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Coaches' Poll embarrasses itself, leaves Auburn ranked

September 6, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

Do we need another reason to believe the poll system is flawed?

As if it were bad enough that the original AP poll ranked teams like TCU and Auburn despite majors losses in personnel, the coaches' poll has upped the ante on stupidity this week.

Still ranked is Auburn, who needed two touchdowns in the last four minutes of the game to beat Utah State. This is an Aggie team that hasn't had a .500 season since 1997, and that is playing in the WAC.

Yet, apparently a last minute comeback is enough to stay ranked at 22. Even the AP voters took notice of the actual game (Auburn fell to 27 this week).

Even better is the position of TCU and Baylor in the pool. One of the two teams is ranked and the other is not. Which one ended up higher? Why, the loser of the contest between the two.

How anyone could believe that TCU still deserved to be ranked at all is a mystery. Baylor did more to give that game away than the Horned Frogs did to win it.

And yet, TCU is rewarded with a spot in the top 25, which Baylor comes in at 26.

Still on the outside? South Florida, who showed that the Bulls still know how to take apart Brian Kelly, even if his address no longer reads Cincinnati.

The Bulls should have won the game at Notre Dame by more. Yet for beating a ranked team, the Bulls got nothing in return but a spot on the also ran list. Again, at least the AP voters paid attention this time around.

You can't say much for the AP preseason picks, but a actual game result was enough for someone to take notice.

(Although Missouri managed to remain ranked in both polls, despite a lackluster effort against Miami (Ohio). The Tigers played the RedHawks essentially even for the entire game, and had just 291 yards of offense. The leading rusher didn't even crack 75 yards. Yet, Missouri remains in the 20s.)

Should we keep going?

How about the positioning of LSU as compared with Alabama and Oklahoma?

The Tigers dominated an Oregon team that last season ran roughshod over the competition. Yet LSU received almost no credit for its impressive defensive effort against the Ducks. The game was held in primetime, after most of the nation's contests had been put away.

There was no reason not to be watching, even if you are the secretary in the Athletic Department who actually votes in the pool instead of the coach.

But of the 59 voters in the poll, just seven picked the Tigers at No. 1.

Perhaps it was LSU's less that stellar offensive effort. But the Tigers didn't need to move the ball far thanks to four turnovers by Oregon. And the Ducks had less than 100 yards rushing with their feared ground game.

How is that not domination?

Meanwhile, Alabama was silently rolling over Kent State, a team with far less talent and less cache than Oregon on the schedule. The Tide still managed to give away the ball five times in the game, although many of those came after the contest was safely going to Alabama.

It doesn't change the fact that LSU played a tougher opponent and overall had the more impressive win.

Oklahoma might still get a pass at No. 1, thanks to 600 yards of offense and an impressive effort against a Tulsa team that gives Sooner faithful fits every time it is in town.

That doesn't explain the nine voters who think that Alabama is still the best team in the country. (Well, we can give Nick Saban a pass for thinking it)

As far as the others receiving votes, there needs to be a reality check among the voters.

Did they all miss the Southern Mississippi - Louisiana Tech game? Admittedly, it wasn't easy to find on television.

But the box score is easy to locate, and last we checked, Louisiana Tech shouldn't be challenging a team that is expected to be tops in Conference USA.

Yes, 12 points were handed the Golden Eagles.

And yet it is the computers who are constantly criticized, yet the computers individually have less influence on the championship than this one poll.

That this is a part of the process in the BCS should make every fan of the game cringe. At least there are at least 10 more chances for the voters to finally get it correct.


Posted September 6, 2011 1:15 PM

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