Polls highlight the inexact science in college football formula

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Maybe I’m one of the only people who isn’t that worked up about Notre Dame’s exclusion from the Top 25 polls. Do I think the Irish deserve to be ranked? Absolutely. Do I think people should be worked up about it? Absolutely not.

While it’s not in my agenda to question pollsters, it should be in the head coach of Notre Dame’s, which is why I’m happy that Charlie Weis talked candidly about the subject in his Sunday press conference.

“I think if you look at some of the other teams that are playing and look at how their games have gone, tell me where the difference is,” Weis said about his teams exclusion from the rankings.

“I can go right up the top 10 and work right on down,” Weis continued. “You tell me what teams that are in there that haven’t had some trouble in their schedule. I mean almost everybody has. If you compare apples to apples, I think that we deserve to be there right with everybody else.”

The problem with Weis’ assertion is that he thinks people compare apples to apples. Silly rabbit. If they did, there’d be no way that a team like Oklahoma, who has beaten only Idaho State and Tulsa, would still be in the rankings. There’d be no way that Oklahoma State, embarrassed by Houston in the second game of the season, could still  be hovering in the teens. Not to only pick on teams in the state of Oklahoma, but in college football, not all wins and losses are created equal. What have we really learned about #12 Penn State? That they can wax Akron, Syracuse, and Temple, but lose by 11 points in a night home game at Happy Valley? To a team that’s ranked 14th, but escaped by a field goal or less to both Northern Iowa and Arkansas State?

Again, I’m not worried about Notre Dame’s place in the rankings. As the weeks go by and as the cards hit the table, things — like they always do — start to sort themselves out. Next Saturday’s day off could be enough to propel the Irish into the rankings. And two Saturdays from now will give everyone the insight into what type of team Notre Dame truly is. If the Irish win a close one against USC and still sit in the 20s, then you’ll hear me screaming bloody murder.

Until then, let’s just all relax and learn how to deal with the inexactness of college football’s formula.