This is the time of year when the season truly starts. Not just for the players and coaches, for the staffs and trainers, but for the media and prognosticators to begin taking a huge mixture of polls, data, votes and other metrics in order to decide the best college football teams in the country.
Not only are these week-to-week shifts in the NCAA universe good for football, they're good for America. They keep our attention focused, not complacent to say, "Oh, this team's good now, they'll always be good" and the like. Is Boise State truly a top five school, or are we missing something? Kansas State's rise is impressive, but will they be able to sustain under the pressure?
This time of year, polls come in to fill the void between Saturdays, giving us six more whole days of concentrating on the greatest sport ever conceived: amateur college football. There are three major polls to which we pay attention, and they all have minor shifts back and forth depending on teams. Some are higher in one poll, some do better in another.
What ultimately matters are the BCS rankings, released today for the world's dissection.
Here now is a comparison of the BCS and AP polls to the USA Today/Coaches poll. Numbers in parentheses are first-place votes.
No. 1: BCS -- LSU; AP -- LSU (41); Coaches -- Oklahoma (31)
No. 2: BCS -- Alabama; AP -- Alabama (11); Coaches -- LSU (15)
No. 3: BCS -- Oklahoma; AP -- Oklahoma (6); Coaches -- Alabama (12)
No. 4: BCS -- Oklahoma State; AP -- Wisconsin; Coaches -- Wisconsin (1)
Who is the real No. 1 team?
No. 5: BCS -- Boise State; AP -- Boise State (1); Coaches -- Stanford
No. 6: BCS -- Wisconsin; AP -- Oklahoma State; Coaches -- Oklahoma State
No. 7: BCS -- Clemson; AP -- Stanford; Coaches -- Boise State
No. 8: BCS -- Stanford; AP -- Clemson; Coaches -- tie, Clemson, Oregon
No. 9: BCS -- Arkansas; AP -- Oregon
No. 10: BCS -- Oregon; AP -- Arkansas; Coaches -- Arkansas
No. 11: BCS -- Kansas State; AP -- West Virginia; Coaches -- Nebraska
No. 12: BCS -- Virginia Tech; AP -- Kansas State; Coaches -- South Carolina
No. 13: BCS -- Nebraska; AP -- Nebraska; Coaches -- Michigan State
No. 14: BCS -- South Carolina; AP -- South Carolina; Coaches -- tie, West Virginia, Virginia Tech
No. 15: BCS -- West Virginia; AP -- Michigan State
No. 16: BCS -- Michigan State; AP -- Virginia Tech; Coaches -- Kansas State
No. 17: BCS -- Texas A&M; AP -- Texas A&M; Coaches -- Michigan
No. 18: BCS -- Michigan; AP -- Michigan; Coaches -- Texas A&M
No. 19: BCS -- Houston; AP -- Auburn; Coaches -- Georgia Tech
No. 20: BCS -- Auburn; AP -- Georgia Tech; Coaches -- Houston
No. 21: BCS -- Penn State; AP -- Houston; Coaches -- Illinois
No. 22: BCS -- Georgia Tech; AP -- Washington; Coaches -- Penn State
No. 23: BCS -- Illinois; AP -- Illinois; Coaches -- Auburn; Coaches -- Auburn
No. 24: BCS -- Texas; AP -- tie, Georgia, Arizona State; Coaches -- Washington
No. 25: BCS -- Washington; Coaches -- Arizona State