Sports Magazine

West Virginia : Do Rankings Really Matter Anymore?

By Kipper @pghsportsforum

To say that WVU's win against Texas Tech was big last week would be an understatement. WVU has struggled with Texas Tech ever since entering the Big 12. To beat them in their own house with a 55 yard field goal by Josh Lambert in the last seconds of the game was incredible. I was beaming with pride. And I was very flattered when the kicker himself Favorited my tweet at the end of the game.
The next day, while I was watching the Steelers humiliate themselves, I was anxious to see the AP NCAA Football Rankings. I didn't expect to see WVU ranked, but I knew they would move closer to being in the Top 25, and they did. They were in what I like to call the "Honorable Mention" section at the bottom of the rankings at what would #31. I was fine with that, until I looked at #25, Marshall. Really? Marshall? They are undefeated, but they play nobody. Here is their list of wins so far:
Miami (OH)
Rhode Island
Ohio U.
Akron
Old Dominion
My 87 year old mother and her Bridge Club would be undefeated playing that schedule. I was really putout, until I thought about it. What does it matter?
In today's new playoff system, rankings don't have the same meaning they used to have. The rankings really only matter if your team is in one of three situations:
A. If your team is in contention for the the playoff. Realistically, the Playoff Committee will probably only look at the 8 top ranked teams to determine who the 4 playoff teams will be. WVU will not be a Top 8 Team this year, so will not be in contention.
B. If you are an Independent trying to get into a good Bowl Game or the playoffs. Notre Dame and other independents need to look at the rankings. There position will help determine what Bowl they will go to if they are not in contention for the playoffs.
C. If you are a member of a minor conference and are trying to get into a decent bowl game.
So what does matter for WVU and other teams who play in the Big 5 Conferences? It's easy, conference standings. All the Big 5 conferences (SEC, Pac 12, Big 12, Big 10, ACC) are tied to major Bowl Games. Where you go depends on where you place in your conference. So, if your not in contention for the playoffs, conference standing is what matters, not national rankings. WVU is 2-1 in their conference after 3 games, not looking bad. The Big 12 has affiliations with the following Bowls:
  1. Sugar Bowl (vs. SEC)
  2. Alamo Bowl (vs. Pac-12)
  3. Russell Athletic Bowl (vs. ACC)
  4. Liberty Bowl (vs. SEC)
  5. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (vs. Pac-12)
  6. Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (vs. SEC)
  7. Heart of Dallas Bowl (vs. C-USA)

If Marshall wins Conference USA and is ranked higher that the winners of the AAC, MAC, MW, and Sun Belt conferences, they will go to either the New Mexico Bowl, the Boca Raton Bowl, or the Bahamas Bowl.
Give me membership in a Big 5 conference any day of the week. Marshall can have their #25 ranking. Rankings are mostly for bragging rights these days. Although admittedly, I do like to brag. So let's go Mountaineers!! Beat Baylor this weekend and give me bragging rights!!
Rudy Explains the Playoffs!
Good right up Timmy.
I don't think Pitt has rankings to worry about this year. Beat the Hokies!!! Go Pitt!!!
Rankings do not mean a single point. The only time of the season where they are meaningful is at the end.

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