BCS Befuddlement

It's just about time to start arguing about the BCS rankings again this year. This week, the USC Trojans are ranked No. 12 in the all-important poll. No one expects USC to be ranked in the top-5 at this point, but there are a few bizarre items to take note.

The Trojans have an average computer ranking of 21st, and aren't even ranked in two different computer polls. USC may have lost to Stanford and struggled in wins over Washington and Arizona, but they're still 6-1. Shouldn't they be ahead of teams like UConn in the computer polls?

Also, it's perplexing to see West Virginia well ahead of both USC and South Florida. The Mountaineers have the same record as South Florida and lost to the Bulls, yet they're No. 7 and South Florida is No. 10. Virginia Tech is also a top-10 team, despite looking like anything but one in a 48-7 loss to LSU earlier this season. It's true that USC's nonconference wins over Notre Dame and Nebraska don't look as impressive as they might have 10 years ago, but it's not as if the Hokies have been challenged much in games against William & Mary and Duke.

This should all get sorted soon though, in what is proving to be one of the wackiest college football years in recent memory. The Trojans still have Oregon, Arizona State, and Cal to play on the road, and wins over there should help their computer ranking. If UCLA manages to stay in the Rose Bowl race, then a win over the Bruins (no gimme) would help a lot too. It's probably too early to get hot and bothered by all of this because USC still needs to play a lot better. But when one computer poll has the Trojans at No. 4, and two have them below No. 25, then you can't help but question why college football continues to use this system.

October 22, 2007 2:09 PM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor

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