College football is a funny game. It's chaotic nature distinguishes it from every other major organized sports league in America. It's the only NCAA sport whose champion is not decided by a tournament-based system. Hell, the NCAA doesn't even officially declare a national champion of the "Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision." The coaches/computer/media polls are certainly one of the nuttiest parts of this crazy sport that we love, and I'm not here to clarify the confusion. I'm here to add to it.
My power rankings order teams based strictly on what I believe to be the quality of each team, not desert. I believe USC is the sixth best team in the country, not that they deserve to go to the Rose Bowl before Washington or any other Pac 10 team with a better record. The basic test I used for the rankings is "Would team #1 usually beat team #2?" and so on. You'll notice that I only have one non-BCS conference team in the top 25, three fewer than most official polls. That's because I think these team generally suck and would usually lose to the teams I have ranked. (I think Boise State and Utah would be middling Pac 10 teams at best. Houston and TCU would be Big 12 bottom-feeders.)
One of the major flaws of the poll system is that it begins before the season does. Pollsters usually rank the teams based off of how many returning starters they have and how they did in the previous seasons bowl game. The drawback to having a preseason polls is that teams can only rise up the poll so fast and so far making the poll itself a determining factor in who finishes at the top. Those that start at the top have a clear advantage over those who don't. A major reason why the undefeated 2004 Auburn Tigers didn't play in the BCS national championship game was that they began the year ranked 17th in the AP Poll and 18th in the ESPN/USA Today Poll. This is why I believe polling shouldn't begin until after the third week of the season when we have at least a small sample size of performances to rank the teams based off of. (And why I'm starting mine now).
You can follow my rankings every week for the rest of the season here. Let me know how much you think they suck.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Posted by JuicyJuice at 7:28 PM
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