Sunday, September 17, 2006

Michigan now ranked #6 (AP)

Earlier today, I wrote my first blog post in months, entitled Instant National Title Contenders. In my posting, I contended that Michigan became instant national title contenders with their 47-21 win over Notre Dame yesterday. My guess is that Michigan and Ohio State will both be 11-0 when they meet for the final game of the season, on November 18th. That game will decide which of those two teams will make an appearance in the national title game in January.

In my post from earlier today, I said:

If it was up to me, Michigan would move ahead of #2 Notre Dame, #9 Florida State, #6 LSU, #7 Florida, #8 Texas and #10 Georgia when they release today's national rankings. That would put Michigan at #5.

My wish almost came true. #2 Notre Dame fell to #12, #9 Florida State fell to #18, #6 LSU fell to #10. Michigan also passed Texas, who moved up to #7 from #8, and Georgia, who moved up from #10 to #9.

I got greedy, hoping Michigan would jump ahead of Florida, who moved up from #7 to #5, after pulling out a tough 21-20 win against #13 Tennessee.

Michigan is now ranked #6

#1. Ohio State
#2. Auburn
#3. USC
#4. West Virginia
#5. Florida
#6. Michigan
#7. Texas
#8. Louisville
#9. Georgia
#10. LSU

My guess is USC is going to lose between now and November, as they have a very tough schedule, with 4 ranked opponents, and they lost two Heisman candidates in Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. Florida and Auburn play each other on October 14th, so one of those teams will fall. Florida also has to play #9 Georgia, #10 LSU, and #18 Florida State, so there is a good chance they will lost at least one. Auburn has a matchup against #9 Georgia on November 25th. West Virginia has only one tough matchup, against #8 Louisville, so they could easily run the table.

If I had to guess, going into the Ohio State/Michigan on November matchup, the rankings should look like this:

#1. Ohio State (11-0)
#2. Auburn (11-0)
#3. Michigan (11-0)
#4. West Virginia (10-0)
....the rest

- I would put Michigan ahead of West Virginia if they both go undefeated up to that point, based on strength of schedule. At that point, a win over Ohio State would all but guarantee that Michigan finishes in the top 2, and heads to the national championship game. There is a lot of football between then and now, and there will undoubtedly be some upsets and surprises. For instance, Ohio State has a road matchup in Iowa in two weeks. It is always difficult to win in Iowa. Two years ago, Michigan snapped Iowa's home winning streak at an amazing 22 games. So far this season, Iowa hasn't looked very impressive, but they should turn things around by that time in order to put up a fight against the Buckeyes.