Why College Football’s Polls Stink: Exhibit #3,493

It won’t really matter much.

See, Alabama supplanted Texas as the #2 team in the nation. Granted, at some point, Alabama will likely have to play #1 Florida if both teams remain undefeated, so it won’t matter to Texas ultimately. If Texas wins ’em all, they’ll play for the national championship.

But, Alabama wins by 19. Texas won by 24. Both beat conference opponents. Alabama is voted ahead of the Longhorns.

Here’s why it sucks: Auburn, 2004. Again. The test case for any and all logic.

That year, AU went undefeated, playing a tougher schedule and winning with more “style points” than both Oklahoma and U.S.C., the top two teams that year. Yet, Auburn couldn’t get past #3 because…

…repeat after me…

…if #1 and #2 don’t lose, well, how can somebody “jump” them in the polls? Auburn heard that after beating highly ranked teams while the top two teams ripped subpar teams week after week.

Well, #2 didn’t lose. How can somebody “jump” them in the polls? Somehow, someway, it happened this year…and sports commentators seem surprisingly quiet about it all.

It’s very simple, kids. There’s a simple, easy way to fix it:

Let the Big 10, Big 12, SEC, ACC, Pac-10 send their champion to the playoffs. They can pick their champion however they want, but they send their champion. Let the Mountain West and Big East have a playoff game to send one team. Then pick two at-large teams from the current ranking system for an 8-team playoff.

How hard is that? It allows teams to play big-time regular season games against teams from other conferences without hurting national championship goals.

And, don’t tell me that each week is a playoff, because that isn’t true. Look at L.S.U. with two losses in overtime winning a national championship, or U.S.C. still climbing the polls after their loss this year.

You can’t vote a champion…it really is that simple.