? We all need something to argue about. Honestly, Alabama looked like the No. 1 team in the nation—at least for four hours—on Saturday night. But Oklahoma, who beat TCU came away with the top spot.
And really, that's only because pollsters couldn't bring themselves to vault a once No. 8 team, Alabama, who beat a once No. 3 team, Georgia, into the top spot over a team like previously ranked No. 2 Oklahoma, who beat a once ranked No. 24 TCU team...Or wait, isn't that why the polls don't matter?
6. The SEC needs to shut up. Alright, guys, we get it. You've got a great conference full of ridiculous talent, amazing teams, astonishing stadiums, coaching legends, rabid fans, and more barbecue grills than the Bush administration has screw-ups. But, a loss is a loss is a loss. An SEC conference loss shouldn't get more credence than a Pac-10 loss, unless it's to any team that plays in the state of Washington. Having a stranglehold on America's ketchup supply does not give you the leeway to suggest that a 10-1 SEC team is any better than a 10-1 Pac-10 team.
7. The SEC can run its mouth all it wants. If you haven't noticed, that conference is, for lack of a better term, extraordinarily prodigious. It's next to impossible to win a road game within the SEC—unless the other team is dressed for their own funeral. Honestly, even Vanderbilt is a good football team. That'd be like saying Stanford is competitive.
8. I'm slightly out of my mind. It would be tough not to notice the verity of that statement.
So, whether you're one of 93,000 people who attended a funeral in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday night, or you're a Pac-10 apologist who still believes that USC really is the best team in the nation (see number eight), the moral of the story is to let the season play itself out.
Where your team sits in a poll is irrelevant right now. What really matters the most is trying to get the South to send some ketchup to rest of the nation—there's a lot of great college football left to be played and my burgers are crying for some sauce.