The Pi-Rate Ratings

November 18, 2008

PiRate Ratings For College Football–Week of: November 18-23, 2008

NCAA Week 13: It’s Resolution Week, Part One

 

This week starts the beginning of the end of the regular season for college football.  Many teams will be playing their final games of the year, and many teams will be either playing themselves into a bowl or being eliminated from a bowl.   In addition, there are numerous big rivalry games.

 

The bowl situation couldn’t be more messed up today.  I believe six bowls will have to find at-large entries as the conferences which with they have agreements will not provide enough bowl eligible teams.  I believe the Independence bowl will have to find two at-large teams.

 

NCAA Top 25 For 18-Nov-2008
Rank Team PiRate Won Lost
1 Florida  139 9 1
2 Southern Cal 132 9 1
3 Texas 128 10 1
4 Texas Tech 127 10 0
5 Oklahoma 127 9 1
6 Ohio St. 125 9 2
7 Penn St. 123 10 1
8 Missouri 121 9 2
9 Alabama 120 11 0
10 Georgia  119 9 2
11 Oregon State 118 7 3
12 T C U 117 9 2
13 Boise State 116 10 0
14 Utah 116 11 0
15 Oklahoma St. 115 9 2
16 Oregon 115 8 3
17 Ball State 113 10 0
18 Ole Miss 113 6 4
19 L S U 112 7 3
20 California 112 6 4
21 Rutgers 112 5 5
22 West Virginia 112 6 3
23 Cincinnati 111 8 2
24 Iowa 111 7 4
25 Arizona 111 6 4
         
Note: Ratings rounded to nearest whole number
even though I rank them to two decimal points

 

 

PiRate Ratings By Conference

Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Clemson 3-4 5-5 109 66 43
Boston College 3-3 7-3 108 65 43
Florida State 4-3 7-3 108 68 40
Maryland 4-2 7-3 105 64 41
Wake Forest 4-3 6-4 102 56 46
North Carolina State 2-4 4-6 100 67 33
           
Coastal Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
North Carolina 3-3 7-3 109 68 41
Virginia Tech 3-3 6-4 107 66 41
Miami 4-2 7-3 105 61 44
Georgia Tech 4-3 7-3 102 62 40
Virginia  3-3 5-5 101 59 42
Duke 1-5 4-6 92 60 32

 

Big East Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Rutgers 4-2 5-5 112 67 45
West Virginia 3-1 6-3 112 67 45
Cincinnati 4-1 8-2 111 65 46
Pittsburgh 3-1 7-2 108 65 43
Connecticut 3-2 7-3 105 65 40
South Florida 1-4 6-4 105 68 37
Louisville 1-4 5-5 96 59 37
Syracuse 1-5 2-8 86 54 32

 

Big Ten
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Ohio State 6-1 9-2 125 70 55
Penn State 6-1 10-1 123 74 49
Iowa 4-3 7-4 111 69 42
Wisconsin 3-5 6-5 108 71 37
Illinois 3-4 5-6 107 68 39
Michigan State 6-1 9-2 106 64 42
Northwestern 4-3 8-3 101 62 39
Minnesota 3-4 7-4 99 63 36
Purdue 1-6 3-8 98 63 35
Michigan 2-5 3-8 98 58 40
Indiana 1-6 3-8 85 57 28

 

Big 12
North Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Missouri 5-2 9-2 121 75 46
Nebraska 4-3 7-4 109 70 39
Kansas 3-4 6-5 106 66 40
Colorado 2-5 5-6 94 56 38
Kansas State 1-6 4-7 93 67 26
Iowa State 0-7 2-9 85 57 28
South Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Texas 6-1 10-1 128 82 46
Texas Tech 6-0 10-0 127 86 41
Oklahoma 5-1 9-1 127 86 41
Oklahoma State 5-2 9-2 115 69 46
Baylor 2-5 4-7 104 66 38
Texas A&M 2-5 4-7 90 56 34

 

Conference USA
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Southern Miss. 3-4 5-6 97 64 33
East Carolina 4-2 6-4 95 60 35
Central Florida 2-4 3-7 91 50 41
Memphis 3-3 5-5 90 60 30
Marshall 3-3 4-6 90 57 33
U A B 2-4 3-7 79 51 28
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Tulsa 5-1 8-2 102 71 31
Houston 5-1 6-4 100 67 33
Rice 5-1 7-3 91 62 29
U T E P 4-2 5-5 90 60 30
S M U 0-7 1-10 78 57 21
Tulane 1-5 2-8 76 52 24

 

Independents
           
Team   Overall Rating Off Def
Notre Dame   6-4 103 61 42
Navy   6-4 97 60 37
Army   3-7 86 49 37

 

Mid American Conference
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Bowling Green 3-3 5-5 99 66 33
Buffalo 4-2 6-4 98 65 33
Temple 2-4 3-7 95 56 39
Akron 3-3 5-5 93 62 31
Kent State 2-4 3-7 90 59 31
Ohio U 1-5 2-8 87 48 39
Miami (O) 1-5 2-8 87 57 30
           
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Ball State 6-0 10-0 113 74 39
Western Michigan 6-1 9-2 101 64 37
Central Michigan 6-0 8-2 99 67 32
Northern Illinois 4-3 5-5 97 60 37
Toledo 1-5 2-8 87 57 30
Eastern Michigan 1-5 2-8 83 52 31

 

Mountain West Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
T C U 6-1 9-2 117 66 51
Utah 7-0 11-0 116 69 47
Brigham Young 6-1 10-1 108 68 40
Air Force 5-2 8-3 98 60 38
New Mexico 2-6 4-8 93 56 37
UNLV 2-5 5-6 91 59 32
Colorado State 3-4 5-6 91 59 32
Wyoming 1-6 4-7 87 52 35
San Diego State 0-7 1-10 70 46 24

 

Pac-10 Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Southern Cal 7-1 9-1 132 73 59
Oregon State 6-1 7-3 118 75 43
Oregon 6-2 8-3 115 73 42
California 4-3 6-4 112 71 41
Arizona 4-3 6-4 111 74 37
Stanford 4-4 5-6 108 65 43
Arizona State 3-4 4-6 105 64 41
U C L A 3-4 4-6 100 57 43
Washington 0-7 0-10 85 56 29
Washington State 0-8 1-10 71 48 23

 

Southeastern Conference
East Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Florida  7-1 9-1 139 86 53
Georgia  6-2 9-2 119 73 46
South Carolina 4-4 7-4 111 65 46
Vanderbilt 4-3 6-4 106 59 47
Kentucky 2-5 6-5 104 63 41
Tennessee 1-5 3-7 101 59 42
West Division          
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Alabama 7-0 11-0 120 68 52
Ole Miss 3-3 6-4 113 69 44
L S U 3-3 7-3 112 71 41
Auburn 2-5 5-6 106 58 48
Mississippi State 1-5 3-7 102 57 45
Arkansas 1-5 4-6 101 67 34

 

Sunbelt Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Troy 4-1 6-4 99 66 33
Florida Atlantic 3-2 5-5 95 63 32
Louisiana-Lafayette 4-1 5-5 91 66 25
Arkansas State 2-2 4-5 89 59 30
Middle Tennessee 2-3 4-6 89 56 33
Florida International 3-2 4-5 86 56 30
Louisiana-Monroe 2-4 3-8 85 55 30
* Western Kentucky 0-0 2-9 82 51 31
North Texas 0-5 1-9 70 54 16
           
* Western Kentucky will become eligible in 2009      
Their games will not count in the SBC Standings in 2008    

 

Western Athletic Conference
           
Team Conf. Overall Rating Off Def
Boise State 6-0 10-0 116 72 44
Nevada 4-2 6-4 101 72 29
Louisiana Tech 4-2 6-4 95 56 39
Hawaii 4-3 5-5 90 54 36
Fresno State 3-3 6-4 90 62 28
Utah State 2-5 2-9 88 55 33
San Jose State 4-3 6-5 87 54 33
New Mexico State 1-5 3-7 78 50 28
Idaho 1-6 2-9 75 58 17

 

This Week’s Games–PiRate Ratings
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site    
       
Tuesday, November 18      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Northern Illinois KENT STATE 4 28-24
       
Wednesday, November 19      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Ball State CENTRAL MICHIGAN 11 41-28
       
Thursday, November 20      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
Miami-Fl GEORGIA TECH 0 21-21 to ot
       
Friday, November 21      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
BOWLING GREEN Buffalo 4 35-31
TOLEDO Miami-OH 3 27-24
SAN JOSE STATE Fresno State 0 28-28 to ot
       
Saturday, November 15      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
OHIO STATE Michigan 30 33-3
NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina St. 12 35-23
West Virginia LOUISVILLE 13 27-14
RUTGERS Army 29 32-3
Clemson VIRGINIA 5 22-17
PURDUE Indiana 16 35-19
VANDERBILT Tennessee 8 17-9
TEMPLE Eastern Michigan 15 27-12
MEMPHIS Central Florida 2 21-19
Colorado State WYOMING 1 21-20
NOTRE DAME Syracuse 20 30-10
MISSISSIPPI STATE Arkansas 4 24-20
TULSA Tulane 29 49-20
Washington WASHINGTON STATE 11 31-20
Florida Atlantic ARKANSAS STATE 3 31-28
PENN STATE Michigan State 20 34-14
T C U Air Force 22 28-6
L S U Ole Miss 2 28-26
Boston College WAKE FOREST 3 17-14
CALIFORNIA Stanford 7 28-21
Illinois NORTHWESTERN 3 27-24
Akron OHIO U 3 21-18
RICE Marshall 4 31-27
HOUSTON U t e p 13 37-24
MIDDLE TENNESSEE North Texas 22 42-20
KANSAS STATE Iowa State 11 42-31
Louisiana Tech NEW MEXICO STATE 11 28-17
Boise State NEVADA 11 42-31
VIRGINIA TECH Duke 18 35-17
UTAH B y u 11 31-20
CINCINNATI Pittsburgh 6 23-17
East Carolina U A B 13 30-17
Oregon State ARIZONA 4 35-31
Iowa MINNESOTA 9 30-21
FLORIDA INT’L La-Monroe 4 28-24
TROY La-Lafayette 11 42-31
MARYLAND Florida State 0 24-24 to ot
OKLAHOMA Texas Tech 3 45-42
U n l v SAN DIEGO STATE 18 32-14
HAWAII Idaho 18 38-20
       
Sunday, November 23      
Favorite Underdog Pred. Spread Approx. Score
SOUTH FLORIDA Connecticut 3 27-24

 

This Week’s Games–Mean Ratings
Home Team in CAPS (N) Denotes Neutral Site  
Tuesday, November 18    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Northern Illinois KENT STATE 28-23
     
Wednesday, November 19    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Ball State CENTRAL MICHIGAN 30-24
     
Thursday, November 20    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
GEORGIA TECH Miami-Fl 19-17
     
Friday, November 21    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Bowling Green BUFFALO 28-26
TOLEDO Miami-OH 27-21
SAN JOSE STATE Fresno State 28-28 to ot
     
Saturday, November 15    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
OHIO STATE Michigan 31-7
NORTH CAROLINA North Carolina St. 34-17
West Virginia LOUISVILLE 27-21
RUTGERS Army 35-16
VIRGINIA Clemson 21-21 to ot
PURDUE Indiana 34-24
VANDERBILT Tennessee 20-10
TEMPLE Eastern Michigan 28-16
MEMPHIS Central Florida 34-28
Colorado State WYOMING 20-17
NOTRE DAME Syracuse 35-16
Arkansas  MISSISSIPPI STATE 20-17
TULSA Tulane 47-21
Washington WASHINGTON STATE 35-34
ARKANSAS STATE Florida Atlantic 30-28
PENN STATE Michigan State 28-13
T C U Air Force 27-12
L S U Ole Miss 34-28
WAKE FOREST Boston College 24-24 to ot
CALIFORNIA Stanford 35-24
NORTHWESTERN Illinois 28-23
Akron OHIO U 34-28
RICE Marshall 42-31
HOUSTON U t e p 45-34
MIDDLE TENNESSEE North Texas 42-24
KANSAS STATE Iowa State 40-28
Louisiana Tech NEW MEXICO STATE 36-30
Boise State NEVADA 28-17
VIRGINIA TECH Duke 24-12
UTAH B y u 30-21
CINCINNATI Pittsburgh 28-24
East Carolina U A B 34-24
Oregon State ARIZONA 35-34
Iowa MINNESOTA 27-24
FLORIDA INT’L La-Monroe 34-24
TROY La-Lafayette 31-23
MARYLAND Florida State 24-23
OKLAHOMA Texas Tech 41-38
U n l v SAN DIEGO STATE 27-14
HAWAII Idaho 42-21
     
Sunday, November 23    
Favorite Underdog Predicted Score
Connecticut SOUTH FLORIDA 20-19

 

 

Bowl Outlook by Conference

 

This week may be the most decisive week in the season in deciding which teams will go to bowls and which teams will stay home.  Every conference has at least one key game, and most have multiple key games.

 

Due to the mediocrity of the ACC and Big East this year, these two leagues may benefit from having a bunch of 6-6 & 7-5 teams.  They may take as many as three of the at-large bowl bids, especially if the Sunbelt fails to produce a second seven-win team.

 

Teams in all CAPS have already accepted invitations to that bowl.

 

ACC

Both divisions are still very much up for grabs.  In the Atlantic Division, Maryland leads today, but Boston College, Wake Forest, and Florida State can still win the division.  The Terps can eliminate the Seminoles with a win this week in College Park, but they must still play at BC.  Wake Forest hosts BC this week, and a win over the Eagles could give them a piece of the title.  However, Maryland holds a tiebreaker edge over Wake if they finish in a two-way tie. 

 

In the Coastal Division, Miami has the lead, but the Hurricanes finish with two tough road games against Georgia Tech and a much-improved North Carolina State.  Miami must finish ahead of North Carolina, for the Tar Heels hold the tie-breaker edge.  Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and even Virginia still could win the title, but there are too many possibilities to mention.

 

Virginia plays Clemson this week, and the winner will be bowl eligible.  The loser could still get in with a win in their season finale.

 

1. Orange Bowl-Miami 10-3 vs. Cincinnati

2. Chick-fil-a-North Carolina 9-3 vs. Kentucky

3. Gator-Virginia Tech 8-4 vs. Missouri

4. Champs Sports-Maryland 8-5 vs. Minnesota

5. Music City-Boston College 8-4 vs. Ole Miss

6. Meineke Car Care-Wake Forest 7-5 vs. Connecticut

7. Eagle Bank-Georgia Tech 7-5 vs. NAVY

8. Emerald-Florida State 7-5 vs. Oregon State

9. Humanitarian-Clemson 6-6 vs. Boise State

10. Texas (at-large)-Virginia 6-6 vs. Memphis

 

Big East

Cincinnati held onto the lead by winning at Louisville.  The Bearcats face Pittsburgh this week, and the winner will be in first place.  West Virginia plays at Louisville, and the Mountaineers can move into a first place tie if they win and Pitt beats Cincinnati.  Rutgers and Connecticut still have outside chances to win the league.

 

Louisville and Rutgers still need one win to gain bowl eligibility.  In the other part of the equation, Notre Dame can steal either a Gator or Sun Bowl berth that would go to this conference should the Irish get to seven wins.  They are 6-4 with a home game against lowly Syracuse this week.  The Orangemen just fired Coach Greg Robinson, so they may be motivated to play a big game.  Notre Dame’s other game is against Southern Cal.  I think the Irish will finish 7-5, and the Sun Bowl will take them.

 

1. Orange-Cincinnati 10-3 vs. Miami-Fl

2. Sun-Notre Dame 7-5 vs. Arizona

3. St. Petersburg-Pittsburgh 8-4 vs. East Carolina

4. Meineke Car Care-Connecticut 8-4 vs. Wake Forest

5. International-West Virginia 7-5 vs. Central Michigan

6. Papa John’s-South Florida 7-5 vs. Buffalo

7. Motor City (at-large)-Rutgers 7-5 vs. Ball State

8. Independence (at-large)-Louisville 6-6 vs. Bowling Green

 

Big Ten

Penn State is in the Rose Bowl if they defeat Michigan State.  If the Spartans win, then Ohio State is in with a win over Michigan.  If both Michigan teams win, then Michigan State is in the Rose Bowl.  I’m going with the Nittany Lions to win and close the other loopholes.

 

Ohio State will more than likely secure an at-large BCS bowl with a win over Michigan.  At 10-2, they would trump a second undefeated team from a non-BCS conference.  Money is all that matters in these bowls, and the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl would take the Buckeyes before considering a 12-0 Boise State or a 13-0 Ball State.

 

Illinois is still one win shy of gaining a bowl bid, and they must beat Northwestern this week.  If the Wildcats win, as I believe will happen, then the Motor City Bowl will need to search for an at-large team. 

 

I believe an excellent opportunity will present itself should Illinois lose and Ball State and Boise State both run the table.  The Motor City Bowl could strike a deal with the Humanitarian Bowl so that Boise State could be freed up to play Ball State in a battle of the unbeatens.

 

1. Rose-Penn State 11-1 vs. Southern Cal

2. Fiesta-Ohio State 10-2 vs. Oklahoma

3. Capital One-Michigan State 9-3 vs. Georgia

4. Outback-Northwestern 9-3 vs. South Carolina

5. Champs Sports-Minnesota 8-4 vs. Maryland

6. Alamo-Iowa 7-5 vs. Nebraska

7. Insight-Wisconsin 7-5 vs. Kansas

8. Motor City-No Team Available

 

Big 12

This is where all the big action takes place.  Texas Tech ventures to Norman to take on Oklahoma this week, and I’m going with OU to win.  If the Sooners then win at Oklahoma State the following week, then the Big 12 South will end in a three-way tie between Tech, OU, and Texas (assuming Texas beats A&M).  The tiebreaker for the Big 12 uses highest BCS ranking, and Texas is currently ahead of Oklahoma.  Would OU jump UT if they beat Tech and Oklahoma State?  I think it’s possible, but not probable.  So, in a three-way tie, I’m guessing Texas would be the lucky team.

 

In the North, Missouri has already secured a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.  The Tigers have already played Texas, and the Longhorns whipped them.  A rematch would be much closer in my opinion, and the Tigers would have close to a 50-50 chance of winning this time around.  Should the eventual South Division champion lose to Missouri, then it will give Southern Cal a chance to move up to the BCS Championship game.  A USC-Florida game would be the best possible title fight.

 

With Kansas State losing last week, this league is now guaranteed to come up short in its bowl obligations.  In fact, it will be two teams short.  That’s too bad for the Independence Bowl, because I believe it will have to search for two at-large teams. 

 

1. BCS National Championship-Texas 12-1 vs. Florida

2. Fiesta-Oklahoma 11-1 vs. Ohio State

3. Cotton-Texas Tech 11-1 vs. LSU

4. Gator-Missouri 10-3 vs. Virginia Tech

5. Holiday-Oklahoma State 9-3 vs. California

6. Alamo-Nebraska 7-5 vs. Iowa

7. Insight-Kansas 6-6 vs. Wisconsin

8. Independence-No Qualifying Team

9. Texas-No Qualifying team

 

C-USA

As I expected last week, Houston beat Tulsa to forge a three-way tie at the top of the West Division.  Rice is the third of the trio, and the Owls still host Houston.  Tulsa still has a tough road game at Marshall.  So, any one of these three could end up in the C-USA Championship Game.

 

In the East, East Carolina is going to limp home with the title, but the Pirates are playing a good 10 to 13 points weaker in November than they did in September.  The only way Memphis or Marshall could supplant ECU is if the Pirates lose at UAB and at home to Marshall in the final game.  Look for ECU to beat UAB and clinch the division this week.

 

The good news for this conference is there will be enough bowl eligible teams to fill the six bowl allotments, and if UTEP can win one more game, there could be an extra bowl eligible team.  The Miners have a lot of digging to do, as they close at Houston and at ECU.  Southern Mississippi will become bowl eligible when they beat SMU in two weeks. 

 

1. Liberty-Houston 9-4 vs. Vanderbilt

2. St. Petersburg-East Carolina 8-5 vs. Pittsburgh

3. G M A C-Rice 8-4 vs. Western Michigan

4. Armed Forces-Tulsa 10-2 vs. U N L V

5. Texas-Memphis 7-5 vs. Virginia

6. New Orleans-Southern Miss. 6-6 vs. Troy

 

Independent

Navy is the only team that definitely knows what bowl it will be playing in this year.  The Midshipmen have already accepted a bid to the first Eagle Bank Bowl.  If Georgia Tech is the ACC representative, it will pit Paul Johnson against his former team in a triple option challenge.

 

Notre Dame will earn a bowl bid with a win over Syracuse this week.  The Gator Bowl could take them in lieu of a really good Big 12 team, but the Sun Bowl is a more likely destination.

 

1. Sun-Notre Dame 7-5 vs. Arizona

2. Eagle Bank-NAVY 7-5 vs. Georgia Tech

 

M A C

Other than the Oklahoma-Texas Tech game this week, the next most important match could be the one in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, Wednesday night.  Central Michigan hosts Ball State, and this game should be must-watch TV.  If Ball State wins this road game, then the Cardinals will be in the cat-bird seat at undefeated stadium.  They still would have to beat a tough Western Michigan team in Muncie plus the Eastern champion in the MAC title game, but CMU is the real tough assignment.  Central Michigan and Western Michigan have earned bowl bids, and they will go somewhere.

 

In the East, Bowling Green hosts Buffalo Friday night, and the winner of that game is the division champ.  The loser should still finish with seven wins, and that will be enough to get them an at-large invitation to another bowl.

 

Northern Illinois may have played themselves out of bowl competition.  The Huskies are 5-5 and must beat both Kent State and Navy to get to a bowl.  I think they will fall one game short.

 

1. Motor City-Ball State 13-0 vs. Rutgers

2. International-Central Michigan 9-3 vs. West Virginia

3. G M A C-Western Michigan 9-3 vs. Rice

4. Papa John’s (at-large)-Buffalo 7-5 vs. South Florida

5. Independence (at-large)-Bowling Green 7-6 vs. Louisville

 

Mountain West

If Utah beats BYU this week, then the Utes are going to the Sugar Bowl.  The Sugar Bowl would get the last pick of available BCS teams, and Utah will qualify with a win over the Cougars.  Should BYU upset their in-state rival, then Utah will drop out of the BCS picture and open up a spot for Boise State or possibly Ball State should the Broncos also lose.

 

UNLV and Colorado State both need one more win to gain bowl eligibility.  If Utah wins, then there will be room for both the Rebels and the Rams in the bowl picture.  UNLV must defeat San Diego State, and this appears to be almost a certainty.  CSU plays at Wyoming in a big rivalry game, and their task is much more difficult.

 

1. Sugar-Utah 12-0 vs. Alabama

2. Las Vegas-TCU 10-2 vs. Oregon

3. Poinsettia-BYU 10-2 vs. San Jose State

4. New Mexico-Air Force 8-4 vs. Louisiana Tech

5. Armed Forces-UNLV 6-6 vs. Tulsa

6. Hawaii (at-large)-Colorado State 6-6 vs. Hawaii

 

Pac-10

All eyes are in Tucson this week.  Should Oregon State win on the road at Arizona, the Beavers are a home win over Oregon away from being the Pac-10 Champions and Rose Bowl representative.  If Arizona wins or Oregon upsets the Beavers in the season-ender, then Southern Cal will win the Pac-10.

 

Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State are still mathematically alive in the bowl picture.  UCLA would have to win at Arizona State and then upset USC.  It won’t happen.  Arizona State would have to beat UCLA and Arizona; it could happen, but chances are they won’t win both games.  Stanford must defeat Cal this week, but the Bears have about a 60-65% chance of winning.  Thus, the Pac-10 could miss out on their allotments by two teams.

 

 

1. Rose-Southern Cal 11-1 vs. Penn State

2. Holiday-California 8-4 vs. Oklahoma State

3. Sun-Arizona 8-4 vs. Notre Dame

4. Las Vegas-Oregon 8-4 vs. TCU

5. Emerald-Oregon State 8-4 vs. Florida State

6. Poinsettia-No qualifying team

7. Hawaii- No qualifying team

 

S E C

This conference has the definite top team in the land, and it isn’t number one Alabama.  Florida may be as dominant today as Nebraska was in 1995 and 1997.  The Gators could score 100 points this week against Citadel if Urban Meyer allowed them to do so.  They will pummel Florida State the following week, and then they should handle Alabama by more than 10 points in the SEC Championship Game.  If they lose another game this year it will be a bigger story than the Presidential election!

 

Alabama will clinch a BCS bowl game with a win over hapless Auburn next week.  That game will also eliminate the Tigers and could conceivably cost Tommy Turbeville his job (which would be ridiculous).

 

Vanderbilt clinched a bowl with their win over Kentucky in Lexington Saturday.  The Commodores now have two very winnable games remaining against Tennessee and Wake Forest.  Should they finish 8-4, they will deserve the Outback Bowl bid, but I’m guessing they would get snubbed if South Carolina beats Clemson in their final game.  However, a Vandy-Northwestern game would stir a lot of interest with the similarities between the two academic institutes of much higher learning.

 

Ole Miss also became bowl eligible Saturday, and the Rebels could move up to the Cotton Bowl if they could beat a battered LSU team in the Tiger’s Den this week.

 

Arkansas still has a remote shot at getting to a bowl.  The Razorbacks would have to win at Mississippi State and against LSU the following week.  For now, I’m calling for them to lose one of those games, so the SEC will fall two teams short in its obligations.

 

1. National Championship-Florida 12-1 vs. Texas

2. Sugar-Alabama 12-1 vs. Utah

3. Capital One-Georgia 10-2 vs. Michigan State

4. Outback-South Carolina 7-5 vs. Northwestern

5. Cotton-L S U 9-3 vs. Texas Tech

6. Chick-fil-a-Kentucky 7-5 vs. North Carolina

7. Music City-Ole Miss 7-5 vs. Miami

8. Liberty-Vanderbilt 8-4 vs. Houston

9. Independence-No qualifying team

10. Papa John’s-No qualifying team

 

Sunbelt

The New Orleans Bowl should be decided this week when Troy hosts Louisiana-Lafayette.  If ULL wins and then loses at home to Middle Tennessee in two weeks, Florida Atlantic could claim the title with wins at Arkansas State and against Florida International.  Both ASU and FIU could get into the championship picture if Troy, ULL, and FAU all lose.  For now, let’s just go with Troy to beat ULL and end all the commotion.

 

If Troy wins this week, there is a good chance that the other teams will beat each other up and leave three teams at 6-6.  If a second team does get to seven wins, then they will be assured of an at-large bid to either the Papa John’s or Independence Bowl.

 

1. New Orleans-Troy 8-4 vs. Southern Miss.

 

W A C

I have a sneaky suspicion that Boise State could find itself in a heap of trouble this week.  The Broncos travel to Reno to take on Nevada.  The Wolf Pack took Boise to four overtimes last year at the blue field before losing 69-67.  I think Nevada could be waiting to ambush the undefeated Broncos.  Boise will be lucky to escape with a win of any type.

 

Louisiana Tech has emerged as the second best team in the WAC.  Second year coach Derek Dooley is the son of former Georgia great Vince Dooley, and he could be on the verge of seeing his name on the rolodexes of several athletics directors at BCS schools.  If the Bulldogs win at New Mexico State this week, they will lock up a bowl bid.

 

Fresno State and San Jose State are both on the skids.  The two play Friday night at Spartan Stadium, and the winner will be virtually assured of grabbing a bowl.  The loser won’t be eliminated, but their road will be quite rough.

 

Hawaii is 5-5 with three games to go.  They should beat Idaho this week, and Washington State the following week to earn a bid to the Hawaii Bowl.

 

1. Humanitarian-Boise State 12-0 vs. Clemson

(Boise State could swap with Rutgers and face a 13-0 Ball State team if a deal could be made).

2. New Mexico-Louisiana Tech 8-4 vs. Air Force

3. Hawaii-Hawaii 7-6 vs. Colorado State

4. Poinsettia (at-large)-San Jose State 7-5 vs. B Y U

 

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