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MRI Football 2011 - Rankings Bowl Final

January 10, 2012  |  By Benjamin Miraski

With its win Monday night, Alabama moved back into the top spot in the MRI to be this season's champion.

It is a far cry from last season when the Auburn Tigers couldn't even crack the top five despite being undefeated and the poll champions.

The win also made Alabama one of the top 10 teams of the last nine years as rated by the MRI. With so much talent returning, there is a good chance that the next version of the Tide could equal or better the 2011 edition.

Alabama was far from the best team of the last nine years. That still belongs to the Vince Young-era Texas Longhorns.

But this version of the Tide showed that a punishing defense can overcome almost anything. Alabama ended first in the country in defense, allowing just 183 yards per game. They didn't necessarily force a lot of turnovers (just 20 all season), but they also didn't give the ball away.

Then again, if the other team can't move the ball, there is no need to take it away. It will be coming back via the punt quite often.

More important for Alabama was that the team was all-around solid. On offense, the Tide rolled up the No. 16 rushing offense. They had a passing game that kept the defense honest.

And they played a schedule ranked No. 37 in the country by the MRI. Since many in the mainstream media claim that LSU had that much tougher a road, here is your comparison.

LSU was only at No. 23 in the country according to the MRI. Not quite the discrepancy one would expect given the complaints about Alabama. (Oklahoma State took home the tough road title, made even tougher by playing after its women's basketball coaching staff was killed in a plane crash. State rival Oklahoma was No. 2.)

As if there was a question, the best league in the country was again the SEC. The conference went 6-3 in bowl games (with one of the losses coming against the league). Not a bad showing. On average, the league was 2 MRI points better than the next challenger, the Big XII.

And for what it's worth, the MRI finished in the top 10 percent of "America" finishing in the 90th percentile in the ESPN College Bowl Mania. Just goes to show that the computer continues to be smarter than most college football fans. So be careful what you criticize.

Check out all the final rankings in the bowl final football MRI for 2011-12.

MRI Top 25 Rankings

1Alabama Helmet
2LSU Helmet
3Houston Helmet
4Oklahoma State Helmet
Oklahoma State
5Oklahoma Helmet
6Boise State Helmet
Boise State
7Oregon Helmet
8Wisconsin Helmet
9Stanford Helmet
10Michigan Helmet
11South Carolina11-275.5515
12Southern Mississippi12-275.2712
16Virginia Tech11-367.6113
17Michigan State11-362.5816
19West Virginia10-361.11NR(32)
21Florida State9-459.9822

Teams Dropped From The Top 25: Arkansas State (LW #18, TW #28), Clemson (LW #24, TW #33)
On the Bubble: Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas State, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Clemson, BYU, Cincinnati.
Last Place this week: Akron (1-11) at -86.53. 4th week in a row, and the worst score ever registered in the MRI.
Biggest Gain this week: Alabama gained 13.99 points. (Beat LSU 21-0 in the National Title game)
Biggest Loss this week: Wyoming lost 8.66 points (Lost to Temple 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl)
Conference rankings this week: SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, Big East, PAC-12, ACC, Conference USA, Mountain West, MAC, WAC, Sun Belt

Posted January 10, 2012 12:45 PM

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