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Tag:Stanford
Posted on: October 30, 2011 11:14 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2011 11:22 pm
 

BCS and bowl notes, Oct. 30

Stanford made its inevitable move past Boise State in the BCS this week and will now try (but ultimately fail) to close on Oklahoma State.

Oklahoma is at the top of the list of one-loss teams at No. 6, and might be able to stay there for a while.  Oregon is actually ahead of the Sooners in both the Harris and coaches' polls, but Oklahoma's computer strength might be good enough to hold off the Ducks long-term.

Arkansas is sandwiched between those two in the BCS ratings, and can't be ruled out as a contender yet.  The Hogs still have LSU on the schedule, but for them, it would really help to be the division (and conference) winner, but they do not control their own desitny.  Arkansas could be like Michigan State last year and go 11-1 and have no chance for a BCS berth because of two more desireable teams in its own league.
Of course, one more team will join that battle next week.

Houston has quietly crept up to No. 13, and if it weren't for Boise State, would be high enough in the rankings to automatically qualify for a BCS spot.  Unfortunately, that only goes to the highest rated non-AQ conference champion, and it'll take at least one Bronco loss to knock them below the Cougars.

Penn State is not really getting much respect from the voters or the computers, but the No. 16 Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten and are the last undefeated team in conference play.  Nebraska, Michigan and MSU are in a three-way tie for first in the Whatever Division.  It could have been a four-way tie, but Iowa managed to do something that not even New Mexico State and North Dakota State could accomplish -- lose to Minnesota.

And who would have thought we'd enter November with teams like Wake Forest, Virginia and UCLA still in control of their own destinies for conference titles, but Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia and Florida State needing help.

I am still one team short of the number needed in this week's bowl projections.  Toledo is left standing at the altar at the Little Caesar's Bowl.


Posted on: October 28, 2011 1:29 pm
 

West Virginia, Arizona Western and games to watch

Brett McMurphy has been all over the West Virginia to the Big 12 story, which became official today.  In his story, Brett said, "With the Big 12 only taking West Virginia, the Big East’s chances of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status in 2014 is greatly improved."

I'm sure he means as opposed to taking both West Virginia and Louisville, which would have been worse because that would have meant the Big East having to find two more teams instead of just one.  However, it would have been much better for the Big 12 to have caved to some senatorial pressure and took just Louisville.  The Mountaineers have been the most consistely good program in the Big East, so while the league only needs to find one more replacement, it will be hard pressed to find one that is anywhere near the quality of West Virginia.  Note I am excluing the six programs already being pursued by the league, Boise State, Air Force, Navy, Houston, SMU and UCF.

Note that Brett mentioned the AQ status for 2014 and beyond.  That is because the Big East is contracturally locked in as an AQ league through the 2013 season.  There is no formal process for revoking that status beyond then, but that is an issue the BCS commissioners will deal with in the next eight to ten months, according to BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock.

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Ah, the vagaries of the BCS computer rankings.  If you look at Ken Massey's BCS rankings and go far enough down the list, you'll see that the 88th ranked team is that noted football power Arizona Western JC.  Yes, a junior college.  If you look at his regular rankings, which the BCS does not use because they include margin of victory, AWJC is 30th.

This has caused a little bit of outrage because it's so comically wrong, and while I understand that, I'm not as bothered by it as most people are.  A team like AWJC is so far removed from the oppponent, opponents, opponents, etc chain of any I-A school that it could probably be removed from the database entirely without affecting the I-A rankings.

That is also the reason a team like AWJC can be so high in the rankings.  It is so far removed from the I-A schools that its rating isn't impacted by them.

Programmers who want to rank just I-A schools need to find some way to deal with opponents outside of that class.  Some, like me, deal with it by treating all such opponents as genericly bad I-A teams.  Some rank a larger set of schools to be more specific.  Some ignore those games entirely (like the RPI).  Different strokes for different folks.  I don't get too worked up about it.  It's a reliativley minor problem for the BCS compared to the fact that they have no idea how these ratings work or if they are being calculated correctly.  Also, teams don't know how they are being judged.  That's because, except for Colley, the formulas are secret.
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LSU, Alabama and Boise State are off this week, but there are still several games of interest.

Clemson is at Georgia Tech, which looked like a lot bigger game a couple weeks ago when the Yellow Jackets were still undefeated.  Georgia Tech is still dangerous, and difficult to prepare for, so Clemson better be ready.

Baylor at Oklahoma State -- Brandon Weedon vs Robert Griffin III.  Alert the engineers!  The scoreboard is going to get a workout.

Oklahoma at Kansas State -- One of these teams is still undefeated.  I think the Wildcats picked a bad week to schedule Oklahoma.

Michigan State at Nebraska -- The Spartans just finished handing Michigan and Wisconsin their first losses in back-to-back weekends, and their reward is a trip to Lincoln.  Thanks, schedule makers!

Wisconsin at Ohio State -- The Badgers try to bounce back from the loss to Michigan State last week and stay in the hunt in the Legendary Leaders division, or something like that.

Stanford at USC -- The Trojans just extinguished Notre Dame's BCS hopes last week, and now it hopes to kill off the Cardinal's national title aspirations.

Georgia vs Florida -- The World's Largest Cocktail Party usually leaves Georgia with a hangover.  Mark Richt was on one of the hottest seats to start the season, but now an East division title is a possiblity.  USC-East controls its own destiny there, but with Marcus Lattimore done for the season, the door could open for the Bulldogs.


Posted on: October 23, 2011 11:01 pm
 

BCS/Bowl notes

The official BCS is out this week, with no real surprises.

Oklahoma State would appear to be in the best position to play the SEC champ for the BCS title if both finish undefeated.  The Cowboys have a slight edge over Stanford in the polls, but a huge lead in the computers.  Stanford will close that gap some as the season goes on, assume neither loses, but the Cardinal will never catch OSU.

Boise State and Clemson are currently between Stanford and Oklahoma St, but if all four finish undefeated, Stanford should pass the Broncos and Tigers.

Oregon and Oklahoma are in the best spots for 1-loss teams.  That may very well include the loser of the LSU-Alabama game.

A lot of people are talking about a possible rematch of those two for the BCS title.  That is getting WAY ahead of yourself.  We still could have six undefeated teams.  This is the time of year to talk about that scenario.

But since you asked, voters showed us in 2006 that they prefer not to have a rematch.  They jumped Florida over Michigan after the Gators won the SEC title.  I think there is a sense that it isn't fair to make the winner beat the loser again.

However, there does have to be some reasonable alternative.  One-loss Oregon or Oklahoma would be that, as would undefeated Boise State or Clemson.

The bowl projections require a little explanation also.

The order for choosing at-large teams for the BCS bowls is Fiesta, Sugar and Orange.

Once you get past league champions, bowl selection order is about bowl choice, not conference standings.  So, the Capital One Bowl gets the Big Ten No. 2.  That does not mean the second best team in the conference standings, or the conference championship game loser.  It means second choice of all bowl-eligible teams.  Conference standings are rarely much of a factor, although some leagues do have rules requiring they be respected to some degree.

Michigan is projected to be the choice of the Fiesta Bowl as an at-large team, but the Wolverines are not projected to win their division.  That is Michigan State.  However, Michigan is MUCH more attractive to bowls because of its massive fan base, national appeal, and in this case, a bit of a dry spell from playing at this level.

The current bowl projection also has a couple of holes in it.  I am only projecting 68 teams to be eligible for 70 spots.  At this time, the NCAA has no provision for dealing with this situation, so I am not going to assume what they will do.  This kind of thing has a way of working itself out, so we'll see.

I did end up with one strange matchup - Ohio vs Eastern Michigan in the Idaho Potato Bowl.  EMU was the last team I put in the grid, and the only openings were against other MAC foes.  Ohio was the only one the Eagles don't play in the regular season.  I'm sure the fans in Boise would line up early to see that one!

Finally, BYU clinched the first bowl berth of the season with its win over Idaho State.  They are contracted to the Armed Forces Bowl, however I don't believe the bid has been officially offered yet because there are still some very slim hopes that the Cougars could end up in the BCS.
Posted on: October 23, 2011 9:12 am
Edited on: October 23, 2011 5:17 pm
 

BCS projections, Oct. 22

The BCS projection has been updated this morning.  Check back with this blog post for changes as the day progresses.  Actual data will become available for Sagarin and both polls before the official release, and I will update the chart and this post when they do.

The top 25 of each component has been projected through games of Oct. 22 except:

Colley, Sagarin -- Actual ratings (1-120), through Oct. 22
Coaches, Harris polls -- Actual.

The projection shows teams 4-6 as Boise State, Clemson and Stanford and they are pretty tighly bunched together.  If the Cardinal are better loved than I project by the four computers, they could move up some.

Even more tightly bunched are teams 7-10, which are Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Arkansas.  They are only separated in the projection by .023, so it would not take much computer variance to shake up the order of those teams.

Posted on: October 21, 2011 6:28 pm
 

BCS games to watch

This week's BCS games to watch:

North Carolina at Clemson -- The Tigers have three of their final four on the road, so it is important for them to take care of business at home.

Oklahoma St at Missouri -- This is arguably the toughest game left for the Cowboys before their season-ending showdown with Oklahoma.  Baylor and Kansas St are on the schedule too, but those games are at home.

Wisconsin at Michigan St -- The Spartans are probably best equipped to defend the Badgers, but they will have to do it without suspended DE William Gholston.

Washington at Stanford -- I'm not a bettor, but I can't believe Stanford is a three-touchdown favorite.  Washington (5-1) has played well behind QB Keith Price.  The Huskies almost took down Nebraska in Lincoln.

Auburn at LSU -- No Honey Badger.  No Spencer Ware.  So, LSU will be shorthanded.  This could be a dangerous spot for the Bayou Bengals.

USC at Notre Dame -- No BCS impact for the Trojans.  They are not eligible for the post-season.  However, they can all but end their rivals' chances of getting to the BCS with an upset in South Bend.
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 9:14 pm
 

First BCS Coming Today

The first official release of the BCS is now out.  LSU did a little better in the computers that I expected, and Oklahoma slightly worse.  As a result, LSU is at the top of the rankings by a whopping .0003 over Alabama.

Oklahoma is third, and archrival Oklahoma State is fourth.  The Cowboys, as expected, are the top-rated team in the computers.

Wisconsin is only 11th in the computers, and despite being fourth in both polls, the Badgers come in sixth overall.

Stanford is also suffering in the computer rankings, but the Harris voters are also underwhelmed by the Cardinal.  That has allowed Clemson to sneak ahead of them for the seventh spot.

Oh, did I forget Boise State?  I guess I'm just used to them always being there now.  The Broncos are fifth overall.

We aren't used to seeing Houston.  You have to look pretty far down the list to find the Cougars.  They start out at No. 19.

The only other major undefeated team is Kansas State, and the Wildcats check in at No. 11, behind one-loss teams Arkansas and Oregon.

With so many undefeated teams, you'll see a lot of folks jumping on the panic button with both feet, but these things have a way of working themselves out.  The three Big 12 teams will play each other.  LSU and Alabama meet in a few weeks.  Everyone has tough games left.  It's unusual to have more than two AQ unbeatens at the end of the year.

You can see the rankings for all 120 teams here,  At this time, Wolfe and Massey have not released their complete rankings.  When they do, the chart will get updated, and I will update this post as well.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com