Each week, I am continuing to take a look at the BCS rankings (Top Ten anyway), attempting to decipher them, and concluding how they occurred. Clearly, I will be referencing the pure wisdom that exists throughout the polling process and the infallibility of all of the computer rankings. In other words, this is not to be taken too seriously. On to the logic!
1. Team: LSU Tigers (9-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 1
Reason for being ranked this high: LSU won the most recent version of "The Game of the Century", this weekend, crushing Alabama by a final score of 9-6. Seeing as LSU was previously #1 and 'Bama was #2, it's a no-brainer that LSU remains on top. Perhaps more importantly, it was finally made clear why Boise State would never beat a top SEC West team...with our kicking this year, there's no way we win a "battle of field goals."
2. Team: Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 3
Reason for being ranked this high: Oklahoma State remains the lone unbeaten team in the Big 12 after beating a ranked Kansas State team this week. True, they play very little defense and no one thought Kansas State was that good even when they were undefeated a couple of weeks ago, but it's crucial that OSU holds a high ranking so that traditional power Oklahoma has the best shot to climb back into the Top 2 when they beat the Cowboys in a few weeks.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Oklahoma State scores a lot of touchdowns. This, however, does not make them an elite field goal team like #1 LSU.
3. Team: Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1)
Last Week's Ranking:2
Reason for being ranked this high: Despite having a loss on their resume, Alabama remains ranked higher than undefeated Stanford, Boise State, and Houston. This is probably due to the fact that their one loss was to #1 LSU in overtime. The fact that they lost in their own stadium, only scored two field goals, and that it was "The Most Boring Game of the Century" certainly shouldn't get them ranked any lower than this.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Now that the game actually happened, there may not be a person in the entire country who can stomach the concept of Alabama and LSU playing another snoozer in the NCG.
4. Team: Stanford Cardinal (9-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 4
Reason for being ranked this high: The higher Stanford's ranking, the more hype Andrew Luck receives...and dreams of drafting Andrew Luck are the only thing keeping teams like the Indianapolis Colts, the St. Louis Rams, and the Miami Dolphins from forfeiting their seasons this year.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: If Luck gets any more hype than he's already getting, the Colts probably would forfeit the rest of their season to land that nerd.
5. Team: Boise State Broncos (8-0)
Last Week's Ranking: 5
Reason for being ranked this high: The Broncos remain undefeated after "squeaking by" UNLV by a slim margin of four touchdowns. (Note: Touchdowns < Field Goals.) They keep their fifth place ranking, defying the logic of countless Yahoo! and ESPN message board posters.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Despite the fact that Kellen Moore is the winningest quarterback in college football history, voters feel that given the teams BSU plays, the margin of victory should average out around 104 points, give or take a safety. Or, if not that, they should win by exactly three points in overtime. Either one works.
6. Team: Oklahoma Sooners (8-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 6
Reason for being ranked this high: The Sooners continued their effort to re-insert themselves into the national conversation by beating up on Texas A&M, a school that has fallen from a lofty top ten ranking to a middling Big 12 team in recent weeks. Still, consider this game to be a "quality win" for Oklahoma, due to the fact that Texas A&M will be in the SEC next year, which is far more important than things like their record or overall quality of play.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Talented as they are, Oklahoma still has a loss, so it makes little sense to put them in the top five above teams that are still undefeated. Just try to find a hole in this logic...I dare you!
7. Team: Oregon Ducks (8-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 8
Reason for being ranked this high: The Ducks moved up a spot this week, passing Arkansas, who took Oregon's spot last week. Apparently this week's win over Washington was enough to initiate the latest round of "Trading Places."
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Although Oregon's only loss, like Alabama, was against #1 LSU, it occurred at a point in time when LSU was ranked #4...if Oregon was serious about contending for a title, they would have scheduled the game to coincide with LSU being ranked #1. Plus, Oregon only scored two field goals during that game.
8. Team: Arkansas Razorbacks (8-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 7
Reason for being ranked this high: Arky beat SEC East contender South Carolina easily this week, cementing their spot in the Top Ten. Their one loss was to the Alabama "Elephant Heads", who they held to only one field goal...unfortunately Arkansas did not score any field goals at all in that game.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: The Oregon-Arkansas flipflop occurred this week after the Ducks beat the Huskies and the Razorbacks beat the Gamecocks. Despite the fact that South Carolina was ranked higher than Washington, it should be noted that huskies have been known to eat chickens.
9. Team: Clemson Tigers (8-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 11
Reason for being ranked this high: It's simple really...it's because they didn't play this week.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Voters haven't forgotten that they only made one field goal during their loss to Georgia Tech last week. (Aren't themes fun?)
10. Team: Virginia Tech Hokies (8-1)
Last Week's Ranking: 12
Reason for being ranked this high: The Hokies only have one loss on the year, which came at the hands (paws?) of #9 Clemson. (Pop quiz: How many points did Virginia Tech score against Clemson and by what method were those points scored?) As is their wont, they started the season with high expectations, had a setback, and then climbed back into the overall picture. You could set your watch to the rhythm of a Virginia Tech season.
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Punishment for allowing Boise State to rack up another "signature victory" last year.
Just missed the top 10: Houston Cougars (9-0)
Reason they aren't ranked higher: Their future move to the Big East not withstanding, they should have "joined a real conference" by now if anyone is to take them seriously.