At least according to Kenneth Massey's computer, which claims Duke is the seventh-best team in the country.
Here's the scary part: Massey's rankings are one of six computer polls used in the Bowl Championship Series formula.
According to Massey's web site:
- These ratings are based on win-loss outcomes relative to schedule difficulty.
- Margin of victory is not used, and ratings don't reflect point differentials.
- Early season ratings will fluctuate significantly until a sufficient number
of games have been played.
Massey apparently factors in SAT scores, too. No. 2 is Northwestern and No. 3 is Vanderbilt.
The part I really don't understand, other than Duke having a loss to Northwestern, is that margin of victory is not a factor. Duke's wins are by 24, 10 and 28 points which would explain why a computer would like the Devils.
Just a guess, but Duke is likely getting credit for beating Navy, who beat Wake Forest, who beat Ole Miss, who beat Florida.