by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup
The bowls are all set as 14 weeks of the NCAA football season have passed with only one game remaining: Army vs. Navy, to be held this upcoming Saturday.
Our model ends with the same team on top that we had all season, Alabama, who ESPN and 538 acknowledge as the best college football team of all time. Ohio State and Michigan remain 2nd and 3rd, respectively, but, thanks in part to Wisconsin’s loss and Washington’s crushing of Colorado, the Huskies move into our 4th spot. Clemson is our 8th ranked team, behind Wisconsin, Penn State, and USC, respectively. No. 12 Western Michigan is our highest ranked team from the Group of 5 conferences and Oklahoma is our highest ranked Big 12 team, at #18. As Don Pope pointed out last week, the Big 12 looks more like a Group of 5 conference than a Power 5 conference this year.
Next week, after the Army-Navy game, we will give our projections for all 40+ bowl games. My grad school alma mater, Indiana, will play in the Foster Farms Bowl. That’s how you know you’ve hit the big time, why mess around with crummy bowls like the Rose or Sugar when you can throw a pigskin sponsored by a chicken.