This is a weird point in the season for my mathematical ratings as the top 8 teams are all undefeated, and the best one-loss team is Oklahoma at #9. However, this is probably the only week this will happen. If Oklahoma beats Kansas St., and I think almost anyone would expect them to (despite Oklahomaís loss last week and Kansas St.ís undefeated status), they would add about .15 to their score. A win by Houston over Rice, however, would only add about .03 to their score. Houston currently leads Oklahoma by .027. Also, donít forget that these ratings are designed to pick the best teams at the top. An undefeated team in most cases will have a better argument for #1 than a team with a loss. However, with dramatically different schedules (like Oklahoma will have after next week and certainly in two weeks), a team with a loss may be higher. Also, itís much easier for an 11-1 team to get ahead of a 12-0 team than it is for a 6-1 team to get ahead of a 7-0 team. By the way, in Week 10, Houston will play UAB while Oklahoma will play Texas A&M, so that would be another opportunity for Oklahoma to improve its rating significantly as compared to Houston.
As I mentioned last week, Boise St. does not have a very helpful schedule in the next two weeks either with a bye in Week 9 and UNLV in Week 10. Oklahoma St. will play Baylor and then Kansas St. To round out the undefeateds, I think many of us already know what Alabama and LSU will be doing the next two weeks (bye for both, followed by LSU @ Alabama); Clemson will play Georgia Tech, followed by a bye week; I already mentioned Kansas St., with Oklahoma, followed by Oklahoma St. (unlikely, but if they make it to the end of the season undefeated, they might deserve to play in the title game regardless of what anyone else does); and Stanford (who had a more meaningful jump) will play USC, followed by Oregon St.
The Alabama-LSU winner is almost assured #1 and may have a significant lead over #2, but it is possible that due to the bye, Alabama will fall at least one spot in the next ratings before getting that chance. LSU is probably safely #1 until the Alabama game.
Lower down in the rankings, the SEC canít quite keep a third team in the top 10, but South Carolina is knocking on the door. The Cocks play the Hogs in two weeks, and the winner of that game might have a chance. Not a bad under-card to LSU-Alabama. Virginia Tech may not have much staying power with Duke and a bye week coming up.
Michigan St. made a big jump up by beating Wisconsin, which made a similar leap backwards. Arkansas has slipped with a bye week and then Ole Miss last week, but the Razorbacks should pick it back up if they keep winning. USC has also gone up because not only did they beat Notre Dame, but also Notre Dame had defeated Michigan St., so the Irish count for even more than they would have otherwise. Nothing else of note from 11-20.
Southern Mississippi and Syracuse have mostly been lucky, but they did get quality wins in convincing fashion over the weekend. Auburn is still hanging in there despite the loss to LSU. Arizona St. and Cincinnati backed into the top 25 mostly due to othersí losses. Cincinnatiís schedule thus far doesnít inspire much confidence, neither does their loss to Tennessee, but sometimes not losing is better than playing a good team. With a win next week, Georgia would probably bypass idle Cincinnati. Despite the win over Oklahoma, Texas Tech still has to recover from its easy early schedule and two losses before last week.
Top 25 blog