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Miller Computer Rankings Week 10
by Brian Miller (NCAA Football)
Posted on November 7, 2006, 6:20 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.

Top 25

1. Michigan (10-0) – Michigan managed to put up some points this week despite the lack of Manningham, but their usually solid defense gave far too much ground to a Ball State (3-7) team that’s not even a top team in the MAC. If it’s not one thing with the Wolverines, it’s another.
2. Ohio State (10-0) – Had their first true off game of the year in a road contest against Illinois (2-8). Don’t believe any of the hype from people using this to call Ohio State’s dominance this year into question; now if they put up a repeat performance this next week before Michigan, then there might be cause for concern.
3. Louisville (8-0) – Made the big leap after a win over #13 West Virginia, but the game left us with one thought. Could Louisville hang with the physicality of the top Big Ten or SEC teams. They might be able to out point a PAC 10 opponent or other Big East teams, but can they win a way in the trenches.
4. Florida (8-1) – Beat a resilient Vanderbilt (4-6) team that continues to give problems to the top teams in the SEC. South Carolina (5-4) and Spurrier might provide a distraction, but their last real challenge before the SEC Championship is a Florida State (5-4) team that might have finally found an offense.
5. California (8-1) – Drubbed UCLA (4-5) and they have another warm-up game at Arizona (4-5) before they get to make their case as the top one loss team against the Men of Troy.
6. USC (7-1) – For the first time in their PAC 10 schedule they had a chance to sit John David Booty and get their backups some reps against the conference cupcake, the Stanford Trees (0-9).
7. Auburn (9-1) – Only posted 27 on Arkansas State (5-4); sure it’s not a bad sum, but it’s Arkansas State. Auburn needs to get their offense running properly if they want to close out with two easy wins before potentially making the SEC Championship game.
8. Notre Dame (8-1) – Beating North Carolina (1-8) is not the way for a team to solidify their position as a BCS worthy team. Beating Army (3-7) and Air Force (4-4) won’t help much either leaving just the game in the Coliseum against USC to impress.
9. Rutgers (8-0) – They haven’t lost yet, but they get their first big challenge this next Thursday as they host #3 Louisville. It’s almost the perfect definition of a trap game for the Cardinals and I’m predicting a victory for the Scarlet Knights.
10. Texas (9-1) – Colt McCoy has really proven himself since the Ohio State game for the Longhorns. Bandy about all the statistics and arguments that you like, but the kid simply has “it” and for that simple reason the Longhorns are in good shape for the next several years.
11. Boise State (9-0) – Still holding strong at the 11 spot. If this was the BCS then Boise State would be Fiesta Bowl bound at this point, but it’s not and they aren’t. This is especially the case with potential challenges ahead in San Jose State (6-2) and Nevada (6-3).
12. Tennessee (7-2) – Lost to #14, but it might’ve been a different story if Erik Ainge hadn’t been knocked out of the game. Sure his backup played well, but in close games like this one, you need your field general and not a game manager.
13. West Virginia (7-1) – Lost to #3 Louisville and proved one thing. Anyone who states that they have to pass the ball to be successful is full of themselves. Rich Rodriguez seems quite content to prove that run-pass balance is not a component to having a good offense as much as doing what works.
14. LSU (7-2) – Beat #12 Tennessee and get another big game in the coming weeks against #15 Arkansas, but they need some help to get into the SEC Championship. And I still remain unimpressed by JaMarcus Russell. He may have the physical gifts, but I have yet to be impressed by his decision making. If I’m a pro team scouting this guy, I’m not thinking quarterback of the future, I’m wondering how well he’ll convert to tight end.
15. Arkansas (8-1) – Beat South Carolina (5-4) this past week in what was a challenge compared to their easy victories the past two weeks. Darren McFadden and the Razorbacks running attack is absolutely vicious, but they still have to beat #12 Tennessee or #14 LSU to face off against #4 Florida in the SEC Championship.
16. Wisconsin (9-1) – Beat Penn State (6-4) in another contest where PSU showed they have a top D in the country, but no O this year to back it up. I’ve also got to rant about Penn State still being ranked in the Top 25 of other computer polls. Sure they’ve lost their four games to Top 20 teams, but who have they beaten? Akron? Youngstown State? Northwestern? It should take more to being ranked than simply losing to top teams.
17. Georgia Tech (7-2) – Were played closely by NC State (3-6) in a fashion everyone could predict. GT plays down to their opponents and NC State is completely neurotic in their level of play.
18. Oklahoma (7-2) – Topped #25 Texas A&M and they really seem like they’re starting to gel; think how good they’d be if they were gelling with Peterson at halfback, frightening.
19. Boston College (7-2) – Were the latest victims to fall to the #21 Wake Forest Demon Deacons. BC now needs some help from Maryland to get back into the ACC Championship game.
20. Oregon (7-2) – Beat Washington (4-6) a team who started the season strong under Ty Willingham, but have faded big time in PAC 10 play. What once looked like a team that could compete in the PAC 10 will be luck to make a bowl.
21. Wake Forest (8-1) – Beat #19 Boston College, but still have a ways to go to prove themselves in the Wild and Wacky ACC. This week they go to Doak-Campbell to take on Florida State (5-4) and get this... the line on the game has the one-loss Demon Deacons getting 7.5 points.
22. Maryland (7-2) – Helped continue the slide of Clemson (7-3) with their victory last week. Just over two and a half weeks ago there was much discussion about the Tigers being the class of the ACC and now they’re out of the Top 25, up is down, left is right, and freedom is slavery.
23. Oregon State (6-3) – Bested Arizona State (5-4) a week after beating #6 USC, the Beavers are a team on the rise. They do have two challenge games left in #20 Oregon and Hawaii (7-2).
24. Virginia Tech (7-2) – Dispatched Miami (5-4) in the OB. The Hokies had basically no offense in the second half, but they did enough to hang on and position themselves for another possible 10 win season.
25. Texas A&M (8-2) – Dropped the first of their big three games to close their schedule. They get their next game against Nebraska (7-3) before having to showdown with #10 Texas in the conclusion of their season.

Bottom 5

115. UNLV (1-8) – We have consistency in the Bottom 5 this week, every team held their ground. Kudos all around. UNLV accomplished this feat by losing to TCU (6-2).
116. Eastern Michigan (1-8) – Lost to the team that looks like they’ll take home the MAC East crown, Ohio (7-3). OSU and OU being Big Ten champs and MAC champs in the same year? It looks possible.
117. Duke (0-9) – Provided no competition to the vaunted Naval Academy (6-3) and the rushing power of their QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada. How much does that name rule?
118. Florida International (0-8) – Faced off against the dreaded Bye Week who had to be favored as they had more members of their starting roster available to play.
119. Miami-Ohio (1-9) – Lost a close contest 27-24 to Western Michigan (7-2). Luckily close doesn’t cut it down here in the Bottom 5, you go Miami.

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