Florida State is No. 2 behind Alabama in Associated Press Top 25
Florida State is No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll, replacing Oregon behind No. 1 Alabama, and fans of No. 3 Ohio State are becoming increasing agitated with talk of the Buckeyes' weak schedule and the Big Ten's strength — or lack thereof.
It is one thing to be told the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 champions should get the nod over the Big Ten's best because they have a tougher road to travel — even some Ohio State fans might begrudgingly concede that — but an Atlantic Coast Conference team?
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When the BCS standings, which use the Harris and USA Today coaches' polls, come out Sunday night, they're expected to line up the same way as the AP poll — with Alabama and Florida State in the top two spots and unbeaten Ohio State trailing.
Ohio State fans contend they're being done in by a narrative that has developed in the media: The Big Ten is bad and the Buckeyes are overrated.
Maybe they have a point. Let's compare resumes as best as possible and leave the human element and eye tests aside.
A third of the BCS formula is based on computer rankings, and those computers really like Florida State. But those computer rankings are at least partially undercut by the fact that margin of victory is not allowed because of fears that it could lead to teams running up scores.
Jeff Sagarin does ratings for the BCS, but also posts what he calls more accurate ratings that do include margin of victory. In those, Florida State is the No. 1 team in the country. The Seminoles are second in the nation in average margin of victory (40 points) behind Baylor (46).
Ohio State is No. 7 in the Sagarin rankings, behind even Wisconsin, a team that the Buckeyes beat 31-24 in Columbus back in September. The Buckeyes average margin of victory is 31 points.
According to Sagarin's ratings, Ohio State has played the 81st toughest schedule in Division I. Florida State's is 62nd.
According to Fremeau's strength of schedule ratings, Florida State has played the 83rd toughest schedule in FBS. Ohio State's strength of schedule came in at 103.
Those strength of schedule numbers could shift a bit toward Ohio State over the last month of the season. The Buckeyes finish with Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, with a possible Big Ten championship game against Michigan State on the horizon. Florida State finishes with Syracuse, Idaho and Florida, with an ACC title game matchup against Virginal Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech or Duke.
Computers don't watch ESPN, and they're not influenced by narrative. And right now, they take Florida State over Ohio State.
IN AND OUT: Texas Tech's terrific debut season for coach Kliff Kingsbury is coming undone quickly. The Red Raiders were 7-0 and ranked No. 10 a few weeks back. After three consecutive losses, including a 49-26 loss at home to Kansas State on Saturday, the Red Raiders are now unranked.
Notre Dame also fell out of the rankings again after losing at Pittsburgh.
Moving in was No. 23 Texas, which has won six in a row, and No. 25 Georgia, which plays No. 7 Auburn on Saturday.
MOVING DOWN: Oregon's 26-20 loss to Stanford on Thursday night dropped the Ducks four spots to No. 6, one behind No. 5 Stanford.
MOVING UP: It was a productive open week for Michigan State. The Spartans took advantage of losses by LSU, Oklahoma and Miami to move up four spots to No. 14.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: LSU dropped eight spots to No. 18 after losing 38-17 at Alabama, the Tigers' worst ranking since the first regular-season poll of 2010 when they were 19th.