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College Football Enjoys Parity – Only 10 of AP Top 25 Poll Teams Have Remained Alive All 9 Weeks
Is there parity in the 2007 college football season?
I think so, given the fact that parity means equality in this case. The old adage that any team can beat any other team on any Saturday has never been more evident than this season.
My analysis shows that only 10 of the top AP Top 25 Poll teams stayed in the Top 25 in the first 9 weeks of the season. The standard bearers are:
1 USC is now ranked 13.
No. 2 LSU is now ranked 3 (most consistent team all season).
West Virginia No. 3 is now ranked 7.
Florida No. 4 is now ranked 18th.
No. 5 Oklahoma is now ranked 5 (they were No. 10 and rebounded).
The Texas No. 7 is now ranked 14.
The No. 9 Virginia Tech is now ranked 11.
Georgia No. 11 is now ranked 10.
No. 12 Ohio State is now ranked 1.
No. 20 Hawaii is now ranked No. 12.
Eight laggards arrived in the second week or later and remained in the Top 25. They are South Carolina, Oregon and Boston College (8 weeks in the survey), South Florida and Missouri (7 weeks), Arizona State (6 weeks), Kansas (4 weeks) and Michigan (3 weeks).
Michigan lost its first two games, one to AA Appalachian State in one of the biggest upsets in college football history. The Big House’s Big Blue bounced back with 7 straight wins, including victories over Penn State, Purdue and Illinois (the others were slugs).
Four teams were in the poll then came out and played their way back. They are Auburn, Boise State, Clemson and Alabama.
Four other teams had gone in, then out, back and now back. They are Penn State, Rutgers, Tennessee and Kansas State.
Ten other teams had been present for more than a week, then absent and did not return. They include California (8 weeks), Wisconsin and Kentucky (6 weeks), Nebraska (5 weeks), Cincinnati (4 weeks), Louisville and Texas A&M (3 weeks), UCLA, Arkansas and Georgia Tech (2 weeks ).
Six other teams were one-week wonders; they entered the Top 25, were eliminated the following week, and never returned. They include TCU, Purdue, Illinois, Florida State, Texas Tech and Virginia.
Overall, no less than 44 teams were represented in the AP Top 25 poll in the first 9 weeks of the season, or 37% of the 119 Division 1-A teams eligible for the AP Poll vote by sportswriters country’s elite and broadcasters.
Thus, more than a third of the national teams of division 1-A were in the Top 25 in 9 weeks. Two newcomers this week—Connecticut and Wake Forest—may or may not be in the poll when this week’s 10th poll appears late Sunday.
Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley
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