Monday, November 12, 2007

PHSports BCS Rankings & Bowl Projection

Clement filling in for the remainder of the season

Just when things seem to be falling into place on a weekend without a major top-10 matchup, everything gets turned upside down thanks to some guy named Juice Williams. The aforementioned Williams, a sophomore QB from Illinois, led the unranked Illini to a victory in Columbus against the nation’s number 1 team.

Suddenly only two teams are undefeated that are BCS-elgibile.

Kansas and Hawaii.

More likely to be part of a Maui Shootout opener, it’s as guaranteed to be the BCS Title matchup as Pay and myself filling in for Kornheiser and Wilbon on next Monday’s PTI.

Nevertheless, LSU and Oregon (at least MY choice for a juicy BCS Title matchup) has briefly been slated as the January 4th matchup. However, if Kansas were to win out (which would include neutral field wins vs. Missouri and Oklahoma), wouldn’t that be something for Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk.

Bill Self would really start to look bad then.

Our view on pre-season rankings
Everything you saw back in August and September were simply suggestions by individuals who are supposed to be more knowledgeable than you or me. These “suggestions” serve as a reference point that allow for pundits without this season’s game tape to go off of.

How this ranking works?
This ranking will not be like a poll, which often drops a school’s ranking by a minimum of four spots for any loss regardless of circumstance. We will do our best to look at the full body of work. If you consistently win in unimpressive fashion, then I’ll note it. If you demolish teams and then produce a 60-minute brain fart on the gridiron, then I might forgive it to a degree.

Why only rank the top eight teams?
In a fantasy world, these top eight teams would participate in a playoff system, which would be played at seven current Bowl sites. If only the university presidents bought into this just and highly lucrative manner in which to crown a national champion.

1. Louisiana State: Back at #1, at least for one week, in all the major polls is enough for me to allow them to slip past last week’s number (see one spot below). The SEC rates slightly higher than the Pac-10 for me right now, especially when a team like Florida has 3 losses. While LSU should control its own destiny over Oregon, it might be interesting to see which of their likely SEC East championship opponents they’d meet in the SEC Title game (Georgia, Tennessee, Florida).
2. Oregon: Without a Pac-10 title game and a marquee opponent left on the schedule, both the Ducks and Heisman hopeful QB Dennis Dixon may be left out in the cold when it matters the most. Nevertheless, I don’t see Kansas winning out and I don’t see any other 1-loss team, assuming Oregon holds serve, leapfrogging the #2 Quack Attack.
3. Kansas: They’ve earned the right to be slated ahead of Oklahoma…for now. More important than their potential Big XII Title Game matchup at the beginning of December is their matchup at Arrowhead in Kansas City against the Missouri Tigers. Kansas vs. Missouri meaning something in December and not how’d you figure it to.
4. Oklahoma: Sitting anxiously, a Big XII Championship and a one-loss season could net them to any one of the five BCS games. Interesting, indeed.
5. West Virginia: Mere fractions of a point ahead of Missouri, Pat White bailed out the Big East title and slim BCS Title hopes for the Mountaineers. While the schedule is far from easy, no title game in the Big East is probably best for this banged-up squad.
6. Missouri: Moving up only a slot, don’t think they’re national title hopes are dashed. All they need are wins over Kansas, Oklahoma and some sort of combo of two of these three (LSU, Oregon, and WVU) losing. It’s that easy!
7. Georgia: Perhaps scariest next season, the Dawgs could easily find themselves in or out of the SEC Title game. I haven’t been this excited about a freshman back, Moreno, since a guy named Clarett. Wait. Uh oh.
8. Arizona State: Barely escaping their matchup with UCLA 24-20 victors, the Sun Devils are still one Quack loss from a Rose Bowl appearance. So much for Michigan at a ranked slot. Sadly, the winner of OSU and Michigan is an automatic BCS visitor… which neither likely deserves.

Here’s how the BCS Bowl games stack up as of today, according to PHSports' latest projections…

BCS Title Game
LSU vs. Oregon

Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech vs. Kansas

Fiesta Bowl
Hawaii vs. Arizona State

Rose Bowl
Ohio State vs. West Virginia
Note: I had WVU slated for Big East & Sugar…but they met Georgia only two years ago there.

Sugar Bowl
Georgia vs. Oklahoma
Note: Missouri would assume this spot; however, as last year’s Wisconsin team showed us, one conference may not have three representatives in the 5 BCS bowl games.