... 5) The following teams are ranked much lower than the model than the BCS: Auburn, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan St. Utah is the easy one: it's the schedule. They've been dominant, but the schedule just hasn't been good enough for it to really move the dial. It's also worth noting that in their toughest game to date, at Air Force, they won a pretty close game, by only five points. That's a worrisome sign since that was the first of a tough four-game stretch. If they do well in that stretch, their rating will rise, but right now, the system isn't high on their chances of a sweep; in fact, back to back games at Notre Dame and SD St could well prove tougher challenges than expect. Michigan St was covered above; not especially dominant (especially after they just got waxed at Iowa), not much of a schedule to date (Notre Dame was actually the best by far of a really bad set of non-conference opponents, which continues to hold them down, though not as much now that they're well into the Big Ten schedule). Wisconsin is pretty much the same story, with an OK schedule, but similar issues with dominance, or lack thereof (how a "top ten" team escapes ASU by one point and, far worse, SJ St by only 13, is a mystery to me). Oklahoma is getting dinged mainly because of all of those weirdly close wins. Nothing especially interesting to say here. Auburn is a more interesting case. Clearly the schedule heft is there; right now their schedule to date is rated as the toughest of all the unbeaten teams. What's really been holding them back has been the unusual string of close games. 3 points at home in overtime to Clemson, 3 points each at Kentucky and Miss St... those really aren't the type of performances you expect from a truly elite team. On the other hand, they did beat both Arkansas and Ole Miss by more than 20, so that criticism is starting to fade. Should they run the table, including a win at Alabama, their rating will materially increase... though right now the model doesn't give them a great shot at winning at Tuscaloosa. For now, the model thinks that Alabama is actually the best team in the SEC (though it's close). Is the model right? We'll see in a few weeks (unless LSU beats the Tide, in which case we'll have an answer sooner than that). For what it's worth, I suspect that the model underrates them by a couple spots... though I think it's premature to say they're really a top 2 team. If they can pass their big road test at Bama I'll be convinced, but until then I'm on the fence about them to some degree.