By Hugh Falk, Pollspeak.com
This week and last week have been great examples of the power of the BCS. Too bad all that power is totally wasted and pointless this year. I'm referring to the Texas-Alabama situation. Texas is ranked No. 2 in both human components of the BCS (Coaches and Harris Interactive). However, Alabama has vaulted to No. 2 in the BCS on the strength of its computer scores. The Tide have an average computer ranking of two while the Longhorns only average four with the computers. This is a perfect demonstration of the BCS formula in action. It was put into place to help temper conference bias, preseason conjecture, etc. Unfortunately, since Alabama will be playing No. 1 Florida in a few weeks, nobody cares in the least. If Alabama were replaced with, say, an undefeated USC, this disagreement between the humans and computers would be headline material and the subject of heated debate. As it is, fans seem to be taking the situation in stride since it should all sort itself out on the field. However, it is still worth mentioning that the BCS is currently doing the job it was created to do...even if nobody is paying attention.
Towards the other end of the BCS, Cal checked into the top 25 with a strong push from the computers. Silicon respect jumped the Golden Bears from No. 29 & 30 in the human polls. On the other hand, the computers are like an albatross around Penn State's neck, dragging them down a couple of spots from No. 12 to No. 14. Two of the computers don't even have the Nittany Lions in the top 25.
We're No. -1
The following teams all received one, last-place vote in the AP: Nevada, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Boston College. On the bright side, that's still one more vote than Michigan State, FSU, Missouri, and Ball State received. Looking at the same week last year, 2009 is an improvement for Nevada, a push for Boston College, but a huge collapse for the others, which were all highly ranked in week 12 of 2008. Pat yourself on the back if you're not a Ball State alum, and you remembered that the Cardinals were ranked right up until the bowls last year.
On the topic of negative 1s:
Jay G. Tate is the one voter not to rank Iowa.
Scott Wolf is the one voter not to rank Penn State.
Craig James is the one voter to rank Oregon over Boise State.
Finally, I've been told that I tend to focus on the negatives. You could say that I'm a negative one. So I'll close with congratulations to all of the AP voters. Not a single voter ranked USC over Stanford this week. That must have been a very difficult choice for some...especially those toward the bottom of this list. Just look at the end of the list...at all the minus-ones.