theknightswhosay

Week 9 Top 25 and Commentary

In College Football, Rankings, Rankings Commentary on October 30, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I don’t anticipate having much blogging time this week as I haven’t been feeling well, and I don’t have the type of job where I can just call in sick with a cold, so that’s why I’m doing this now instead of on Monday (or later) as I have been doing.

I’ll start with an anecdote I found interesting. In my first mathematical rankings, Maryland was only one spot behind Ohio St. Now, they are separated by 68 spots, and Ohio St. isn’t even in the top 25.

I anticipated Alabama might fall a spot with the bye week, and that’s what happened, as Oklahoma St. jumped into the #2 spot.

Announcers talk about how “the computers love Oklahoma St.”, but computers do not have feelings. It just so happens that ULL has only one other loss (albeit to a weak team), and Tulsa has only two other losses (to Oklahoma and Boise St.; there are maybe ten teams in the country who wouldn’t have three losses against that schedule). Arizona and Kansas are quite bad, but those are two reasons LSU has managed to come out ahead of the ’Pokes in my ratings. On the other hand, Kansas and Arizona have the best two schedules thus far according to my preliminary SoS, so that can keep those two games from hurting Oklahoma St. very much, and as a result, it’s not surprising many ratings have the ’Pokes #1. It is possible they might be #1 in my ratings if Alabama beats LSU. It would depend upon how past opponents of Oklahoma St. and Alabama do. But I would anticipate that my ratings will still have the “right” top two either way. By the way, my ratings agreed with the BCS as far as the top two teams entering the bowls in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind that cut against Oklahoma St. They will have a bye week, and any team which plays in the SEC Championship game will not have a further bye week, so that’s a chance for the SEC team to come out #1 even if they trail after next week. Also, it would not be a surprise if the value of the wins over Tulsa and ULL were to diminish based on performance in the upcoming weeks.

None of the above is to say that the ’Pokes win Bedlam anyway (or beat K-State and Texas Tech on their way there…I do think it’s safe to say they’ll beat the Cyclones though). But anyone can win LSU-Arkansas or Alabama-Auburn as well. Barring some kind of catastrophic injury or suspension situation, I struggle to imagine LSU or Alabama losing between next week and those respective games. (Recent LSU and Alabama teams have failed to show up in character for such games, but I haven’t seen that quality in these editions yet.) LSU will face Western Kentucky and Ole Miss, while Alabama will face Mississippi St. and Georgia Southern.

The SEC Championship game could also be interesting. It could be a South Carolina team with only a three-point loss to Auburn in Week 5 or a Georgia team on a 10-game winning streak. Since that last loss was to South Carolina, Georgia could finish with two overall losses and actually fail to make the championship game like it did in 2007. South Carolina plays @Arkansas this weekend, so that may chance this fact.

Oklahoma could leapfrog one or more undefeated teams by beating Texas A&M, although it would have potentially helped the Sooners more had the Aggies beaten Missouri. The following week, Boise St. and Stanford have what will probably be their best remaining point opportunities against TCU and Oregon, respectively.

I don’t think Clemson has much of a shot, but if they beat a once-beaten South Carolina team followed by a once-beaten (by Clemson) Virginia Tech team, Clemson could have an argument with some help.

What follows are 10 other teams, one undefeated (Houston) and the rest with one loss each. Those who have a chance to knock off the top 7 are in a better position than those who do not. The next 7 each have two losses, and #25 North Carolina has three losses.

Like with the BCS, it’s not always a good idea to pick the teams with fewer losses to win, but those teams do tend to be higher since it’s a system designed to pick the best two teams. If two teams have even somewhat similar schedules, you want the team with the better record to come out on top for #1 or #2. I don’t care so much about #14 really being better than #15, for example. By the way, I don’t think they are.

Full 120

Top 25:
rank / team / prior
1 LSU 1
2 Okie St. 5
3 Alabama 2
4 Boise St. 4
5 Stanford 7
6 Oklahoma 9
7 Clemson 3
8 Houston 8
9 Va. Tech 10
10 Nebraska 17
11 Michigan 12
12 S Carolina 11
13 Penn St. 14
14 Kansas St. 6
15 Oregon 15
16 Arkansas 19
17 So. Miss. 21
18 USC 13
19 Mich St. 16
20 Ga. Tech —
21 Georgia —
22 Arizona St. 23
23 Texas —
24 Auburn 24
25 N.Carolina —

Out of rankings: (18) Texas A&M, (20) Wisconsin, (22) Syracuse, (25) Cincinnati

Prior rankings:

Week 8
Week 7
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1
Preseason

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