2009 College Football Rankings – Week 7

In the Battle of Techs, G is better than V, and no one knows how good T might really be.

There were five games this week between teams in the Top 25, but the identity of two of those games depended on which rankings you were using. Texas Tech (playing Nebraska) and Arkansas (playing Florida) were ranked in the C Ratings but not in the polls. Arkansas proved they belonged in the C Ratings by keeping it close against the Fighting Tebows, but they weren’t going to move into the polls with anything less than a win. On the other hand, Texas Tech, a team even I was skeptical about, thundered into the polls with a stunning upset of Nebraska that really could change the Big 12 North calculus.

In the polls, South Carolina and Georgia Tech were ranked when their body of work maybe didn’t quite justify it. The Fighting Spurriers didn’t even give an Arkansas-like effort against Alabama (yet inexplicably remain ranked in the polls and are back in positive B Points), but G-Tech stunned V-Tech and make their way into the Top 25 of the C Ratings. The ACC’s national title hopes may be dashed, but if the two Techs can maintain their effort for the remainder of the season, perhaps they’ll finally get some credit for their parity.

And at the top? In this, the first week of the BCS standings, V-Tech’s loss firmly creates a Big Four in the C Ratings, but that’s one more than people are normally giving credit for. Texas tumbles from the top spot – and behind Cincinnati – after letting an Oklahoma team that’s now Bradford-less for good get within three, letting the SEC’s Big Two take the top two spots… but just like in the AP poll, Alabama leapfrogs Florida to take the top spot between them. Florida’s history of letting too many teams get too close for comfort finally caught up with them 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 (3) Alabama (7-0)
SEC Leader
.832 28.440 25.546 With Florida not quite looking like last year’s team, Alabama has long been a favorite of the people – and games like South Carolina show why. But the Tide and Gators will eventually settle it on the field – again – in Atlanta.
2 (2) Florida (6-0)
Princeton-Yale Title
.834 28.022 25.170 They’re still undefeated, and still hold a win over LSU, but if they keep escaping against teams like Tennessee and Arkansas it won’t bode well for the SEC Title Game – or Tebow’s repeat Heisman hopes.
3 (4) Cincinnati (6-0)
Big East Leader
.785 26.642 24.828 A win over then-unbeaten South Florida was good enough to put Cincinnati at #5 in the first BCS rankings – but it seems they’re still seen as way behind the Big Three, and they’re still behind Boise State. Still no respect for the Big East.
4 (1) Texas (6-0)
Big 12 Leader
.785 27.353 24.322 Texas is like Florida – they’ve had too many pedestrian efforts, and other than Oklahoma their best team played is a 10-point home win over Texas Tech. Might they falter somewhere along the way?
5 (8) Iowa (7-0)
Big Ten Leader
.682 18.556 16.179 Imagine the Cincinnati-or-Iowa debate that would ensue if Texas were to lose. Two teams from conferences so disrespected USC or even Boise State might have a case. Of course, we all know what the real answer is, but still.
6 (10) Boise State (6-0)
Non-BCS Leader
.783 17.582 14.604 If Utah finishing second in the polls last year didn’t show it, this year looks to be proving that the non-BCS schools are starting to gain respect, thanks to Boise’s win over Oregon. Might one such school play for the national title by 2020?
7 (5) Virginia Tech (5-2)
ACC Leader
.465 16.139 13.799 G-Tech not only bumped V-Tech out of national title contention, the Hokies no longer even control their own destiny in the Coastal. Now comes a bye to prepare for North Carolina.
8 (12) TCU (6-0) .758 16.261 13.480 Annihilated Colorado State, Virginia and Clemson look better than you’d think, and I have Air Force ahead of BYU, who lost to mediocre FSU and outside OU has played crap at home. But they’re eager to prove they deserve their poll ranking.
9 (18) Texas Tech (5-2) .511 11.729 10.260 Texas Tech’s losses are on the road to one of the top three or four teams in the country, and a one-pointer. Now they have a marquee victory and a road one. Maybe they haven’t fallen off much from last year.
10 (11) Oregon (5-1)
Pac-10 Leader
2006 Boise State Title
.562 10.937 9.406 Despite the week off, Oregon moves UP and maintains its Pac-10 lead. But how huge will the USC game be? So long as the Ducks don’t fall into the same trap as the Trojans…
11 (14) USC (5-1) .611 10.659 9.151 Why do the computers have USC ranked so low? They lost to a team that’s 1-3 since and their only games against positive B-Point teams were both close (even though MoV isn’t factored into BCS computers). But OSU game is at home.
12 (15) Pittsburgh (6-1) .603 9.131 8.484 Welcome to the polls, Panthers. Now time to prove you deserve a better ranking by beating a South Florida team that was unbeaten heading into the Cincinnati game.
13 (19) Penn State (6-1) .689 8.715 7.240 The two major Western Pennsylvania teams are back-to-back, but shutting out Minnesota to become the 2nd-best team in the Big Ten doesn’t change the fact that the best team looks almost unbeatable. Now comes a bigger test at Michigan.
14 (7) Oklahoma (3-3) .353 8.164 7.052 Oklahoma deserves credit for giving Texas a fight, but we now know that the team that lost to BYU and Miami (FL) was the real Oklahoma with Bradford’s college career probably dead. But can I raise the specter of OU not even going to a bowl?
15 (6) Nebraska (4-2) .473 6.925 5.937 Nebraska lost by significantly more than Oklahoma to a worse team, but they only flip-flop spots on the way down. Fortunately, if they win all their remaining division games they can still win the Big 12 North easily, even if they lose to OU.
16 (16) LSU (5-1) .519 6.491 5.792 Hold steady because of teams below losing, and Auburn’s loss to Kentucky means they’re not even positive any more. LSU wants to make sure the slide continues at the battle of Tigers.
17 (9) Ohio State (5-2) .500 7.017 5.617 And down go the Buckeyes in a shocking upset to Purdue. They’re not even taking care of the small games anymore. They’ll try to bounce back against Minnesota, but it doesn’t bode well for their November tests.
18 (13) Kansas (5-1) .595 6.291 5.366 Kansas missed an opportunity opened up by Nebraska’s loss for a relatively unhindered road to the Big 12 North (and possibly being in the national title conversation) by losing to Colorado. Now they have to face… Oklahoma. Uh-oh.
19 (26) Clemson (3-3) .322 5.093 3.857 Back on the Top 25 after beating Wake Forest, but still no respect at 3-3. Maybe they’d get some if they beat overrated Miami (FL).
20 (27) West Virginia (5-1) .569 3.575 3.299 Crushed admittedly-mediocre Marshall to justify being ranked in the polls and in the C Ratings, despite Auburn’s woes and only the week before at Syracuse stopping the opponent from scoring 20. But UConn is now their best foe yet.
21 (25) Virginia (3-3) .297 3.668 2.575 The Cavs had a bad start to the season, going 0-3 with a loss to William and Mary, but they’re back on the winning track and are the only team unbeaten in ACC play. Georgia Tech, though, is out to change that.
22 (23) Connecticut (4-2) .412 2.211 2.026 Big win over Louisville. Hopefully a win over West Virginia will convince the pollsters the Huskies are for real, even if they have to do it with heavy hearts.
23 (28) Utah (5-1) .562 3.760 1.916 After weeks of being just out of the Top 25, the Utes make their way in after crushing UNLV. Only loss is to Oregon but Colorado State got too close for comfort and their other opponents aren’t much better. Air Force has something to prove.
24 (24) Arizona (4-2) .387 2.587 1.753 Talk about Cardiac Cats! No one has won an Arizona game by more than five since Iowa, and the only such games they’ve won have been over Central Michigan and Northern Arizona! But if you’re going to lose significantly, lose to Iowa.
25 (30) Georgia Tech (6-1) .514 2.720 1.722 Georgia Tech proved their poll ranking was well deserved, but still, not this high. The only FBS team they beat by double digits was North Carolina at home. If they wanna be ranked higher, they’ll need to beat a good Virginia team.

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

Off Top 25: #28 Michigan (was #22), #29 South Florida (was #17), #30 Notre Dame (was #21), #31 Arkansas (was #20)

Watch List: #26 Mississippi, #27 Oklahoma State*, #28 Michigan, #29 South Florida, #30 Notre Dame, #31 Arkansas, #32 Miami (FL)*, #33 Oregon State, #34 Tennessee*, #35 South Carolina*

Other Positive B Ratings: #36 Arizona State*, #37 Florida State, #40 Fresno State, #43 Northern Illinois (*=Newly Positive)

No Longer Positive: #41 Auburn, #46 Stanford, #52 Duke, #77 Wake Forest

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

Conference Rating: #1 SEC (-.502), #2 Big East (-.566), #3 Big 12 (-2.958), #4 ACC (-7.263), #5 Big 10 (-7.379), #6 Pac-10 (-7.429), #7 Mountain West (-20.819), #8 WAC (-22.130), #9 Sun Belt (-29.910, leader #63 Troy), #10 MAC (-30.122, leader #43 Northern Illinois), #11 C-USA (-31.702, leader #47 Houston)

Best game of week: Oklahoma @ Kansas, 12:30pm PT, ABC

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