Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
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first of all, with the short week this past week, 3 games in 4 nights, and essentially using most of my spare time for game prep, I was blog-less this past week. But, I'm back with a BCS recap...and other stuff.
I normally start with the BCS numbers, but I'm going to bump them down to make the following observations after the release of the three major Top 25 polls (AP, Coach's, and Harris).
BYU is the only two-loss team in the country not ranked in the Top 25. Air Force is the only 8-win team not ranked in the Top 25. Every team with a winning streak of 5 games or longer is ranked in the Top 25--except BYU and Utah (both with win streaks of 6 games). Do you think the Mountain West Conference's lack of national profile is a little bit of a factor?
Having said that, the national media are not off the hook for failing to recognize a league that recorded more non-conference wins against BCS teams than only two other conferences nationwide. It has become kind of a "wink-wink" joke for national obersvers to say, "I would rank a Mountain West team if I could ever see one on TV." Sorry, that doesn't cut it. If you're a voter, the tools are at your disposal if you really want to do your homework. I think too many voters are lazily ignoring MWC teams, with little accountability for their lack of due diligence.
Running down this week's BCS numbers...
Of the 25 ranked teams, the breakdown is as follows (with variation in number of teams in the ranking from last week's standings):
SEC: 5 teams (-2)
ACC: 4 teams (E)
Big 12: 4 teams (E)
Pac 10: 3 teams (E)
Big Ten: 4 teams (+1)
Big East: 3 teams (+1)
WAC: 2 teams (E)
Non-BCS team Hawaii stays even at 16, and non-BCS team Boise State moves up two spots (from 20th to 18th). Hawaii finally counts 1 computer point, while Boise State is ranked 26th by the computers--but 15th by the two polls in question (Coach's and Harris). Bringing us to this: the two most overrated teams (according to the computers) are Hawaii and Boise State.
Biggest BCS movers this week: USC from 17th to 11th, Clemson from 21st to 15th, Illinois from unranked to 19th.
Biggest droppers: Connecticut from 13th to 24th, Boston College from 8th to 17th, and Michigan from 12th to 21st. BC has gone from 2nd to 17th in two weeks (BC, meet South Florida).
Overrated (high poll numbers/low computer numbers): Hawaii (16)--ranked 11th and 12th in the polls--ranked 27th by the computers; Boise State: ranked 15th in the polls, 26th by the computers.
Underrated (low poll numbers/high computer numbers): Arizona State (8)--ranked 8th in the polls, 4th by the computers.
Note: the polls mentioned are the USA Today Coaches' and Harris Interactive polls. There are 6 computer rankings--each team's high and low computer numbers are tossed out, leaving the four computer rankings to make up the team's computer score.
The most intriguing news to come out of this week's poll is this: Michigan's loss to Wisconsin drops the Wolverines behind both Hawaii and Boise State in the BCS Standings. If Michigan upsets Ohio State to win the Big 10 title, how far will the Wolverines jump on the strength of the victory? Will they move ahead of one or both of the WAC teams? If not, the door will be open for the winner of the Boise State @ Hawaii game to play in the BCS even without a top 12 ranking. As long as either WAC team ends up top 16 and ahead of a BCS champ, they're in. Obviously, an Ohio State win over Michigan would close the Big 10 door on the WAC. But, there's also a slim chance the Big East champ (if it's not West Virginia) could end up behind either a Hawaii or Boise State in the BCS Standings. This is going to get interesting...
Clearly, Hawaii and Boise State have risen to their respective heights by playing in a non-competitive league, save it be for the top two teams. The WAC's caliber of competition from top-to-bottom is miserable--as refleted by the computer rankings (or lack thereof) given to the Warriors and Broncos.