Posted 10/30/2012 at 04:31 PM
As expected several top teams came crashing down last week in the college rankings but it was not necessarily the teams that most expected. Six teams in the top 15 of the BCS rankings a week ago lost last week including four undefeated teams and two highly ranked one-loss teams. While right now everyone is clamoring for the new four-team playoff system that will implement in two years as we have a very clear top four, it is pretty unlikely that all four of those teams make it out unbeaten. It is not worth debating which two teams would be most deserving of the title game shot right now, as things should clear up in the coming weeks.
It is interesting that Oregon is getting penalized for its computer ratings but if margin of victory was allowed to be a factor in those ratings things would be quite different. Notre Dame’s win over Oklahoma was certainly huge and if the Irish do run the table – they will match the best wins for both Kansas State and Oregon and will certainly be an interesting case. The light schedule the next few weeks will hurt the Irish however.
The SEC still has five of the top eight teams in the BCS rankings and South Carolina’s strong standing despite two losses means that the SEC will likely maintain a strong hold on the bottom half of the top ten even when the inevitable losses add up as the league schedule finishes. With Ohio State ineligible the Big Ten does not have a team in the top 19 of the BCS rankings.
The AFC made a statement last week with wins in three of four games against the NFC and Pittsburgh and Denver had convincing statement wins, albeit against losing teams. Both of those teams figure to charge forward in the coming weeks in the AFC picture after sluggish starts through challenging schedules. The Patriots remain the most dangerous team in the NFL and despite a few narrow losses this is a team that will be there late. Atlanta, Chicago, and the Giants all gained separation in the division standings last week and the race for the final wild card in the NFC could get very interesting. It appears safe to assume that Green Bay will move forward into playoff position but the final spot could be wide open.
Last week featured an interesting play in the Chicago/Carolina game that raises the question of why the rule is in place. Leading by one late in the game Chicago opted to go for the two-point conversion – standard practice with a one-point lead. It might not be such an easy decision however if the defense was allowed to return turnovers on those plays for two points, like they are allowed to in college football. That would have happened Sunday on a Jay Cutler interception and it took a while before the play was blown dead. It would have been an incredible play as a one-point lead would have turned to a one-point deficit.
Underdogs continue to hit at a nearly 62 percent clip in the NFL this season and road underdogs have been even stronger at 64 percent. Home underdogs have done well, but not at the same level at just below 60 percent. There will be a chance to improve that mark this week as at least five teams figure to be a home underdog in week 9. Despite the early ‘over’ run, totals are nearly dead even on the year. In contrast college underdogs have hit just over 51 percent on the season. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…