Staff writer J.P. Giglio is one of 60 AP voters
Houston fans don't like where I have the Cougars (No. 15), and Virginia Tech (No. 10) fans don't like where I have the Hokies. But, I don't know how to justify moving them up.
Houston is 12-0 and its best win is over Tulsa. Nothing wrong with beating Tulsa, but couldn't Wisconsin, Oklahoma or any other top 15 team play the same schedule and be unbeaten? According to Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings, Houston has played the 111th-toughest schedule.
Taking care of business on a weekly basis is commendable, and the most difficult part of the college football season, but beating average or bad teams doesn't make you great. Hawaii already proved this in 2007.
Virginia Tech's 11-1 but its schedule hasn't been much better, with only one game against a team in the top 30 of Sagarin's computer rankings. The Hokies best wins are over ACC teams (Virginia, Georgia Tech), and they lost at home to Clemson, the only other ACC team in Sagarin's top 30. At least the Hokies get a rematch with the Tigers this week.
Southern California, Oregon, Arkansas, and South Carolina each have two losses. Does anyone really think Virginia Tech is better than those teams just because it has one loss? According to the AP and USA Today polls, this is how other voters are thinking.
To put it another way: if Virginia Tech played the schedule of any of the teams in front of them, would they still be 11-1? There's no definitive answer but based on some of Virginia Tech's lackluster performances in wins (at ECU, at Duke, vs. Boston College, vs. Miami) to name four, I'd say no.
JP's Top 25
3. Boise State
4. Oklahoma State
18. Kansas State
9. South Carolina
22. So. Mississippi
10. Virginia Tech
23. West Virginia
11. Michigan State
25. Arkansas State
Out: Notre Dame (21), Penn State (23), Virginia (24), Tulsa (25)