BCS Rankings 2011: Grading Each Spot in the Top 25

Craig WilliamsContributor IIIOctober 17, 2011

BCS Rankings 2011: Grading Each Spot in the Top 25

0 of 25

    The BCS has spoken.

    Bow down to the almighty computer.

    College football fans from coast to coast are all abuzz as they search the list of the BCS Top 25 to see where their team fits.

    Sometimes the computers get it wrong; fans will say when their team gets a computerized shaft.

    Sometimes the computers seem alarmingly human in the process of imperfectly selecting the cream of the college football crop.

    In most of my test-taking experience, it has been a computer that generated a grade for my performance.

    Tonight, though, I will be grading the computer's performance.

    Did the BCS get this week's rankings right? Does the BCS pass the test?

LSU

1 of 25

    Grade: A+

    LSU is undefeated. The Tigers have played more difficult competition than any other undefeated team.

    Score, artificial intelligence. Score!

Alabama

2 of 25

    Grade: A+

    The Crimson Tide are right where they belong in this first BCS poll of 2011.

    At this point, Alabama can claim the No. 1 spot in the poll only by defeating LSU on Nov. 5.

    That is, if LSU doesn't get caught looking past Auburn.

Oklahoma

3 of 25

    Grade: A-

    Oklahoma is almost exactly where it should be in this week's poll.

    The Sooners appear as talented as 'Bama or LSU. However, strength of schedule is in the SEC teams' favor.

Oklahoma State

4 of 25

    Grade: B

    Oklahoma State is a little too high in this poll—but not by much.

    The Cowboys can get some major BCS love if they are able to beat Oklahoma on Dec. 3.

    Will OSU still be undefeated going into that game?

Boise State

5 of 25

    Grade: B

    Boise State is also a little too high in this week's poll—but not by much.

    Wisconsin and Clemson both deserve a higher placement than the Broncos. They have faced stronger schedules and also are undefeated.

Wisconsin

6 of 25

    Grade: A-

    Wisconsin should be one spot higher in the poll. The computers came so close!

    A lot of people are arguing that the Badgers are getting overlooked and should be taken more seriously.

    The good news, Wisconsin?

    Most of the teams above you are going to lose a game this season.

Clemson

7 of 25

    Grade: D

    Why is Clemson rated among the lowest of all unbeaten teams?

    The Tigers have beaten Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech on their way to an undefeated record. Not many of the teams above them can brag of surviving that kind of schedule.

    AP and coaches' polls have Clemson at No. 8. Maybe the humans should pay closer attention to Clemson so that the computers can follow suit.

Stanford

8 of 25

    Grade: A+

    Stanford is placed right where the Cardinal belong by the BCS.

    Sure, they haven't lost a game yet, but what have they proven by beating the likes of San Jose State, Duke and Colorado?

    Not much.

Arkansas

9 of 25

    Grade: A

    No. 9 is just about the perfect ranking for Arkansas. Of all the one-loss teams in college football, the Razorbacks have the strongest résumé.


Oregon

10 of 25

    Grade: C

    Oregon is overrated.

    A rank that is too high in both the AP and coaches' polls is reflected in the first BCS rankings this week.

Kansas State

11 of 25

    Grade: B

    Good that Kansas State is finally getting some love for its undefeated campaign, but...

    The Wildcats aren't getting enough love.

    The BCS should respect the zero in the loss column to rate KSU higher than one-loss Arkansas or Oregon.

Virginia Tech

12 of 25

    Grade: D

    Virginia Tech's ranking is inflated.

    This is a prime example of how preseason polls ruin the accuracy of the ranking system throughout the entirety of the college football season.

    One-loss teams Nebraska and South Carolina have put together more impressive seasons than the Hokies but still are ranked lower. 

Nebraska

13 of 25

    Grade: B

    Nebraska comes in at unlucky No. 13.

    With only one loss at Wisconsin, it should be ranked a little higher, perhaps No. 10 or No. 11.

South Carolina

14 of 25

    Grade: A

    The Cockpit loves the BCS.

    At No.14, the computers got this one just right.

West Virginia

15 of 25

    Grade: F

    The first problem is that West Virginia still is ranked No. 11 in the AP poll, influencing the BCS ranking.

    Are you all watching the same season we are?

    At least the BCS brought the Mountaineers down to size a little bit—just not enough.

Michigan State

16 of 25

    Grade: B

    Michigan State should be ranked a couple slots higher. Sparty is for real and has proven it against rough competition.

Texas A&M

17 of 25

    Grade: A+

    Perfect.

    Good job, BCS.

    This is right where the Aggies belong.

Michigan

18 of 25

    Grade: F

    Michigan belongs higher in the poll than No. 18.

    I know the Wolverines didn't look spectacular in their loss against Michigan State. Prior to that loss, though, Michigan won impressively.

    The Wolverines will rise quickly up the polls these next two weeks with wins over Purdue and Iowa.

Houston

19 of 25

    Grade: A

    Undefeated Houston would like us to believe it is on par with undefeated Oklahoma and/or Boise State.

    Houston, we have a problem believing you.

    The Cougars' schedule just does not compare to those of the other undefeated teams.

Auburn

20 of 25

    Grade: A

    Spot-on, pollsters.

    Now enjoy your Top 25 ranking while you can, Auburn.

    You have a date with LSU coming up.

Penn State

21 of 25

    Grade: B

    Penn State may not be ranked by the AP yet, but it does belong in this poll.

    No. 23 or No. 24 would be a better fit for the Nittany Lions.

    Wins over Iowa and Purdue are nothing to scoff at; neither is a respectable loss to Alabama.

Georgia Tech

22 of 25

    Grade: B

    Georgia Tech is slightly overrated in this poll.

    Blame the humans. The AP and coaches have Georgia Tech too high.

    The No. 22 BCS ranking accurately shows that the Yellow Jackets' performance this season should place them a bit further down in those two polls.

Illinois

23 of 25

    Grade: C

    Illinois doesn't belong in the Top 25.

    Who will catch on to this fact first, the computers or the humans?

Texas

24 of 25

    Grade: F

    Two-loss Texas doesn't belong in the Top 25 right now. So says the state of Oklahoma.

    The Longhorns are likely to crawl their way back up, but Georgia, Notre Dame and even Arizona State are more deserving in this spot.

Washington

25 of 25

    Grade: F

    Washington belongs in the Top 25, but the Huskies deserve a higher ranking.

    This team has only one loss against a strong Nebraska team—and wins over Utah, California and Hawaii are solid, quality wins.

    Show the Huskies some love, Mr. BCS.