Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rise by the machines.

Despite very few upsets this weekend, the Dawgs did move up a few notches on the ladder of the college football elite with the publication of the official BCS standings for the first time this year. The human voters feel no different about us. In the Harris and Coaches polls (the human polls used by the BCS), the Dawgs remained at #9 in both, same as last week. But with a little help from our artificially intelligent friends, the Dawgs sit at #7 in the only list that matters.

Vandy really boosted us in the computers. After the Tennessee game, two of the BCS computers -- Anderson & Hester and Colley Matrix -- each had us at #18. With the Commodores now in the Dawgs' wake, those same computers now have us at #8 and #7 respectively. A win at LSU could give an even bigger e-boost.

As much as Georgia was helped the computers, Florida, on the other hand, felt their sting. The Gators are at #6 in the Coaches and #7 in the Harris (and #5 in the AP), but the computers drop UF down to #10 in the BCS standings. I still think if either Florida or Georgia runs the table, beating an undefeated Bama in Atlanta, the chips will fall into place for an SEC east team in the Big One. We know at least one undefeated Big XII team is going down in Austin on Saturday. I like the Buckeyes' chances to spoil Penn State's run this week as well.

This four-week, flaming tightrope of a roadtrip is going to test the Dawgs like never before. Here's hoping Richt's patented road-focus is in high gear. Bring on the Cajun Cats!


LD said...

Wasn't just Vandy that helped us in the computers. Tennessee beating Miss State helped some, and Central Michigan beating a good (under w/l-driven computer systems like Colley) Western Michigan team helped even more. This weekend, just about everyone Georgia has already played won (Southern lost by 1 to App State - which didn't really hurt in some computers at all - and USC lost to LSU, but everyone else was a winner).

There are 3 Big XII South teams ahead of UGA in the BCS right now, and one directly behind them. Among those 4, only one can possibly finish the season with no losses. So if you assume one team runs the table (Texas), two others right around Georgia (and ahead of them in the human polls) will necessarily have to drop. And the benefit to Georgia is even greater if the Big XII teams end up beating each other up.

So over the next few weeks, if Georgia wins their games, things will shake out in a way that necessarily has to benefit them - by means of other teams losing and by means of the computers favoring the Dawgs.

By my best guess, if Georgia wins the rest of their games (including the SECCG), they can finish no worse than 3rd in the BCS - might not be able to catch Texas or Penn State, but they would jump everyone else.

The General said...

If we take care of all our business, including Bama in a rematch, and Texas and Penn State stay unbeaten, then obviously, we are on the outside looking in. I do expect Texas to win out, even though their road looks tough with two unbeatens, Kansas, and the conference championship game left.

USC's schedule can't hide from the computers, so I think we can jump them.

What I worry about is if tOSU beats PSU, and then wins out, would the Buckeyes jump a 1-loss SEC champion UGA? The human voters may hold the two BCSCG chokes against them, but the computers already have Ohio State above Georgia.

The General said...

So rooting interests for Dawg fans this week:

Auburn over WFVU

Kansas over Texas Tech
Central Michigan over Toledo
Kansas State over Oklahoma
Florida over Kentucky*
Vandy over Duke
Oklahoma State over Texas**
Georgia over LSU
Georgia Tech over Virginia
Alabama over Tennessee
Ohio State over Penn State
Arizona State over Oregon
Arizona over Southern Cal

*We want Florida to be ranked higher when we play them. We would only want Kentucky to beat Florida if we are focused on just winning the SEC East and want a cushion over Florida so we could drop another game and still go to Atlanta (as long as we win in Jax).

**Okie State and Texas both have a tough road ahead, so it doesn't much matter who wins, but it is more likely for Okie State to lose to Oklahoma down the road than it is for Texas to lose any other game, so we want the Pokes to beat the Horns on Saturday.

The General said...

What is Barnhart talking about here? I don't understand why he says to root for Texas, and also that Oklahoma has to lose. If we follow his first premise, and Texas stays undefeated at #1, then Oklahoma is locked out of the Big XII championship. Does he really think a 1-loss non-champion OU would go over a 1-loss SEC Champion UGA? Will all those pundits who dismissed Georgia last year forget their unwritten rule that you have to win your conference to go to the Big One? A rematch between OU and Texas would blow. That really might cause the SEC to pull out of the BCS.