Why Auburn is No. 1
Auburn's past competition has been faring well. Seven weeks into the season, the Tiger's have beaten three C teams (2-loss), three D teams (3-loss) and one F (5-loss) team. That means all, but one team - Auburn's opening day opponent, Arkansas State, have winning records thus far.
Compare that to the current BCS No. 1, Oregon and you can see a big difference. The only opponent of any note Oregon has faced was B team (1-loss) Stanford. The Ducks have piled up massive yardage and scores that would earn the envy of any offensive coordinator, but against who? Aside from Stanford, Oregon beat winless New Mexico, E team (4-loss) Tennessee, Portland State, an automatic H team (7-loss) because it's in the FCS, Arizona State, a D team (3-loss) and Pac-10 bottom feeder Washington State, another G team, also headed for H team status. Oregon's Houlgate points average is 3 points, while Auburn's is just over 5 points a game. The Duck's aren't getting any respect and the Chinese don't have a Year of the Duck in their Zodiac. You can, however, order Peking Duck in many Chinese Restaurants. Have it in a sit-down meal or get it to go, the Oregon Ducks are looking more like someone else's dinner plate than the No. 1 team in the nation. They get the UCLA Bruins in Eugene this week, then the USC Trojans in Los Angeles. The Trojans, coming off a big win over Cal last weekend, have a bye this weekend and will no doubt be hungry for some Duck Soup.
Why Oregon is No. 11
To put this in fuller perspective, there are nine teams, not all of them undefeated A's, that rank between Oregon and Auburn. LSU just finished beating a stubborn McNeese St., who forgot for three quarters that they were an FCS team. The Cowboys from Lake Charles gave the Tigers fits before LSU woke up and pulled away. LSU has averaged 4.7 Houlgate points per game, with seven coming to them by B team West Virginia, which shows the Tigers as the only blemish on the Mountaineers' season. Mississippi State continues to impress, maintaining a C grade and that's helped both Auburn and LSU thus far.
Michigan State and Oklahoma, both tied for third place, are averaging between 4.5 and 5.3 points per game. Oklahoma had a bye during week 6. MSU had beaten B Team Wisconsin and just reduced its cross-state rival Michigan to C status, which is not bad, provided the Wolverines return to their winning ways. The Sooners are the team to watch through the lens of the Houlgate Ranking System. Beating Air Force, Cincinnati and Texas has kept them looking strong as their future schedule puts them up against A teams Missouri and Oklahoma State. Oklahoma's other remaining opponents are .500 or better. Should the Sooners win out and their opponents continue doing as well as they have, they might finish the regular season No. 1.
Oklahoma State and Missouri have, between them, racked up wins, mostly against D teams. Ohio State is averaging 3.6 Houlgate points per game. The only loss for the Buckeyes came against Wisconsin, a B team. In the Houlgate system, if you lose, make sure it's either an A or a B team. Upsets from lesser teams make it very costly.
Eighth place Boise State posted wins over C team Virginia Tech and D teams Oregon State and Toledo. Although the Broncos are currently ranked third in the BCS, the rest of their opponents range in the F and G team category. They've had a hard time gaining respect on the national stage for years and the Houlgate rankings still show that the jury is out. Boise may still rise as it has two C teams, Hawaii and Fresno State and B team, Nevada coming up in the latter half of the season.
TCU, the Houlgate 9th Place team and the BCS 4th ranked team, posted wins over C team Baylor and D Team Oregon State. Aside from them, TCU's opponents have F, G and H grades. The Horned Frogs have been winning over some hearts and minds. They can win over some more Houlgate Ranking points and a better ranking position if they beat Air Force, Utah and San Diego State.
And lastly, we have Alabama. The Tide ranked around 3rd in the Houlgates and first in the BCS, just a couple of weeks ago, but their loss to South Carolina proved even costlier as the Gamecocks lost to Kentucky the following week. Beating up on San Jose State and Duke also didn't help the Tide much. The SEC is a tough conference and it's very hard to make it through that gauntlet, while maintaining an A grade.
The Ducks have been scoring big on the field, but all in all, against lesser opponents than those of the Houlgate top 10. The BCS and AP rankings may be spotting them the pole position, but the Houlgate system is not convinced.