The Undefeated - after Week 9 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - after Week 9

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-Bol 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.)

Here are the current lists:

Potential Playoff teams

ALABAMA 8-0 (389-122) Ranked: #2 in the writer’s poll/#1 in the coaches’ poll/ Sagarin: #2
BYE
Sat 11/9 LOUISIANA STATE 8-0 (374-160) Ranked: #1/#2/ Sagarin: #4
Sat 11/16 at Mississippi State 3-5 (204-248) Sagarin: #42
Sat 11.23 Western Carolina 1-7 (135-313) FCS Sagarin: #239
Sat 11/30 at Auburn 6-2 (274-143) Ranked #11/#12 Sagarin: #8
Comments: The Tide has a bye and then comes the LSU game, which they have at home. Then Auburn will, as always, present a serious challenge in the finale. Then comes the SEC title game, which will probably be against the Georgia-Florida winner. Still any loss by the Tide is going to be an upset.

BAYLOR 7-0 (272-134) Ranked: #12/#11/ Sagarin: #15
Thu 10/31 West Virginia 3-4 (159-234) Sagarin: #57
Sat 11/9 at Texas Christian 4-3 (240-175) Sagarin: #29
Sat 11/16 Oklahoma 7-1 (394-184) Ranked: #10/#9/ Sagarin: #6
Sat 11/23 Texas 5-3 (313-252) Ranked: #15/#15/ Sagarin: #21
Sat 11/30 at Kansas 3-5 (222-262) Sagarin: #83
Comments: Are the Bears back? Maybe, but they have to get by Oklahoma and watch out for TCU and Texas.

CLEMSON 8-0 (339-91) Ranked: #4/#3/ Sagarin: #3
Sat 11/2 Wofford 5-2 (256-153) FCS Sagarin: #141
Sat 11/9 at North Carolina State 4-3 (189-159) Sagarin: #74
Sat 11/16 Wake Forest 6-1 (260-187) Ranked: #23/#22 Sagarin: #44
BYE
Sat 11/30 at South Carolina 3-5 (221-218) Sagarin: #43
Comments: The Tigers keep winning but their ranking has dipped. Their next three opponents all have winning records, (although one is an FCS team), Still, they are the only really good team in the conference and have Wake at home. They are still a good bet to run the table. I think the questions about whether they would make the playoff even if they did were pretty silly and surely they were extinguished when Oklahoma lost. There could only be two other power conference unbeaten: the Big Ten and SEC champs.

LOUISIANA STATE 8-0 (374-160) Ranked: #1/#2/ Sagarin: #4
BYE
Sat 11/9 at ALABAMA 8-0 (389-122) Ranked: #2/#1/ Sagarin: #2
Sat 11/16 at Mississippi 3-5 (207-216) Sagarin: #60
Sat 11/23 Arkansas 2-6 (180-263) Sagarin: #92
Sat 11/30 Texas A&M 5-3 (265-183) Sagarin: #18
Comments: The SEC eats its own. These Tigers ruined Florida’s perfect record and just got past Auburn. They get this week off and here comes Alabama in what could be the game of the year in the regular season. If they get past that it should be smooth sailing until the conference title game against the Florida-Georgia winner. Do you suppose the writers elevated LSU to #1 in their poll, (despite the tigers beating Auburn by 3 while Bamma blew out Arkansas by 41), to make the upcoming game just a little more interesting?

MINNESOTA 8-0 (307-160) Ranked #13/#13/ Sagarin: #24
BYE
Sat 11/9 PENN STATE 8-0 (308-77) Ranked: #5/#5 / Sagarin: #5
Sat 11/16 at Iowa 6-2 (195-81) Ranked #19/#19/ Sagarin: #16
Sat 11/23 at Northwestern 1-6 (75-171) Sagarin: #68
Sat 11/30 Wisconsin 6-2 (285-91) Ranked: #18/#17/ Sagarin: #7
Comments: This appears to be the weakest undefeated team but they seem to be getting stronger as the season progresses. Penn State will be their big test. Then they got to Iowa and finish with Wisconsin. If they go to the Big Ten title game undefeated, they will have earned it.

OHIO STATE 8-0 (386-63) Ranked: #3/#4/ Sagarin: #1
BYE
Sat 11/9 Maryland 3-5 (259-232) Sagarin: #78
Sat 11/16 at Rutgers 2-6 (122-292) Sagarin: #135
Sat 11/23 PENN STATE 8-0 (308-77) Ranked: #5/#5/ Sagarin: #5
Sat 11/30 at Michigan 6-2 (248-147) Ranked #14/#15/ Sagarin: #10
Comments: The Buckeyes might just be the best team in the country. Won their first big confrontation with Wisconsin by 31 points. They have two easy ones until the next big game against Penn State who they will play in Columbus. They have to go to Michigan but will Jim Harbaugh ever beat this team? Then they will probably face the Minnesota-Wisconsin winner in the Big Ten title game. They appear to be up to the task.

PENN STATE 8-0 (308-77) Ranked: #5/#5/ Sagarin: #5
BYE
Sat 11/9 at MINNESOTA 8-0 (307-160) Ranked #13/#13/ Sagarin: #24
Sat 11/16 Indiana 6-2 (272-177)/ Sagarin: #36
Sat 11/23 at OHIO STATE 8-0 (386-63) Ranked: #3/#4/ Sagarin: #1
Sat 11/30 Rutgers 2-6 (122-292) Sagarin: #135
Comments: It’s disgusting but Penn State looks like Penn State again. They are going to have to be to survive a gauntlet of 3 teams with combined records of 22-2, including two road games against undefeated teams. But they might do it. And I like their chances against Rutgers.



Potential Pesci Bowl Teams

APPALACHIAN STATE 7-0 (287-133) #20/#20/ Sagarin: #30
Thu 10/31 Georgia Southern 4-3 (176-196) Sagarin: #100
Sat 11/9 at South Carolina 3-5 (221-218) Sagarin: #43
Sat 11/16 at Georgia State 6-2 (293-279) Sagarin: #94
Sat 11/23 (SW) Texas State 2-4 (127-210) Sagarin: #137
Fri 11/29 at Troy 3-3 (243-235) Sagarin: #113
Comments: The Mountaineers only problem would seem to be the trip to South Carolina. But they aren’t scared of that and Sagarin rates them higher than the Gamecocks.

SOUTHERN METHODIST 8-0 (344-222) Ranked: #15/#14 / Sagarin: #33
Sat 11/2 at MEMPHIS 7-1 (316-184) Ranked: #24/#23 Sagarin: #31
Sat 11/9 East Carolina 3-5 (172-226) Sagarin: #136
BYE
Sat 11/23 at Navy 6-1 (265-135) Sagarin: #38
Sat 11/30 Tulane 5-3 (290-203) Sagarin: #54
Comments: it’s nice to see the Mustangs playing well after all they’ve been through over the years. But two of their remaining opponents are one loss team and they play Navy on the road.

Potential Ty-D-Bol Teams

AKRON 0-8 (86-286) Sagarin: #200
Sat 11/2 at Bowling Green 2-6 (123-298) Sagarin: #169
Tue 11/12 Eastern Michigan 4-4 (222-256) Sagarin: #110
Wed 11/20 at Miami University 4-4 (180-264) Sagarin: #97
Tue 11/26 Ohio University 4-4 (243-236) Sagarin: #87
Comments: They have 4 games left and nonr of those teams have winning records so there will be plenty of opportunities for Akron to get a win. Still, the Ty-D-Bol was made for a team named the “Zips”.

NEW MEXICO STATE 0-8 (144-339) Sagarin: #172
BYE
Sat 11/9 at Mississippi 3-5 (207-216) Sagarin: #60
Sat 11/16 Incarnate Word 5-3 (248-266) FCS Sagarin: #189
Sat 11/23 Texas-El Paso 1-6 (127-249) Sagarin: #194
Sat 11/30 at Liberty 5-3 (241-214) Sagarin: #125
Comments: the Aggies have made the “Little Dance” four times so they are old hands at this. Their schedule does not look too intimidating, (two teams are ranked even lower than they are), but do not under-estimate this school’s ability to lose football games.

RICE 0-8 (127-233) Sagarin: #161
Sat 11/2 Marshall 5-3 (216-209) Sagarin: #89
BYE
Sat 11/16 at Middle Tennessee State 3-5 (204-246) Sagarin: #105
Sat 11/23 North Texas State 3-5 (263-266) Sagarin: #112
Sat 11/30 at Texas-El Paso 1-6 (127-249) Sagarin: #194
Comments: The Rice Owls have splashed around the Ty-D-Bol three times and this could be #4. They aren’t going to play anybody scary but they don’t need to to lose. Amazingly, UTEP is ranked behind both New Mexico State and Rice, so they both have a chance to get off the snide against the Miners. If they both do, then we are into the one win tams, so the Aggies and the Owls still wouldn’t be out of the woods.
 

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