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Miller Computer Rankings Week 6
by Brian Miller (NCAA Football)
Posted on October 9, 2006, 4:31 PM

Welcome to the Miller Computer Rankings. For a technical explanation of the rankings, click here. It’s important to realize the nature of my poll, it’s not intended to predict a team’s performance or who’ll likely play for the national championship, but to evaluate a team’s performance over the year, which is the only objective criteria we do have in terms of determining the best team. At around the halfway point in the season the data has started to work itself out, but the top four teams are all still tightly packed together. Each week the rankings will be broken down in three parts, the Top 25 and Bottom 5 along with brief analysis and a link to the complete updated rankings and ratings at the bottom.

Top 25

1. USC (5-0) – The new #1 and looking at their overall schedule up to this point it’s clear that they deserve consideration for this spot. They handed both Arkansas and Nebraska their only losses and have victories over two loss teams in Washington and Washington State. Consistency is key.
2. Florida (6-0) – Took care of LSU (4-2) rather handedly. The psychological effect of their QB system can’t be overstated, bringing in Tebow just completely paralyzes the opposing defenses. Leak’s the QB for a reason, but Tebow is great as a change of pace quarterback.
3. Ohio State (6-0) – Beat Bowling Green (3-3) and that’s it. Plenty of pundits have been saying Ohio State’s wins aren’t flashy enough. But the name of the game isn’t to win flashy, it’s just to win.
4. Michigan (6-0) – Beat a Michigan State (3-3) team that seems on the verge of their annual collapse. Next up, going to Happy Valley to face the stiff D of Penn State (4-2)
5. Notre Dame (5-1) – I’m actually amazed that Notre Dame didn’t drop after beating Stanford (0-6) because beating winless teams usually has a negative effect in this poll. But enough other teams must’ve dropped to move them up.
6. Louisville (5-0) – Pounded Middle Tennessee State (3-3) showing that Hunter Cantwell is a perfectly solid game manager who’ll keep the Cardinals undefeated going into their big contest with West Virginia.
7. Tennessee (5-1) – Actually were played for the first half by the Bulldogs of Georgia, but they spent the second half dumping an unreal amount of points on the usually solid Georgia D.
8. Boise State (6-0) – They haven’t lost and each week it seems more and more likely that they will go undefeated. This past week they beat up on Lousiaina Tech (1-4) in what no one would describe as a close game.
9. Auburn (5-1) – Were stunned by Arkansas last week, but hold the tiniest of margins over them in the rankings because of a harder schedule before this past week.
10. Arkansas (4-1) – Came out this week and proved that their win over Alabama (4-2) was no fluke. And who doesn’t love the wacky high school tricks their offensive coordinator pulls out; they may seem amateur, but they work.
11. Rutgers (5-0) – The Scarlet Knights took a week off, but they’ll get a huge test next week when they face off against the option attack of Navy (5-1).
12. Missouri (6-0) – Took home their first signature win this week beating Texas Tech (4-2) and proving that these Tigers have some bite. It’s a two horse race in the Big 12 North between Missouri and Nebraska.
13. California (5-1) – Took Oregon to the cleaners this past week and displayed an absolutely lethal offense. Is Cal good enough to beat USC? It looks possible, but only time will tell.
14. Clemson (5-1) – This week they removed Wake Forest (5-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten, but it took a blocked field goal in the fourth quarter to turn things around and allow Bowden’s boys to come out on top.
15. Iowa (5-1) – Took apart Purdue (4-2) who have been exposed these last two weeks against Notre Dame and Iowa, a 4-0 record is not a reliable indicator of quality.
16. West Virginia (5-0) – Beat Mississippi State (1-5) in continuing their string of unimpressive victories. Sure they have games against Rutgers and Louisville coming up, but it’s questionable if victories in those will be enough to push them into the Top 5.
17. Boston College (4-1) – Had a week off and face a serious challenge this Thursday at home against Virginia Tech (4-1) who are coming off a beating from Georgia Tech and will likely be coming to play and play hard.
18. Texas (5-1) – Finally break back into the Top 25 after beating Oklahoma (3-2). The Texas D gave Peterson his yards, but managed to shut down the rest of the Sooners offense. Mack Brown breathes a sigh of relief as he shows he can do more than ride Vince Young’s coattails.
19. Oregon (4-1) – Got beat pretty good by Cal this past week and coupled with the result of the questionable game with Oklahoma a while back, this Ducks team is on shaky ground right now.
20. Georgia Tech (5-1) – Chan Gailey’s squad had an almost predictably hard time with Maryland (3-2); however they did manage to pull out the win and in the end that’s what counts.
21. Washington (4-2) – Dropped their last game to USC, but there’s no shame in that. Ty Willingham has got this team on their right track. But the question remains can they hang with the other top teams in the Pac 10?
22. Tulsa (4-1) – The surprise of the week is finding Tulsa ranked, they did beat a solid Southern Miss (3-2) team last week, but the question that must be asked is, will their schedule doom them to simply holding their ground or will wins mean they actually advance up the rankings.
23. Nebraska (5-1) – Took down Iowa State (3-3) this past week, but wait for their game with Texas in two weeks for real answers about how good this team actually is.
24. Georgia (5-1) – Looked good in the first half under the direction of returning QB Joe Tereshinski, but came out flat in the second half and got steamrolled by a Volunteer team out for blood.
25. Texas A&M (5-1) – Beat Kansas (3-3) to regain their spot in the Top 25, but it’s a tenuous position and they need some big wins to just hold onto the spot.

Bottom 5

115. Duke (0-5) – This week the Blue Devils actually put the fear of God into someone, leading Alabama at the half. But the point of the game is to lead at the end of the game and not at halftime and thus why Duke still has a home in the bottom five.
116. Miami-Ohio (0-6) – Held Garrett Wolfe to 162 rushing yards substantially under his average of 224 per game. Unfortunately for the Red Hawks they still lost.
117. Florida International (0-6) – Lost to North Texas (2-4) in what could turn out to be a key Sun Belt match up. Or not, because no match up between Sun Belt teams is ever key.
118. Temple (0-6) – Finally, our good friends the Temple Owls join us in the bottom five after hovering right above the cut line for the past three weeks. But a loss to Kent State (4-2) and Utah State finally scoring their first win of the season means the Owls have taken their rightful place near the bottom.
119. Eastern Michigan (0-5) – Took a weak off from losing, which meant they held steady here at the bottom of the rankings.

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