What The Poll Is Going On Here?

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU

As if the college football season wasn't odd enough, we have entered the bizarre world of polling in a pandemic.

The reality is, it doesn't matter what the Coaches Poll or AP Poll says. In the end, the College Football Playoff committee will choose four teams to play in their invitational. But their task is even more challenging considering they will be asked to measure teams who have not played a somewhat even number of games. And while the Big Ten has already announced it will return in late October, the Pac 12 has only said they are considering a return but have made no formal announcement.

But ranking teams has become even more of an "eye test" than ever. Keep in mind, when Ohio State plays its first game October 24th, Clemson will be playing its sixth game of the season that same day. Then add the fact the ACC is hoping most of its teams play 11 games and some in the Big XII will try and play 12 games while the Big Ten will play eight games. Got all that?

But even before we get to late October or into November, look where we are today.

The Coaches Poll and the AP Poll allowed voters to have the Big Ten and Pac 12 in their rankings for the first poll then both made those schools ineligible to be voted for when the originally announced they were opting out of a fall season. So we adjusted the original rankings and the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana became a top 20 team.

But wait! Now the Big Ten is back. So we rank them, right? Well, sort of. The Coaches Poll allowed voters to add the Big Ten back into their rankings but the AP is holding off this week.

But what did coaches do? Well, before the season the group ranked Ohio State second behind Clemson. But then they left the polls the last two weeks before returning and being ranked........10th. What? If before the season, you thought the Buckeyes were the second best team in the country how can they now be the 10th best team? You may say because they haven't played a game. Neither has Alabama, who is now ranked second behind Clemson. Coaches also brought back three other Big Ten schools(Penn St, Wisconsin and Minnesota) and all were ranked lower than their preseason position.

And then there's the general weekly confusing moves in the poll. UCF blows out Georgia Tech on the road and the Knights dropped in both polls because of the return of Big Ten teams. Miami was ranked behind UCF in both polls and the Canes then vaulted above UCF after winning at Louisville. It's a nice win for Manny Diaz and his team but they benefited by playing on ABC and the image that comes with it. They will get the same "the U is back" vibe when they likely beat a below average FSU team this week. Look, the Canes are exciting because QB D'Eriq King is really good. The media gushing over offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has been heavy. Lashlee deserves credit but what Miami is now doing on offense is what most high powered offenses have been doing for years. It's just Miami never adapted. This is not a groundbreaking offense. It's called college football offense in 2020.

In the end, the playoff committee will have to decide if 8-9 data points is equal to 11 or 12. A 10-1 ACC team might be more worthy than a 9-0 Big Ten team. And what would the committee do if UCF or another AAC team was 10-0 or 11-0? Could this be the year an outsider crashes the party? I am still not convinced the committee would add a G5 team. Heck, I think the committee still might take a twice beaten SEC champion over a UCF or Cincinnati.

The only poll that matters is the final one from the playoff committee but the ride to that ranking will be wild in the most bizarre season ever.

Notes: Willie Taggart faces his old school this weekend. No, not Florida State. Taggart, now the head coach at FAU, faces South Florida. How far have the Bulls fallen? They are 5.5 point underdogs heading into the game at FAU, a team that paused practices back in August dealing with COVID...Florida is a 10-point for their opening game at Ole Miss as Lane Kiffin makes his debut in Oxford...Can the season get any worse for Mike Norvell?...UCF rolled over Georgia Tech. Officials did not cost the Yellow Jackets the game. But there were a few calls that shifted momentum in the game that went in UCF's favor. The officiating crew assigned was from the American. I have said it for years and years, there is no reason for conferences to have their own officials. A hold in the SEC is a hold in the MAC. It only creates a perception of bias. We do not have conference officials in basketball. The best graded refs should be assigned the biggest games. It's not that hard...

Final note: The first semi-automatic car wash was introduced in 1946 in Detroit. 

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