The Undefeated - 2023 - after Week 7 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - 2023 - after Week 7

SWC75

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This is the point of the season when I look at the future schedules of undefeated teams to see who has the best chance to run the table and make the playoff. When the number of such teams falls below four, I chart the one-loss teams. I limit this to ‘power’ conference teams unless a ‘Group of 5’ team is in the Top ten of either the writer, coach’s or committee’s polls. I also have two fictional bowls for the two top mid-majors, (the ‘Pesci’ Bowl, named after vertically challenged but ever-feisty character actor Joe Pesci), and the two worst teams in the country, (the Ty-D Bowl, named after the Ty-D Bol toilet bowl cleaner). For the Pesci Bowl, I’ll keep track of the undefeated Group of 5 teams until there are less than two of them. Then I look at the one-loss G5 teams. For the Ty-D Bowl, I keep track of the winless teams until there are less than two of them. Then I’ll look at the 1-win teams. Rankings are by the writers/coaches/committee- when it comes out. I’ve decided to include each team’s points “Against Ranked Teams” (ART). See that post for details on how that is computed.

After Week 7

When I first established these lists last week there were 26 teams on them. Now it’s down to 16.

Playoff Contenders

FLORIDA STATE 6-0 (253-110) ranked: 4/4 ART: +42
Sat 10/21 Duke 5-1 (187-59) ranked: 16/17 ART: +46
Sat 10/28 at Wake Forest 3-3 (141-138)
Sat 11/4 at Pittsburgh 2-4 (155-151) ART: +21
Sat 11/11 U of Miami 4-2 (226-114) ART: +22
Sat 11/18 North Alabama 2-5 (155-202) FCS
Sat 11/25 at Florida 5-2 (204-140) ART: +27
If they can beat Duke at home they will face a schedule with no more ranked teams, although the rivalry game at Florida could prove interesting. But their opposition has done well against ranked teams. Then comes probably North Carolina in the conference title game.

GEORGIA 7-0 (281-98) ranked: 1/1
Sat 10/21 bye
Sat 10/28 Florida 5-2 (204-140) ART: +27
Sat 11/4 Missouri 6-1 (237-174) ranked 20/20 ART: +20
Sat 11/11 Mississippi 5-1 (250-143) ranked 13/12 ART: +37
Sat 11/18 at Tennessee 5-1 (201-102) ranked 17/15
Sat 11/25 at Georgia Tech 3-3 (185-174) ART: -4
Can they win three in a row? First they have to get there. They play three one-loss teams but two are at home - although those teams have also done well against ranked teams. Watch out for the third- Tennessee. But this is a school that could get in with one loss, like Alabama used to.

MICHIGAN 7-0 (276-47) ranked: 2/2
Sat 10/21 at Michigan State 2-4 (132-146) ART: -16
Sat 10/28 bye
Sat 11/4 Purdue 2-5 (161-209)
Sat 11/11 at PENN STATE 6-0 (266-48) ranked 7/6 ART: +33
Sat 11/18 at Maryland 5-2 (234-130) unranked ART: +2
Sat 11/25 OHIO STATE 6-0 (216-58) ranked 3/3 ART: +20
The Wolverines are #2 but haven’t played a ranked team and probably won’t until those last three games. We won’t know how good they really are until then.

NORTH CAROLINA 6-0 (224-126) ranked: 10/10
Sat 10/21 Virginia 1-5 (134-191) ART: -22
Sat 10/28 at Georgia Tech 3-3 (185-174) ART: -16
Sat 11/4 Campbell 3-3 (227-176) FCS
Sat 11/11 Duke 5-1 (187-59) ranked: 16/17 ART: +46
Sat 11/18 at Clemson 4-2 (193-116) ART: +15
Sat 11/25 at North Carolina State 4-3 (178-165) ART: -5
They have the look and the schedule of a team that could run the schedule – and put them in the ACC title game with the Noles.

OHIO STATE 6-0 (216-58) ranked: 3/3 ART: +20
Sat 10/21 PENN STATE 6-0 (266-48) ranked 7/6 ART: +33
Sat 10/28 at Wisconsin 4-2 (163-107)
Sat 11/4 at Rutgers 5-2 (194-112) Rutgers: Even
Sat 11/11 Michigan State 2-4 (132-146) ART: -16
Sat 11/18 Minnesota 3-3 (130-160) ART: -12
Sat 11/25 at MICHIGAN 7-0 (276-47) ranked: 2/2
Penn State and Michigan will tell the tale, as they usually do. Seeing the Buckeyes vs. Notre Dame and Maryland, they seem pretty vulnerable.

OKLAHOMA 6-0 (271-84) ranked: 6/7
Sat 10/21 Central Florida 3-3 (210-167)
Sat 10/28 at Kansas 5-2 (248-192) ART: -3
Sat 11/4 at Oklahoma State 4-2 (156-148) ART: +10
Sat 11/11 West Virginia 4-2 (171-136) ART: -4
Sat 11/18 at Brigham Young 4-2 (166-156)
Fri 11/24 Texas Christian 4-3 (232-143)
The Sooners, after a 6-7 season last year, are looking an awful lot like the Sooners of old this year. But they have to play four two loss teams in a row, three on the road. Texas may be waiting in the conference title game, looking for revenge.

PENN STATE 6-0 (266-48) ranked: 6/5 ART: +33
Sat 10/21 at OHIO STATE 6-0 (216-58) ranked: 3/3 ART: +20
Sat 10/28 Indiana 2-4 (111-174) ART +3
Sat 11/4 at Maryland 5-2 (234-130) unranked
Sat 11/11 MICHIGAN 7-0 (276-47) ranked: 2/2
Sat 11/18 Rutgers 5-2 (194-112) ART: Even
Fri 11/24 at Michigan State 2-4 (132-146) ART -16
It will be all about Ohio State and Michigan, as usual. The Lions own Maryland and Rutgers.

WASHINGTON 6-0 (266-125) ranked: 7/6 ART: +21
Sat 10/21 Arizona State 1-5 (112-170) ART: +7
Sat 10/28 at Stanford 2-4 (142-216) ART: -45
Sat 11/4 at SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 6-1 (331-210) ranked: 18/16
Sat 11/11 Utah 5-1 (130-73) ranked 14/14 ART: +4
Sat 11/18 at Oregon State 6-1 (267-142) ranked 12/13 ART: +52
Sat 11/25 Washington State 4-2 (206-171)
Having beaten Oregon, they will move on to 8-0 at least. They’ve been described as “the most complete team in the country” by one pundit. But the combined record of those last four teams is currently 21-4.


Louisville, Oregon and USC went to the recycle bin. But we’ve still got 8 undefeated power five teams.

Pesci Bowl

AIR FORCE 6-0 (222-88) unranked
Sat 10/21 at Navy 3-3 (122-138) ART: -26
Sat 10/28 at Colorado State 3-3 (186-210) ART: Even
Sat 11/4 Army 2-4 (147-121)
Sat 11/11 at Hawaii 2-5 (167-249) ART: -32
Sat 11/18 Nevada-Las Vegas 5-1 (225-161) ART: -4
Fri 11/24 Boise State 3-4 (208-216) ART -21
The two one loss teams are at home. Can a service academy still go undefeated in this era? None has since Earl Blaik was coaching Army. (Air Force lost one game by 1 point in 1998.)

JAMES MADISON 6-0 (207-126) unranked
Thu 10/19 Marshall 4-2 (182-171)
Sat 10/28 Old Dominion 3-3 (141-157)
Sat 11/4 at Georgia State 5-1 (196-143)
Sat 11/11 Connecticut 1-5 (123-189) ART: -26
Sat 11/18 Appalachian State 3-3 (206-181) ART: +3
Sat 11/25 at Coastal Carolina 3-3 (181-142)
Still another former FCS champ who jumped to FBS for the money but will never win another national title because of it. But if they can get by Marshall and Georgia State, they have a good shot at the Pesci Bowl.

LIBERTY 6-0 (212-103) unranked ART: 0
Tue 10/17 Middle Tennessee State 2-5 (155-223) ART: -27
Tue 10/24 Western Kentucky 4-2 (193-174) ART: -33
Sat 11/4 Louisiana Tech 3-5 (213-220)
Sat 11/11 Old Dominion 3-3 (141-157)
Sat 11/18 Massachusetts 1-7 (183-339) ART: -43
Sat 11/25 Texas-El Paso 2-5 (124-183)
Our old pals from Liberty could wrap up 12-0 early with a win over the Hilltoppers.


All three of these teams could run the table. Then it will come down to point differential.


Ty-D Bowl

NEVADA-RENO 0-6 (104-237) ART: -49
Sat 10/21 at San Diego State 3-4 (157-219) ART: -7
Sat 10/28 New Mexico 2-4 (167-207) ART: -39
Sat 11/4 Hawaii 2-5 (167-249) ART: -32
Sat 11/11 at Utah State 3-4 (261-230) ART: -9
Sat 11/18 at Colorado State 3-3 (186-210) ART: Even
Sat 11/25 Wyoming 5-2 (184-179) ART: +1
No weak spots here. They’ll have to suck it up to get a win.

SAM HOUSTON 0-6 (67-148)
Wed 10/18 Florida International 3-4 (138-189)
Wed 10/25 Texas-El Paso 2-5 (124-183)
Sat 11/4 Kennesaw State 1-5 (123-122) FCS
Sat 11/11 at Louisiana Tech 3-5 (213-220)
Sat 11/18 at Western Kentucky 4-2 (193-174) ART: -33
Sat 11/25 Middle Tennessee State 2-5 (155-223) ART: -27
Another FCS power who sold out. They should beat Kennesaw State. Maybe they can knock off somebody else.


We are down to two teams here already. Sam Houston has the best chance to get a win, which will open the door to all the one win teams.
 

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