Photo: Flickr/Dirk Hansen
The new AP Top 25 rankings are out and two top teams lost ground in the polls — not because they lost, but because they didn’t win by enough.TCU beat San Diego State 40-35 on Saturday, by far their narrowest victory of the year. As a result, the Horned Frogs dropped from No. 3 to No. 4 in this week’s AP rankings.
No. 1 Oregon held on to its top spot, but lost 11 first-place votes as a result of their 15-13 victory over Cal. The Ducks had not scored fewer than 42 points in any game this season.
The 35 points given up by TCU was the most their defence has surrendered all year, and the first time since September that they allowed anyone to score more than 7. A week earlier they had beaten the No. 5 team in the country by 40.
Could it be that these Top 5 teams are victims of their own success? They have so thoroughly dominated opponents this year — TCU with its smothering defence, Oregon with its pinball-like offence — that anything less than a total rout is treated as a loss. Now it’s increasingly unlikely we’ll get to see these opposing forces face each other before the season is out.
Or perhaps the voters are too silly to realise that even the best teams have “off” days — like, for instance, when your offensive line coach has a heart attack during the game, as TCU’s did — and the ability to win close, hard fought contests can be just as impressive as a low-pressure blowout?
The AP poll does not factor into the BCS rankings, but if the voters of the Harris Poll or the USA Today coaches poll give similar downgrades, the Horned Frogs could slip behind Boise State .. and a another undefeated regular season could go for naught.
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