Phil Steele's Daily Blog - Weekend June 27th-28th

Back on Tuesday I put out the top 15 games from the 2008 College Football season. I asked for you the reader to come up with any games that you thought might have been top 15 and here are some of the inquiries..

Can you tell me what level Utah played in the Utah/BYU game? I was a little surprised they weren’t higher, considering they beat the #14 ranked team by 24 points. Thanks!! - Nate Stoddart

Surprisingly this one came in at #196 with Utah’s 92.1 rating for the game missing out on a top ten performance. This one was close as Utah led 27-24 but benefited from a 6-0 turnover edge. The Utes were actually out gained 419-415 and out rushed 214-108. To make the a top ten performance you must dominate both on the scoreboard and statistically.

Oregon vs OSU, Civil war. The Ducks put up 694 yards of offense in the highest scoring Civil war game in the 100+ year history. Also, the most points ever allowed by OSU at Reser Stadium. -Jon

This one came in at #39 for the season which put it in the top 2.5% of the performances of the year. As you mention the Ducks had 694 yards and were dominating on the road. The only reason it did not make the top 15 was that they did allow 463 yards to an Oregon St team that was playing without its star RB Jacquizz Rodgers. Oregon graded out a strong 106.43 level.

Just a few games I think were nice individual game performances
- Alabama 41 - 7 win over WKU
- Penn St 55 - 13 win over Syracuse
- Mississippi 59 - 0 win over ULM
Probably didn’t make the list because of the quality of the opponent, but nice anyway. Have a nice day - Simon Lemire

At first glance I did not give a second thought to Alabama over a poor Western Kentucky and figured it would not be near the top. Surprisingly, Alabama earned a 94.88 grade which was outside the top ten but still #156 on the year which was near the top 10 percent. It was not the 41-7 score but the statistical dominance of Bama with 281 rush and 276 pass while holding WK to 158 total yards.

Penn State had a fine year and their romp over Syracuse was their 4th best performance of the season and they earned a 103.13 grade for it. They had a dominating 560-159 yard edge with a 392-42 yard edge at the half.

The Rebels 59-0 win over ULM was their 2nd best performance of the season with their win over Miss St making my original list of top 15 efforts of the season. This was the #43 best performance of any team and the Rebels earned a grade of 105.6 for their effort. They had a 520-131 yard edge and led 38-0 at the half.

As you mention, Simon, the strength of the opponents kept these games from ranking even higher.

How about Penn State over Wisconsin in Madison? - Danny Grugan in Philly

Penn St had a lot of great efforts in 2008 and I was as surprised as you are to see this only at #5 for their season. It was another top 10 (see below) performance as it ranked #87 on the year and Penn St had a 99.83 grade for the game. Madison is a tough place to play and Wisconsin lost a tight one to Ohio St the week before. There was nothing tight about this one as Penn St led 24-7 at the half and won 48-7. Wisconsin actually had a 156-123 yard edge in the 1H which is surprising. Penn St dominated the 2H and had a 377-249 yard edge until the Badgers gained 64 yards on a final drive.

As a Gamecock fan, I was at the SC @ Florida game (#2 on his list), and I thought our squad got creamed on a similar level by Iowa in the bowl game. Where did Iowa’s performance against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl rank on the list?

William B. Petit

The thing that surprise me in the Florida/South Carolina game is that it was a very competitive 1Q. Florida scored 3 quick TD’s on an IR for a TD and then turnovers set up 12 yd and 1 yard TD drives. Florida gained 13 yards for 21 points! As you mentioned the game turned into a rout at 56-6 with Florida having a 519-173 yard edge vs a ranked team. Florida played at a 119.07 level. South Carolina played at a 63.8 level even with the game in the Swamp.

Turnovers staked Iowa to a big lead in the bowl also. South Carolina played to a 75.9 level in this one. Iowa played at a 90.48 level. My computer difference was that SC actually had a 328-313 yard edge over Iowa. The SC defense played much stronger and even though the game was never really in doubt SC allowed almost 200 yards less and gained about 150 yards more than they did vs Florida.

I am a huge Hawkeye fan and I saw the game versus Minnesota and wondered were it ranked? I was wondering how the game versus Penn State was as well.
Thanks, Rich Warner-Frost

This one just squeezed into the a Top Ten performance (see below). This was actually a tough loss for Penn St. They dominated the first half with an 18-5 FD edge. After a fumble and a bad punt set up Iowa for a short 25 yard drive for a TD and a 7-0 lead Penn St drove 71, 75 and 78 yards but settled for two short FG’s and only led 13-7. Penn St led 23-14 after 3Q’s. Penn St then led 23-21 and was driving when they were Int’d at the Iowa 15 with 3:46 left. Iowa got a FG on the games final play. Penn St had a 289-272 yard edge for the game. Iowa did knock off a team that dominated almost all of their foes during the regular season and dealt them their only regular season loss and the scoreboard win and close statistics vs one of the best teams in the country earned them a 97.08 rating and the #126 performance of the year.

A couple of times above I refer to a top ten performance. There are 120 FBS team and if each one played a 12 game season you would have 1440 game efforts (120 x 12). There were teams with 13 games and conference title games and the bowls so adding it all up their were 1521 games (odd number because of match ups vs FCS). Since their are 120 teams, the top ten teams make up 8.3333% of the total amount of FBS teams (10 divided by 120). Taking 8.333% times the 1521 games a top ten performance would be in the top 126.7 of the games. The cutoff therefore is either 126 or 127.

This year in the NFL magazine we have done the same power ratings system for each game on the year and put the game by game rankings in the stats. I think I will definitely tuck this into the National College Magazine next year as well.

Have a great weekend!