This week's top three certainly look familiar! I'm always amazed that a system that relies purely on wins/losses and points for/against can closely match the polls. One thing that this system does not do is punish teams that lose to good teams, or reward teams that beat up on poor teams. So you'll still find Cal in the top 5 and you'll still have to look down awhile to find Virginia. The ratings have a definite opinion on the conferences, with the Pac 10 holding 3 of the top 5 and the MAC taking 7 of the bottom 8. The "best" conference, the SEC, dominates the 25-30 range.
Last week's games pulled several teams down a notch. Minnesota again forgot to play the fourth quarter against Michigan. Georgia lost both its Heisman and national championship hopes. Nebraska might be thinking that the Frank Solich days look good after a 60-point debacle at Texas Tech. Cal has to wonder what it takes, after its QB Aaron Rodgers goes 14-14 in the first half, which they trail by 6, and 29-34 for the game, which they lose by 6. On the plus side, Army broke its 19-game losing streak! That leaves only one winless team in Division 1-A.
There aren't as many big games this week. Southern Cal gets another home game against an undefeated but unproven team, this time Arizona State. West Virginia and Connecticut play for the Big East lead (check out the prediction!). There is an unbeaten showdown in the Big 10, but Wisconsin and Purdue haven't generated much excitement. And Navy tries to break a 40-game losing streak to Notre Dame. Only bad luck and some bad officiating has kept the streak alive in the last few years, but the system here has little sympathy for the Middies. And, of course, there's the big ACC showdown between Virginia and Florida State. The following predictions are straight from the ratings, with 4 points added for the home team.
Florida State over Virginia by 7 (not many ACC teams have won in Tallahassee)
Miami over Louisville by 13 (the Cards are unbeaten and ornery)
Southern Cal over Arizona State by 7 (the Sun Devils beat Iowa 44-7)
U Conn over West Virginia by 4 (would you believe a BCS berth for the Huskies?)
Oklahoma State over Texas A&M by 9 (two overlooked threats to OU)
Purdue over Wisconsin by 12 (the computer hasn't seen the Badgers play D)
Notre Dame over Navy by 11 (can unbeaten Navy stop the streak?)
Virginia Tech over Florida A&M by 36 (1-AA teams have a rating of 20 in this system)
Maryland and NC State even (both teams forgot to show up last week)
Central Florida and Akron even (UCF is the only winless team left)
|73||San Diego St||38.16|
|84||New Mexico St||33.99|