NCAA Power Rankings and BCS Do-Over: Week 8

Another week, another #1 going down – though this is the BCS number one.  If you wanted to use our ratings as a predictive tool, you would have seen this coming, so points for me. (ignore Wisconsin-Iowa cough, cough).  Anyway, with Ohio State getting back on track, and Alabama delivering a strong performance in the Third Week of October, some of the powers we saw early in the year are getting back on track.  Furthermore, we have some new names rising as the quality of schedules start to further define themselves.

One of the misconceptions about all computer ranking models, including this one, is that ONLY the effects of this week move the rankings.  In reality each week provides more information on the body of work.  So in week 2, you play a guy who beat an opponent before by 20 points – that seems like a good win.  But as that guy loses the rest of his games, the true quality of him as an opponent is revealed.  As such, the movements week to week SHOULDN’T just mirror the whim of the polls.  Pollsters, especially coaches, are not remembering what this week reflects on the quality of an earlier result.  As always, 50% of this is scoring margin, 50% is opponent’s scoring margin in other games.

Rank Team W L Margin Sched Rtg SOS Rank
1 Ohio State 7 1 27.2 4.7 31
2 TCU 8 0 25.23 -1.99 90
3 Oregon 7 0 25.11 -4.5 104
4 Missouri 7 0 24.89 4.82 30
5 Nebraska 6 1 23.83 3.62 42
6 Auburn 8 0 23.18 8.93 6
7 Boise State 6 0 22.45 -3.55 101
8 Oklahoma State 6 1 21.95 5.84 22
9 Alabama 7 1 21.72 2.07 56
10 Iowa 5 2 21.28 3.85 37
11 Michigan State 8 0 20.95 3.63 41
12 Oklahoma 6 1 20.66 8.95 5
13 Virginia Tech 6 2 19.63 2.51 55
14 Utah 7 0 19.03 -9.33 118
15 South Carolina 5 2 18.73 6.52 20
16 Stanford 6 1 18.72 1.47 63
17 Miami-FL 5 2 18.72 6.97 17
18 NC State 5 2 18.53 5.68 23
19 USC 5 2 18.47 4.44 34
20 California 4 3 17.6 5.57 24
21 Arizona 6 1 17.52 -0.41 80
22 Illinois 4 3 17.39 10.11 2
23 Florida State 6 1 16.67 -0.51 81
24 Florida 4 3 16.58 7.15 16
25 Pittsburgh 4 3 16.52 6.49 21
26 Hawaii 6 2 16.25 3.72 40
27 Clemson 4 3 15.65 3.44 46
28 LSU 7 1 14.96 3.77 38
29 Mississippi State 6 2 14.74 2.99 53
30 Arkansas 5 2 14.71 5.06 26
31 North Carolina 4 3 14.65 9.11 4
32 Oregon State 3 3 14.49 14.58 1
33 Texas A&M 4 3 13.79 2.76 54
34 Wisconsin 7 1 13.57 0.88 69
35 Georgia 4 4 13.3 1.8 59
36 Nevada 6 1 13.22 -6.71 112
37 UCF 5 2 12.03 -5.47 109
38 Cincinnati 3 4 11.07 4.07 36
39 West Virginia 5 2 10.71 -2.15 93
40 Michigan 5 2 10.48 3.2 49
41 Notre Dame 4 4 10.04 7.79 11
42 Air Force 5 3 9.73 0.98 67
43 Baylor 6 2 9.14 -2.2 95
44 Kansas State 5 2 8.32 1.75 60
45 Northern Illinois 6 2 8.13 -5.34 108
46 San Diego State 5 2 8.11 -7.03 113
47 Kentucky 4 4 7.72 4.13 35
48 Penn State 4 3 7.68 4.46 33
49 South Florida 4 3 7.54 0.18 76
50 Troy 4 2 7.3 -1.08 85
51 Georgia Tech 5 3 7.22 -0.22 79
52 Houston 4 3 6.91 -3.56 102
53 Louisville 4 3 6.65 -2.78 99
54 East Carolina 5 2 6.51 3.44 45
55 Army 4 3 6.15 -2.56 97
56 Temple 6 2 6 -0.81 83
57 Tulsa 4 3 5.84 -4.77 106
58 Texas 4 3 5.15 0.22 75
59 Navy 5 2 5.05 -1.45 89
60 Colorado 3 4 4.34 7.95 10
61 Arizona State 3 4 4.16 0.91 68
62 Iowa State 4 4 4.12 8.18 7
63 Idaho 4 3 3.95 -7.34 115
64 UCLA 3 4 3.84 9.41 3
65 Toledo 5 3 3.69 5.03 27
66 Maryland 5 2 3.49 -1.15 88
67 SMU 4 4 3.36 3.05 51
68 Northwestern 5 2 2.87 -4.63 105
69 Texas Tech 4 3 2.81 0.35 74
70 Rutgers 4 3 2.71 -0.22 78
71 Ole Miss 3 4 2.13 1.21 65
72 Southern Miss 5 2 2.06 -8.16 116
73 Syracuse 5 2 1.79 -5.81 110
74 Connecticut 3 4 1.67 -2.48 96
75 Fresno State 5 2 1.56 -7.23 114
76 Ohio 5 3 1.41 -8.74 117
77 Virginia 3 4 1.2 -2.16 94
78 Washington 3 4 1.14 7.42 12
79 Louisiana Tech 3 4 0.95 3.05 50
80 Western Michigan 3 4 0.2 -3.05 100
81 Boston College 2 5 0.15 5.01 28
82 FIU 2 4 -0.15 1.19 66
83 Indiana 4 3 -1.07 -2.57 98
84 Central Michigan 2 6 -1.1 -1.14 87
85 Tennessee 2 5 -1.18 7.25 15
86 Arkansas State 3 5 -1.34 -2.03 91
87 UAB 2 5 -1.72 3.03 52
88 BYU 3 5 -2.6 6.65 19
89 Purdue 4 3 -2.87 -0.73 82
90 Minnesota 1 7 -2.93 3.25 48
91 Vanderbilt 2 5 -3.94 3.74 39
92 Wake Forest 2 5 -4.21 3.54 43
93 Tulane 3 4 -4.75 1.82 58
94 Miami-OH 4 4 -6.19 1.25 64
95 Kent State 3 4 -6.45 -10.16 120
96 Wyoming 2 6 -6.57 6.97 18
97 Rice 2 6 -7.16 4.65 32
98 UTEP 5 3 -7.5 -13.44 121
99 Marshall 1 6 -7.84 8.12 9
100 Utah State 2 5 -7.88 0.87 70
101 Colorado State 2 6 -7.88 7.31 14
102 MTSU 3 4 -8.14 -9.71 119
103 Bowling Green 1 7 -8.15 0.75 71
104 Duke 1 6 -8.68 3.43 47
105 Washington State 1 7 -8.81 7.38 13
106 Western Kentucky 1 6 -10.13 -1.09 86
107 Buffalo 2 5 -10.82 1.54 62
108 UNLV 1 6 -10.87 4.99 29
109 Florida Atlantic 1 5 -11.08 -2.08 92
110 San Jose State 1 7 -11.91 8.18 8
111 Ball State 2 6 -12.33 -6.48 111
112 Kansas 2 5 -13.3 -0.87 84
113 North Texas 1 6 -14.13 -4.77 107
114 Memphis 1 6 -14.18 5.21 25
115 Eastern Michigan 1 7 -14.29 0.71 72
116 LA-Lafayette 2 5 -14.31 0.48 73
117 LA-Monroe 3 4 -15.51 -3.87 103
118 FCS 7 75 -18.75 1.92 57
119 New Mexico State 1 6 -18.85 1.55 61
120 New Mexico 0 7 -19.03 3.51 44
121 Akron 0 8 -20.97 0.06 77

Stanford’s plunge from 3 to 16 is related to both a meh effort against the pretty terrible Washington State Cougars with scheduling crippling results by previous victims Notre Dame and UCLA in particular.  Oregon of course should have helped them, but Oregon has hung so many blowouts that that schedule component is not helped.

Using the actual conference standings, with our table as a guide to break ties and stuff, we can start improving our BCS prediction complex, as well as fulfill our 24-team playoff concept.  Since you’ve already seen the specifics on how we slot teams, this is how I’d populate the BCS:

  1. National Title Game: TCU vs Oregon
  2. BCS Automatics: Big Ten – Michigan State, Pac 10 – Oregon, ACC – Virginia Tech, Big 12 – Missouri, SEC – Auburn, Big East – Pittsburgh
  3. No Notre Dame, TCU already in National Title Game, Ohio State automatically qualifies with their top 4 rank.
  4. At larges … the Top 14 without Big Ten teams … Nebraska (5), Boise State (7), Oklahoma State (8), Alabama (9), Oklahoma (12), Utah (14) … we need two at-larges, Nebraska and Boise State.  Normally I’d say Alabama.  However, as a practical matter, Auburn and Alabama will be playing each other.  Boise State’s pedigree has been proven, and they most likely will remain an attractive bowl choice.

Slotting the teams, only the Rose Bowl gets the ability to choose a team first, so Ohio State won’t go there.  Nebraska as a future Big Ten though …

  • National Title Game: TCU vs Oregon
  • Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs Nebraska
  • Sugar Bowl: Auburn vs Ohio State
  • Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Pittsburgh
  • Fiesta Bowl: Missouri vs Boise State

But really, a 24 team playoff is way more fun.  If we did this, the 11 automatic bids:

  • Mountain West: TCU
  • Pac 10: Oregon
  • Big 12: Missouri
  • SEC: Auburn
  • WAC: Boise State
  • Big Ten: Michigan State
  • ACC: Virginia Tech
  • Big East: Pittsburgh
  • Conference USA: Central Florida
  • MAC: Northern Illinois
  • Sun Belt: Troy

The thirteen at-large teams?  Three team max per conference (four teams for 12 team conferences).  Some of these teams will play each other, so I understand that there are inherent flaws.  I also eliminated 3-loss teams from contention for now:

  • Big Ten (2): Ohio State, Iowa
  • Big 12 (3): Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma
  • SEC (2): Alabama, South Carolina
  • MWC (1): Utah
  • Pac 10 (2): Stanford, Arizona
  • ACC (3): Miami-FL, NC State, Florida State

So the 24 teams in order this week:  TCU, Oregon, Missouri, Auburn, Ohio State, Nebraska, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Iowa, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Utah, South Carolina, Stanford, Miami-FL, NC State, Arizona, Florida State, Pittsburgh, Central Florida, Northern Illinois, Troy.  LSU is the glaring omission, as is Wisconsin with the one-losses apiece … but the true body of work does not match the other teams, though some of the individual results “feel” bigger.

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