College Football Rankings: 7 Ways the Polls Got It Wrong Again

Ryan KennedyAnalyst IISeptember 6, 2011

College Football Rankings: 7 Ways the Polls Got It Wrong Again

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    Every year, every week even, the college football polls have something wrong. No matter the AP, USA Today or BCS, it's always wrong.

    That's part of the beauty of college football. It's ranked on perception. It is all qualitative. Until two teams play each other, there truly is no 100 percent way to know who is better (all right, Oklahoma is definitely better than Duke).

    This is the first poll released by the AP after games have been played. These are the seven biggest gripes I have with the poll.

Notre Dame Received 22 Points Too Many

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    Five turnovers.

    That about sums up the Irish's weekend. Some of the will be blamed on the weather, but South Florida played in the same stuff and dealt with it.

    Brian Kelly's squad just played poorly. The Irish never capitalized on their red zone opportunities fumbling three times. It doesn't help when you blow your opening drive to allow a 96-yard fumble return.

    Maybe those who voted for Notre Dame, were voting for the team led by Tommy Rees and not the one led by Dayne Crist. Maybe they are just hoping that by voting for the Irish, it will gain them some points in the afterlife.

TCU Is Still Ranked

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    There is apparently a quota of non-AQ teams that need to be ranked.

    TCU got beat by a second-tier Big 12 team. For a team known for it's defense, how is giving up 50 points acceptable without your starting defense being brought to the wrong stadium or being kidnapped?

    The TCU Horned Frogs are inexperienced. Their defense showed it.

    The offense on the other hand was terrific. They made a valiant effort at the end of the game to make it close, but those were garbage time points. The 50-48 beat down they received looked close because Baylor was inexperienced, as well and thought they had it in the bag after heading into the fourth quarter up 47-23.

    Air Force should beat TCU this week and then Air Force can take the coveted second non-AQ spot.

Baylor Is the Highest Rated Team That Was Previously Unranked

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    Robert Griffin III (RG3) was terrific and made me think of Cam Newton. Actually, Baylor reminds be of Auburn. A lot.

    But before we plan a national championship celebration in Waco, Texas, we need to step back a minute and examine if we are overrating this team, after underrating them.

    South Florida beat No. 16 Notre South Bend. That isn't to say that weather and luck didn't help the Bulls, but they played a more experienced team. TCU had 11 new starters and six freshmen starting. Baylor beat a higher ranked opponent but only because the preseason poll was wrong.

    South Florida beat the better team, the polls should reflect that.

Oregon Fell to No. 13

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    The Oregon Ducks lost to a team that looked like a national champion, in LSU,  despite not having their starting quarterback, Jordan Jefferson.

    The Ducks falling is not the part I take exception with, it's that they are behind Virginia Tech and South Carolina.

    Both teams won in commanding fashion, so this is not holding anything against them. Neither team exactly played a powerhouse though. Virginia Tech played Appalachain State from the FCS, also known at Division 1-AA as I like to call it, and South Carolina played East Carolina and didn't exactly blow the roof off.

    The Ducks played a tough team, on the road, to open the season. They took a chance. They should not be punished for it.

Virginia Tech Jumped Two Spots

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    The key to getting to a BCS birth is clear to me now. Fill up your non-conference schedule with joke teams and then pray you draw some easy conference matchups.

    How do you gain in the polls when you play a team that is not even in the same sub-division?

    I could understand jumping a team if you broke some scoring record by putting up 200 on a team, but to let them score means you are not as good as you think you are.

    Triple-A teams don't beat the New York Yankees. The Los Angeles Lakers don't lose to teams from the D-Leauge. The NFL doesn't even acknowledge the UFL.

    Why would you cheapen a season by playing inferior opponents? To be the best, you have to beat the best. Isn't that what we are taught?

Boise State Is No. 4

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    No offense to Oklahoma or Alabama, but only two teams in the Top Five seem to take the first week seriously. Boise State and LSU played real college football teams.

    Kent State and Tulsa were at least FBS (Division 1) teams. Teams should be rewarded for playing tough teams and winning those match ups. Cupcake wins should not be celebrated.

    The polls should be more fluid at the beginning of the season. Teams that show they belong, even if they are ranked highly already, should move up if they have a truly impressive win. Boise State had an impressive win.

    They should be rewarded for it.

LSU Is Not No.1

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    I get the mantra that until you lose, you stay No. 1.

    This is one of those exceptions. Oklahoma, in all it's glory, beat on Tulsa. Not exactly a heavyweight match up. LSU beat the National Champion runner-up. Decidedly.

    Les Miles and the Tigers exploded from halftime to take a commanding lead. Showing that his team has what it takes to play the big boys and make adjustments. Oregon never had a chance to recover.

    The LSU defense was dominant, forcing three fumbles and recovering all of them. That defense will be tough to overcome in the SEC.

    The Tigers were unjustly kept out of the No. 1 spot because no one wants to be booted from the No. 1 spot when it is there turn at the top, and they don't lose. Sometimes, it is best to break from tradition.