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Fifth Week BCS Ranking Explained (with Logic)

While it's true that there will be a four-game playoff in college football soon enough, we still have two more seasons of life with the BCS. Fear not, I say! For anyone who greets each weekly release of the BCS rankings with a resounding "huh?", I give you a foolproof explanation of how they have been reached. Of course, I will be referencing the pure wisdom that exists throughout the polling process and the infallibility of all of the computer rankings. On to the logic!


Note: I have been unable to write this column the past two weeks because I, like so many others in the Greater NYC Metropolitan Area, was adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy. Specifically, my home was without power for about nine days, during which my family and I were temporarily displaced. Needless to say, this hampered my ability to spend much time online... Thankfully, I did not suffer any significant personal losses throughout this ordeal, but the same cannot be said for many of my fellow New Yorkers/New Jerseyans/Connecticutians. There remain many, many people, particularly on Staten Island, Long Island, and on the Jersey Shore, who are suffering. Although I realize it's outside the realm of what OBNUG is about, I encourage you to donate to any of a number of groups collecting on behalf of the storm victims, provided it's within your personal means. Now, back to football!

1. Kansas St. Wildcats (10-0)

Last week's ranking: 2

Reason for being ranked this high: The year was 1776...Colonial Americans, tired of taxation without representation by the British Empire, drafted the Declaration of Independence from their crimson-coated oppressors and soon a full scale Revolution was in progress. Colonial troops, led by General George Washington, defied all logic in defeating and overthrowing the armies of their SEC British overlords... Fans of college football, I give you your General Washington and his name is...Bill Snyder.

2. Oregon Ducks (10-0)

Last week's ranking: 3

Reason for being ranked this high: The Ducks are undefeated and are averaging 54.8 points per game. Let me repeat...54.8 points per game. That's just stupid.

Reason they aren't ranked higher: Oregon runs a spread offense, or as this article puts it, they have a "quirky" system. Any good football traditionalist knows, of course, that wins count slightly less if a team is using anything other than a classic, vanilla pro-style approach (otherwise that team is considered gimmicky, or worse, Boise State).

3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-0)

Last week's ranking: 4

Reason for being ranked this high: Football Jesus be praised! The Irish are undefeated with two games to go after years of recent mediocrity. Notre Dame supporters probably would be quick to point out that the computers actually ranked them #1 overall. NBC, meanwhile, is probably just happy that they're finally getting their money's worth.

Reason they aren't ranked higher: They lost to Florida State in a bowl game last year. No...seriously.

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1)

Last week's ranking: 1

Reason for being ranked this high: Ah, the Harris know, that mish-mosh of people with little to nothing in the way of actual credentials when it comes to voting in a poll about college football. Did you know that your next door neighbor is a voter in it? You do now. Were it not for this oft-misunderstood band of misfits, the Tide would have fallen an extra spot to #5, but clearly Harris Poll voters are aware of the legend we call "SEC Speed".

Reason they aren't ranked higher: Instead of a well reasoned answer, I'll just say this...Sucks to be you, SEC!!! (Given recent trends, I probably won't get to say that for another 10 years, so I figured I should get it out while I can).

5. Georgia Bulldogs (9-1)

Last week's ranking: 5

Reason for being ranked this high: Then again, it probably doesn't really suck that much to be the SEC, seeing as Georgia comes in as the second of six straight teams from that conference in this week's Top Ten. BSU's victim from last year's Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic, has won their last four games and is already done with their regular season SEC schedule, therefore earning a spot in the SEC Championship Game for a second straight year. Given the Super Bowl-esque status of the SEC Championship and their current #5 ranking, Georgia is in no way out of the hunt for the MNCG...

Reason they aren't ranked higher: If you look at available data between Georgia and #4 Alabama, (win-loss record, who each lost to, who each of the teams they lost to lost to, how they're ranked by humans, how they're ranked by computers, etc., etc., etc...) it's pretty much a dead heat. In fact, one could argue that Georgia's best win (Florida), is better than Alabama's (LSU). Good thing that BCS logic applies in this case, which states, "Everyone knows Alabama is superior to all other SEC teams, especially those in the East Division." Duh.

6. Florida Gators (9-1)

Last week's ranking: 6

Reason for being ranked this high: Speaking of quality wins, Florida has wins over South Carolina, Texas A&M, and LSU. Who misses Brent Pease?

Reason they aren't ranked higher: It's true that Georgia owns the head-to-head match-up with Florida, so it makes perfect sense that they are ranked higher than the Gators, despite having fewer "quality wins" (whatever that means). Of course, one could argue that they deserve a higher ranking than Alabama, but if that's what you think, you clearly didn't read my comments on Georgia above. Pay attention!

7. LSU Tigers (8-2)

Last week's ranking: 7

Reason for being ranked this high: Our parade of SEC teams continues with LSU, who rebounded from their loss to Alabama with a win over free-falling Mississippi State. The Tigers are one of three two-loss SEC squads in the Top Ten, but get the edge because of their success last know, super relevant stuff.

Reason they aren't ranked higher: Their SOS has been seriously dragged down by a certain game against a certain team known for "throwin' the 'V'" and bad football. Shout out to the first commenter who can correctly name that team and come up with a really offensive joke about them.

8. Texas A&M Aggies (8-2)

Last week's ranking: 15

Reason for being ranked this high: The Aggies were catapulted up in the rankings this week after shocking the college football world with their defeat of top-ranked Alabama. If the teams at the top of the rankings can win out, A&M didn't do itself any favors in terms of public relations with their new conference...

Reason they aren't ranked higher: Even though the Aggies are now officially a part of the SEC, they aren't really an SEC Team...that is, unless they find their way into a BCS Bowl, thereby earning their conference a bunch of money it doesn't really need...then they're A-OK!

9. South Carolina Gamecocks (8-2)

Last week's ranking: 8

Reason for being ranked this high: The Gamecocks are one of the great enigmas of the BCS rankings over the last couple of years. Consider this: They have been ranked between 7th and 14th in every single release of the BCS standings over the past two years. High enough to be considered a formidable team, but low enough that they never really factor into the MNCG race. Nevertheless, Steve Spurrier's squad enters this week with only two losses on their record and a big win over #5 Georgia.

Reason they aren't ranked higher: For the second year in a row, the Gamecocks beat Georgia, but will end up losing the division to them. Ouch.

10. Florida State Seminoles (9-1)

Last week's ranking: 10

Reason for being ranked this high: People seem to like them. Both the Harris Poll and Coaches' Poll places them at #6 overall. Of course, Jimbo Fisher is working very hard to undo whatever goodwill his team might have with human pollsters. Well, at least he apologized for it...

Reason they aren't ranked higher: Misguided statements and apologies for said statements aside, the computers hate Florida State. Question: How much? Answer: Even more than three-loss Michigan (but not as much as they hate one-loss Louisville and Rutgers...I swear this is a conspiracy against the Broncos...)

Just missed the Top Ten: Clemson Tigers (9-1)

Reason they aren't ranked higher: When your loss came against the team that the computers like less than Michigan...