Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Curse of #2 Continues

  • Week #1 - #2 Notre Dame struggles to a 14-10 victory over unranked Georgia Tech (Falls to #3)
  • Week #2 - #2 Texas Longhorns disappoint, dropping a 24-7 loss against #1 Ohio State (Falls to #8)
  • Week #3 - #2 Notre Dame is humiliated at home by #11 Michigan 47-21 (Falls to #12)
  • Week #4 - #2 Auburn handily defeats unranked Buffalo 38-7
  • Week #5 - #2 Auburn struggles against unranked S Carolina, relying on a dropped pass in the end zone to prevent the game from going into overtime, with a final score of 24-17.
  • Week #6 - #2 Auburn falls to unranked Arkansas 27-10 (Falls to #11)
  • Week #7 - #2 Florida falls to #11 Auburn 27-17

In 4 of the first 7 weeks, the #2 ranked team has lost. The #2 team has also struggled to pull out a victory in two of the three remaining games, as #2 Notre Dame pulled out a 14-10 victory against unranked Georgia Tech and #2 Auburn relied on a dropped pass in the end zone to pull out a 24-17 victory over South Carolina

With #4 Michigan's big win over Penn State, #2 Florida's loss at the hands of #11 Auburn, and #3 USC's third straight game where they struggled, there is going to be another shakeup in the college rankings. The first BCS rankings come out this evening. Somehow, Fox won the gig to announce the BCS rankings on the NFL Postgame show tonight.

Three different ESPN analysts agreed that Michigan should now be the consensus #2 team in the country. That probably will not happen, as the media is in love with USC, but Michigan should be a solid #3. There are some rumors that overrated USC will take the #1 seed in the preliminary BCS poll, because the computers think that USC's schedule has been tougher than Ohio State, which is a joke, because Ohio State has played Texas and Iowa on the road, while USC's toughest opponents have been Nebraska and Arkansas. The lopsided win against then-unseeded Arkansas is what has the computers excited, because the Razerbacks later went on to knock off #2 Auburn.

With losses to #2 Florida and #19 Missouri, the number of undefeated teams in the country is starting to dwindle. The seven remaining undefeated teams are (Rankings are from last week):

  • #1 Ohio State 7-0
  • #3 USC 6-0
  • #4 Michigan 7-0
  • #5 West Virginia 6-0
  • #7 Louisville 6-0
  • #20 Boise State 6-0
  • #24 Rutgers 6-0
  • #5 West Virginia and #7 Louisville eventually play each other on 11/02
  • #7 Louisville plays #24 Rutgers on 11/09
  • #5 West Virginia plays #24 Rutgers on 12/02
  • and, finally, in what Sports Illustrated is calling the GAME OF THE MILLENNIUM #1 Ohio State plays #4 (soon to be #2) Michigan on 11/18.

At most, we will end up with 4 undefeated teams in the country, and Boise State doesn't count, because they don't play anybody, and have no chance of moving higher than about #10 even if they run the table. I believe USC will lose during the Oregon/Cal/Notre Dame stretch towards the end of the schedule. It appears that there will be two undefeated teams at the end of the year: The winner of Ohio State/Michigan vs. the winner of West Virginia/Louisville/Rutgers. Louisville and Rutgers are both a step down from West Virginia, so the national championship game should end up being Michigan/Ohio State vs. West Virginia.

There are a couple tools in the AP poll that continue to give their first place votes to #6 West Virginia. The first place vote breakdown is 63 first place votes to #1 Ohio State and 2 first place votes to #6 West Virginia. There are rumors that, even though West Virginia will be in the top 5 in the AP Poll this week, the BCS computers have them ranked as low as #26, due to a very mediocre strength of schedule component. It's crazy that computers ultimately decide who plays in the national title game at the end of the year.

My Top Ten

  • #1. Ohio State
  • #2. Michigan
  • #3. West Virginia
  • #4. Texas
  • #5. USC
  • #6. Louisville
  • #7. Auburn
  • #8. Tennessee
  • #9. Florida
  • #10. Cal
  • #11. Notre Dame

I refuse to give any respect to USC, because they almost lost to three straight unranked opponents in Washington, Washington State, and Arizona State. They look very mediocre, and Cal should handle them easily. I begrudgingly give the #3 ranking to West Virginia, but don't really feel they deserve based on the schedule they've played so far. The team has looked impressive, though. To me, Michigan and Ohio State are far and away the top two teams in the country.

"That's as good a team as there is in the country right now," said Penn State coach Joe Paterno, after losing 17-10 to Michigan, almost in awe. "They played better than we did, especially in their offensive line." Penn State has played both Ohio State and Michigan, so Paterno is essentially saying that Michigan is as good as Ohio State. The Michigan defensive line obliterated Penn State yesterday, holding them to negative rushing yardage, sacking the quarterback seven times, and knocking two of Penn States quarterbacks out of the game. The Michigan rushing defense is now giving up an average of 32 yards a game, and a laughable 1.37 yards per carry :) Defense wins championships.