The Sagarin ratings don't give the American Conference much love; Don't call Stanford an SEC team.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Notes Written With Johnny Manziel's Imaginary Marker:
*More unsettling news for the University of Louisville football program. Jeff Sagarin has posted his first rankings of the season. (Click here.)
Never mind where the Cardinals are rated. (They're 27th, behind four teams that lost their season openers.) Take a look at where the American Athletic Conference is rated – a distant sixth among the six Bowl Championship Series conferences.
In Sagarin's final ratings last season, the Big East was ranked ahead of the ACC. The Cardinals have moved from the Big East to the American this season, and the ACC has vaulted past the American in Sagarin's first 2013 numbers. His numbers are one of six computer power formulas used in the BCS ratings.
*Some strange numbers from Las Vegas on the games of this weekend. Indiana jumping from a 5 1/2 –point favorite to a 13-point pick over Navy ranks as the strangest.
The Midshipmen ran for 257 yards with their nifty triple-option attack last season while beating the Hoosiers in Annapolis by a point in 2012. Indiana has not beaten an FBS program by two touchdowns in Bloomington since … Sept. 25, 2010.
*I realize the computer formulas like Sagarin's need a larger sample size to accurately reflect how teams are performing this season. There. I warned you.
But this is how the numbers from Vegas compare to what Sagarin projects for the four games involving local teams this weekend:
*Eastern Kentucky at Louisville. Vegas says Louisville by 40-1/2. Sagarin says 31.
*Miami (Ohio) at Kentucky. Vegas says Wildcats by 17. Sagarin says 15-1/2.
*Western Kentucky at Tennessee. Vegas says Volunteers by 13-½. Sagarin says 17-1/2.
*Navy at Indiana. Vegas says Indiana by 13. Sagarin says 4-1/2.
You have been warned.
*Southeastern Conference football is the gold standard, correct? Chris Fowler of ESPN has six SEC teams ranked ahead of Louisville on his latest ballot for the Associated Press Top 25.
Don't tell that to Stanford coach David Shaw. The Cardinal are considered a top five team. The program won the Rose Bowl last season. It's become fashionable to project that Stanford will make the BCS title game – and be in position to take the national title from Alabama, Louisiana State, South Carolina or your favorite SEC program.
In fact, people have even compared the Cardinal to an SEC team.
"I don't necessarily take it as a compliment," Shaw said. "We play the style of football I grew up with. It's not because that's the way they play at Alabama or LSU. That means nothing to us."
Shaw is the son of former NFL star Willie Shaw. He played high school ball in Michigan and college football at Stanford. There are zero SEC stops on his coaching resume.
*Add Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald to the list of guys who would like to eliminate all college football polls until mid-October. Any ballots before then are based on reputation, last season and other false positives.
"I wouldn't rank anybody until we've played three or four conference games," Fitzgerald said. "Then you'd really know which teams are legit.
"I'll go back to when we went to the (1996) Rose Bowl when I was a player and we were unranked. For us to get up to Number 3 in the country, I don't think that could happen today. From unranked to three? I don't think you have a chance right now with the current structure to have that happen."