The Undefeated -after Week 12 |

The Undefeated -after Week 12


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
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 12

The Playoff contenders:

GEORGIA 11-0 (422-122) ART +100 ranking: 1/1/1
11/26 Georgia Tech 5-6 (192-304) ART -21
Comments: It’s a rivalry game but the Bulldogs are 48-17 since 1957. Before that it was 17-23. 9-2 LSU, who beat Alabama, is their likely opponent in the SEC title game.

OHIO STATE 11-0 (511-186) ART +58 ranking: 2/2/2
11/26 MICHIGAN 11-0 (433-129) ART +40 ranking: 3/3/3
Comments: It’s the Buckeyes vs. the Wolverines in the game of the week, maybe the year. I’m tempted to go with the better defensive team but this is in the Big Horseshoe, not the Big House. The likely opponent in the Big Ten title game is 7-4 Iowa, who beat Purdue but lost to the Buckeyes 54-10.

MICHIGAN 11-0 (433-129) ART +40 ranking: 3/3/3
11/26 at OHIO STATE 11-0 (511-186) ART +58 ranking: 2/2/2
Comments: Both teams have perfect records. They started playing in each other’s regular season finale in 1935. Since then both teams have had perfect records going into their game three times: in 1970 Ohio State won 20-9. In 1973 they tied 10-10 and in 2006 OSU won 42-39.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN 11-0 (434-280) ART +108 ranking: 4/4/4
11/26 Iowa State 4-7 (228-181) ART +8
Comments: It’s a league with no bad teams and Iowa State has some famous upsets in their history. Kansas State will be their likely opponent in the conference title game, although Texas, who beat them, could slip in if the Wildcat stumble against Kansas.

CLEMSON 10-1 (297-159) ART +55 ranking: 7/8/8
11/26 South Carolina 7-4 (349-300) ART +49 ranking 25/UR/UR
Comments: Since either Ohio State or Michigan will get their first loss this week, the one-loss teams are back on the radar. Clemson though they’d have a smooth ride down the stretch but look at what the Gamecocks did to Tennessee. Then the Tigers will face a formidable North Carolina team in the ACC title game.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 10-1 (472-289) ART +18 ranking: 5/5/6
11/26 Notre Dame 8-3 (341-223) ATY +101 ranking: 13/15/15
Comments: Nice to see the Trojans back in the top ten, (even if they are leaving for the Big Ten). The Irish have righted the ship and should be a formidable opponent. 9-2 Oregon is their likely opponent in the conference title game unless they lost to Oregon State, in which case it could be 9-2 Washington.

The Pesci Bowl contenders:

COASTAL CAROLINA 9-1 (316-269) rankings: 23/23/UR
11/26 at James Madison 7-3 (360-223)
Comments: JMU is very formidable. They’ve actually out-scored their opens by more than CCU has. The winner of this game will meet Troy in the conference title game.

CINCINNATI 9-2 (349-217) ART 0 rank: 21/21/24
11/26 TULANE 9-2 (386-214) ART -3 rank: 19/20/19
Comments: Will the Bearcats be caught dreaming of the Big 12? Who saw a Cincy-Tulane game being a big confrontation? Central Florida, (who had 3 losses), has beaten both teams and is 5-2 in conference. I assume that means that the winner of this game will face UCF for the conference title - and be a formidable opponent.

SOUTH ALABAMA 9-2 (356-213)
11/26 Old Dominion 3-8 (214-292)
Comments: South Alabama should move on to 10-2. But that includes a loss to Troy.

TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO 9-2 (421-287) ART -16 rankings: UR/25/
11/26 Texas-El Paso 5-6 (262-290) ART -15
Comments: An under-rated program could slip into the Pesci Bowl with a 10-2 record. Their probably opponent in the conference title game is North Texas State, a 6-5 team.

TROY 9-2 (247-183) ART -13
11/26 at Arkansas State 3-8 (281-329) ART -10
Comments: Still another likely 10-2 team.

TULANE 9-2 (386-214) ART -3 rankings: 19/20/19
11/26 at CINCINNATI 9-2 (349-217) ART: 0 rankings: 21/21/24
Comments: The Green Wave is a blast from the past. They were one of the teams that were great before WWII but haven’t done much since. They’d won 60% of their games through 1945, 37% since.

The Ty-D Bowl contenders:

AKRON 1-9 (195-367) ART -86
11/26 at Northern Illinois 3-8 (315-349) ART +10
Comment: The Zips have one good chance to get off this list. But a look at the point differentials makes it seem unlikely.

COLORADO 1-10 (164-471) ART -79
11/26 Utah 8-3 (410-220) ART +29 ranking: 14/14/14
Comment: I’ve questioned whether the Buffalos belong on this list. Not anymore. If they and Northwestern finish 1-11, I will pair them in a “Power Five Ty-D Bowl” and have a separate Ty-D Bowl for the others.

MASSACHUSETTS 1-10 (143-329)
11/26 Army 4-6 (279-246) ART -24
Comments: UMASS used to have a great program when they were on the FCS level- where they still belong. They are 21-102 since they moved up in 2012. What was the point?

NORTHWESTERN 1-10 (162-299) ART +15
11/26 Illinois 7-4 (264-144) ART +30
Comments: The Wildcats, in the Big Ten title game two years ago, will have to pull off a major upset to avoid 1-11.

SOUTH FLORIDA 1-10 (297-448) ART -25
11/26 Central Florida 8-3 (373-217) ART +21 ranking: 25/UR/22
Comment: It’s strange how this program has declined. Why should they be any worse than Central Florida? Unless they can beat Tulsa, it’s looking like a 1-11 season for the Bulls.

If more than two teams are 1-11, I’ll use point differential as a tie-breaker.

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