The UPI and AP Polls have had their run. Now it's time for the "Nielsen Poll," Sam Walker's compilation of the top tv draws during bowl season. The WSJ "On Sports" reporter averaged the Nielsen rating for each bowl, and calculated the deviation of each team from the bowl's average. Each school's rank is based on its average deviation from the typical Nielsen ratings of the bowls they played in over a 10+ year period.
Looking at the rankings from a conference standpoint, the Pac 10 is the big winner, bagging three of the top four spots. Only three ACC teams crack the top 25, with Clemson edging Florida State and a surprisingly weak Miami. With Notre Dame at 7th and Oregon in the top spot, one suspects that a bit of straightforward statistical modeling would shuffle the pack quite a bit.
Sam has an interesting take on the tv numbers, which he notes are increasingly relevant when bowls choose teams. Here is the "Nielsen Poll" itself.