In the ever rush to join a media that prides itself on predicting at the earliest possible time, put me down for taking USC and any points that Vegas is willing to give me against the Buckeyes. Yes, Ohio State could render all the Michigan-USC debate moot, however, I think USC put that argument to bed with a 44-24 whipping of my beloved Irish. The Trojans had a -1 turnover margin and yet only came up six points short of what Michigan did with a +4 margin.
The poll takes a new look this week with 1-2 fully solved. My Irish barely get into the BCS on my system, but without giving it all away, here it is - as always wins over BCS winners in parenthesees and the opponents record in the second set.
1. Ohio State (6) (73-71)
2. USC (8) (77-53)
3. Florida (7) (79-53)
4. Michigan (5) (83-61)
- Still the same argument here as the loss by Notre Dame means that Michigan only has the win over Wisconsin as a win over a one loss team. USC and Florida could end up with 9 and 8 wins over BCS winners if they both win next week.
5. Rutgers (3) (61-57)
6. Louisville (7) (72-58)
- The most important thing to me is head-to-head analysis. With West Virginia bowing out to South Florida this puts the two Big East teams against one another. Much like I kept Arkansas ahead of Auburn for most of the time when Auburn's resume impressed more, I will do the same here.
7. Wisconsin (3) (42-72)
8. Boise State (1) (61-68)
- No one is talking Wisconsin as they are the fraud of the system - having one loss but they didnt have to play Ohio State. Boise State has clinched the Fiesta Bowl with a 12-0 season. They will play the Big 12 champion.
On to the teams with two losses...
9. LSU (5) (80-62)
10. Auburn (5) (77-67)
11. Arkansas (4) (67-63)
- Said before, head-to-head is the ultimate criteria for me, however, we have three teams here who round-robin'ed each out in the SEC. I put it to a vote with my friends at the Tennessee-Kentucky game and we came up with the following to separate these three teams. Important criterias mentioned were strength of schedule (favoring LSU), wins over BCS winners (LSU and Auburn), and when and where you lose. LSU wins out with a point in each category - earlier losses and both on the road while Auburn and Arkansas each lost at home. Arkansas gets a chance because if they beat Florida they will have an SOS record of 78-65 with five wins. Stay tuned.
12. Notre Dame (4) (75-63)
13. Virginia Tech (4) (71-61)
14. Oklahoma (4) (71-73)
- This group rounds out the BCS at-large qualifiers, meaning they can be chosen by the bowls. Oklahoma can win their way in with a win over Nebraska. Virginia Tech will be punished by the weak ACC and Notre Dame will get their shot again at Michigan in the Rose Bowl thanks to their name. One other debate amongst the friends this weekend was a mention of to whom you lost. Opinions changed in a hurry when that logic would put Notre Dame up at #9 with losses to two of the teams still left in the national championship hunt. (Michigan and USC) Notre Dame gets the nod here with the better opponent SOS.
15. West Virginia (3) (62-57)
16. Wake Forest (3) (59-73)
- Here are the arguments against these teams. First, if Notre Dame hasn't beaten anyone of note, then who has West Virginia taken down to date? 8-4 Maryland. Wake Forest? Their best win is a home tilt over Boston College at 9-3. Same conference, same record, but the Irish traveled to Atlanta for their win over a 9-3 team. Of course, Wake could beat Georgia Tech in next week's ACC championship and end all debate.
17. BYU (0) (64-76)
18. TCU (1) (51-66)
- Small conference love as the two close out the two-loss teams list.
19. Tennessee (5) (82-61)
20. California (6) (70-48)
- Vols get the head-to-head nod over the Bears despite fewer wins over BCS winners and Cal's better opponent SOS. One thing about Tennessee, the Vols are a true 9 win team having their five wins all against teams with 6-8 wins and their three losses against teams with double-digit wins.
21. Texas (4) (78-54)
22. Texas A&M (4) (71-59)
23. Nebraska (4) (70-60)
- Same argument here as the SEC trio above - all three beat each other but on the road (Texas at Nebraska, Nebraska at A&M, A&M at Texas). SOS determines the order.
24. Hawaii (1) (58-72)
25. Georgia Tech (3) (67-64)
- Hawaii could get another win over a BCS winner if they beat Oregon State this Saturday. Georgia Tech and Boston College were the only remaining three-loss teams but I gave Tech the nod for being in the conference title game while Boston College is locked out by Wake Forest.
- ▼ November (6)