Unbuckling the mailbag:
Question: Must say I find your weekly criticism of the SEC amusing. You actually mock Alabama for playing Georgia State while continually ranking Boise State No. 1, based on what? Is Boise State a good team? Who knows, they don't play anybody!
Answer: I know, I know. I'm hearing from SEC fans all over the country. It's getting so bad I may have to get a restraining order against Verne Lundquist.
Truth is, Alabama is playing Georgia State this year, a first-year program being coached by Bill Curry, the former Crimson Tide coach.
Georgia State lost earlier this year to Lambuth, an NAIA school with 653 students.
Just remember that when Alabama rolls Georgia State on Nov. 18 and picks up ground in the polls and BCS computers.
Auburn plays Chattanooga next week. I don't see a Georgia State or Chattanooga on Boise State's schedule. What I do see when I watch Boise is a train.
Q: What is your problem with the Big Ten? Three teams ahead of Michigan State including Stanford and Arizona, who lost to Oregon State. I have noticed this West Coast bias for a long time, especially against the Big Ten.
A: I know, I know. I'm hearing from Big Ten fans all over the country. It's getting so bad I may have to get a restraining order against Brutus Buckeye, who already has a restraining order out against the Ohio University mascot.
I have nothing against the Big Ten … I just try to look at facts. I questioned how it took Iowa two losses to fall in the polls behind one-loss Arizona, which defeated Iowa this year.
I thought Ohio State was overrated (it was), and Michigan State is ranked way too high, in my opinion, relative to what the Spartans have done. Michigan State's best win was at home against Wisconsin, which beat San Jose State by 13 and should have lost at home to Arizona State, which is reeling in the Pac-10.
Michigan State is a nice-looking team but needed trick plays to beat Notre Dame and Northwestern. Navy didn't need any tricks to beat Notre Dame.
Michigan State did not play a game outside the state of Michigan until last weekend, when it had to scramble back from a 17-0 deficit to beat Northwestern.
Michigan State's stock will rise in my eyes if it wins at Iowa this weekend, but the Spartans haven't done that yet, right?
Q: Chris, why do the computers put Auburn at No.1? Why do they rank Missouri as the No. 2 team over teams with wins over stronger opponents?
A: The computers have not seen Auburn or Missouri actually play. They didn't see the Auburn overtime win over Clemson in which a Clemson player dropped what would have been the game-winning scoring pass. They didn't see the three-point win over Mississippi State and the three-point win over Kentucky. They didn't see the Auburn defense give up 43 points to an Arkansas offense playing most of the game without injured quarterback Ryan Mallett. They didn't see the SEC replay booth official in that game make two horrendous calls that accounted directly for two Auburn touchdowns.
They didn't see Missouri beat San Diego State on a miracle play during which a Missouri player blocked an Aztecs player in the back but was not called for a penalty.
It's amazing how high you can rank teams when you can't see.
Q: As a reader and a Missouri alum, I had to wince a little when, a couple of weeks ago, you listed the Missouri Tigers among the pretenders when you discussed teams with no losses.
So now the question is: Will you acknowledge that you misjudged the Tigers, or hope people forget what you previously wrote?
A: I acknowledge misjudging all the Tigers this year: Missouri, Louisiana State, Auburn, Memphis, Princeton and even Cincinnati (the Bengals). If the Pacific Tigers still played football, I would have misjudged them too. I underestimated the Flying Tigers of World War II and, as a kid eating cereal, wasn't crazy about Tony.
Could it be I just don't like cats?
Q: So Auburn jumps all the way to No. 1 in the BCS?!? Have you studied their schedule? They played these four in nonconference: Arkansas State, Louisiana Monroe, Chattanooga and Clemson.
When will folks get it in their heads that the BCS game doesn't automatically have to have an SEC team in it?
(Rant duration: 1 minute 9 seconds.)
A: It's nice to see counseling and meditation have allowed you to keep your rants to less than two minutes.
The schedule looks a lot like the one that got Auburn in trouble in 2004. The Tigers, coached by Tommy Tuberville, were outraged that year when they finished third in the BCS behind USC and Oklahoma, which started the season at No. 1 and No. 2 and didn't lose. Auburn started No. 17 in the Associated Press poll.
Auburn's nonconference schedule that year included Citadel, Louisiana Monroe and Louisiana Tech.