Miller Computer Rankings Week 9
by Brian Miller(NCAA Football)
Posted on October 30, 2006, 5:36 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. As we move into the final third of the season we see a real rift from the top two teams to a large pack of followers. The question becomes, who can reach the top of that pack when the inevitable Michigan vs. Ohio State showdown occurs. 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 (9-0) – They keep winning, but they need to find an offense because putting up 17 points against middle-range Big Ten teams doesn’t leave one confident that they’ll be able to score on OSU.
2. Ohio State (9-0) – They looked scary good against Minnesota (3-6), they make a few dumb mistakes with fumbles and such and they still win 44-0. Sure they have to leave the Horseshoe for their next two games, but I doubt that’ll stop the steamroller that is the 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes.
3. Florida (7-1) – Topped Georgia (6-3) in the World’s Largest Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Party. The Bulldogs showed some life in this rivalry game, only losing by a single touchdown, but close doesn’t cut it and Georgia is sent reeling yet again.
4. USC (6-1) – Were unceremoniously dropped by Oregon State (5-3) in Corvallis. USC did show poise in their attempt to rally in the second half and they nearly pulled it out, but this time they simply didn’t have enough firepower to get the job done.
5. California (7-1) – Took a week to chill out before UCLA (4-4) makes the trip up to Berkley to challenge the Golden Bears. Expect a fairly close game with a deceptively large final scoring margin in that one.
6. Notre Dame (7-1) – Beat Navy (5-3) in the world’s most lopsided “rivalry” game. I use the term loosely because any good rivalry is based around a struggle over who the better team is. There can be periods of dominance, but 40 years qualifies as slightly more than a period. As the proverb goes, in the battle between an eagle and a swarm of bees there is no rivalry, as the eagle will always win, swooping by and eating a few bees each time it passes.
7. Louisville (7-0) – Had the week off for the Thursday night showdown with West Virginia. Some people have the gall to call this the Big East’s Ohio State-Michigan game which is absurd on about twenty-three levels. Not least of all is both teams still have to face unbeaten Rutgers after this match-up while OSU/UM looks to be for all the marbles.
8. Auburn (8-1) – Does Auburn have a properly functioning offense? They only posted 23 on Ole Miss (2-7) and let the Bulldogs keep the game close. Auburn is another Top 10 team that’s completely neurotic in their level of play.
9. Tennessee (7-1) –Fulmer d. Spurrier in Round 12 of their conflict and this time it was simply a matter of talent levels, the Vols simply have more than the Gamecocks and no amount of Spurrier’s magic was going to beat the Vols if they didn’t beat themselves.
10. Rutgers (7-0) – Continued their winning ways beating UConn (3-5) in a Sunday night game. I really hate college football games on Sunday because I have to delay my poll for another day to wait for that one game to finish. College football is a Saturday game with an occasional Thursday in the mix, stay the hell off Sunday.
11. Boise State (8-0) – Stopped their slide, but didn’t regain any of their lost momentum in my poll this week when they did not play. Most teams usually slide on a bye week, but Boise got lucky and didn’t budge.
12. West Virginia (7-0) – Had a week off and due to the good fortune of teams around them dropping and their previous opponents winning the Mountaineers moved up before their big showdown with Louisville.
13. Texas (8-1) – Had a scare put into them by Texas Tech (5-4) but the Longhorns are a team with a hell of a lot of fight. They have to face an Oklahoma State (5-3) team that’s coming off a big win against Nebraska and looks to carry that momentum into a big upset.
14. Boston College (7-1) – Obliterated Buffalo (1-7) in what was basically a bye week for a BC team that seems to be underrated this year by the writers and coaches. They have big games in two of the next three weeks which will decide their half of the ACC when they face Wake Forest and Maryland.
15. Texas A&M (8-1) – Another team that doesn’t seem to get much love from the human polls or Jeff Sagarin. Sure Baylor (4-5) might not be a powerhouse, but they have gotten substantially better during these past few years.
16. Arkansas (7-1) – This is what I said last week; “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.” This is what I say this week; “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 UL-Monroe (1-7) in rather dominant fashion.”
17. Georgia Tech (6-2) – After Reggie Ball fumbled the first play and it was returned for a touchdown it looked like it was going to be a long day for GT against Miami (5-3), but in the second half the Jackets finally stepped up to put the Hurricanes away and all but clinch their half of the ACC.
18. Washington State (6-3) – Bested the Bruins in a bodacious battle by the bay. Alliteration is my friend.
19. Wisconsin (8-1) – Were surprised by a feisty Illinois (2-7) that nearly pulled off the upset for the Zooker only to fall short in the end. Wisconsin got caught sleeping and they can’t allow that to happen if they expect to remain near the top of the Big Ten.
20. Clemson (7-2) – Got bested in nearly every phase of the game by Virginia Tech (6-2). While VT simply outplayed Clemson, one has to think that the five day turnaround to go on the road for a Thursday night game played a factor as well.
21. Tulsa (7-1) – Beat UTEP (4-4) and continue their path to winning Conference USA and never cracking the Top 20 again.
22. Oklahoma (6-2) – Ended Missouri’s (7-2) thoughts of a resurgence, but with Oklahoma State beating Nebraska the Tigers can still win the Big 12 North with a win against the Huskers.
23. LSU (6-2) – Took a week off from their SEC schedule of horrors and madness. Or maybe the grind of beating the hell out of Kentucky (4-4) and then Fresno State (1-6) was simply too much for them. They better have used the time well because next week they go to Neyland Stadium and face off against the Vols.
24. Oregon (6-2) – Beat up on poor D-IAA Portland State to make themselves feel better after losses in recent weeks to both Cal and Washington State. Unfortunately for the Ducks they still have to face USC as well and they have to travel to do it.
25. Missouri (7-2) – Hold on by the tips of their fingers to the last spot in the Top 25 after losing to Oklahoma. If they can go to Lincoln and beat Nebraska (6-3) then they should be looking at a 10-2 season.
115. UNLV (1-7) – Joined the Bottom 5 for the first time this week after dropping to Utah (5-4).
116. Eastern Michigan (1-7) – Lost another game in the battle of Directional Michigan, this time falling to Western Michigan (6-2).
117. Duke (0-8) – Congratulations Blue Devils, with Temple finally winning a game you now posses the nation’s longest winless streak. Keep up the hard work you crazy Dukies, you.
118. Florida International (0-8) – With no players to actually play the game FIU made Alabama’s (6-3) anemic offense look good as they posted 38 points.
119. Miami-Ohio (1-8) – Sure they might have a win, but they keep proving themselves as worse and worse. This time they lose to the mighty Ball State (3-6) Cardinals.