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BCS Standings: Inside the Rankings

A look at the oddities, the computers and the other eccentricities of the BCS standings this week

Chris Trotman

The computers really, really like Florida right now. All the buzz is going to the Kansas State-Oregon question right now, in part because the Alabama-Florida-Oregon knot would untangle itself during the SEC Championship Game if it had to. But the chips are really apart from the humans when it comes to the overwhelming margin that Florida gets. The Gators are first or second in every computer poll except Richard Billingsley(1), a distinction that no other team on the board can claim.

[Insert head-to-head complaints here.] I get the fact that head-to-head is not necessarily determinative at this point -- but, really, what has Georgia done to distinguish itself enough to be five places clear of South Carolina in both human polls? I'm not going to gripe too much right now, given the way the Gamecocks looked on Saturday, and if the Dawgs defeat Florida, then by all means move them ahead. But it feels either preemptive or symptomatic of "move up winning teams, move down losers" voting. If there was a resume-only case to be made, the computers might see things the same way the humans do -- they don't; all but one (Anderson & Hester) have the Gamecocks ahead of the Bulldogs. (In fairness, the computers can't see the 33-point margin of victory for Florida.) South Carolina ends up at 13th to Georgia's 10th.

Other SEC teams, according to the computers. Alabama averages out to fourth, but does get a first-place vote from Richard Billingsley(2). LSU averages out to seventh among the machines and so keeps its No. 6 rankings among the humans in the overall poll. Mississippi State is all over the place, from eighth in Colley Matrix to 20th in Billingsley(3). That all averages out to 13th in the end, which somehow combines with the humans ranking the Bulldogs at 12th to put them at 11th overall. Texas A&M is ranked in all the computers save one -- Billingsley(4), who instead sees fit to rank Boise State 14th.

Tommy Tuberville continues to charm the chips. The riverboat gambler is pulling down royal flushes from the machines, which put him in the Top 10 in the country, with the exception of Billingsley(5). The human vote brings Texas Tech down to 14th. I'm not sure MOV is that big a factor here. The chips can't see that Texas Tech lost to Oklahoma by 21 and only beat TCU by a three in overtime, but they also can't see the beatdown of West Virginia last week. The one thing that is different is that they don't care that the Red Raiders weren't ranked preseason.

Billingsley Count: Five. Give him a little time. It's still only October.