|Hood: Polls are getting ridiculous|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Sunday, November 18, 2012 2:23 PM||
College football fans wait expectantly for the rankings to come out each and every Sunday, wondering where their favorite team will be ranked in the latest polls.
For Clemson fans, however, the wait and result has become something of a status quo, with the Tigers not seeing much movement each week despite a body of work that is at times eye-popping.
And because of that, I tell you that at that this point, the polls and the people that vote on them are absolutely clueless.
Exhibit A is the aforementioned Clemson Tigers, and I have the burden of proof.
The week before Clemson’s game at Florida St. in late September, the Tigers were ranked 10th in the Associated Press Poll. The Tigers lost to then-No. 4 Florida St. that week and dropped to No. 17 in the AP rankings. In the coaches poll, the Tigers were ranked ninth the week before the loss at FSU, and fell to 16th that week in the coaches poll.
This week, the Tigers are ranked 12th in the Associated Press poll and 9th in the coaches poll, so the Tigers have indeed worked their way up in the rankings in the preceding eight weeks.
However, the Tigers have also won seven straight games, scored at least 38 points in each of those games and has outscored the opposition 335-170. That averages out to a final score average of 47.85 to 24.28, which is pretty impressive that they have beaten Division I foes by an average of over 23 points per game. I don’t care what league you are playing in, those are knockout numbers.
In that time, however, Clemson has just now made it back to their original spot in the coaches poll, and has made it to 12th in the AP Poll, two spots behind where they were the week before the FSU game.
The AP Poll the week after that loss looked like this – 1. Bama; 2. Oregon; 3. LSU; 4. FSU; 5. Georgia; 6. South Carolina; 7. Kansas St.; 8. Stanford; 9. West Virginia; 10. Notre Dame; 11. Florida; 12. Texas; 13. Southern Cal; 14. Ohio St.; 15. TCU; 16. Oklahoma; 17. Clemson.
Here is what the AP poll looked like Sunday morning, with what has happened with each team since that late September loss (eight weeks ago) to FSU. And I didn’t even include Southern Cal, which had one loss at the time and lost two more times but still found themselves getting loved by the writers. A fourth loss yesterday FINALLY knocked them out of the Top 25.
AP Poll as November 18, 2012
1. Notre Dame, hasn’t lost in the interim.
2. Alabama, a loss to then-No. 14 Texas A&M at home a week ago but fell only a few spots and now is back to No. 2.
3. Georgia, was ranked 15th the week after losing to South Carolina the week AFTER Clemson lost at FSU. They were one spot ahead of Clemson at that time, but Georgia has jumped 12 spots in the polls.
4. Ohio St., hasn’t lost.
5. Oregon lost to then-No. 14 Stanford at home Saturday night and dropped four spots.
6. Florida was ranked 11th the week after Clemson’s loss to FSU, has lost to Georgia and won several games in lackluster fashion, yet has jumped five spots.
7. Kansas St., was ranked 7th the week after the FSU game, lost in a blowout on the road Saturday night at Baylor and is still ranked 7th.
8. LSU was ranked third the week after the game at FSU, has lost twice and has dropped a grand total of five spots.
9. Texas A&M was not ranked after the game at FSU, has lost once in the interim and has vaulted up to ninth based on a win over then-No. 1 Alabama.
10. Florida St. was ranked 4th the week after the win over Clemson, lost at N.C. State a few weeks later and now sits six spots back of where they were after the win over Clemson.
11. Stanford is now ranked 9th, three spots ahead of Clemson. Stanford was ranked 8th the week after Clemson’s loss to FSU, has lost twice in the interim and has fallen one spot.Granted, Clemson still has a shot at a BCS berth, and a win over South Carolina has to be at the forefront. However, each Saturday night I get text messages from friends and other Clemson fans who worry where Clemson will be in the rankings, and I truly don’t know what to tell them other than the fact that most of the writers who vote for the AP Poll are clueless.
Yes, I get it that strength of schedule means a lot, and Auburn’s demise and the fact that Clemson insists on playing a state FCS school each year don’t help. And in case you missed it, the Tigers will probably be playing two FCS schools next season.
The Tigers will open the season with Georgia, then play host to South Carolina St. in week two. Week three begins the ACC schedule, while game 11 will give us The Citadel, followed by South Carolina in week 12. Thank you ACC for forcing Clemson to drop Central Michigan in your quest for nine conference games.
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