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The Book 2015: Week 9

The curious case of Tennessee and USC. Will BC win again in 2015? Eagles small dog at home vs Hokies.

Tennessee and USC still highly rated despite hovering around .500
Tennessee and USC still highly rated despite hovering around .500
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

So after this weekend, we become irrelevant; or do we? The first college football playoff poll will be released after the games of the coming weekend and all the speculation about 'who's in' and why can start in earnest and then this all becomes an exercise in who cares. But it is fun and it is something that for whatever reason comes fairly close to mimicking the outcome of the selection committee..so on we go.

After this week, we seem to have more consensus than dissension between the two polls.  The majority of teams now are within a few spots of each other in the polls. There are still some outliers, like Temple, who will get their chance to make a statement this week when they host Notre Dame. The Owls, in the top 25 of both major polls, are 32 in the Book and 42 in the Steele poll. Pitt is another one, with the Panthers also in the polls, but 35 and 44 in our two.

Then we have the curious case of Tennessee and USC. The Vols and Trojans have seven losses between them, but the Men of Troy sit at #12/#9 and Rocky Top comes in at #27/#22. So why?

These polls are power rankings and wouldn't necessarily equate to what one would expect to see in the AP or ESPN polls, which essentially rank teams by number of losses. These look at stack ranking teams and determining which are best, pretty much putting rankings aside. Both have played strong schedules and have suffered relatively little for their losses, while getting at least one major win each (Utah and Georgia).

As for the Eagles, well BC continues to slide in the Massey composite poll, down to #78, once again lower than either of our two rankings systems which show #74/#67. BC plays #47/#50 Virginia Tech this week and enters the game a 4.4 or 2.7 point underdog, depending on which magazine fits your eye better. Both publications are now 1 game below .500 when picking BC games, with both losing last week, taking Louisville and giving the points to stand at 2-3-1 for the season.

It begs the question then: will BC win another game this season? So many thought BC could be a 7-, 8-, 9-, or, God forbid, a 10-win team this season. Sitting at 3-5 now, there remains a possibility that BC doesn't win again in 2015. According to both publications, there is a better chance of that happening than somehow the Eagles winning out to get bowl eligible. As mentioned above BC is slight dog this week against VT and then as of today, will be underdogs to both NC State (5.5/4.6) and Notre Dame (23.0/24.0) at Fenway, before finally being picked as a favorite in the Carrier Dome on the last weekend of the season (2.6/5.0).

Our College Football Playoff bracket this week would have Alabama, TCU, Baylor and Ohio State, if you like GamePlan and TCU, Baylor, Alabama and Stanford, if you like Steele. The Massey poll now has the ACC's Clemson Tigers on top, followed by Ohio State, LSU and Alabama. The distinction of being the lead dog didn't work too well for last week's Massey number one, Utah, who was crushed by USC.

In the battle for media supremacy, Phil Steele has now inched ahead, based on a solid 57% week and leads the head to head competition vs the Book by 4 1/2 games.

Enjoy your football weekend and Go Eagles!

THE NATIONAL RANKINGS 1-128
GP PS TEAM REC MASSEY
1 3 Alabama Crimson Tide 7-1 4
2 1 TCU Horned Frogs 7-0 7
3 2 Baylor Bears 7-0 6
4 5 Ohio State Buckeyes 8-0 2
5 4 Stanford Cardinal 6-1 11
6 6 Oklahoma Sooners 6-1 10
7 8 Clemson Tigers 7-0 1
7 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 6-1 5
9 10 LSU Tigers 7-0 3
10 11 Iowa Hawkeyes 7-0 8
11 12 Florida Gators 6-1 12
12 9 USC Trojans 4-3 21
13 15 Michigan State Spartans 8-0 9
14 13 Ole Miss Rebels 6-2 17
15 21 Memphis Tigers 7-0 14
16 17 Michigan Wolverines 5-2 15
17 16 Oklahoma State Cowboys 7-0 16
18 19 Mississippi St. Bulldogs 6-2 19
19 23 Duke Blue Devils 6-1 26
20 17 Utah Utes 6-1 13
21 14 UCLA Bruins 5-2 20
22 28 Houston Cougars 7-0 23
23 24 North Carolina Tar Heels 6-1 31
24 20 Florida State Seminoles 5-1 18
25 34 Bowling Green Falcons 6-2 40
26 30 Wisconsin Badgers 6-2 28
27 22 Tennessee Volunteers 3-4 36
28 25 Boise State Broncos 6-2 38
29 29 Texas A&M Aggies 5-2 25
30 26 Georgia Bulldogs 5-2 34
31 37 Toledo Rockets 7-0 24
32 42 Temple Owls 7-0 22
33 33 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 3-5 49
34 27 Arkansas Razorbacks 3-4 47
35 44 Pittsburgh Panthers 6-1 27
36 39 BYU Cougars 6-2 32
37 32 Arizona State Sun Devils 4-3 42
38 31 Oregon Ducks 4-3 45
39 35 California Golden Bears 5-2 29
40 41 N.C. State Wolfpack 5-2 50
41 38 West Virginia Mountaineers 3-3 39
42 51 Appalachian St. Mountaineers 6-1 35
43 45 Northwestern Wildcats 6-2 30
44 48 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 6-2 41
45 43 Auburn Tigers 4-3 48
46 40 Texas Longhorns 3-4 44
47 50 Virginia Tech Hokies 3-5 68
48 47 Louisville Cardinals 3-4 52
49 36 Washington Huskies 3-4 51
50 46 Washington State Cougars 5-2 46
51 60 Navy Midshipmen 5-1 33
52 54 Nebraska Cornhuskers 3-5 59
53 49 Arizona Wildcats 5-3 53
54 52 Texas Tech Red Raiders 5-3 43
55 56 Utah State Aggies 4-3 60
56 62 Cincinnati Bearcats 4-3 54
57 63 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 5-3 65
58 61 Miami-Florida Hurricanes 4-3 56
59 55 Penn State Nittany Lions 6-2 37
60 64 Vanderbilt Commodores 3-4 75
61 58 San Diego State Aztecs 5-3 67
62 57 Illinois Fighting Illini 4-3 55
63 66 Kentucky Wildcats 4-3 61
64 59 Missouri Tigers 4-4 70
65 71 Western Michigan Broncos 4-3 63
66 69 Northern Illinois Huskies 5-3 74
67 65 South Carolina Gamecocks 3-4 73
68 53 Kansas State Wildcats 3-4 64
69 78 Georgia Southern Eagles 5-2 58
70 70 East Carolina Pirates 4-4 62
71 74 Marshall Thundering Herd 7-1 57
72 72 South Florida Bulls 4-3 71
73 77 Central Michigan Chippewas 4-4 72
74 67 Boston College Eagles 3-5 78
75 79 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 5-3 79
76 68 Minnesota Golden Gophers 4-3 66
77 75 Virginia Cavaliers 2-5 85
78 73 Iowa St. Cyclones 2-5 84
79 82 Colorado State Rams 3-4 88
80 87 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 3-4 86
81 89 Arkansas State Red Wolves 4-3 80
82 76 Colorado Buffaloes 4-4 87
83 83 Air Force Falcons 4-3 77
84 88 Purdue Boilermakers 1-6 99
85 86 Syracuse Orange 3-4 82
86 93 Ohio University Bobcats 5-3 81
87 80 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 3-4 76
88 96 Akron Zips 3-4 89
89 85 FIU Panthers 4-4 97
90 81 Indiana Hoosiers 4-4 69
91 84 Maryland Terrapins 2-5 83
92 97 Buffalo Bulls 3-4 91
93 90 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 3-5 92
94 95 San Jose State Spartans 4-4 94
95 91 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 3-5 93
96 92 Connecticut Huskies 3-5 96
97 98 Rice Owls 4-3 90
98 100 Nevada Wolf Pack 4-4 98
99 99 Louisiana Ragin Cajuns 2-4 102
100 103 Ball State Cardinals 2-6 110
101 101 Massachusetts Minutemen 1-6 107
102 94 Oregon State Beavers 2-5 95
103 106 UNLV Rebels 2-5 106
104 112 New Mexico Lobos 4-4 108
104 108 Troy Trojans 2-5 111
106 104 Wyoming Cowboys 1-7 122
107 107 Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners 1-6 114
108 111 Texas State Bobcats 2-4 101
109 113 Idaho Vandals 3-4 105
110 109 Tulane Green Wave 2-5 100
111 105 Kent State Golden Flashes 3-5 103
112 102 SMU Mustangs 1-6 109
113 115 Army Black Knights 2-6 116
114 110 Hawaii Warriors 2-6 112
115 114 Kansas Jayhawks 0-7 117
116 117 Georgia State Panthers 2-4 118
117 121 Florida Atlantic Owls 1-6 121
118 119 ULM Warhawks 1-6 120
119 118 Fresno State Bulldogs 2-6 115
120 120 South Alabama Jaguars 3-4 104
121 116 UCF Knights 0-8 123
122 125 Texas-El Paso Miners 3-4 119
123 122 Old Dominion Monarchs 3-4 113
124 126 Eastern Michigan Eagles 1-7 126
125 124 North Texas Mean Green 0-7 127
126 123 Miami-Ohio Redhawks 1-7 124
127 127 Charlotte 49ers 2-5 125
128 128 New Mexico State Aggies 0-7 128

THE ACC RANKINGS
GP PS TEAM REC MASSEY
1 1 Clemson 7-0 1
2 3 Duke 6-1 26
3 2 Florida State 5-1 18
4 4 North Carolina 6-1 31
5 5 Georgia Tech 3-5 49
6 7 Pittsburgh 6-1 27
7 6 NC State 5-2 50
8 9 Virginia Tech 3-5 68
9 8 Louisville 3-4 52
10 10 Miami 4-3 56
11 11 Boston College 3-5 78
12 12 Virginia 2-5 85
13 13 Syracuse 3-4 82
14 14 Wake Forest 3-5 92

Last weeks head to head results:

GamePlan (The Book): 24-27-3 .472, 1 games identical to Vegas spread.   Season to date: 201-205-9 .495, 3 games identical
Phil Steele:  30-22-3 .573, 0 games identical to Vegas spread.  Season to date: 206-202-9 .505, 1 game identical

The Vegas spread used is the Danny Sheridan opening line.

NATIONAL/ACC/BC OPPONENT SPREADS
FAVORITE GP/PS SPREADS UNDERDOG
N Carolina 1.9/3.5 at Pittsburgh
at TCU 22.8/26.4 West Virginia
Louisville 13.3/13.2 at Wake Forest
at Memphis 38.2/38.4 Tulane
Notre Dame 8.8/12.7 at Temple
Virginia Tech 4.4/2.7 at Boston College
Clemson 9.8/11.3 North Carolina St
at Duke 16.5/15.5 Miami
at Florida State 25.5/29.8 Syracuse
Georgia Tech 8.2/10.4 Virginia
Mississippi 5.8/5.9 at Auburn
at Houston 17.3/16.5 Vanderbilt
USC 7.0/10.7 at California
at UCLA 26.1/26.2 Colorado
at Utah 35.9/34.3 Oregon State
Stanford 15.0/18.0 at Washington St
Oklahoma 41.4/44.4 at Kansas
Oklahoma St 8.0/8.1 at Texas Tech
at Iowa 34.1/32.9 Maryland
Florida 9.6/4.9 Georgia
Michigan 15.9/13.4 at Minnesota