For many years the NCAA football top 25 poll has been under scrutiny for there rankings.
It has been said some teams receive votes because of their reputation, because of what they did the previous season, or because of the expectations that were placed on that team during the preseason.
Many teams who deserve to be included in the prestigious top 25 are not included because they are not a big school.
The way the poll is supposed to be determined is through several pieces of criteria.
First is through record. It very rarely happens, if ever, that a team that is .500 or worse makes it into the top 25.
Secondly is through strength of schedule. It does not matter what your record is if you play a schedule where all your opponents are below .500.
Strength of schedule is determined in large part by what conference the team belongs to.
The teams in the major conferences such as the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference), Big 12, SEC (Southeastern Conference), and the Big East, to name a few, usually have a high strength of schedule because of the level of competition that is in the respective divisions.
The Top 25 so far this season has shown that a lot of teams who are included don’t deserve to be there. And even teams that do deserve to be there are being tested by lesser teams from lesser conferences.
High expectations fell upon North Carolina State before the season started. With the return of senior quarterback Phillip Rivers and the emergence of sophomore running back T.J. McClendon, the Wolf Pack figured to roll through the ACC and go undefeated. I
n the team’s conference opener at unranked Wake Forest, the Wolf Pack stumbled and fell to the Demon Deacons, 38-24.
The University of Maryland, not known for having a power football team, has show flashes of a program turning that around over the past 3 seasons.
The Terrapins were ranked 14th to start the season, the highest they had ever been in a preseason poll. The proceeded to go to Northern Illinois and get handled by the Huskies in overtime 20-13.
As the season rolls on, teams will fall in and out of the Top 25 poll.
The teams most deserving will be in the bowls games no matter what their rank is because the bowl games want good teams, not teams that are overrated. And ultimately bowl game victories are all that matter.