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The Book - Week 6 - October 4, 2014

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An early SEC Game of the Year and the Eagles head into the bye week, dropping to #54.

#1 Ole Miss hosts #6 Alabama in Game of The Century for Rebels
#1 Ole Miss hosts #6 Alabama in Game of The Century for Rebels
Wesley Hitt

For the third consecutive week, the Ole Miss Rebels have held on to the number one spot in our Book Top 20. Ole Miss knocked off a solid Memphis team that had given UCLA fits in the Rose Bowl just three weeks earlier, winning handily 24-3. Now comes perhaps the most anticipated home game in Rebel history, as Ole Miss welcomes Alabama to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Tide enters as the #6 team in our poll and #3 in the combined Massey computer ratings.

Bama is a 4.5 point favorite according to Vegas, but will be a whopping 7.5 point underdog according to the Book! Sheer lunacy, you say? Most likely, but should Ole Miss win, the talk of national title contender is sure to follow not only here, but all over the country.

The SEC continues to dominate the poll, with four of the top six, seven of the top thirteen and eight of the top twenty positions.

Speaking of Mississippi (probably more so the last few weeks than my entire life combined), did you know that this is the first time that both Ole Miss and Miss State have been 4-0 in the same season?  Think this week is a big deal down there?

The ACC is still just represented by one team, Florida State. The Noles still aren't getting any respect, once again dropping back to #19 in the poll at 4-0.  Two other teams lacking serious respect are Oregon at 9 and Notre Dame, who dropped to 16 after the win over Syracuse last week.  Both have chances to make statements with games at home against marquee opponents this week. Oregon on Thursday night vs Arizona, trying to gain revenge for the beat down they took in Tuscon last season and Notre Dame at home vs Stanford in what should be another epic game in that series.

Boston College's loss to Colorado State knocked the Eagles down a few pegs from number 46 nationally (5th in the ACC) down to 54 in the country and 9th in the ACC.  The ACC is a jumbled mess, with nine teams ranked between 42 and 67.  Pitt, which had been just below the top tier teams at one point, is now all the way down at 13th, just above #TheRivalry, after dropping back to back games to Iowa and then being shocked by Akron.

By the way, CSU rose to #44 nationally following the win, so although the loss was painful, it certainly was against a solid program.

I have also been looking at creating another set of rankings, taking into account wins and losses as well as strength of schedule. Once the season is over, I will probably look at this two or three ways, but for now, just mocking it up in one direction. Interestingly, after the first month, although there are differences between The Book ranking and the Adjusted Book ranking, in general, it is pretty subtle. BC is two spots higher in the Adjusted Book ranking (#52), primarily on the strength of the USC win, while the biggest difference either good or bad for any team is Arizona. The Cats are #37 in the current Book ranking, but #26 in the Adjusted Rankings, leveraging a currently perfect 4-0 record and three wins over top 75 opposition.

Five games this week pitting top 20 teams against each other, so get ready for great Bye week!

1 Ole Miss Rebels 4-0 8
2 Auburn Tigers 4-0 1
3 Baylor Bears 4-0 9
4 Texas A&M Aggies 5-0 5
5 Oklahoma Sooners 4-0 2
6 Alabama Crimson Tide 4-0 3
7 Michigan State Spartans 3-1 16
8 UCLA Bruins 4-0 7
9 Oregon Ducks 4-0 4
10 Georgia Bulldogs 3-1 18
11 LSU Tigers 4-1 14
12 Marshall Thundering Herd 4-0 31
13 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 4-0 10
14 USC Trojans 3-1 17
15 Ohio State Buckeyes 3-1 26
16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4-0 12
17 Missouri Tigers 4-1 22
18 Stanford Cardinal 3-1 19
19 Florida State Seminoles 4-0 6
20 TCU Horned Frogs 3-0 15

Others receiving votes: Nebraska

1 Florida St. Seminoles 4-0 19
2 Clemson Tigers 2-2 26
3 Louisville Cardinals 4-1 29
4 Duke Blue Devils 4-1 35
5 Miami-Florida Hurricanes 3-2 42
6 Virginia Cavaliers 3-2 43
7 Virginia Tech Hokies 3-2 48
8 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 4-0 52
9 Boston College Eagles 3-2 54
10 North Carolina Tar Heels 2-2 58
11 N.C. State Wolfpack 4-1 62
12 Syracuse Orange 2-2 66
13 Pittsburgh Panthers 3-2 67
14 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2-3 83

at #9 Oregon 15.5 Arizona
at #8 UCLA 13 Utah
at #14 USC 15.5 Arizona St
#12 Marshall 24 at Old Dominion
at #13 Mississippi St E #4 Texas A&M
#15 Ohio St 1 at Maryland
at #19 Florida St 22 Wake Forest
at #1 Mississippi 7.5 #6 Alabama
#5 Oklahoma 2 at #20 TCU
#3 Baylor 8 at Texas
at #16 Notre Dame 5 #18 Stanford
at #10 Georgia 29 Vanderbilt
at #2 Auburn 10 #11 LSU
at #7 Michigan St 10.5 Nebraska

Louisville 5 at Syracuse
at N Carolina 3.5 Virginia Tech
at Clemson 14 NC State
at Georgia Tech 1 Miami FL
at Virginia 8 Pittsburgh

Other BC Opponents
at Miami OH 8.5 UMass
at Colorado St 23 Tulsa

Adding two picks this week for my sleeper game of the week...the two highest ranked teams flying under the radar and the weekly Toilet Bowl, featuring the two lowest ranked teams of the week. Last week, these two picks went 1-1 again, winning the Sleeper pick, taking Maryland at Indiana and losing the Toilet Bowl, taking Idaho against South Alabama. So both the Toilet Bowl and the Sleeper Bowl are 2-2 for the season.

This week:

Sleeper Bowl:  #31 Florida at #36 Tennessee (UT -3)

Toilet Bowl:  #125 UMass at #114 Miami OH (Miami -8.5)

The Book, mimicking the play of Boston College, sputters to a near .500 record last week, going 21-24-3 .469 with 4 games the same, for a five week record of 97-104-3 .483 with 8 games the same as the Vegas spread.  It's about time to kick this into gear if having a fourth straight winning season is in the cards.

By the way, The Book did pick CSU correctly last week, meaning that in Boston College games this year, it is 3-1 vs the Vegas spread and it also found one of the big upsets of the week, taking Missouri to win outright at South Carolina.

Enjoy the games this week and go Eagles!!