Last week was a bye week for many teams. Texas, UCLA and Florida State weren't supposed to have the week off, but by not showing up for the first half they made the evening interesting. That's UCLA's second miraculous comeback of the season and Texas' second straight ridiculous comeback against Oklahoma State (last year, down 35-7 at half before winning 49-35; this year, down 28-9 before winning 47-28).
My ratings are a combination of ratings that use only points for and points against and ratings that use only wins and losses. The "win" ratings tend to track the BCS computers well, since the BCS doesn't allow the use of points. This week Virginia Tech is #4 in my points ratings and (drum roll, please) #1 in the win ratings. It will be interesting to see how well Tech does in the BCS ratings that come out later today. If you want to know more about my rating system and other rating systems, come to Massengill Auditorium at 5:30 on Wednesday. I'm giving a talk as part of our departmental colloquium series.
This week's games will largely determine several conference championships. An obvious one of interest is Tech-Miami, with the winner probably being the ACC-Coastal champ. Florida State has magic number 1 to be the Atlantic champ. Not many Big East games have been played yet, but West Virginia has a commanding lead. Big 10 leaders Penn State and Wisconsin play Saturday; Ohio State is the only other team with 1 conference loss. In the Big 12 North, the Colorado-Missouri winner takes the lead. Texas has a lock on the South. In Conference USA, Southern Miss controls its destiny in the East and the UTEP/Tulsa winner leads the West. In the MAC, there is a 4-way tie in the East and Central Michigan leads in the West. The TCU/Colorado State winner should take the Mountain West. The Pac-10 figures to come down to USC-UCLA. In the SEC, Georgia still leads in the East but can't afford another loss. Alabama leads in the West but still has both LSU and Auburn remaining. The Sun Belt hopes that leaders Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State can get bowl eligible. The WAC will be determined by the Fresno State / Boise State game.
The computer seems to be putting out big spreads this week. The battles in Blacksburg and Happy Valley should be fun. I don't put any faith in the rumors that Tech will break out green jerseys for the game. The following predictions are straight from the ratings, with 4 points added for home field.Virginia Tech over Miami by 11 (can the Hokies do better in the red zone?)
|79||San Diego St||38.34|
|114||New Mexico St||22.25|