The first Official Championship Game Ratings (OCGR) of the 2009 season is out. Florida and Alabama debut at the top two spots. The best one-loss team so far is Virginia Tech.
Twenty-four teams qualified for this week's OCGR. It is basically the Coaches' Top 25 minus Oklahoma (due to the Sooners' two losses and not being in the top 15). As a reminder, the OCGR's sole intent is to determine the two most deserving teams at the end of the season to play in the championship game.
The OCGR looks at statistics on the field (offense, defense, and special teams), as well as strength of schedule and winning percentage.
The breakdown is as follows: Offense—24 percent, Defense—24 percent, Special Teams—12 percent, and Strength of Schedule—40 percent.
Everything is multiplied by each team's winning percentage as well as 100. For further explanation, look here (The stat ranges for offense, defense, and special teams have been changed due to updating the past five seasons of statistics).
The top five start with the usual top three of Florida, Alabama, and Texas. Iowa is a surprise at four. Virginia Tech wraps it up at five. With a win next week and an improvement to their winning percentage, the Hokies will jump Iowa.
If VT wins out, the concern is that its rating is great for a one-loss team only six games in, but it will need two of the top three to lose. It is guaranteed that either Florida or Alabama will have a loss. VT will need Texas to lose and perhaps have the loser of the SEC Championship Game end the year with two losses.
The remainder of the top 10 consists of Nebraska, Oregon, USC, Ohio State, and TCU. The first four are only separated by 0.21 points. TCU's debut could be a little disappointing. The Horned Frogs need Virginia and Clemson to be strong to help their strength of schedule (and perhaps not schedule an FCS team).
Boise State is just behind TCU at 11. They fell victim of the FCS scheduling again this season. LSU, Miami, and Notre Dame follow suit. Cincinnati, though undefeated, is only 15th. They have a chance to upgrade their schedule with a battle against South Florida on Thursday night.
Kansas, South Carolina, South Florida, Georgia Tech, and Missouri round out the top 20. Kansas' best opponent so far has been Iowa State, while South Carolina puts its spot in the OCGR on the line against Alabama this week. Georgia Tech gets its shot to jump back in the ACC hunt against Virginia Tech. Missouri lost in a downpour against the Cornhuskers this past week.
South Florida is undefeated, but is so low due to its schedule. They have played two FCS teams, the worst team in the FBS, and struggling Florida State and Syracuse. Their opponents' records minus South Florida games are 2-15 combined. Compared to Virginia Tech's opponents' mark of 20-4, you see why South Florida's rating is in the dumps.
Penn State, BYU, Oklahoma State, and Houston conclude the first edition of the 2009 OCGR. These teams, though in the OCGR, are going to struggle to even remain in the OCGR. Here are the OCGR standings for this week:
(Ratings as of Oct. 11)
The SEC went 0-2 in out-of-conference action, but it was not enough to knock them out of first place in the conference strength ratings. The Big East is a big surprise, currently third and slowly gaining on the Pac-10.
No non-BCS Conferences show giving a shot at dethroning the "Big Six" from the perches. The Mountain West is close to the ACC. The ACC has a lot to jump the next conference in front of them, the Big Ten. Here are the conference standings for this week:
(Conference strength through games played on Oct. 10)