Miller Computer Rankings Week 8
by Brian Miller(NCAA Football)
Posted on October 23, 2006, 7:39 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 three 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.
1. Michigan (8-0) – Cleared the final major hurdle on their schedule to be undefeated coming into Columbus for the huge showdown with the Ohio State University. Michigan’s offense looks middling without Mario Mannigham to stretch the field, but their defensive front four are absolutely vicious.
2. USC (6-0) – Took their last break of the season this past week before getting back into the meat of their PAC 10 schedule. Their next two games shouldn’t test them much before they have a vicious four game set to close out the regular season. Luckily, three of those final four are in the Coliseum and all four of them will be in sunny Southern California.
3. Ohio State (8-0) – They just keep dropping their opponents in easy fashion, you begin to wonder what’ll happen if they ever take the gloves off. Plus how about Troy Smith, the guy does wonders in the pocket to keep plays alive and then always seems to connect with his targets.
4. Florida (6-1) – Had a bye week, but still managed to hold onto their spot at number four. Next week they’ll be involved in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party where they will drink Georgia’s anemic offense under the table.
5. California (7-1) – Have their showdown with USC in three weeks, but first they have to face a UCLA (4-3) team that’s played fairly well so far this year with just the occasional slip-up.
6. Auburn (7-1) – Crushed Tulane (2-5) in a rather predictable fashion, beating cupcakes won’t help them move up as the top one loss team in the land and they can’t depend on Arkansas taking themselves out of the SEC championship race.
7. Louisville (7-0) – Have surprisingly struggled since the return of Brian Brohm, this time not blowing out Syracuse (3-5). You almost begin to wonder if Brohm is still rusty or even injured and maybe the Cardinals would be better off with Hunter Cantwell at quarterback.
8. Notre Dame (6-1) – Escaped from UCLA’s grasp this past week thanks to UCLA’s sound strategy of playing not to lose. If you’ve held the vaunted offense of the Irish to limited success why would you change what you’re doing just because of convention? Baffling, but Notre Dame will take the win.
9. Rutgers (6-0) – They were supposed to go to Pittsburgh (6-2) and be revealed as pretenders to the throne, but they did anything but. They showed a strong D and that Ray Rice is an exceedingly powerful runner who’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the Big East for the next few years. The Scarlet Knights could easily trip up a Louisville or West Virginia team not playing at their best.
10. Tennessee (6-1) – Had to sneak past an Alabama (5-3) that was better than advertised, but the Vols kept on the right track and they have to be pulling for the Bulldogs this weekend to get them back into the SEC race.
11. Boise State (8-0) – Had a bit of trouble with the Dennis Erickson coached Idaho (4-4) Vandals. Boise State’s schedule simply isn’t up to snuff and this is the second straight week they’ve slid backwards in the rankings.
12. Boston College (6-1) – Pounded the final nail in the coffin of Florida State (4-3) as an ACC powerhouse. The Eagles were overshadowed this past week by the Clemson/Georgia Tech game, but Boston College are the ones actually in the driver seat in their half of the conference.
13. West Virginia (7-0) – Lit up UConn (3-4) and the combination of Pat White and Steve Slaton is absolutely lethal, but what happens when a good team puts nine in the box and forces White to throw more than ten passes a game? No one knows if they can and it should be interesting to see Louisville and Rutgers take cracks at it.
14. Texas (7-1) – Beat Nebraska (6-2) in a truly odd game. Did Texas win the game or did Nebraska lose it? Either way it didn’t help the Longhorns as much as they probably wanted and it seems increasingly unlikely that even with wins over Texas Tech, Texas A&M and the Big 12 Championship that they’ll get back into contention without serious help.
15. Clemson (7-1) – Dominated Georgia Tech in every phase of the game. They ran over the strong Yellow Jackets defense and their defense absolutely shut down Calvin Johnson and forced Reggie Ball to beat them, which led to Reggie Ball playing like the Ball of old.
16. Arkansas (6-1) – They’ve beaten Auburn and lost to USC and have done basically nothing else of note during this season so far. This week they beat Ole Miss (2-5) in rather dominant fashion.
17. Texas A&M (7-1) – They can’t beat a team in decisive fashion, it seems like every game gets taken down to the wire. This time they escaped Oklahoma State (4-3), but how long before their luck doesn’t hold out and they drop another one seems to be the question.
18. Missouri (7-1) – Rebounded with a long awaited win over Kansas State (4-4) and they can still claim the Big 12 North when they face off against Nebraska in a few weeks time, but they first have to get past the Peterson-less Sooners.
19. Wisconsin (7-1) – Quite possibly the best “third best team in the conference” in the nation. They dominated Purdue (5-3) and held their high powered offense to only three points.
20. LSU (6-2) – “Only” hung 38 points on Fresno State (1-6) for shame. Tennessee and Arkansas book end their remaining games and provide the challenges left on their schedule.
21. Tulsa (6-1) – Dropped this past week after beating Memphis (1-6), but Houston comes as the toughest game left on their schedule and it’s doubtful they move any high than this barring major collapses from teams above them.
22. Washington State (5-3) – Likely, took Oregon out of the PAC 10 race with their victory this past week. The PAC 10 seems to have surprising depth this year with UCLA, USC, Cal, Oregon, and both Washington teams fielding good teams.
23. Oregon (5-2) – Lost to Washington State this past week and they still have to go to Southern California to face USC which is now must-win and the biggest game left on the Duck’s schedule.
24. Wake Forest (6-1) – They get one more easy game, against North Carolina (1-6), but then they have four more that could give the Demon Deacons problems including Boston College and Virginia Tech.
25. Georgia Tech (5-2) –They still control the ACC Coastal race, but the loss to Clemson gives them no room for error through the rest of their schedule if they want the big rematch with Clemson.
115. Miami-Ohio (1-7) – Went right back to their losing ways after a one week break to win a game. This time mighty Akron (3-4) taught the Red Hawks a lesson.
116. Duke (0-7) – Scared the hell out of a Miami (5-2) team missing 13 suspended players, but they couldn’t convert at the end, a shame they couldn’t have put Miami in their places.
117. UL-Monroe (1-6) – Lost to Middle Tennessee State (4-3), sure MTSU might have a winning record, but if I don’t know your mascot from memory your program is nothing.
118. Temple (0-8) – Still seeking players for a team to challenge Temple, the early line set by Vegas is Temple +18.5.
119. Florida International (0-7) – Had a week to sit around and think about what they’ve done, couple that with Eastern Michigan (1-6) finally winning a game, FIU has the bottom all to themselves.