Updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Johnny 5 runs the numbers


I'll try to keep this week's computer breakdown interesting, fellow readers. I know how much guff I've been getting around the office. The site's numbers take a dip whenever old Johnny 5 boots up, and Trev has been threatening termination if I can't poll higher. Fortunately for me, my technology confuses and frightens him, so I'm pretty safe from the ultimate penalty. Anyhoo, on to this week's compu-ratings:
  1. Michigan
  2. Rutgers
  3. Ohio State
  4. Southern Cal
  5. Notre Dame
  6. Florida
  7. Louisville
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Arkansas
  10. Boise State
I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but it seems that Rutgers has some serious computer juice. Perhaps some of the computers owe some rather sizable monies on some previously uncollected sports wagers...if you know what I mean... but all of that legitimate business aside, it's all for naught in the end. Take a look at the remaining schedules (computer rankings):

#1 Michigan: at #3 Ohio State
#2 Rutgers: vs. #55 Cincinnati vs. #84 Syracuse, at #12 West Virginia
#4 Southern Cal: vs. #10 California, vs. #5 Notre Dame, vs. #42 UCLA
#5 Notre Dame: vs. #108 Army, at #4 Southern Cal
#6 Florida: vs. I-AA West. Carolina, at #59 Florida State, vs. #9 Arkansas

Obviously, the winner of UM/OSU is #1. This has been known for quite some time, and you may have seen some television advertisements about the importance of Saturday's game. What is not so clear is the final outcome of the remaining teams. Hacking into the Colley Matrix once more, we can estimate a final computer score for each team should it run the table:

Michigan- .98040 (.94156 with a loss)
Ohio State- .96045 (.89200)
Southern Cal- .97725
Rutgers- .95712
Florida- .93756
Notre Dame- .91584

Given those numbers, here's what each team would need for a title shot:

Ohio State-The Michigan game is a must win. Period. Even with a blessed #2 human rating following the game, there is no computer foundation. This would be a good time for our Columbus readers to start stockpiling bottled water and canned goods.

Rutgers-The Scarlet Knights are only in this if they are undefeated, but if they are, things get very interesting, very fast. They need to be in the top 3 in the human polls to have a shot, and by simple logic, a 12-0 Rutgers should be at least #5. RU is currently #8 in the coaches poll, plays #7 West Virginia, #3 Florida plays #6 Arkansas, #4 Southern Cal plays #5 Notre Dame, and Michigan/Ohio State rounds it out. 12-0 Rutgers should jump the loser of each of those games with the UM/OSU loser being a question mark. That's #5 by default, #4 with some polling help, and higher with some upsets. Of course, it's a longshot, but it's not as crazy as people think.

Michigan- They have a more fortunate position than the Buckeyes, as even with a loss to Ohio State, the wolverines are not dead. Only Rutgers and Southern Cal would have better numbers, so Cal over USC, USC over ND could keep Michigan in the game unless a 12-0 Rutgers has higher human polls.

Southern Cal-Similar to Ohio State, the Trojans must win out or be crowded out. A win over Cal guarantees some BCS action, but a 2nd loss from anywhere obviously locks them out or the title game, and a loss to Cal puts them in a competitive at-large pool.

Notre Dame- The Irish need all kinds of help, but it's enough to fire up the faithful. ND beats a 10-2 USC, watches a combination of LSU/Arkansas/Florida/Florida State give 'Hogs and Gators two-losses each, and pulls for an undefeated Michigan (ick....-IO). That would pretty much punch their ticket and put the kid on the organ donor list. Rutgers losing would help, but even a cold, unfeeling machine like myself can understand why the pollsters would find an 11-1 Notre Dame dead sexy.

Florida-Simply put, Gator fans should find some maize and blue for this weekend. A convincing wolverine victory would be half the battle, and the equally yellow and blue Cal Bears could finish the job in LA. Of course, this depends on Florida winning out, but that's a given.

So, there you have it, in the eyes of the computers, it's a binary world. Only 10 teams can play for it all in the end.

Johnny 5's monetary value is listed as $11,002,076.17 . He is currently worth more than Steve Guttenberg.

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