The Big Ten has one last day to impress, the Big 12 just missed when K-State blew what should have been a win over the SEC but Oklahoma still passed Alabama for second, and BYU gets a surprise chance to boost national title hopes Saturday. All projected scores are below, including a sudden huge bump in the road in the ACC’s big season.
Conferences move up or down in the weekly conference ratings based on if they exceed their projected wins and margin of victory (which is capped at 25 points per game).
The Big Ten borders on falling out of the five Power Conferences and into competition with the smaller conference ratings, and after today their only chance for a somewhat big non-conference win is when Cincinnati brings their high-powered offense to Ohio State as Tommy Tuberville tries to improve to 3-0 against Urban Meyer.
Saturday the Big Ten is projected to win just over half (6.8 of 13) of their games by a combined +10 points. The conference desperately needs its third best-team in the Pythagorean Ratings (Nebraska at #36) to win at home against Miami. Michigan could help with an upset in the big house over Utah, and Minnesota is only a slight favorite over San Jose State in another one the conference cannot afford to lose. As an indication of how bad the conference has been, five Big Ten teams are double digit underdogs–but a couple of big upsets from those teams would dramatically improve the conference rating.
Two non-Power Conference teams have among the biggest games Saturday. East Carolina is winning a two-way race for the top team from any of the non-Power conferences (which goes to a New Year Bowl), rising to No. 34 after almost winning at South Carolina and then stunning Virginia Tech. Now they get UNC at home with a huge opportunity to increase their margin over No. 40 Louisiana Tech, who faces a non-FBS opponent.
Brigham Young is at No. 21 and they have a suddenly important game at home against a surprising Virginia team that stunned Louisville after only doing the same to UCLA. If BYU can run up the score against UVa like they did against Texas two years ago the playoffs are not out of the question.
Week 4 started with the Big 12 missing a golden opportunity to close the gap with the SEC when K-State gave away a game against Auburn Thursday, bobbling a touchdown into an interception and missing three field goals in a 20-14 loss. However, Oklahoma passed Alabama for No. 2 in the ratings after beating up on a much improved Tennessee team. Sooners must have been asking why they were not already ahead of Bama after blowing them out in last year’s Sugar Bowl. If Oklahoma can win by a solid margin at West Virginia Saturday–a team that threatened Alabama–the Sooners would solidify their case for No. 2 or even No. 1 if …
No. 1 Florida State absent their starting quarterback loses to Clemson. The game could be a nightmare for the ACC, as a Clemson win would make them the top team in the conference despite getting destroyed by Georgia—the 7th best team in the SEC in these ratings. Yes, the SEC has a ridiculous seven teams in the top 11 in this week’s ratings, and while they will slip a little with Auburn’s weak showing against K-State, the best chance for an upset Saturday would be a good Northern Illinois team winning in Arkansas.
|Rank||Teams by Conference||Pred Marg||Chance||Venue||Opponent||Time|
|34||East Carolina||8||65%||Home||North Carolina||3:30pm|
|AAC Margin, Wins||50||6.1|
|43||Georgia Tech||-7||35%||Away||Virginia Tech||12:00pm|
|45||North Carolina||-8||35%||Away||East Carolina||3:30pm|
|23||Virginia Tech||7||65%||Home||Georgia Tech||12:00pm|
|ACC Margin, Wins||112||9.3|
|16||Michigan St||25||100%||Home||E Michigan||12:00pm|
|75||Minnesota||4||60%||Home||San Jose St||4:00pm|
|Big Ten Margin, Wins||10||6.8|
|Big 12 Margin, Wins||-9||1.8|
|40||Louisiana Tech||25||97%||Home||Northwestern LA||7:00pm|
|61||Middle Tenn St||3||56%||Away||Memphis||7:00pm|
|60||North Texas||25||100%||Home||Nicholls St||3:30pm|
|119||Southern Miss||7||65%||Home||Appalachian St||7:00pm|
|51||UT San Antonio||0||0%||Idle|
|CUSA Margin, Wins||63||5.8|
|Ind Margin, Wins||24||1.9|
|124||E Michigan||-25||0%||Away||Michigan St||12:00pm|
|121||W Michigan||7||65%||Home||Murray St||7:00pm|
|MAC Margin, Wins||-88||4.3|
|85||Fresno St||22||91%||Home||Southern Utah||10:00pm|
|116||New Mexico||-5||40%||Away||New Mexico St||8:00pm|
|69||San Diego St||-10||28%||Away||Oregon St||10:30pm|
|72||San Jose St||-4||40%||Away||Minnesota||4:00pm|
|82||Utah St||-1||47%||Away||Arkansas St||7:00pm|
|MWC Margin, Wins||0||4.3|
|52||Oregon St||10||72%||Home||San Diego St||10:30pm|
|Pac-12 Margin, Wins||42||4.9|
|126||Appalachian St||-7||35%||Away||Southern Miss||7:00pm|
|86||Arkansas St||1||53%||Home||Utah St||7:00pm|
|113||Ga Southern||-9||28%||Away||South Alabama||7:30pm|
|114||New Mexico St||5||60%||Home||New Mexico||8:00pm|
|98||South Alabama||9||72%||Home||Ga Southern||7:30pm|
|SBC Margin, Wins||-107||2.9|
|SEC Margin, Wins||104||7.4|