Hypothetical College Football Playoffs 2012: Week 11

The BCS Computers Are Coming Around On the Ducks, and So is Our Hypothetical Playoff

Now that the dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (following the 2014 season), this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-two-years feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (courtesy of BCSGuru for teams outside of top 25), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. Also, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Top Eight Seeds (in order): Alabama, Kansas StateOregon, Notre Dame, Georgia, FloridaLSU, South Carolina

Semifinal 1: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Notre Dame

Semifinal 2: #2 Kansas State vs. #3 Oregon

National Championship Game: Alabama over Oregon

Thus far this year, there’s a top four, and then everyone else. That may change, but with the evidence we’ve amassed through nine games, these are your best teams and a playoff would be the perfect way to decide which of them is best. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait on that in real life, but here, we get to “watch” it play out. I’m more and more convinced each week that Oregon and Alabama would be the most fun you’ll ever have watching a National Championship Game, while ND vs. Alabama could be the most insufferable of all possibilities. Unless LSU creeps back into the top four, it’s hard to visualize another team punching ‘Bama in the mouth quite like the Tigers did last Saturday night.

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…

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Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25: Week 11

Oregon’s Outburst on Saturday Vaults Them Back Up to the No. 2 Spot in Our Rankings

As is customary, we’ll be bringing you a new take on the top 25 teams in the country each Monday during the regular season. As we enter the home stretch, our title contenders seem pretty locked in, though the rest will likely take another month to properly sort themselves out. Disagree at all? Feel free to share that with us below (respectfully, of course).

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25 (Week 11)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) (LW: 1) (First-place votes: 5)

2. Oregon Ducks (9-0) (LW: 3)

3. Kansas State Wildcats (9-0) (LW: 2)

4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-0) (LW: 4)

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0) (LW: 6)

6. Florida State Seminoles (8-1) (LW: 7)

7. Georgia Bulldogs (8-1) (LW: 9)

9. Florida Gators (8-1) (LW: 8)

9. LSU Tigers (7-2) (LW: 5)

10. Clemson Tigers (8-1) (LW: 11)

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Hypothetical College Football Playoffs 2012: Week 10

Despite Their Continued Drop in the BCS Rankings, it’s Hard to Ignore Oregon

Now that the dream of a playoff has turned into a reality (following the 2014 season), this realistic-but-still-hypothetical-for-two-years feature actually has some outside guidelines to follow: four teams, two semifinal spots and then a championship game. We currently have no clue how teams will be determined, how polls will be released, or who will put them together. So with that in mind, we’re going with the BCS rankings (courtesy of BCSGuru for teams outside of top 25), for lack of an on-hand committee to spit out a detailed list. Also, for our own enjoyment, you’ll find a 16-team hypothetical tournament below. Just because it’s too much fun not to think about.

If the Four-Team Playoff Started This Year…

Top Eight Seeds (in order): Alabama, Kansas StateNotre Dame, Oregon, LSU, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina

Semifinal 1: #1 Alabama vs. #4 Oregon

Semifinal 2: #2 Kansas State vs. #3 Notre Dame

National Championship Game: Alabama over Kansas State

While there was plenty of upheaval in and around the top 10 this weekend, we also saw some separation begin to occur. There’s little doubt that the top four teams listed here are the best in the country. Now the problems concern where they’re supposed to be seeded, and why we can’t just skip the waiting period and have a playoff this year. As SB Nation’s Bill Connelly so accurately pointed out yesterday, “We have a playoff emergency.”

If There Was a 16 Team Playoff…

 

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Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25: Week 10

Notre Dame’s Big Win Over Oklahoma Solidifies Them as a National Championship Threat

As is customary, we’ll be bringing you a new take on the top 25 teams in the country each Monday during the regular season. The theme of this past weekend was upheaval, and the BCS picture is looking as cloudy as ever, still with eight or nine teams in the championship conversation. Disagree at all? Feel free to share that with us below (respectfully, of course).

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25 (Week 10)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) (LW: 1) (First-place votes: 5)

2. Kansas State Wildcats (8-0) (LW: 4)

3. Oregon Ducks (8-0) (LW: 3)

4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-0) (LW: 5)

5. LSU Tigers (7-1) (LW: 6)

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-0) (LW: 9)

7. Florida State Seminoles (8-1) (LW: 10)

8. Florida Gators (7-1) (LW: 2)

9. Georgia Bulldogs (7-1) (LW: 14)

10. South Carolina Gamecocks (7-2) (LW: 15)

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BCS Rankings: A Closer Look at Strength of Schedule, Part II

The Florida Gators are One of Several Teams Whose Strength of Schedule Provides a Big BCS Advantage

In part one, we looked at the undefeated and one-loss BCS conference football teams and compared the win percentages of their opponents so far to estimate strength of schedule. However, we came up with some results that just didn’t look right. I mean, Texas Tech at no. 1, Oklahoma at no. 5 — ahead of both Alabama and Oregon. What’s wrong here?

If you looked carefully, you may have detected the problem already — we are giving Texas Tech and Oklahoma credit for opponents they lost to! Why should the Red Raiders be able to count Oklahoma’s five wins if they weren’t able to beat the Sooners head-to-head? Why should the Sooners take credit for Kansas State‘s 7-0 record?

So we need another table, this time only showing winning percentage of the opponents each teams actually beat.

That’s better; at least an unbeaten team (Florida) is back on top, though the pesky Red Raiders are still hanging out in second place. Alabama and Oregon move in front of Oklahoma in this list as well, which is intuitive. Louisville remains at the bottom — the Cardinals haven’t lost, but they haven’t really beaten anybody either. Ohio State and Kansas State both move in front of Cincinnati, since the Bearcats are not allowed to count Toledo‘s seven wins.

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Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25: Week Nine

Kansas State Continues to Win Big, Positioning Itself for a Shot at the National Championship

As is customary, we’ll be bringing you a new take on the top 25 teams in the country each Monday during the regular season. The top 10 remained largely unchanged this week, while chaos reigned on the rest of the ballots. Disagree at all? Feel free to share that with us below (respectfully, of course).

Atlantic Coast Convos 2012 Top 25 (Week Nine)

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) (LW: 1) (First-place votes: 4)

2. Florida Gators (7-0) (LW: 3) (1)

3. Oregon Ducks (7-0) (LW: 2)

4. Kansas State Wildcats (7-0) (LW: 5)

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0) (LW: 4)

6. LSU Tigers (7-1) (LW: 10)

7. Oklahoma Sooners (5-1) (LW: 9)

8. Oregon State Beavers (6-0) (LW: 7)

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0) (LW: 6)

10. Florida State Seminoles (7-1) (LW: 11)

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ACC 2012 Season Preview: Syracuse Orange

After a Disappointing Finish Last Year, the Heat is On Syracuse Head Coach Doug Marrone to Deliver a Winning Season in 2012

Team: Syracuse Orange

2011 W-L: 5-7 (1-6)

Head Coach: Doug Marrone (17-20; fourth season)

Returning Starters: 12 (5 Offense, 7 Defense)

The 2011 season couldn’t have been more frustrating for the Syracuse Orange. Coming off the high of their first bowl win since 2001, big things were expected from SU under coach Doug Marrone. And yes, there were plenty of big accomplishments — a huge Friday night win over West Virginia at the Carrier Dome, the invite to the ACC and Chandler Jones‘s rise into the mid-first round of the NFL Draft, in particular. But what will stick out most is almost certainly the bad. The media smear campaign against them just because they were charter members of the Big East (oh well). The botched referee call versus Toledo. And of course, the horrendous five-game losing streak to end the season. Needless to say, ‘Cuse fans would love to move on to 2012 and leave last year dead and buried in the backyard.

After scoring 30 or more points in four of their first seven games (all wins), SU would never score more than 21 in any of their final five contests. The running game went stale, and quarterback Ryan Nassib — the picture of accuracy throughout the season’s first seven games — tried too hard to pick up the slack and as a result, began making poor decisions that ultimately removed SU from games completely. From a fan’s point of view, play-calling appeared unimaginative and downright suspect, repeatedly going after the same holes and same receivers with the same maddeningly awful results. But still, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett maintained his position and is back on for another go-around with his Tecmo Bowl playbook. Continue reading