(The AP poll was the only one to ask its voters, after all the bowl games were completed: "Who should be #1?")
Commetary: As the table above shows, Rewards matched the top two teams again, after all bowl games were finished, as well as coming close for the rest of the teams in the top 10, except for #4 Nebraska. The Cornhuskers barely lost to #2 Oklahoma (17-14), and they crushed #14 Notre Dame (8-3) in the Orange Bowl (40-6), which was the "best" team they defeated in 1972. However, they did lose to UCLA (8-3) in the first game of the season (with a new QB), and were tied by Iowa State (5-6-1) later that year, so this ranking system objectively placed them in the #12 spot, which is probably too low given how soundly they beat most of their opponents. Teams ranked by the AP from #16-#20 can also be found much lower in the Rewards ranking, which explains the large average concerning how well it matched the top 20. For instance, the voters placed Washington State (7-4) as the #19 team after they beat Washington (8-3) in the final game of the season, but Washington was "rewarded" with a #16 place, given their better season record by this system, along their win over UCLA; State's "lesser, overall record" was part of the reason why they finished below the Huskies (in the #30 spot), but State did lose to 3-8 California, and 4-7 Kansas, which caused them to incur larger penalties for said losses to those "weaker teams".
(This page last modified August 22, 2007 .)