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Inside the Rankings: Bobby Bowden Never Liked Computers from the Start, But Silicon Suits Tommy Tuberville

Plus, the fate of BCS busters and Mississippi State and why the computers seem to like Oregon State


The computers hate hate hate Florida State. This isn't really that unusual this season, given the Seminoles big win and the loss to N.C. State. But the gap between the humans and the chips on FSU isn't going away. The Noles are sixth in the human polls (which could be the subject of another post entirely) and 19th among the computer. No machine has FSU ranked higher than 15th.

The humans should listen to the computers on Oregon State. Meanwhile, the chips rightfully have Oregon State ahead of Florida State, while the humans stubbornly put the Beavers back at No. 12 because they didn't start the season highly ranked. And there is really no other reason for the snub -- OSU has beaten what I would consider to be a higher grade of team on average than FSU, and my guess is that Oregon State's one loss (Washington) would beat Florida State's one loss (N.C. State) on a neutral field. The Beavers are ranked eighth by the computers and no lower than 10th by any machine. Maybe Oregon State isn't a Top 10 team right now, but if they're not, neither is Florida State.

Tommy Tuberville continues to charm the socks off those computers. The chips can't get enough of Texas Tech, which is still ranked 18th by the computers despite the loss to Texas. Compare that to the human polls, one of which doesn't rank the Red Raiders at all and another that has Tech at 25th. Only one computer poll (Colley Matrix) has Texas Tech unranked; every other machine puts the Raiders at least in the Top 20.

The BCS busters are out. With Boise State's loss to San Diego State, all hope for the non-AQs to crash the big-money games is out of the question. Louisiana Tech is probably not going to make it into the Top 12, particularly not with the computers despising them, and it's going to be hard for the Bulldogs to catch up with Nebraska and end up higher than No. 16, which is the only other way to get an auto-bid. I suppose it's not entirely impossible for Louisiana Tech to do it, but the odds of it happening are almost not worth mentioning. It is nice to see Toledo get a little bit of credit at No. 15 overall.

Mississippi State holds on. Even with the loss to Texas A&M, the Bulldogs managed to remain in the Top 25 in most of the computers, giving them another week in the overall standings. With State still on board, fully half of the SEC's roster is in the BCS Top 25. Of course, Mississippi State still has to play at LSU, which could knock them out of the rankings if the Tigers prevail, but there are games against Arkansas and at Ole Miss after that. If they can win enough, a boost from the humans might be enough to keep them around.