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Hoegher's Rankings and Picks: WEEK FIVE

We're all Badger fans this week, right? Right, good. Glad we got that cleared away.

THE RANKINGS

rk LW NCAA Team Conf Record Rating Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
1 3 Oregon Pac-12 3-0 1.845 2.389 1 0.279 2
2 5 Baylor B12 3-0 1.490 2.059 3 0.412 10
3 11 Louisville Amer 4-0 1.292 1.552 15 0.308 4
4 7 Washington Pac-12 3-0 1.266 1.357 33 0.235 1
5 8 FloridaState ACC 3-0 1.252 1.466 25 0.294 3
6 18 OklahomaState B12 3-0 1.217 1.758 9 0.474 18
7 2 ArizonaState Pac-12 2-1 1.210 1.905 6 0.567 23
8 1 GeorgiaTech ACC 3-0 1.195 1.563 14 0.384 8
9 15 Miami ACC 3-0 1.188 1.651 12 0.437 12
10 12 CentralFlorida Amer 3-0 1.162 1.535 17 0.394 9
11 6 Alabama SEC 3-0 1.159 1.756 10 0.522 21
12 13 Auburn SEC 3-1 1.086 1.730 11 0.569 24
13 4 Wisconsin B10 3-1 1.050 1.318 40 0.360 6
14 19 Arizona Pac-12 3-0 1.045 1.262 47 0.335 5
15 10 PennState B10 3-1 1.027 1.466 24 0.459 15
16 22 Florida SEC 2-1 1.009 1.276 44 0.366 7
17 27 Georgia SEC 2-1 0.961 1.983 4 0.856 59
18 41 Illinois B10 2-1 0.882 2.331 2 1.205 102
19 21 Tennessee SEC 2-2 0.840 1.481 22 0.620 27
20 31 LSU SEC 4-0 0.815 1.634 13 0.748 45
21 53 Virginia ACC 2-1 0.773 1.180 52 0.478 19
22 25 UCLA Pac-12 3-0 0.758 1.496 21 0.702 40
23 20 Navy Ind. 2-0 0.755 1.312 42 0.578 26
24 26 WashingtonState Pac-12 3-1 0.754 1.107 64 0.448 13
25 16 UtahState MWC 2-2 0.744 1.382 31 0.635 29

And the rest of the Big Ten...

rk LW NCAA Team Conf Record Rating Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
13 4 Wisconsin B10 3-1 1.050 1.318 40 0.360 6
15 10 PennState B10 3-1 1.027 1.466 24 0.459 15
18 41 Illinois B10 2-1 0.882 2.331 2 1.205 102
29 71 OhioState B10 4-0 0.714 1.415 30 0.683 38
41 32 Indiana B10 2-2 0.550 1.849 7 1.187 98
48 34 Nebraska B10 3-1 0.452 1.545 16 1.036 82
57 36 Michigan B10 4-0 0.308 1.252 49 0.930 70
59 33 Northwestern B10 4-0 0.278 1.329 37 1.029 81
69 85 Iowa B10 3-1 0.158 0.886 90 0.744 44
70 86 Minnesota B10 4-0 0.143 1.233 50 1.079 85
78 61 MichiganState B10 3-1 -0.016 0.763 100 0.777 51
106 112 Purdue B10 1-3 -0.447 0.698 102 1.124 93

A primer on what goes into these rankings can be found here. Some thoughts...

Full schedule adjustments have been added. Standard caveats about limited season data still apply. Obviously, looking at the "LW" column makes it apparent that there is still a large amount of fluctuation week-to-week. I went back and looked at some of the "Season Review" FanPosts I had made last winter, just to get a feeling on when these would start to even out. Based on that, I can tell you that point won't come until Week 8 or so. But at least teams are starting to settle down a bit. Oregon as the best team in the Pac-12, Baylor as the best team in the Big 12, Louisville as the best team in the AAC, Florida State as the best team in the ACC, Alabama as the best team in the SEC? Yeah, those are all plausible. And speaking of Alabama...

The Emperor has no clothes! (Maybe! Possibly!) Okay, I say this knowing that Alabama still rates out as the best SEC team in my spreadsheets, and that it is certainly better than it looked most of the day against Colorado State. Also, this team gave up 21 pts to Georgia Southern in 2011, so playing lackluster against lower tier competition is hardly a death knell for them.

But in the interest of not ceding to everlasting Tide dominance quite yet, it's worth pointing out that a 17-6 4th quarter score against Colorado State doesn't exactly compare favorably to the 23 pts Colorado had put up at the same point. And while I tend to not hold special teams and defensive touchdowns against the offense that much (there's no reason not to think offense wouldn't have scored if given the opportunity), Marshall averaged a better yds/att (5.6 vs 4.6) and yds/car (2.9 vs 2.5) than Nick Saban's Death March did facing the Bud Foster brigade.

Of course, 2002 Ohio State pretty much showed that it doesn't matter if you look less-than-stellar at times - so long as you keep winning. So basically what I'm saying is: LET'S GO REBELS. And on the subject of Ohio State (I'm really rocking these transitions, y'all)...

Nicely done Buckeyes. You get a cookie. Maybe Urban got a call from his old defensive coordinator, but he finally took a page out of Louisville's book and utterly dominated a cupcake opponent. For that, Ohio State's ranking here gets a little less egregious. I still don't think they're a Top-5 quality college football team, but they're getting closer to the Top-15 ranking I think they deserve.

As far as this weekend goes, I don't expect it to the blowout many (NOTE: Eleven Warriors commentators) are figuring, as this has been mostly a single score contest every year since 2008. The one major exception being 2009, where the scoring margin featured three return touchdowns, and Wisconsin out-gained Ohio State by 200 yds (to be fair, Ohio State averaged a better yds/play on the day). That includes a close victory over a bad Wisconsin team in 2008 and (sigh...) a Hail Mary victory in 2011 against #ALLRUSSELLWILSONEVERTHING. Regardless of whatever my metrics say, I think the 7 pt spread is a fair expectation. (EDIT: IGNORE THAT, 100-0 BADGERS, ON WISCONSIN.)

This week in BCS Dumpster Fire: South Florida is bad guys. Really bad. The list of contenders (still essentially those teams that managed to lose to a FCS opponent):

#125 - South Florida

#114 - Temple

#112 - Iowa State

#107 - Oregon State

#106 - Purdue

Also, FIU doesn't qualify here as a C-USA team, but I'm going to keep mentioning them because they are still stupid for firing Mario Cristobal. And they've been shut-out twice this season already.

THE PICKINGS

Lines taken from 5Dimes.eu here, as of 2013-09-24. Home teams highlighted in blue.

EDIT: For some reason, Texas A&M @ Arkansas and Nevada vs AirForce are currently off. Based on other lines I've seen, I'm putting Texas A&M favored by 3 pts, and Nevada favored by 7 pts.

Overcat Underdog Proj Winner Conf Line Hoegh Pick vs Spd
Alabama Mississippi Alabama 95% 15.5 20.7 Alabama
Oregon California Oregon 99% 36.0 51.2 Oregon
Stanford WashingtonState WashingtonState 58% 10.0 -2.7 WashingtonState
Georgia LSU Georgia 62% 3.0 4.0 Georgia
TexasAM Arkansas TexasAM 73% 3.0 8.2 TexasAM
Oklahoma NotreDame Oklahoma 82% 3.5 12.5 Oklahoma
Washington Arizona Washington 68% 9.5 6.1 Arizona
GeorgiaTech VirginiaTech GeorgiaTech 95% 7.5 20.7 GeorgiaTech
ArizonaState USC ArizonaState 92% 6.0 18.8 ArizonaState
Miami SouthFlorida Miami 99% 19.0 73.6 Miami

And the Big Ten games...

Overcat Underdog Proj Winner Conf Line Hoegh Pick vs Spd
Iowa Minnesota Iowa 51% 1.0 0.4 Minnesota
Illinois MiamiOH Illinois 99% 24.5 47.4 Illinois
NorthernIllinois Purdue Purdue 70% 3.5 -7.1 Purdue
OhioState Wisconsin Wisconsin 75% 7.0 -9.3 Wisconsin

My Stupid Upset Pick of the week is obviously Wisconsin (+7) over Ohio State.

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