Penn State Blindsided By Latest BCS Rankings

Jonathan SzenicsCorrespondent INovember 2, 2008

Such is probably the look that Joe Paterno currently has on his face right now.  In another crazy season of college football, after Texas Tech beat Texas to knock them out from the top spot in the land, Penn State was supposed to be number two in the country, trailing only Alabama in the standings. 

Surprise, surprise though, the computers got it wrong again.  Yes, Texas Tech, they beat a Texas team that was almost the definition of perfection in the standings.  They deserved to move up.  Did they deserve to overtake a handful of teams though, including another undefeated team, in Penn State? 

Some people would say yes, but they are wrong.  Penn State had the misfortune of being idle this week.  That is the only reason that they are still stuck at number three in the country, and by the computers as well, mainly.  If they simply played this week, even if it was against a terrible team that they ended up beating 77-0, more than likely, they would have been moved up to number two in the country, giving them a coveted spot in the national title game if the season ended today. 

We all know how the computers love blowouts.  We all know how the computers love point differentials.  We all know how the computers, for lack of a better explanation, do not actually determine the right teams to play for the national title 99 out of 100 times.  This is yet another shining example of the compters getting it wrong. 

Yes, the Big Ten is not as strong as it has been in the past, and the Big 12 is almost murder to play in weekly.  Texas though, while they are a great team, were not an all-time great team as some people were starting to suggest.  They barely beat Oklahoma, Oklahoma State sent them one huge scare, and they lost to Texas Tech, a team that does nothing but pass mainly, can barely kick an extra point, and cannot stop anybody on defense. 

Penn State beat Ohio State, always the darling of the BCS computers, last weekend, which is no small feat, and they were hardly challenged up to this game as well.  Texas Tech had some tough games, but they were in the same position.  Both teams have both won one very tough game, and because Texas Tech simply played this past Saturday, they got to take a forklift up to number two in the BCS standings. 

Simply put, Penn State is suffering because of the beatings that their conference counterpart, Ohio State, has taken in their last two BCS title game appearances.  If Ohio State simply lost by closer margins, the Big Ten would not be viewed as a "big joke" right now, and their conference would be looked upon much better by the computers. 

For now though, because of reasons out of their control, Penn State is stuck at number three in the standings.  If the season ended today, yet again, the action would not all be left on the field, and Penn State would be left out of the BCS title game, while, all along, probably being a better opponent for Alabama at this point.