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Monday, September 10, 2012

Reaction to the Rankings, Week 2: ESPN Exposure Paying Off For BYU

The Brigham Young Cougars (2-0) have cracked the AP Top 25. However, in the USA Today Top 25, BYU has fallen from number 27 in the “others receiving votes” category to number 30.

AP
With 110 points, BYU edged out its September 20 opponent Boise State (0-1, 106 points), who had a bye this week. Number 24, Arizona (2-0) is comfortably ahead of BYU with 149 points.

The 110 points is a significant increase from the 63 points BYU received a week ago to come in at number 28. Four upset losses (formerly #8 Arkansas, #13 Wisconsin, #16 Nebraska, #18 Oklahoma State) allowed BYU to jump three spots. They all fell out of the rankings, and BYU jumped idle Boise State. UCLA (2-0) and Arizona (2-0) leap frogged BYU after they upset Nebraska and Oklahoma State, respectively.

Reaction to AP Ranking: This was surprising. It was a turbulent weekend for the top 25, but I never would have imagined that BYU would sneak into the rankings after playing a FCS team. Apparently, voters are still impressed by the Washington State win, notwithstanding Washington State squeaking past FCS team Eastern Washington, 24-20. I have no qualms with UCLA and Arizona jumping ahead of BYU. They beat ranked foes, and that is the reward. I am worried that Boise State will use their position in the rankings as additional motivation.

USA Today
BYU gained points in the USA Today poll, 41 to 70, but fell in the “others receiving votes” category from the second school to the fifth (27th to 30th overall). Boise State is still ahead of BYU in this poll, but the Broncos dropped out of the number 25 spot to 26. Arizona was the last team in with 120 points, so BYU is still a ways away from getting into this Top 25.

As with the AP poll, UCLA and Arizona jumped ahead of BYU with their big wins. Mississippi State (2-0) is the other team to move ahead of BYU. The Bulldogs received 88 points following a 28-10 win over Auburn. Mississippi State beat Jackson State 56-9 in week one.

Reaction to USA Today Ranking: I don’t really like the idea of BYU moving down, even if the total points increased. I guess the point total is more important this early in the season. The rankings are volatile this time of year. All but maybe one or two of the 29 teams ahead of BYU will lose this year, and most will lose more than once, so opportunities to move up will arise.

Overall Reaction
The new rankings are surprising. They are the complete opposite of the historical trends. Since the end of last season, I have pointed out that BYU is more respected by the coaches and regularly finishes ranked higher in the USA Today Top 25. To see BYU crack into the AP (media) poll, while falling in the USA Today poll, can mean only one thing: ESPN exposure is working.

More of the AP voters are seeing BYU play. The impact of the opening Thursday night win over Washington State is still being felt. I fully expected Oregon State to move ahead of BYU after beating Wisconsin, but the Beavers did not. If BYU keeps winning, it will be interesting to see if this is a new trend, or a blip on the radar.

The complete rankings follow below.

AP Top 25
RK TEAM RECORD PTS

1 Alabama (48) 2-0 1486
2 USC (8) 2-0 1414
3 LSU (4) 2-0 1404
4 Oregon 2-0 1299
5 Oklahoma 2-0 1160
5 Florida State 2-0 1160
7 Georgia 2-0 1155
8 South Carolina 2-0 1025
9 West Virginia 1-0 1017
10 Michigan State 2-0 995
11 Clemson 2-0 868
12 Ohio State 2-0 772
13 Virginia Tech 2-0 734
14 Texas 2-0 716
15 Kansas State 2-0 714
16 TCU 1-0 542
17 Michigan 1-1 429
18 Florida 2-0 427
19 Louisville 2-0 316
20 Notre Dame 2-0 310
21 Stanford 2-0 260
22 UCLA 2-0 250
23 Tennessee 2-0 177
24 Arizona 2-0 149
25 Brigham Young 2-0 110

• Dropped from rankings: Arkansas 8, Wisconsin 13, Nebraska 16, Oklahoma State 18

• Others receiving votes: Boise State 106, Arkansas 79, Nebraska 79, OREGONST 77, Mississippi State 70, Baylor 54, Wisconsin 44, ULMONROE 23, Ohio 17, Georgia Tech 15, Oklahoma State 13, South Florida 12, ARIZONAST 10, IOWAST 5, NORTHWSTRN 5, UTAHST 1, North Carolina 1

USA Today Poll
RK TEAM RECORD PTS

1 Alabama (42) 2-0 1455
2 LSU (5) 2-0 1380
3 USC (11) 2-0 1363
4 Oregon (1) 2-0 1292
5 Oklahoma 2-0 1203
6 Florida State 2-0 1153
7 Georgia 2-0 1120
8 West Virginia 1-0 1024
9 South Carolina 2-0 1008
10 Michigan State 2-0 950
11 Clemson 2-0 904
12 Texas 2-0 730
13 Virginia Tech 2-0 704
14 Kansas State 2-0 696
15 TCU 1-0 649
16 Stanford 2-0 455
17 Florida 2-0 452
18 Michigan 1-1 440
19 Notre Dame 2-0 398
20 Louisville 2-0 280
21 Arkansas 1-1 246
22 Wisconsin 1-1 151
23 UCLA 2-0 147
24 Nebraska 1-1 135
25 Arizona 2-0 120

• Dropped from rankings: Oklahoma State 16, Boise State 25

• Others receiving votes: Boise State 104, Oklahoma State 97, Mississippi State 88, Tennessee 71, Brigham Young 70, ARIZONAST 58, Baylor 57, Cincinnati 29, OREGONST 28, Georgia Tech 24, South Florida 21, Louisiana Tech 13, Rutgers 12, Virginia 11, IOWAST 10, NORTHWSTRN 9, WAKEFOREST 6, OLEMISS 3, Ohio 2, Washington 2, Texas Tech 2, ULMONROE 1, Texas A&M 1, Nevada 1

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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