Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Final for 2011 Season)

Alabama is the Nation's Top Team After Winning the BCS Title Game

Now that the bowls are over, we’ll take our final shot at ranking the best 25 college football teams in the nation. Like every other publication, we’ll probably have differing opinions from yours. But please, feel free to share any discrepancies below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Final for 2011 Season)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1) (LW: 3)

2. LSU Tigers (13-1) (LW: 1)

3. Oklahoma State Cowboys (12-1) (LW: 2)

4. Oregon Ducks (12-2) (LW: 5)

5. USC Trojans (10-2) (LW: 6)

6. Arkansas Razorbacks (11-2) (LW: 8)

7. Stanford Cardinal (11-2) (LW: 4)

8. Boise State Broncos (12-1) (LW: 7)

9. South Carolina Gamecocks (11-2) (LW: 11)

10. Wisconsin Badgers (11-3) (LW: 9) Continue reading

BBVA Compass Bowl Recap: SMU over Pittsburgh, 28-6

SMU's J.J. McDermott Led His Team to a Commanding 28-6 Victory Over Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl

What Happened: While neither team really bothered rushing the ball (71 total yards on the ground between the two teams), it was the SMU defense that surprisingly led the Mustangs to a big victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Without a legitimate rushing game, SMU still managed to move the ball fairly well, racking up 239 yards through the air, while also owning a slight lead in time of possession. Given the strength of the defenses in this matchup, both squads combined for just 25 first downs on the game — a strong statement on just how inefficient both gameplans ended up being.

Who’s to Blame: Pitt was obviously under-coached by their interim head coach Keith Patterson, who was probably far more focused on his upcoming gig with Arkansas State next season. With no real defensive scheme, nor any real field presence by quarterback Tino Sunseri, the Panthers looked overmatched by their supposedly lesser foe. Failing to score until 33 minutes into the contest, Pitt appeared to be in disarray, with little production on offense, nor the personnel to truly capitalize on what should have been a weak Mustangs’ front. Continue reading

Hypothetical College Football Playoff (Week 15)

A Playoff Would Still Likely Result in LSU Hoisting Up the National Championship Trophy

For the final time in 2011, we’ll discuss what a 16-team college football playoff would look like. Using the BCS standings, we’ll hand out five at-large berths, to go along with the 11 conference champions, who all receive automatic bids. There are no limits on how many teams from one league can qualify, and conferences may very well end up facing each other in the first round. Teams are seeded in order of BCS ranking, and reseeded after each round.

First Round (winners in italics)

#1 LSU Tigers (SEC champ) v. NR Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (WAC champ)

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (at-large) v. NR Northern Illinois Huskies (MAC champ)

#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champ) v. NR Arkansas State Red Wolves (Sun Belt champ) 

#4 Stanford Cardinal (at-large) v. #23 West Virginia Mountaineers (Big East champ)

#5 Oregon Ducks (Pac-12 champ) v. #21 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (C-USA champ)

#6 Arkansas Razorbacks (at-large) v. #18 TCU Horned Frogs (MWC champ)

#7 Boise State Broncos (at-large) v. #15 Clemson Tigers (ACC champ)

#8 Kansas State Wildcats (at-large) v. #10 Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten champ)

Quarterfinals

#1 LSU Tigers v. #10 Wisconsin Badgers

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #7 Boise State Broncos

#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys v. #6 Arkansas Razorbacks

#4 Stanford Cardinal v. #5 Oregon Ducks

Semifinals

#1 LSU Tigers v. #5 Oregon Ducks

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys

National Championship (Rose Bowl)

#1 LSU Tigers over #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys

After a weekend of unexpected results, we saw a very different field for this hypothetical playoff. And yet, the champion remains the same. Some differences of note this week — Oklahoma State ends up in the National Championship Game (as they should be in the real world), mostly chalk moves on throughout this projection and this tournament sorely misses out by not including USC. Just for fun, let’s quickly examine what would happen if they weren’t ineligible, and they held the number-four seed (likely if they’d played and beaten Oregon for the Pac-12 title):

Round 1 Winners: #1 LSU, #2 ‘Bama, #3 OSU, #4 USC, #5 Stanford, #6 Arkansas, #7 Oregon, #10 Wisc.

Round 2 Winners: #1 LSU, #7 Oregon, #3 OSU, #4 USC

Final: LSU over OSU

… Same result, yes. But a much more entertaining way to get there, in my opinion.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 15)

LSU Finishes the Regular Season as the Unbeaten, Undisputed Number-One Team

Like pretty much every other publication out there, we like to compile our own lists concerning who the “real” top 25 teams in college football are. As always with these sorts of things, the list is completely subjective and was created with our own ideas of what makes a team “worthy” of their respective rank. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 15)

1. LSU Tigers (13-0) (LW: 1)

2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1) (LW: 4)

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) (LW: 2)

4. Stanford Cardinal (11-1) (LW: 3)

5. Oregon Ducks (11-2) (LW: 8 )

6. USC Trojans (10-2) (LW: 6)

7. Boise State Broncos (11-1) (LW: 7)

8. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2) (LW: 9)

9. Wisconsin Badgers (11-2) (LW: 15)

10. Kansas State Wildcats (10-2) (LW: 16)

11. South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2) (LW: 12)

12. Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2) (LW: 5)

13. Michigan State Spartans (10-3) (LW: 14)

14. Clemson Tigers (10-3) (LW: 21)

15. Baylor Bears (9-3) (LW: 18)

16. Michigan Wolverines (10-2) (LW: 17)

17. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (11-2) (LW: 23)

18. TCU Horned Frogs (10-2) (LW: 19)

19. Houston Cougars (12-1) (LW: 10)

20. Oklahoma Sooners (9-3) (LW: 11)

21. Georgia Bulldogs (10-3) (LW: 13)

22. Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3) (LW: 20)

23. West Virginia Mountaineers (9-3) (LW: 24)

24. Florida State Seminoles (8-4) (LW: 22)

25. Arkansas State Red Wolves (10-2) (LW: 25)

Dropped out: None

Per conference: SEC (5), Big Ten (4), Big 12 (4), ACC (3), Pac-12 (3), MWC (2), C-USA (2), Big East (1), Sun Belt (1)

Hypothetical College Football Playoff (Week 14)

If LSU Beats Georgia Saturday, There's Little Doubt We're Headed for an All-SEC Title Game

Each week, we’ll discuss what a 16-team college football playoff would look like. Using the BCS standings, we’ll hand out five at-large berths, to go along with the 11 conference champions, who all receive automatic bids (decided by head-to-head tiebreakers if no conference title game here). There are no limits on how many teams from one league can qualify, and conferences may very well end up facing each other in the first round. Teams are seeded in order of BCS ranking, and reseeded after each round.

First Round (winners in italics)

#1 LSU Tigers (SEC champ) v. NR Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (WAC champ)

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (at-large) v. NR Northern Illinois Huskies (MAC champ)

#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champ) v. NR Arkansas State Red Wolves (Sun Belt champ) 

#4 Stanford Cardinal (at-large) v. #23 West Virginia Mountaineers (Big East champ)

#5  Virginia Tech Hokies (ACC champ) v. #18 TCU Horned Frogs (MWC champ)

#6 Houston Cougars (C-USA champ) v. #13 Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten champ)

#7 Boise State Broncos (at-large) v. #10 Oklahoma Sooners (at-large)

#8 Arkansas Razorbacks (at-large) v. #9 Oregon Ducks (Pac-12 champ)

Quarterfinals

#1 LSU Tigers v. #13 Michigan State Spartans

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #10 Oklahoma Sooners

#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys v. #9 Oregon Ducks

#4 Stanford Cardinal v. #5 Virginia Tech Hokies

Semifinals

#1 LSU Tigers v. #9 Oregon Ducks

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #4 Stanford Cardinal

National Championship (Rose Bowl)

#1 LSU Tigers over #2 Alabama Crimson Tide

Based on this weekend’s championship games, these rankings are guaranteed to change. With a big win over Oklahoma, OSU could still (potentially) leapfrog Alabama into the number-two spot, and LSU could (but won’t) lose the SEC title game. If Michigan State manages to win the Big Ten title, they could also potentially move into the top 10 of these rankings. Taking a look at the SEC/Pac-12 semifinals, it remains the most likely scenario as they, along with the Cowboys, are the least-flawed teams in this field.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 14)

If Not For Their Postseason Ban, Could USC Go Even Higher Than Sixth?

Like pretty much every other publication out there, we like to compile our own lists concerning who the “real” top 25 teams in college football are. As always with these sorts of things, the list is completely subjective and was created with our own ideas of what makes a team “worthy” of their respective rank. Feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments below.

Atlantic Coast Convos Top 25 (Week 14)

1. LSU Tigers (12-0) (LW: 1)

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) (LW: 2)

3. Stanford Cardinal (11-1) (LW: 4)

4. Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1) (LW: 5)

5. Virginia Tech Hokies (11-1) (LW: 6)

6. USC Trojans (10-2) (LW: 8 )

7. Boise State Broncos (10-1) (LW: 7)

8. Oregon Ducks (10-2) (LW: 9)

9. Arkansas Razorbacks (10-2) (LW: 3)

10. Houston Cougars (12-0) (LW: 10)

11. Oklahoma Sooners (9-2) (LW: 11)

12. South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2) (LW: 13)

13. Georgia Bulldogs (10-2) (LW: 15)

14. Michigan State Spartans (10-2) (LW: 14)

15. Wisconsin Badgers (10-2) (LW: 16)

16. Kansas State Wildcats (9-2) (LW: 12)

17. Michigan Wolverines (10-2) (LW: 17)

18. Baylor Bears (8-3) (LW: 19)

19. TCU Horned Frogs (9-2) (LW: 20)

20. Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3) (LW: 24)

21. Clemson Tigers (9-3) (LW: 18)

22. Florida State Seminoles (8-4) (LW: NR)

23. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (10-2) (LW: NR)

24. West Virginia Mountaineers (8-3) (LW: NR)

25. Arkansas State Red Wolves (9-2) (LW: 25)

Dropped out:

Penn State, Notre Dame, Virginia

Per conference: SEC (5), Big Ten (4), Big 12 (4), ACC (3), Pac-12 (3), MWC (2), C-USA (2), Big East (1), Sun Belt (1)

Hypothetical College Football Playoff (Week 13)

Les Miles and LSU Continue To Win in Real Life and in Our Hypothetical Playoff

Each week, we’ll discuss what a 16-team college football playoff would look like. Using the BCS standings, we’ll hand out five at-large berths, to go along with the 11 conference champions, who all receive automatic bids (decided by head-to-head tiebreakers if no conference title game here). There are no limits on how many teams from one league can qualify, and conferences may very well end up facing each other in the first round. Teams are seeded in order of BCS ranking, and reseeded after each round.

First Round (winners in italics)

#1 LSU Tigers (SEC champ) v. NR Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (WAC champ)

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (at-large) v. NR Northern Illinois Huskies (MAC champ)

#3 Arkansas Razorbacks (at-large) v. NR Arkansas State Red Wolves (Sun Belt champ) 

#4 Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champ) v, NR West Virginia Mountaineers (Big East champ)

#5 Virginia Tech Hokies (ACC champ) v. #20 TCU Horned Frogs (MWC champ)

#6 Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champ) v. #14 Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten champ)

#7 Boise State Broncos (at-large) v. #10 Oregon Ducks (at-large)

#8 Houston Cougars (C-USA champ)  v. #9 Oklahoma Sooners (at-large)

Quarterfinals

#1 LSU Tigers v. #20 TCU Horned Frogs

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #10 Oregon Ducks

#3 Arkansas Razorbacks v. #9 Oklahoma Sooners

#4 Oklahoma State Cowboys v. #6 Stanford Cardinal

Semifinals

#1 LSU Tigers v. #4 Oklahoma State Cowboys

#2 Alabama Crimson Tide v. #3 Arkansas Razorbacks

National Championship (Rose Bowl)

#1 LSU Tigers over #2 Alabama Crimson Tide

Big upsets over this past weekend created a pretty sizable seeding shake-up, allowing Boise State to re-enter the playoffs while also almost knocking out Oregon. Since there’s still plenty of room for error in these most recent BCS standings, there were plenty of upsets in the hypothetical first round (three of eight lower seeds won). Unfortunately, this ended up creating several unfavorable second-round matchups (OSU-Stanford, ‘Bama-Oregon) for underdogs that look insurmountable on paper. So once again, after round one, it was all chalk. Fun to see in-state opening round games like LSU-Louisiana Tech and Arkansas-Arkansas State shake out though.