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MRI Football 2011 - Rankings Week 1

September 18, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

With a quarter of the season gone for most teams, it is time to release the first edition of the MRI rankings.

The computer is now in its ninth year of ranking teams based on their performance on the field. The formula takes into account strength of schedule, weighted margin of victory, offensive performance, defensive performance and turnovers.

All of that is wrapped into a neat little formula that generates a number that makes about as much sense as the quarterback efficiency rating. But we here at MRISports like it anyway.

Last season finished with the Boise State Broncos and TCU Horned Frogs taking the top two spots, a major win for the non-AQ teams. The two teams logged two of the top 10 rankings of all time in the MRI, not an easy feat considering that during the 2009 season, no team managed one of the best 10 marks.

The Big XII is the big winner this season so far. Leading the pack is Texas with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, all finding a spot in the top 10. Texas Tech, Baylor and Kansas State also made it into the top 25, and the Big XII looks to have the deepest and best conference by the numbers right now.

Obviously things will change. There is no way that Iowa State can keep up its fast start on the year. And once the teams get into the conference slate, the losses will affect someone. But as of now, as the conference appears on the verge of dividing permanently, the league is sure making a strong audition.

Not to be outdone, the SEC put four teams in the top 25, three from the West and one (Florida) from the East.

But the biggest shock in the rankings might be the non-AQ team that is up in the top 10. It is not one of the usual suspects. It is not Boise State. It is not TCU. It is not even Central Florida, which took a hit losing to Florida International (which came in at a strong No. 39) this week.

No, it is Ohio from the MAC.

It probably goes without saying that the MAC doesn't often land a team this high in the rankings. There may be a ranked team overall, but the helmet zone is usually free of the MAC. The last team to break through was Miami back in 2003. Not even Ball State's amazing run in 2008 (12-2, No. 25) was good enough.

Ohio does benefit from one of the easiest schedules in the country, and the first three weeks were no exception. New Mexico State, Marshall and FCS' Gardner-Webb may be among the worst teams in college football. The real test will be against Rutgers next time out.

But a win there could firmly plant Ohio in the top 25, or maybe the top 10 all season long. Not that they will get any BCS love, or even votes from the human pollsters. It is a great start to the year so far, including almost 470 yards of offense and a defense allowing less than 300.

Another team that made its mark in the the first three weeks is Georgia Tech, who crashes the party at No. 7. The Yellow Jackets were propelled to the top by a 607 yard rushing effort against Kansas. (On a MAC note: Where was that defense when Northern Illinois was in town? The Huskies should have scored 80 against the Jayhawks.)

But have no fear, fans of tradition and expectations ruling your football. Oklahoma and Alabama, the two favorites to be playing for the National Championship, are still in the running. Then again, it is just for the MRI championship, which went to Boise State last season.

Take what you will from that.

Enjoy all the rankings in Week 1 of the MRI.

Big Ten 3, Big East 2, Pac12 3, ACC 3, MAC 1, MTW 1, CUSA 1

MRI Top 25 Rankings

RankTeamRecordMRILW
1Texas Helmet
Texas
3-071.3953
2Wisconsin Helmet
Wisconsin
3-062.8811
3South Florida Helmet
South Florida
3-062.6856
4Ohio Helmet
Ohio
3-062.2667
5Oklahoma Helmet
Oklahoma
2-060.496
6Oklahoma State Helmet
Oklahoma State
3-058.819
7Georgia Tech Helmet
Georgia Tech
3-058.5773
8Texas AM Helmet
Texas A&M
2-054.5424
9Virginia Tech Helmet
Virginia Tech
3-054.5314
10Alabama Helmet
Alabama
3-052.208
11Texas Tech2-051.3360
12Michigan3-050.4766
13Illinois3-049.6331
14Florida3-049.0535
15LSU3-048.9417
16West Virginia3-048.3421
17Baylor2-048.0958
18Stanford3-046.353
19USC3-045.4442
20Central Florida2-144.4719
21Clemson3-044.2748
22Cal3-043.9946
23Boise State2-042.631
24Kansas State2-042.4464
25Arkansas3-042.1715

Other Teams People Might Care About

RankTeamRecordMRILW
26Vanderbilt3-041.22114
30Washington State2-139.23108
31Michigan State2-139.1933
34Maryland1-138.2340
35Florida State2-138.0518
42Nebraska3-034.0312
43Purdue2-133.2889
47Miami1-129.1639
49Penn State2-128.7955
56Notre Dame1-226.2225
59Iowa2-125.6723
63Tennessee2-125.2574
64Ohio State2-124.844
71Northwestern2-121.6777
72UCLA1-221.1196
76Ball State2-118.30105
77Auburn2-117.917
81Northern Illinois1-216.9016
82Syracuse2-116.6168
90Indiana1-214.6087
92Pittsburgh2-113.5638
96Duke1-29.58102
100BYU1-26.9644
104Miami(Ohio)0-22.5062
115Boston College0-3-10.5354
Last Place this week: Akron (0-3) at -36.34.
Conference rankings this week: Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big East, PAC-12, Mountain West, Conference USA, MAC, WAC, Sun Belt
   

Posted September 18, 2011 8:30 PM

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