2009 College Football Rankings – Week 11

Remember 2004? We had five undefeated teams going into the bowls. Utah became the first BCS buster, but Auburn was the only team people were crying about not making the title game. We’re headed for five undefeated teams again, but boy, have times changed.

For one, people are talking about Boise State not being jilted for a BCS bowl this time, something that has now happened twice. What’s more, a stumble by Texas or the eventual SEC champion could, conceivably, open the door for a Cincinnati or even (whisper) TCU to enter the mix. (Or it could allow a one-loss champion to get in ahead of the other three unbeatens. But despite the fact few are yet willing to vault Texas to number 1, there would be rioting in the streets if that turned out to be the eventual SEC champion.)

A lot of teams further down in the ratings lose, creating upheaval from the 19 spot on down, starting with a booming move onto the Top 25 for the new darlings, Stanford, and continuing with a whopping three teams moving from negative B Points to the top 25, and in what may be a record this late in the year, five teams moving off the top 25, and in quite a few cases, out of positive B Points. And a behind-the-scenes alert: Utah falls so far down that they and BYU are almost neck-in-neck. Maybe within the conference, it’s not so much that BYU’s overrated as Air Force is underrated. We’ll know for sure when the two play each other this week.

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. Conference Ratings are tabulated by averaging the B Ratings of all teams in the conference. (Independents are counted separately, and Army and Navy are counted as one conference.) Finally, the C Rating is tabulated by taking the difference between the team’s B Rating and his conference’s rating, taking a fraction of that equal to the fraction of Division I-A the conference makes up, and taking the result off the B Rating. The three ratings go A, B, C across. Click here to see the complete ratings.

1 (1) Texas (10-0)
Big 12 Leader
.826 59.715 52.630 Texas hasn’t needed any help from officials any step of the way. SEC parity, or Texas dominance?
2 (3) TCU (10-0)
Non-BCS Leader
.809 50.209 44.173 Utah is the only team in the Mountain West deserving of a Top 25 ranking, and TCU blew them out. Is that a sign the Mountain West really is WAC-level this year, or a sign the Horned Frogs really are national title material?
3 (2) Florida (10-0)
SEC Leader
Princeton-Yale Title
.812 43.837 39.183 People are starting to split hairs over which team in the SEC is better. But in the SEC Title Game (and in Florida’s upcoming blowout of Florida International) we’re all losers.
4 (5) Alabama (10-0) .804 38.871 34.713 Alabama gets its act together in a blowout of an admittedly weak Mississippi State team the Tide held to a field goal. But expect them to dip again for playing an FCS school.
5 (6) Boise State (10-0) .795 37.116 31.464 So far as I can tell, the main reason Boise could still go to a BCS bowl is because of an odd lack of parity: few non-conference champions are impressive. But Nevada is still unbeaten in conference.
6 (4) Cincinnati (10-0)
Big East Leader
.755 31.893 29.531 CBS’s Gregg Doyel says the team long part of the C Ratings’ Big 4 aren’t title game worthy. They certainly didn’t look it beating WVU by only three at home with SEC-like help. Could they fall to Pitt on the road in two weeks?
7 (7) Ohio State (9-2)
Big Ten Leader
.607 19.170 16.199 It was by three in overtime, but it was still the effective Big Ten title game. But people still don’t trust the Big Ten, or a team that lost to now-struggling USC and mediocre-to-bad Purdue.
8 (8) Pittsburgh (9-1) .649 17.446 16.046 Basically matched what Ohio State did, against a worse team (sorry, Golden Domers). Now look for them to potentially slip for the bye.
9 (9) Oregon (8-2)
Pac-10 Leader
.542 18.226 14.824 Rebounded against Arizona State and now head into an effective Pac-10 title game against Arizona, despite the Civil War potentially looming as a second.
10 (10) Virginia Tech (7-3)
ACC Leader
.473 17.291 14.206 V-Tech’s ACC title hopes are officially dashed, and Duke wasn’t quite good enough for G-Tech to leapfrog the Hokies despite a blowout. Where are they or Pitt for BCS at-large bowl consideration?
11 (12) Penn State (9-2) .604 13.441 10.995 Hmm. Penn State outranks Iowa in the polls as well, and in the BCS they’re behind only because the BCS computers still don’t count MoV. It looks like, despite losing to Iowa, PSU may be getting an upgrade to LSU and the Cap One Bowl.
12 (15) Oklahoma (6-4) .406 12.609 10.235 Despite not having Bradford, every loss has been by a score to a team ranked in at least one poll, and they’ve looked dominant in the other games (see: A&M). Explain to me why they aren’t among the ranked?
13 (11) Iowa (9-2) .509 12.390 10.040 The Hawkeyes have one game left and then I’m not sure if anyone knows for sure what bowl they’re going to. They’re going to do a lot of Big Ten and SEC game watching, that’s for sure.
14 (16) Georgia Tech (10-1) .594 12.530 9.921 G-Tech may have blown out Duke by so much it limited their own benefit by hurting Duke’s A Rating. But while they didn’t leapfrog V-Tech they did leapfrog Clemson, and that’s their likely ACC Title Game opponent.
15 (14) Clemson (7-3) .474 11.680 9.156 Don’t pop the corks just yet. Beating Virginia would give Clemson the Atlantic, but a loss would allow BC to control their own destiny. Fortunately, North Carolina has proved a trap game for everyone in the ACC.
16 (13) LSU (8-2) .524 8.915 7.754 Considering the reaction, turns out LSU may need to scout Penn State instead – perhaps this week against Michigan State.
17 (18) Nebraska (7-3) .488 8.415 6.460 Well, as it happens, despite the chaos that has enveloped the Big 12 North this year, it’s now very simple: the Kansas State game is an effective North title game, for the right to try to be a trap game for Texas.
18 (19) Oklahoma State (8-2) .539 7.056 5.237 A one-score win over Texas Tech is probably to be expected. But I can’t help but wonder if the Cowboys will drop next week for letting a worse Colorado team get even closer…
19 (36) Stanford (7-3)
2006 Boise State Title
.450 6.562 4.132 Amazing what two big wins can do for you, and Toby Gerhart’s Heisman candidacy. Losses to Oregon State and Arizona (the former meaning Stanford’s rooting for the latter) and lowly Wake Forest are all water under the bridge now.
20 (37) Rutgers (7-2)* .544 3.797 3.308 Rutgers’ only losses were to the Big East’s Big Two, but an incredibly weak non-conference slate (seriously, Army’s the best among them?) and narrow win over UConn held them back – until they shut out a USF team ranked in the polls.
21 (30) Arkansas (6-4)* .360 3.817 3.165 Blew out a terrific-by-Sun-Belt-standards Troy team, and despite early blowout losses they still have their beef-with-the-refs-in-a-Florida game and Ws over Auburn and the other USC. But can they pass Ole Miss and Auburn for the Cotton Bowl?
22 (31) Mississippi (7-3)* .455 2.962 2.395 Maybe not, if it’s the Rebels that take the spot, thanks to a blowout win over the beleaguered but Top 25 Vols – and a big-time game against the third-best team in the SEC coming up next.
23 (17) Texas Tech (6-4) .384 3.474 2.013 The Red Raiders lose to Oklahoma State on the road. Now they get Oklahoma at home. Trap game, or do they get the same Oklahoma feeling twice in a row?
24 (22) Notre Dame (6-4) .344 1.757 1.757 They kept it within five, but both of their remaining games are against teams in positive B Points. And they might both be must-wins for Weis to keep his job.
25 (26) Oregon State (7-3) .429 3.884 1.677 Blowout win over admittedly-underperforming Washington just what the doctor ordered to put the Beavers on the Top 25. Every loss was to a good team (USC doesn’t look the part anymore) but tight wins over UNLV and Stanford had held them back.

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

Off Top 25: #27 Miami (FL) (was #20), #31 Arizona (was #24), #32 Utah (was #25), #40 Tennessee (was #23), #46 USC (was #21)

Watch List: #26 Air Force, #27 Miami (FL), #28 Wisconsin, #29 Connecticut

Other Positive B Ratings: #31 Arizona, #32 Utah, #33 BYU*, #36 Houston, #37 Temple*, #39 Northern Illinois (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #30 West Virginia, #40 Tennessee, #46 USC, #52 Fresno State

Bottom 10: #111 Memphis, #112 Miami (OH), #113 San Jose State, #114 Tulane, #115 New Mexico State, #116 New Mexico, #117 Western Kentucky, #118 Eastern Michigan, #119 Washington State, #120 Rice

Conference Rating: #1 SEC (-2.703), #2 Big East (-3.546), #3 Big 12 (-11.135), #4 Big Ten (-13.244), #5 ACC (-13.560), #6 Pac-10 (-22.596), #7 Mountain West (-30.266), #8 WAC (-38.237), #9 MAC (-44.758, leader #37 Temple), #10 Conference USA (-46.569, leader #36 Houston), #11 Sun Belt (-51.211, leader #58 Troy)

Best game of week: Oklahoma @ Texas Tech, 9:30am PT, FSN

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