After a week off to travel abroad, I'm back with more ratings. I was pleased to find Monday Night Football on the TV in a pub in London, until I noticed that the ball was unusually round. It's interesting that they use that name, although they don't seem to have figured out the whole Bocephus thang yet.
My ratings are unusually close to the BCS ratings right now. Looking at the top 12 (now why would I stop at 12?), if you swap out LSU for Notre Dame we agree. Maybe more importantly, we have the same top 3. I have West Virginia underrated and Cal overrated compared to the official ratings. It will be interesting to see who is right on those two.
There doesn't seem to be as much parity as last year. Seven unbeatens are balanced by four winless teams. Among the unbeatens, Michigan and Ohio State will face off, the three Big East teams will start playing each other next week, the boys at Boise are unbeaten again, and Southern Cal has losable games left with Oregon, Cal, Notre Dame and UCLA. A non-controversial outcome would have unbeaten SC against the Ohio State-Michigan winner. If SC loses, then a number of arguments ensue, the most interesting one being a possibility of an unbeaten Big East team or a one-loss SEC team getting the other slot. Among the winless teams, Duke has Vandy and UNC left, Temple has Bowling Green this week, Florida International has a fighting chance against La-Monroe and Florida Atlantic, and Stanford has a tree as a mascot.
There are, of course, some surprises this year. Florida State is in last place in their division, but in this poll still outranks Miami. The wheels have fallen off at Fresno State (#98 here), Stanford (#106) and Toledo (#110). Wake Forest is already bowl eligible, and in fact still has a shot at a BCS slot. And Louisiana - Lafayette is ranked one slot higher than Purdue (which is interesting because, you see, Purdue is located in West Lafayette, Indiana; sorry, I'm still jet-lagged).
This is not the best week for big games. If you live in ACC country, there are a couple of good ones, but otherwise there aren't very many intriguing match-ups. The following picks are straight from the ratings with 4 points added for home field.
Clemson over Virginia Tech by 5 (Beamer Ball could work against the special ed teams at Clemson)
Georgia Tech over Miami by 10 (if the Hokies lose, this could be for the Coastal title)
Virginia over NC State by 1 (no bowl scouts, but many out-of-work coaches in attendance)
Penn State over Purdue by 4 (both teams are still in the bowl hunt)
Notre Dame over Navy by 7 (the football version of Clemson at UNC in basketball)
Missouri over Oklahoma by 4 (important game for Mizzou's Big 12 North title chances)
Texas over Texas Tech by 11 (not the best Red Raider bunch, but they can still pass.)
Florida over Georgia by 17 (Dawg fans may want to drink early and often at the Cocktail Party)
Tennessee over South Carolina by 9 (I gave the Chickens 4 for home field, how many for Spurrier?)
|97||New Mexico St||30.71|
|102||San Diego St||28.84|