Week 6 AP Top 25 rankings contain several flaws

After the release of the Associated Press’s Top 25 college football rankings Sunday, insanity officially struck home with the nation’s writers.

The AP threw pity parties at teams and the benefit of the doubt, especially in the SEC.

The AP poll is compiled of 60 sportswriters from across the nation, and it seems a chunk of them are from the South.

After suffering a blowout loss to then-No. 6 South Carolina, the Georgia Bulldogs only fell from No. 5 to No. 14.

Georgia had yet to play a top-tier team before South Carolina, and still squeaked by in a few of those games behind a lackluster defense.

Mississippi State — now ranked No. 20 — has been in the Top 25 since week four, but has yet to play a team worth comparing its talent against.

The last team in the SEC that is seeing some conference love is LSU.

Granted, like most top-five teams that lose, it only moved down a handful of spots.

All of last year, when a top-five team lost, it did not move outside the top 12.

Last weekend, No. 4 LSU lost to a talented No. 10 Florida defense but LSU’s offense made them look much better.

The Tigers turned the ball over three times and were 1-for -13 on third-down conversions.

LSU’s defense is the only thing keeping them in most games — especially with the schedule they have had thus far.

For them to still be ranked inside the top 10 is a gift from the AP “gods” that won’t save them for much longer.

Five hours down the road, Louisiana Tech moved into the Top 25 after wins over Virginia, Illinois and UNLV.

The only problem is that not a single team it played — regardless of the conference — has a winning record.

Its true test will come this week as they face No. 22 Texas A&M.

Filling out the last two spots in the Top 25 are No. 24 Boise State and No. 25 Michigan.

The rule with Boise State should always be: Lose one game all year and you’re out of the Top 25, due to the lack of strength in its schedule.

That’s great that Boise State schedules a top-tier game at the beginning of the season, but if they don’t win that game, it proves they shouldn’t be ranked with them.

As for Michigan, its only two losses to top-ten teams does give it an excuse to still be included in the Top 25.

Quarterback Denard Robinson has a lot of talent, but the entire team is not worthy to be in the Top 25 until it beats a formidable opponent.

Teams like Baylor, Ohio University, Iowa State, Northwestern and ASU deserve a Top 25 spot more than some of these teams.

Baylor’s only loss came at the expense of Geno Smith and West Virginia’s high-scoring offense.

Ohio is still undefeated and playing much better teams than Boise State and Louisiana Tech.

Northwestern was undefeated against some quality teams from multiple conferences, until Penn State rallied to win this past weekend.

Northwestern was No. 24 until it lost to Penn State.

As for ASU, its lone loss of the season comes at the hands of Missouri.

Since that game, Missouri’s performance has made the loss look worse on ASU’s part.

ASU’s best chance of becoming a ranked team comes in two weeks against No. 2 Oregon.

ASU bears a top-five defense out of all FBS teams so far this season, and while its wins have come against sub-par teams, they have been blowouts.

Iowa State received a No. 25 ranking by the Coaches’ Poll, but remains out of the AP Poll for now. Its upcoming schedule could determine its fate against the top Big 12 teams.

The weakest teams will eventually be weeded out of the AP Poll over the next few weeks, as teams finally play better opponents inside their conferences.

The SEC — according to history and this year’s AP — remain the deepest and strongest conference, boasting seven teams in the Top 25.

Close on their heals remain the Pac-12 and the Big 12 with four apiece.

Until the SEC gets knocked off its throne, the AP will keep kneeling and kissing its feet.

So until then, let’s sit and watch the madness unravel.

 

Reach the columnist at msterrel@asu.edu