Suppose the number 2 team in the country (Alabama) plays the number 20 team (Kansas State). Alabama wins by 2 touchdowns. In the current system, K St. would drop multiple slots in the polls, and likely fall out altogether.
That doesn't actually make any sense though, does it? Would such a score not actually confirm the polls as they currently stand? Shouldn't the no. 20 team lose by about 14 to the number 2 team? In fact, wouldn't that be a pretty good effort on K St.'s part?
What about a couple of weeks from now when no. 2 Alabama plays no. 1 LSU? What is LSU wins in overtime? Wouldn't that actually confirm Alabama's no. 2 status rather than likely costing them a shot at the Mythical National Championship?
And yet, that's the system we have, and it skews scheduling in a way that makes the season more boring. Alabama and Wisconsin and Southern Cal and West Virginia have little incentive to play other good schools, because they lose slots in the polls whether they drop one to the little sisters of the poor or lose in overtime to the number 1 team. Instead, they take the pragmatic route and schedule their out-of-conference games against Florida Atlantic and UAB and Akron.
What if, instead, number 2 Alabama didn't lose any points for playing LSU to overtime? What if Ohio State had more to gain from playing the best teams in the country than to lose, and less to gain from beating Div. II teams into a pulp to the abject boredom of their fans?