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MRI Football 2011 - Rankings Week 10

November 23, 2011  |  By Benjamin Miraski

All the upsets have people talking.

But all they complain and complain about are the lack of playoffs.

Well, maybe we should look at how this computer sees the world first.

The facts here say that you can lose a game and still be considered the best. Now, you shouldn't go losing to a really bad team, say an FCS team. But you can lose. Heck, you can lose twice and still be considered a good team.

Texas has made an art of that. Four times, and still a top 25 squad (although not for long now that they can't move the ball).

Here is something else to keep in mind if you are a top team: playing an FCS opponent makes you look cheap. Alabama won handily against theirs and yet it cost them much of the lead in the MRI that it had built.

Lots of teams have done their bit to "help" out the FCS teams. But all it has done is water down what those teams have accomplished over the course of the season.

There is a reason why the SEC is no longer the top conference in this computer. Almost half the league took a big hit in its ranking by playing a team outside of the FBS.

That doesn't make the league better; that doesn't make the sport better. All it makes is a lot of money for the school off the backs of its fans, who have to -- for the most part -- watch blowouts.

Play a real team, and get some real respect for it.

But aside from that, here is what we are left with this season: Alabama, LSU, Houston, Oklahoma.

Those are the teams that have "separated" themselves from the rest of the FBS. Even with two losses from Oklahoma; even with a less than stellar schedule from Houston.

Look at those four and tell me why one of them doesn't belong.

You could harp on Houston, but the Cougars can't control their league. They can only control their performance, which has been record setting.

You could say Oklahoma lost twice, but that is why it is last among those contenders. It has proven that it can beat almost anyone else in the country.

And you can say you don't want a rematch. Oh well. Sometimes, those are the breaks. Would anyone really be complaining about a rematch if the two teams weren't in the same conference? I doubt it. Because it would have been almost 3 months since we saw the game.

And it can be even better the second time.

I do have one last gripe before unleashing the rankings. A lot of people are down on the BCS because it may give us that rematch of Alabama and LSU. Or Alabama might sneak in the back door without playing for the SEC title and play another contender out there, like a Stanford in the Championship.

The complaint this time around is that a team that doesn't win its conference shouldn't be playing for the National Championship.

OK, fine, but then if there is a playoff, you can't make the playoff without winning your conference. Does that seem like the playoff you want?

Oh, is that a no? You want there to be more than one team from a conference in the playoff picture?

I am sorry. That isn't what I just heard from you. You said you didn't want a team that didn't win its conference to play for the National Championship, something that might happen if a non-conference winner was allowed into the playoffs as an at-large team.

It is hard to understand why this is such a big deal to have a non-conference champion win the National Title in football, but in basketball it is OK. Conferences aren't the tidy little packages they used to be any longer.

Teams in the Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 and SEC don't play every other team in the conference. You can't even say that the winner of the Championship games in those conferences is really the best team from that conference. Upsets happen. We like upsets. That is partially why you want a playoff. That is partially why everyone loves college football.

So disregarding a team because they didn't win their conference, even if they might have been the second best team in that conference and just not in the correct geographical, or metaphorical alignment to play for the conference title is silly.

Alabama is good. Alabama is damn good. Who else has stopped LSU like they did this season? They just didn't come out on top because the kicking game let them down.

You want to look me in the eye and tell me that they aren't among the top teams in the country and maybe still the best team out there, even with a loss?

Fine, but you would be wrong.

At least, that is what my computer thinks.

Check out all the rankings in Week 10 of the football MRI.

MRI Top 25 Rankings

1Alabama Helmet
2LSU Helmet
3Houston Helmet
4Oklahoma Helmet
5Oklahoma State Helmet
Oklahoma State
6Stanford Helmet
7Boise State Helmet
Boise State
8Wisconsin Helmet
9Oregon Helmet
10Michigan Helmet
12Virginia Tech10-167.2412
16Southern Mississippi9-260.4314
17Michigan State9-259.8918
18South Carolina9-258.6416
20Arkansas State9-254.1523
21Notre Dame8-353.6822
22Penn State9-253.4424
23Texas A&M6-553.08NR(30)

Teams Dropped From The Top 25: Clemson (LW #17, TW #30), Florida State (LW #21, TW #27), Nebraska (LW #25, TW #34)
On the Bubble: TCU, Florida State, Temple, Georgia Tech, Clemson, West Virginia, Missouri, Rutgers, Nebraska, Kansas State.
Last Place this week: Akron (1-10) at -77.70.
Biggest Gain this week: Iowa State gained 12.40 points. (Beat Oklahoma State 37-31)
Biggest Loss this week: Akron lost 19.65 points (Lost to Buffalo 51.10)
Conference rankings this week: Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, Big East, PAC-12, ACC, Mountain West, Conference USA, WAC, MAC, Sun Belt

Posted November 23, 2011 3:00 PM

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