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.
|Harris Poll||USA Today||Computer Rankings|
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.