Thursday, November 18, 2010

Week 11 Rankings

Hey football fans. Miss a couple of weeks and I start getting threatening emails! At least I know people are reading!

A lot has changed since I left you. What? Nothing changed? Oh. Good to know. Okay, that’s not totally true but the top of my rankings, as well as the BCS rankings, are the same as three weeks ago. My top five, Oregon, Boise State, TCU, Alabama and Ohio State, are the same as three weeks ago. Stanford moves up to #6 from #14 three weeks ago. The Tree are 9-1 with only The Big Game (against Cal) and Oregon State remaining on their schedule. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance Stanford will get left out of a BCS bowl even if they finish 11-1. Stanford can blame their fans if they get snubbed. There were 7000 empty seats (in a 50000 seat stadium) two weeks ago when Stanford played Arizona. You can do better, Stanford. Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Auburn and Arkansas round out my top 10. Utah had the biggest drop from three weeks ago (from #6 to #23) thanks to consecutive blowout losses to TCU and Notre Dame.

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 1 Oregon 0.827
2 9 Auburn 0.152
3 3 TCU ~1.0
4 2 Boise State 0.855
5 11 LSU 0.324
6 6 Stanford 0.537
7 8 Wisconsin 0.707
8 15 Nebraska 0.252
9 5 Ohio State 0.586
10 20 Oklahoma State 0.196
11 4 Alabama 0.739
12 29 Michigan State 0.510
13 10 Arkansas 0.394
14 7 Oklahoma 0.365
*P(WARG) = Probability of Winning All Remaining Games.

The only remaining question is whether or not a one-loss Auburn or Oregon would play in the BCS national title game over an undefeated Boise State or TCU and, if you believe the rankings, there’s a good chance we’ll find out. Oregon has an 83% chance of winning their remaining games but Auburn has only a 15% chance of finishing the season undefeated. This is mostly due to Auburn’s day-after-Thanksgiving matchup with Alabama in the Iron Bowl. The rankings haven’t been kind to Auburn and have Alabama as a 10 point favorite in Tuscaloosa. If that’s not bad enough, the rankings have Auburn as only a 3 point favorite against South Carolina in the SEC championship game. There’s no doubt that Auburn will have earned it if they finish the season undefeated. TCU and Boise State are virtual locks to finish the season undefeated. TCU has one game remaining and it would be a historical upset if they were to lose. Boise State has three game remaining, including a tough game against Nevada, but still have an 86% chance of finishing undefeated. I can’t envision a scenario where any other team ends up in the national title game. The best case scenario for LSU is a to finish as a one-loss division runner-up to Auburn and Stanford needs to win out and have Oregon lose twice in order to win the Pac 10. The only way I could see either of these teams entering the conversation is if Oregon and Auburn both lose twice and the voters are uncomfortable with a Boise State/TCU national title game.  That’s not going to happen.
Full week 11 rankings can be found at my personal website:

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