- 42. Connecticut — 6-3 (2-2 in the Big East)
- 44. Vanderbilt — 5-4 (3-3 in the SEC)
- 47. Tulsa — 8-1 (5-0 in Conference USA)
- 50. Minnesota — 7-3 (3-3 in the Big Ten)
- 53. Notre Dame — 5-4
- 55. Maryland — 6-3 (3-2 in the ACC)
Those are some big-time schools with quality football programs, and most, if not all, are bowl-bound this season. And remember, Sagarin’s not just some crackpot. His rankings are one of six that make up the computer third of the BCS. Actually, that doesn’t do anything to discount one’s crackpot status.
Plus, JMU has faced only one I-A/FBS opponent, losing big at Duke (No. 44 in Sagarin) in the season opener. Also, Peter Wolfe, seemingly the only other BCS ranking to include I-AA/FCS teams, rates Madison No. 104, which still makes them the highest-ranked I-AA team.
Since college football and its multiple divisions and computer formulas clearly confuse and anger me, I turned to a guy who knows more than just about anyone on the subject, Dr. Saturday’s Matt Hinton, for answers:
How much weight, if any, should we put into my alma mater (JMU) being 41st in Sagarin?
Hinton: I’ve noticed that and tried to figure it out. They haven’t beaten a I-A team and had to win that one game on a Hail Mary, so if they’re No. 1 in the 1-AA polls, that’s as high as I’m willing to give them.
Is it strange to see a 1-AA team that high?
Hinton: I don’t know the history of Sagarin, but I suspect so. App. State may have been up there last year (ed. note: They finished at No. 44), but that’s with a win over Michigan. They did lose twice to I-AA teams though. JMU’s only loss is to I-A team, right? I can’t remember who.
Duke slaughtered them.
Hinton: Yeah, that’s pretty high for a I-AA team that got slaughtered by Duke.
Still, higher than Notre Dame, motherfuckers! And the dream season, which includes the aforementioned Hail Mary, a game-winning punt return and huge comeback over then-No. 1 App. State, continues tomorrow with William & Mary. Purple out, people.