Posted by Chase Stuart on November 7, 2010
As usual, all game results courtesy of Peter R. Wolfe. The top three teams have stayed on top for a few weeks, but the order has now changed. Courtesy of the Win of the Year by the Horned Frogs on Saturday, TCU moves ahead of Boise State in the SRS. Full explanation of the SRS available here.
|35||North Carolina St||9||9.6||40.7||50.3||6-3||ACC||4||50|
|45||San Diego St||9||14.2||30.7||44.9||7-2||MWC||4||111|
|103||San José St||9||-17.4||44.0||26.6||1-8||WAC||8||28|
|114||Middle Tennessee St||8||-3.3||24.6||21.4||3-5||SunB||8||119|
|116||New Mexico St||9||-18.1||35.2||17.1||2-7||WAC||9||90|
Is the Pac-10 the best conference in football? The Pac-10 and SEC have played just one game against each other this year, when Oregon crushed Tennessee in Knoxville. The SEC has been solid in 2010, but not dominant. SEC teams have beaten just one 50+ point non-conference opponent this season, when Arkansas beat Texas A&M, 24-17 in Arlington. Outside of that, North Carolina (LSU), Clemson (Auburn), Penn State (Alabama) and West Virginia (LSU) are the most impressive heads on SEC walls.
The Pac-10 looks worse by this measure, as their teams have lost their four toughest games, although none were played by the conference's elite teams. Oregon State lost to TCU and Boise State, while Washington and Washington State got obliterated by Nebraska and Oklahoma State, respectively. The best win was undoubtedly Arizona's victory over Iowa. So why does the Pac-10 look so good? Because they've had six victories of 20 points or more against AQ schools. California over Colorado (45), Stanford over Wake Forest (44), Oregon over Tennessee (35), Stanford over Notre Dame (23), UCLA over Texas (22) and Washington over Syracuse (21) were all blowout wins. The SEC has only three such victories -- Alabama by 49 over Duke and 21 over Penn State, and Florida topping South Florida by 24 points.
Conference debates are always tough. But the SRS doesn't rely on conference ratings, it relies on every game played by every team all year. This year, there are four teams that have separated themselves from the pack. Let's look at every FBS game played by each of the big four:
|25-Sep-10||Boise St||37||Oregon St||24||1||10.0||56.2||66.2|
|16-Oct-10||Boise St||48||San José St||0||0||37.5||26.6||64.1|
|2-Oct-10||Boise St||59||New Mexico St||0||0||43.0||17.1||60.1|
|26-Oct-10||Boise St||49||Louisiana Tech||20||1||25.0||34.7||59.7|
|6-Sep-10||Boise St||33||Virginia Tech||30||0.5||7.0||52.7||59.7|
- TCU scored the first 90-point game of the year this weekend. They went into Salt Lake City and beat the Utes 47-7. That adjusted MOV of 33.5 against a Utah team with an SRS score of 56.5 (including this game) makes it the most impressive win of the season. The two other best games of the weekend came courtesy of SRS favorites Boise State and Stanford. BSU outgained Hawaii -- who previously led the nation in total offense -- by over 500 yards, and won 42-7. Stanford crushed Arizona, 42-17; both victories were worth over 78 points of SRS.
- Two "Big-6" schools came in with pitiful performances this Saturday. Vanderbilt lost, at home, to Florida, 55-14. And Colorado lost 52-45 to Kansas, the #100 school in the country. The Jayhawks, down 42-17 in the fourth quarter scored 35 points in just over 10 minutes to pull the crazy, come from behind victory.
- After crushing East Carolina 76-35, Navy has now passed Notre Dame as the top independent school in the country.
- It was not a good weekend for the historical powerhouses in the Big XII. Texas lost again, most worrisome because that's no longer even news. The Longhorns are now 4-5, and last in the South division in both record and the SRS. Yes, that means both Oklahoma schools and all three Texas schools are fielding better teams than UT. Mind-boggling. The only good news for the large contingent of northeast Longhorn fans? Things are looking good for them to grab the Big 12 #6 (excluding BCS teams) spot to face off against the Big East's #3 team in the Pinstripe Bowl. But that's only if Texas can win two more games. Oklahoma played terribly against Texas A&M, picking up their second loss of the season. It was the Sooners' second-worst SRS performance of the year, ahead of an ugly 7-point victory over Utah State on opening day. Nebraska pulled out a victory over Iowa State in overtime. The Cyclones called a fake-extra point after scoring a touchdown in the extra frame, but the backup punter/holder missed the wide open receiver in the end zone. The only question left: How did Texas ever beat Nebraska?
- The conference races are starting to get clear. Boise State and TCU both effectively won their conferences on Saturday by defeating undefeated conference opponents. Oregon will clinch the Pac-10 soon: Arizona and Oregon State both had just one conference loss coming into the weekend and a future date with the Ducks. But after Stanford and UCLA came up with big victories against them on Saturday, the Ducks will head to the Fiesta Bowl if they run the table and the Rose Bowl even if they drop one. The Big 10 has a four-way race that's so complicated that no team controls its own destiny; everyone held serve this weekend. Virginia Tech has the Coastal division all but mathematically clinched. The Atlantic division got even muddier this weekend. FSU, Maryland and N.C. State sit atop the division with two losses -- and that's after *all* of them lost this weekend. Clemson travels to Doak Campbell Stadium this weekend in a game that will have huge implications.
- The Big 12 North will go to Nebraska unless they somehow lose two out of three to Kansas, Texas A&M and Colorado. Oklahoma State tops the South division by a game, and has a key tiebreakers over A&M and Baylor. But that division will almost certainly come down to the instate showdown against the Sooners on November 27th. With upcoming games against the Longhorns and Jayhawks, the Cowboys are positioning themselves for this year's Bedlam showdown to be the biggest game in 26 years. Cue the jinx, Doug. The winner of that game should play Nebraska, with the winner of that game playing in an absurdly anticlimactic bowl game. Their opponent in the Fiesta will almost certainly be the Big East winner. Who will that be? Pittsburgh is not only the clear best team (SRS 50.9; West Virginia is next at 44.8) but has no conference losses. The other seven teams in the conference all have exactly two losses. The Panthers are almost certainly going to win the Big East; South Florida, which hosts Pitt on the 20th, and West Virginia, have the slimmest of chances to steal the conference. Over in the SEC, South Carolina's loss this weekend doesn't change anything, nor does LSU's win. The Gamecocks and the Ol' Ball Coach head to the Swamp on the 13th, with the winner heading to Atlanta for the SECCG. LSU knocked Alabama out of the title race, but their H2H loss to Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium means the Auburn Tigers are going to the SECCG as long as they win one of their last two against Georgia and Alabama. Most importantly: Auburn will have to beat Georgia, Alabama and most likely Florida to get to the BCS title game. Tigers fans, don't book your tickets to Glendale just yet.