Football, NCAAF

AP Poll Gets It Wrong Again.

If you haven’t read why early season polls are pointless, check it out.  Granted I’m still not a believer in early season polls for many reasons, the main reason remains as evident as ever.  Early polls base a good bit of their rankings on tradition and what a team accomplished last year.  Every year there are ranking casualties because of these preconceived notions.

Alabama won it all last year so they should be number 1 and even if they continue to dominate inferior competition they’ll remain number one until someone beats them.

Polls should be a reflection of the current season.  Just looking at the AP Top 25 you can easily see how past successes have influenced the voters.  Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Ohio State, and Oklahoma remain 1-5 in the poll.  They were also the preseason favorites to win their divisions while also being the primary contenders for last season’s playoff.

When will the voters ever learn to respect the season we are in and quit using past program success to dictate the rankings?  Let me once again continue to rail against this system (a system many wish would go away, I’m not one of those, I just think we can do better).  Here’s the poll:

Week 4 AP Poll

  1. Alabama
  2. Georgia
  3. Clemson
  4. Ohio St
  5. Oklahoma
  6. LSU
  7. Stanford
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Auburn
  10. Penn St
  11. Washington
  12. West Virginia
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Mississippi St
  15. Oklahoma St
  16. UCF
  17. TCU
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Michigan
  20. Oregon
  21. Miami
  22. Texas A&M
  23. Boston College
  24. Michigan St
  25. BYU

To put it lightly, almost all of these teams are ranked based off illogical reasonings and it’s not even funny.

First off, LSU should be ranked #1 overall.  How they aren’t even #2 is beyond me.  They are the ONLY team in the FBS to have 2 top 25 wins and 1 top 10 win this season.  The group of teams ranked 1-5 have 2 total wins over ranked opponents, (Ohio St over TCU, and Clemson over Texas A&M).

Secondly, How Michigan State slipped back into the top 25 is the most ridiculous logic of everyone involved with voting.  Michigan St dropped out of the top 25 because they lost to Arizona St.  Arizona St turns around and loses to San Diego State.  SO ARIZONA ST DROPS OUT AND MICHIGAN ST JUMPS BACK IN THEIR PLACE?!?!?!?!?!  WHAT?!?!  Why not just rank San Diego State instead?

Wisconsin has beaten practically no one and was beaten by BYU at home and they drop in the polls and BYU is ranked as a result.  Bravo to BYU but why isn’t BYU ranked ahead of Wisconsin, who they beat and sub-sequentially have a better overall resume?  BYU and Wisconsin are 2-1, one of them has a top 25 win on their resume, the other does not.  Can you guess which one is ranked 25th and which is ranked 18th?

Speaking of rank #18, Wisconsin is 2-1 with a loss to #25, coming in right behind them at #19 is a Michigan team who is also 2-1 but has a 1 score loss to #8 Notre Dame.  They’ve since played better on offense and had a tougher schedule than Wisconsin.  I won’t just pick on Wisconsin as the curious case of Washington has reared it’s head.  Why isn’t Michigan ranked higher since Washington also has a 2-1 record with a top 10 loss to #9 Auburn?

So, basically, the polls don’t even match its own built-in logic.  The whole poll system is completely flawed because it gives leniency to the teams at the top who have storied histories but makes everyone below them have to basically go undefeated to prove they are better.

I think the polls should reflect quality wins first over everything else.  Then undefeated teams based on strength of opponent should be next.  If an undefeated team is missing a ranked win, then that should be held against them when compared to a team with a loss that also has a ranked win.  Doing this would reflect and reward strength of schedule and strength of record to this point.

So in essence, Alabama ranks 6th because they haven’t beaten a ranked opponent but they have played 2 Power Five teams vs Georgia who has only played 1 power five team, etc.  If a team has a loss to a power five team but has beaten another power five team then that will boost their ranking over a team like Wisconsin.

Here’s a sample for how the poll should look if we went in order of Ranked Wins, Undefeated, & Strength of Record vs Undefeated.

Poll based off 2018 season:

  1. LSU
  2. Ohio State
  3. Clemson
  4. Notre Dame
  5. Auburn
  6. Alabama
  7. Georgia
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Stanford
  10. Washington
  11. Penn St
  12. West Virginia
  13. Virginia Tech
  14. Miami
  15. TCU
  16. Texas A&M
  17. Michigan
  18. BYU
  19. Wisconsin
  20. UCF
  21. Boston College
  22. Duke
  23. California
  24. Oklahoma State
  25. North Texas

-Jaracz

 

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