2011 College Football Rankings – Week 14

For the past few weeks I’ve been resigned to the fact that an LSU-Alabama rematch was probably the least bad option for the national title game. It would pit two teams from the same conference that met in an unwatchable snoozefest in the regular season and include a non-conference champion, but none of the other one-loss teams were that attractive.

However… is there any sort of serious case to be made against Oklahoma State?

The main case against Oklahoma State seems to be that they lost to an Iowa State team that’s barely bowl-eligible. That’s it. I’m pretty sure teams have made the national title game with worse single losses. Forget about conference champions; Oklahoma State might have a better resume than Alabama even discounting the championship question. I suspect the real reason people dismiss Oklahoma State for the national title game is because they’re not one of the biggest name teams. As I said some weeks ago, people don’t quite believe that the “little brother” in the Bedlam rivalry is really a national title contender. Suppose we took Oklahoma State’s resume and applied it to Oklahoma, or even took Oklahoma’s resume and removed losses to Baylor and Oklahoma State, meaning their one loss would be even worse: to non-bowl-eligible Texas Tech. Would anyone seriously think Oklahoma wouldn’t make the national title game over Alabama?

It’s becoming more and more apparent that the BCS isn’t even about handing out the plum picks to the top five or six conferences, but about protecting the standing of the most prestigious schools. Alabama making the national title game over Oklahoma State proves that the BCS discriminates even against teams with moderately big names, let alone the small non-BCS schools, to protect a small cadre of name teams. It tells you everything you need to know about both why there has been so much realignment chaos the past two years, and why all of it is ultimately beside the point. At that point, perhaps it’s time to just admit it, and put the most prestigous schools together in the top level of a promotion-relegation system.

As it turns out, in a year that threatened to emulate every single BCS controversy from years past, the most similar case to this year would probably be 2006. People that year were gearing up for a national championship game between an undefeated team and a team from the same conference the undefeated team beat in the regular season. Then in the last week, a champion of a different conference was moved ahead of the non-champion despite the non-champion not playing. The difference between Ohio State-Michigan and LSU-Alabama? In 2006, Florida was a name team. Oklahoma State is not. Is it really that simple?

Rankings include the Army-Navy game, but not any of the bowls that have been played so far.

How the C Ratings are tabulated: First, A Ratings are tabulated by multiplying the total score ratio, which is expressed by (points-opponents’ points)/points, by the winning percentage. Score ratio minimizes the effect of running up the score. Next, B Points for each game are tabulated by (margin of victory)/(opponent’s A rating)+/-1 for wins, and -(margin of loss)/(1-opponent’s A Rating)+/-1 for losses. The “+/-” is + for road games and – for home ones. The total number of B Points is multiplied by the A Rating to get the B Rating. Finally, the C Rating is tabulated by taking one-tenth the difference between the team’s B Rating and the average of his opponents’ B Ratings and taking the result off the B Rating. The three ratings go A, B, C across. Click here to see the complete ratings.

1 LSU SEC #1 ’06 Boise St.
13-0 LW: #1 A Rat: .835 B Rating: 76.655 C Rating: 67.552 AP: 1 BCS: 1
LSU won the first game on Bama’s home turf. Now they’ll have near-home field advantage for the rematch.
2 Oklahoma State B12 #1 AP Title
11-1 LW: #3 A Rat: .662 B Rating: 56.201 C Rating: 47.768 AP: 3 BCS: 3
Little Brother beat Big Brother so convincingly it created a national title groundswell – that wasn’t enough. Now Luck and the Cardinal await in the Fiesta.
3 Alabama SEC #2 BCS Title
11-1 LW: #2 A Rat: .780 B Rating: 54.428 C Rating: 47.050 AP: 2 BCS: 2
It’ll be a tall order for the Tide to get their revenge.
4 Wisconsin B10 #1 Big 10 Chmp.
11-2 LW: #5 A Rat: .661 B Rating: 44.210 C Rating: 35.929 AP: 9 BCS: 10
Sparty kept it close, but the Badgers pulled it out and the polls moved them into the top 10. But Wisconsin could do even more against Oregon in their second straight Rose Bowl.
5 Boise State MWC #1 Maaco Bowl
11-1 LW: #4 A Rat: .711 B Rating: 43.928 C Rating: 35.298 AP: 8 BCS: 7
A #7 BCS ranking nets the Broncos a date with an Arizona State squad that fumbled away a potential trip to the Pac-12 Title Game down the stretch.
6 Oregon P12 #1 Pac-12 Chp.
11-2 LW: #8 A Rat: .612 B Rating: 36.178 C Rating: 29.920 AP: 6 BCS: 5
Oregon impressed everyone with their demolition of UCLA, but the Badgers will be a tall order in the Rose Bowl.
7 Oklahoma B12 #2 Insight Bowl
9-3 LW: #6 A Rat: .516 B Rating: 29.405 C Rating: 23.918 AP: 19 BCS: 14
Demolished, but by a national title contender; people continue to overreact to their two tight losses. How bad might Iowa end up looking?
8 Houston USA #1 TicketCity
12-1 LW: #7 A Rat: .689 B Rating: 32.712 C Rating: 23.802 AP: 20 BCS: 19
Losing to a ranked team should not be that horrible… but Penn State may be the next-best opponent they’ve played all season. How did the TicketCity bowl get two teams THAT good?
9 Stanford P12 #2 Fiesta Bowl
11-1 LW: #9 A Rat: .686 B Rating: 27.329 C Rating: 20.817 AP: 4 BCS: 4
Stanford will be trying to prove they’re even better than the polls have them – and that Luck should have still won the Heisman – against Oklahoma State.
10 Michigan B10 #2 Sugar Bowl
10-2 LW: #10 A Rat: .590 B Rating: 24.777 C Rating: 20.474 AP: 13 BCS: 13
A little surprised there’s enough support for the Wolverines to put them in a BCS bowl, but you have to imagine it’s more for the name value than what the ratings say.
11 Southern Miss USA #2 C-USA Chmp.
11-2 LW: #18 A Rat: .586 B Rating: 21.956 C Rating: 14.893 AP: 22 BCS: 21
What does the huge upset net the Eagles? A move up the polls of 2-3 spots and a trip to Hawaii to face Nevada, while Houston gets set to face Penn State. No respect, I tells ya.
12 TCU MWC #2 MWC Champ.
10-2 LW: #14 A Rat: .604 B Rating: 16.459 C Rating: 9.972 AP: 16 BCS: 18
The Poinsettia Bowl will be a showdown of champions between TCU and the champions of the WAC, Louisiana Tech.
13 South Carolina SEC #3 Capital One
10-2 LW: #16 A Rat: .560 B Rating: 12.248 C Rating: 9.160 AP: 10 BCS: 9
The Gamecocks move up considerably without even playing and with only two of the teams they passed playing and losing, thanks to Clemson’s big win. Now Nebraska awaits.
14 Arkansas SEC #4 Cotton Bowl
10-2 LW: #15 A Rat: .545 B Rating: 13.190 C Rating: 8.910 AP: 7 BCS: 6
Kansas State is way overrated. How will it look if the Razorbacks blow them out of the water?
15 USC P12 #3 ’09 Boise St.
10-2 LW: #13 A Rat: .559 B Rating: 13.086 C Rating: 8.799 AP: 5 SBNBlog: 9
Matt Barkley, come back. With USC off probation and Luck and James NFL-bound, the Pac-12 is yours for the taking.
16 Georgia SEC #5 Outback Bowl
10-3 LW: #12 A Rat: .506 B Rating: 9.744 C Rating: 6.765 AP: 18 BCS: 16
With regard to the polls, was Georgia hurt by playing in the conference title game? No matter: the SEC’s tie-in structure means it all works out.
17 Notre Dame   Chmps Sprts
8-4 LW: #17 A Rat: .402 B Rating: 9.125 C Rating: 6.264
An ACC-heavy schedule for the Golden Domers will continue against Florida State.
18 Virginia Tech ACC #1 Sugar Bowl
11-2 LW: #11 A Rat: .549 B Rating: 9.543 C Rating: 6.215 AP: 17 BCS: 11
You want to know what enabled the outrage of V-Tech going to a BCS bowl? The BCS keeping them knocking on the door of the top 10.
19 Toledo MAC #1 Military Bowl
8-4 LW: #19 A Rat: .412 B Rating: 8.182 C Rating: 4.590
What does Toledo have to show for their season? A showdown against an Air Force team that’s barely bowl-eligible (and continung what’s becoming a tradition of the Military Bowl picking service academies).
20 Florida State ACC #2 Chmps Sprts
8-4 LW: #20 A Rat: .470 B Rating: 7.930 C Rating: 4.152 AP: 25 Coaches: 25
Poll respect aside, Notre Dame will be a tall order for the Seminoles.
21 Nebraska B10 #3 Capital One
9-3 LW: #21 A Rat: .475 B Rating: 4.320 C Rating: 2.513 AP: 21 BCS: 20
Probably their best bowl fit, but the Huskers will have a tall order trying to stop the Gamecocks.
22 Clemson* ACC #2 Prncton/Yale
10-3 LW: #31 A Rat: .457 B Rating: 4.998 C Rating: 1.924 AP: 14 BCS: 15
Stumbles down the stretch don’t matter now, becaue the Tigers are ACC Champions and headed to the BCS.
23 Texas A&M B12 #3 Meineke C. C.
6-6 LW: #22 A Rat: .310 B Rating: 4.757 C Rating: 1.307
I wonder if A&M will show Northwestern how good they’ve really been?
24 Michigan State B10 #4 Outback Bowl
10-3 LW: #23 A Rat: .507 B Rating: 2.188 C Rating: -1.066 AP: 12 BCS: 17
The Spartans kept it close enough against a good Wisconsin team that they move in lockstep with the surrounding teams that didn’t play. But good luck against the Bulldogs.
25 Penn State
(9-3, .456, -.489, -1.811)
B10 #5 TicketCity


2010 TCU Title: #35 Baylor (9-3), .435, -3.743, -5.744

Off Top 25: #26 Louisiana Tech (was #25)

Watch List: #26 Louisiana Tech (Poinsettia Bowl), #27 Northern Illinois (GoDaddy.com Bowl)

Other Positive B Ratings: #30 Utah State* (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), #32 Ohio (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), #34 Arkansas State (GoDaddy.com Bowl) (*=Newly Positive)

Bottom 10: #111 Colorado, #112 UAB, #113 Middle Tenn. St., #114 UNLV, #115 Kansas, #116 Memphis, #117 Tulane, #118 Florida Atlantic, #119 New Mexico, #120 Akron

Best bowl: BCS Championship Game, LSU v. Alabama, 1/9 5:30pm PT, ESPN
Best non-Championship Game bowl: Rose Bowl, Wisconsin v. Oregon, 1/2 2pm PT, ESPN
Best non-BCS bowl: TicketCity Bowl, Houston v. Penn State, 1/2 9am PT, ESPNU

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