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Miller Computer Rankings Week 11
by Brian Miller (NCAA Football)
Posted on November 13, 2006, 12:46 AM

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 (11-0) – Michigan’s offense looked back on track with the return of Manningham as they beat Indiana (5-6). Of course Indiana hardly plays defense of the same caliber as Ohio State. Are you hyped for this next weekend? Because I sure as hell am.
2. USC (8-1) – With the chaos caused by four national contenders losing this week USC jumped back into contention in a big way. Not only did they beat #24 Oregon in a handy fashion, but their closing three games including two current Top 10 teams bodes well for keeping their strength of schedule high.
3. Florida (9-1) – Needed two blocked field goals AND a blocked extra point to survive the Spurrier led Gamecocks (5-5). Despite their nine wins and guarantee to play in the SEC Championship game this is still an extremely flawed team and I have no doubts that if they played #10 Arkansas this next week the Gators would be on the losing end.
4. Rutgers (9-0) – Fell behind quickly against #7 Louisville, but Coach Schiano’s wood chopping philosophy led the Scarlet Knights to hold Louisville scoreless in the second half and give Rutgers the victory. I don’t think Rutgers can beat #11 West Virginia and might even fall to Cincinnati (5-5), but this year has been a good run.
5. Ohio State (11-0) – I can explain this, look at how all of OSU’s previous opponents fared this past week.

Northern Illinois (5-5): Lost to Toledo (4-6)
#15 Texas: Lost to Kansas State (7-4)
Cincinnati (5-5): Lost to #11 West Virginia
Penn State (7-4): Beat Temple (1-10)
Iowa (6-5): Lost to #14 Wisconsin
Bowling Green (4-6): Bye week
Michigan State (4-7): Lost to Minnesota (5-6)
Indiana (5-6): Lost to #1 Michigan
Minnesota (5-6): Beat Michigan State (4-7)
Illinois (2-9): Lost to Purdue (7-4)

Atrocious! However, a win over #1 Michigan would jump the Buckeyes up to #1 in the rankings this next week if they handle their business. Additionally, their strength of schedule simply can’t have another week as bad as this one was.
6. Notre Dame (9-1) – Have been able to sit back during the easy portion of their schedule, this week they beat Air Force (4-5), and let all their competition drop off to lesser teams. The Irish have to be pulling for #17 Georgia Tech to continue their winning ways and for #2 USC to not slip against #9 Cal.
7. Louisville (8-1) – The loss to #4 Rutgers showed that if you can get pressure on Brian Brohm that you can beat the Cardinals. Louisville is through their last hard game and should coast in their last three games to a 11-1 record and a good bowl berth.
8. Boise State (10-0) – One of the teams that have to be happiest with all the chaos from this past week as it gives the substantial room to move up the rankings and claim a BCS berth provided they win out. San Jose State (6-3) had them on the ropes this past week. Their next game won’t be a challenge, but closing the season against Nevada (7-3) might cause problems.
9. California (8-2) – Got stunned by Arizona (5-5), but it seems to be a trend for the Wildcats as they’ve knocked off four straight ranked teams in the month of November going back a few years. Cal still can get into the BCS with a victory over #2 USC.
10. Arkansas (9-1) – The team has a top running back, a stout defense, and an offensive coordinator who isn’t afraid to innovate, right now I consider them one of the best teams in the nation and would favor them over anyone but OSU, Michigan, and USC.
11. West Virginia (8-1) – Pretty well pummeled Cincinnati (5-5) in what I expected to be a closer game because of the Bearcats, what I though was, underappreciated defense. Guess I was wrong and I don’t see West Virginia losing another game until their bowl at the earliest.
12. Auburn (9-2) – Had most of their flaws revealed by Georgia (7-4) this past week. It didn’t hurt that Georgia DB Tra Battle seemed to be Auburn QB Brandon Cox’s favorite receiver. Cox tossed four passes to ALL of his teammates and three to Battle.
13. LSU (8-2) – Bested Alabama (6-5) in what’s really just a setup game for the Tigers as they prepare to do battle with Arkansas in the coming weeks.
14. Wisconsin (10-1) – Without a doubt this is the least talked about one loss team in the nation. This past week they beat Iowa (6-5) and barring a miracle they’ll beat Buffalo (2-8) next week and have a 11 win season on their hands. Not bad for a team under a first year coach and with a starting freshman running back.
15. Texas (9-2) – Lost McCoy in the first quarter in their loss to Kansas State (7-4). Sure it was the Texas pass defense (or lack thereof) that allowed for KSU to pull the upset, but one has to wonder if the Longhorns had Colt for the entire game if they’d have been able to put up just a few more points and save their National Championship hopes.
16. Oklahoma (8-2) – Beat Texas Tech (6-5) this past week. They should beat Baylor (4-7) and Oklahoma State (6-4) to close the season and finish with ten wins and score themselves an impressive bowl bid.
17. Georgia Tech (8-2) – I think Chan Gailey might be the last coach I’d want for my team if I had a good team and had to play poor competition. Georgia Tech simply cannot blow out or even simply beat their low level competition. Somehow GT’s offense can only put up seven on North Carolina (1-9), baffling really.
18. Wake Forest (9-1) – They beat Florida State (5-5) 30-0 in the Doak. They beat Florida State (5-5) 30-0 in the Doak. They beat Florida State (5-5) 30-0 in the Doak. They beat Florida State (5-5) 30-0 in the Doak. They beat Florida State (5-5) 30-0 in the Doak. Who is this team and what did they do with Wake Forest?
19. Tennessee (7-3) – Were bested by #10 Arkansas this past week, but this season is still a huge improvement over last. Now they just need to find a running game to compliment their passing attack.
20. Maryland (8-2) – Scraped past Miami (5-5) during this last week. Miami’s defense is still lethal, but they lack the killer instinct, especially on offense to have them put games away.
21. Boston College (8-2) – Beat Duke (0-10) because someone has to do it. Seriously, the Blue Devils can’t beat themselves, but luckily they can always find someone to correct that problem.
22. Virginia Tech (8-2) – Beat Kent State (5-5) with impressive defense, but the Hokies need to find some offense and stat. QB Sean Glennon finished 12-22 passing, but at the half he was well below 50% in completions.
23. Nebraska (8-3) – Bested Texas A&M (8-3) and clinched the Big 12 North where they’ll more than likely get a rematch with #15 Texas to be in a BCS bowl game.
24. Oregon (7-3) – Lost to #2 USC, but still look like they’ll grab the #3 spot in the PAC 10 over their last two games and claim one of the two good non-BCS bowls that the PAC 10 has access to.
25. Clemson (8-3) – Beat NC State (3-7) in a game that no sane individual would’ve bet on, NC State is one of the most neurotic teams in the country and Clemson was coming off a pair of recent losses. Clemson survived and made their way back into the Top 25 ever so slightly.

Bottom 5

115. Eastern Michigan (1-9) – Moved up thanks to their bye week and the talent surrounding them in the Bottom 5.
116. Memphis (1-9) – Lost to Central Florida (3-7) and made their Bottom 5 debut because of it and started off the Bottom 5 trend this week of losing to really bad teams.
117. UNLV (1-9) – Losing to San Diego State (2-7) is a sure way to drop even in the face of such awful competition doing their best to claim the bottom for their own.
118. Miami-Ohio (1-9) – Dropped their contest to Western Michigan (7-3), but thanks to FIU’s futility they jumped up a spot.
119. Florida International (0-9) – Losing to UL-Monroe (2-7) will give a team the last spot in the rankings, well done FIU.

Complete Rankings and Ratings

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