By Hugh Falk, Pollspeak.com
Today's blog answers some burning questions:
WHO NEEDS THE BCS?
The big poll news this week is the BCS standings were released, but the even bigger news is this is the first week we don't need the BCS to tell us who should play for the national championship. For the first time in BCS history, we have a consensus No. 1 (Texas) and No. 2 (Alabama). Every BCS component and even the AP poll agree on the top two teams. This could last as long as both teams keep winning. Judging by recent history, that might only be a week.
DID THEY SEE THE GAME?
While the overall rankings are in agreement, that doesn't mean the people who vote in the polls are. Once again, we present our list of people who have forgotten or ignored what happened on the field:
Myron Patton, Jason Franchuk and Marcus Fuller rank Virginia Tech over Boston College even though the Eagles have a better record and just beat the Hokies. I can't think of a good reason for someone to vote that way unless they're following PETA's agenda and striking a blow for turkeys against the pilgrims' hometown.
Likewise, Craig James, Kirk Herbstreit, Maurice Patton, Glenn Guilbeau and Jason Franchuck rank Kansas over USF even though the Bulls have a better record and beat Kansas. Interestingly, the only BCS component that agrees is The Billingsley Report, which is also the only computer that starts the season with the rankings from last season. Billingsley's preseason ballot has Kansas ranked No. 2 and USF No. 33, which is a significant gap. It could be suffering from preseason bias along with some of the AP voters.
A majority of AP voters still rank USF over Pittsburgh even though they both have one loss and the Panthers beat the Bulls at home. Again, only the human polls and Billingsley agree, and every other computer poll has Pittsburgh ranked better.
Finally, in the "we forgot about that" group we have Georgia Tech going to Chestnut Hill and beating Boston College in the second game of the year. The Yellow Jackets also have one more win than the Eagles and yet 17 voters still voted BC over GT.
Sagarin's ELO_CHESS rankings, which are used in the BCS, have James Madison at No. 39 over the likes of Kentucky, California, Nebraska and Notre Dame. Ironically, at 6 -1 the Dukes only loss came to Duke, who is also ranked lower than James Madison. Unfortunately for the Dukes, the BCS doesn't accept FCS schools, and they can never realize their BCS dreams.
HOW DID THEY GET IN?
While there were no surprises at the top of the BCS standings, there were a few at the bottom. Some teams were probably surprised to make it in the top 25 including: No. 25 Florida State, No. 23 Kansas and No. 21 BYU. To get BCS points from the computers you have to be in their top 25, and these teams are not computer favorites. FSU and BYU are only ranked by two computers and Kansas by one. Luckily for Kansas, the Billingsley Report's high No. 15 ranking kept it in the BCS standings. Billingsley ranked BYU at No. 16 and the Colley Matrix helped with a No. 24. Meanwhile, FSU just squeaked in with a No. 23 ranking from Colley and a No. 25 ranking from Anderson and Hester.
For more poll analysis, go to pollspeak.com.