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The Year 1957 Revised

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AP Top 10: Final Record -- Key Bowl Results

1. Auburn: 10-0-0 -- NONE
2. Ohio State: 9-1-0 -- W, Rose, 10-7
3. Michigan State: 8-1-0 -- NONE
4. Oklahoma: 10-1-0 -- W, Orange, 48-21
5. Navy: 9-1-1 -- W, Cotton, 20-7
6. Iowa: 7-1-1 -- NONE
7. Mississippi: 9-1-1 -- W, Sugar, 39-7
8. Rice: 7-4-0 -- L, Cotton, 7-20
9. Texas A&M: 8-3-0 -- L, Gator, 0-3
10. Notre Dame: 7-3-0 -- NONE

Some notes here: Arizona State, coached by Dan Devine, went 10-0-0 but
didn't play in a bowl game. They finished #12 in the country with a
38% SOS rating. So they get props, but they are not a part of this
discussion. Also, A&M started off 8-0 before losing its last three
games by a combined SIX points. That sucks for them and Coach Bryant.
Finally, aubu*n was on probation, so their ranking and NC goes
out the window here.

This leaves us with Ohio State, Michigan State, Oklahoma and
Mississippi as teams with legit claims to the NC. We can eliminate
Sparty right away, because like 1955, they didn't win their
conference. A seven-point home loss to 5-4 Purdue costs the Spartans
big time, but not really as Ohio State would have trumped them anyway
as a Big Ten squad with a bowl win AND a better SOS rating (see
below).

Mississippi is an interesting consideration: they finished second in
the SEC to aubu*n, but we know aubu*n isn't being considered due to their problem.
The two teams didn't play each other, and they were the only two SEC teams with fewer
than two conference losses (neither aubu*n or Mississippi lost in
conference play, although the Rebels did have a tie -- which cost them
first place). But with aubu*n on probation, we have a dilemma: do we
count aubu*n's SEC title even though they were on probation? If
they're not eligible for a NC award, are they eligible for the SEC
title?

Ole Miss has a strong case, so let's deal with that first: with an SOS
rating of 53%, they have wins over 5-3-2 Vanderbilt (a 28-0 road
shutout), 5-4-1 Houston, #13 Tennessee (14-7 road win over the 8-3
Vols), and #11 Texas in the Sugar Bowl (the 'Horns were 6-4-1
overall). They lost at home to 6-4 Arkansas (then in the SWC, of
course) by six points, and they tied #14 Mississippi State (6-2-1) on
the road. Overall, an impressive slate, but we still have to resolve
that earlier question. Stay tuned ...

Oklahoma did play a better schedule in 1958, so they are in the
conversation. In fact, they played a decent schedule (51% SOS rating).
They beat #11 Texas on the road by 14 points, they shut out 5-4-1
Kansas by 47 points at home, they beat 6-3-1 Colorado at home, they
beat 5-4-1 Missouri on the road by 25 points, they beat 6-3-1 Oklahoma
State by 47 points at home. And, they pounded #16 Duke (6-3-2) in the
Orange Bowl. Their one loss, famously, was a 7-0 home loss to #10
Notre Dame, ending that 57-game winning streak they'd been building
since 1953. Overall, an impressive resume.

Finally, we have Ohio State: the Buckeyes lost their first game at
home to 6-4-1 TCU by four points, and then ran the table. They beat
#19 Wisconsin (6-3) by three points on the road, they beat 5-4 Purdue
at home, they beat #6 Iowa at home, they beat 5-3-1 Michigan on the
road by 17 points, and they beat 7-4 Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Overall,
though, their SOS rating (48%) falls behind Oklahoma and Mississippi.

So, what to do? Ohio State has the weakest SOS and the weakest bowl
win. They lose out there, and that eliminates them since all the teams
have one loss. Ironic, but TCU and Arkansas were both 2-4 in the SWC,
so those are hurtful losses, considering Oklahoma lost only to a Top
10 team. Oklahoma wins almost all comparisons here, save the SOS
rating -- but even that was relatively close to Mississippi's rating
(53-51). The bowl victories are relatively close, too, with
Mississippi's win over Texas perhaps slightly better than the Sooners'
win over Duke.

So with the Buckeyes out, it's between Oklahoma and Mississippi. So
that second-place question becomes important. Or does it? Oklahoma's
biggest blemish is the smallest blemish in this comparison, and since
the SOS ratings and bowl wins are close enough, the Sooners' loss is
much better than the Rebels' loss AND tie.

This year, Oklahoma earned it.
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An aubu*n education...they can’t read, but they can sure as hell
fill you in on how drought affects the color of cow shi*.