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Preseason Poll Analysis (or Fake Math)

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A friend of The Cup (a coach's son who gets credit for hating Rick Cleveland and not much else) says that people who can't play sports write about sports. I'd take offense to that, but every time I try to chase him down and show him who is boss I get light-headed and short of breath after the first few steps away from the ol' computadora. One too many cheesy double beef burritos, I guess.

Anyway, the folks who like sports but don't know enough about them to actually write about games, players, strategy, and the like, well, they write for SI.com.

The point of this long introduction is that I trust only a few people when it comes to trying to guess what's going to happen when it comes to the 20-23 year old football playin' crowd - and Stewart Mandel ain't one of 'em. Nevertheless, I'll fall prey to the hype.

The crack staff at SI.com (a passel of no-accounts that, as far as I can tell, includes Mandel, a group of half-trained barnyard animals, and Jar Jar Binks) has compiled their ranking of all 119 teams in Division I-A.
Don't they-sa call it the Footsa-ballsa Bowl Subdivision, nowsa?!?

How anyone thinks that they can determine with any objective certitude that Duke (#79) is better than forty teams in all of college football, that Louisiana Tech (#104) is better than all the other toilet-bowl teams in the Pelican State (Monroe at 105, Tulane at 113, Lafayette at 116), and that 'Tippi Tate is better than all but 29 teams in the whole land, well, I can't get my head around that kind of high-quality think-ifying.

Nevertheless, based upon whatever standard these clowns use (likely based off the same scoring rubric used to proclaim a "winner" in ice skating "competitions"), here are some interesting facts.

The SEC has both the highest-ranked team (Georgia at #1) and the highest-ranked "bottom feeder" (Vanderbilt at #75). The Big East is the last conference to appear in the rankings (West Virginia at #14) and boasts the lowest-ranked BCS program (Syracuse at #93).

Conference means and medians are as follows:
Mean Median
SEC 34.1 29.5
Big 10 40.8 38
Pac 10 44.1 46
B.East 39.4 30
Big 12 36.5 39.5
ACC 44.8 43.5

And, most encouraging of all, there are a sweet sixteen BCS teams that are ranked lower than the Rebels. We play one of them. Enjoy that.