It's not so much that the end of the poll is a mess, it's more that ALL of the teams toward the bottom have one or more WTF losses that make you want to say "wow team X SUCKS".
fair point that
|Last week's ballot|
I'm pretty comfortable with the moves during the top. Texas got a new marquee win, and Iowa was far less impressive against Indiana than the final score indicated. It also seems pretty likely that Iowa is going to grab Stanziball from the jaws of victory at some point this year.
I think Oregon ahead of Boise State is justifiable, despite the head-to-head result. The Ducks have beaten USC, Utah, Cal, and a couple other teams that are looking pretty strong. The only good win for Boise is Oregon, and if you're looking to be highly-ranked coming from a weak conference, it's probably a better idea to not schedule awful 1-AA teams.
TCU and LSU drop primarily because of the Oregon victory, and the boost it gave both the Ducks and Broncos. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory, but the end of the poll, as usual is a mess.
Resumes after the jump
|1||Alabama||34-24 VT||20-6 So Carolina||22-3 Ole Miss||35-7 Arkansas||38-20 Kentucky||12-10 Tennessee||40-14 Florida Int||53-7 N Texas|
|2||Texas||41-14 Oklahoma St||41-7 Missouri||34-24 Texas Tech||16-13 Oklahoma||38-14 Colorado||59-20 Monroe||41-10 Wyoming||64-7 UTEP|
|3||Florida||13-3 LSU||41-17 Georgia||41-7 Kentucky||23-13 Tennessee||23-20 Arkansas||29-19 Miss St.||56-6 Troy||62-3 Charleston|
|4||Iowa||21-10 PSU||20-10 Wisconsin||27-17 Arizona||30-28 Michigan||15-13 Michigan St||35-3 Iowa State||42-24 Indiana||24-21 Arkansas St||17-16 N Iowa|
|5||Cincinnati||34-17 South Florida||47-15 Rutgers||28-18 Oregon State||41-10 Louisville||28-7 Syracuse||28-20 Fresno State||37-13 Miami OH||70-3 SEMO|
|6||Oregon||47-20 USC||43-19 Washington||31-24 Utah||42-3 Cal||24-10 UCLA||52-6 Wash St||38-36 Purdue||8-19 Boise|
|7||Boise State||19-8 Oregon||28-21 Tulsa||51-34 Fresno||45-7 San Jose St||54-9 Hawaii||49-14 BGSU||48-0 Miami OH||34-16 UC Davis|
|8||TCU||38-7 BYU||14-10 Clemson||30-14 UVA||44-6 Colo St||41-0 UNLV||20-17 Airforce||39-14 SMU||56-21 Texas State|
|9||LSU||31-10 Auburn||20-13 Georgia||31-23 Washington||30-26 Miss State||23-9 Vandy||42-0 Tulane||31-3 UL Lafayette||3-13 Florida|
|10||Georgia Tech||28-23 Va Tech||24-7 No Carolina||42-31 Miss St||30-27 Clemson||34-9 UVa||56-31 Vandy||49-44 Florida St||37-17 Jax State||17-33 Miami FL|
|11||Houston||45-35 Oklahoma St||29-28 Texas Tech||31-24 Miss St||44-16 Tulane||50-43 USM||38-15 SMU||55-7 NW St||41-58 UTEP|
|12||Penn State||35-10 Michigan||20-0 Minnesota||35-17 Illinois||34-13 Northwestern||28-7 Syracuse||31-6 Temple||31-7 Akron||52-3 Eastern Ill||10-21 Iowa|
|13||USC||30-3 California||18-15 Ohio State||34-27 Notre Dame||42-36 Oregon St||56-3 SJSU||27-6 Wazzou||13-16 Washington||20-47 Oregon|
|14||Pittsburgh||41-14 South Fla||24-17 Rutgers||24-21 UConn||35-10 Louisville||54-27 Buffalo||24-17 Navy||38-3 Youngstown||31-38 NC State|
|15||Notre Dame||35-0 Nevada||37-30 Washington||33-30 Michigan St||20-16 BC||40-14 Wash St||24-21 Purdue||27-34 USC||34-38 Michigan|
|16||Ohio State||31-13 Wisconsin||38-7 Minnesota||30-0 Illinois||33-14 Indiana||38-0 Toledo||45-0 N Mexico St||31-27 Navy||15-18 USC||18-26 Purdue|
|17||Oklahoma State||33-17 Missouri||24-10 Georgia||36-31 Texas A&M||34-7 Baylor||41-24 Rice||56-6 Grambling||35-45 Houston||14-41 Texas|
|18||Virginia Tech||31-7 Miami||48-14 BC||16-15 Nebraska||34-26 Duke||52-10 Marshall||24-34 Alabama||23-28 Ga Tech||17-20 UNC|
|19||Arizona||43-38 Stanford||37-32 Oregon St||27-13 UCLA||19-6 Central Mich||34-17 Northern Ariz||17-27 Iowa||33-36 Washington|
|20||Miami (FL)||34-17 Ga Tech||21-20 Oklahoma||38-34 Florida State||28-27 Wake Forest||27-7 UCF||48-16 FAMU||7-31 Virginia Tech||37-40 Clemson|
|21||Wisconsin||38-30 Mich State||37-0 Purdue||31-28 Minnesota||34-31 OT Fresno||28-20 NIU||44-14 Wofford||10-20 Iowa||13-31 Ohio State|
|22||Cal||45-26 UCLA||35-21 Minnesota||23-21 Arizona St||52-13 Maryland||49-17 Wash St||59-7 E Washington||3-42 Oregon||3-30 USC|
|23||Utah||23-16 Air Force||24-17 Colorado St||30-14 Louisville||24-14 SJSU||22-10 Wyoming||35-15 UNLV||35-17 Utah St||24-31 Oregon|
|24||Auburn||41-30 West Virginia||33-20 Ole MIss||26-22 Tennessee||49-24 Miss State||37-13 La Tech||54-30 Ball State||10-31 LSU||23-44 Arkansas||14-21 Kentucky|
|25||Texas Tech||31-10 Nebraska||66-14 Kansas St||42-21 Kansas||48-28 New Mexico||55-10 Rice||38-13 No Dakota||24-34 Texas||28-29 Houston||30-52 Texas A&M|
It's not so much that the end of the poll is a mess, it's more that ALL of the teams toward the bottom have one or more WTF losses that make you want to say "wow team X SUCKS".
Could it be that Boise State schedules creampuff I-AAs not because they want to pad stats, but because I-A teams don't want to risk the loss damaging their conference so deny their attempts to schedule?
I know that Boise tried to schedule M next year on their open date, but M wouldn't give Boise a home at home so they refused (and we got UCONN, etc, etc.) or at least that's the grist from the rumor mill (I'm not an insider, I obviously don't know more than anyone else). Also, this is not really that big of a deal, but UC Davis is actually a pretty good I-AA team, just for the record. They should have won @Wisconsin last regular season game of 2008 except for a missed extra point.
Also, it seems like no one wants to consider the distinct possibility that instead of Boise getting "lucky" or "catching Oregon on a bad day" that Boise was simply the best team the Ducks have played all year. Personnel-wise, the ducks actually have fewer weapons today than they did against BSU and BSU still held them to fewer yards than USC gave up in 1/2 of the first quarter. IMO, this is indicative of a superior team. All that being said, I understand Tim's rationale, but I just can't get over how thoroughly Boise dominated Oregon to open the season. I know, I know "one win does not a season make," but I guess my opinion is that one win does a season make against that particular opponent when you haven't lost since.
The good news is that the only way this discussion matters is if Oregon is the one loss team that gets to play for the national championship and I don't think that is very likely.
TCU not only has a better body of work to date, but they also still play Utah. If they win that game, against a team that has only lost to Oregon in Eugene so far, then their body of work looks significantly better. I don't buy Boise St.'s excuse that they can't schedule better teams. BYU managed to get Oklahoma and Florida St. to play them. TCU played Oklahoma last year. This year they played at Virginia and at Clemson. I respect Boise St., but there is a point where schools need to realize that a cupcake schedule is not acceptable if you want to be a BCS contender, especially when it comes at the expense of a team that did everything right by playing a difficult schedule.
I'm not arguing that TCU shouldn't go over Boise, just that Boise should be over Oregon. Your points on TCU are well taken and I think there is a strong argument for ranking TCU over Boise, especially since TCU beasted all over what basically amounts to this exact same team last year in the Poinsettia Bowl.
That Michigan/Boise thing is not accurate. They offered a roadtrip-only to teams, and ended up getting Virginia Tech (in Virginia) with no promise of a return game.
If you're actually trying to claim that NO 1-A team would play Boise... I just don't know what to tell you. There are options better than UC Davis out there.
I feel like TCU's resume is slightly stronger than Boise. Oregon is a better win than BYU, but I feel like the next couple head to head all favor TCU.
How much does one win carry a team?
VT is now looking like a not so good team. I think that, along with Alabama's other struggles, puts them below Texas.
While I agree that Oregon certainly has more big wins then Boise State. You should remember just how dominant Boise State was in that game. Boise State held Oregon to 152 yards total offense. In the weeks since, Oregon's next lowest total is 303 yards of offense against UCLA, the only game that they did not double their total yardage against Boise State (falling short by one). Furthermore, Boise State gained 361 yards of offense (only Washington has done better in that regard, gaining 395 while being blown out 43-19, which allowed Oregon to play their subs in the fourth quarter).
The final score of the Boise State game is misleading. Boise's final score of 19 was held back by two unusual missed field goals (including one botched snap), a missed two point conversion, and several turnovers deep in Oregon territory. Even so, Boise still managed to notch a two score win.
Boise State completely and absolutely dominated Oregon. As such, I think it is unfair to move Oregon above Boise State unless Boise State actually loses a game.
because I was starting to think I was the only one willing to argue this point.
One game does not a season make. I can hardly even say the Ducks of week 1 are the same team of the Ducks in week 9. Oregon has defeated two teams that were in the top 10 when they played in Cal and USC. They absolutely tore them to pieces. They also beat the #18 team in the nation. (Those teams are now #12, #14, and #20 in the BCS)
Boise State struggled to beat Tulsa, and the Broncos weren't dominate over Fresno State.
As such, I think it is unfair to keep Oregon behind Boise State when they have dominated two top teams and another top 25 team while Boise State has one game in the first week of the season as it's sole quality victory.
is so weak. They're the same team, ironically minus a few key pieces (most notably a pre-season heisman contender), that Boise State shut down. Losing starters is never a good thing (maybe you haven't been watching Michigan this year?) and, I know this is difficult to believe, it is actually MORE difficult to win games when entrenched starters are kicked off the team or go down due to injury.
For the record, I have no problem with the argument that Oregon has a better resume than Boise (although I disagree with that line of thinking because of the hellacious ass whipping Boise put on them), but the idea that teams somehow morph over the season into another, better team is just crap (excepting, of course, instances where injuries change the actual makeup of the team for the worse).
This exact same team, ironically plus a few starters, was steamrolled by Boise. Equivocating about "development" does not change that.
They are a different team, they were 0-1. Now they are 7-1. Yeah, that's my weak attempt to get around my weak argument re:development. So yeah, I agree, I probably should have skipped that part.
I appreciate your willingness to reconsider that part of your argument. As I said before, the overall resume argument has merit and I think you made a good point re: that.
Boise State might not have dominated every weak opponent on their schedule, but pretty much every team does this at some point. A number of BCS teams (*cough* Florida *cough*) have recognized that an off game will often happen against a weak FBS team, and decided to schedule a number of FCS games so that they don't have letdowns.
Bottom line: Boise State beat Oregon in dominating fashion, outgaining them 361-152. This was an Oregon team playing with their first string running back. Not one Oregon offensive player was able to have any kind of success against the Boise State defense. This isn't the '06 Boise State team that went undefeated by winning a wild shootout against Oklahoma. This is a rock solid team that absolutely eviscerated what is arguably the best offense in the country. Unless Boise State actually loses a game, there is no way one can justify ranking Oregon* above them.
*And looking at the other one loss teams, none of them have a resume worthy of putting them above Boise State either. Same goes for a one-loss Texas, Iowa, Cincinnati, or TCU. I'd also have problems ranking the SEC runner-up above them if by some miracle, there is only one undefeated team in addition to Boise at the end of the year. I would be amenable to a one-loss LSU over Boise if they beat Alabama though.
Sorry, you don't get a "do-over". Every game matters. Oregon had their chance to prove they belong ahead of Boise State. They failed. Until the Broncos give us a reason to re-evaluate that (i.e. they lose), to put Oregon ahead is to completely ignore what actually happened in favor of "what we all know would happen".
If Oregon is voted ahead of Boise State, BSU fans may as well ask "Why the @#$% did we even bother playing the game if you're going to put them ahead of us anyway?" And they'd be 100% right. Until BSU loses, they stay in front of Oregon.
If "every game matters" as you say, then why are you only taking ONE GAME into account to order those two teams? You're directly contradicting your argument in order to make it.
they were mediocre in their first 3 games; losing at BSU, beating Purdue and Utah at home by two and seven points, respectively. Then the offensive line jelled, they beat Cal 42-3 and now the Ducks are playing the best football of any team on the west coast.
I agree Oregon can't be ranked above Boise St. today, but if both teams win out, I'd place more weight on the later part of the season and give serious consideration to putting Oregon over BSU.
What's mediocre about beating Utah by 7? They're not playing the toughest schedule in the world, but nobody else has even been all that close to beating them. Their average margin of victory in non-Oregon games has been 13 points.
It's not a power poll, it's a resume ranking. Boise State's overall resume is not as good as Oregon's.
One game does not a resume make.
In a power poll, people do ignore the on-field results in favor of what "would" happen. A resume ranking isn't supposed to do that. And what part of Oregon's resume is more impressive than "beat Oregon, no losses"?
How about "Beat more than 1 BCS-conference team, has played an infinitely tougher schedule, didn't schedule a creampuff when it knew it would have to make up for a weaker in-conference schedule..." This could go on for a while.
In terms of the rest of their schedules, Boise pretty much dominated everyone excpet Tulsa but that isn't any worse than beating Utah "only" by 7. I think Boise should definitely be over Oregon and Iowa (what has Iowa done that Boise hasn't, overcome "adversity" they created themselves?) and maybe Cinci too. Iowa got completely bailed out by two horrible video replay calls and likely would have lost if they were called correctly.
What has Iowa done that Boise hasn't? How about beat 3 teams in the BCS top 25 by 10+ points a pop? Is that good enough for you?
Why come Illinois not in Top 25?
Unbelievable. I thought the who reason we were for a playoff was to avoid the subjective "well, I think this team A is better than that team B."
This season, we don't have to do that. Boise State and Oregon, two top ten teams, played each other. Both team knew what was at stake. As a matter of fact, there was some rumor that a Oregon RB said something about an "ass-kicking," IIRC.
And Boise State beat them.
Yet, journalists and bloggers are saying, "well, I don't think that's what matters."
The point of playing the games is to reveal who is better. Will it be okay in two weeks to vote USC over Oregon?
Let's just nullify all our playoff arguments ourselves, why don't we.
Would your opinion change if Oregon beat not only USC, but also Florida, Alabama, and Texas? At some point the head to head argument has to succumb to the body of work argument. That's why we play a full season.
Then we'd have a valid rematch in the national championship between BSU and Oregon and whoever was #1 wouldn't matter.
If head-to-head always revealed the better team, you would never have multi-team ties and the Patriots would have gone 19-0.
Then why play it at all? Why not just declare University of Tebow the champion before the season and have done with it?
Who is the better team: Washington(3-5) or USC (6-2)?
If you go by head-to-head, then a 3-5 team is better than a 6-2 team.
Michigan or Michigan State?
Michigan State or Notre Dame?
Notre Dame or Michigan?
If you pick Michigan State over Michigan and Notre Dame over Michigan State, then Notre Dame has to be the better team using head-to-head logic, but that conflicts with the same head-to-head logic that says that Michigan is better than Notre Dame. That means that one of the head to head match-ups has to be a fluke.
New England or New York Giants?
You can't pick either one because they both beat each other once and even if they played another 100 times and one team won all 100 times, the head-to-head logic is still flawed because there is still evidence that the team that won once is better than the other.
You have to take head-to-head matchups with a grain of salt. They can help indicate who is the better team, but they can also lead you astray in trying to accomplish the same goal.
In those cases, you have other data points that contradict the head-to-head result, such as win chains going in the other direction. When that happens, head-to-head alone is no longer a coherent ranking system. But that hasn't happened here because there *is* no chain back in the other direction. You can build a win chain from USC to Washington (it doesn't even take many steps - just through Notre Dame). You can build one from any of the UM-MSU-ND triumvirate to any of the others (again, not difficult). You can build one from GT to Miami, or Virginia to William & Mary (although that one's surprisingly convoluted), or Maryland to MTSU, or Houston to UTEP. But you can't build one from Oregon to BSU. And that's why BSU has to stay ahead.
Where no chain exists in either direction (Oregon-PSU is a good example here, as is any pair of unbeatens), or one exists both ways, other factors come into play. But when a win chain exists in one direction and not the other, particularly when that win chain is as short as head-to-head, that has to take precedence.
While you are correct with your point, I think you are also making mine.
"In those cases, you have other data points..."
Small sample size can lead to misrepresented data. The two teams against each other, we have 1 sample point. Individually, though, we have several sample points for both. Those sample points are saying that Oregon is playing better against much better competition and Boise State is playing worse against much worse competition.
The other part of that is that, because it is unreliable, we can't use head-to-head to determine who is the better team. That's why we are using the resumes.