Here's this week's iteration of the Coaches' Poll. Iowa remains static at 18th, which is pretty much to be expected--all Iowa did was dispatch a MACrificial lamb, and very few teams ahead of Iowa lost their games.
But one of those teams that did lose is Texas, who just got garroted at home by UCLA, 34-12. Combine that with three awfully mediocre wins prior to that, and Texas has one of the least impressive 3-1 records among BCS schools. So naturally, they're ranked two spots ahead of Iowa.
The reasoning behind Texas' ranking is simple; when polls have to be submitted so quickly after the weekend's action, the people filling them out have little opportunity to actually evaluate the teams involved. They spent the weekend focusing on more important things, like THEIR OWN TEAMS. Instead, it turns into this banal "win go up lose go down" theater that adds relatively little to the national discussion. And while it's nice to see Texas go down 12 spots after getting blown out by UCLA, the fact remains that Texas is not the 16th best team in the nation by any metric. If they'd done everything the same on the field, but their jerseys said "BAYLOR," nobody would be surprised--and they surely wouldn't be ranked. They might not even receive votes.
At the very least, the AP Poll has more accurately punished Texas for their loss, putting the Horns at 21, and the CBS Sports 120 (to which I'm a contributing voter--my top 25 is below the jump if you care) places Texas 24th. So this is not an "all polls are bad always" screed or anything like that. It's just that saying "a home loss to UCLA should move Texas down, uh... 12 spots!" or any incarnation of the "this type of loss to Team A should move Team B down X spots!" formula is at best a waste of everybody's time and at worst a disservice to the sport. Either give coaching staffs at least 48 hours after the last college football game of the weekend to submit their votes or stop giving them the power to help determine BCS rankings.
1. Ohio State
3. Boise State
19. South Carolina
24. Penn State
25. Michigan State