Oct 17, 2011

Capital One Bowl Selection Update: Week 7

After the release of the first Bowl Championship Series standings, our Team
Selection Committee has begun to talk in earnest about available teams.
Unfortunately for prognosticators (but fortunately for fans of college
football), a lot of the teams on our radar still have to play each other. There
will be a number of great games in the second half of the year that will impact
our picture way more than anything we’ve seen so far.

Big Ten Results

Michigan State 28, Michigan 14
Ohio State 17, Illinois 7
Iowa 41,
Northwestern 31
Penn State 23, Purdue 18
Wisconsin 59, Indiana 7

SEC Results

South Carolina 14, Mississippi State 12
Georgia 33, Vanderbilt 28
Auburn 17, Florida 6
Alabama 52, Ole Miss 7
LSU 38, Tennessee 7

Here’s what we learned:

Michigan State didn’t go anywhere: The Spartans became an
afterthought when they dropped a game to then-0-2 Notre Dame, but they now hold
sole possession of the lead in the Big Ten Legends division after beating rival
Michigan for the fourth consecutive year. It’s a tough two weeks ahead as MSU
hosts conference powerhouse Wisconsin (in the Badgers’ first road game) then
travels to Nebraska. However, after beating Ohio State and Michigan in recent
weeks, they have demonstrated that they shouldn’t be counted out in the
conference.

Ohio State and Iowa are still in the mix: Both teams had
questions entering the year and both struggled as conference play opened.
Saturday might have been a turning point on the season for both programs,
keeping them in the hunt for division titles and prime conference bowl slots.
Ohio State held off undefeated Illinois in Champaign in classic Buckeye fashion,
only completing one pass all afternoon. Meanwhile, Iowa scored 24 points in the
fourth quarter against Northwestern to snap a three-game home losing streak to
the ‘Cats.

The SEC East power may be shifting: One week after an offensive
explosion against Kentucky, South Carolina had to fend off Mississippi State to
keep its conference record (and division lead) intact. They also lost workhorse
running back Marcus Lattimore for the season. Meanwhile, Georgia topped a
scrappy Vanderbilt team and stands even with the Gamecocks at 4-1 in conference.
The Bulldogs take a week off before meeting rival Florida in Jacksonville and
will have to continue winning to keep pressure on South Carolina.

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