The Undefeated - after week 13 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - after week 13

SWC75

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Every October I start charting the future games and possible fates of three groups of teams:
- The undefeated power conference teams, (and when that gets to be less than 4 teams, the one-loss teams), to anticipate who might be in the playoff.
- The top FBS non-power conference teams, the best two of which will play in the fictional “Pesci Bowl” to determine the best of such teams. I named it after the actor Joe Pesci, who plays vertically challenged but feisty characters. These teams never get selected for the playoff but still think they’re pretty good. (I’ll stick with the undefeated teams until there are less than 2 of them.)
- The worst FBS teams in the country, the two worst of which will play in the mythical “Ty-D-Bowl Bowl”, named after a toilet cleaning product, to determine who the worst major college team in the country is. (I’ll stick with winless teams until there are less than two of them.)
Each entry is the team name, with won lost record, their points for and against, their highest ranking among the writers, coaches until the playoff committee takes over, (which means more than one team could have the same ranking – from different sources), then their ‘ART’, the points they got playing ranked teams and then their ‘RVU’, as a ranked team against an unranked team from my weekly “Against Ranked Teams” post. Games against teams on any of these three lists are in capitals. If a team is unranked or has not played a ranked team or played as one against an unranked team, those fields are not shown.

Here are the current lists:
(For this week, I needed to add the 1 loss teams into the playoff mix and the 1 win teams in the Ty-D-Bol group. I didn’t yet need 1 loss teams for the Pesci Bowl but I decided to list them anyway as they may be needed there.)

The Playoff

GEORGIA 12-0 (488-83) ranked #1 ART: +149 RVU: +125
Saturday 12/4 4PM vs. ALABAMA 11-1 (512-239) ranked #3 ART: +107 RVU: +23 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Comments: These teams haven’t played each other, (Alabama’s loss was to Texas A&M by 2 points, seven weeks ago). The Tide is a very formidable opponent for anyone and they’ve scored more points than the Bulldogs. I’m sure Nick Saban’s been preparing for this game for weeks. But this could be Georgia’s year. If defense wins championships, theirs could be an overwhelming advantage. Their only title was in 1980, 41 years ago. Common Opponents: Arkansas: Georgia 37-0, Alabama 42-35; Auburn: G 34-10, A 24-22; Tennessee: G 41-17, A 52-24. That’s +48 for Georgia.

ALABAMA 11-1 (512-239) ranked #3 ART: +107 RVU: +23
Saturday 12/4 4PM CBS vs. GEORGIA 12-0 (488-83) ranked #1 ART: +149 RVU: +125 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Comments: Their miracle rally against Auburn saved their season, (by ‘Bama standards). Nobody wants to face them in a game with the national championship on the line. But will the fox be in the chicken coop if they get a second loss?

MICHIGAN 11-1 (448-206) ranked #2 ART: +74 RVU: +62
Saturday 12/4 8PM Fox vs. Iowa 10-2 (308-207) ranked #13 ART +89 RVU: -73 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
Comments: Jim Harbaugh finally won the big one. If they can avoid a let-down in the Big Ten title game, they will be in the playoff as Big 10 champions. But note that Iowa is a completely different team against ranked teams than against unranked teams. They play up to the level of their competition, so they figure to play up to Michigan’s level. These teams haven’t previously played, either. Common Opponents: Wisconsin: Michigan 38-17 Iowa 7-27; Nebraska M 32-29, I 28-21; Northwestern M 33-7, I 17-12; Penn State M 21-17, I 23-20; Maryland M 59-18, I 51-14. That’s +63 for Michigan.

NOTRE DAME 11-1 (423-219) ranked #6 ART: +44 RVU: +27
Comment: They are Notre Dame and the other teams aren’t. But they lost to Cincinnati and haven’t played a winning team since. They are 0-4 in BCS/playoff games. Is the Golden Dome tarnished?

OKLAHOMA STATE 11-1 (382-197) ranked #5 ART: +36 RVU: +62
Saturday 12/4 Noon ABC vs. Baylor 10-2 (401-233) ranked #9 ART +37 at AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Comments: The Cowboys beat the Bears 24-14 eight weeks ago in Stillwater. Baylor is a lot closer to Cowboys’ Stadium than Stillwater is, so this is closer to a home game for them. The teams seem comparable so anything could happen. But only State has a real shot at the playoff. Common Opponents: Kansas State: Oklahoma State 31-20, Baylor 20-10; Texas OS 32-24, B 31-24; Iowa State OS 21-24 B 31-29; West Virginia OS 22-3, B 45-20; Texas Christian OS 63-17 B 28-36, Texas Tech OS22-0, B 27-24; Oklahoma OS 37-33, B 27-14. That’s +65 for Oklahoma State, including the prior game.


The Pesci Bowl

CINCINNATI 12-0 (475-189) ranked #4 ART: +28 RVU: +43
Saturday 12/4 4PM ABC vs. HOUSTON 11-1 (465-238) ranked #21 ART: +42 RVU: +16
Comments: The Bearcats are ranked #3 by the writers and coaches and have been as high as #2. They have yet to lose and could go 13-0 and yet still might get left out of the playoff. There are so many 9-1 power conference teams – 6 of them – and Cincy needs 4 of them to lose. They are probably not going to be chosen over a 12-1 power conference team. Common opponents: Temple: Cincinnati 52-3, Houston 37-8; Navy: C 27-20, H 28-20; Tulane: C 31-12, H 40-22; South Florida: C 45-28, H 54-42; Southern Methodist C 48-14 H 44-37, East Carolina C 35-13, H 31-24. That’s +48 for Cincinnati.

HOUSTON 11-1 (465-238) ranked #21 ART: +14 RVU: +42
Saturday 12/4 4PM ABC at CINCINNATI 12-0 (475-189) ranked #4 ART: +28 RVU: +43
Comment: Cincy has a slightly better record and point differential. They are ahead in comparative scores and they are at home. But I have a gut feeling that the Cougars might spoil the Bearcats’ party anyway.

LOUISIANA 11-1 (375-222) ranked #24 ART -15
Saturday 12/4 3:30PM ESPN vs. Appalachian State 10-2 (429-227) ART +17
Comment: The Sun belt has some really solid mid-majors, (they also have Coastal Carolina). But the Ragin’ Cajuns are the only one likely to make the Pesci Bowl. Still App state should prove formidable, although they didn’t look that way when the Cajuns beath them 41-13 on the same field seven weeks ago. Common opponents: Georgia Southern: Louisiana 28-20, Appalachian State 27-3; South Alabama: L 20-18, AS 31-7; Arkansas State: L 28-27, AS 48-14; Georgia State L 21-17, AS 45-16; Troy L 35-21, AS 45-7; Louisiana-Monroe L 21-16, AS 59-28. Even with the results of the first game, that’s +118 for App State.

SAN DIEGO STATE 11-1 (332-207) ranked #19 RVU: +22
Saturday 12/4 3PM Fox vs. Utah State 9-3 (386-316) ART -1
Comment: Dino Babers’ hometown team has their best record since the Don Coryell days but they have to deal with the Aggies before they can have a shot at the Pesci Bowl. They haven’t played them yet. Common opponents: New Mexico State: San Diego State 28-10, Utah State 35-13; New Mexico: SDS 31-7, USU 35-10; Air Force: SDS 20-14, USU 49-45; Hawaii: SDS 17-10, USU 51-31; UNLV: SDS 28-20, USU 28-24; Boise State: SDS 27-16, USU 27-3. That’s +28 for Utah State

TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO 11-1 (443-266) ranked #22 RVU: +7
Friday 12/3 7PM CBS vs. Western Kentucky 8-4 (519-324) ART -8
Comments: The Road Runner’s perfect season came crashing down in a 23-45 loss to 6-6 North Texas. It was 13-45 going into the fourth quarter. They’d beaten the Hilltoppers in a wild 52-46 game six weeks ago 6 weeks ago. I don’t think victory in a rematch will get them back in the committee’s top 25. Strangely, I could only find to common opponents: Middle Tennessee: Texas-San Antonio 27-13, Western Kentucky 48-31, Rice UTS 45-0 WK 42-21. That’s +27 for the Roadrunners.

The Ty-D Bowl

ARIZONA 1-11 (206-377) ART: -6
Comments: The Wildcats are the worst Power Five team. Been there, done that.

CONNECTICUT 1-11 (187-462) ART -26
Comments: The Huskies lost to UMASS in what ESPN called “The Pillow Fight of the Century”. In a rematch, the pillows could be provided by Mike Lindell.

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL 1-11 (244-476)
Comments: Everybody wants into the act in talent-rich Florida. But Butch Davis wasn’t able to attract much of it.

MASSACHUSETTS 1-11 (196-517) ART -41
Comments: The Minutemen beat Connecticut but lost to New Mexico State, who thereby got off this list.

These team’s real seasons are over so it’s time to make a call. I’ll go with Pillow Fight II:
CONNECTICUT 1-11 (187-462) ART -26 vs. MASSACHUSETTS 1-11 (196-517) ART -41

Bring Back the Yankee Conference!
 

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