Preparing Da Blog for football season

Football season is just moments away, and that means the busiest period on the site. I’ve finally belatedly updated the lineal titles and here’s what you need to know:

  • Despite the 2010 TCU title being merged with Princeton-Yale fairly early last season, we enter 2013 with one more linear title than we entered last year with, although it probably won’t stay that way for long. Texas A&M took the 2006 Boise State title from Alabama last year in the Tide’s one loss, so Alabama picks up a new 2012 BCS title, and while Ohio State were ineligible for bowls last year they did go undefeated and that at least gives them a claim to a linear title; call it the “Screw the NCAA” title. Unlike with 2009 Boise State in 2011-12, this one will never be “split” because its very existence hinges on bowl-ineligible teams being eligible for linear titles.
  • On the NFL front, the replacement officials led me to keep track of five different NFL lineal titles by the time I dropped off: the main version of both titles, versions of both titles where the replacement-ref games didn’t count, and the Packers’ Super Bowl XLVI title counterclaim. The main and no-replacement-refs Super Bowl XLVI titles were unified by a Dolphins-Colts game Week 9 the Colts won; the Packers counterclaim was unified two weeks later when the Patriots beat the Colts. All three remaining claims made the playoffs, so the Ravens enter the new season with the sole NFL lineal title.
  • Due to circumstances I will not be participating in the FantasySharks leagues this year, and I’m severely cutting back in the other leagues to 6 each for, ESPN, Yahoo, and Fox, and one each for CBS and Fleaflicker, for 26 in all, though I reserve the right to add more ESPN/Yahoo/Fox teams as I see fit.
  • I’ll tweet when the first college football rankings of the last season of the rankings are due to come out at a later time, but to be honest I’m not looking forward to dealing with this year’s round of realignment and teams moving up to FBS to chase money and fill spots in depleted conferences.

2013 College Football TV Schedule

With one month to go until the start of the college football season, here is every game involving an FBS team for the first three weeks, plus national television windows for the rest of the season and nationally televised FCS games, as compiled by Refer to that site for more details and updates throughout the season. Networks in bold are cable; those in bold italics are Internet streams. Please be cautious when opening this post, as certain elements in it are numerous enough that they may slow down the browser.

Read more2013 College Football TV Schedule

2 years of the Sports TV wars, and the coming Year of Fox

Year Three of the sports TV wars will be when they start to kick off in earnest with the pending launch of Fox Sports 1, and not only is Fox making a huge push for the launch, they’re not giving up their regional sports network hegemony without a fight. Over the past month and a half, Fox has bought portions of the YES network and SportsTime Ohio, the RSN run by the Cleveland Indians.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about Fox no longer having any presence whatsoever in any market larger than Dallas should Time Warner Cable win the rights to the Dodgers (though TWC SportsNet’s chances are still very much alive at the moment), about the launch of Fox Sports 1 representing the final abandonment of the FSN concept and that Fox would cannibalize FSN’s national programming to fill time on its new national networks. Now Fox has an owned-and-operated presence in the top two media markets, and if they win Dodgers rights they’ll be very hard to kick out of either one.

What might be sustaining FSN’s continued interest in acquiring existing RSNs, including a rumored bid for the MASN network co-owned by the Orioles and Nationals? It may be a clause in Fox’s new baseball contract that only recently came to light: apparently, Fox can fill up its lineup of games on FS1 by cannibalizing them from RSNs it owns – a clause that might be a remnant of the early days of the national FSN experiment when FSN would air a “national” game every Thursday. Owning a piece of YES allows Fox to fill up FS1’s lineup of games with far more Yankees games than, say, Mets games.

This suggests Fox might also be thinking about making a run at NESN and its associated Red Sox rights, and why Dodgers rights will be far more valuable, at least to Fox, than has already been suggested. As much as basketball can move the needle, baseball’s lack of a salary cap and some quirks in its revenue sharing model have made the local sports TV wars especially competitive regarding, and lucrative for, baseball teams, long higher-rated as a whole than basketball games anyway (notwithstanding national interest). If Fox has this added motivation driving them to acquire baseball rights specifically, don’t be surprised to see the values climb into the stratosphere, especially in competitive markets. In particular, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fox absolutely break the bank on the St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and Detroit Tigers in their next contracts, even without obvious competition; even the Florida teams could rake in the dough if Fox fears Comcast or Bright House coming calling.

Most speculation on national networks beyond Fox Sports 1 has settled on Fuel becoming Fox Sports 2, with Fox Soccer remaining as is, which has never made much sense to me given Fuel’s smaller reach and Fox Soccer’s loss of its best, most consistent programming. But Fox may have in mind transitioning Fox Soccer out of the sports market entirely. The LA Times reported earlier this week that Fox is considering relaunching Fox Soccer into a general entertainment network, effectively an “FX2”. That seems a substantially riskier move than turning it into Fox Sports 2; if your company runs multiple entertainment networks, it’s usually critical to make sure they have their own identity so as not to cannibalize one another (for example, TBS being all about comedy while TNT stresses its dramas), especially when the channel is starting with relatively little distribution – Fox Soccer is in about 50 million homes, better than a lot of startups but not enough to launch a big-time network and vulnerable to cable company defections, especially when many cable operators currently put it on sports tiers. To explicitly market it as a “lesser” channel to FX smacks of borderline suicide, and something no general entertainment channel I know of does.

If Fox is going to do this, I would suggest either marketing it as a comedy network (FX is primarily known for dramas though it does have more than a few comedies), marketing it towards women, or create a kids network powered by the old Fox Kids block that entertained so many kids during the 90s (though the rights to many of those cartoons may be owned by other entities). Fox could also market to niche genres, like with NBC Universal’s Cloo and Chiller channels, or pick up the geek crowd disenchanted with the state of SyFy and G4. An outside-the-box possibility could be to convert Fox Soccer into an international version of the Fox News Channel; Fox Soccer already occasionally airs the general “Sky News” from Britain. Ultimately, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if Fox decided that turning Fox Soccer away from sports risked losing too much existing distribution for too little gain to be viable and the only feasible option would be to convert it, not Fuel, into Fox Sports 2, getting that network off the ground that way. (I continue to maintain that Fuel doesn’t feel like a sports channel in the same way as the others to me; it may be about “extreme” sports beyond its UFC coverage, but, well, those are marginally “sports” at best.)

In any case, if Fox only creates two networks that means the chances are borderline at best that it shuts down Fox College Sports entirely, but recent events have still suggested it should rethink what role FSN takes when acquiring college rights – people in the Bay Area have been scrambling to watch Cal and Stanford basketball games FSN holds the rights to since the area’s Comcast SportsNet networks aren’t showing FSN programming.

I haven’t spoken about conference realignment in a while (partly because the whole thing has just gotten too depressing for me), but Fox is also the reported leader in the clubhouse for the rights to the so-called “Catholic 7”, the non-football-playing members of the Big East who finally figured out that the depleted remnants of the football half of the conference weren’t going to command a contract anywhere near as good as what commissioner Mike Aresco was trying to make them believe, especially with the Big East losing its privileged BCS status. (Once Tulane became a viable Big East member, it became clear that this was essentially Conference USA 2.0, with only UConn being a true “Big East” school – and they, not Louisville, probably should have been the school the ACC called when Maryland left for the Big Ten.) Fox has been reported to be offering something in the neighborhood of $300 million, an astonishing number for a non-football conference and hopefully a wake-up call for all the other actors in conference realignment that football itself is not what powers the money machine, but sports people want to watch.

Fox is a rather odd choice to go after the Catholic 7, but unless its existing Big 12 and Pac-12 contracts have limited at best basketball inventory for FS1 their only other option to truly establish their basketball bona fides is the Big Ten contract in a few years, which admittedly I’d be shocked if they don’t snag. But until purchasing YES Fox had very little RSN presence in the Catholic 7 territory; RSNs in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio, but Marquette might be the only school in any of those states. YES puts them in St. John’s backyard, and the Catholic 7 might be going after the likes of Butler, Dayton, Xavier, and Saint Louis (and Virginia Commonwealth, which might bring FS South/SportSouth into play as well), so they have that going for them.

But considering how much the Big East and ESPN have meant to each other, and the fact that the Catholic 7, to me, are the true inheritors of the Big East’s legacy regardless of whether they actually win the name (a basketball conference with the likes of Memphis, Temple, Cincinnati, and UConn may be a very good mid-major, but still a mid-major), I cannot believe that ESPN would let them blithely walk away to Fox so easily. I have to imagine ESPN will make a big run for at least a piece of the Catholic 7, probably sublicensing some games to CBS – the first real competition between ESPN and Fox since the World Cup rights came up. (Pre-split, NBC was considered a favorite to snag Big East rights and a major reason Aresco kept hyping how much money the conference would make from the sports TV wars – but at this point, which half they go after depends on whether NBC wants to keep piling up mid-majors in football or establish their basketball bona fides. Considering the Mountain West was literally the only FBS conference at their disposal last season, I would lean towards the latter at this point; the only major football conference they have a shot at for several years at this point is the Big Ten, and that shot is very remote.)

Last year saw Fox establish the foundation for Fox Sports 1 with its baseball and NASCAR contracts, while NBCSN settled into a third-place groove (and potentially started to establish a niche for themselves) by acquiring the Premier League, driving the final nail into Fox Soccer’s coffin. While this year will see the fight for the Catholic 7 and the awarding of the other half of the NASCAR package, and the NBA rights might come up for negotiation as well, for the most part the stage for the sports TV wars will move away from acquiring rights and towards what the contenders, especially Fox, do with them. FS1 is likely coming in August, and that is when the Wars will start in earnest.

Who SHOULD Be Going to Which Bowls?

I’ve had so much stuff on my plate I haven’t been doing any college football rankings posts for some time, and I’ll be releasing the week-by-week rankings for November throughout December (here‘s Week 8). But that won’t stop me from doing my annual roundup of the bowl matchups if they were determined by the C Ratings. Teams separated by a slash reflect adherence to the actual BCS rules; teams separated by an “or” reflect the fallout from the Georgia Tech exemption. Central Michigan is the only bowl-eligible team that doesn’t go to a bowl; Georgia Tech would knock out Middle Tennessee State.




Gildan New Mexico 

MWC #4/5

Dec. 15, 1 p.m. ESPN 

Albuquerque, N.M. 

Pac-12 #7

Air Force v. Washington

Famous Idaho Potato  

MAC #3

Dec. 15, 4:30 p.m. ESPN

Boise, Idaho 


Utah State v. Ball State/Kent State

S.D. County Credit Union Poinsettia 

MWC #2

Dec. 20, 8 p.m. ESPN 

San Diego 


Boise State v. BYU

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg 

Big East #6

Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. ESPN 

St. Petersburg, Fla. 

C-USA #4

East Carolina v. (Ohio or Bowling Green)/San Jose State

R+L Carriers New Orleans 


Dec. 22, Noon ESPN 

New Orleans 

Sun Belt #1

Arkansas State v. SMU (Rice?)

MAACO Las Vegas 

MWC #1

Dec. 22, 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Las Vegas 

Pac-12 #5

Fresno State v. Arizona State

Sheraton Hawaii 

C-USA #2

Dec. 24, 8 p.m. ESPN 


MWC #4/5

Tulsa (SMU?) v. Nevada

Little Caesars Pizza 

Big 10 #8 (/Sun Belt)

Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m. ESPN 


MAC #1

Northern Illinois/Toledo v. Western Kentucky

Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman 

ACC #8 (/MAC #4)

Dec. 27, 3 p.m. ESPN 

Washington, D.C. 


Kent State/Bowling Green v. San Jose State/West Virginia


ACC #5

Dec. 27, 6:30 p.m. ESPN

Charlotte, N.C. 

Big East #3

Syracuse/Pittsburgh v. Duke or NC State

Bridgepoint Education Holiday 

Big 12 #5

Dec. 27, 9:45 p.m. ESPN 

San Diego 

Pac-12 #3

USC v. TCU/Baylor

AdvoCare V100 Independence 

ACC #7

Dec. 28, 2 p.m. ESPN 

Shreveport, La. 

SEC #10

Louisiana Tech v. Middle Tennessee State or Ohio

Russell Athletic 

ACC #3

Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. ESPN 

Orlando, Fla. 

Big East #2

Pittsburgh/Cincinnati v. Virginia Tech

Meineke Car Care of Texas 

Big 12 #6

Dec. 28, 9 p.m. ESPN


Big 10 #6

Texas Tech/TCU v. Purdue

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces 

C-USA #3

Dec. 29, 11:45 a.m. ESPN 

Fort Worth 

MWC #3

San Diego State v. Rice (Tulsa?)

New Era Pinstripe 

Big 12 #7

Dec. 29, 3:15 p.m. ESPN 

Bronx, N.Y. 

Big East #4

Louisville v. Iowa State/Texas Tech

Kraft Fight Hunger 

Pac-12 #6 (/ACC #9)

Dec. 29, 4 p.m. ESPN2 

San Francisco 

Navy (/ACC #9)

Arizona v. Navy

Valero Alamo 

Big 12 #3

Dec. 29, 6:45 p.m. ESPN 

San Antonio

Pac-12 #2

Texas/Oklahoma State v. Oregon State

Buffalo Wild Wings 

Big 12 #4

Dec. 29, 10:15 p.m. ESPN 

Tempe, Ariz. 

Big 10 #5(/4?)

Baylor/Texas v. Nebraska

Franklin American Mortgage Music City 

ACC #6

Dec. 31, Noon ESPN 

Nashville, Tenn. 

SEC #7(/8?)

Vanderbilt v. Bowling Green/Ohio or Duke

Hyundai Sun 

ACC #4

Dec. 31, 2 p.m. CBS 

El Paso, Texas 

Pac-12 #4

NC State or Georgia Tech v. UCLA

AutoZone Liberty 

C-USA #1

Dec. 31, 3:30 p.m. ESPN 

Memphis, Tenn.

SEC #8/9 (or 7/8?)

Central Florida v. Mississippi


ACC #2

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. ESPN 


SEC #5

Clemson v. LSU Gator 

Big 10 #4(/5?)

Jan. 1, Noon ESPN2 

Jacksonville, Fla. 

SEC #6

Michigan v. Mississippi State

Heart of Dallas 

Big 12 #8

Jan. 1, Noon ESPNU 


Big 10 #7

West Virginia/Iowa State v. Minnesota


Big 10 #3

Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ESPN 

Tampa, Fla. 

SEC #3/4 (East)

South Carolina v. Northwestern

Capital One 

Big 10 #2

Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ABC 

Orlando, Fla.

SEC #2

Georgia v. Michigan State

Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio 

BCS (Big 10 #1)

Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ESPN 

Pasadena, Calif. 

BCS (Pac-12 #1)

Wisconsin v. Stanford

Discover Orange

BCS (ACC #1)

Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ESPN 



Florida State v. Cincinnati/Syracuse

Allstate Sugar 

BCS (SEC #1)

Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. ESPN 

New Orleans 


Florida v. Oklahoma/Northern Illinois

Tostitos Fiesta 

BCS (Big 12 #1)

Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. ESPN 

Glendale, Ariz. 


Kansas State v. Notre Dame

AT&T Cotton

Big 12 #2

Jan. 4, 8 p.m. FOX 

Arlington, Texas 

SEC #3/4 (West)

South Carolina v. Oklahoma State/Oklahoma

BBVA Compass 

Big East #5

Jan. 5, 1 p.m. ESPN 

Birmingham, Ala. 

SEC #8/9 (/Sun Belt)

Rutgers v. Louisiana-Lafayette 

MAC #2

Jan. 6, 9 p.m. ESPN 

Mobile, Ala. 

Sun Belt #2

Toledo/Ball State v. Louisiana-Monroe

Discover BCS National Championship 

BCS #1

Jan. 7, 8:30 p.m. ESPN 


BCS #2

Alabama v. Oregon

Sports TV War news and notes

How much have we gotten used to having big events on cable over the past four years? When ESPN and the BCS announced, as expected, that the new college football playoff, including the championship game and non-“contract bowls”, would be going to ESPN, there was nary a peep about the fact that the new championship game would remain on cable for the life of the contract. No one, aside from Sports Media Watch, found it in any way noteworthy that college football will crown its champion on cable for a total of a decade and a half.

They should; ESPN’s Monday Night Football contract currently only ends in 2021 (though it’s likely to be extended to 2022), meaning by the time the contract for the new playoff ends, it could well be the only thing propping up ESPN’s hegemony, for a full four years. If cable has moved to an a la carte system by 2022, or if Internet streaming is making an undeniable impact on the viability of cable television, ESPN may find itself forced to move the championship game to ABC… or it could use its monopoly on the college football playoff to inflate its viewership numbers beyond what they actually should be and thus keep rights above the station those developments should by all rights place them.

Fox’s rumored victory in the race for Dodgers rights and announced acquisition of almost half of the YES network shores up the health of its regional sports network operation and technically puts Fox right back into competition with Comcast in a market. While it’ll now be a long time, if ever, before Fox is forced to leave the Los Angeles market or even shut down one of its two regional sports networks there, it doesn’t really change the calculus for the state of national FSN programming or the national FSN brand; I would bet MSG Plus was one of FSN’s more loyal non-in-house affiliates. (On the Yankees’ end, while it does hedge their risk for a potential collapse in the RSN market, it doesn’t leave them as well prepared if a streaming-heavy future replaces it.)

However, it’s clear that Fox is serious about launching an ESPN competitor, even placing it in the same tradition as the launch of the Fox network itself or the launch of Fox News as a competitor to CNN. I don’t see the point of their proposal of running ads in split-screen even when nothing is happening during the break; while it should work for NASCAR and could work for soccer and even UFC, it seems supremely pointless for other sports, and I could see advertisers balk at applying it across the board.

Sport-Specific Networks
11.5 14.5 7 6.5 1 1.5

Unsurprising sports TV war news

Of course CBS Sports Network would pick up the Arena League. It’s just one more tiny league to fill time on CBSSN.

Actually, the Arena League might be a pretty big get for CBSSN, and quite possibly the biggest non-college programming on the network (unless you count odd US Open tennis coverage). It wasn’t that long ago, before the ESPN experiment and bankruptcy, that the Arena League was considered on the level of MLS and the WNBA. The earlier moves by the CFL and UFL to find networks proved that it wasn’t the NFL restricting them to “NFLN or bust”, making it all but inevitable the Arena League would fall short, especially after the final indignation earlier this year when NFLN, Olympics-restricted into carrying an NFL preseason game the night of the ArenaBowl in New Orleans, had it played at the relatively ungodly hour of 9 PM CT with a three-hour time slot. Especially with NBCSN picking up the CFL, it wasn’t out of the question for the Arena League to return to its previous stomping grounds of NBC, so for CBS to pick it up is a pretty big deal and one of those “baby steps” needed to escape being a laughingstock. It’s telling that the ArenaBowl will be aired on the CBS broadcast network on a Saturday afternoon.

I’m not even adding the Sugar Bowl shacking up with ESPN now that it’s taking the Champions Bowl matchup, since we kind of knew that already.

Sport-Specific Networks
10.5 14.5 7 6.5 1 1.5

2012 College Football Rankings – Week 7

I put the ten worst teams in FBS at the bottom of my rankings each week in “inspiration” from ESPN’s Bottom 10, a humorous roundup of same that’s been going at least as long as I’ve been doing this. It does not take its remit seriously one bit, letting the teams themselves get overshadowed by whatever theme it’s cooked up for the week, as well as by the holder of its #5 spot, awarded to a high-profile team with any record that just took an embarrassing loss. This week, that spot was held by West Virginia, an unbeaten team that just took an admittedly-blowout road loss to a one-loss Texas Tech team. Is that really the best they could come up with?

Methinks that loss says more about Texas Tech than it says about West Virginia.

Yes, the Red Raiders’ own single loss was a blowout at the hands of Oklahoma, but even considering that I have to think the polls are vastly underrating Texas Tech. Not the C Ratings, where the Red Raiders’ big win is enough for them to plunder the #3 spot away from South Carolina, who only slips one spot after their close loss to LSU.

Still, the Mountaineers did fall all the way from #12 to out of positive B Points. But that was just a part of a larger story: while the entire rankings were shaken up last week, a number of losses by ranked teams this week results in craziness focused mainly on the lower part of the rankings, where the expectations for success lowered considerably. Had Mississippi State’s C Rating remained constant, it would have gained two spots and nuzzled up against Arizona State for #22. On the other hand, Georgia managed to fall a whopping 22 spots without even playing, after every single one of the teams they’d played lost, with only South Carolina avoiding a blowout.

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 Alabama SEC #1 ’06 Boise St.
6-0 LW: #1 A Rat: .902 B Rating: 47.525 C Rating: 41.354 AP: 1 BCS: 1
Do you think the Tide could beat the Cleveland Browns right now?
2 Oregon P12 #1 ’09 Boise St.
6-0 LW: #2 A Rat: .806 B Rating: 25.048 C Rating: 21.163 AP: 2 BCS: 3
Oregon could blow out the team immediately below and still not catch Alabama.
3 Texas Tech B12 #1 Prncton/Yale
5-1 LW: #17 A Rat: .630 B Rating: 21.301 C Rating: 18.648 AP: 18 BCS: 17
The Red Raiders served the rest of the country notice just how good they can be. But the Oklahoma loss could haunt them all season.
4 South Carolina SEC #2 BCS Title
6-1 LW: #3 A Rat: .664 B Rating: 21.794 C Rating: 17.688 AP: 9 BCS: 7
A devastating road loss, but they might still be better than the Gators – and have a chance to prove it this week.
5 Notre Dame BCS Title
6-0 LW: #4 A Rat: .772 B Rating: 19.356 C Rating: 16.612 AP: 5 BCS: 4
Needing overtime and a controversial finish to beat Stanford doesn’t impress the C Ratings when you were already this high, and blows a chance to capitalize on the South Carolina loss. But the polls finally see how good the Godlen Domers really are.
6 Oklahoma B12 #2 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #16 A Rat: .599 B Rating: 18.617 C Rating: 16.442 AP: 10 BCS: 9
From negative B Points to #6 in two weeks. After demolishing Texas and becoming the team that crushed the Red Raiders in Lubbock, I honestly think the C Rating-unfriendly schedule is the only thing keeping the Sooners from #3.
7 Ohio State B10 #1 Probation
7-0 LW: #5 A Rat: .679 B Rating: 16.293 C Rating: 13.253 AP: 7 BlogPoll: 10
I’m actually a little surprised the Buckeyes didn’t fall further after a tight win over 2-4 Indiana than the two spots from Texas Tech and Oklahoma’s hard charges. Another opportunity missed.
8 Kansas State B12 #3 BCS Title
6-0 LW: #7 A Rat: .760 B Rating: 14.262 C Rating: 12.060 AP: 4 BCS: 4
And if Oklahoma is as good as they look, how good must K-State be for beating them in Norman? But that was by only five, and no matter how good Iowa State is they don’t benefit much from beating them by six either.
9 Florida State ACC #1 BCS Title
6-1 LW: #9 A Rat: .700 B Rating: 14.589 C Rating: 11.879 AP: 12 BCS: 14
The Seminoles put the hurt on Boston College, but they’re 1-5. A truer test will come when they visit rival Miami.
10 Florida SEC #3 BCS Title
6-0 LW: #6 A Rat: .759 B Rating: 14.320 C Rating: 11.801 AP: 3 BCS: 2
The Gators don’t benefit as much as you’d think from LSU’s big win because neither it nor Florida’s original win were by margins that big. Want the #3 spot? Beat South Carolina in the Swamp.
11 Texas A&M SEC #4 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #11 A Rat: .594 B Rating: 11.431 C Rating: 9.253 AP: 20 BCS: 18
The Aggies have the opposite situation as Florida State: a narrow win over a good team. LSU should serve as a benchmark of where this team really stands.
12 Oregon State P12 #2 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #21 A Rat: .675 B Rating: 9.663 C Rating: 7.939 AP: 8 BCS: 8
After pulling away from BYU, Beavers fans are wondering if everyone has the wrong Oregon team going to Miami. Certainly the Civil War should be one for the ages.
13 Stanford P12 #3 BCS Bowl
4-2 LW: #10 A Rat: .388 B Rating: 6.140 C Rating: 5.226 AP: 22 BCS: 20
Stanford acquitted themselves better than I thought they would against Notre Dame, but still, a loss is a loss. Time to get back on track against rival Cal.
14 Iowa State B12 #4 BCS Bowl
4-2 LW: #14 A Rat: .408 B Rating: 4.779 C Rating: 5.065 BCS: 24
After how close they kept it against K-State, I’m actually starting to become mystified at the lack of love for the Cyclones. If being ranked in the BCS despite a smattering of remaining poll votes doesn’t wake people up, a big win in Stillwater will.
15 Cincinnati BST #1 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #13 A Rat: .790 B Rating: 7.058 C Rating: 4.856 AP: 21 BCS: 21
Games against FCS schools are akin to bye weeks. But a road trip to Toledo is definitely a trap game.
16 LSU SEC #5 BCS Title
6-1 LW: #18 A Rat: .580 B Rating: 6.767 C Rating: 4.069 AP: 6 BCS: 6
A big win, but a narrow one at home. A road trip to College Station will show where this team really stands.
17 Rutgers BST #2 BCS Title
6-0 LW: #22 A Rat: .782 B Rating: 7.396 C Rating: 3.974 AP: 19 BCS: 15
So many teams took bad losses in this range that Rutgers moved up a fraction of a point – good enough for five spots.
18 North Carolina ACC #2 BCS Bowl
5-2 LW: #28 A Rat: .517 B Rating: 6.159 C Rating: 3.450
Both of UNC’s losses were on the road by five or less, and the five came to an unbeaten team. If they beat Duke, the way could be clear to win the Coastal.
19 Toledo MAC #1 MAC Title
6-1 LW: #19 A Rat: .535 B Rating: 6.388 C Rating: 3.036
Tight wins never penalize you much, even against winless Eastern Michigan, and especially with enough losses by teams ahead of them that Toledo loses close to seven-tenths of a point and stays put.
20 Texas B12 #5 BCS Bowl
4-2 LW: #8 A Rat: .415 B Rating: 3.906 C Rating: 3.021 BCS: 25 Harris: 25
Where was the Longhorn team that started the season in the top 5 of the C Ratings? Now Texas is third best in their own state, which should leave them very afraid.
21 Penn State B10 #2 Probation
4-2 LW: #26 A Rat: .437 B Rating: 5.164 C Rating: 2.318
Could the Big Ten’s best two teams both be ineligible for the Rose Bowl? Under the circumstances, Penn State’s first full season without Joe Paterno is going amazingly well, with a win over then-unbeaten Northwestern under their belt.
22 Arizona State P12 #4 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #20 A Rat: .644 B Rating: 6.179 C Rating: 2.287 Coaches: 24 Harris: 24
No credit for blowing out a godawful Colorado team. Expect them to fall off after getting crushed by Oregon.
23 Clemson ACC #3 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #27 A Rat: .555 B Rating: 4.167 C Rating: 2.226 AP: 14 BCS: 19
How crazy are the bottom of the rankings? Clemson moves up a full four spots despite not even playing.
24 Utah State WAC #1 WAC Title
5-2 LW: #47 A Rat: .447 B Rating: 4.518 C Rating: 2.208
Both losses were on the road to good-to-decent teams by close margins, and Utah’s the only other team they haven’t beaten by double digits. After a 22-point road win over San Jose State, notice has been served on the remnants of the WAC.
25 USC P12 #5 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #52 A Rat: .564 B Rating: 4.642 C Rating: 1.946 AP: 11 BCS: 10
Somehow USC rocketed up the rankings despite a modest 10-point road win over 3-3 Washington and most of the teams they played losing. Guess that’s what Cal’s blowout of Washington State will do for you.

37 teams total with positive C Rating (none with negative B Rating)

Off Top 25: #26 Mississippi State (was #25), #29 Louisiana Tech (was #24), #37 Georgia (was #15), #41 West Virginia (was #12), #54 Baylor (was #23)

Unbeaten teams not on Top 25: #26 Mississippi State, #30 Louisville, #39 Ohio (all in positive B Points, Ohio not in positive C)

Rest of Watch List (all 5-1 unless otherwise noted): #27 Northern Illinois (6-1), #28 TCU*, #29 Louisiana Tech, #31 Boise State, #32 Oklahoma State (3-2), #33 Michigan (4-2), #34 Nevada (6-1), #35 Western Kentucky, #36 Wisconsin (5-2), #37 Georgia, #38 Iowa (4-2)

Other Positive B Ratings: #40 Northwestern* (6-1), #42 Louisiana-Monroe (4-2), #44 Fresno State (4-3) (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #41 West Virginia, #45 Michigan State, #46 Pittsburgh, #54 Baylor, #55 BYU, #59 San Jose State, #63 Texas-San Antonio

Bottom 10: #115 UTEP, #116 Akron, #117 Colorado State, #118 Eastern Michigan, #119 Illinois, #120 Colorado, #121 Idaho, #122 Tulane, #123 Hawaii, #124 Massachusetts

Best game of week: South Carolina @ Florida, 3:30pm ET, CBS

2012 College Football Rankings – Week 6

After a week where a series of top-ten losses have shaken up the rankings, Alabama and Oregon had better watch out. South Carolina has thrown its hat into the national championship ring.

The Fighting Steve Spurriers waltzed into a matchup with a Georgia team that looked to be on the same level as them, and they didn’t even make it close. The Gamecocks’ utter demolition of the Bulldogs has caused the entire country to stand up and take notice, as they ratchet up into the #3 spot in both the polls and the C Ratings. If last week, which also saw LSU finally lose to Florida, didn’t count, this week will see the official passing of the torch for the title of biggest challenger to Alabama’s SEC throne when South Carolina takes on LSU. And from there? Florida the following week is their biggest obstacle to a showdown with Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, which could once again serve as a de facto semifinal.

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 Alabama SEC #1 ’06 Boise St.
5-0 LW: #1 A Rat: .906 B Rating: 34.856 C Rating: 30.170 AP: 1 Coaches: 1
Only Alabama could add four points to their rating without even playing.
2 Oregon P12 #1 ’09 Boise St.
6-0 LW: #2 A Rat: .806 B Rating: 27.648 C Rating: 23.878 AP: 2 Coaches: 2
The Ducks had little trouble with Washington, but Arizona State will be no pushover.
3 South Carolina SEC #2 BCS Title
6-0 LW: #7 A Rat: .828 B Rating: 26.894 C Rating: 23.079 AP: 3 Coaches: 3
Sure a bunch of teams ahead of them lost, but the Gamecocks are determined to prove their bona fides with one game down in the meat of their schedule.
4 Notre Dame BCS Title
5-0 LW: #13 A Rat: .827 B Rating: 21.308 C Rating: 18.392 AP: 7 Coaches: 7
They’re ba-a-a-a-ack. After years of irrelevance, the Golden Domers’ shellacking of Miami to give the Hurricanes their second loss should prove their national championship bona fides. Might a similar squash of Stanford drive the point home?
5 Ohio State B10 #1 Probation
6-0 LW: #11 A Rat: .704 B Rating: 16.838 C Rating: 14.259 AP: 8 BlogPoll: 8
At least USC’s bowl-ineligibility only screwed up the Pac-12 title game. After the way they handled Nebraska, the Buckeyes look like they might have been a national championship contender.
6 Florida SEC #3 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #10 A Rat: .766 B Rating: 12.966 C Rating: 11.433 AP: 4 Coaches: 6
Florida didn’t quite put the hurt on LSU that South Carolina put on Georgia, but they impressed the country none the less. Of course, they’ll settle who’s really #2 in the SEC in two weeks.
7 Kansas State B12 #1 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #6 A Rat: .790 B Rating: 13.798 C Rating: 11.282 AP: 6 Coaches: 5
Kansas is a pretty bad team, so the Wildcats don’t benefit as much as the SEC teams, but they still did better than their Big 12 compadres.
8 Texas B12 #2 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #4 A Rat: .570 B Rating: 12.860 C Rating: 10.898 AP: 15 Coaches: 15
The first loss is always the hardest, but West Virginia, though overrated by the polls, is still a good team. Now comes a Red River Rivalry with some oomph.
9 Florida State ACC #1 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #5 A Rat: .665 B Rating: 12.478 C Rating: 10.383 AP: 12 Coaches: 11
On the other hand, the nature of B Points is that you’re never penalized too much for losing close no matter who it’s to. The way is still clear to dominate the conference.
10 Stanford P12 #2 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #12 A Rat: .479 B Rating: 9.447 C Rating: 8.180 AP: 17 Coaches: 17
Stanford moves up almost by default despite needing overtime to beat Arizona at home. Be very afraid of their prospects in South Bend.
11 Texas A&M SEC #3 BCS Bowl
4-1 LW: #27 A Rat: .601 B Rating: 9.769 C Rating: 7.495 AP: 22 Coaches: 21
Why does A&M shoot up the rankings after a narrow win over 3-3 Ole Miss? Perhaps it’s the cumulative effect of Arkansas’ first win and Florida’s big win. SMU did its part too.
12 West Virginia B12 #3 Prncton/Yale
5-0 LW: #14 A Rat: .671 B Rating: 7.787 C Rating: 6.936 AP: 5 Coaches: 4
Credit for beating a good team, but it was by only three. If you want to impress the C Ratings, put the hurt on Texas Tech this week.
13 Cincinnati BST #1 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #17 A Rat: .780 B Rating: 8.895 C Rating: 6.851 AP: 21 Coaches: 20
Cincinnati scored more points than they have all season in demolishing Miami (OH). The rest of the Big East should be on notice.
14 Iowa State B12 #4 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #19 A Rat: .525 B Rating: 6.600 C Rating: 6.090 Coaches: 25 Harris: 25
People are, belatedly, starting to realize the Cyclones are for real after a two-touchdown win over TCU. But Kansas State will be their biggest test yet.
15 Georgia SEC #4 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #9 A Rat: .550 B Rating: 7.233 C Rating: 5.618 AP: 14 Coaches: 12
Georgia came out with the short end of the stick after a trip to Columbia. But Kentucky should help them get back on track.
16 Oklahoma* B12 #5 BCS Title
3-1 LW: #49 A Rat: .546 B Rating: 7.142 C Rating: 5.606 AP: 13 Coaches: 10
Oklahoma just didn’t have the points to get anywhere, playing a I-AA school and taking two weeks off, but demolishing Texas Tech was just what they needed to prove their bona fides and spice up the Red River Rivalry.
17 Texas Tech B12 #6 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #3 A Rat: .588 B Rating: 7.251 C Rating: 5.484
Texas Tech got humbled by Oklahoma – and now the Heisman front-runner is coming to Lubbock.
18 LSU SEC #5 BCS Title
5-1 LW: #8 A Rat: .582 B Rating: 8.388 C Rating: 5.404 AP: 9 Coaches: 8
And now the chickens come home to roost on LSU’s weak early-season performances. And to make matters worse, South Carolina is out to prove they really are the third-best team in the country.
19 Toledo MAC #1 MAC Title
5-1 LW: #22 A Rat: .530 B Rating: 6.073 C Rating: 3.722
Ohio continues to get all the pub, but Toledo aren’t the ones escaping by a touchdown over a 1-4 team; they’re the ones demolishing the Directional Michigan schools.
20 Arizona State P12 #3 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #15 A Rat: .609 B Rating: 5.471 C Rating: 3.248
Idle hands compounded by losses by teams they played. Hopefully Colorado was a suitable tune-up for Oregon.
21 Oregon State P12 #4 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #18 A Rat: .665 B Rating: 4.220 C Rating: 3.083 AP: 10 Coaches: 14
I’m a little more worried than the polls about how much trouble the Beavers had with 2-4 Washington State. Better get back on track for a road trip to BYU.
22 Rutgers BST #2 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #38 A Rat: .803 B Rating: 7.098 C Rating: 3.062 AP: 20 Coaches: 19
The polls have Rutgers ahead of Cincinnati, but Rutgers hasn’t beaten an FCS opponent by more than 16, which Cincy has done twice.
23 Baylor B12 #7 BCS Title
3-1 LW: #33 A Rat: .480 B Rating: 3.716 C Rating: 2.631
Baylor moves up despite idle hands, doubtless because of the effect of WVU’s big win. They’re knocking on the door of nearly every poll, and can become ranked again by beating TCU.
24 Louisiana Tech WAC #1 BCS Bowl
5-0 LW: #20 A Rat: .660 B Rating: 6.527 C Rating: 2.384 AP: 23 Coaches: 24
Sure they blew out UNLV, but it was UNLV. Against Texas A&M, they can prove their bona fides and arrest the slide, or take their first loss.
25 Mississippi State SEC #6 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #25 A Rat: .783 B Rating: 4.237 C Rating: 2.284 AP: 19 Coaches: 18
13-point win over 1-5 Kentucky means Mississippi State remains at #25 for the third straight week.

38 teams total with positive C Rating (none with negative B Rating)

Off Top 25: #27 Clemson (was #16), #31 Ohio (was #24), #46 Northwestern (was #23), #52 TCU (was #21)

Unbeaten teams not on Top 25: #31 Ohio, #38 Louisville, #44 Texas-San Antonio (all in positive B Points, Texas-San Antonio not in positive C)

Rest of Watch List: #26 Penn State (4-2), #27 Clemson (5-1), #28 North Carolina (4-2), #29 Northern Illinois (5-1), #30 Oklahoma State (2-2), #32 Michigan* (3-2), #33 USC (4-1), #34 Fresno State (4-2), #35 San Jose State (4-1), #36 Iowa (3-2), #37 Boise State (4-1)

Other Positive B Ratings (all 4-2 unless otherwise noted): #39 Michigan State, #40 Nevada (5-1), #41 Western Kentucky (5-1), #42 Pittsburgh (2-3), #43 BYU, #45 Louisiana-Monroe* (3-2), #47 Utah State, #49 Wisconsin* (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #46 Northwestern, #48 Tennessee, #52 TCU, #54 Nebraska, #55 Middle Tennessee State, #70 UCLA, #80 Purdue

Bottom 10: #115 Virginia, #116 UTEP, #117 Colorado, #118 Southern Miss, #119 Eastern Michigan, #120 Akron, #121 Idaho, #122 Hawaii, #123 Tulane, #124 Massachusetts

Best game of week: Stanford @ Notre Dame, 3:30pm ET, NBC

2012 College Football Rankings – Week 5

I am astounded at how closely the C Ratings are hewing to the polls this early in the season. Sure, there are a lot of wacky ratings, such as Texas Tech at #3. But take a look at the top two teams: Alabama and Oregon. Bama is especially surprising, as they were considered national championship contenders mostly coming off their championship last year. Yet look at what they’ve done the first five weeks of the season: dominate all comers, including some pretty good teams. The rest of the SEC, and the country, is on notice.

Meanwhile, one week after the unification of the 2010 TCU title with Princeton-Yale, the split claims to the 2009 Boise State title will be unified, thanks to Washington’s upset of Stanford. Expect some clarity near the top of the rankings with the pack of four SEC teams at 7-10 playing each other, as well as Texas taking on aforementioned unified title holders West Virginia, as we enter a big week of games.

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 Alabama SEC #1 ’06 Boise St.
5-0 LW: #1 A Rat: .906 B Rating: 30.339 C Rating: 26.250 AP: 1 Coaches: 1
The way the Tide has rolled to start the season is incredible. Now they get a week off to catch their breath.
2 Oregon P12 #1 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #3 A Rat: .808 B Rating: 21.988 C Rating: 18.856 AP: 2 Coaches: 2
Oregon showed the Cougars who’s the boss. But Washington won’t roll over quite as easily as their little brother.
3 Texas Tech B12 #1 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #4 A Rat: .858 B Rating: 19.571 C Rating: 17.005 Coaches: 24
Iowa State’s defense managed to hold their scoring down for a while, but the Red Raiders pulled it out and are starting to attract attention around the country. Now all eyes are on them against Oklahoma.
4 Texas B12 #2 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #2 A Rat: .774 B Rating: 18.636 C Rating: 16.270 AP: 11 Coaches: 9
Texas whiffed on their chance to impress the rest of the country, beating Oklahoma State by only five. Now they have a big test with West Virginia’s high-flying offense coming to Austin.
5 Florida State ACC #1 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #5 A Rat: .863 B Rating: 18.115 C Rating: 15.992 AP: 3 Coaches: 4
The Seminoles slip in the raw numbers for scoring the fewest points of the entire season, but with North Carolina the highest-ranked ACC team they haven’t played, Florida might be the only thing standing in the way of 13-0.
6 Kansas State B12 #3 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #7 A Rat: .773 B Rating: 15.977 C Rating: 14.024 AP: 7 Coaches: 8
K-State moves up despite not playing, thanks to Stanford’s upset and wins by Miami and North Texas. Now their in-state rivals come to Manhattan.
7 South Carolina SEC #2 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #12 A Rat: .813 B Rating: 14.901 C Rating: 12.341 AP: 6 Coaches: 6
The best performance from the SEC’s “next four” was clearly the other USC, which earned their poll ranking with a 38-17 demolition of an underrated Kentucky team.
8 LSU SEC #3 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #9 A Rat: .795 B Rating: 15.159 C Rating: 11.895 AP: 4 Coaches: 3
LSU did well for themselves as well, but letting an FCS school get that close to an upset won’t do you any favors.
9 Georgia SEC #4 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #11 A Rat: .772 B Rating: 11.636 C Rating: 9.450 AP: 5 Coaches: 5
Neither Georgia nor the Gamecocks have faced anything quite like they’ll face when they play each other this weekend.
10 Florida SEC #5 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #10 A Rat: .761 B Rating: 9.803 C Rating: 8.163 AP: 10 Coaches: 11
Stanford’s upset and Notre Dame’s fall down the rankings mean Florida stays put despite idle hands. All the more preparation time they’ll need for the Tigers.
11 Ohio State B10 #1 Probation
5-0 LW: #13 A Rat: .705 B Rating: 10.295 C Rating: 8.071 AP: 12 BlogPoll: 12
A good-by-Big-Ten-standards Michigan State team overcomes the one-point margin of victory. But it doesn’t get any easier when Nebraska comes into Columbus.
12 Stanford P12 #2 BCS Title
3-1 LW: #6 A Rat: .468 B Rating: 9.060 C Rating: 7.937 AP: 18 Coaches: 18
Defense is Stanford’s calling card this year, never allowing more than 17, but against Washington the offense couldn’t pick up the slack. Expect them to beat Arizona at home; Notre Dame (3rd-fewest points allowed) in South Bend is another story.
13 Notre Dame BCS Title
4-0 LW: #8 A Rat: .792 B Rating: 8.814 C Rating: 7.195 AP: 9 Coaches: 10
Navy giveth (demolishing VMI) and taketh away (getting shut out by San Jose State). But now they control their own destiny, and Miami’s not as good as their 4-1 record.
14 West Virginia B12 #4 Prncton/Yale
4-0 LW: #15 A Rat: .706 B Rating: 6.660 C Rating: 5.619 AP: 8 Coaches: 7
The 63 allowed matters more than the 70 scored, but it was a team ranked in the C Ratings and the polls. But Texas is a far bigger test.
15 Arizona State P12 #3 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #14 A Rat: .609 B Rating: 7.237 C Rating: 5.062
The Sun Devils ended both of the things we brought up last week against a not-that-great Cal team. They’ll slip further for idle hands before getting a chance to show off against a national audience against 1-4 Colorado.
16 Clemson ACC #2 BCS Title
4-1 LW: #19 A Rat: .532 B Rating: 4.872 C Rating: 4.125 AP: 15 Coaches: 15
Clemson bounced back with a double-digit win over Boston College. But a good G-Tech team desperately wants a road bounce back of its own.
17 Cincinnati BST #1 BCS Title
3-0 LW: #18 A Rat: .752 B Rating: 4.798 C Rating: 4.055 Coaches: 23 Legends: 24
People are starting to take note of the Bearcats; their win over V-Tech wasn’t much, but they’re knocking on the door of every poll they aren’t already in.
18 Oregon State P12 #4 BCS Title
3-0 LW: #23 A Rat: .606 B Rating: 4.102 C Rating: 3.659 AP: 14 Coaches: 17
Oregon State continued their string of victories against the Wildcats. Perhaps when Washington State comes to Corvallis, they can even win by more than a single score.
19 Iowa State B12 #5 BCS Title
3-1 LW: #16 A Rat: .486 B Rating: 2.940 C Rating: 3.219
That’s not a setback you want to take at home, but now the Cyclones have a chance to prove their bona fides in Fort Worth against a TCU team earning a bit more respect.
20 Louisiana Tech WAC #1 BCS Bowl
4-0 LW: #17 A Rat: .642 B Rating: 6.592 C Rating: 2.977
Louisiana Tech’s six-point win over 2-2 Virginia is as painful as Iowa State’s loss, no thanks to Illinois getting blown out by Penn State.
21 TCU B12 #6 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #21 A Rat: .847 B Rating: 5.574 C Rating: 2.754 AP: 15 Coaches: 13
If it’s a conference with more tests the polls want, it’s a conference with more tests TCU’s gonna get. It all starts this week against Iowa State.
22 Toledo MAC #1 MAC Title
4-1 LW: #43 A Rat: .507 B Rating: 3.985 C Rating: 2.249
The Rockets’ only loss was in OT to Arizona, but their squash of Western Michigan on the road shows what they’re really capable of.
23 Northwestern B10 #2 BCS Title
5-0 LW: #40 A Rat: .702 B Rating: 3.345 C Rating: 2.068 AP: 24 Coaches: 22
Yes, Michael Wilbon, the Wildcats are for real! Their squash of Indiana has made everyone take notice, and with Ohio State and this week’s opponent Penn State ineligible for bowls, the way may be clear for a trip to the Rose Bowl.
24 Ohio MAC #2 BCS Bowl
5-0 LW: #20 A Rat: .691 B Rating: 5.876 C Rating: 1.776 BlogPoll: 25
Beating the worst team in FBS? Not impressive. Beating them by a field goal? Even less so. And now a potential showdown with Toledo in the conference title game will hang over their season.
25 Mississippi State SEC #6 BCS Title
4-0 LW: #25 A Rat: .794 B Rating: 3.298 C Rating: 1.597 AP: 20 Coaches: 19
Mississippi State manages to stay up despite idle hands, partly due to losses by surrounding teams, and are ready to get back into the meat of the SEC.

37 teams total with positive C Rating (none with negative B Rating)

2009 Boise State title: #55 Washington (3-1), .421, -2.916, -2.196

Off Top 25: #33 Baylor (was #24), #38 Rutgers (was #22)

Unbeaten teams not on Top 25: #32 Louisville, #38 Rutgers, #48 Texas-San Antonio (all in positive B Points, Rutgers and Texas-San Antonio not in positive C)

Rest of Watch List: #26 Boise State (3-1), #27 Texas A&M (3-1), #28 Nevada (4-1), #29 Middle Tenn. St. (3-1), #30 Oklahoma State (2-2), #31 UCLA (4-1), #33 Baylor (3-1), #34 Northern Illinois (4-1), #35 Iowa* (3-2), #36 San Jose State (4-1), #37 Pittsburgh (2-3)

Other Positive B Ratings (all 3-2 unless otherwise noted): #39 BYU, #40 North Carolina, #41 Fresno State, #42 Western Kentucky* (4-1), #43 Penn State*, #44 Michigan State, #45 Nebraska (4-1), #46 Tennessee, #47 Utah State (4-2), #51 Purdue* (3-1), #52 USC (3-1) (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #49 Oklahoma, #57 Arizona, #60 Central Florida, #67 Georgia Tech, #70 Minnesota

Bottom 10: #115 Southern Miss, #116 New Mexico State, #117 Rice, #118 Army, #119 Akron, #120 Colorado, #121 Idaho, #122 Hawaii, #123 Tulane, #124 Massachusetts

Best game of week: Georgia @ South Carolina, 4pm PT, ESPN