The Associated Press Top 25 poll is out and predictably, college football fans are sharpening their talons. Did your team make the Top 25? If it did, are you laughing? Or are we?
If a team played poorly, it should lose its lofty ranking. Some teams do. But not all. Some teams win and still get no respect. Three Pac-12 teams dropped in the AP poll despite remaining undefeated. Ohio State also dropped several spots after beating Navy.
The pollsters have a very difficult task. Maybe it would be easier if there was some sort of formula for ranking teams. Move a team up four spots if it beats a ranked team, one if it is an unranked team and stay put if it is an FCS team. At the very least, the perception of media bias would be diminished.
Last year, almost every BCS team with the same record as an SEC team was ranked below his SEC counterpart—Stanford was the lone exception. The SEC went 0-2 in BCS Bowls and Stanford lost to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl game, for what it's worth.
The media isn't perfect. But it could be more consistent and transparent.
After one week of football in the books, numerous contenders and pretenders haven't been weeded out. It's as if the pollsters are giving more weight to a team's conference affiliation than the team's actual performance.
The ACC's North Carolina struggled before finally getting the win yet it was not penalized in the AP poll. Cal had a solid win at Northwestern but isn't ranked. South Carolina got walloped by Texas A&M but remains ranked.
Is Cal better than South Carolina?
Probably not. But when a Power 5 team beats another Power 5 team it should be ranked ahead of a Power 5 team who got embarrassed by another Power 5 team. Early in the season, logic should be universally applied to rankings.
It's time to air the grievances of the football fans who live in the West. I feel your pain.
A little sardonic analysis never hurts anyone as long as it is understood and forewarned. You've been warned.
The AP poll just tends to bring out the curmudgeon in me.
No. 1 Florida State
Pac-12 referee Land Clark made a controversial ruling on a Jameis Winston touchdown that may have altered the game's potential outcome. Pac-12 officiating crews should be declared a national treasure and kept in a hermetically sealed display case.
No. 2 Alabama
The Crimson Tide's pass defense is ranked No. 106 in the nation. Clearly this team looks like the second-best team in the nation after beating an unranked West Virginia squad 33-23.
No. 3 Oregon
The last time Oregon got this much early season attention was in 2011 when the No. 3 Ducks played No. 4 LSU. Oregon lost 40-37. In another high profile game in 2009, Oregon lost 19-8 to No. 16 Boise State. College GameDay will be at Oregon this Saturday. Oh goody.
No. 4 Oklahoma
If Oklahoma wallops Tennessee and West Virginia, the media will have to compare Oklahoma to Alabama because they will have had played two common opponents. Right?
No. 5 Auburn
The Iron Bowl is on November 29, in case you were wondering.
No. 6 Georgia
Georgia looks like one of the best teams in the country. Sound familiar?
No. 7 Michigan State
The Spartans jumped past the Buckeyes by beating the Gamecocks 45-7. Note—they beat the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, not the South Carolina Gamecocks.
No. 8 Ohio State
The Buckeyes broke America's heart by beating Navy 34-17 and getting the last minute cover. They ostensibly paid the price by dropping three spots.
No. 9 Texas A&M
He has spoken. Just call him "Kenny Trill."
No. 10 Baylor
Thank goodness Texas A&M left the Big 12 because America is just not ready for another Baylor vs Texas A&M shootout.
No. 11 UCLA
The Bruins dropped four spots despite beating Virginia 28-20 with an SEC-like defense. They should really try scheduling Jacksonville State to get more respect.
No. 12 LSU
The LSU Tigers almost lost to Wisconsin. Unlike UCLA, LSU still moved up in the rankings. OK then.
No. 13 Stanford
The Cardinal hammered U.C. Davis 45-0 but they also dropped from No. 11 to here. Are you sensing a theme yet?
No. 14 USC
If a Stanford player is a little slow getting up due to "injury" while USC's offense is on the field, prepare for Sarknado.
No. 15 Ole Miss
The Rebels moved up three spots after beating Boise State. So when an SEC team beats Boise State, it will be rewarded. When a West Coast team beats Boise State… never mind.
No. 16 Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish aren't high enough in the rankings for other fans to start their whining yet. If they beat unranked Michigan, cue the "overrated" and "Golson for Heisman" chants.
No. 17 Arizona State
So the Sun Devils beat Weber State 45-14 and jumped up two spots from No. 19. Weber State is a better team than U.C. Davis and Navy, apparently.
No. 18 Wisconsin
In the most B1G thing ever, Wisconsin blew its lead over LSU. Watch the Badgers troll everyone and fight their way back into the Big Ten Championship game.
No. 19 Nebraska
As long as Bo Pelini keeps promoting that dang cat, move Nebraska up in the polls. The fun never ends in Lincoln.
No. 20 Kansas State
Kansas State hosts Auburn on September 18 which means the pollsters will ignore Kansas State for at least two more weeks.
No. 21 South Carolina
The Gamecocks still look like a Top 25 team, according to the pollsters. Even Steve Spurrier is shaking his head.
No. 22 North Carolina
The Liberty Flames led North Carolina 22-21 with less than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter before North Carolina went on a scoring spree. No. 22, baby. *crickets chirping*
No. 23 Clemson
"It's never as bad as it may seem."—Dabo Swinney after a 45-21 loss to Georgia, per ESPN. Yes, it is Dabo. Todd Gurley just scored another touchdown.
No. 24 Mizzou
The newest excuse: the SEC's pass defense is poor because SEC quarterbacks are so much better now. South Dakota State reserve quarterback Zach Lujan went 21-of-28 for 239 yards against Missouri's defense. The Jackrabbits play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
No. 25 Louisville
The Washington Huskies were No. 25 but after they barely beat Hawaii, they dropped because unranked Louisville beat unranked Miami. Gotcha.