A Quick Read
Making sense of a wild Week 5
Sept. 30, 2007
By Brian Curtis
CSTV Senior Editor
Brian Curtis is a CSTV football and basketball analyst and a regular CSTV.com writer.
For those of you just realizing what happened yesterday in college football, I've been up all night trying to make sense of it. We haven't seen a weekend like this, since, well, never? Why did so many Top 10 teams fall in one fell swoop? There are only two logical conclusions: poll voters have no clue or parity is here.
The Polls. There is no point in rehashing the old arguments about why polls don't work. There are the lazy voters, on both the media and coaches' sides, the reliance on history or last year or the name of the head coach, a feeling that traditional powers should get the benefit of the doubt and that new ones are feel good stories. (Before continuing, let me point out that last year, I was an AP voter but declined to participate this season.) All these play a role into who gets ranked where and when, and what happens when teams above teams lose. Here's how the AP poll looked headed into this weekend:
On first glance, it is tough to argue with the top three, as they have looked impressive most of the time. And it's hard to argue that
If you want to make the argument that many of teams haven't faced the toughest schedules but hey, at least they've won, then tell me where do you see undefeated Purdue or unbeaten Connecticut or, at least before Saturday, Michigan State and Kansas? And how come one-loss
But here is what is bad. You will see a shake-up in the rankings this afternoon unlike any we have ever seen, and that's not a good thing. By default, teams who have not been impressive like Boston College,
The bottom line when it comes to polls is an idea you probably don't want to hear: leave it to the computers. I have been proposing the idea for years. There are simply too many judgments, assumptions, biases and the like for media members and coaches to vote. I say, input scores, and let the computers figure out strength of schedule and who really is the best. I think you might find fewer shake-ups in the rankings.
Parity. After Appalachian State upset
However, I am beginning to believe that parity may just have arrived for the BCS conference schools. On any given Saturday, there is a growing chance that either team can win on the field. Maybe not on a regular basis, but more times than in the past. That's why Oklahoma can lose to 2-2 Colorado and Kansas State can beat Texas (again) and Auburn with two losses sticks it to Florida and Clemson goes down to Georgia Tech and Illinois skyrockets to 4-1. In the six major conferences, plus Notre Dame, I can count three teams, maybe four, who clearly, well, have little or no chance against their brethren. That's not bad out of 66 teams.
Look at the conference standings this morning. In the ACC,
So yes, I will admit, parity is here within the BCS conferences, but that's still leaving a whole lot of teams out of the mix.
So, we can blame the polls and we can blame parity but I caution voters and fans alike not to jump to conclusions about what we saw. Bob Stoops is still a heck of a football coach and
For those power teams who lost this weekend, there is still hope. We have seen two teams in the BCS era that have won the title with one loss, and more who've made it to the national title game without going undefeated. Heck, LSU lost midseason in 2003 and was ranked No. 13 in the polls and ended up beating
One or Two Final Notes...
We assumed that when Florida State's Bobby Bowden stood by as his offensive coordinator son, Jeff, resigned last year that the Seminole offense would be better. hey lured Jimbo Fisher from LSU with a huge sum of money and added the best offensive line coach in the country, Rick Trickett, for a cool $300,000. And what happened to our assumption? Well, it took four and a half games before we saw some semblance of offense from FSU. Against
It is hard to think of a team that has fallen further off the national radar than Virginia Tech, and honestly, you can't really blame the media. Leading up to the season, not only was Tech picked as a national title contender and ACC champion, but they were
Speaking of lurking...has anyone noticed