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The Book 2021: Week 8 - October 23

Eagles and the Nation at the Midway Point

Week 8 is the start of the second half of the season, both on the calendar and in terms of how many games Boston College has remaining on their 2021 schedule. BC began the season ranked #48 in our power ratings and currently sits at #54

After the NC State games, based on current ratings, we have the Eagles finishing at 7-5, a swing of two games in a week, with all the other games shrinking in margin as well. BC is favored vs Syracuse (1.6), Virginia Tech (1.7) and Florida State (4.7) and an underdog at Louisville (4.3), Georgia Tech (0.8) and Wake Forest (0.6). The trend though is definitely down

On the national stage, we've got #1 Georgia, #2 Alabama, #3 Oklahoma and #4 Cincinnati as our CFP participants. No question that Alabama is currently the one raising the most eyebrows by even being included, never mind at #2, but the Tide still carries the 2nd highest power rating and 8th ranked strength of record.

Cincinnati Part 2

Last week we touched on Cincinnati and their run to make history as the first group of five team to make the CFP. While the Bearcats sit at #2 in the AP and Coaches poll, there are many who believe they either don't belong period or will get weighed down by their strength of schedule, currently in the 80s by most calculations (90th by our metrics), there is one major difference and that's their power rating.

Cincinnati 2021 is ranked 4th in the power ratings and currently would be an 8 1/2 point dog on a neutral field against #1 Georgia. The Bearcats aren't just undefeated, they are good.

Here are the last six top group of five teams at years end and how big an underdog they would be to the eventual national champion on a neutral field.

Year Team Power Rank Rating Below
Number 1
Number
1 Team
2021 Cincinnati 4th 8.5 Georgia
2020 Cincinnati 12th 26 Alabama
2019 Memphis 25th 29 LSU
2018 UCF 18th 25 Clemson
2017 UCF 18th 16 Alabama
2016 Western Michigan 23 21 Alabama

Overachievers and Underachievers

At this stage in the season, probably even earlier than this, labels of under and over achievers get placed on programs. North Carolina would have to be tops on that under list and tough to ignore 7-0 Michigan State among others as exceeding expectations, but once again, a lot of that is just record. Who's really better or worse than we projected and by how much..see below, with our top and bottom 10.

Boston College is very average on this list, at minus 1.00 in terms of pre-season power rating to current power rating.

RANK TEAM GAIN YTD
1 CINCINNATI 10.30
2 GEORGIA 10.12
3 MICHIGAN ST 9.57
4 MICHIGAN 8.46
5 COASTAL CAROLINA 7.81
6 PITTSBURGH 7.58
7 SYRACUSE 7.02
8 UTSA 6.64
9 UTEP 6.36
10 AIR FORCE 6.17
RANK TEAM LOSS YTD
130 CLEMSON (10.20)
129 SOUTHERN MISS (9.71)
128 KANSAS (9.19)
127 NEW MEXICO (8.96)
126 RICE (8.68)
125 OHIO (8.36)
124 ARIZONA (7.90)
123 WISCONSIN (7.27)
122 SAN JOSE ST (7.14)
121 MISSOURI (6.81)
RANK TEAM LOSS YTD
71 BOSTON COLLEGE (1.00)

Boston College at Louisville

As mentioned earlier, the Eagles are a 4.3 point underdog at Louisville on Saturday. Vegas opened at 9 and quickly that was bet down to 6.5

We continue to be undefeated picking winners of BC games at 5-0, but fell to 2-3 against the closing line by leaning Eagles vs NC State.

Clemson a Dog

Of note this week, Clemson is an underdog in an ACC game for the first time since 2016 as they are a 0.5 point dog at Pittsburgh. The last time the Tigers were in that position was 2016 when Lamar Jackson and #3 Louisville were 2 point Vegas favorites (1.2 in The Book) in Death Valley against Deshaun Watson. Clemson ultimately won that game 42-36 and haven't been back in that position since.

Enjoy the games and Go Eagles!

Power – Book power rank, SOR – Book Strength of Record rank, Sagarin – Jeff Sagarin computer poll ranking, Massey – Massey Composite rankings, ESPN FPI – ESPN Football Power Index rankings, AP – Associated Press writers rankings, Coaches – ESPN Coaches rankings, CFP – College Football Playoff rankings, change from last week – change from last week’s Book rankings