Opinion: College Football Poll Rankings Are Ridiculous
Note: This is strictly an opinion piece. The comments expressed here are solely the opinion of the writer (and one of the tech guys who manages the website).
I rarely write about college football.
My disdain for college athletics is well-known by those who follow my rants. And I do love to rant.
That said, opening weekend to the NCAA college football season is the perfect occasion to comment on the most idiotic of all of the sport's wrongs.
It strikes me as absurd that there is anything even remotely fair or credible or interesting about a "PRE-SEASON RANKING." Think about it. No football player has yet taken a snap. No team has played a single down. Yet, there's some slick Wizard of Oz-like poll taken behind a curtain that presupposes one team is better than another.
These polls select what allegedly are the best 25 teams in college football, with utterly nothing to back it up. It's like stacking a deck before the cards have been dealt. College football polls have about as much integrity as a French figure skating judge wearing a fur coat.
Not only are pre-season, and by association, EARLY SEASON POLLS terribly unfair, they're also complete trash. Example: How wrong were the "pollsters" opening weekend (the corrupt, compromised, conflicted poll voters) after several "ranked teams" got their asses handed to them?
There's something stupid and sick about a sport where championship and lucrative bowl assignments (thus perpetuating existing inequities) are awarded based on a multi-tiered system of insiders and outsiders, haves and have nots, and polls. No, this isn't a fair sport with all teams starting the race on an even playing field. The power teams with reputations begin with a huge head start. It's almost impossible for unranked teams to make up for lost ground and make a push into the competitive mix. So please, don't tell me this sport is an open and fair competition for all. It's not. It's the ultimate sports oligarchy.
Perhaps the most laughable rankings is the USA TODAY COACHES POLL, which is a joke. Seriously. Do you think the head coach of a major college football team who is obsessed with his own team and working 80 hours a week really has the time or the interest in evaluating the top 25 teams in college football? And if so, isn't there just a slight bit of conflict of interest going on? I don't know how or why anyone gives a damn what college football coaches think and how they rank teams. The average fan in the street watching ESPN probably has a better grasp of the national college football picture. Better yet, let gamblers rank teams according to spreads. THAT'S the real market. THAT would be a credible ranking--betting markets.
The polls get even worse after a game or two. Incredibly, it often happens that teams with losing records are still ranked. How is this possible!? In almost all cases, any team that LOSES the only game it played does NOT deserve to be ranked in the Top 25. Period!!! Win a few games, then we'll talk and that team can be in the conversation. I don't care how many top recruits that team plucked with under-the-table favors. An 0-1 team is still a LOSER.
No, I'm not here to debate which college team is better than the other, because I really don't give a flying flea of a nelly. All that matters is winning games (and for me, covering pointspreads). Nevertheless, I can't contain myself any longer.
Someone's gotta' say it: College football rankings are dumb.