Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week 8 Rankings

Down goes #1… again. The number #1 ranked team in the nation lost for the third week in a row. Although, there weren’t many people that actually thought that Oklahoma was the best team in the country (I had them ranked #5) and my rankings had Oklahoma favored by only 1.5 points in Columbia. Auburn gets their chance as the new BCS number 1 after defeating previously unbeaten LSU, 24-17. The streak should end this week as Auburn faces Mississippi. The Rebels aren’t on the same level as South Carolina, Wisconsin or Missouri. Speaking of Mississippi, Houston Nutt has to be a little disappointed in his return on investment after recruiting frequent resident of the back seat of a police car, Jeremiah Masoli. Oh well, at least Mississippi has a cool new mascot:

The only new additions to the top 10 are Utah, who beat Colorado State 59-6, and Miami, who posted a 33-10 victory over North Carolina. Stanford and Iowa dropped out of the top 10, dropping to #14 and #11, respectively. Stanford was penalized for allowing Washington State to keep it close. The Cougars have improved quite a bit from last year even though they’re ranked #94. This illustrates just how bad they were in 2008 and 2009 when they were one of the worst teams in the country. This year, they’re not even the worst team in a BCS conference thanks to Turner Gill’s Kansas Jayhawks. I doubt that makes Cougar fans feel any better but I’m a Washington alum and don’t care.

Here are the top 14 teams in the BCS rankings and the probability that they win all of their remaining games:

BCS Rank Rank Team P(WARG)*
1 15 Auburn 0.059
2 1 Oregon 0.449
3 2 Boise State 0.830
4 3 TCU 0.538
5 26 Michigan State 0.152
6 13 Missouri 0.123
7 4 Alabama 0.386
8 6 Utah 0.214
9 7 Oklahoma 0.166
10 18 Wisconsin 0.546
11 5 Ohio State 0.466
12 20 LSU 0.087
13 14 Stanford 0.125
14 8 Nebraska 0.266
*P(WARG) = Probability of Winning All Remaining Games.

We’re down to seven undefeated teams and only four from BCS conferences. Believe it or not but Auburn has the worst chance of finishing the season undefeated among the seven unbeatens. They’ll be solid favorites in their next three games but finish the season with Alabama and (potentially) the SEC championship game. Oregon has tough games remaining against USC, Arizona and Oregon State but still has a 45% chance of finishing the season undefeated. I’ve always assumed that Michigan State would lose a game before all was said and done but they only have four games remaining and three of those games are against Purdue, Minnesota and Penn State. Michigan State has a very real chance of running the table if they beat Iowa on Saturday. Ditto for Missouri. Their only remaining test during the regular season is Saturday’s game at Nebraska. Although, they would also have to win the Big 12 title game, likely against Oklahoma, to finish undefeated. Finally, Boise State and the TCU/Utah winner are likely to finish the season undefeated (83% and 75%, respectively) but need some help if they want to play for the national title. Missouri and Michigan State are likely to lose before the end of the season but Boise State/TCU/Utah need the SEC champ to have more than one loss in order to have a shot. That could be tough given that three teams in the SEC West have one loss or less (Alabama, Auburn and LSU) and the relative weakness of the SEC East.
Full week 8 rankings can be found at my personal website:

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