Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Gus Rankings: Week 13

Here are the updated Gus Rankings.  Notre Dame still holds the top spot, followed by Florida, Ohio State, Stanford and Oregon.

At the other end of the spectrum, Southern Mississippi holds a slim one point advantage over Massachusetts for the last spot.  Southern Mississippi has the distinction of being the only FBS team to schedule all 12 of their games against FBS opponents and lose them all.  Don't sleep on the Aggies of New Mexico State, however-- they have one remaining game next weekend against 8-loss Texas State.  A loss there should clinch the bottom spot for the perennial last spot contenders.

Here are the updated Gus BCS predictions (check the rules and assumptions from last week):

National Championship Game: Notre Dame (At-large) vs. Florida (At-large)
Rose Bowl: Nebraska (Big 10 Champion) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 champion)
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State (Big 12 champion) vs. Oregon (At-large)
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (SEC champion) vs. Kent State (At-large)
Orange Bowl: Florida State (ACC champion) vs. Rutgers (Big East champion)

Following the letter of the BCS law, Kent State makes it by virtue of being in the top 16, winning their conference and finishing ahead of Rutgers/Louisville.

Swap Florida and Alabama and that's exactly how I see things shaking out after this weekend.

Also interesting to note that unless something weird happens this weekend, 3 of the top 4 teams in the final BCS rankings will not only have not won a conference title, they won't have played in a conference championship game.  Notre Dame isn't in a conference, and both Florida and Oregon's one-loss kept them from their respective conference championships.

As a side note: What if Navy and/or Army were undefeated and a factor in the BCS?  The point is moot-- the current structure of the BCS allows only 40-50 of the 124 FBS teams the ability to win the title, and Army/Navy aren't in that minority-- but would the BCS decision be pushed back by a week?

Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Gus Rankings: Week 12

Here are this week's Gus Rankings.  Notre Dame holds a sizable advantage over #2 Ohio State.  Stanford finds itself at #3 after their win over Oregon, Nebraska sits at #4 and Alabama is at #5.

At the bottom of the spectrum, Southern Mississippi charges to a one point edge over Akron.  Since Southern Mississippi finishes with 7-loss Memphis, Akron finishes with 3-loss Toledo, and Massachusetts ends with 6-loss Central Michigan, the Golden Eagles seem to be in line to take the title of worst FBS team.

At this stage of the game, it's fun to project whom Gus would place into each of the BCS game.  The bowl lineup is as follows:

National Championship Game - BCS #1 vs. BCS #2
Rose Bowl - Ben Ten Conference Champion vs. Pac-12 Conference Champion
Fiesta Bowl - Big 12 Conference Champion vs. At-large
Sugar Bowl - SEC Champion vs. At-large
Orange Bowl - ACC Champion vs. At-large

Note that the Big East Conference champion does not automatically qualify for a particular bowl, so they can be viewed as a mandatory at-large.

Should a conference champion qualify for the National Championship game from a conference that is tied to another bowl, that bowl gets first choice on replacing that team from the eligible pool of teams.  If both teams are conference champions, the #1 BCS team is replaced first.

In 2013, at-large spots are filled in the following order: Fiesta, Sugar, Orange

Conference champions are determined by the highest spot on the Gus Rankings should any discrepancies arise.

So that gives us the Gus BCS:

National Championship Game: Notre Dame (At-large) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 champion)
Rose Bowl: Nebraska (Big 10 Champion) vs. Oregon (At-large replacement for Stanford)
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State (Big 12 champion) vs. Florida (At-large)
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (SEC champion) vs. Clemson (At-large)
Orange Bowl: Florida State (ACC champion) vs. Rutgers (Big East champion)

Notice that Clemson is higher than Florida State in the Gus Rankings but cannot win the ACC as they are not in the ACC Championship Game.  But not a bad slate!  As far as my two cents, I think we end up seeing the following-- we'll see how things can change over the next two weeks:

National Championship Game: Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl: Nebraska vs. Stanford
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State vs. Oregon
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Clemson
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Rutgers

A few notes:

- I think Florida State beats Florida this weekend in Tallahassee.  That should eliminate Florida from BCS consideration.

- Stanford beating UCLA two weeks in a row would be impressive; should that not happen, Stanford will be out of the BCS (well, they could lose next week, Oregon State could beat Oregon, then Stanford could come back and beat UCLA in the Pac-12 title game).  The real issue for the Fiesta Bowl is if Oregon makes it to the Rose Bowl.  Let's say they want to take a big name to offset the less-than-big-name of Kansas State; Oregon fits that role beautifully and they'd take Oregon in a heartbeat if they could.  On top of that, they should be able to since they choose from the at-large pool first.  Only the Sugar Bowl would likely have the chance to beat them to Oregon, but that doesn't really make sense for anyone involved for Oregon to end up in New Orleans.

But the Fiesta Bowl can't take Oregon if they end up as Pac-12 champions.  There shouldn't be any SEC teams left at that point; one will likely be in the title game, and the Sugar Bowl will get the first replacement pick and likely take another SEC team.  Conferences can't have any more than two teams, so that eliminates Texas A&M.  Oklahoma would be an interesting pick for a rematch with Kansas State, and I wouldn't normally think them to do that...but who is left?  Clemson to Tempe?  Rutgers?  Oregon State would have three losses in this scenario so they're out, Texas would as well.  This scenario probably won't happen but it's definitely feasible...that would be an interesting decision to make.  If I had to guess, I'd probably say Oklahoma, but the Fiesta Bowl folks can't be liking that too much.  They just can't expect Clemson to draw across the country, and you can say the same for Rutgers in light of the UConn experience a few years ago.

- I suppose you could make the argument for a two-loss Georgia (or maybe Florida) team in the Sugar Bowl instead of LSU.  Georgia would have made the SEC title game and had a better in-conference record, but (1) LSU is the home-state team and (2) it's not like the Sugar Bowl has looked to find the best remaining teams to fill their slots in the past (see: Michigan, 12 months ago).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

2012 Gus Rankings: Week 11

Here are this week's Gus Rankings.  Notre Dame maintains the top spot with a healthy 7 point edge over Ohio State.  Alabama is third after last week's loss to Texas A&M, Oregon is fourth and Kansas State fifth.

At the bottom of the rankings, Massachusetts scored their first win of the season last week at Akron, pushing the Zips to the bottom of the rankings.  Not deterred, New Mexico State trails Akron by only two points for the title of Gus' worst team in the land.

Conference rankings are as follows:

1. SEC: 13.07
2. Big 12: 9.20
3. Big 10: 6.92
4. Pac-12: 6.67
5. Big East: 0.13
6. ACC: -0.58
7. MAC: -6.83
8. WAC: -7.00
9. Sun Belt: -7.30
10: MWC: -8.20
11. C-USA: -14.50

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

2012 Gus Rankings: Week 10

Here are this week's Gus Rankings.  Notre Dame still holds the top spot after its narrow win over Pittsburgh last weekend.  Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon and Kansas State round out the top 5.

On the bottom end, New Mexico State surged into the bottom position with their loss to 7-loss Auburn.  The lead is not likely to last, however-- 2-loss San Jose State is on the schedule next week for NMSU while the eagerly awaited Akron/Massachusetts battle looms at InfoCision Field.