Friday, October 27, 2006

Poll Position - Week 9 | by Jeff

I really don't know why I'm bothering with this week's edition of "Poll Position." With every Top 10 team going into the weekend as a double-digit favorite, don't expect too much movement in the BCS. Of course as we saw last weekend, sometimes movement occurs in the BCS for no real reason at all, but Clarlie already covered that in his press conference.

Despite the recent drop in the BCS, the Irish are still well positioned for a BCS bowl as either an automatic qualifier or an at-large selection. However, the hopes of playing in the National Championship game are growing dimmer by the week. November has quite a few top matchups and rivalry games, but ND gained no ground at all in the BCS throughout all of October and may be running out of outs.

#1 Ohio State vs Minnesota (Buckeyes by 27)
#2 Michigan vs Northwestern (UM by 34)
The Buckeyes and Wolverines appear to be on a collision couse for a spot in the National Championship game.

#3 Southern Cal at Oregon State (Trojans by 13)
Southern Cal looks beatable, but not in this game.

#5 Auburn at Ole Miss (Tigers by 17)
Auburn has a decent shot at the BCS title game without winning their division of their conference. I think the last time this happened, Nebraska got spanked by Miami in the Rose Bowl.

#6 Florida vs Georgia (Gators by 14)
Georgia is staring a 2-5 finish squarely in the face.

#7 Texas at Texas Tech (UT by 11.5)
After winning a squeaker at Nebraska, the Longhorns and their banged-up defense face another tricky test on the road.

Although below ND in the BCS standings, Tennessee and Rutgers both lead the Irish in at least one of the BCS components, so a loss by any of two probably helps out the Irish a bit.

#11 Tennessee at South Carolina (Vols by 5)
Can Spurrier get a signature win?

#14 Rutgers vs UConn (Rutgers by 18.5)
Yes, the Scarlet Knights lead ND in the computer rankings, but their schedule is about to get much tougher.

And most importantly...
#9 Notre Dame at Navy
The service academies always play tough against the Irish, and even though Navy lost their starting QB, I don't expect this game to be any different.