The Undefeated - after Week 12 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - after Week 12

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 12

Playoff Contenders

FLORIDA STATE 11-0 (441-186) ranked: 5/4/5 ART: +70
Sat 11/25 at Florida 5-6 (326-307) ART +34
Sat 12/2 vs. Louisville 10-1 (365-202) 9/9/10 ART +58 (ACC championship game)
A rivalry game at Florida could prove interesting but the Noles should get to 12-0. Then comes Louisville in the conference title game.

GEORGIA 11-0 (440-166) ranked: 1/1/1 ART +155
Sat 11/25 at Georgia Tech 6-5 (351-335) ART +9
Sat 12/2 vs. Alabama 10-1 (402-191) 8/8/8 ART +79
Can they win three in a row? First they have to get there. There’s a rivalry game with Georgia Tech. Then comes the SEC title game against Alabama. But this is a school that could get in with one loss, like the Tide used to.

MICHIGAN 11-0 (421-99) ranked: 3/3/3 ART: +25
Sat 11/25 OHIO STATE 11-0 (370-102) ranked 3/3/2 ART: +47
The Wolverines passed the test at Penn State. They will roll over Maryland and then there’s that massive confrontation with the Buckeyes. The Big Ten title game will likely be against Iowa, which should not be a problem.

OHIO STATE 11-0 (370-102) ranked: 2/2/2 ART: +47
Sat 11/25 at MICHIGAN 11-0 (421-99) ranked: 2/2/3 ART: +25
The Michigan game will tell the tale, as it usually does. Will the loser have a chance to get into the playoff?

WASHINGTON 11-0 (432-255) ranked: 4/4/5 ART: +69
Sat 11/25 Washington State 5-6 (359-313) ART: +25
The challenges keep coming but the Huskies remain undefeated. Now comes a trip to 7-2 Oregon State, then the last Apple Cup as conference colleagues. Washington State won their first four games and have now lost their last six, a fate we just avoided.


We’ve still got 5 undefeated power five teams. Can they all stay that way? We know that one of Michigan and Ohio State have to lose as they play each other in the regular season finale. If anyone else slips up, there are three more power conference teams with one loss waiting for a chance to play for all the marbles: Alabama, Louisville and Oregon all 10-1. This might have been a good time to go to 12 teams. (I still don't understand why it isn't 8, which seems perfect.)


Pesci Bowl

JAMES MADISON 10-1 (366-208) ranked UR/24/UR
Sat 11/25 at Coastal Carolina 7-4 (322-240)
Still another former FCS champ who jumped to FBS for the money but will never win another national title because of it. Troy 9-2 (321-183) won the Western Division but the Dukes at 6-1 are only a game ahead of App State, who just beat them and Coastal. Both teams are 7-4 (5-2). If they both win, it would be a three way tie. Coastal beat App State so it was round-robin as well if JMU beats them. I don’t know the next tie-breaker. Troy could make the Pesci Bowl if I have to go to the two loss teams.

LIBERTY 11-0 (439-232) ranked 22/22/25
Sat 11/25 Texas-El Paso 3-8 (211-300)
Fri 12/1 New Mexico State 9-3 (347-239) (Conference USA title game)
Our old pals from Liberty should make it 11-0 but the Aggies, who just embarrassed Auburn, await in the conference title game. Still, a 12-1 Liberty team would have a good shot.

TULANE 10-1 (306-204) ranked 23/18/18 ART -11
Fri 11/24 Texas-San Antonio 8-3 (364-267) ART -28
There are three 7-0 teams atop the American conference. The other teams are 9-2 SMU and 8-3 Texas-San Antonio. SMU is playing 5-5 (4-3) Navy. Memphis is 8-3 (5-2). So two of the three 7-0 teams will play for the title but we don’t know which two. Anyway, The Green Wave will have some rocks to go over.

Ty-D Bowl

AKRON 2-9 (181-311)
Fri 11/24 Ohio University 8-3 (250-171)
A familiar face in the Ty-D Bowl race.

CONNECTICUT 2-9 (198-340) ART -73
Sat 11/25 at Massachusetts 3-8 (260-423) ART -43
Let’s bring back the ‘Yankee Conference’!

EAST CAROLINA 2-9 (181-240) ART -4
Sat 11/25 Tulsa 3-8 (252-379) ART -56
Two schools that have seen better days.

KENT STATE 1-10 (149-378)
Sat 11/25 Northern Illinois 5-6 (266-227)
They got zapped by the Zips. There could be a rematch.

LOUISIANA-MONROE 2-9 (187-367) ART -19
Sat 11/25 at (SW) Louisiana 5-6 (335-317)
The Ragin Cajuns should keep the Warhawks peaceful.

SAM HOUSTON 2-9 (183-208)
Sat 11/25 Middle Tennessee State 4-7 (271-314) ART: -27
Another FCS power who sold out. The Ty-D-Bowl would be a good place for them.

Every Power Five team has at least three wins so there will be only one Ty-D-Bowl this year, (last year I had a separate one for the P-5)
 

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