October 16, 2006

The Groups

The undefeated:

Ohio State
West Virginia
Boise State

- We'll lose three of these teams for sure as four of the combatants will face each other. USC is the lone gunman of the group who can win out without beating one of the other foes. Ohio State and Louisville would be favored because of their hosting Michigan and West Virginia. Rutgers could beat both Louisville and West Virginia. Boise State won't garner the computer respect to break into the group. They're playing for a BCS berth, period.

The once beaten, by an undefeated:
Notre Dame

- The interesting point to be made is that the first three all lost by healthy margins. Texas by 17 to Ohio State. Notre Dame by 26 to Michigan, and Arkansas by 36 to USC. Nebraska lost at USC by 18, and Wisconsin was dropped by Michigan in Ann Arbor by 14.

One loss teams by one loss teams on the road:

- Missouri and Florida joined the ranks, California has dominated since Knoxville, Clemson the same since Boston, and Oregon was defeated by California.

One loss teams by one loss teams at home:
Georgia Tech
Wake Forest

- Closer margins (okay, except Auburn) but they still lost at home. Tennessee lost by one point to Florida, Georgia Tech by four to Notre Dame, and Wake Forest gagged the fourth quarter to Clemson.

One loss teams:
Boston College
Texas A&M

- Texas A&M's loss to Texas Tech just looks bad now. Boston College gave up the hail Peter, Paul, and Mary to N.C. State - who just lost to Wake Forest, who lost to Clemson, who lost to Boston College.

The Discussion:
- The first thing is to set the undefeateds apart. Should we throw out all things pre-season and simply rank the seven unbeatens as the top seven teams in the country? Do we take the neutral field point of view? Is it too late, am I prejudiced beyond return to think that Texas and Notre Dame are so much better than Nebraska and Wisconsin. Both lost to undefeated teams, heck, Nebraska and Wisconsin on the road even.

- When we think about losses a hierarchy develops:

One loss to undefeateds on the road
One loss to undefeateds at home
One loss to one loss on the road
One loss to one loss at home
One loss teams

The flip side of the coin is to think about the wins the teams have within the hierarchy. Obviously, you can't defeat an undefeated team, so simply slide everything down a notch. I end up with seven categories, four above the water line, and three below the line. The quality wins are the first four categories while the bottom three indicate you've been dining on snack cakes for opponents. First the list:

Wins (multiple) against one loss teams
One win against a one loss team
BCS teams over .500
Teams over .500
BCS teams at or below .500
Teams under .500
Non D-I wins

Let's review the good categories. Everything cascades downward in that if your in the first group, you still might have other wins that put you in the lower groups.

Multiple wins against one-loss teams:
Michigan (plus one BCS over .500 (at Penn State)
USC (plus two BCS over .500 (at Washington State, Washington)
Auburn (plus two BCS over .500 (Washington State, at South Carolina)
Florida (plus one BCS over .500 (Alabama)

One win against a one-loss team
Ohio State (plus two BCS over .500 (Penn State, at Iowa)
Notre Dame (plus two BCS over .500 (Penn State, Purdue)
Arkansas (plus one BCS over .500 (Alabama)
Tennessee (plus one BCS over .500 (at Georgia)
California (plus one BCS over .500 (at Washington State)
Boston College (plus two BCS over .500 (BYU, Virginia Tech)
Texas A&M

Multiple wins over BCS teams > .500:
Georgia Tech

One win over BCS team > .500
West Virginia

All other undefeated and/or one-loss teams with NO quality wins:
Wake Forest

This provides only a cross-check of the best teams. To me, the race is for the 1 and 2 slots but then also for the coveted BCS at-large bids.

After careful thinking I have my Top 25 in my next post.

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Heavenly time period: College football season until the championship game of March Madness.