One more week. Just one more week of speculation around how the College Football Playoff committee will rank their teams and polls like this one and like the 100 plus that make up the Massey Composite rankings along with I am sure hundreds of others that people like myself due for fun, whether scientific or opinion based, will become a bit less relevant. Ok..it's been irrelevant from the start..but cut me some slack!
The truth is I enjoy looking at how the various polls forecast and different ways of looking at answering the same question around how we stack rank the best teams in college football.
Remember, although I will be interested in how it all comes out next Tuesday night, my goal is not to match what the committee comes up with then and it honestly isn't even meant to mimic what they come up with for the final poll which will determine the playoff teams on December 4. This is really about a way for me to quantify from several different viewpoints, who is the best. Comparing it and hearing their rationale as opposed to what this formula will spit out will be enjoyable and I tweak it all the time, but I know over the past two years looking at the committee, the Book has been pretty spot on.
Next week I will share with you the CFP committee style rankings, plus the power rankings, plus the combined rankings which by then, will take into account opponents' strength of schedule as well and we can take a look at how that fares vs the humans.
For this week though, we have a #1 and a decisive one at that. Alabama's win over Texas A&M has put the Tide in a dominant position in both the CFP-worthiness poll and the power poll. They actually are so far ahead of Clemson in the CFP style poll and Michigan in the power poll, it is conceivable they could lose a game and still be ranked #1. This is the largest margin we have seen in some time.
Speaking of losing and staying highly ranked, I give you the loser of that game, A&M. Although the Aggies are #7 in the power poll, their strength of record is still #3 as the loss to Alabama, taken from the perspective simply of wins and losses, has a minimal impact with Bama as the #1 team in the land.
Clemson and West Virginia join Bama and A&M as this week's top four. Notably absent then are Michigan and Washington and the reason is pretty obvious, who they have beaten. Although one could argue that Michigan's wins over Colorado and Penn State look better now than they did at the time, one of the premise that we need to evaluate is who you beat and when you beat them. On Washington's resume, non conference wins over Rutgers, Portland State and Idaho, won't garner much. It also leaves the Huskies with a razor thin margin for error going forward.
If you are interested in this week's power poll comparison, the top 10 there are: 1) Alabama, 2) Michigan, 3) Ohio State, 4) Clemson, 5) Washington, 6) Louisville, 7) Texas A&M, 8) Auburn, 9) LSU, 10) Florida State.
One of the things I do think I like is that the various polls and our CFP style rankings are becoming more and more similar, with the very notable exception of some power five teams with excessive losses, such as Ole Miss. This formula doesn't take kind to losing and so although the Rebels are #21 in the power poll, they are #56 in the worthiness poll.
As for BC, you gotta dig pretty deep to find our Eagles who are all the way down at #91 in both the power and worthiness polls, pretty consistent or near where Sagarin and Massey place them. BC is a huge 21.5 point underdog at NC State this week and that takes into account the beat down Louisville handed the Wolfpack last Saturday. My personal opinion is that 21 1/2 is a bit too much, but the Book did get it right last week, picking Syracuse for the outright win over the Eagles.
Enjoy the games and Go Eagles!
Here is a week by week look at the CFP style top 4:
|3||Alabama||Ohio State||Texas A&M||Houston|
|7||Alabama||Clemson||Texas A&M||Ohio State|
|8||Alabama||Clemson||Texas A&M||West Virginia|
|8||North Carolina State||4-3||41||46|
|Virginia Tech||1.8||at Pittsburgh|
|Washington State||20.1||at Oregon State|
|at Wake Forest||21.0||Army|
|at Texas A&M||57.9||New Mexico State|
|West Virginia||4.9||at Oklahoma State|
|at North Carolina State||21.5||Boston College|
|Clemson||1.0||at Florida State|
|at Georgia Tech||8.2||Duke|
|Michigan||31.1||at Michigan State|
|Penn State||18.7||at Purdue|
|Miami||0.4||at Notre Dame|
|at Ohio State||25.1||Northwestern|
|at South Florida||4.0||Navy|
|Boise State||13.1||at Wyoming|