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New Orleans Bowl Preview

The New Orleans Bowl sees Ohio come south to play Troy, who returns to the game after a year away.  The game will be played indoors at the Superdome, which sound a lot better than the weather at the two earlier games today.  Kickoff is at 9 PM Eastern, on ESPN.

Troy

Troy (7-5, 6-2) will call themselves co-champions of the Sun Belt, but the fact is they tied with FIU, who beat them straight up, so the co-champions bit is absurd.  Nonetheless, this was a solid year for the Trojans, who had to replace a ton of players from their (actual) championship team from last year.  Troy was only 1-3 out of conference, but they beat the only MAC team they played, woeful Bowling Green.

Troy gets their work done in the air, #12 nationally in passing yardage.  They’re giving up 31 points per game, although getting wrecked by South Carolina for 69 points has something to do with that average.  On the flipside, even with the USC loss, they haven’t been held under 24 since October.

Ohio

Ohio started 1-3, then ran off 7 straight wins and appeared ready to waltz into the MAC championship game after taking down Temple.  Then, completely inexplicably, they lost to Kent State and finished 2nd in the division behind Miami.  They racked up the wins quietly, but did beat their only Sun Belt foe when Louisiana came to town.

Ohio is a fairly balanced team, but generally a run first orientation.  Each win in their seven game streak saw them score over 30, but in three of their losses they were held to 6, 7, and 13, so there are ways to put the Bobcats off their game.

Prediction

I feel like this should actually be a very competitive football game, and maybe too close to call.  It won’t be what you think Oregon-Auburn is going to be, but it should be a good game nonetheless.  Vegas gives the nod to Troy by 2.5, and I was leaning towards Troy, but I wouldn’t bet big on it.  Troy 30-27.

Humanitarian Bowl Preview

The Humanitarian Bowl pits 10-3 Northern Illinois against 8-4 Fresno State, tonight at 5:30 Eastern, on ESPN as usual. The teams take to the blue turf in Boise, Idaho, an outdoor field where the weather calls for a near 100% chance of snow and/or rain, with a high of 36 degrees.

Northern Illinois

NIU arrives by way of the MAC Championship game, where they lost to Miami in what has to be seen as a massive upset, following an 8-0 MAC season.  Along the way, they picked up a Big 10 win over Minnesota, joining the parade of teams to accomplish that feat this year.

The Huskies, except for the Miami game, have been near impossible to stop and just as hard to score on, still ranking in the top 20 nationally in both stats.  They haven’t been held under 20 since week 1, and beat the second best team in their division 65-30  a few weeks ago.  If they can bounce back from losing the championship game, they’ll be difficult to beat tonight.

Fresno State

The Bulldogs quietly put together another nice season in the shadows of Boise State and Nevada.  They picked up two BCS conference wins, taking down Cincinnati and Illinois, and went 5-3 in the conference.  They only lost consecutive games once, to the leagues top two teams over six days.

The defense may be a bit suspect, but facing Boise State & Nevada will wreck any defensive stats.  Fresno is giving up 29 points per game, matched with the 30 they’re scoring each week, which has left them in as many close games as you would imagine.

Prediction

On paper, this one should belong to Northern Illinois.  But the tough loss to end the year, Fresno’s familiarity with the blue turf (they were there less than a month ago), and their confidence coming in off two good wins could even the score.  NIU is favored by 1.5, but I think I’m going to predict a win for Fresno State, 34-30.

New Mexico Bowl Preview

After a couple week hiatus, college football and the Fringe are back for bowl season, with short and straightforward looks at the non-BCS bowl teams and how they got to where they are.  Things kick off at 2 PM Eastern today with BYU facing UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl, played in Albuquerque.  The game is outside, where the high temperature should be in the mid 40s, with a chance of snow early and rain late.

BYU

BYU comes in 6-6, 5-3 in the Mountain West, after a 2-4 start that included a bad loss to rival Utah State.  Things turned around at midseason, and the Cougars nearly upset flailing Utah in the final week of the year.  This is their first trip to a bowl other than Las Vegas in years.

Except for the 17-16 Utah loss, the BYU offense has been clicking down the stretch, putting up 55, 49, and 40 in the three games prior.  Including the Utah game, they allowed just 10 points per game in November.

UTEP

UTEP arrives after some horse trading landed this bowl for them and Conference USA, since the school is about 4 hours from the bowl site, much closer than the rest of the league’s options.  UTEP started the year 5-1, feasting on weaker opponents early before getting knocked around by the better teams in C-USA, where they finished 3-5, 6-6 overall.

The Miners haven’t played since November 20, when their regular season ended with a loss to Tulsa.  The lone bright spot near the end was knocking off eventual division winner SMU, but otherwise UTEP has lost a handful of close games to close things out.  They’re a balanced team, with middle rankings on the ground and in the air, and senior QB Trevor Vittatoe can be lights out when he’s playing well.

Predictions

BYU comes in with the momentum and probably better talent too, and should have their way with UTEP, but it may not be so simple.  The Miners will have to play their best game, and at least at the beginning of the year, BYU showed that you could throw them off by scoring on them early.  The line is BYU by 11.5, but I think that UTEP can keep it closer and could steal the win in this one, but they’ll have to get it done early since they haven’t shown an ability to close games.  BYU 30-20.

Fringe Hangover: Weekend Implications

It was another quiet week on the site, but a crazy week in fringe college football.  Boise’s hopes were dashed by a very good Nevada team, and if you’re a regular reader here you’re less surprised by that than most.  The two conference championship games fell into place on Friday, and the last league championship appears to be settled as well.

MAC

Miami beat Temple on Tuesday night in what was seen as a game for second place in the division, since Ohio just had to clear Kent State on Friday to get back to Detroit.  But to everyone’s surprise, Kent State rose up and stomped the Bobcats, which hands the East to Miami with a 7-1 MAC record, ensuring a bowl for the Redhawks and sending them to Detroit to face Northern Illinois, who punched their ticket last week.  Also, Akron beat Buffalo to avoid a 0-12 season.

C-USA

SMU beat ECU with an overtime interception to clinch the West on Friday afternoon, and then Tulsa finished out their impressive run by stopping Southern Miss Friday night, which handed the East to UCF before they stepped on the field.  C-USA reached out to the BCS folks, who determined that even if UCF lost, they’d finish ahead of SMU in the extended BCS standings, so it was determined that UCF would host SMU next Saturday for the league title.  UCF did go on to beat Memphis, finishing with a 7-1 league record.

Sun Belt

Florida International clinched at least a share of the Sun Belt title and, almost certainly, the New Orleans bowl bid, since they hold the tiebreaker over Troy head-to-head.  Troy won to stay a game back, but they are the only two bowl eligible teams so far anyway, although Middle Tennessee won also to keep their bowl hopes alive.  Still, FIU joins Miami as one of the most impressive surprise stories this year.

WAC

The WAC will most likely finish as a 3 way tie, with Nevada taking down Boise State in overtime Friday night.  All 3 will be crowned co-champs, and the league will work with the Kraft and Humanitarian bowls to assign locations, although there is talk that the league will try to get Boise placed in a higher profile bowl against a better opponent than they might get in the H-Bowl.  Elsewhere, Fresno State topped Idaho, removing the Vandals hopes of going bowling.

Mountain West

TCU took care of New Mexico and appears bound for the Rose Bowl, although you won’t find bigger Steve Spurrier fans anywhere else outside of Dallas this week.  Utah “saved” its season with 17 4th quarter points to win The Holy War over rival BYU, 17-16, and finish with 10 wins for the umpteenth time.

Thanks for popping in despite an erratic posting schedule lately.  Hopefully a busy week here, with bowl projections and previews of the championship games, but we’ll see.

Fringe Hangover: Conference Pictures Clearing Up

With a week to go in the MAC & C-USA, and only two weeks for the other guys, we’re finally getting a good picture of how the conference championships may play out.  Your weekend highlights:

Sun Belt

FIU topped Louisiana comfortably to remain in control of the league.  Troy went out of conference and got smoked by South Carolina, but that won’t impact the league race.  Overall, the championship scenarios remain unchanged.

C-USA

In the east, UCF and Southern Miss won, while ECU took a bad beating from Rice to see their championship hopes fade.  UCF wins the east with a win over Memphis and would host the championship game.  If UCF losses and Southern Miss wins, USM wins the east.  If they both lose and ECU beats SMU, ECU wins the east and would host the championship game.  Finally, if all 3 lose, it goes back to UCF.

Out west, Houston’s loss to Southern Miss ends their hopes.  SMU and Tulsa are now tied, with ECU and USM next week, respectively.  If one wins and one loses, you have your champ.  If both win or both lose, it’s SMU on tiebreaker.

MAC

No major developments in the league yesterday, although Western Michigan knocked Kent State out of bowl eligibility for good.  NIU has clinched the western division by beating Ball State yesterday, while Ohio still just has to beat Kent State on Friday to secure their spot, or have Miami lose to Temple Tuesday.

WAC

Boise State obliterated Fresno State on Friday night, while Nevada thrashed NM State to keep their place somewhere in the top 20 ahead of the final WAC showdown this week.  Of course, if Nevada does beat Boise, it just means a three way tie atop the WAC, with Hawaii joining in too.

MWC

TCU already has it won, of course, but Utah narrowly escaped San Diego State with a late rally to lock in 2nd place in the league.  Elsewhere, Colorado State and Wyoming brought the curtain down on tough seasons with the Cowboys thrashing CSU 44-0.  BYU is also bowl eligible now after beating hapless New Mexico.

Non-BCS Top 25

Once again, this comes in a bit late, but it’s one of my favorite posts to write, so you get to read it anyway.  There were also 2 MAC games last night, neither of which are terribly interesting, but Miami barely escaped winless Akron, while Toledo dispatched Bowling Green.  Now, on with my rankings.

School W L Last Week This Week BCS Ranking
1 Boise State 9 0 d. Idaho Fresno State 4
Let’s be clear- I’ve had Boise ahead all season, not just because SDSU played TCU close.  I’ve thought all along that if the two played, Boise would come out on top. Again. Hopefully we’ll have to wait until next year to find out.
2 TCU 11 0 d. San Diego State idle 3
Oregon was hastily forgiven for nearly losing to Cal, so I have no problem in doing the same for TCU, especially because I think SDSU could beat Cal.
3 Nevada 9 1 d. Fresno State New Mexico State 18
Nevada picked up from its loss to Hawaii and has kept on rolling, but got quite a fight from Fresno last week.  The good news is that they’re climbing high enough, they could stay in the Top 25 even with a loss to Boise.
4 Northern Illinois 8 2 d. Toledo at Ball State 30
NIU should now be set to coast to a 10-2 season and most likely a showdown with Ohio in the championship game.  This has been a tremendous year for the Huskies, who have shown they can play with anyone, and blow out even good teams.
5 Hawaii 7 3 idle San Jose State 31
Hawaii’s season is practically done, with just the bottom of the league (and UNLV) left before the year ends.
6 Southern Miss 7 3 d. UCF Houston 41
USM is surging after a couple of shaky mid-season games. It will be interesting to see how they come out against Houston, after having 3 players shot at a nightclub after returning from Orlando last weekend.
7 Tulsa 7 3 d. Houston UTEP 43
Like USM in the east, Tulsa is charging but maybe too late.  Despite taking down Notre Dame and Houston, they still need help to get to the C-USA Championship game.
8 Ohio 8 3 d. Temple idle
Ohio has locked up MAC East, provided they can get past rival Kent State, who is struggling down the stretch again.  The Bobcats just seem to have Temple’s number lately.
9 Utah 8 2 loss to Notre Dame at San Diego State 23
When a team is collapsing as bad as Utah has, it’s hard to know where they fit, but the fact is they could still beat most of the teams on this list, probably including teams ahead of them.  This weekend will help us figure them out better.
10 San Diego State 7 3 loss to TCU Utah 34
I knew SDSU was good, but their performance against TCU surprised even me- they outscored the rest of the MWC combined against the Frogs.  If they keep it up this week, they’ll claim the #2 spot in the league.
11 Temple 8 3 loss to Ohio idle 32
12 Air Force 7 4 d. New Mexico at UNLV (Thurs) 42
13 UCF 7 3 loss to Southern Miss at Tulane 40
14 Navy 7 3 d. Central Michigan Arkansas State 38
15 Fresno State 6 4 loss to Nevada at Boise State (Fri) 43
Here’s the always tricky middle 5- some moving up, some down. Temple can still finish up a nice year, and UCF is still leading the charge for the C-USA championship but may have been exposed.  Navy barely escaped a bad CMU team.
16 Toledo 7 4 d. Bowling Green idle
17 East Carolina 6 4 d. UAB at Rice
18 Miami 7 4 d. Akron at Temple (Tues)
19 Army 6 4 d. Kent State Notre Dame
20 Houston 5 5 loss to Tulsa at Southern Miss
Toledo falls a long way after just one league loss, but they got stomped badly.  ECU still hasn’t been forgiven for the Navy debacle, while the other teams down here just haven’t been convincing one way or the other.
21 Troy 5 4 loss to FIU at South Carolina
22 BYU 5 5 d. Colorado State New Mexico
23 UTEP 6 5 loss to Arkansas at Tulsa
24 SMU 5 5 idle Marshall
25 FIU 4 5 d. Troy at Louisiana
BYU and FIU are the strongest of this bunch, and if their records supported it they could be higher.  Meanwhile Troy, UTEP, and SMU have been inconsistent all year, just hovering around .500.

WAC Week 11 Wrapup & Conference Championship Picture

It was business as usual in the WAC this weekend, since we knew that Boise State had pounded Idaho Friday night.  That big win did help in the national scene, as TCU struggled to put away San Diego State.  Of course, if you’re a regular reader here, you already knew that SDSU was very good, and were not as surprised as everyone else.  Back to the WAC- Nevada and Fresno played a monster game that has essentially eliminated one of them from a WAC championship, should Boise stumble.

Louisiana Tech 41, New Mexico State 20- Louisiana Tech wins comfortably, and is now 3-3 in the WAC.  They’ll need an upset over Nevada at the end of the season to get to a bowl, but this has been a nice turnaround for the Bulldogs.  Next Week: Louisiana Tech idle, New Mexico State at Nevada

Utah State 38, San Jose State 34- The Spartans remain mired at the bottom of the league, still missing a win over a FBS opponent.  Utah State improves to 4-6, but Boise lurks, so it’s not quite time to make bowl plans either.  Next Week: Idaho at Utah State, San Jose State at Hawaii

Nevada 35, Fresno State 34- This was a back and forth shootout with five lead changes, the last one coming with less than 5 minutes to play as Nevada scored a touchdown that Fresno couldn’t answer.  The Bulldogs now trek north to the blue field for their shot at the upset.  Next Week: Fresno State at Boise State, Friday; New Mexico State at Nevada

WAC Standings

Conference Overall
Boise State 5 0 9 0
Hawaii 5 1 7 3
Nevada 4 1 9 1
Fresno State 4 2 6 3
Louisiana Tech 3 3 4 6
Utah State 2 4 4 6
Idaho 1 4 4 6
New Mexico State 1 5 2 8
San Jose State 0 5 1 9

Conference Championship Picture

Obviously Boise State is in control of their own destiny, poised to win out and lock up the league.  But if there’s an upset, and assuming Hawaii wins out against SJSU and NMSU:

If Fresno beats Boise State, it won’t help Fresno that much as they’re behind the pack with two losses.  If that’s Boise’s only loss, then they will still claim the conference based on a tiebreaker with one-loss Hawaii.  If Boise happens to then lose to Nevada also, then Hawaii should win the league on the tiebreaker with Nevada.  Also, the WAC would just call them all co-champions, but bowl priority would go to the winner of the tiebreaker.

If Boise State beats Fresno but loses to Nevada, then we have a 3 way tie at 7-1, with each team being 1-1 against each other.  The WAC then runs out of tiebreakers, passes out co-champion banners, and refers the whole mess to its “Bowl Placement Committee,” which is no fun at all.

Week 11 Power Rankings

This week, they unintentionally line up with the standings. It just so happens that there haven’t been many upsets this year, so the rankings just fit.

  1. Boise State
  2. Hawaii
  3. Nevada
  4. Fresno State
  5. Louisiana Tech
  6. Utah State
  7. Idaho
  8. New Mexico State
  9. San Jose State

MAC Week 11+Tuesday Wrapup & Championship Picture

Since I didn’t get around to posting yesterday, I can include the East-division-deciding (probably) Tuesday night game, and once again it looks like the Ohio Bobcats are off to Detroit for the conference championship game, most likely against Northern Illinois.  Miami will play Temple for 2nd in the division later this month.  But first, the Saturday games…

Army 45, Kent State 28- Army gets bowl eligible, probably off to the Armed Forces Bowl, while Kent State drops to 4-6 with Western Michigan and Ohio standing in the way of 6-6.  Army dominated this matchup, leading by at least 14 throughout the last 3 quarters.  Next Game: Kent State at Western Michigan, Saturday; Army vs. Notre Dame (at that absurd field in Yankee Stadium), Saturday

Western Michigan 45, Eastern Michigan 30- This was never a comfortable game for Western, as Eastern had the game tied in the 3rd and within a touchdown in the 4th until the Broncos iced it with a late score.  Their bowl hopes ride on beating Kent State and Bowling Green down the stretch.  Next Game: Kent State at Western Michigan, Saturday; Eastern Michigan at Buffalo, Saturday

Navy 38, Central Michigan 37- What’s the deal with MAC coaches going for two when overtime is a near-sure-thing? It’s been a disaster all season.  CMU staged a furious rally, with two touchdowns in the last three minutes, but went for two and lost the game at the end.  I suppose it doesn’t matter much, since CMU isn’t going bowling, but I don’t understand the trend. Next Game: Central Michigan at Toledo, November 26; Arkansas State at Navy, Saturday

Ohio 31, Temple 23 (Tuesday)- This was a back & forth game most of the way, until Ohio broke it open in the 4th quarter with a pair of touchdowns, running their lead to 21.  Temple got two back, but Ohio gathered in the final onside kick to take the win and command of the division.  Next Game: Temple at Miami, November 23; Ohio at Kent State, November 26

MAC Standings

Conference Overall
W L W L
East
Ohio 6 1 8 3
Miami 5 1 6 4
Temple 5 2 8 3
Kent State 3 3 4 6
Buffalo 1 5 2 8
Bowling Green 1 5 2 8
Akron 0 6 0 10
West
Northern Illinois 6 0 8 2
Toledo 5 1 6 4
Western Michigan 3 3 4 6
Ball State 3 4 4 7
Central Michigan 2 5 3 8
Eastern Michigan 1 5 1 9

Conference Championship Scenarios

East

Ohio hasn’t quite sewn up the division yet, but if they beat Kent State on Thanksgiving Friday, they are off to Detroit again.

If Ohio loses, and Miami beats Temple, Miami will win the division, provided they get by Akron this weekend first.  If Miami should lose to Akron Saturday, Ohio clinches the division.

Temple is eliminated as their best hope is a tie with Ohio at 6-2, and Ohio holds the tiebreaker.

West

Northern Illinois controls its destiny with two games to play against some of the worst of the league.  If they beat Ball State Saturday, the division is theirs.

Toledo needs NIU to lose both games while beating Bowling Green and Central Michigan to win out.

All other teams have been eliminated for some time.

Week 11 Power Rankings

  1. Northern Illinois
  2. Ohio
  3. Toledo
  4. Temple
  5. Miami
  6. Western Michigan
  7. Kent State
  8. Ball State
  9. Central Michigan
  10. Buffalo
  11. Bowling Green
  12. Eastern Michigan
  13. Akron

Mountain West Week 11 Wrapup

San Diego State came within 5 points of ruining TCU’s perfect season, not to mention potentially removing about a million bucks from their own budget next year (although they might have done that anyway).  Also, Utah got embarrassed, New Mexico returned to its losing ways, and Wyoming is not very good at football.

As an aside, Air Force’s regular season ends this Thursday night.  Do the folks at the MWC office know that without a championship game, you’re allowed to keep playing football until December 4? Because CSU and Wyoming will both call it a year after Saturday too.

BYU 49, Colorado State 10- So much for the Rams putting up a fight and possibly sending BYU out with a loss.  The Cougars are now back to 5-5 and in nice position to find a bowl this year after all.  Next Week: New Mexico at BYU, Colorado State at Wyoming

Notre Dame 38, Utah 3- Utah looked bad beginning, middle, and end of this one.  Meanwhile, C-USA is giddy over there, considering unranked Tulsa took down the Irish a couple weeks ago.  The loss was enough to drop the Utes to the very edge of the major polls, and it doesn’t get any easier next week.  Next Week: Utah at San Diego State

TCU 40, San Diego State 35- SDSU jumped out early, faded through the middle, then staged a furious rally to get back into the game.  TCU escaped by recovering the final onside kick and running out the clock from there.  Next Week: Utah at San Diego State, TCU is idle.

Air Force 48, New Mexico 23- Air Force continues its winning ways with a one that was never in doubt.  Next Week: New Mexico at BYU, Air Force at UNLV (Thursday)

UNLV 42, Wyoming 16- Wyoming follows up its loss to struggling New Mexico with a blowout to struggling UNLV, and takes their place as the surprisingly worst team in the MWC.  Next Week: Air Force at UNLV (Thursday), Colorado State at Wyoming

Mountain West Standings

Conference Overall
TCU 7 0 11 0
Utah 5 1 8 2
BYU 4 2 5 5
San Diego State 4 2 7 3
Air Force 4 3 7 4
UNLV 2 4 2 8
Colorado State 2 5 3 8
New Mexico 1 5 1 9
Wyoming 0 7 2 9

2010 Mountain West Champions

There are no more championship scenarios, as TCU has clinched the league crown for the second consecutive year, no small feat in a season where San Diego State and Air Force elevated their level of play to new heights, Utah was still dangerous, and even BYU, with a dismal start, has surged to the finish.  Congratulations to TCU, now one win away from their second undefeated regular season.

Mountain West Power Rankings

  1. TCU
  2. San Diego State
  3. Utah
  4. Air Force
  5. BYU
  6. Colorado State
  7. UNLV
  8. New Mexico
  9. Wyoming

Conference USA Week 11 Wrapup & Championship Scenarios

In a week that offered the chance to finalize a few things in the league, the exact opposite happened, and now nothing will be set in stone until the final whistle on November 27.

Southern Miss 31, UCF 21- USM came in and stunned UCF on their home field, rallying from an early 14-0 deficit to run off 31 consecutive points with a smothering defense and a seemingly unstoppable offensive attack.  Having now seen both in person, I’m baffled as to how they lost to UAB.  Next Week: UCF at Tulane, Houston at Southern Miss

Marshall 28, Memphis 13- Another game that swung wildly, as Memphis lead 10-0 then accomplished nothing else until a 4th quarter field goal.  Marshall is now on a 3 game win streak, but a tough road trip might derail their bowl aspirations once and for all. Next Week: Marshall at SMU, Memphis at UAB.

Tulane 54, Rice 49- Another C-USA West shootout that ends with Tulane clinging to hopes of getting back to 6-6, dropping Rice to the bottom of the division.  Next Week: UCF at Tulane, East Carolina at Rice

Arkansas 58, UTEP 21- UTEP hung around for a while in the first half, but once Arkansas got things going, it was over for the Miners.  Next Week: UTEP at Tulsa

Tulsa 28, Houston 25- Tulsa keeps rolling, but in close fashion this time.  A late review reversed what could have been a devastating fumble for Tulsa, and the Golden Hurricane keep their conference hopes alive.  Next Week: UTEP at Tulsa, Houston at Southern Miss

Conference USA Standings

Conference Overall
W L W L
East
UCF 5 1 7 3
East Carolina 5 1 6 4
Southern Miss 4 2 7 3
Marshall 3 3 4 6
UAB 2 4 3 7
Memphis 0 6 1 9
West
SMU 4 2 5 5
Tulsa 4 2 7 3
Houston 4 3 5 5
UTEP 3 4 6 5
Tulane 2 4 4 6
Rice 1 5 2 8

Conference Championship Scenarios

East

UCF (Tulane, Memphis) remains in charge of the east despite the loss, but the pressure is on now.

East Carolina (Rice, SMU) will win the division if they win out and UCF loses another game

Southern Miss’ (Houston, Tulsa) needs a lot of help. They need ECU to drop both remaining games and for UCF to lose at least once.

Three Way Tie at 6-2: If that happened, the first tiebreaker they come to is the record vs. divisional teams.  UCF stands at 3-1 right now, ECU is done at 4-1, while USM sits at 3-2. If UCF loses to Tulane and beats Memphis, they’re ok at 4-1. Southern Miss would be dropped off, and UCF would win the head-to-head tiebreaker with ECU.  But, if UCF should beat Tulane and lose to Memphis, they’ll finish 3-2 in the division and ECU wins that tiebreaker.  Southern Miss can’t win a 3 way tie.

West

SMU (Marshall, ECU) is in charge thanks to a tiebreaker against Tulsa- win out and the division is theirs.

Tulsa (UTEP, Southern Miss) needs to win out and get a SMU loss to advance.

Houston needs a lot of help too, particularly for Tulsa to lose twice and SMU at least once, as they do have the tiebreaker over SMU.

Three Way Tie at 5-3: Like the East, we’d have a 1-1 round robin result there, so it’s down to divisional results.  Tulsa is at 3-1, SMU 3-2, and Houston 3-2.  If Tulsa beats UTEP, they would win the division out of a 3 way tie.  If Tulsa lost to UTEP but beat USM to set up the tie, then they compare records against divisional opponents in order of finish.  First up would almost certainly be UTEP, who already beat SMU and now Tulsa, which would give the division over to Houston.

Championship Game Home Field

If UCF or ECU win out, the division winner will host the conference championship.  If both teams drop to 6-2, then the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head play.  UCF would host the game vs. Houston, ECU would host a game against Tulsa, the winner of ECU-SMU would host that rematch, etc.  If the teams have not played each other, home field goes to the team with a higher BCS ranking.  At the moment, I think Tulsa could be the favorite (assuming ECU & UCF lose along the way), then the East winner, then the rest of the west, but that’s just conjecture.

Week 11 Power Rankings

As usual, we have a group of teams at the top who are not terribly separate from each other, then a big drop to the mid-pack bunch, then a freefall to Memphis.

  1. Tulsa
  2. Southern Mississippi
  3. UCF
  4. ECU
  5. Houston
  6. SMU
  7. UTEP
  8. Marshall
  9. UAB
  10. Tulane
  11. Rice
  12. Memphis
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