The Ocho

A home away from home for the college football fan who's tired of the talking heads not knowing what they're talking about.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Colley Problem: Still not solved

Earlier, I posted about Wes Colley's not considering I-AA games in his rankings (included in the BCS formula). The concern was that rather high profile BCS programs (Colorado and Northwestern) had lost to I-AA teams, and the teams that play them were not being "punished" for it. After Indiana's loss to a I-AA team (Southern Illinois, the "other" school where Brandon Jacobs played college ball), Colley emailed me saying that he was developing some code ideas to count the results. He has not done so. The result? Big 10 team Indiana is ranked at #31 in the Colley poll, with its record listed at 4-2 (it's actually 4-3; but of course the SIU game isn't counted). Coming in at #32 is Wazhington State at 4-3.

That means that if, say, Michigan were to beat Ohio State, and there were no unbeatens or Michigan were the only one, if Auburn (or Cal or USC) were competing with tOSU for the remaining slot, they'd fare WORSE as a result of Wazzu's having lost to (pick one) Auburn, Cal, or USC than tOSU b/c of Indiana's lost to Southern Illinois.

If that isn't backwards, I don't know what is.

The Colley Problem: Still not solved

Earlier, I posted about Wes Colley's not considering I-AA games in his rankings (included in the BCS formula). The concern was that rather high profile BCS programs (Colorado and Northwestern) had lost to I-AA teams, and the teams that play them were not being "punished" for it. After Indiana's loss to a I-AA team (Southern Illinois, the "other" school where Brandon Jacobs played college ball), Colley emailed me saying that he was developing some code ideas to count the results. He has not done so. The result? Big 10 team Indiana is ranked at #31 in the Colley poll, with its record listed at 4-2 (it's actually 4-3; but of course the SIU game isn't counted). Coming in at #32 is Wazhington State at 4-3.

That means that if, say, Michigan were to beat Ohio State, and there were no unbeatens or Michigan were the only one, if Auburn (or Cal or USC) were competing with tOSU for the remaining slot, they'd fare WORSE as a result of Wazzu's having lost to (pick one) Auburn, Cal, or USC than tOSU b/c of Indiana's lost to Southern Illinois.

If that isn't backwards, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Texas vs. Baylor

I was at Auburn-Florida, so I didn't get to see the Horns in action, but saw they gave up 31. At first I assumed it was mostly garbage time pts. but that doesn't seem to be the case. What happened? Look ahead to NU, or something more problematic?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Reason No. 4576 why Division IA College Football needs a playoff . . .

Okay - a new low in the polls after this week's games. I'll take each one on in turn.

AP poll voters - I understand my beloved Nittany Lions not being ranked. Really, I do. Three losses, two of which were close (as anyone who actually WATCHED the Ohio State game would know), even to #1, #2, and #10 in your poll, is not justification to have enough votes to be ranked in the top 25. But what kills me is that not a single pollster voted Penn State even #25. No single points. Iowa, which lost to Indiana of all teams, and Georgia, who provided Vandy with a number of firsts this weekend, have 61 and 63 points, respectively. I'm sorry - you get votes for losing to teams you shouldn't have lost to, but not for losing to those you should?

Even worse, the coaches' poll still has Iowa and Georgia ranked. That is worse than last year's debacle with the Harris poll voter being the brick laying son-in-law or whaterver of Troy University's coach. How can anyone, who follows college football, think those two teams should be ranked at all?

But, to top everything off, the BCS poll has Tulsa as Number 25. Tulsa. Now I don't want to badmouth the Golden Hurricane, but let's compare some notes. Tulsa is 5-1, after losing to BYU by 25 points, and beating the powerhouses from Stephen F. Austin, North Texas, Navy, and East Carolina. Their only decent win is against Southern Miss. Meanwhile, 6-1 Pittsburgh? Not in the BCS top 25. 6-1 Wake Forest? Nope, not there either. 6-1 Missouri is there, with a sole quality win over Texas Tech, but Texas A&M who BEAT Missouri yesterday is not. For all those who've said the computers are less biased and more objective than the human polls, this surely must show the failure in relying on computers. Ah, Tulsa - enjoy your stay, due to whatever foul programming mistake that put you in the BCS top 25. I don't expect it to last too long.

The Bowl Picture, Part 2

Another weekend of college football, and more bowl predictions go by the way side. My previosuly decided prediction of Florida playing Ohio State in the MNC is now gone, as Auburn is clearly the best placed one loss team to end up there, and Texas is hoping a lot of chips falls its way.

Anyway, to continue, here are my next few predictions.

Hawaii Bowl (Pac Ten 6 vs. WAC) - Washington State vs. Hawaii.
Isn't every game a bowl game for Hawaii? As long as the Warriors are bowl eligible, they are likely to be in this bowl. Meanwhile, Wazzu seems to have pulled it self together enough to manage 6th in the Pac 10. 2 more wins, and they'll be bowl eligible.

Moter City Bowl (MAC vs. Big Ten 7) - Central Michigan vs. San Jose State
The Big Ten is going to be lucky to ahve 6 bowl eligible teams besides Ohio State (my predicted number one and BCS Championship Game participant), so filling this slot is going to be hard. Seeing as its likely to be a bowl eligible MAC team or WAC team left out in the cold, and the MAC already has one slot, I'm going out on a limb and picking San Jose State. Only two more wins to get bowl eligible - surely they can manage that in the WAC. Meanwhile, CMU gets the nod as my predicted #2 in the MAC this season.

Emerald Bowl (ACC 4 or 5 vs. Pac Ten 4 or 5) - Washington vs. Virginia Tech
Ty Willingham has rebuilt Washington to the point that the Huskies should go bowling this season. Meanwhile, Beamer Bowl has had a little drop off, and Va Tech should slide down to the 4 or 5 spot in the ACC this year.

Independence Bowl (Big 12 7/8 vs. SEC 8) - Bowling Green vs. South Carolina
The Big 12 is going to be scrambling to have 8 bowl eligible teams this year, but the Bears are at 3-4. Only 3 more games to reach bowl eligibility. Unfortunately, those games are Kansas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma. Assuming a loss to Oklahoma, a win against Kansas, and then you've got to win two of the remaining three? Not going to happen. The MAC is likely to have an extra bowl eligible team or two this year, so expect Bowling Green (or possibly Western Michigan) to slot in here. South Carolina will win enough to get bowl eligible, and make the trip to Shreveport.

Texas Bowl (Big 12 vs. Big East or C-USA) - Oklahoma State vs. Rutgers
Oklahoma State will sneak across the wire with 6 or 7 wins, and Rutgers, going to back to back bowls for the first time ever, will make the trip out to Houston.

Holiday Bowl (Pac Ten 2 vs. Big 12 3) - USC vs. Oklahoma
USC will drop at least one to Cal and/or Oregon, and fail to win the Pac 10 this year. Meanwhile, OU will continue without Adrian Peterson, as both Missouri and Texas A&M's early inflated records will collapse in the back half.

Another 6 down, 20 more to go.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Bowl Picture - My Predictions, on the Season So Far, Part 1

There are 32 bowl games this year, so that means we need 64 bowl eligible teams (that don't end up in brawls, anyway - be careful, Clemson-South Carolina). Here's the first of my quick and dirty predictions, looking at the teams today, and predicting their probable outcome.

Poinsettia (MWC 2/3 vs. at-large) - BYU v. Army
BYU seems to be back, but I don't think back enough to win the MWC. Army has got an arrangement with the Poinsettia, so expect a 6-6 Army to get the nod.

Las Vegas (Pac-10 4 vs. MWC 1) - UCLA v. Utah
The Las Vegas Bowl will sponsor a rematch between these two teams, which UCLA won handily the first time 31-10. Let's see how well the rematch will go for them.

New Orleans (Sun Belt 1 vs. C-USA) - La.-Lafayette vs. East Carolina.
The Ragin' Cajuns have actually beat two non-conference opponents (Eastern Michigan and Houston). That's right, the same Houston that came up a point short against Miami. Expect them to win out in the Sun Belt. Meanwhile, Skip Holtz seems to have the Pirates good enough to go 6-6, for 6th place in the C-USA and a bowl trip to New Orleans.

New Mexico (MWC 4 vs. WAC) - Air Force vs. Fresno State
Air Force seems to have reloaded enough to coax out 7 wins this season, while Fresno State needs to stop worrying about the big boys and start winning in conference.

Birmingham (C-USA vs. Big East or MAC) - UAB vs. South Florida
UAB won't quite make it to the top of the C-USA this season, and it'll be hard for the inaguaral Birmingham Bowl to not snag them. Meanwhile, the Bulls will just make the cut, and edge out a potential MAC bowl qualifier out here.

Armed Forces (MWC 2/3 vs. C-USA 4) - TCU vs. UTEP
The Texas match-up. TCU has too much work to do to win the MWC again, and UTEP doesn't seem poised to win out in the C-USA.

6 down, 26 more to go.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Texas Fight

Thanks to the magic of DVR, I just watched the TX/OU game again. The Texas defense was doing some serious hitting. I haven't seen a Texas D hit like that in recent memory. Chizik and Akina personally challenged some of those guys last week and it made an impact.

However, the defense is still susceptible to PA passes, and that is disconcerting. Here's hoping they lock up the pass defense so this team can remain in position to defend the MNC.

Texas needs Auburn, Penn St., and Arizona St. to man up and pull upsets at home this week. I have officially given up on Michigan St. doing anything meaningful this year.

Monday, October 09, 2006

the only solution

As I noted in my August post that no one was a true #1 (at least in the preseason), the stretch Auburn played vs. S. Carolina, Arkansas, and Florida was so brutal likely no one could survive it. That's true, as proven on Saturday. There's no shame in losing to Arkansas - after Calvin Johnson, McFadden is the single best offensive skill player in the nation. There is shame - horrible shame - in being physically manhandled the way Auburn was on Saturday.

Arkansas threw ten passes the entire game, and just 5 in the final 3 quarters. As Pat Dye said after a brutal loss in the '80s, "They took away our manhood." Such was the case on Saturday. Auburn looked positively Shula-ish.

There should be severe, brutal consequences. The only thing I can come up with is Japanese style ritual suicide.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Top 10

1. Ohio State - two solid road wins
2. Auburn - beat the best team anyone's beaten so far
3. LSU - Dominant against everyone except Auburn
4. Michigan - Solid wins against ND and Wisky earn them a pass for a sluggish win over Minn.
5. Florida - Solid start; will their offense be able to score against the top two defenses in the country the next two weeks?
6. Louisville - Dominant so far; can they keep it up with the injuries?
7. Tennessee - Cutcliffe + QB with famous sports last name = big time production. Again.
8. Georgia - Nasty D; need a baby QB to be more consistent, or Tereshinski to get back to 100%
9. Texas - A win over an improved OU team, and they could be back in the NC hunt
10. Georgia Tech - As the most prescient contributor on the Ocho, I commented last year that we saw flashes of what this team could be. Former Auburn QB is doing a good job as full fledged OC.