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Baylor 18th in BCS Rankings, 1-17 Unimportant.

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The latest BCS rankings were just announced on Fox, and to be honest, I expected Baylor to be a little higher than 18th.  This morning I said 16-18 made sense to me, but with the love we have gotten from the computers so far and the dramatic victory over OU last night, I really thought it would be higher than 18.

Looking at the rankings, which are available in a complete form after the jump, Baylor has to be ecstatic with the way things have turned out so far this season.  Though the Kansas State game will likely haunt me for the rest of the year, I look at our position relative to teams like Wisconsin (who will play for the B1G Championship and was in the thick of NC contention earlier this season), Clemson (undefeated until this week), and Penn State (top-10 at one point and perennial power), and I am quite satisfied with where we are.

Posting thoughts about the rankings seems to be the thing to do right now (click each word, I only sampled a few), so I'll post mine.

First, the rankings themselves:

BCS
Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings
RK TEAM AVG PVS RK PTS % RK PTS % AVG A&H RB CM KM JS PW %
1 LSU 1.0000 1 1 2875 1.0000 1 1475 1.0000 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.000
2 Alabama .9491 3 2 2758 .9593 2 1413 .9580 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 .930
3 Arkansas .8985 6 3 2619 .9110 3 1349 .9146 4 4 5 6 4 4 4 .870
4 Oklahoma State .8408 2 6 2267 .7885 6 1156 .7837 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 .950
5 Virginia Tech .7842 8 5 2302 .8007 4 1242 .8420 7 7 10 7 9 18 7 .710
6 Stanford .7711 9 4 2371 .8247 5 1222 .8285 9 8 4 10 14 11 9 .660
7 Boise State .6881 10 8 2037 .7085 8 982 .6658 8 9 7 8 12 10 8 .690
8 Houston .6684 11 7 2060 .7165 7 1075 .7288 12 10 16 9 11 15 12 .560
9 Oklahoma .6526 5 10 1719 .5979 11 826 .5600 6 6 8 4 6 6 6 .800
10 Oregon .6469 4 9 2036 .7082 9 933 .6325 11 15 6 12 13 9 10 .600
11 Kansas State .5896 13 15 1362 .4737 15 671 .4549 5 5 9 5 5 5 5 .840
12 South Carolina .5640 12 13 1511 .5256 13 806 .5464 10 11 12 13 8 8 11 .620
13 Georgia .5189 14 12 1559 .5423 14 803 .5444 14 13 21 16 10 13 15 .470
14 Michigan State .5017 15 11 1685 .5861 10 928 .6292 17 18 11 18 23 22 17 .290
15 Michigan .3980 18 16 1164 .4049 16 618 .4190 15 12 17 11 22 23 16 .370
16 Wisconsin .3939 17 14 1506 .5238 12 808 .5478 24 23 15 21 0 0 23 .110
17 Clemson .3634 7 17 1128 .3923 17 587 .3980 16 19 14 17 20 21 18 .300
18 Baylor .3230 22 20 616 .2143 20 302 .2047 13 14 19 15 7 7 13 .550
19 Penn State .3055 21 18 943 .3280 19 455 .3085 18 16 20 14 21 24 19 .280
20 TCU .3027 19 19 872 .3033 18 494 .3349 19 24 13 19 24 20 14 .270
21 Nebraska .1485 16 21 442 .1537 22 165 .1119 21 20 18 20 25 0 21 .180
22 Notre Dame .0945 NR 23 281 .0977 24 156 .1058 25 21 22 22 0 0 0 .080
23 Georgia Tech .0873 NR 22 357 .1242 21 203 .1376 29 0 24 0 0 0 0 .000
24 Auburn .0750 24 NR 94 .0327 NR 33 .0224 22 25 23 0 19 14 20 .170
25 Texas .0746 23 NR 9 .0031 NR 1 .0007 20 17 0 23 16 17 25 .220

A few things I find interesting:

  • There is no way the University of Houston is the 8th-best team in the country.  Maybe I'm alone on this and maybe I'm making an argument for a playoff, but I think every single team in the top 15 of those rankings beats UofH in a bowl game scenario (significant time to prepare, somewhat neutral site) except Virginia Tech.
  • Speaking of Virginia Tech ... they are ranked fifth? Are you kidding me? The same team that lost to Clemson, barely beat Miami, and almost lost to Duke? What is going on out there, ACC, that this is your best team?
  • Human polls don't seem to like Oklahoma State all that much, but they are benefiting from what seems to be a systemic computer love affair with the Big XII.  We'll talk more about that in a little bit.  Because of the computers, though, Okie State still has a chance if they can beat OU convincingly next week and LSU demolishes Arkansas (thereby making Alabama's win over Arkansas look less impressive and clearing the path to #3).  If Alabama loses and LSU beats Arkansas, then OSU is right back in the NC game even after losing to Iowa State. Weird.
  • COMPUTERS. LOVE. THE. BIG. XII.  I wish I knew binary code so I could express my love back to them in a format they understand.  I might need Mike E's help on this one.  Look at Kansas State's computer average -- 5th.  5th! Oklahoma State is 2nd, OU 6th, and Baylor 13th!  Sagarin's constant yearning for Baylor must have convinced Massey because both have us 7th now in the entire country. That's crazy.  The only reason Texas is even on this list right now is the computers have them 20th.  There had to be a downside to the Big XII-computer tryst, and that is it.
  • COMPUTERS. HATE. WISCONSIN.  What's that about, anyway?  Wisconsin is the anti-Baylor when it comes to Sagarin and Massey.  They can't stand Russell Wilson and company.  That's weird, too, because I think Wisconsin is actually underrated right now. 
  • NC Darkhorse if things get really bollixed up: Stanford.  The human polls have them 4th/5th (probably because everyone loves Andrew Luck like touching his cloak cures leprosy) and the computers 9th, but Stanford has the benefit of playing 2 more games with the first being against Notre Dame on national TV this weekend and the second being (possibly, I'm not 100% sure on Pac-12 tiebreakers) the Pac-12 championship game.  If they win both and teams clear out ahead of them (say OSU loses to OU, Arky loses to LSU, but LSU loses to UGA in the SEC championship), I could see Stanford jumping VTech (as they should) and playing Alabama for the BCS Championship.  An alternative is Arkansas beating LSU and losing to UGA.  That might do it.
  • Finally, for the last Baylor-related thought: there is a pretty large jump between Michigan State at 14 and Michigan at 15, so unless schools in the 12-14 range really trip up, I don't think Baylor can get higher than 15th in the BCS even with two wins in its next two games.  (I'm not predicting, it's a hypothetical).  Still, that would be a pretty incredible outcome for this season.