A lot of trash talking goes on during the course of a football game. In fact, too much trash talking goes on in football. These days players will taunt other players for simply catching a pass or making a mundane tackle. But one classic taunt comes when a player on the losing team taunts a player on the winning team. The player on the winning team then comes back by simply saying, “Look at the scoreboard.”
It’s good advice not only for an overzealous football player but it’s also good advice for those voting in the AP and Coaches Polls.
There is a lot you can debate about the latest polls. Should LSU or USC be ranked number one? Should Florida get consideration for the top spot? Does Alabama deserve to jump all the way up to 16th after beating an Arkansas team that has no passing or defense? Does South Florida only deserve to be 23rd after beating Auburn in Auburn? If Florida is 3rd for beating Tennessee then how come California isn’t 4th?
All of these things are debatable. Any one person could take either side of one of these arguments and I could see where they are coming from. There is one thing that is not debatable. There is absolutely no explanation for it and yet both polls did it anyway. There is absolutely no argument that can be made for ranking Louisville ahead of Kentucky.
All it takes to get these two teams in the correct order is to have common sense. Louisville is 2 – 1, Kentucky is 3 – 0. Louisville has beaten no good teams; Kentucky has beaten one. Louisville lost to an unranked team; Kentucky beat a ranked team. Kentucky even beat Louisville head-to-head. How can you rank Louisville ahead of Kentucky when the only game of meaning they’ve played is the game against each other, which Kentucky won?
This is one of the problems with preseason polls. Louisville is ranked ahead of Kentucky right now simply because Louisville was good last year and nobody pays attention to Kentucky. Really it should be no surprise that Kentucky won because Kentucky was a good team last year too, but the people voting in polls clearly don’t pay attention to everybody.
Losses this early in the season should hurt teams more. If USC gets beat by Nebraska or Tennessee gets beat by California then sure those aren’t bad losses and they shouldn’t drop off the top 25 polls. But this early in the season when there are still over 20 teams with undefeated seasons I’ve got no problem with a team dropping completely off the Top 25 for a loss, especially to an unranked team. At the very least they should drop to the 20’s behind all the other undefeated teams on the polls. But a 2 – 1 team ahead of a 3 – 0 team that beat them head-to-head is just ridiculous.