The Undefeated - after Week 9 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - after Week 9

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 9


Playoff Contenders

FLORIDA STATE 8-0 (332-146) ranked: 4/4/4 ART: +70
Sat 11/4 at Pittsburgh 2-6 (179-230) ART: -18
Sat 11/11 U of Miami 6-2 (283-160) ART: +22
Sat 11/18 North Alabama 3-6 (25-281) FCS
Sat 11/25 at Florida 5-3 (224-183) ART: +29
They face a schedule with no more ranked teams, although the rivalry games vs. Miami and at Florida could prove interesting. Then comes probably North Carolina in the conference title game.

GEORGIA 8-0 (324-118) ranked: 1/1/2 ART +44
Sat 11/4 Missouri 7-1 (271-186) ranked 14/14/12 ART: +20
Sat 11/11 Mississippi 7-1 (311-171) ranked 11/10/10 ART: +37
Sat 11/18 at Tennessee 6-2 (254-163) ranked 19/16/17 ART: +1
Sat 11/25 at Georgia Tech 4-4 (254-254) ART: +9
Can they win three in a row? First they have to get there. They play three straight ranked teams and then have an interesting rivalry game with Georgia Tech. Then comes the SEC title game – probably against Alabama. But this is a school that could get in with one loss, like the Tide used to.

MICHIGAN 8-0 (325-47) ranked: 2/2/3
Sat 11/4 Purdue 2-6 (175-240) ART -11
Sat 11/11 at Penn State 7-1 (311-92) ranked 9/9/11 ART: +48
Sat 11/18 at Maryland 5-3 (261-163) unranked ART: +2
Sat 11/25 OHIO STATE 8-0 (260-80) ranked 3/3/1 ART: +47
The Wolverines are #2 but haven’t played a ranked team and won’t until those last three games. We won’t know how good they really are until then.

OHIO STATE 8-0 (260-80) ranked: 3/3/1 ART: +47
Sat 11/4 at Rutgers 6-2 (225-126) Rutgers: Even
Sat 11/11 Michigan State 2-6 (144-222) ART: -41
Sat 11/18 Minnesota 5-3 (169-182) ART: -30
Sat 11/25 at MICHIGAN 8-0 (325-47) ranked: 2/2/3
The Michigan game will tell the tale, as it usually does. Seeing the Buckeyes vs. Notre Dame, Maryland and even Penn State, where their defense was excellent but their offense less than that, they seem vulnerable.

WASHINGTON 8-0 (323-165) ranked: 5/5/5 ART: +21
Sat 11/4 at Southern California 7-2 (413-293) ranked: 24/22 ART -13
Sat 11/11 Utah 6-2 (170-140) ranked 18/18/18 ART: +3
Sat 11/18 at Oregon State 6-2 (291-169) ranked 16/19/16 ART: +52
Sat 11/25 Washington State 4-4 (257-247) ART: +25
They’ve been described as “the most complete team in the country” by one pundit. But they’ve had some close calls and combined record of those these next three teams is currently 19-6.


Oklahoma now goes to the recycle bin and Washington almost did. But we’ve still got 5 undefeated power five teams. Can they all stay that way?

Pesci Bowl

AIR FORCE 8-0 (269-107) ranked 17/17/25
Sat 11/4 Army 2-6 (161-204) ART -55
Sat 11/11 at Hawaii 2-7 (188-326) ART: -32
Sat 11/18 Nevada-Las Vegas 6-2 (274-215) ART: -4
Fri 11/24 Boise State 4-4 (240-223) ART -21
The one remaining team with a winning record they play at home. Can a service academy still go undefeated in this era? None has since Earl Blaik was coaching Army in 1958. (Air Force lost one game by 1 point in 1998.)

JAMES MADISON 8-0 (257-162) ranked 23/24
Sat 11/4 at Georgia State 6-2 (243-204)
Sat 11/11 CONNECTICUT 1-7 (158-234) ART: -26
Sat 11/18 Appalachian State 4-4 (275-247) ART: +3
Sat 11/25 at Coastal Carolina 5-3 (242-165)
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 Georgia State and Coastal Carolina, they have a good shot at the Pesci Bowl.

LIBERTY 8-0 (296-167) unranked ART: 0
Sat 11/4 Louisiana Tech 3-6 (237-247)
Sat 11/11 Old Dominion 4-4 (196-208) ART -2
Sat 11/18 Massachusetts 2-7 (204-353) ART: -43
Sat 11/25 Texas-El Paso 3-6 (168-245)
Our old pals from Liberty should make it 12-0 but it might not be enough. They aren’t ranked and USAF and JMU are. Shouldn’t they be?


All three of these teams could run the table. Then it will come down to ranking, then point differential.


Ty-D Bowl

AKRON 1-7 (123-235)
Wed 11/1 KENT STATE 1-7 (100-264)
Wed 11/8 at Miami University 7-2 (268-171)
Tue 11/14 at Eastern Michigan 4-5 (167-201)
Fri 11/24 Ohio University 6-3 (196-141)
A familiar face in the Ty-D Bowl race will have a ‘knock-off game with another one.

CONNECTICUT 1-7 (158-234) ART -26
Sat 11/4 at Tennessee 6-2 (254-163) ranked 19/16/17 ART +1
Sat 11/11 at James Madison 8-0 (257-162) ranked 23/24
Sat 11/18 Sacred Heart 1-8 (113-217) FCS
Sat 11/25 at Massachusetts 2-7 (204-353) ART -43
Shouldn’t FCS games be considered exhibitions games, like they are in basketball? Sacred Heart is the Huskies’ “get out of the Ty-D-Bowl free" card.

EAST CAROLINA 1-7 (149-210) ART -3
Sat 11/4 Tulane 7-1 (245-164) ranked 21/21/24 ART -11
Sat 11/11 at Florida Atlantic 4-4 (207-191)
Sat 11/18 at Navy 3-4 (128-155) ART -33
Sat 11/25 Tulsa 3-5 (176-287) ART -57
The Pirate’s boat is leaking. They look good for 1-11.

KENT STATE 1-7 (100-264)
Wed 11/1 at AKRON 1-7 (123-235)
Wed 11/8 Bowling Green 4-4 (178-200) ART -1
Sat 11/18 at Ball State 2-6 (129-232) ART -17
Sat 11/25 Northern Illinois 4-4 (194-170)
If they can’t zap the Zips, maybe they can get something done at Ball State.

SAM HOUSTON 0-8 (128-218)
Sat 11/4 Kennesaw State 2-5 (151-134) FCS
Sat 11/11 at Louisiana Tech 3-6 (237-247)
Sat 11/18 at Western Kentucky 4-4 (239-236) ART: -33
Sat 11/25 Middle Tennessee State 2-6 (190-265) ART: -27
Another FCS power who sold out. They should beat Kennesaw State. Should that count? Maybe they can knock off somebody else, too.

SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI 1-7 (183-315) ART -31
Sat 11/4 Louisiana-Monroe 2-6 (163-263)
Thu 11/9 at (SW) Louisiana 5-3 (263-215)
Sat 11/18 at Mississippi State 4-4 (201-207) ART -24
Sat 11/25 Troy 6-2 (217-135) ART -18
The Golden Eagles have quite a history but not much of a present.

We now have no Power Five teams with no or only one win. Maybe I’ll skip the Powerless-Five Ty-D-Bowl this year.
 
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