How is it, other than the fact that there are presumably more voters on the West Coast than around Nebraska and Florida, that the following poll shuffling could occur:
A couple of weeks ago, Florida State and Nebraska are both rated above USC, based on more impressive victories against stronger opposition, and in Nebraska's case at least, figuring that a loss to Florida State (despite completely dominating the yardage statistics) should be less detrimental than a tie with Oregon.
USC finally flattens somebody, scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter against a California team that was poor to begin with and then loses its top two quarterbacks early in the game. Meanwhile, FSU coasts past Tulsa, 45-2 (42-2 after three quarters versus 33-7 for Southern Cal), while the Huskers soundly beat a very strong Missouri club, 38-16. One might suspect that Nebraska would stand to gain the most. Yet incredibly, USC vaults ahead of both Nebraska and FSU in one poll; Nebraska in the other.
The following week the reverse situation occurs. The Trojans soundly defeat a hot-and-cold Stanford team (television helps), while Nebraska virtually annihilates a hapless K-State team. The Huskers roll up nearly 700 yards in offense while holding the Wildcats to around 50 by the end of the third quarter. Unfortunately from a poll standpoint (with subs playing as early as the second quarter), Nebraska fourth-teamers are not as prolific in the final quarter as were USC's reserves the previous week. As for FSU, it defeats a good VPI team but falls behind USC in both polls.
My complaint is basically that there seems to be two sets of standards (or perhaps very little logic). Either USC should have remained behind Nebraska and FSU when it clobbered a creampuff (hint: this is the correct answer), or the latter should have gone back ahead when it did likewise the following week.
Since we still do not have playoffs to determine a national champion, the fans hope the polls will provide a fair, albeit inexact, ranking. I think they deserve better than they've been getting.