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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Sports desk blogs

    Don’t trust the rankings

    The early season top-25 rankings in college football are a joke. Preseason rankings, or, rather, predictions, carry far too much weight. Voters shouldn’t be afraid to change a team’s ranking regularly at the start of the season.

    Look at the preseason top five for this year; USC hasn’t shown it is the elite program in college football by beating a poor Idaho team 38-10 in Los Angeles in its only game to date. And I think the whole world is aware of the struggles that a preseason top-five Michigan team has been having.

    LSU, on the other hand, dominated two BCS conference opponents by a combined score of 93-7, including a 41-point thrashing of a highly praised, and formerly top-10, Virginia Tech team. It was a performance worth stealing the top spot in the polls, a performance that 20 AP voters and six coaches noticed when they made LSU No. 1 ahead of USC.

    West Virginia hasn’t looked like a top-five team in its two games. By allowing a total of 47 points against the perennial powerhouses that are Western Michigan and Marshall, perhaps pollsters should reassess the Mountaineers.

    Louisville can score points in bunches, and that’s why it started the season at No. 10, but after allowing 35 first-half points to Middle Tennessee State at home, how can it move up in the polls?

    The beginning of any college football season is not an indication of how the rest of the year will play out. Just ask Auburn. In 2004 the Tigers started the season ranked 18th and 19th in the AP and coaches polls, respectively. After finishing the regular season undefeated, they were shut out of the title game because voters refused to move USC or Oklahoma from the first and second rankings all year.

    Many people said the Tigers should have competed for the title because going undefeated in the SEC is so difficult. Even more people agreed with those sentiments after Oklahoma’s embarrassing 55-19 defeat in the Orange Bowl.

    If voters weren’t afraid to bump Oklahoma down a few spots in the rankings at any point during the season, USC might not be as well off as they are now.

    This year, Auburn was ranked 14th and 18th to start the year.

    After a lackluster home performance against an unranked Kansas State team, its ranking rose one spot in each poll. The following week, again at home, the Tigers lost in overtime to an unranked South Florida team that looked better at every position with the exception of kicker.

    Don’t be afraid to change your mind early on in the season, because if you become steadfast in your rankings this early, you could prevent a deserving team from a national title shot.

    Brian Kimball

    Division I-AA teams should not be ranked in AP football poll

    At first glimpse, the Associated Press’ move to include Division I-AA teams in its poll appears heart-warming and motivational. Sticking up for the underdog is a foolproof way to capture the heart of our nation.

    However, such evolution into an all-inclusive college football poll throws a red flag. The epic upset Appalachian State pulled over Michigan begs the question: why continue bullying the junior varsity teams in Division I-AA?

    Appalachian State has developed an elite football program that can evidently compete in big places like Ann Arbor, Mich. With back-to-back I-AA championships rings, the Mountaineers have successfully evolved into a household name in college football.

    Since the 2005 season, Appalachian State has gone 28-4. The Mountaineers currently hold the longest active I-A consecutive win streak at 16, along with a 28 game home winning streak – the second longest in I-A. Tally the past two years as minor league prominence.

    Rather than using this big “”upset”” as the Boone, N.C., claim to fame, why not avoid the anti-climactic fallout and join the big bowl boys?

    The transition to I-A football is a lengthy yet financially rewarding process. The NCAA requires a minimum of 60 percent of its football games against I-A teams, including at least five home games. One I-AA opponent can fulfill the home game requirement.

    Additional requirements include a minimum of 15,000 annual attendance average, 16 varsity sports (Appalachian State has 18), and greater financial investments in prospective athletes (more scholarships).

    No big deal the Mountaineers received 19 points in the Associated Press Top-25 poll. Get back to me when they can consistently play with the big boys.

    Bryan Roy

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