The Undefeated - after Week 6 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - after Week 6

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 6

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

Playoff Contenders

FLORIDA STATE 5-0 (202-107) ranked: 4/45 ART: +42
Sat 10/14 Syracuse 4-2 (198-114) ART: -21
Sat 10/21 Duke 4-1 (163-56) ranked: 17/18 ART: +46
Sat 10/28 at Wake Forest 3-2 (128-108)
Sat 11/4 at Pittsburgh 1-4 (117-130) ART: -8
Sat 11/11 U of Miami 4-1 (195-73) ranked: 25/UR ART: +18
Sat 11/18 North Alabama 2-4 (142-172) FCS
Sat 11/25 at Florida 4-2 (163-101) ART: +27
They play two ranked teams and have them at home. They play two other one loss teams, also at home. If they play ‘consistently good’ they have a good chance to run the table with a strong strength of schedule and make the playoff. If the ‘Noles are really ‘back’, everyone will know it. Then comes probably North Carolina or Louisville in the conference title game.

GEORGIA 6-0 (244-78) ranked: 1/1
Sat 10/14 at Vanderbilt 2-5 (202-238) ART: -14
Sat 10/21 bye
Sat 10/28 Florida 4-2 (163-101) ART: +27
Sat 11/4 Missouri 5-1 (199-153) ranked UR/25 ART: +1
Sat 11/11 Mississippi 4-1 (223-123) ranked 13/13 ART: +37
Sat 11/18 at Tennessee 4-1 (181-89) ranked 19/17
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. Watch out for the third- Tennessee. But this is a school that could get in with one loss, like Alabama used to.

LOUISVILLE 5-0 (185-86) ranked: 14/15 ART: +29
Sat 10/14 at Pittsburgh 1-4 (117-130) ART: -8
Sat 10/21 bye
Sat 10/28 Duke 4-1 (163-56) ranked: 17/18 ART: +46
Sat 11/4 Virginia Tech 2-4 (141-180) ART: -1
Thu 11/11 Virginia 1-5 (134-191) ART: -22
Sat 11/18 at U of Miami 4-1 (195-73) ranked: 17/17 ART: +18
Sat 11/25 Kentucky 5-1 (198-127) ranked: 20/20 ART: +10
Duke, Miami and Kentucky could be tough, but two of them are at home. What if there’s a three way tie for the ACC title, with all of them undefeated. It might be a good thing to be left out of the conference title game – and stay undefeated.

MICHIGAN 6-0 (224-40) ranked: 2/2
Sat 10/14 Indiana 2-3 (104-122) ART: +3
Sat 10/21 at Michigan State 2-3 (108-119) ART: -16
Sat 10/28 bye
Sat 11/4 Purdue 2-4 (154-168)
Sat 11/11 at PENN STATE 5-0 (203-48) ranked 6/5 ART: +33
Sat 11/18 at Maryland 5-1 (210-103) unranked ART: +2
Sat 11/25 OHIO STATE 5-0 (175-51) 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 5-0 (183-95) ranked: 14/13
Sat 10/14 U of Miami 4-1 (195-73) ranked: 25/UR ART: +18
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 (222-176) FCS
Sat 11/11 Duke 4-1 (163-56) ranked: 17/18 ART: +46
Sat 11/18 at Clemson 4-2 (193-116) ART: +15
Sat 11/25 at North Carolina State 4-2 (175-141) ART: -5
They have the look and the schedule of a team that could run the schedule – and put them in the same boat as Louisville.

OHIO STATE 5-0 (175-51) ranked: 4/3 ART: +20
Sat 10/14 at Purdue 2-3 (140-148)
Sat 10/21 PENN STATE 5-0 (203-48) ranked 6/5 ART: +33
Sat 10/28 at Wisconsin 4-1 (157-92)
Sat 11/4 at Rutgers 4-2 (167-88) Rutgers: Even
Sat 11/11 Michigan State 2-3 (108-119) ART: -16
Sat 11/18 Minnesota 3-3 (130-160) ART: -12
Sat 11/25 at MICHIGAN 6-0 (224-40) 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.

OREGON 5-0 (258-59) ranked: 8/8 ART: +43
Sat 10/14 at WASHINGTON 5-0 (230-92) ranked 7/6
Sat 10/21 Washington State 4-1 (200-127) ranked 19/19
Sat 10/28 Utah 4-1 (96-59) ranked 16/16 ART: +4
Sat 11/4 California 3-3 (195-184) ART: -10
Sat 11/11 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 6-0 (311-162) ranked 10/9
Sat 11/18 at Arizona State 1-5 (112-170) ART: +12
Fri 11/24 Oregon State 5-1 (231-118) ranked 15/14 ART: +32
Oregon is looking like Oregon again but in this last broadside by the dying Pac 12, they have a lot of challenges as do the other contenders from that late, lamented league. Ironically the conference might cannibalize its chances at a playoff.

OKLAHOMA 6-0 (271-84) ranked: 5/7
Sat 10/14 bye
Sat 10/21 Central Florida 3-3 (210-167)
Sat 10/28 at Kansas 5-1 (216-153) ranked 23/24ART: -3
Sat 11/4 at Oklahoma State 3-2 (117-116)
Sat 11/11 West Virginia 4-1 (132-95) ART: -4
Sat 11/18 at Brigham Young 4-1 (155-112)
Fri 11/24 Texas Christian 3-3 (188-132)
The Sooners, after a 6-7 season last year, are looking an awful lot like the Sooners of old this year If they win that one. Kansas, West Virginia and BYU won’t scare them. Texas may be waiting in the conference title game, looking for revenge.

PENN STATE 5-0 (203-48) ranked: 6/5 ART: +33
Sat 10/14 Massachusetts 1-6 (183-276)
Sat 10/21 at OHIO STATE 5-0 (175-51) ranked: 3/3 ART: +20
Sat 10/28 Indiana 2-3 (104-122) ART +3
Sat 11/4 at Maryland 5-1 (210-103) unranked
Sat 11/11 MICHIGAN 6-0 (224-40) ranked: 2/2
Sat 11/18 Rutgers 4-2 (167-88) ART: Even
Fri 11/24 at Michigan State 2-3 (108-119) ART -16
It will be all about Ohio State and Michigan, as usual. The Lions own Maryland and Rutgers.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 6-0 (311-162) ranked: 10/9
Sat 10/14 at Notre Dame 5-2 (239-111) ranked 21/21 ART +21
Sat 10/21 Utah 4-1 (96-59) ranked 16/16 ART: +4
Sat 10/28 at California 3-3 (195-184) ART: -10
Sat 11/4 WASHINGTON 5-0 (230-92) ranked: 7/6
Sat 11/11 at OREGON 5-0 (258-59) ranked 8/8 ART: +43
Sat 11/18 UCalifornia-LA 4-1 (153-61) ranked 18/22ART: +29
Their defense doesn’t seem to equal their offense and almost every remaining team has a winning record. (I spelled UCLA that way because I’m capitalizing the teams that are on these lists. And the Bruins don’t currently qualify.)

WASHINGTON 5-0 (230-92) ranked: 7/6
Sat 10/14 OREGON 5-0 (258-59) ranked: 8/8 ART: +43
Sat 10/21 Arizona State 1-5 (112-170) ART: +7
Sat 10/28 at Stanford 1-4 (96-173) ART: -45
Sat 11/4 at SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 6-0 (311-162) ranked: 10/9
Sat 11/11 Utah 4-1 (96-59) ranked 16/16 ART: +4
Sat 11/18 at Oregon State 5-1 (231-118) ranked 15/14 ART: +32
Sat 11/25 Washington State 4-1 (200-127) ranked 19/19
If they can beat Oregon they will move on to 8-0. 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 19-3.


The playoffs seem wide-open. The ACC has three contenders. You’d think one will get in. Will we have an undefeated team with no chair when the music stops playing? Georgia will likely be in, along with the Big 10 champs and the Big 12 playoff winner. The Pac 12 winner will likely be a team that played more ranked teams than anyone, will their numerical record be strong enough to get them in?

Pesci Bowl

AIR FORCE 5-0 (188-61) unranked
Sat 10/14 Wyoming 5-1 (157-145) ART: +8
Sat 10/21 at Navy 2-3 (108-138) ART: -26
Sat 10/28 at Colorado State 2-3 (155-180) ART: Even
Sat 11/4 Army 2-3 (147-102)
Sat 11/11 at Hawaii 2-4 (133-208) ART: -32
Sat 11/18 Nevada-Las Vegas 4-1 (180-134) ART: -4
Fri 11/24 Boise State 3-3 (178-185) 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 5-0 (166-113) unranked
Sat 10/14 Georgia Southern 4-1 (175-101)
Thu 10/19 Marshall 4-1 (158-130)
Sat 10/28 Old Dominion 3-3 (141-157)
Sat 11/4 at Georgia State 4-1 (155-119)
Sat 11/11 Connecticut 1-5 (123-189) ART: -26
Sat 11/18 Appalachian State 3-2 (182-154) ART: +3
Sat 11/25 at Coastal Carolina 2-3 (154-118)
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 two the Georgia teams, they have a good shot at the Pesci Bowl.

LIBERTY 5-0 (181-90) unranked ART: 0
Tue 10/10 at Jacksonville State 5-1 (183-105)
Tue 10/17 Middle Tennessee State 1-5 (124-200) ART: -27
Tue 10/24 Western Kentucky 4-2 (193-174) ART: -33
Sat 11/4 Louisiana Tech 3-4 (190-189)
Sat 11/11 Old Dominion 3-3 (141-157)
Sat 11/18 Massachusetts 1-6 (183-276)
Sat 11/25 Texas-El Paso 1-5 (97-189)
Our old pals from Liberty could wrap up 12-0 early with wins over Jack State and the Hilltoppers.


All three of these teams could run the table. I think Air Force, by a small margin, is the most likely to go down.


Ty-D Bowl


NEVADA-RENO 0-5 (77-192) ART: -49
Sat 10/14 Nevada-Las Vegas 4-1 (180-134) ART: -4
Sat 10/21 at San Diego State 2-4 (116-185) ART: -7
Sat 10/28 New Mexico 2-3 (143-155) ART: -39
Sat 11/4 Hawaii 2-4 (133-208) ART: -32
Sat 11/11 at Utah State 3-3 (229-193) ART: -9
Sat 11/18 at Colorado State 2-3 (155-180) ART: Even
Sat 11/25 Wyoming 5-1 (157-145) ART: +1
No weak spots here. They’ll have to suck it up to get a win.

SAM HOUSTON 0-5 (54-121)
Wed 10/11 at New Mexico State 3-3 (183-149)
Wed 10/18 Florida International 3-3 (124-162)
Wed 10/25 Texas-El Paso 1-5 (97-189)
Sat 11/4 Kennesaw State 1-5 (123-122) FCS
Sat 11/11 at Louisiana Tech 3-4 (190-189)
Sat 11/18 at Western Kentucky 4-2 (193-174) ART: -33
Sat 11/25 Middle Tennessee State 1-5 (124-200) 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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