Dropped Out: Miami (Florida) (#21), Maryland (#22), Central Michigan (#24).
There is much turmoil in the rankings despite not a whole lot of crazy shocking things happening this weekend. What gives?
Well, faced with the ridiculosity that is the Big 12 South, and a whole bunch of other pretty darn good one-loss teams as well, I tried to compare them the old way and my head went all 'splody. So I came up with a new method of ranking each team's games from 1 to 10/11/12 and then ranking each team's best win against the others' best wins, second-best wins against the others' second best wins, etc. etc. etc.
I discovered a couple things:
- Texas turns out to bethe best of the bunch, and it's not even actually that close. Between them, OU, and TT, for example, they were the only one to get their win away from home. It helps that they're the only ones of the three to have played Missouri. Also, for example, their third-best win is against a perfectly decent Oklahoma State team; USC's is against semi-crappy Cal.
- Texas Tech is actually something of a fraud. They're still a damn good team, certainly good enough for the BCS. They won't go, but they'll beat hell out of whoever they face in the Cotton Bowl. But as far as national title contenders go, they don't belong. OU just happened to be the one to expose this, but their schedule doesn't stack up to USC or Florida, let alone their Big 12 brethren.
This experiment worked out so well that I did it twice more. I think there's a pretty clear and obvious difference between the teams 1-8, 9-17, and 18-25, so it worked out to three nice little blocks. I only shifted a couple of teams from where the algorithm-esque procedure sorted them - TCU was too high, and Georgia Tech needs to be ahead of FSU. Otherwise, things fell into place pretty well. However, this is why you see the occasional wacky move, like, say, Georgia rocketing up 7 spots after a bye week, or Cincy dropping 3 after a win over a not-terrible Pittsburgh. It's not so much what happened this week, it's just that my perception of these teams has been reset somewhat, perhaps a little closer to the norm. I had all kinds of revelations as I was doing this. I learned things like, "whoa, Oregon's marquee win is a 10-points squeaker over Arizona." Anyway, it's a better ballot than before, although I do reserve the right to make one change: if UConn sufficiently impresses against USF tonight, they'll probably take WMU's spot at 25.