I didn't wait†for the committee this time. Itís LSU/Alabama week, so I want to give my rankings and move on. Iím going to include the mock BCS standings as I calculate them. They will be the number in parentheses. There are no team logos below because there is only one ďnewĒ ranked team (Missouri, which replaces West Virginia), and they were ranked earlier this season.
LSU/Alabama is just one of the big games before the Iron Bowl, but there is a good chance it will be an important game for the national title race once again.
My Top 25
1 ( 1 ) Miss. St. 1
2 ( 3 ) Auburn 3
3 ( 2 ) Florida St. 4
4 ( 10 ) Ole Miss 2
5 ( 5 ) Oregon 6
6 ( 4 ) Alabama 5
7 ( 16 ) UCLA 14
8 ( 12 ) Arizona St. 19
9 ( 15 ) Nebraska 8
10 ( 11 ) LSU 7
11 ( 7 ) Kansas St. 18
12 ( 6 ) TCU 17
13 ( 8 ) Notre Dame 11
14 ( 26 ) Colo. St. 16
15 ( 13 ) Ohio St. 13
16 ( 9 ) Mich. St. 10
17 ( 22 ) Marshall 9
18 ( 30 ) Boise St. 21
19 ( 17 ) Oklahoma 23
20 ( 19 ) Clemson 20
21 ( 20 ) Arizona 15
22 ( 14 ) Baylor 22
23 ( 23 ) Duke 24
24 ( 25 ) Missouri Ė
25 ( 18 ) Georgia 12
Full 128 computer ratings
Other teams who would have at least some BCS points:
42 ( 21 ) Utah Ė
31 ( 24 ) W. Virginia 25
29 ( 27 ) Wisconsin Ė
32 ( 28 ) TX A&M Ė
28 ( 29 ) USC Ė
26 ( 31 ) Ga. Tech Ė
33 ( 32 ) Florida Ė
30 ( 33 ) Minnesota Ė
35 ( 34 ) Louisville Ė
43 ( 35 ) Iowa Ė
49 ( 36 ) Stanford Ė
48 ( 37 ) E. Carolina Ė
50 ( 38 ) Cincinnati Ė
27 ( 39 ) U. Miami Ė
Once again, Iím going to have to ask for some patience in Ole Miss going down in the rankings. They have Presbyterian next week and a bye the week after that, so theyíll possibly fall several spots in that time. (LSU, for instance, fell three spots after taking off this past weekend alone. Marshall and Michigan St. fell much more.) The following week, the Rebels play Arkansas, so someone else could also pass them after that week as well.
Why are they so high right now? Other than only having had one bye week, Ole Miss has the 4th-best schedule right now.
The Rebels beat Alabama, which rates as the second-best win by any team this season right now. The best win is Mississippi St.ís win over Auburn. As you might guess, apart from Mississippi St., the best (or least-bad) team to lose to is Auburn.
Speaking of Auburn, if youíve ever said to yourself, ďIíd like to watch Gus Malzahn break dance,Ē today is your lucky day:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFvqdQnWu9I
Anyway, if I were just making it up from scratch, Ole Miss would be somewhere around #10, so Iím going to go through the top 10 and explain why Ole Miss is higher than each team in my ratings at the moment.
Iím not going to comment on every teamís prospect for moving ahead of Ole Miss, but the first two are particularly relevant.
LSU isnít one of the top few teams to lose to, but theyíre much better than Arizona, which beat #5 Oregon. Oregon is very close to Ole Miss in points though, so I would expect them to easily pass up the Rebels with a win next week.
#6 Alabama has beaten none of the top 5 teams of the West yet, so thatís why they canít be ahead of Ole Miss right now. Beating LSU would change that. Not only would it be a decent increase in points, but it would hurt Ole Miss more for losing to LSU. (Losses hurt more than wins help.)
#7 UCLA also has two losses (one of them to Utah), so they certainly donít have a strong argument to be ahead of Ole Miss.
#8 Arizona St. only has one loss, but when your best win is over USC, you donít belong ahead of a team with Ole Missís rťsumť.
#9 Nebraska is another one-loss team that just doesnít have the wins to compete with Ole Miss right now. The Huskers did beat Miami (which is no Alabama), but the quality of wins decreases rapidly from there.
#10 LSU needs another big win. They have Ole Miss (which counts for less than Alabama) and Wisconsin (which counts for less than Boise St.) but really not much after that. Kentucky and Florida donít rate very highly due to their records, and itís harder to have the same strength of schedule playing in the East, especially when neither team has played a good out-of-conference opponent yet. Ole Miss beat Texas A&M, for instance, which has a better record than either of LSUís SEC East opponents and rates a good bit higher. The Aggies wouldnít necessarily beat the Wildcats or Gators, but it makes sense that they have a higher rating right now.
Ole Miss went from being ahead of Mississippi St. in my ratings to being 0.25 behind the Bulldogs in the last two weeks, it just so happens there werenít many teams in between ready to move up. Rating-wise, theyíre as close to Mississippi St. as they are to Colorado St. now. Itís just not translating from ratings to rankings yet.
Along with the top teams of the Pac-12 (mentioned above), the top teams of the Big XII are moving up. Kansas St. plays TCU next week, so the winner will probably find itself well into the top 10. The Big XII doesnít have that much depth in my formula though, so if itís TCU, theyíll probably go down from there (Kansas, bye, Texas, Iowa St.). Kansas St. can still finish undefeated in the Big XII (they lost to Auburn out of conference) and still has WVU and Baylor to play, so I believe they would be the stronger candidate for the top 4 by winning out.
Notre Dame finally has a chance to make a move by beating Arizona St. Louisville and USC (later this month) wonít be bad additions to the resume either.
Everyone lower down lacks a great schedule at this point. I know this because there are no 3-loss teams in my top 25.
Colorado St. has a better rating than Marshall or Boise St., but the Broncos (with two losses overall) hold the tie-breaker in the Mountain West, so picking the ďbest of the restĒ team might be tricky.
Like the TCU/KSU game, Ohio St. and Michigan St. should produce a team that can move up and do well. Unlike that game, both teams have competitive opponents coming up and neither has a bye week. If Nebraska keeps winning, that would help the winner of the Big Ten East even more down the road if they end up winning the Big Ten title game.
Oklahoma would get a big boost by beating Baylor, but there is not much left for the Sooners points-wise after that.
I donít expect a big move upward by Clemson. Other than Florida St., the ACC Atlantic doesnít have much to offer as far as potential points. Georgia Tech and a South Carolina team that will probably finish .500 are the best left on the purple and orange Tigersí schedule. I certainly donít see Florida St. losing twice, which Clemson would need to happen to make the ACC title game.
Arizona can still influence things with game against Washington, Utah, and Arizona St. Making the Pac-12 title game certainly isnít out of the question. It seems like apart from Colorado, anyone in the Pac-12 South can easily beat anyone else.
I mentioned Baylor. The Bears still have Oklahoma and Kansas St. left, so they can still win the Big XII.
Duke looks like a good-but-not-great divisional winner again.
Lastly, no one wants to win the SEC East, it seems, but Missouri has a one-game advantage right now. The black and gold Tigers would lose the tie-breaker if itís a two-way tie with the Bulldogs though. Texas A&M appears to be Missouriís toughest test left, while Georgia still has to play Kentucky (on the road) and Auburn before closing the regular season with non-conference games.
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