Monday, October 13, 2003

College Football Weekend Wrapup

Going to the Sox tonight!

The first BCS ratings don't come out for another week, but the incredible number of defeated top ten teams Saturday sure whittled down the field of potential Sugar Bowl participants. With Arkansas, Florida State, LSU, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Texas all losing, it seems safe to say that one Sugar Bowl birth will go to Oklahoma, the other to the Miami-Virginia Tech winner November 1, provided that neither team gets upset the rest of the way. But what if they do? Who stands to benefit the most?

The ECF (Eisenberg's College Football) Championship race wasn't and isn't intended as a BCS predictor, but it does work well that way. Last year for instance, there were five teams eligible for the ECF Championship going into the bowl games - Iowa, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC. All five played in the BCS games, including both Miami and Ohio State in the so-called "championship" game. So the question becomes, what can the ECF tell us about this year? Who is still alive for the BCS title if Oklahoma or the Miami/Va Tech winner falters?

Let's just look at the BCS conferences for now. Maybe tomorrow I'll talk about the others.

ACC - There's no one left, unless you count Miami and Virginia Tech.

Big East - There's no one left, unless you count Miami and Virginia Tech.

Big Ten - There are five teams left - Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue Michigan St, and Ohio St - but very little margin for error left for any of them, and there's still most of the conference schedule ahead. I would say it's not their year.

Big 12 - Everyone in the North Division is eliminated, while Oklahoma St and Texas Tech still survive along with Oklahoma in the South. The Sooners play at the Red Raiders the last week of the season.

PAC 10 - USC, Washington St, and Oregon St are all still around, have suffered very little damage, and don't have a conference championship game to contend with. The Trojans get both of them at home.

SEC - Only Georgia survives. Going the rest of the way undefeated in that conference looks very difficult now that the Gators were able to go into Baton Rouge and win, something the Bulldogs were unable to do.

For my money, I think that USC is perfectly positioned for the Sugar Bowl. They don't control their own destiny, but they seem the most likely to benefit should either the Miami/Virginia Tech winner or Oklahoma drop a game.


Here are the current ECF standings. There are 23 teams left in contention for the ECF Championship. Teams that have beaten a Top Ten team are in bold:

Teams eliminated from the ECF Championship yesterday (11):
Arkansas, FSU, Kansas, LSU, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pitt, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas, Virginia

Teams With A Perfect Record (4):
Miami, Oklahoma, TCU, Virginia Tech

Teams With A Half-Acceptable Loss (4):
Louisville, USC, Washington State

Teams With One Acceptable Loss (9):
Air Force, Boise St, BG, Georgia, Iowa, N Illinois, Oklahoma St, Oregon St, Utah

Teams That Have To Remain Perfect The Rest Of The Way, either due to having an Unacceptable Loss Protected By The Three Weeks Rule, Or By Reaching Their Maximum Number Of Acceptable Losses (7):
Texas Tech, Miami OH, Ohio St, Wisconsin, Purdue, Mich St, Houston

ECF Championship Rules

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