By Hugh Falk, Pollspeak.com
TO HELL WITH THE BCS
With Texas losing, all Hell has broken loose in the polls. If you need proof, note Penn State received six (6) first-place votes in the AP Poll and Texas Tech received six (6) in the Coaches' Poll. Harris Interactive just released its sixth (6) poll of the season. There are six (6) computer polls and if you include the AP Poll and the BCS Standings, six (6) of ten rankings have Alabama No. 1. Oh, and this is my sixth (6) blog of the season. Three (half of 6) different teams received a No. 1 ranking from the BCS components: Alabama, Texas Tech and Texas. Two of those teams feature red as their school colors (crimson & scarlet), and while Texas may be orange, it's burnt orange. Can the signs be more obvious?
Not only do the BCS components disagree, there's plenty of disagreement within the human polls as well. In the AP, four different teams received a No. 1 vote (Alabama (46), Texas Tech (12), Penn State (6) and Florida (1)), while four did in the Coaches' Poll (Alabama (40), Penn State (14), Texas Tech (6) and Oklahoma (1)) and five in Harris Interactive (Alabama (79), Penn State (17), Texas Tech (16), Florida (1) and Texas (1)). While this isn't dissension of Biblical proportions, it's a far cry from the near-Nirvana of the past two weeks.
DESPERATELY SEEKING SAGARIN
Recently, I've received some feedback about the Sagarin Ratings. It can be hard to determine BCS rankings at the official Sagarin Ratings site because teams are ordered by Sagarin's standard rating instead of the ELO_CHESS rating, which the BCS uses. The inclusion of FCS teams at the official site complicates matter further, because only FBS teams play in the BCS. This week, for example, James Madison finished No. 20 in the ELO_CHESS ratings and Appalachian State ranked No. 50. Sagarin Ratings are usually the first of the BCS components made public on Sunday morning, but you can easily read the actual BCS list here at Pollspeak.
Since we're plugging Pollspeak, we just published an article detailing some BCS flaws and how to fix them. There are some serious concerns, including issues with security, which could be the BCS's undoing if not corrected. Hopefully these concerns can be addressed because I am actually a fan of the BCS overall.
One part of the BCS I don't like, however, is the use of secret ballots. This week I would really like to know how the coaches dropped Texas to No. 7. That's a big drop for an away team losing on a last second play to another top 10 team, especially when Texas has played the toughest schedule in the top 10 (Sagarin ranks the Longhorns' schedule seventh overall).
Jon Wilner not only cast the lone No. 1 vote for Florida, he was also the only voter to rank Texas over Texas Tech. Although the coaches may be low-balling Texas, Texas Tech is certainly one team that can rightfully jump over the Longhorns.
Finally, if you need more proof that all Hell has broken loose this week, note that in the current Wolfe Ratings Central Methodist is ranked 666. If that's not a sign, I don't know what is.
For more poll analysis, go to pollspeak.com.