Polls are useless. Absolutely f*cking useless.
The Bowl Championship Series poll came out this week, whoop-ti-do! And as per usual Fox over-hyped the sh*t out of it on their NFL broadcast. None of this matters right now and it sure as hell didn’t matter when the pre-season polls came out.
Ten teams ranked in the pre-season AP poll are no longer in the top 25. And if you would’ve told me South Florida and Boston College would open the BCS poll 2-3, I would’ve personally driven you to a mental hospital. If you’d have told me the only undefeated teams would be USF, BC, Arizona State, Hawaii, Kansas and Ohio State, I would’ve put you down myself, Bad Newz Kennels style (too soon?).
As disorienting as this season has been so far, this is just a warm-up for what’s to come.
Instead of embarrassing myself with another set of completely useless rankings, I’ll take a look at the current polls and the outlook for each team in them.
The oh-so-powerful BCS standings:
- Ohio State– Has this team really been challenged yet? Wins at Washington and at Purdue look nice on paper but the heart of their schedule still lies in the final four games. It’s altogether possible they could lose each of those games (at Penn State, vs. Wisconsin, vs. Illinois, at Michigan). Until that time they’ll remain ranked number one based on brand name alone. The defense is probably the best in the country and maybe it can carry Tressel to another BCS bowl bid. The Michigan State game might also worry me with look-ahead syndrome to Penn State but Coach Sweater-Vest runs a tight ship and that shouldn’t happen here. OSU would have to get outclassed to lose and the way most of the Big 10 has played, the only chance of that happening is in Ann Arbour in the season finale.
- South Florida– The biggest game in the country this year might just be when South Florida faces Cincinnati. It will be for the Big East championship and for USF, a title shot. Being ranked number two this early in the game comes as a product of winning at Auburn and beating West Virginia on national TV. They still have to play at Rutgers this Thursday night and get Louisville at home in what could be one of the best shootouts of the year. There’s no reason this team can’t run the table and finish in the top two. If someone complains about their selection for the national championship game they should be shot, multiple times. Did your team schedule Auburn? Did they beat West Virginia on a short week? No? F*ck off then.
- Boston College– Much like Ohio State, they haven’t really beaten anybody. They haven’t been overly impressive and stumbling in their final five games seems inevitable. The first of those five comes off a bye week in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech. The following week Florida State comes to town then there’s at Maryland, at Clemson and Miami finishes off the season with a trip to beantown. That’s five potential losses in its remaining five games, forget national championship, forget ACC title, just try to get a decent bowl game. This could get ugly in a hurry.
- Louisiana State– I know it’s hard to say Kentucky is better than LSU… because they’re not. But it doesn’t take a computer to tell me that LSU lost to Kentucky last week. Yet somehow they’re ranked higher in every major poll. Did I miss something? Was that game a figment of my imagination? LSU will likely finish the season with one-loss though three SEC west trap games are on the docket in vs. Auburn, at Alabama and vs. Arkansas. The real trap there is the trip to Tuscaloosa to face former coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. Saban would love to spoil this season for LSU and he’ll have his players more than ready.
- Oklahoma– This might be the best team in the country. The OU defense stifled the Missouri offense that few teams have been able to slow down. The rest of the schedule is a paper-weight and OU should be able to run the table easily (that’s what we thought about the Colorado game). Nobody is going to out-class this team but if Missouri gets another shot in the Big 12 championship game, anything can happen. If there’s one match-up I would love to see in the National Championship, it’s Oklahoma vs. Ohio State. The final score might look like a baseball game but the speed on defense would be something to marvel at.
- South Carolina– The Ol’ Ball Coach really has the gamecocks contending. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about… anything. While I lament how sad the previous statement is there is a real problem awaiting Spurrior and the “other” USC. At Tennesee, at Arkansas and vs. Florida in consecutive weeks. Yes the SEC is tough we’re well aware of that by now. In the Big 12, you beat two tough teams and you get a trip to the national championship, in the SEC you beat two good teams and are demoted to the independence bowl.
- Kentucky– Kentucky beat LSU, who beat South Carolina, who beat Kentucky. So by common opponents, Kentucky is better than… Kentucky? F*ck! On paper LSU is better than both teams and they’ll be given the benefit of the doubt as a result. But can you imagine the uproar if a one-loss LSU team were put in the national title over a one-loss Kentucky team? Thankfully that situation isn’t possible thanks to the SEC championship game where LSU could get a rematch with Kentucky. Kentucky would have to beat Florida, win at Georgia and beat Tennessee in the meantime. It’s almost midnight for this Cinderella team.
- Arizona State– I guess Erickson has enough criminals in place to put together a solid football team. Except that they have yet to play a single good team. California should put them away in two weeks, Oregon will destroy them a week later and UCLA will eek out a close win the week following that. November 22 they’ll host USC and get blown out. It was nice while it lasted. Enjoy your stay in the top 10, don’t let the pollsters hit you on your way out.
- West Virginia– Despite the loss to USF, this is still the elite team in the Big East. When their offense is clicking there is no chance of stopping it. The amount of speed in the backfield is almost unfair to opponents. At Cincinnati should be the toughest test of the season in terms of scoring points but I don’t expect another loss from the Mountaineers, even at Rutgers should be an easy win. If USF stumbles, West Virginia will be right there to pick up the scraps and head to its second BCS game in three years.
- Oregon– It’s amazing how close Oregon is to being number one in the country right now. Had that devastating loss to Cal on home field gone the other way, a national championship would be in the works. This week, however, they travel to Seattle to face Washington, always a tough game. USC comes to Eugene the following week and the Ducks can ill-afford to contract look-ahead syndrome or they’ll be out of the Pac-10 race faster than Jon Stewart runs the 40 yard dash.
- Virginia Tech– Now that they’re playing without one of their top linebackers it’s hard to expect much from this team. Like many others, the final five games will decide their fate. Consecutive Thursday night games (vs. BC, at Georgia Tech) followed by hosting the two Florida schools in consecutive weeks could bring multiple losses and end hope of competing for the ACC title and their fourth 10-win season in a row. Freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor will have to play beyond his years and hope for a little luck.
- California– November 10 vs. USC is really the only game of any consequence remaining. Last week’s poor showing vs. a decent Oregon state team was a wake up call and should have them back on track. If they happen to upset USC the hangover could carry into the following week at Washington. You don’t want to go into Husky Stadium with a hangover, it’s too loud.
- Kansas– Originally I was going to rip Kansas and hey, they’re an easy target. But upon looking at the schedule you begin to wonder if they can actually do this. There is no Texas or Oklahoma on the schedule. The toughest game is against Missouri at a neutral site and the five games remaining until that fateful day are all against talented underachieving teams that never seem to show up. Could this be the year Mark Mangino takes Kansas to the next level? The next five games (at Colorado, at Texas A&M, vs. Nebraska, at Oklahoma State, vs. Iowa State) can all be won. Jesus. 11-1 or even 12-1 (loss in Big 12 title game) are entirely possible and I’m just now coming to terms with this. I need a cigarette.
- Southern Cal– Pete Carroll should take his shot at the NFL right now. Imagine the Giants firing Coughlin and getting the chance to coach Eli. It’s the best situation a first-year coach could ask for. The last thing Carroll wants is to play this USC dynasty into the ground while he falls out of favour with NFL execs. It looks like the lack of discipline is catching up with the Trojans and don’t be surprised if they lose another game… or two. They have to travel to Oregon, to Cal and to Arizona State. On the plus side, Joe McKnight is a stud. Here’s hoping Carroll jumps ship, the Pac-10 goes back to normal and the Giants can talk about something other than that loud-mouthed Tiki Barber.
- Florida– How this team has two losses is beyond me. That said, prepare yourself for them to lose another two, if not four. They travel to Kentucky this week and follow that up with the World’s Largest Cocktail Party against Georgia. They still have to play at South Carolina and Spurrior has been tough against the Gators while in Columbia. The Florida State game to close the year is dangerous. Florida’s record this year may not be a fair indication of how good they are.
- Missouri– I don’t see Missouri losing again until the rematch against Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game unless the hangover from this past week against OU seeps into the Texas Tech game. If you watch one game this weekend, make it Missouri vs. Texas Tech. The final score will make you think you were watching a basketball game.
- Auburn– They will pray for USF to go undefeated. Whatever helps make that early season loss to the Bulls seem justified. The loss to Mississippi State was unacceptable but they rebounded nicely with an upset over Florida. There are probably three more losses on the schedule. At LSU this week, at Georgia and vs. Alabama in November will give the Tigers all they can handle and hand them their first seven win season since 2003.
- Hawaii– I wish they could play someone that mattered. Colt Brennan should not be in the Heisman race. He threw four interceptions against San Jose State and five against Idaho. His stats will be gaudy by season’s end but imagine if he’d been playing an SEC schedule how many picks he’d have thrown by now. I hope Washington thrashes them at the end of the year and ends this nonsense. Other than the UW game, they’ll run the table with ease.
- Virginia – This ranking angers me. Congratulations on losing to Wyoming to open the year Cavaliers! Now watch as Maryland stomps all over your hopes and dreams this week. See you in the cellar. Other losses will include, at Miami, vs. Virginia Tech and vs. Wake Forest.
- Georgia – Only one road game remains for the Bulldogs, and it should be their seventh consecutive win against in-state rival Georgia Tech. While Florida, Auburn and Kentucky will be tough, hosting them between the hedges certainly helps and with a little help they can find themselves in the SEC championship game.
- Tennessee– Funny, I thought Tennessee beat Georgia 35-14. I guess I imagined that too. Just like I imagined those bugs on my arm after I shot-up in the back-alley. Tennessee can make the BCS look real smart if it sh*ts the bed at Alabama and vs. South Carolina in the next two weeks. Finishing off the season at Kentucky isn’t ideal either. This could be it for the Phil Fulmer era in Tennessee.
- Texas – I’d say the remaining schedule is easy, but this is Texas we’re talking about. Nebraska, at Oklahoma State, vs. Texas Tech, and at Texas A&M all pose problems for the Longhorns. This won’t be a season to remember for Mack Brown. Where’s Vince Young when you need him.
- Cincinnati– November 3, at South Florida, the entire nation will be watching. This could be a special season for the Bearcats, but they’ll have to go through West Virginia as well and that won’t happen.
- Texas Tech – This is a waste of a rank. They’re fun to watch but Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma will all beat them. Thanks for coming out.
- Michigan – Well, well, well. Look who’s reared their ugly head once again. The maize and blue are back in the hunt. That is, if they can all of the sudden figure out how to defend athletic quarterbacks and the spread offense. Illinois may be irritatingly inconsistent but in Isaiah “Juice Williams they have the formula for beating Michigan. The Wolverines, however, if they can beat Ohio State in the season finale, will win the Big 10 championship.
As for those other useless polls…
Arizona State was given a vote as the number one team in the nation in the AP poll.
The coaches poll has Georgia ahead of Tennessee, even humans can’t get this right.
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