Monday, September 27, 2010

The Momentum Game, Week 5: Not Your Mother's Power Rankings

Welcome to the first edition of The Momentum Game, everyone! One of the things that I've noticed is that there are a ton of power rankings, power polls, whatever you want to call them. What I don't like about them, though, is that they seem to be extremely fixed based on a team's record, and not necessarily based on recent play. Example: Big Ten blogger for ESPN, Adam Rittenberg, had Iowa as his No. 2 team in his Big Ten Power Rankings going into Week 3. Somehow, after a weekend where Iowa drops a big game to Arizona, Adam's still got them ranked at #3 when most every other team took care of business that weekend.

To that I say, "not here." The Momentum Game isn't about how good your team is, it is about where your headed. There's a lot more fluidity, so to speak. With that said, here are the three rules that I will adhere to for The Momentum Game, after the jump:


1.) You do not talk about The Momentum Game.  I only care about the last three games your team has played. Anything before that, I don't remember. Call it selective amnesia.

2.) I rate wins and losses as such: W1-W4 or L1-L4. The W-L part of that should be easy to figure out. The 1-4 signifies the quality of the win or loss. A "1" denotes something close to Mark Dantonio's next episode, while "4" denotes a game that should never make it to a major sports station, it's so one-sided. (I'm looking at you, OSU vs. Ohio.)

3.) Your opponent matters, but only a little bit. Somehow I have to account for those Division II teams you decided to schedule in September.

Without further ado, here are our competitors in The Momentum Game:

1. Ohio State (W2 v Miami, W4 v Ohio, W4 v Eastern Michigan)
Okay, so the first two names on the list aren't that surprising. Even if they aren't playing Big Ten-caliber competition (Miami was, though), they are kicking ass and taking names. If they shore up their special teams issues, they can give any team lots of trouble.

2. Wisconsin (W2 v San Jose State, W1 v Arizona State, W4 v Austin Peay)
I'm still not sure how they managed to nearly lose a home game against Arizona State. It's not like they were traveling two time zones or anything like that! Regardless, they put on a rushing clinic this past week and showed why they are very dangerous.

3. Michigan State (W2 v Florida Atlantic, W1 v Notre Dame, W4 v Northern Colorado)
Things had been looking pretty shaky in Weeks 2 and 3, but they haven't incurred a loss yet. What about the team's focus after Coach Dantonio's heart attack? They basically got a bye week, because I don't think they would have needed any focus to beat Northern Colorado.

4. Northwestern (W3 v Illinois State, W2 @ Rice, W1 v Central Michigan)
The next three were harder to figure through, but I gave the edge to our 'Cats because of the long-distance road win. The Central Michigan win was a very sloppy win, but for the most part, this team has a very established identity. Either that or they've been fooling me the past month.

5. Iowa (W3 v Iowa State, L1 @ Arizona, W4 v Ball State)
A late game and jet lag are the typical excuses by Iowa fans as to why they couldn't overcome Arizona in the 4th quarter. Three words, guys: 5-Hour Energy. I think they got the picture when they took to the field against Ball State looking like they woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

6. Michigan (W1 @ Notre Dame, W1 v Massachusetts, W3 v Bowling Green)
The majority of these games have been Denard Robinson vs. the opposing offense. Hey Michigan, one player can't win you a national title!

7. Penn State (L3 @ Alabama, W3 v Kent State, W2 v Temple)
What's more frustrating than getting your heads handed to you by the "best team in the nation"? Having a quarterback that looked lost the entire time while it happened. 

8. Indiana (Off, W2 @ Western Kentucky, W2 @ Akron)
I think the Hoosiers were actually thinking about joining a mid-major conference so that they could actually have a winning record once in a while. Their play sure looks the part, but I think they forgot to fill out the paperwork. Nothing very impressive here.

9. Illinois (W3 v Southern Illinois, W1 v Northern Illinois, Off)
I would have had these guys above Indiana if it weren't for the fact that they decided not to play this past weekend. They've won two games, just not very convincingly.

10. Purdue (W2 v Western Illinois, W2 v Ball State, L2 v Toledo)
What's worse than looking pedestrian in two wins and then taking a week off? Looking pedestrian in two wins and then looking lousy against very mediocre competition, at home. Ross-Ade Stadium now has three ambulances on hand for the home team alone.

11. Minnesota (L1 v South Dakota, L2 v USC, L2 v Northern Illinois)
Brewster's days are numbered.

1 comment:

  1. "I'm still not sure how they managed to nearly lose a home game against Arizona State. It's not like they were traveling two time zones or anything like that!"

    I don't know if you were being flip, but ASU was effectively travelling two time zones for the game at Madison. Arizona is in the Mountain Time Zone, but as they do not participate in Daylight Savings Time, it is always Mountain *Standard* Time there, which currently is the same time as Pacific Daylight Time. This also applies to Iowa going west to play in Tucson as well.