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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

MZone Top 25

We've reached the point in the season where every game is an elimination game and style points count. With so many good one loss teams, ranking them strictly on who beat who (when it's not a clear cut path because one team beat one team but lost to another who beat that first) is next to impossible.

Also, Benny and I must admit we didn't see a lot of games Saturday as we were at the Michigan game. Then, Benny was at the World Series while I caught up on the day via College Scoreboard Final. But I'm guessing we're not much different than most AP writers who cover the hometown team and also get their voting info, unfortunately, via ESPN highlights.

As you look over our rankings, we almost wanted to rank Tennesse, Auburn and Florida as co-number 4s. They are a prime example of one team beating one team but losing to another, blah, blah, blah. And the only reason Arkansas isn't right there with them is that blowout loss to USC -- at home -- wasn't even close. Yes, we know they're a different team now but that, at least to me, is the beauty of college football -- every game matters, from the first to the last.

One "mistake" I think we might have made is with Texas in our initial rankings below. We'll probably end up swapping them with Louisville (a team whose big win so far against Miami doesn't look so impressive now). But we just can't see putting the 'Horns above those SEC teams. At least not yet.

Also, while it may look jarring to see that Texas "dropped" in this poll after a tough road win at Nebraska, that is more a function of how Benny and I try to do our voting -- by purposely not looking at our previous poll and moving folks up or down strictly on where they were the week before. Right or wrong, we try to look at the totality of the season at this point. Thus, with more and more information, sometimes we'll end up moving teams in ways that might not make "sense" in terms of the "traditional" polls. Because, to us, too often those traditional polls are intransigent.

Leave us your thoughts on the poll in the comments section.

1Ohio State--
2Michigan 1
3Southern Cal 1
5Auburn 2
6Florida 2
7Louisville 2
8Texas 2
9California 4
10West Virginia--
11Notre Dame--
13Arkansas 2
15Rutgers 4
16Boston College 4
18Texas A&M 5
19Missouri 5
20Boise State 1
21Oklahoma 1
22Nebraska 4
23Georgia Tech 10
24Wake Forest 1
25Washington State 1

Dropped Out: Oregon (#16).


Allaha said...

Booooooo: the sudden dropping of UT is like the girl who wakes you up in the middle of the night "only to say I love you" then leaving a note the following morning saying thanks for the wonderful memories. WTF?!

1) UT's only loss was to the top ranked team in the country, in the second game, in a contest that was not decided until the fourth quarter. Admittedly it was a home loss, but so were Auburn's and Tennessee's.
2) UT has defeated two Top 20 teams on the road (noting Dallas is a neutral, but not home, site). That is two more than Auburn or Tennessee.
3) If you do not like UT's schedule or quality of wins, it staggers the imagination that you would place W.Va. or Louisville in the Top 10. Collectively, they have not defeated a single team that is currently ranked. . . . Miami a quality win? That would be the same Miami that also has not defeated a ranked team and mightily struggled against Houston and Duke?

Please do not force me to say the major polls are now more sensible than the MZone's. Do the right thing: confess you were drunk when you typed the post (happens to the best of us) and then rank 4-9 as FL, UT, Tenn, Auburn, Cal, Arkansas.

Anonymous said...

I think Clemson is better than Notre Dame. 1 2OT loss to a pretty good BC team is all that stands between them and undefeated (granted the ACC isn't what it used to be).

ND on the other hand got a beatdown at home, and could (should) have lost 2-3 other games against middling teams.

I know the transative property doesn't really work, but their common opponent (GT) in this case is telling. Clemson ran them off the field, while ND was lucky to win. Even with it being a road trip for ND vs. a home stand for Clemson, I think the rivalry nature of the Clemson/GT makes it comparable.

Anonymous said...

I'd argue Clemson or Arkansas ahead of ND. Both have looked better to me, with better wins than ND has.

Also, dropping Texas is lame. They lost to the team you have #1, what team ahead of them (besides USC) has their one loss to a better team?

M&M said...

I agree with the Clemson comments. I think Clemson is the best one-loss team in the country. Clemson's running backs are brutal.

Notre Dame, of course, is ranked too high. I'd also move Texas down.

harry hasselhoff said...

Texas is ranked appropriately. They were dominated at home by OSU and while they are a good team they should not be ahead of any of the one-loss SEC teams or an undefeated, major-conference team (for the purposes of this disucssion, I will assume the Big East is a "major conference").

And to respond to Allaha regarding the OSU-Texas game: the score was 17-7 at the end of the 3rd Q and the Texas offense was impotent throughout that game. To say the game was not decided until the 4th Q is flat out wrong. And this coming from a Michigan fan.

trojan mike said...

What if you had tOSU #1, Michigan #2, USC #3 and everybody else tied for #4..... that would make Texas happier.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I used to have respect for you guys and your blog, but you are clueless as evidenced by your poll.

Anonymous said...

tu is highly suspect. They were damned lucky to beat Nebraska and they know it.

This weekend they play up and own Texas Tceh (sic) in Lubbutt at night. Despite tu's being favored, if Tceh is up, which would surprise the hell out of anybody if it isn't, look out Longhorns.

The Horns already are a walking MASH unit and just lost one of their starters at DT.

Scott Boswell said...

I agree with allaha, but I don't think that Texas is the best "1-loss" team. I would put Florida and Arkansas above us right now. (As much as the latter pains me) It's a joke that they lost to the #2-#3 team in the country, beat Auburn and are still in the teens while Auburn is in the Top 10. I personally think Arkansas is suspect, but I also believe that they are a product of the flawed preseason polls. They are having to do WAY too much to make up ground for not being ranked.

To the "lucky to win against Nebraska" comment...

We can play "would have/could have/should have" all day. Nebraska could have held on to the ball, executed a 2-point conversion making our game winning FG a tying kick or made a defensive stop on Texas' last drive. Recovering the fumble was certainly fortuitous, but it didn't automatically seal the victory for us. Especially since we couldn't figure out how to get the ball to go over those goal posts.

Had Texas lost, I doubt you would say Nebraska was lucky that Texas missed that extra point. We'd hear a speech in the likes of "The better team won" or "Texas proved that it is overrated".

Anonymous said...

It still baffles the mind that Boise State would crack your top 20. I'd also place several teams above ND, but agree with your Texas decision. I wanted to see Texas do well this year, but overall have been disappointed. If tOSU didn't get a very high pre-season ranking, we wouldn't even be having this discussion with the Horn fans and more would be thanking you for ranking them where you did. As a Cocks fan, I hate (really f'ing hate) admitting this, but Clemson is scary good right now. I hope they lose every game they play from here on out and are found cheating, but the fact is- those Tiggers are good and Thanksgiving weekend may be a tough time in Tigertown for the Cocks.

Allaha said...

Hasselhoff: they may like convoluted thinking in Germany, but not here. Please consider:
1) UT gained more first downs (20 v 17)
2) total offense yards were comparable (tOSU 348 v. UT 326)
3) UT had a larger time of possession.

Don't get me wrong: tOSU was the better team and clearly deserved to win. It is inaccurate, however, to say UT was "dominated".

On what basis -- other than your fertile imagination -- does a Big East team deserve a Top Ten ranking? Is there any doubt that any team I suggest for spots 4-9 would also be undefeated with W.Va.'s or L's schedule?

Pants McPants said...

Guys, I agree with #1-3...and that's all I can make an honest opinion on...

Anyone who claims they know who should be ranked 4-25 is full of crap. Every team on there has had their share of "dog" games (Clemson? BC and Wake Forest? OSU and UM would KILL those teams)
Hell, wasn't BC a few crappy play calls by CMU away from losing to them? I trust no one in the ACC...

Auburn? Nice run D
Florida? Nice offense
Tennessee? Nice 16-13 win over Bama.

And the Pac-10?? Nice game vs. Tennessee, Cal...Good loss there too, Oregon...

Notre Dame? Something tells me about 20 of the top25 would beat them easily.

Texas? after watching USC have an easier time vs. Nebraska than they had against middling Pac-10 teams I dunno..

Of course the BE teams haven't played anyone at all either, so they are out.

So what do you have? A bunch of teams that look like world beaters one game and duds the next...Wait and rank them as they lose over the next few weeks, right now, it's irrelevant...

Bruce said...

Damn, I thought SC hung in there pretty well against BYE, but apparently they didn't do enough to maintain their position. If anything, I thought Cal and Oregon's performances against team that were the bellweather of SC's "weakness" indicated UW and Wazzu were tougher than people thought.

By the way, nice move adding Wazzu, they're playing hard, seem like a pretty physical football team.

The King said...

Anyone who has been watching West Virginia and Louisville play would be totally batshit crazy to have the Cardinals ranked ahead of the Mountaineers. Or to have the Cardinals ranked ahead of Rutgers, for that matter.

doug in sf said...

And Wazzu is doing it while battling injuries to their o-line

Anonymous said...

Why is Rutgers ranked on any poll, anywhere, ever? They play a highschool schedule and are a mortal lock to get the ever-loving shit beat out of them by Louisville and WV. And Louis/WV are both highly suspect. I'm tired of this bullshit "rank them high because they're undefeated" movement. Take about 6 teams from the SEC, 4-5 from the Big 10, hell, maybe even a couple from the Pac-10, and they'd be undefeated in Rutgers' shoes.

Anonymous said...

Also, Texas indeed sucks. They have a Mickey-Mouse offense (the same dink-and-dunk, "only throw 3-yd. drags and screen passes" offense they used last year with VY, but guess what? A 13-yr. old Colt McCoy for damn sure is no Vince Young) that is easily shut down by a good defense (any team in the SEC), and can be thrown on more or less at will. I would definitely keep them out of the top 10. The only "big" game they've played besides the DOMINATION they suffered at OSU was an epic struggle between Mack Brown and Beau Bridges/Bill Callahan, with both coaches doing everything in their power to lose the game; Callahan barely edged him.

Anonymous said...

Watch a Clemson game on TV. They would beat at least 5 teams you have ranked ahead of them.

Anonymous said...

honestly, who cares about any 1-loss team at this point.. it's a 3 way race until Nov 18. Texas may not have been dominated, but they didn't show any sort of spark. But they are also starting a 14 year old boy at QB. Nebraska should have lost with Calahan's retarded play calling given the conditions. You also left easy points off the board (extra point, 2 FG).

Anonymous said...

I love the amazing hatred that some people carry for Texas. Even with that loss I think we are probably at least the 2nd or 3rd best one loss team at worst, probably in the 5-6 range, but to each their own. Oh and I love the aTm guy coming on here like they have any ground to stand on, I'd worry about that little game this weekend more than against us, since yall very very easily could have 3-5 loses instead of just 1.

longhorn_steve said...

yeah that "mickey mouse" offense is #4 in the nation in scoring.. and our 14 year old kid has 18 TD's and only 3 INT's.

Anonymous said...

Good job longhorn_steve, he played great against Ohio State too. You've been listening to too much Musburger; get "the Colt's" balls out of your mouth. And enjoy that #4 offense when it reaps zero rewards for the next, oh, 15 years. And the guy who posted ahead of you "loves" a bunch of stuff, not the least of which is probably some prime man-sausage. What does A&M's record have to do with your pathetically over-hyped team? Go find a nice friendly cheese-grater to violate.

Anonymous said...

Check out my rivalry site: www.greatestrivals.com. GO BLUE!