The top 25 column is excluded here since some teams received votes in the UPI poll, but how many votes does not appear in the final listing, so the average can not be computed since they all "tied" for 21st in that coaches poll, i.e. "21T" is listed for those teams in the UPI poll column "after" the bowl games.)
Commentary: Rewards agreed with four of the top five, but ranked USC as the #4 team, where they were voted as #7 and #9 respectively in the two polls (probably because they did lose their last two games - at home to #1 Notre Dame, and then to #4 Michigan in the Rose Bowl). The ranking that Rewards produced for 1988 matched fairly well the other teams' placements throughout the polls' top 20, matching 7 of them exactly (or only off by 0.5) as in the polls, and 6 more were only off by 1 or 1.5 places. In fact, one of the largest differences between the rankings produced by Rewards, and the polls, was that same USC team whose final positions differed by an average of four places, followed by Indiana which just barely squeaked into the top 20 in the polls, but at 8-3-1, Rewards ranked them as #28, as their higher position in the polls may be due to their bowl win over 8-4 South Carolina. Southern Mississippi (10-2) was ranked at #13 by Rewards, when they appeared only as #23 in the AP, and received some votes in the UPI pool, which tied them for 21st place, as the UPI did not list the vote totals outside of the top 20, so those other teams receiving votes are all "lumped together" in 21st place..
Notre Dame achieved the second highest Rewards ranking seen so far (9.1236 out of a possible 10) because they defeated: #2 Miami of Florida 31-30 at home; #5 West Virginia 34-21 in the Fiesta Bowl; Michigan 19-17 at home; and USC 27-10 on the road.
(This page last modified April 18, 2007 .)