Perusing the Polls

September 28, 2007 - Finally, some element of common sense is beginning to show among the American sportswriters who vote every week in the AP Top 25 Poll. Last week I urged America's finest pundits and worst pigheads to give the old heave-ho to No. 18 Louisville, No. 19 Hawaii, No. 20 Texas A&M and No. 24 Nebraska.

The pundits concurred by ousting Louisville and Texas A&M, but the pigheads mustered enough votes to keep No. 19 Hawaii were it was and drop Nebraska from No. 24 to No. 25.

I figure the press corps in Hawaii was offering any sportswriter in American a free off-season vacation to keep Hawaii in the Top 25 another week. The Warriors are 4-0 after whipping up on AA Northern Colorado 63-6, barely getting by Louisiana Tech 45-44 in overtime, beating UNLV 49-14 and thumping AA Charleston Southern 66-10.

So how pathetic is Hawaii as the No. 19 ranked team in the nation? This pathetic according to this week's Sagarin ratings: Among 119 Division 1-A teams, Hawaii's victories have come against teams rated 75 (UNLV), 107 (Louisville), 202 (AA Charleston Southern) and 205 (AA Northern Colorado).

When you average the 4 ratings of the teams the Warriors have beaten, you come up 147, and they are ranked as the 19th best team in the country. Go figure.

Clearly, some pigheaded sportswriters are living in a fantasy world or smoking something other than cigarettes.

I have no problem with Hawaii opening its season at 4-0. I have a huge problem with them being ranked in any poll worth its salt.

There must also be some pigheaded coaches voting in the Top 25 Coaches Poll as they have ranked Hawaii No. 17 this week. Maybe they just want to rank Hawaii very high so when they play them they will look a lot better than they are.

Replacing Louisville and Texas A&M in the AP Poll this week are newcomers Arizona State (No. 23) and Cincinnati (No. 24). Both are 4-0 on the season.

The teams that Arizona State has beaten have an average rating of 75 according to Sagarin, 72 points BETTER than Hawaii. The teams that Cincinnati has beaten have an average rating of 120, 27 points better than Hawaii.

Overlooked in the AP Poll were the 4-0 Michigan State Spartans and the 4-0 Purdue Boilermakers, who were ranked No. 23 and No. 25, respectively, in the Coaches Poll.

The teams that Michigan State has beaten have an average rating of 92, 55 points BETTER than Hawaii. The teams that Purdue has beaten have an average rating of 117, 30 points better than Hawaii.

This Saturday (9-29-07) will tell a lot as unbeaten 4-0 Purdue hosts 0-4 Notre Dame, and 9th ranked, unbeaten 4-0 Wisconsin hosts 4-0 Michigan State (not ranked in the AP Poll and ranked No. 23 in the Coaches Poll).

The teams that Wisconsin, which I still think is overrated, has beaten have an average rating of 72 points.

Here is the real eye opener of the week: Washington is 2-2 but the teams that Washington has played have an average rating of 40, that's right, 40.

This is why the Huskies are rated No. 1 among all 242 Division I schools when comparing who has played the toughest schedule so far this season.

Do you realize that Washington's 40 rating is 127 points BETTER than Hawaii, 100 points better than Cincinnati, 93 points better than Purdue, 72 points better than Michigan State, 55 points better than Arizona State, and 52 points better than Wisconsin?

Hawaii, Cincinnati, Purdue, Michigan State, Arizona State and Wisconsin are all ranked in either the AP Top 25 Poll or the Top 25 Coaches Poll. Washington is ranked in neither poll.

Two weeks ago I predicted that Alabama, Michigan State, South Florida, Arizona State and Washington would all be ranked in the Top 25 by the end of the season. Only Washington has failed to move into the Top 25 in just the last two weeks.

Note: See more articles on Washington Husky football in my Sports Archive.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

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