Oregon Vs. Auburn Football: Who Should Be No. 1?

Samantha Cooke@sportycookieCorrespondent INovember 24, 2010

Oregon Vs. Auburn Football: Who Should Be No. 1?

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    There has been a lot of discussion about the BCS rankings, the polls and who should play in the national championship game or the BCS bowls. Everything comes down to the computer rankings and the BCS poll.

    In a perfect world, everyone would agree on who should play and there would be no arguments. This is obviously not a perfect world. Some people agree Oregon should be No. 1, while others say it should be Auburn.

    There are several other people who think it is unfair that TCU and Boise State need losses by Oregon and Auburn in order to play in the title game.

    One factor that I do not think a lot of people take into account is strength of schedule. I developed a formula to figure out who holds the edge for the title game based on strength of schedule.

The Formula

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    There are five categories: Points, Average Rank of Opponents, Winning Percentage of Opponents, Ranked Opponents and Bowl Eligible Opponents.

    Points: These points were calculated solely on the schedule. You earn points based on certain criteria.

    +0 = home game

    +1 = neutral game

    +2 = away game

    +3 = opponent in Big Six Conference or ranked small conference opponent

    +4 = ranked opponent within your own conference

    +5 = ranked opponent from Big Six Conference that is not your own

    -1 = FCS opponent

    The points were then added together to give each team a point total per game. For example, LSU played then-ranked North Carolina at a neutral site. They earned one point for the neutral site, three points for the opponent being in the ACC and five points for the opponent being ranked from the ACC for a total of nine points for the North Carolina game.

    The points were then added together for a season total.

    Average Rank of Opponents: I used the ranking system that ranked all 120 teams from the FBS. If a team played the FCS, they automatically received a rank of 121. The ranks were then averaged.


    Winning Percentage of Opponents: This was based solely on the win-loss record of opponents. *These totals are through November 23*

    Ranked Opponents: This category gave a team a point for each Top 25 team they played. The rankings are based on when the opponent played the team.

    Bowl Eligible Opponents: Each team earned a point for every bowl eligible team they played during the season. *These are bowl eligible teams as of November 23. This does not include the teams that are 5-6 and could become bowl eligible with a win.*

    Whoever had the most points for each category received one point. The lowest number of points has the best overall strength of schedule.

10. TCU: 39 Points

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    Points: 24

    Average Ranking: 68.92

    Win Percentage: 0.459

    Ranked Opponents: 2

    Bowl Opponents: 6

    TCU took a hit for their conference schedule. They did get some extra points for playing Oregon State and Baylor at home, though.

    Their last opponent is New Mexico, who is currently 1-10. The only team that could become bowl eligible on TCU’s schedule is Oregon State at 5-5.

8. (TIE) Wisconsin: 36 Points

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    Points: 24

    Average Ranking: 66.08

    Win Percentage: 0.458

    Ranked Opponents: 3

    Bowl Opponents: 5

    The only ranked opponents Wisconsin played were all in their Big Ten schedule. They did take a road trip out to UNLV, which was more than some other teams did.

    Wisconsin hosts Northwestern. With a win, they clinch a share of the Big Ten title. They have no opponents that can become bowl eligible.

8. (TIE) Oregon: 36 Points

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    Points: 26

    Average Ranking: 61

    Win Percentage: 0.441

    Ranked Opponents: 3

    Bowl Opponents: 3

    Oregon’s schedule definitely hurts them in this situation. Although they did play Tennessee on the road, the Vols are not very good this year. This takes away some “quality” from that win.

    Tennessee, California, Washington, Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State could all become bowl eligible on Oregon’s schedule. This could slightly help them and give them a point edge over Wisconsin.

7. Stanford: 34 Points

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    Points: 25

    Average Rank: 58.08

    Win Percentage: 0.492

    Ranked Opponents: 2

    Bowl Opponents: 4

    Stanford hosted Wake Forest and traveled to South Bend to face Notre Dame. Other than that, they just had Pac-10 opponents and an FCS opponent.

    California, Washington, Arizona State, UCLA and Oregon State all have the potential to become bowl eligible.

6. Boise State: 32 Points

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    Points: 30

    Average Rank: 74.83

    Win Percentage: 0.492

    Ranked Opponents: 3

    Bowl Opponents: 5

    While Boise State’s in-conference schedule hurt them, their out-of-conference helped them. Every time Virginia Tech wins, it makes Boise State look better. They also played Oregon State, who could become bowl eligible.

    Along with Oregon State, Louisiana Tech and Idaho could become bowl eligible.

5. Michigan State: 29 Points

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    Points: 23

    Average Rank: 60.92

    Win Percentage: 0.519

    Ranked Opponents: 3

    Bowl Opponents: 6

    Michigan State’s weak out-of-conference hurt them, but the fact that the Big Ten is doing well has helped the Spartans. They played all four of the Big Ten’s 7-4 teams as well as Wisconsin.

    Florida Atlantic and Western Michigan are the only teams that could become bowl eligible.

4. Ohio State: 24 Points

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    Points: 24

    Average Rank: 59

    Win Percentage: 0.515

    Ranked Opponents: 3

    Bowl Opponents: 7

    Preseason rankings helped the Buckeyes, giving them a lot of points for their Miami (FL) game, even though the Hurricanes are only 7-4. The Buckeyes faced three 7-4 opponents and Wisconsin in the Big Ten. It also helped them to not play an FCS team.

    No teams can become bowl eligible on Ohio State’s schedule.

3. Oklahoma State: 21 Points

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    Points: 25

    Average Rank: 53.25

    Win Percentage: 0.530

    Ranked Opponents: 3

    Bowl Opponents: 7

    The only ranked opponents Oklahoma State faced this season were all in the Big 12 schedule, though they did receive some points for hosting Washington State because they are a Pac-10 opponent.

    Troy and Texas can become bowl eligible.

2. Auburn: Nine Points

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    Points: 26

    Average Rank: 50.25

    Win Percentage: 0.598

    Ranked Opponents: 4

    Bowl Opponents: 7

    While Auburn has not had the toughest schedule, they have played a lot of opponents that are heading to bowl games. Most of their opponents are around the .500 mark, but they have also faced LSU, South Carolina and Alabama.

    Louisiana-Monroe and Georgia have the potential to become bowl eligible.

1. LSU: Six Points

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    Points: 40

    Average Rank: 50.92

    Win Percentage: 0.595

    Ranked Opponents: 6

    Bowl Opponents: 7

    LSU’s first game against North Carolina really helped their “point” total. They also got help with the game against then-ranked West Virginia. LSU has faced almost every top opponent in the SEC in Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas and then-ranked Florida.

    Louisiana-Monroe and Tennessee could become bowl eligible.

    They ranked first or second in every category, making their total points so low. Auburn and LSU make a strong argument for letting a one-loss SEC team into the title game.