By RALPH D. RUSSO
Florida State is No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll, replacing Oregon behind No. 1 Alabama, and fans of No. 3 Ohio State are becoming increasing agitated with talk of the Buckeyes’ weak schedule and the Big Ten’s strength — or lack thereof.
It is one thing to be told the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 champions should get the nod over the Big Ten’s best because they have a tougher road to travel — even some Ohio State fans might begrudgingly concede that — but an Atlantic Coast Conference team?
Florida State received the three first-place votes from the media panel that didn’t go to Alabama in the Top 25 released Sunday.
The BCS standings, which use the Harris and USA Today coaches’ polls, lined up the same way as the AP poll on Sunday night — with Alabama and Florida State in the top two spots and unbeaten Ohio State trailing.
Ohio State fans contend they’re being done in by a narrative that has developed in the media: The Big Ten is bad and the Buckeyes are overrated.
Maybe they have a point. Let’s compare resumes as best as possible and leave the human element and eye tests aside.
A third of the BCS formula is based on computer rankings, and those computers really like Florida State. But those computer rankings are at least partially undercut by the fact that margin of victory is not allowed because of fears that it could lead to teams running up scores.
Jeff Sagarin does ratings for the BCS, but also posts what he calls more accurate ratings that do include margin of victory. In those, Florida State is the No. 1 team in the country. The Seminoles are second in the nation in average margin of victory (40 points) behind Baylor (46).
Ohio State is No. 7 in the Sagarin rankings, behind even Wisconsin, a team that the Buckeyes beat 31-24 in Columbus back in September. The Buckeyes’ average margin of victory is 31 points.
According to Sagarin’s ratings, Ohio State has played the 81st toughest schedule in Division I. Florida State’s is 62nd.
Ranking conferences, Sagarin has the two Big Ten divisions sixth and seventh, followed by the ACC Atlantic, home of Florida State, comes in ninth.
At www.footballoutsiders.com, a leading web site for football numbers crunchers, Florida State came into this past weekend as the No. 2 team in the country behind Alabama. Safe to assume the Seminoles latest demolition, a 59-3 victory against Wake Forest, won’t hurt their numbers.
Ohio State, which did not play, was seventh.