The Undefeated - the final match-ups | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - the final match-ups

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

ALABAMA 12-1 (553-283) ranked #1 ART: +149 RVU: +23
Friday 12/31/21 3:30PM Cotton Bowl vs. CINCINNATI 13-0 (510-209) ranked #4 ART: +48 RVU: +43
Comments: They exposed weaknesses in Georgia’s pass defense that other teams hadn’t been able to exploit. They also dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage against a team that had done that to everyone else. Can they do that again in the championship game? Will this be another Saban/Belichick year? Or are we getting ahead of ourselves?

MICHIGAN 12-1 (490-209) ranked #2 ART: +126 RVU: +62
Friday 12/31/21 7:30PM Orange Bowl vs. GEORGIA 12-1 (512-124) ranked #3 ART: +155 RVU: +125
Comments: Jim Harbaugh finally won the big one. Then he won another big one – by a big margin. (Both the Big Ten and the ACC need to go to the 3-5-5 plan.) Now he’s got to prove himself vs. the SEC.

GEORGIA 12-1 (512-124) ranked #3 ART: +155 RVU: +125
Friday 12/31/21 7:30PM Orange Bowl vs. MICHIGAN 12-1 (490-209) ranked #2 ART: +126 RVU: +62
Comments: How well will they respond to their first adversity of the season? Have they got the ability and pride to “flip the script” along the line of scrimmage against “Bama. Will they even get to find out?
There were too common opponents.

CINCINNATI 13-0 (510-209) ranked #4 ART: +48 RVU: +43
Friday 12/31/21 3:30PM Cotton Bowl vs. ALABAMA 12-1 (553-283) ranked #1 ART: +149 RVU: +23
Comments: The Bearcats belong. They are 22-1 over the last two years with the only loss being on a last second field goal to Georgia in last year’s Peach Bowl. If they hadn’t gotten in, it would have gone to Notre Dame, a team the Bearcats beat in South Bend. Next case. Can the beat ‘Bama, who will be looking ahead to a Georgia rematch? Reading for a month about how they will get blown out will give them a psychological advantage. There are no common opponents.

NOTRE DAME 11-1 (423-219) ranked #5 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. Their coach abandoned them. That’s why they aren’t in.

An 8 team playoff with auto bids to the Power 5 and the highest ranked G5 team:
#1 Alabama 12-1 vs #12 Pittsburgh 11-2
#2 Michigan 12-1 vs. #11 Utah 10-3
#3 Georgia 12-1 vs. #7 Baylor 11-2
#4 Cincinnati vs. #5 Notre Dame 11-1

A 16 team playoff with auto bids to the 10 conference champions:
#1 Alabama 12-1 vs. UR Northern Illinois 9-4
#2 Michigan 12-1 vs. UR Utah State 10-3
#3 Georgia 12-1 vs. UR (but #24/25 in polls) Texas-San Antonio 12-1
#4 Cincinnati 13-0 vs. #23 Louisiana 12-1
#5 Notre Dame 11-1 vs. #12 Pittsburgh 11-2
#6 Ohio State 10-2 vs. #11 Utah 11-3
#7 Baylor 11-2 vs. #10 Michigan State 10-2
#8 Mississippi 10-2 vs. #9 Oklahoma State 11-2

The Pesci Bowl

LOUISIANA 12-1 (399-238) ranked #24 ART -15 RVU: +6
Comment: With Cincy moving up, the Pesci Bowl is set between two schools you’d think would be regional rivals but they are in separate conferences. Despite the geography, there were no common opponents.

TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO 12-1 (492-307) ranked #22 RVU: +7
Comments: The Road Runners rallied from the North Texas debacle to win their conference title vs. a dangerous Western Kentucky team, whose QB, (Bailey Zappe…yes, Bailey Zappe, led the country in TD passes by a wide margin with 56).

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
UMASS won the previous pillow fight 27-14. They both played Army, the Huskies losing 21-52 and the Minutemen 17-33.

Bring Back the Yankee Conference!
 

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