The Pick Six standings are starting to settle down. There will still be lots of change over the course of the season but fewer teams will make 15+ place jumps and so people will move up and down slower in the standings. If you've forgotten your username send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can look you up.
Pick Six welcomes the Houston Cougars into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season. All 31 people who chose Houston are glad they finally made it into the poll. With 31 people Houston was actually the 6th most popular unranked teams. The only top 8 most popular unranked teams that have not gotten into the rankings yet are BYU and Iowa. With the way the season is going so far, it looks like only BYU has a chance of ever being ranked, and that is a pretty smal chance.
In fact there have been 11 preseason unranked teams who have made appearances in the poll. Nine of those eleven are still ranked this week (South Florida are the teams that returned to the unranked masses).
We also have to say hello to Michigan State as they reentered the poll with a #23 ranking. We went 3 weeks without anybody from Group D in the rankings. Surprisingly the return of points from Group D didn’t have much of an effect on the leaderboard. None of the top 16 people in this week’s standings picked Michigan State.
Other than that the only major changes were Texas dropping to #22 and Florida dropping out of the poll. That gives the 330 people who picked Michigan an advantage over the 344 people who picked Texas.
Individual Ballot Analysis
Once again our leader stays on top from last week. But it’s not actually BlueMars24 and Cottonpicker whose fortunes fell with Florida. This week, Willhouse stays on top with 95 points and claims first place all by himself. It’s his West Virginia and Clemson picks that are keeping him in first.
The perfect ballot has finally cracked 100 points this week with #1 LSU, #6 Oklahoma State, #4 Wisconsin, #23 Michigan State, #13 West Virginia and #8 Clemson. That is three teams earning at least 20 points this week.
The two people with the worst possible ballot actually have managed to go even lower than last week’s 20 points. This week Florida State dropped out of the poll so Oregon is their sole ranked team earning them 17 points. If Oregon somehow loses badly to Arizona State and Stanford there could be the mythical zero point ballot.
Weekly Brian watch
Not much to update here. Brian drops slightly to 70th place. West Virginia picked up a few more points but Texas lost them and more.
Judging your picks
Even though the perfect ballot is at its highest point yet, the average ballots are falling. The mean and median of the MGoBlogosphere is 55 points (down from 60). A ballot picked randomly would be expected to have 49 points this week.
A full two thirds of the MGoBlog pickers are above that random level. So congratulations MGoBloggers, you are definitely value-added Pick Six Pickers.
Games to Not Watch
As stubob pointed out in his Ugly Game of the Week diary most of the Top 25 is taking on cupcakes. However I think he posted far too pretty of cupcakes in his post. Most of these matchups are against bad cupcakes. Arkansas is not playing this week but 7 of the 9 active Top Ten teams are favored by 2+ touchdowns. The average line on those 9 games is 22 points.
So, no these games do not deserve good looking cupcake pictures. Before we list the good games to watch here are 2 games that will satisfy your urge for carnage.
Indiana at #4 Wisconsin
Line: Wisconsin –40, Over/Under 60
#3 Oklahoma at Kansas
Line: Oklahoma –35.5, Over/Under 72.5
Here are two games where the winning team might cover the point total all by themselves. The last time Wisconsin scored more than 60 points was last year against Northwestern (70), Indiana (83) and Austin Peay (70). Scoring 60 at home against the Hoosiers should be no problem.
It has been a surprisingly long time since Oklahoma scored more than 72.5. It goes all the way back to opening day of the 2007 season when they scored 79 against North Texas. However they have scored in the mid 60s seven times since then.
Games to Watch
Despite all the crappy games this week one can actually find a solid day of good football that will have an impact on the Pick Six standings. In order of quality:
#11 Michigan at #23 Michigan State (noon, ESPN)
#18 Arizona St at #9 Oregon (10:15, ESPN)
#6 Oklahoma St at #22 Texas (3:30, ABC/ESPN)
#20 Baylor at #21 Texas A&M (noon, FX)
Florida at #24 Auburn (7:00, ESPN)
We’re all obviously going to be watching the Michigan game but keep an eye on any highlights of the Baylor-Texas A&M game. Both of those teams will be fighting to hang on to their ranking for one more week. After plummeting down the poll 2 weeks ago both teams had a pretty easy matchup last week that kept them around the bottom of the poll. The loser will be unranked next week and probably for several weeks afterward.
After the Michigan game switch over to the Oklahoma State game at Texas. Depending on how good you think Texas actually is, this might be the Cowboys toughest game until December 3 against Oklahoma.
Then watch the Florida-Auburn game at 7 pm. Auburn barely stayed in the poll at #24 and Florida is the top unranked team. The winner will probably still be in the 20-25 range but how far down the unranked teams will the loser drop? At the same time as this game, I will also try to watch some of the Iowa-Northwestern game. While it doesn’t affect Pick Six, it should be a pretty good game.
Finally, watch Arizona State at Oregon playing at 10:15 eastern time until you fall asleep in front of the TV. This has the potential to be the best game of the weekend but it also has the potential to be a blowout.