Thursday, November 02, 2006

Poll Position - Week 10 | by Jeff

The Big East picture will become much more clear tonight, as West Virginia faces their first real test of the season at Louisville. This could be good news for Irish fans, since there is a decent chance that the loser of this game will drop below ND in the BCS rankings. The biggest issue with ND's recent slips in the polls is that ND might be too far back to benefit when a top team loses (especially to another top team). The Irish risk holding steady at the bottom portion of the Top 10 while teams above them churn week by week.

#1 Ohio State at Illinois (tOSU by 26.5)
#2 Michigan vs Ball State (UM by 34)
Another week, another step closer to a #1 vs #2 matchup.

#3 West Virginia at #5 Louisville (Cards by 1.5)
The Big East and the National Championship picture will become much clearer after tonight. But both teams still have to face Rutgers and travel to Pittsburgh.

#4 Florida at Vanderbilt (Gators by 16)
For some reason, Vandy seems to play Florida tough.

#6 Auburn vs Arkansas State (Auburn by 30.5)
Auburn survived a scare in Oxford last week, while Arkansas State was shut out by Florida Atlantic. This could get ugly.

#7 Texas vs Oklahoma State (Texas by 17)
Texas seems to have nine lives this year, but they won't need to cash any in vs the Cowboys.

#8 Southern Cal at Stanford (Trojans by 28.5)
Expect the Trojans to take out last weekend's loss on the hapless Cardinal.

Cal, Tennessee, and Rutgers are ahead of ND in at least on element of the BCS, so a loss by any of them probably helps the Irish a bit. Rutgers has a bye this week in preparation for Louisville next week, but the other games are:

#10 Cal vs UCLA (Cal by 17)
After starting 4-1, UCLA is in danger of losing 4 straight.

#11 Tennessee vs #13 LSU (LSU by 3)
Strength on strength: Tennessee's offense vs LSU's defense.

And most importantly...
#9 Notre Dame vs North Carolina
The Irish stand to move into the BCS "automatic qualification" zone with a win.