A little on the methodology, right after some gloating.
The Black Heart Gold Actuary Service sent me this week's poll with a note: "Now is the time you get to gloat for having Notre Dame ranked higher than everyone else this season." And they're right, to a certain extent. We've voted for Notre Dame as either #1 or a solid #2 ever since late September. But it's not like we're seeing the future. We're just picking out the trend and saying it's a better trend, a better set of results, than anyone else had done. This year's poll, in the pure pre-logic numbers, has been ridiculously predictive, to the point that it's going to become an offseason project. Suffice it to say that when Notre Dame was a double-digit underdog against Oklahoma or Stanford was giving nearly 20 at Autzen this weekend, we probably could have made some money. Same goes for our love of Utah State and San Jose State that got us chastised at the mothership a couple of weeks ago.
There was another part of Hutchins' reprimand from two weeks ago that did ring true: Trying to make logical moves out of the SEC (and the SEC East in particular) was leading to increasingly absurd results. The poll despises Georgia: Their schedule is three games under .500 on the season, which puts it squarely with the likes of Florida State and Ohio State, and they have been decidedly unimpressive against that slate. Where FSU has beaten their schedule (2 games under .500, but with an extra FCS team) by +328 points, the nation's highest cumulative margin of victory, Georgia plugs along at +212. We changed the equation a couple of years ago to account for teams that win close with strong defense -- teams like the TCU and, yes, Iowa (once upon a time) -- but it requires something good on defense. Georgia's 202 points allowed is not good. It's worse than half the teams ranked ahead of the Bulldogs, and at least 12 behind them.
Anyway, the poll hates Georgia, and so trying to make sense of Florida's loss to them (their one legitimate win of the season to date) was unnecessarily harming the Gators (who the poll likes for their defensive prowess and 23-over-.500 schedule). So that's gone. In fact, all the internal logic save for one (Louisville, who is two games better than the two teams ranked 24th and 25th in the formula and beat them both; they're ranked 41st otherwise) is thrown out this week. And what do we get based solely on our formula? The BCS, basically.
Games of the week/weak are omitted this week, because our poll is the freakin' BCS; the games that are important to us are important to everyone. It's the great convergence, and it's not all good.