There are two ways to look at a poll: either a power poll (we think team A would beat team B so team A is higher ranked) or a resume based poll (team A's body of work is more impressive). The problem with the former is it's 100% speculative; the problem with the latter is it's impossibly unreliable early in the season. As any pollster will tell you, if you put crap data in you're going to get crap results out. Right now what the computers have is crap data. Six or seven games is simply not enough to determine rankings using a formula, but that's nothing new. It'd be absurd to make a big deal out of the computer rankings right now. Do something like that, and you'll end up with a job writing for ESPN.
As the season goes on, we hope these rankings will end up being based mostly on resume, as you're only as good as what you've done. For now, though, we have to use some of the power poll "eye test" approach as well in order to do this at all.
As far as the BCS and other more mainstream rankings go, we have always been skeptical of every scheme. The computers are clearly wrong--but who cares? The fact is that humans are just as wrong, it's just that we have pride and the desire to defend our opinions whereas computers have no such need. Just look at the fact that we're on our third "Best Team in America" in the last three weeks.
Which brings us to this week. We think Boise and Oregon are the two best teams in the country. Has Oklahoma's domination of Florida State and Iowa State made up for uninspiring (for the Best Team in America) victories over Utah State, Air Force, Cincy and Texas? Six games in, does the fact that OU has shown no ability to win big games in December and January in recent years while Boise consistently pulls upsets count for something? If OU wins out and Boise looks like crap against its admittedly inferior schedule then we'll absolutely consider the Sooners for our #1 spot, but 6 games in the Plucky Underdog is our Best Team in America.
More excuses after the jump.
- TCU, Auburn then LSU. TCU because we have the fewest questions about them, then Auburn because while they generally look good and Cam Newton is the real deal, giving up 43 points is never a good thing. LSU at #6 because you fall when the team you beat in a heart-stopper loses to Mississippi St at home. Of course, all of this is moot as the two Tigers will figure it out on the Plains this very weekend.
- We remembered to rank Bama this week, huzzah!
- We explained Texas over Nebraska. If you're gonna be a homer at least be consistent. Plus, is there a single Nebraska fan that wants to come here and argue that Nebraska would beat Texas right now?*
- Mizzou and Okie State both have back to back games against top 25 teams, guess we'll find out shortly what both teams are made of.
- *We know the answer to this is yes, due to dropped passes and their conception of referees. But we mean this in a more metaphysical sense. Does anyone in red really believe the cosmos will allow them to beat Texas? That's what we mean.