Poll Dancing: Week Seven

(This is a guest series by MotSaG reader Jason Nafziger. He’ll be taking a weekly look at the college football polls and pointing out the absurd, the laughable and the head scratchers. Please note that Jason is not talking about the BlogPoll. Or my ballot to the BlogPoll.)

Now it’s time to get down to business. We are at the halfway point in the season and the initial BCS standings are out and they do not disappoint! By which I mean that they are awful, a mockery of justice and common sense.

1. Oklahoma

Despite sitting at #3 and #4 in the two human polls that make up a large portion of the standings, the Sooners find themselves poised to lose yet another BCS Championship Game. Their resume includes a convincing 30-point win over #17 Florida State, an 8-point victory against #19 Texas and several close calls against the likes of Utah State (7 points, USU is 2-4), Air Force (3 points, 5-2), and Cincinnati (2 points, 3-3). They face #11 Missouri this Saturday. At night. On the road. Can you feel it?

2. Oregon

The Ducks are an offensive machine, still keeping up an amazing pace of 0.9 points per minute. If they continue at this rate, they’ll waddle out of their bowl game with over 700 points. No, their defense is not great, and they haven’t played many impressive teams. Still, they are easily a top 5 team at this point. Unless you’re a BCS computer, that is. Only one number-cruncher has the Ducks ranked higher than #7.

3. Boise State

Boise State continues to coast on their “ impressive” wins over Virginia Tech (5-2) and Oregon State (3-3). Their last three opponents have a combined 6 wins so far this year, and there doesn’t appear to be a serious threat left on the schedule (although a loss at Nevada isn’t out of the question). The Broncos are going to need help to get to the title game, probably in the form of fewer than 2 undefeated BCS conference teams. Don’t count them out.

4. Auburn

The Tigers teamed up with Arkansas last week to steal all the points from all the other SEC games. The problem is, that shootout against a team that was missing its gunslinger for the majority of it is Auburn’s best win of the year. This team is highly suspect with 3-point wins against Mississippi State, Clemson (in OT), and Kentucky.

5. TCU

Another mid-major with a thin schedule, TCU rounds out the top 5 with just a 9-point win over Oregon State propping them up. The Frogs’ other 6 opponents have won an average of 3 games apiece, and that includes Tennessee Tech, a team that may not actually exist.

6. LSU
7. Michigan State
8. Alabama

Apparently, Nick Saban’s contract with the devil still applies even when he leaves a school.

9. Utah
10. Ohio State

I don’t like the look of that at all. Here’s hoping the Buckeyes rage against the rest of the Big Ten and storm back up the standings. There’s not a team above us that can’t be had.

The Breakdown (full Top 25): 24% SEC, 24% Big 12, 16% Big Ten, 12% Pac-10, 12% mid-major, 8% ACC, 4% Big East.


  1. Y’know, I’m happy to see a defense play lights out (particularly when it’s OSU’s) but that Auburn-Arkansas game was stellar. It almost makes me wish ALL football games could be like that. I was hoping one of them would break 100.

  2. Points are exciting, there’s no arguing with that. I am concerned that more and more, scoring a bunch of points is all it takes to get a high ranking these days.

    Consider this: 7 teams are currently averaging 40+ points a game. All 7 are in the AP Top 20, and 5 are in the top 10. Average Ranking: 7

    Meanwhile, 8 teams are giving up fewer than 14 points a game. 7 of them are in the AP Top 20, and 3 are in the top 10 (although two of those – Boise and TCU – are also on the offensive list). Average Ranking: 11 (not including unranked UCF, who received no votes in the poll)

    While that may not seem like a huge difference, it’s enough to keep a team out of the title game. Clearly a prolific offense is more highly valued than a dominant defense.

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