God, where did the summer go? Yes, we sweltered in the heat and humidity of what was is one of the driest seasons on record in New England, which I am sure didn't make life any easier for our Eagles as they prepare for the 2016 season...but incredibly and incredibly exciting..college football is back and with it, another season of "The Book".
Last year we ran a bake off between Phil Steele's College Football Preview magazine and the GamePlan College Football Annual Preview, using their ratings systems, with Phil Steele notching the victory when it came to it's week to week predictions against the spread. Which has us now using Steele as the predictor and the ranker of record.
The pre-season rankings then are what you would find in the Phil Steele 2016 magazine and we will use our own homegrown magic to update the rankings throughout the season.
The big change you will see this year as that rather than use power rankings, similar to what you would see with the Sagarin or Massey composite polls, we will try to look at this through the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee. In other words, "what would the committee do"?
Moving forward, our weekly rankings will be based on not what we think you are, but what you have actually done. Who have you played and who have you beaten. In theory, we should wind up close to where the final power rankings will wind up, but also, using what we have been told is the #1 criteria by the CFP selection committee, strength of schedule, be able to show if they are actually living up to what they state is important.
That will almost assuredly mean that even though there are so many compelling games this week, our poll will look nothing like this one come next Wednesday.
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss", could well hold true this year as Alabama opens the season #1 in the poll. They are joined in the pre-season playoff participants list by #2 Oklahoma, #3 Clemson and #4 LSU, which of course would make this the first year where two teams from the same conference (SEC) make the playoff. This is a pretty common sentiment among the experts in that many think either the SEC or the ACC (Clemson and Florida State) will put two teams in this year's playoff.
As for BC, Steele has the Eagles picked #11 in the ACC, good enough for #61 in the country, definitely an improvement over the #81 finish from the 2015 season, but with a long way to go. BC hasn't shown in the Book's top 25 since the 2008 season, the longest such stretch since the Eagles went 20 years without an appearance from mid 1955 to September of 1976.
The Eagles have what many will see as a very soft schedule. Outside of #3 Clemson and #5 Florida State, BC has what can be viewed a very manageable schedule. Louisville (#23), Virginia Tech (#40), Georgia Tech (#50), NC State (#51), Wake Forest (#63), Syracuse (#68) with non confs against UMass (#126), UConn (#81), Buffalo (#107) and Wagner (#232 - Sagarin..in other words, Howard part II)..the Eagles are favored by rank in six of their twelve games.
Of course, the Eagles open the season in Dublin this Saturday against Georgia Tech. The Book has Tech a slight four point favorite.
Enjoy the games and Go Eagles!
Note: the Massey composite rankings are as of Sunday night, August 28.
|9||North Carolina State||0-0||52||39|
|at Wake Forest||22.1||Tulane|
|at Tennessee||24.3||Appalachian St.|
|at Stanford||14.6||Kansas St.|
|Georgia Tech||4.0||Boston College|
|at Ohio St.||25.4||Bowling Green|
|at Texas A&M||1.6||UCLA|
|at Iowa||30.5||Miami OH|
|Notre Dame||0.8||at Texas|