New week, same old controversy. That’s what you usually get out of a fresh batch of new Bowl Championship Series rankings. While there’s not much controversy at the top of this week’s BCS rankings, there are some rankings that have me scratching my head.
For instance, how is Wisconsin now ranked behind Nebraska, especially considering that they already beat them handily this season? That’s not the only ranking that’s baffling me. Here are five rankings that could be considered discredited.
Wisconsin slammed Nebraska, 48-17, a few weeks ago, yet in the latest BCS rankings, the Badgers sit one spot behind the Cornhuskers. Common sense indicates that Wisconsin is the better team, since they already proved that on the field.
The computers obviously see it differently. What’s the reasoning behind this? Well, considering that a computer is deciding the fate of human beings who battle it out on the gridiron, there may not be a whole lot of reasoning in this entire picture.
While the rankings can be unpredictable at times, one consistency from the system over the years is its tendency to punish teams immediately after a loss. Wisconsin suffered its first loss, Hail Mary style, to Michigan State on Saturday night, and it was little surprise that they plummeted to where they are in this week’s rankings. Fair or not, they’re now ranked behind a team they easily beat in Nebraska. It makes me wonder: Did Tom Osborne pay off the computer?
Much like Wisconsin fell out of the national title picture, Oklahoma suffered a free fall of its own after being upset 41-38 by ultra-cool Seth Doege and the Texas Tech Red Raiders late Saturday night in Norman. With the loss, the Sooners fell from third to an ugly ninth in the latest BCS standings.
That ranking is justified, although I’m left slightly scratching my head at why Boomer Sooner is one spot behind Kansas State. On the surface, it makes sense.
After the loss, Oklahoma predictably suffered an immediate degrading in the rankings. Kansas State is still undefeated after its 59-21 rout of in-state rival Kansas. So naturally, an undefeated team should get the benefit of the doubt over a one-loss squad.
However, I’m still not buying into the Wildcats as a truly dominant team, and I’m definitely not buying into them being better than the Sooners. I guess we’ll find out who is truly the better team this weekend, as Kansas State and Oklahoma square off in Manhattan.
Despite being at a two-game disadvantage in the loss column, the Texas A&M Aggies are a spot ahead of the unbeaten Houston Cougars in this week’s BCS standings. The reason for this seems pretty simple.
Although the Cougars are currently unbeaten, they’ve feasted on meager competition throughout the season. That’s true, but the Aggies haven’t necessarily had the toughest of schedules (although the Texas Tech victory gains credibility after they beat Oklahoma). Arguably its most-impressive victory was over a SMU team that scored only three points in its most recent loss to Southern Miss.
As the season progresses, the rankings will even themselves out one way or another. Either Houston will remain undefeated and vault ahead of the Aggies, or the Aggies will run the table and stay on top of the Cougars.
I just find it a bit odd to see an undefeated team stuck behind someone already with two losses.
The Red Raiders have had a couple of excruciating losses so far this season. Luckily for them, those losses were offset by one pretty monumental victory this past weekend. Despite being nearly a 30-point underdog, the Raiders marched into Norman to hand the Sooners its first home loss in 39 games with a stunning 41-38 win over previously unbeaten Oklahoma.
Meanwhile, Penn State is ranked a spot ahead of Texas Tech mainly for the fact that they’ve only suffered one loss so far, and that was to mighty Alabama. The Crimson Tide has steamrolled the competition in preparation for its epic showdown with LSU on Nov. 5.
The Nittany Lions should be commended for playing such a powerful foe non-conference. Outside of that, though, their schedule hasn’t been extremely difficult, and I just don’t know if they would hypothetically have the moxie—or offense—required to knock off the nation’s third-ranked team on the road.
The Raiders, on the other hand, just proved they do, and for that alone, they deserve the higher ranking.
Forgive me for picking on the little guy here. Although it’s a minor gripe, I’m a bit puzzled as to why the Broncos are ranked ahead of both Clemson and Stanford. I would’ve had no gripe with this had Boise State blown away Air Force at home over the weekend.
That, however, didn’t happen, as the Broncos uncharacteristically struggled to put away an inferior opponent on the blue turf, only beating the Falcons and their pesky triple-option attack by a close 37-26 score. To make matters worse for Boise State, Clemson and Stanford both looked awfully good over the weekend.
Tajh Boyd and the Tigers put up 59 points against a respectable North Carolina team, while Stanford proved they’re much more than Andrew Luck, as they pounded a ranked Washington team for over 400 rushing yards in a laughable 65-21 beatdown.
Since both Clemson and Stanford play in major conferences, Boise State is going to have to get back to annihilating their opponents—and quickly. Because if they don’t, it’s only a matter of time before one of these two more-deserving teams leapfrog their way past the Broncos.