The Undefeated - Week 8 | Syracusefan.com

The Undefeated - Week 8

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

The Playoff contenders:

GEORGIA 7-0 (292-64) ART +61 ranking: 1/1
10/29 Florida 4-3 (220-197) ART +28
11/5 TENNESSEE 7-0 (351-162) ART +81 ranking: 3/3
11/12 at Mississippi State 5-3 (254-183) ART +22
11/19 at Kentucky 5-2 (185-115) ART +53 ranking: 19/17
11/26 Georgia Tech 3-4 (113-184) ART -38
Comments: They don’t seem to be quite the team they were last year but if they can beat Tennessee, they might be 12-0 and in the SEC title game again.

OHIO STATE 7-0 (347-104) ART +32 ranking: 2/2
10/29 at Penn State 6-1 (234-132) ART -3 ranking: 16/16
11/5 at Northwestern 1-6 (130-197) ART +5
11/12 Indiana 3-5 (196-245) ART -9
11/19 at Maryland 6-2 (273-193) ART +15
11/26 MICHIGAN 7-0 (299-85) ART +40 ranking: 4/3
Comments: Michigan kind of exposed Penn State but that’s still a road game. It still looks like it will be the Buckeyes vs. the Wolverines again, with a playoff birth on the line.

CLEMSON 8-0 (297-159) ART +55 ranking: 5/5
10/29 BYE
11/5 at Notre Dame 4-3 (186-153) ART +31
11/12 Louisville 4-3 (190-144)
11/19 U of Miami 3-4 (205-168)
11/26 South Carolina 5-2 (232-174) ART +3 ranking 25/25
Comments: They might not be the powerhouse of the DeShaun Watson/Trevor Lawrence era but with a strong defense and four home games left, they could run the table and get back into the playoff. A trip to Notre Dame and a rivalry game with South Carolina are their main challenges. They have a history of taking care of business down the stretch of seasons.

MICHIGAN 7-0 (299-85) ART +40 ranking: 4/4
10/29 Michigan State 3-4 (189-190) ART -6
11/5 at Rutgers 4-3 (161-149) ART -16
11/12 Nebraska 3-4 (208-219) ART -15
11/19 Illinois 6-1 (182-62) ART +24 ranking: 17/18
11/26 at OHIO STATE 7-0 (347-104) ART +32 ranking: 2/2
Comments: Can the Illini be the spoilers? I’m guessing not but they can play defense.

TENNESSEE 7-0 (351-162) ART +81 ranking: 3/3
10/29 Kentucky 5-2 (185-115) ART +53 ranking: 19/17
11/5 at GEORGIA 7-0 (292-64) ART +61 ranking: 1/1
11/12 Missouri 3-4 (168-162) ART +21
11/19 at South Carolina 5-2 (232-174) ART +3 ranking 25/25
11/26 at Vanderbilt 3-5 (213-293) ART -82
Comments: Rocky Top is back baby! Can they beat both Alabama and Georgia in the same season? Kentucky could be a trap game and South Carolina has their first relevant team in a while.

TEXAS CHRISTIAN 7-0 (313-187) ART +93 ranking: 7/7
10/29 at West Virginia 3-4 (244-236) ART +2
11/5 Texas Tech 4-3 (254-189) ART +9
11/12 at Texas 5-3 (291-169) ART +32
11/19 at Baylor 4-3 (262-169) ART +8
11/26 Iowa State 3-4 (160-106) ART +5
Comments: Again, it’s a league full of good teams, (and Oklahoma may not be one of them). The Horned Frogs are looking good if they get past K-State but their next four opponents have winning records and Iowa State has some famous upsets in their history.



The Pesci Bowl contenders:

CINCINNATI 6-1 (258-154) ART 0 rank: 20/19
10/29 at Central Florida 5-2 (261-120)
11/5 Navy 2-5 (160-183)
11/11 East Carolina 5-3 (266-185) ART +12
11/19 at Temple 2-5 (104-181)
11/26 TULANE 7-1 (269-139) rank: 23/24
Comments: Will the Bearcats be caught dreaming of the Big 12? Who say a Cincy-Tulane game being a big confrontation?

COASTAL CAROLINA 6-1 (231-205)
10/29 at Marshall 4-3 (186-116) ART +23
11/3 Appalachian State 4-3 (253-190) ART +23
11/12 Southern Mississippi 4-3 (175-153) ART -12
11/19 at Virginia 3-4 (123-158)
11/26 at James Madison 5-2 (271-146)
Comments: They could lose to any of their remaining teams – or run the table.

LIBERTY 7-1 (249-172) ART +6
10/29 BYE
11/5 at Arkansas 4-3 (229-228) ART -8
11/12 at Connecticut 3-5 (145-233) ART -54
11/19 Virginia Tech 2-5 (134-176)
11/26 New Mexico State 2-5 (105-203)
Comments: If they can get past the Razorbacks, they could win their way to the Pesci Bowl.

TULANE 7-1 (269-139) ranking: 23/24
10/29 BYE
11/5 at Tulsa 3-4 (225-227) ART +2
11/12 Central Florida 5-2 (261-120)
11/17 Southern Methodist 3-4 (240-206) ART +2
11/26 at CINCINNATI 6-1 (258-154) ART: 0 rank: 20/19
Comments: The Green Wave is a blast from the past. They were one of the teams were great before WWII but haven’t done much since. Their two big confrontations come late. Given the attrition of a football season, that may be a problem.

The Ty-D Bowl contenders:

AKRON 1-7 (158-306) ART -86
10/29 Miami University 3-5 (148-184) ART -18
11/8 Eastern Michigan 5-3 (219-245)
11/12 BYE
11/19 at Buffalo 5-3 (247-198)
11/26 at Northern Illinois 2-6 (246-264) ART +10
Comment: The Zips have a couple of good chances to get off this list. But even those teams seem better than them.

CHARLOTTE 1-7 (190-346)
10/29 at Rice 4-3 (210-213) ART -40
11/5 Western Kentucky 5-3 (300-176)
11/12 at Middle Tennessee State 3-4 (196-221) ART +15
11/19 Louisiana Tech 2-5 (219-275) ART -7
Comments: La Tech may be their password out of this list.

COLORADO 1-6 (96-271)
10/29 Arizona State 2-5 (175-196) ART +7
11/5 Oregon 6-1 (297-203) ART +44 ranking: 8/8
11/11 at Southern California 6-1 (283-155) ART +5 ranking: 10/11
11/19 at Washington 6-2 (323-221) ART +26
11/26 Utah 5-2 (285-156) ART +18 ranking: 14/14
Comment: The Buffs better beat the Sun Devils if they don’t want to go down the Ty-D Bowl drain.

MASSACHUSETTS 1-6 (84-224)
10/29 NEW MEXICO STATE 2-5 (105-203)
11/4 at Connecticut 3-5 (145-233) ART -54
11/12 at Arkansas State 2-6 (230-249) ART -10
11/19 at Texas A&M 3-4 (153-143) ART +50
11/26 Army 3-4 (229-206) ART -24
Comments: This is why you schedule New Mexico State. But it’s also why you schedule Massachusetts these days. Actually, all their remaining opponents have losing records – but better records than UMASS, who used to have a great program when they were on the FCS level- where they still belong.

NORTHWESTERN 1-6 (130-197) ART +5
10/29 at Iowa 3-4 (98-113) ART -11
11/5 OHIO STATE 7-0 (347-104) ART +32 ranking: 2/2
11/12 at Minnesota 4-3 (224-115) ART -18
11/19 at Purdue 5-3 (262-204) ART +15
11/26 Illinois 6-1 (182-62) ART +24 ranking: 17/18
Comments: Their worst opponent is Iowa, (the only one without a winning record), and their only two home games are the ones against ranked teams. 1-11 here we come!

SOUTH FLORIDA 1-6 (177-263) ART -25
10/29 at Houston 4-3 (226-222)
11/5 at Temple 2-5 (104-181)
11/12 Southern Methodist 3-4 (240-206) ART +2
11/18 at Tulsa 3-4 (225-227) ART +2
11/26 Central Florida 5-2 (261-120)
Comment: it’s strange how this program has declined but they will have four games in a row that could get them off this list.
 

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