As always, both the All Teams and the Division I-A only ratings have been updated. And Texas' rating continues to get more and more absurd with the potential to get even more out of hand. In both sets of ratings, Texas has defeated the #2 and #5 teams in consecutive weeks. All that's left is the #3 team this week and the #10/#11 team the following week. While there's obviously a long way to go and the odds of going through this schedule unscathed are extremely slim, suffice it to say that this year's Texas team has a statistical chance to finish as the greatest team in the history of college football. Do I think it will happen? No. But everything is setting up this year just like it did in 1971 for Nebraska. The Big 12 South is full of teams that swept their non-conference schedules and mostly in dominating fashion. IF any of the remaining three undefeated teams in the division finish that way I think they all have a chance to go down as the best and any one of the three would certainly go down as a Top 10 all time team. It will really all come down to the bowl season performance of all the teams. If the Big 12 South winner wins it all and the other teams win their bowl games I would put it as more probable than just possible that Nebraska's stranglehold at the top of the all time list is in jeopardy.
The good news is that this team keeps giving me new stuff to look up to compare the season to those in the program's history. Here are a few items after our latest victory:
1.) This is the 13th Texas team to start 7-0. The list of previous squads, of course, reads like a laundry list of our greatest teams: 2005 (13-0), 1983 (11-1), 1977 (11-1), 1970 (10-1), 1969 (11-0), 1963 (11-0), 1961 (10-1), 1959 (9-2), 1920 (9-0), 1918 (9-0), 1914 (8-0), 1913 (7-1). The 1913 team's 30-7 loss to Notre Dame marks the only time in Texas history that a team has started 7-0 and then lost their 8th game.
2.) This is the 6th Texas team to win their first seven games by double digits. 1969, 1961, 1920, 1918, and 1914 are the previous units to accomplish this feat. The famous Cockroach Game in 1961 is the only loss from the entire group.
3.) Our defense has been playing well, but the improvement in offenses we face on our schedule - combined with the late touchdown surrendered by the offense against Arkansas - has left our defensive side with a bit of a bad statistic. This is the first Texas team to allow at least 10 points in each of their first seven games since the moribund 1997 crew. We'll see if this group also goes on to allow that many in every game they play.
4.) Looking ahead to our game this weekend against Oklahoma State, the Longhorns are 20-2 all time against the Cowboys. This .909 winning percentage is tied with Southwestern as Texas' best winning percentage against any school they've played at least 20 times. Here's an updated table of Texas' winning percentage against Big 12 schools:
College Football Title Belt
Oklahoma State's successful defense against Baylor was the first in their program's history and sets up this weekend's championship defense in Austin. The belt's history is available here. If Texas wins and reclaims the belt 777 days after losing it, it would be the shortest time between losing the belt and regaining it since BYU lost it in 1995 and got it back in 1996.
For those curious, the longest elapsed time between title belt possessions is by the current holders. Oklahoma State last held the belt when they lost it on October 9, 1937 to Arizona before winning it two weeks ago against Missouri. That is a span of 25,935 days. That eclipsed the mark previously held by Illinois, who went from 11/13/1920 to 1/1/1990 between turns holding the belt. Baylor holds the record for shortest time between possessions at 14 days in 1991. Baylor lost the belt to Rice on October 12, Rice then lost the belt to TCU the next week on October 19, and TCU handed it back to Baylor on October 26.
Quick Look at Week 9's Big 12 Slate
As mentioned above, the ratings are getting a little out of hand. Texas' dominant performances so far have created a high level of stratification in the PMV ratings. Here are the predicted results from this weekend's Big 12 games:
Texas Tech @ Kansas - Texas Tech by 3.6
Oklahoma @ Kansas St. - Oklahoma by 30.7
Baylor @ Nebraska - Nebraska by 14.5
Oklahoma St. @ Texas - Texas by 18.6
Colorado @ Missouri - Missouri by 30.9
Texas A&M @ Iowa St. - Iowa St. by 6.3
Some other big matchups:
Penn St. @ Ohio St. - Penn St. by 10.5
Georgia @ LSU - Georgia by 4.2
Alabama @ Tennessee - Alabama by 9.2
Out of the lines above, I am in complete disagreement with that Penn St./Ohio St. figure. I like Ohio State to win outright in that one. Another illustration of the shortcomings of a computer system. The score last week was Penn State over Michigan 46-17. All the computer can see is a blowout Penn State win. But watching the game obviously exposed a lot of potential issues with the Nittany Lions. Furthermore, the ratings can't tell that the early season struggles for Ohio State had a lot to do with Terrell Pryor not being completely in charge of their offense. They're a different team now, which is obvious to those of us watching the games.
Expanded BCS Standings
Here's a link to an image of the expanded Week 8 BCS standings showing all teams that received any BCS points as well as current and projected final schedule strengths. A couple of tables showing the largest disagreements between the humans and computers among the Top 25 teams in the BCS standings. The second column is the ratio of human points to computer points. First the teams the humans love more than the computers and then the computers' favorites compared to the humans: