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Monday, October 17, 2005

(Roundtable #10 is up at ATL. Check it out.

1. What would it take for you to vote someone other than USC #1 in the poll? If you already are, what would it take for USC to regain the top spot on your ballot?

USC's hold on #1 in my ballot is getting precarious given their struggles against Arizona State, Arizona, and Notre Dame, but there doesn't appear to be a challenger that has looked as impressive against a comparable schedule--sorry, Texas, but the Big Twelve is way down this year. Ohio State is a good win but USC's got a match with the ND win and the second tier (Oregon, ASU versus OK, CU) is advantage USC.

Virginia Tech is 6-0 but has had three functional byes against Duke, Ohio, and Marshall. Best win to date is over Georgia Tech. They struggled against a mediocre NC State team. USC's resume easily bests them. I think I'm actually going to drop them behind...

Georgia, who have only had one functional bye against ULM and has a win at UT, which roughly corresponds to USC's ND win. They nuked Boise but struggled against that other USC. Every other win has been fairly comfortable, though not a blowout. Still, UGA has a complete defense, a very good ground game, and an intermittently spectacular passing attack.

What about Alabama? They've only played one good team, Florida, and didn't exactly blow the doors off Southern Miss, Ole Miss, or Arkansas.

2. Which of the undefeateds is most likely to remain so? Who is least likely?

Most: Texas. They've got a game against Texas Tech and then the soft nubbins of the Big Twelve (Baylor, OK State, Kansas) before a game against A&M and then the championship game against whichever short bus-riding team makes it out of the North.

Least: Texas Tech is fraud city, baby.

3. If you were running the BCS system, would you let the computer rankings factor in margin of victory? Why or why not?

Um. Sort of. There is not enough information to get effective computer rankings without extra data, but pure margin of victory is often distorted by meaningless touchdowns. Why is the final score the only relevant piece of data when play by play is available? Computer rankings should be allowed to use any piece of relevant data. Margin of victory is a useful piece of information. Excluding it is stupid, especially when you cap it at 21, as the BCS used to.