I wrote this about 12 hours ago. The committee pretty much did what I thought they should do, with the exception of choosing Georgia Tech over UCLA. I guess they went with the team that finished strong over the better "body of work". After Oregon took the Rose and Arizona the Fiesta, there wasn't really a good bowl to put UCLA in anyway. I also would have preferred Alabama play FSU in the Sugar Bowl and the traditional Rose Bowl match-up, but I guess they don't consider that.
I know this is early in the day for most of you, but I’m not the one who decided to make the selection show so early for west coasters like me. I’ll just have to find out the final verdict after I get up and have breakfast.
I’ll just do my regular top 25 blog later in the week, but for reference here are my ratingsresults. I use the numbers there below.
(Teams in my Top 7 apart from Boise St.; wins are limited to those over the top 60.)
Florida St. (3-0 vs. top 25, 5-0 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 14, 21, 25, 41, 46, 55, 60
Alabama (3-1 vs. top 25, 8-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 9, 16, 18, 26, 33, 40, 45, 47, 52
Lost to #8
Oregon (3-1 vs. top 25, 6-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 10, 11, 13, 36, 39, 48
Lost to #10
Ohio St. (2-0 vs. top 25, 5-0 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 13, 15, 28, 30, 43, 54
Lost to #74
TCU (1-1 vs. top 25, 4-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 19, 29, 30, 45, 57, 60
Lost to #7
Baylor (2-0 vs. top 25, 3-1 vs. top 50):
Beat numbers 5, 19, 29, 57, 60
Lost to #45
There should be no serious doubt about Florida St., Alabama, and Oregon, so I’ll skip to talking about the fourth semifinal team.
Baylor’s win wasn’t really in doubt for the much of the second half, but I don’t think it was anything like the kind of exclamation point Ohio St. had. I had Ohio St. in the top 4 to begin with, so I am still convinced Baylor does not belong. Virginia Tech is a worse team to lose to than WVU, but my feeling is the two additional wins over the top 50 make up for this.
I respect the opinion that TCU belongs ahead of Ohio St., although obviously I don’t agree with the conclusion. I think Ohio St. just showed emphatically they can play like a top 4 team. Admittedly, they showed all those weeks ago they can also lose to a mediocre team at home by two touchdowns, but at some point, the other 12 games taken as a whole should be more important. One top-25 win vs. 2 and 5 top-50 wins vs. 4 make up for that. TCU played the best of any of these teams in their loss, but actually that might have been their best game. I just haven’t seen them look like a top team often enough, particularly in light of their difficulties against West Virginia and Kansas in the month of November.
Transitioning out of the semifinal discussion, I don’t think Marshall and Boise St. are getting the respect that previous “group of five” teams with similar records have gotten in the past. Hawaii in 2007, for instance, was #11 after starting 11-0. Marshall, which has actually had a better schedule this season, was #19 after starting 11-0. I do think Marshall and Boise St. may each be a couple of spots too high in my ratings though.
I mentioned briefly last week why I had Boise St. ahead of Arizona, and now it’s similarly problematic to have Boise St. ahead of Baylor. There is a higher depth to Boise St.’s wins, but ultimately beating top-20 teams should be valued more highly. I want to try to find a way where beating #5 and #19 counts for more points than beating #20, #49, and #69. Those aren’t Boise St.’s three best wins (they beat two others in the top 60), but they just happened to combine for slightly more points than Baylor’s two best wins.
One way I thought of was adding some kind of additional credit for beating teams that end up with positive ratings (which is usually approximately the top 40). I won’t alter the formula at this point this season though. I will tinker with it after the final results of this year to see how it turns out. I will also look to see how it would alter previous ratings.
Something else I want to note is Boise St. actually has more FBS wins than Baylor because they played an extra game and did not play an FCS opponent. So where usually a team with two losses has fewer wins than one with a single loss, the two-loss team in question has more wins.
In an average playing week, Baylor did accumulate more points than Boise St. did in an average week.
One reason I say Marshall may be a spot or two too high is that I think Michigan St.should be in a major bowl. Their only losses are to teams I believe should be in the top 4.Wisconsin was technically the Big Ten runner-up, but they lost an additional game, and they lost to LSU and Northwestern. LSU isn’t a bad loss, but Northwestern is pretty bad. They don’t even qualify for a bowl game. I mention those together because they’re in the same conference.
I also think UCLA should be included in the top 6 bowls, while Georgia Tech should be excluded. The two teams finished with the same number of losses, and there were understandable losses by both and fairly weak losses by both. UCLA’s non-conference slate of Virginia, Memphis, and Texas, combined with the strength of the Pac-12 South relative to the ACC Coastal, should put them ahead.
Florida St. was actually two possessions ahead of Georgia Tech going into the last couple of minutes, which is a gigantic lead for the Seminoles, so the final score being two points doesn’t sway me. Also, I give them credit for the one strong out-of-conference win (albeit an extremely lucky one) against Georgia, but the others were Wofford, Tulane, andGeorgia Southern.
I haven’t exactly made the case why UCLA should go ahead of Wisconsin or Michigan St. should go ahead of Georgia Tech, but hopefully you can fill in the blanks there.
The only other thing in the top 25 worth commenting on is a team that hadn’t been there since my (subjective) preseason ranking….
We can also add Northern Illinois to the list of “group of five” teams that may be a spot or two too high. After Arkansas’s games against LSU and Ole Miss made that blowout loss more understandable, that only leaves one other loss for the Huskies against 11 wins. Like Boise St., Northern Illinois goes up an extra spot for playing an extra game. If I averaged by playing week, they would have stayed behind Louisville.
In addition to my blog linked to above, I also have a page on Facebook and am on twitter @TheBayouBlogger.
My current top 4
My Top 25
1 ( 2 ) Florida St. 1
2 ( 1 ) Alabama 2
3 ( 5 ) Ohio St. 3
4 ( 3 ) Oregon 4
5 ( 4 ) TCU 8
6 ( 22 ) Boise St. 12
7 ( 7 ) Arizona 10
8 ( 11 ) Ole Miss 14
9 ( 8 ) Miss. St. 5
10 ( 12 ) Ga. Tech 15
11 ( 15 ) UCLA 6
12 ( 9 ) Mich. St. 17
13 ( 13 ) Wisconsin 18
14 ( 6 ) Baylor 13
15 ( 14 ) Missouri 20
16 ( 30 ) Marshall 7
17 ( 10 ) Kansas St. 19
18 ( 16 ) Georgia 9
19 ( 19 ) Auburn 11
20 ( 31 ) Colo. St. 16
21 ( 20 ) Clemson 23
22 ( 24 ) Nebraska 24
23 ( 18 ) Arizona St. 21
24 ( 17 ) Oklahoma 22
25 ( 21 ) Louisville –
(USC and LSU are the two Mock BCS top 25 teams who are not in my top 25.)
Full Rankings 1-128
Out of top 25: (25) Minnesota
There are a total of 39* teams that got some level of points in the Mock BCS standings linked to above. (I list 40 teams since Texas A&M was in the top 25 of one of the computer rankings, but they got no points since the highest rating is dropped)
Earlier top-25 blogs:
I didn’t do a post-game blog about LSU/A&M, but I updated the Rivalry Series entry, and I will write a bit about the Tigers in my second blog this week. I also plan to write about relative conference strength and lower bowl possibilities. I think the new committee rankings will be relevant to that discussion.
What I’ll discuss below is the current state of my rankings and how I think that SHOULD translate into what the committee does with the major bowls at the end. I can’t speculate with any accuracy what they will do, especially being that I don’t know how the rankings for this week will look.
Because Florida St. has been accumulating a reasonable amount of points whileAlabama has recently had a bye and played Western Carolina, the Seminoles are still on top, although I would agree with probably most people in the conclusion that Alabama looks like the better team at the moment.
Georgia has also thrown a wrench into things by beating Auburn, losing to Georgia Tech, and failing to win the East. If Alabama were playing a two-loss Georgia team next week and Florida St. were playing a three-loss team, Alabama would have a good chance to move back into #1, but unless the Yellowjackets beat Florida St., I don’t see that happening now.
By the way, I’ve never experienced such a disappointing day of college football in my life. I watched about 10 games that went down the final couple of minutes, and every last one of them went the way I didn’t want them to. Georgia choking was just the beginning of a long day. Also, I don’t know why on Earth Auburn thought they could win with field goals.
Alabama should have at least three losses, but then how would they torture me? One thing they did was allow LSU to move into first place in the SEC in total defense, so I guess we can say we got first place in something.
Despite the SEC East’s troubles with the ACC (although let’s not forget Georgia beatClemson earlier this year), I think it’s justified to have three SEC WEST teams in the top 10 and all seven in the top 40. By the way, the Mock BCS agrees with the latter assessment. Texas A&M got no points, but they were ranked in one of the formerly BCS computers, so I think that makes them #40. It merely has three SEC West teams in the top 11 instead of the top 10 though.
Anyway, there are two more slots to fill out in the semifinals, so I’ll now talk about that.
I have no hesitation in supporting Oregon if they beat Arizona. They will have vindicated their one loss of the year. Even though they play in the weaker Pac-12 division, they still beat UCLA, who tied for second in the Pac-12 South. Of course, Michigan St.counts as a decent win as well. So that’s two of the top 3 teams in the Pac-12 South. (Technically, USC tied with ASU and UCLA in the South, but they’re clearly #4 in my view.)
That last spot is going to be tricky. I do have Ohio St. there right now (actually ahead of Oregon at the moment), and I can’t imagine that if the Buckeyes beat Wisconsin, that either the formula or my mind will change. However, I do understand the argument that maybe losing to Virginia Tech at home could be a disqualifying factor.
As I discussed last week, I firmly believe the best alternative to Ohio St. in that instance isTCU, whose only blemish is a 3-point loss to Baylor about 6 weeks ago.
West Virginia is better than Virginia Tech, but they don’t belong anywhere near the top 25. The Mountaineers beat Baylor by a couple of touchdowns.
Even if Oregon loses, I still don’t see Baylor being #4. The committee might pick them ahead of Arizona in that instance, but I don’t think I would.
That might not seem to make sense being that I have Boise St. ahead of Arizona right now, but the Broncos have the better schedule at the moment. I know that’s hard to believe, but Boise St.’s opponents have a winning record overall, and Arizona’s opponents have a losing record overall. The Mountain West simply is not leaps and bounds behind the power conferences, and Boise played a very competitive schedule out of conference (while Arizona didn’t).
However, Fresno St. isn’t going to help the Broncos very much. So with a win, Arizona should easily pass them up as well as TCU and Oregon (whom they would have to beat).
Using my formula’s current rankings, these are the potential resumes of relevant teams for the last spot or two (two if Oregon, Florida St., or Alabama lose):
Team 1: beat #6, 17, 24, 56; lost to #46
Team 2: beat #17, 24, 29, 46, 56; lost to #14
Team 3: beat #12, 13, 29, 32, 44, 45, 55; lost to #76
Team 4: beat #4, 4, 23, 36, 50, 53; lost to #11, 27
I’m going to assume Alabama would be out of the running with a loss despite whatever strength of resume they might have. It might be possible for a team to be #1 going into championship week and hang on with a loss at some point, but this is not the year.
I do want to acknowledge that Baylor may be much better than #14. They would close the gap considerably by beating Kansas St., but obviously Oregon would be a better win than Kansas St. Also, the Bears would not pass up TCU.
So the only teams that should be in the running from my perspective are Nos. 1 to 5 and #7 Arizona.
Arizona/Boise St. has prompted me to consider a slight modification to my system though. I have preliminary ratings of teams between 0 and about 7 (which would be if the team with the best schedule went undefeated, which is nearly impossible). Boise St. has only beaten one team (Colorado St.) with a preliminary rating higher than 4.0, while Arizona has beaten three (Oregon, Arizona St., and Utah). So my idea is to have those higher-rated opponents count for a bit more than they do already.
There are a total of 12 teams that will be in CFP bowls. I don’t see any of the 6 mentioned above falling out, so here are 6 other teams I think should be make up the rest of the spots:
Boise St. (top “group of five” team)
This would be assuming that Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Kansas St. all lost. I believe a win by any of those (although Kansas St. might be debatable) should get them in. I have the teams above so they would be eliminated from the bottom right now. If Baylor beats Kansas St., I would want them to be given a safe spot though.
Boise St. should be assured the “group of five” spot with a win, but if they lose and Marshall wins, I would want them replaced with Marshall. If both lose, I guess Colorado St. would take that slot.
In addition to my blog linked to above, I also have a page on Facebook and am on twitter @TheBayouBlogger.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Another week and again I find myself writing my blog from my dad’s hospital room. I wish I had better news to report, but I just don’t. I remain hopeful, but it very much seems that we will need a Christmas miracle for my dad. Christmas…is it possible that we are almost there? It only seems like yesterday that I was writing my blog about swimming. To borrow a line from a great song…”it’s a long long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September.” As the days grow short, they become precious indeed.
I read a comment on facebook that said that the college football format has “cheapened” the regular season. I have been thinking about those words and just don’t understand that position. It would seem to me that with the current format that the regular season games have become vitally important, with regard to qualifying for the 4 team playoff. Some college football fans have been complaining about the lack of attention paid to strength of schedule. The playoff committee seems have heard this complaint and is hanging their hat mainly on strength of schedule and “good” wins. Why would I say that you ask? Well, how else could you have the unbeaten defending champs as the 4th ranked team (FSU) and the 3rd ranked team (TCU) ahead of the team that beat them (Baylor). It is odd and it is confusing, but it sure as hell has folks talking about college football. While we may complain and question those top four teams, it is easy to see that the job of the committee is damn hard. Let’s be honest for a moment…each of us has a favorite team and conference. It has been said that you can use statistics to support any opinion. If you have ever doubted this, read the different opinions on college football. Fans and writers grab any common stat to try to make their case. It is okay as this is part of what makes being a fan fun. Because of this, I tend to take the various opinions on college football’s best teams with a grain of salt. With Texas well out of the running, I am still digging this college football season. But, I must admit that I remain somewhat confused with the ranking of TCU above Baylor. Yes, I understand that TCU scheduled and beat Minnesota 30 to 7, while TCU went to Buffalo and scalped the Bulls 63 to 21. The bottom line for me is that Baylor beat TCU. Yes, it was a basketball score…but it was still a victory. I appreciate that the best college teams are being held accountable for scheduling weak non-conference opponents, but how do you ignore a head to head game? For those Ohio State fans, you are lucky that I am not ranking the teams as you would be behind Baylor. Slice it anyway you want, but the Big 10 is just not very good this year. Those Golden Gophers that are tipping the scale for TCU are now 8 and 4. Three of those 8 victories were against Eastern Illinois, Middle Tennessee and San Jose State and a one point victory over Purdue (who has 3 victories on the season). Why is this victory being savored so sweetly?
I don’t often agree with Pat Forde, but he makes a ton of sense here:
Of course, then you have the curious case of the Big 12 officials deciding that TCU and Baylor would be named “co-champions” if they finish with the same record. Has everyone lost their mind? In the Big 12 bylaws, it explicitly says that head to head is the tiebreaker…so tell me how Baylor would not be the conference champion? I watched every miserable minute of the TCU and Texas game and the Texas and Baylor game. To be honest, if Texas has even a mediocre QB, they had a decent chance to beat TCU and Baylor. If you saw the score, you probably would think that TCU routed Texas. The reality is that Tyrone Swoops just handed the Horned Frogs the game. Four interceptions and a fumble will get you beat every time…and TCU did what good teams do, they finished. I will take nothing away from the Horned Frog’s victory, as they were the better team… but Texas is not that far away from being a force. I said earlier in the season that Tyrone Swoops was not the answer at QB for Texas and I stand by that statement. What I realized is that Swoops is good enough to beat bad teams, but will never be the QB that Texas needs to get where they want to go. I was listening to sports talk leaving Austin Tuesday night. I understand that Texas is already talking to UAB QB Cody Clements, with the announcement that UAB would be eliminating football. I don’t know much about Clements, but this is the sort of stop gap move that would help Texas. I also know that Texas is looking at a JUCO QB as another option. One thing I do know is that competition is a good thing for a football team.
UAB coach Bill Clark leaving the meeting to end football...a sad tale. Is this just the beginning?
As I heard that UAB was discontinuing football, this got me to wondering how many other schools would come to the same conclusion as UAB officials.
Here is the statement issued by the university:
"The Athletic Department faces many challenges given the rapidly evolving NCAA landscape and soaring operating costs, which place extreme pressure and a growing financial burden on programs like UAB's. Costs are continuously spiraling upwards driven by cost-of-attendance payments to players, meals, equipment, facilities, coaches, travel and more," the statement said.
"The fiscal realities we face — both from an operating and a capital investment standpoint — are starker than ever and demand that we take decisive action for the greater good of the Athletic Department and UAB," college president Ray Watts said in that statement. "As we look at the evolving landscape of NCAA football, we see expenses only continuing to increase. When considering a model that best protects the financial future and prominence of the Athletic Department, football is simply not sustainable."
Football is simply not sustainable…these are difficult words to read, but not surprising. UAB is the first school to cut football since Pacific did in 1995, but my guess is that many other schools might have to make the same decision. With the decision to pay players on the horizon, the costs to play will continue to move higher. The number I heard mentioned for player compensation is $5000 per player. While I do not have the details, I would assume that each player on scholarship would receive this amount. This would be an annual cost of $425,000 for each school. For schools like Texas or Alabama, this amount is nothing. For other schools like UAB, it is a deal killer. A few months back, then SMU coach June Jones made the comment that smaller schools might have to play on a different schedule than D1 football. Many scoffed at his words, but they made sense to me. I hope I am wrong, but I see a very different time ahead for college football. Change is coming, whether we like it or not. UAB is only the first…
Have you seen the new milk ads? I think that they are sort of catchy…what do you think?
MLB umpire Dale Scott announced this week that he is gay. To be honest, I am ambivalent to the entire matter. I guess the announcement by Scott was about him, as he said…MLB has only judged him by the job he has done on the field. And this is as it should be! How long will it be before we no longer see these types of headlines? I did find one of the comments to the article to be funny as hell…”it takes great courage to admit to being an umpire”. Exactly!
I was going to write something about the Cowboys and the stupid ass schedule that the NFL has them playing this year, but I won’t. The egg they laid on Thanksgiving Day was epic, but not the end of the world. I still like where this team is headed, although they will have to figure out how to stop that Eagle offense. If you have a mind, check out this article:
Colt...no longer a third team QB.
Before I go, I have to give a quick shout out to Colt McCoy. After reading so many say that McCoy is not an NFL QB…how does 392 yards and 3 TDs and 0 interceptions sound?. So all you saying Colt can’t get it done…how does that QB rating of 113.1 taste? Of course, when you are playing Andrew Luck who goes for 370 and 6 TDs...you aren’t going to win that game. Some will point to my continued focus on Colt being because he is a former Longhorn. While I admit this has a small measure of truth, the reality is that there are many former Longhorns that I do not write about. I recently read an article by Scott Allen that was an interview with Steve Young and found it to be a fascinating read. He equates becoming a good NFL QB to doing graduate work. Young recalled his early days in San Francisco and the hours of repetition that Mike Shanahan had him do. Shanahan would say, let’s go over this again and Young would reply…no Mike I’ve got this…and then they would go over it again and again. Young says he has nothing against RG3 and even calls him “one of my guys”…or guys that can run around. In Young’s opinion, Griffin has just not put in the time to become a successful NFL QB. He thinks that McCoy is in the middle of this learning cycle…ahead of Griffin and Cousins and…that he may be more than a stop gap measure. Young correctly points out that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, did not have the athleticism, so they had to do the graduate work to become great. He talked about how great QB’s own the pocket and perform their jobs by reflex. Young also noted that he and Drew Brees were not good QBs initially, but through hard work were able to find their way. It is interesting that Young named Brees as he is exactly the type of QB that I think Colt McCoy could one day become. It is about putting in the study time and landing in the right system. Now…it will be interesting to see what happens in Washington as they have 3 QBs to consider. For the moment, I have to believe that the Redskins job is Colt’s to lose. Honestly, it could not happen to a nicer guy than Colt. Although, I will be rooting against his Skins in a few weeks!
Here is the link in case you want to read the entire article:
That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
I can still recall old Mister Barnslow getting out every morning and nailing a fresh load of tadpoles to the old board of his. Then he’d spin it around and round, like a wheel of fortune, and no matter where it stopped he’d yell out, ‘Tadpoles Tadpoles is a winner’. We all thought he was crazy. But then, we had some growing up to do.
When I heard that trees grow a new ring for each year they live, I thought, we humans are kind of like that. We grow a new layer of skin each year, and after many years, we are thick and unwieldy from all of our layers of skin.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Florida St. moves into #1 in the computer rankings for the first time this season.
My Top 25
1 ( 2 ) Florida St. 2
2 ( 1 ) Alabama 1
3 ( 7 ) Ohio St. 4
4 ( 3 ) Oregon 3
5 ( 4 ) Miss. St. 5
6 ( 8 ) UCLA 8
7 ( 19 ) Marshall 9
8 ( 5 ) TCU 7
9 ( 9 ) Georgia 10
10 ( 12 ) Arizona 15
11 ( 14 ) Auburn 11
12 ( 26 ) Boise St. 12
13 ( 6 ) Baylor 16
14 ( 17 ) Ole Miss 6
15 ( 18 ) Ga. Tech 13
16 ( 21 ) Colo. St. 14
17 ( 10 ) Mich. St. 17
18 ( 15 ) Wisconsin 20
19 ( 11 ) Kansas St. 21
20 ( 16 ) Missouri 22
21 ( 13 ) Arizona St. 18
22 ( 20 ) Oklahoma 23
23 ( 22 ) Clemson 24
24 ( 30 ) Nebraska 19
25 ( 23 ) Minnesota –
(Louisville and LSU are the two Mock BCS top 25 teams who are not in my top 25.)
Full Rankings 1-128
Out of top 25: (25) USC
There are a total of 44 teams that got some level of points in the Mock BCS standings linked to above.
Earlier top-25 blogs:
Florida St. moved into #1, although I think another reminder that I don’t factor in margin of victory is in order. Alabama could move back into #1 by beating better opponents in the coming weeks, but something else to keep in mind is Florida St. isn’t the only ACC team playing an SEC team this weekend. If the ACC does significantly better, that’s an even stronger argument in Florida St.’s favor, which my system is designed to recognize.
I thought some of the commentariat brought up some interesting points about the committee’s #4-7 teams.
I want to mention something Jeff Long, a member of the committee, said first though. He said they look at where a team was ranked when you played them. I hope that’s not true, but it would explain why LSU was seemingly penalized so much as compared to other two-loss teams before the Alabama game.
I just don’t think it’s right if they don’t consider that a loss to a top-five team. It’s not LSU’s fault people didn’t yet know they were going to be one of the top teams this season. If anything, the team who is the first to go down should get a break since they’ve had more time to recover from the loss. Also, later teams have more ability to anticipate problem areas and can possibly benefit from injuries. Of course, what they should do is consider how good the opponent is without the loss. For instance, had LSU won the last two games, it may be worth noting in the Bulldogs’ favor that taking out their win over LSU, the Tigers would be in the conversation for the top 4.
I do think there are some unique challenges to beating a previously unbeaten team several weeks in, but I also hope Florida St. isn’t being given credit for a top-five win when Notre Dame isn’t even in the top 25 now. A top-25 win maybe, if you consider the Irish could well be in the top 25 had they simply not played the Seminoles. It is very important to consider those teams just outside of the top 25. I’ll talk more about them at the end.
There was some grumbling about Mississippi St., but I think if they beat Ole Miss, they have a good argument. I do think a one-loss Ohio St. team winning the Big Ten championship game (especially if it’s over Wisconsin) should go ahead of an idle Mississippi St. team, assuming Alabama wins the SEC West anyway, though.
I penalize for bad losses and yet I still have Ohio St. in the top 4, so that tells me that Ohio St.’s 8-game conference schedule + Wisconsin (if the Badgers win) is going to be better than either TCU’s or Baylor’s, assuming we’re going to be comparing one-loss teams. Ohio St. also has respectable wins over Navy and Cincinnati.
Baylor didn’t beat anyone worth mentioning out of conference, and TCU only beat one team, albeit a good one (Minnesota).
Obviously, if Minnesota beats Wisconsin, that’s going to be even better for the Horned Frogs and you could have an argument they’re more deserving in that scenario.
I don’t see any scenario, however, where one-loss Baylor should go ahead of one-loss TCU or one-loss Ohio St.
“B-but head to head” isn’t an argument.
Beating TCU is just a high-quality win.
I know the way tie-breakers work, they don’t care how bad the loss is. For instance, if Alabama had lost to Arkansas or Texas A&M instead of Ole Miss, they still would win the tie-breaker over Mississippi St. if the two finish with the same SEC record.
I do care how bad the loss is. In fact, I think that should be the most important game to compare when you compare two one-loss teams.
So before we even get to Minnesota, I think TCU goes ahead of Baylor. Playing well enough to lose to Baylor by three (my system doesn’t look at the margin, but that doesn’t mean my arguments can’t) is playing well enough to beat all but maybe 10 teams in college football. Playing at that level could be good enough to win a semifinal playoff game.
It’s hard to be complimentary about a 14-point loss to WVU though. It is tougher to play them on the road, but TCU did that and managed to win.
I know not everyone will credit Ohio St. for having a couple of mid-level non-conference wins instead of one good one like TCU, and that’s fine. I can accept that. I could not accept Baylor going ahead of either team though, assuming one loss apiece.
I think the Big Ten is slightly better than the Big XII, but even if they’re equal, consider that when you’re in a 10-team conference you play the worst teams as well as the best. Ohio St. did not play Purdue, and that’s one of the two worst teams in the Big Ten. TCU played Kansas (barely beating them) and will play Iowa St. during championship week.
My hope is Ohio St. is given significant credit for beating a tougher opponent on that weekend. If they are and they come up short, that’s fine. I like TCU better anyway.
A lot of these conversations could become even more muddled if you add in a possible two-loss SEC team. I think Mississippi St. is out with two losses, but a two-loss SEC champion Georgia team, I’m not so sure. They would have wins over Auburn, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, and Missouri, not to mention whoever the SEC West champions will be (most likely Alabama but possibly Mississippi St.)
Also, unlike last year, a loss to Auburn doesn’t necessarily knock Alabama out of the divisional race. Most people predicted Alabama to come out of Oxford with a win, and that didn’t happen. The same thing could happen to Mississippi St.
Alabama beat that West Virginia team mentioned above. They also beat Mississippi St., LSU, and Florida and could possibly beat Georgia in the SEC Championship.
Georgia isn’t guaranteed to win the East though. In fact, they need Arkansas to beat Missouri for that to happen. That may be the key to any two-loss SEC team being included.
Nothing down the list was too interesting. Minnesota actually jumped up 10 spots, so even though they beat Nebraska, they still got pretty significant credit for that even though it wasn’t quite enough to most past the Huskers. When two teams are separated by 16 spots going into a game, it’s not always enough for the lower team to get ahead in the ratings.
Also, it was nice to see Boise St. and Marshall finally get included in the committee’s top 25. I’m generally against “mid-major” teams being in the top 10, but the committee went too far in excluding them for so long.
I don’t know what they’re thinking keeping Utah in there though. Losing to Washington St. is pretty bad. If you want to pick a team with four losses, here are some better suggestions: LSU, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, and USC. Apart from Notre Dame againstNorthwestern, none of the rest lost an embarrassing game like that. Since Notre Dame is playing USC and LSU is playing Texas A&M, hopefully the winners will get some strong consideration for that last spot. I would even take Arkansas as a five-loss team given their schedule (In addition to the SEC West, they will have played Georgia and Missouri, the best two teams in the East, as well as Northern Illinois and Texas Techout of conference).
The LSU defense did about as well as could be expected against Johnny Manziel…
But as a more traditional passer, Kyle Allen presents a very different test.
LSU was the only team that went 2-0 against “Johnny Football”, but as the captions above indicate, that’s not necessarily a reason for confidence going into this game. If you missed it, I wrote about LSU’s quarterback situation last week.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been waiting until I can compute the Mock BCS standings before writing a blog about my rankings. Unfortunately, (when I first wrote this) one of the formerly BCS computer rankings still ha[d] not been released for this week, so this could not be done on time.
You can still access my ratings for all 128 teams here, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow or the next day for the blog that I write to accompany them.
I updated my LSU-Texas A&M “Rivalry Series” blog after last season’s game, but I thought of a few more possibly interesting tidbits.
From 1989 to 1995, LSU lost 4 consecutive games at Texas A&M. The Tigers did not travel to the state of Texas again until 2002, when they lost to the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl. The last five trips to the state have gone fairly well, however:
2014 – Wisconsin (Houston), 28-24
2013 – TCU (Arlington), 37-27
2012 – @Texas A&M, 24-19
2011 – Oregon (Arlington), 40-27
2010 – Texas A&M (Arlington), 41-24
In trips West of the Mississippi River since that 2002 Texas game I mentioned, LSU is 11-3, with all three losses coming against Arkansas (just in case of confusion, when I put “Little Rock,” that means that’s where the game was played, not that LSU played the University of Arkansas-Little Rock):
2014 LOSS – @Arkansas, 0-17
2012 – @Arkansas, 20-13
2010 LOSS – Arkansas (Little Rock), 23-31
2009 – @Washington, 31-23
2008 LOSS – Arkansas (Little Rock), 30-31
2006 – Arkansas (Little Rock), 31-26
2005 – @Arizona St., 35-31
2004 – Arkansas (Little Rock), 43-14
2003 – @Arizona, 59-13
Since joining the conference, Texas A&M is only 4-6 in SEC play at home. By comparison, when the Aggies beat South Carolina in late August, they ran their SEC road record to 7-2 but have since fallen to 8-4. (If that doesn’t quite seem to add up, they beat Arkansas at a neutral site in 2012.)
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