2011 NCAA Power Rankings #1

After much yammering about a new methodology, we finally have the data to put something into motion.  At this point, all of the teams have played 2 games, so everybody has data of what opponents did against other teams basically.  As the season goes on, obviously the team’s bodies of work will start to evolve.  So how does this methodology work – if you are too lazy to click on the link?  Well, every team in Division 1A FBS is compared to every other (with all non-FBS treated as a single “team”) on 5 criteria:

  1. RPI.  This is calculated like the college basketball version.  1.4 wins for a true road win, 0.6 wins for a home win, 1 for neutral site.  Home losses worth 1.4, true road losses worth 0.6, neutral 1.  RPI wins is a tiebreaker.
  2. Points based RPI.  Basically, the rankings of yore.
  3. Winning percentage vs good teams (>.500 RPI).  Only get credit for this if a team has played 4 good teams (1/3 of the schedule).
  4. Head to head.
  5. Record against common opponents.

So if team A vs team B is a comparison, the teams are compared on each criteria – with the team coming out on top getting 1 point for each item (except for head to head – although rematches are rare).  Whomever comes out on top overall gets the “win”.  So if team A has 3 points and team B has 1, then team A wins the comparison.  Team A is compared to every other team in FBS in this manner.  So with three weeks in the can, what do the rankings look like?

Rank Team W L RPI Margin PairWins
1 Oklahoma 2 0 0.858 (1) 40.75 (2) 119
2 Michigan 3 0 0.855 (2) 38.833 (3) 118
3 Texas A&M 2 0 0.801 (9) 43.938 (1) 112
4 Oklahoma State 3 0 0.827 (5) 33.208 (8) 111
5 USC 3 0 0.831 (4) 23.25 (18) 102
6 LSU 3 0 0.759 (19) 31.938 (10) 97
7 Boise State 2 0 0.738 (24) 37.563 (4) 97
8 Alabama 3 0 0.784 (13) 22.875 (19) 96
9 FIU 3 0 0.827 (5) 20.375 (26) 94
10 South Carolina 3 0 0.804 (7) 20.458 (25) 94
11 South Florida 3 0 0.797 (11) 22.022 (23) 94
12 Illinois 3 0 0.778 (14) 22.355 (21) 94
13 North Carolina 3 0 0.753 (20) 27.166 (13) 94
14 Wisconsin 3 0 0.733 (26) 34.458 (6) 94
15 Georgia Tech 3 0 0.736 (25) 30.73 (11) 92
16 Baylor 2 0 0.769 (15) 18.908 (29) 89
17 Texas 3 0 0.844 (3) 17.958 (33) 88
18 Ohio 3 0 0.76 (17) 20.277 (27) 88
19 Stanford 3 0 0.682 (31) 32.833 (9) 88
20 West Virginia 3 0 0.802 (8) 15.063 (36) 87
21 San Diego State 3 0 0.752 (21) 21.156 (24) 87
22 TCU 2 1 0.655 (35) 34.042 (7) 85
23 Vanderbilt 3 0 0.698 (30) 19.747 (28) 81
24 Wyoming 3 0 0.699 (28) 8.509 (63) 80
25 Auburn 2 1 0.639 (36) 22.333 (22) 78
26 Florida 3 0 0.801 (10) 12.667 (45) 77
27 Virginia Tech 3 0 0.745 (23) 13.272 (42) 75
28 Tennessee 2 1 0.584 (46) 30.647 (12) 74
29 Nebraska 3 0 0.747 (22) 13.084 (44) 73
30 Texas Tech 2 0 0.672 (32) 14.151 (39) 73
31 Utah 2 1 0.668 (34) 13.939 (41) 70
32 Arizona State 2 1 0.583 (47) 23.42 (17) 70
33 California 3 0 0.728 (27) 11.688 (51) 67
34 Clemson 3 0 0.785 (12) 9.565 (58) 66
35 Washington State 2 1 0.585 (45) 16.23 (35) 65
36 Western Michigan 2 1 0.587 (44) 12.663 (46) 61
37 Virginia 2 1 0.614 (40) 11.594 (52) 60
38 Tulsa 1 2 0.576 (50) 14 (40) 60
39 Miami-FL 1 1 0.567 (53) 16.375 (34) 60
40 Iowa State 3 0 0.759 (18) 8.033 (65) 58
41 Penn State 2 1 0.531 (60) 24.128 (16) 58
42 Maryland 1 1 0.529 (63) 26.625 (14) 58
43 SMU 2 1 0.6 (42) 10.918 (55) 57
44 Iowa 2 1 0.593 (43) 10.152 (56) 56
45 UCF 2 1 0.538 (58) 18.188 (32) 56
46 Arkansas 3 0 0.699 (29) 7.438 (67) 54
47 Rice 1 1 0.579 (48) 9.313 (60) 53
48 Wake Forest 2 1 0.556 (56) 12.522 (48) 53
49 Oregon 2 1 0.51 (68) 22.688 (20) 52
50 NC State 2 1 0.5 (71) 5.097 (74) 52
51 Louisville 2 1 0.572 (51) 8.667 (62) 49
52 Navy 2 1 0.571 (52) 9.092 (61) 49
53 Pittsburgh 2 1 0.532 (59) 11.473 (53) 49
54 Bowling Green 2 1 0.508 (69) 18.438 (31) 49
55 Ball State 2 1 0.621 (39) 6.833 (69) 48
56 Eastern Michigan 2 1 0.564 (54) -4.884 (101) 47
57 Rutgers 1 1 0.493 (73) 18.783 (30) 46
58 Missouri 2 1 0.497 (72) 13.272 (42) 44
59 Notre Dame 1 2 0.475 (78) 35.417 (5) 44
60 Houston 3 0 0.761 (16) 3.083 (79) 43
61 Florida State 2 1 0.454 (81) 24.98 (15) 40
62 Marshall 1 2 0.487 (75) 9.375 (59) 38
63 Mississippi State 1 2 0.479 (77) 12.042 (50) 38
64 Syracuse 2 1 0.636 (37) 1.644 (84) 37
65 Arkansas State 1 2 0.431 (84) 14.542 (37) 37
66 Washington 2 1 0.558 (55) 1.792 (83) 33
67 Kansas 2 1 0.578 (49) -1.556 (89) 31
68 Kansas State 2 0 0.672 (32) -2.812 (91) 30
69 Utah State 1 1 0.474 (79) 5.39 (72) 30
70 Temple 2 1 0.471 (80) 5.714 (71) 30
71 Northern Illinois 1 2 0.43 (85) 5.875 (70) 29
72 New Mexico State 1 2 0.419 (86) 7.667 (66) 29
73 Southern Miss 2 1 0.54 (57) -1.603 (90) 28
74 Cincinnati 2 1 0.51 (67) 2.938 (80) 28
75 Arizona 1 2 0.394 (89) 8.455 (64) 27
76 Colorado 1 2 0.389 (91) 9.583 (57) 27
77 UTEP 2 1 0.607 (41) -4.231 (97) 25
78 Ohio State 2 1 0.511 (66) -1.083 (87) 25
79 BYU 1 2 0.487 (76) 2.708 (81) 25
80 Connecticut 1 2 0.375 (94) 12.332 (49) 25
81 UNLV 1 2 0.433 (83) 2.708 (81) 24
82 Georgia 1 2 0.37 (96) 12.605 (47) 24
83 Michigan State 2 1 0.528 (64) -3.121 (93) 23
84 Army 1 2 0.378 (93) 3.75 (77) 22
85 Fresno State 1 2 0.396 (88) 1.051 (85) 21
86 Kentucky 2 1 0.441 (82) -2.917 (92) 20
87 UCLA 1 2 0.393 (90) -1.417 (88) 19
88 LA-Lafayette 2 1 0.628 (38) -6.269 (103) 18
89 Northwestern 2 1 0.516 (65) -4.459 (99) 18
90 Minnesota 1 2 0.361 (98) 0.667 (86) 17
91 Idaho 1 2 0.351 (101) 5.161 (73) 17
92 Purdue 2 1 0.53 (62) -8.062 (105) 16
93 Buffalo 1 2 0.37 (95) -3.927 (95) 16
94 Air Force 1 1 0.368 (97) -3.716 (94) 16
95 East Carolina 0 2 0.349 (102) 3.75 (76) 15
96 LA-Monroe 1 2 0.381 (92) -4.802 (100) 14
97 Louisiana Tech 1 2 0.315 (105) 6.931 (68) 14
98 Hawaii 1 2 0.399 (87) -9.542 (107) 13
99 Toledo 1 2 0.309 (107) 4.508 (75) 13
100 Indiana 1 2 0.315 (104) -3.977 (96) 12
101 Troy 0 2 0.299 (108) 11.25 (54) 12
102 Colorado State 2 1 0.504 (70) -16.801 (112) 11
103 Central Michigan 1 2 0.354 (100) -11.32 (109) 10
104 Ole Miss 1 2 0.319 (103) -6.806 (104) 10
105 Tulane 2 1 0.489 (74) -19.074 (115) 9
106 Duke 1 2 0.31 (106) -9.564 (108) 9
107 North Texas 0 3 0.361 (99) -11.667 (110) 8
108 Nevada 1 1 0.53 (61) -18.25 (114) 7
109 Non FBS 3 71 0.26 (110) -18.204 (113) 7
110 MTSU 0 2 0.237 (114) 14.188 (38) 7
111 Kent State 0 3 0.256 (111) -13.458 (111) 5
112 New Mexico 0 3 0.206 (115) -4.417 (98) 5
113 Florida Atlantic 0 2 0.253 (112) -19.375 (116) 4
114 Memphis 1 2 0.289 (109) -30.834 (121) 3
115 San Jose State 0 3 0.204 (116) -19.583 (117) 2
116 Oregon State 0 2 0.179 (117) -9.277 (106) 2
117 UAB 0 2 0.253 (112) -24.563 (119) 1
118 Miami-OH 0 2 0.137 (120) 3.25 (78) 1
119 Akron 0 3 0.169 (118) -27.292 (120) 0
120 Western Kentucky 0 3 0.141 (119) -23.474 (118) 0
121 Boston College 0 3 0.126 (121) -5.75 (102) 0

Some early impressions?

  • Michigan’s #2 ranking is shocking on the surface.  However, note that Eastern Michigan is unbeaten against everyone else, Western Michigan is unbeaten against their other opponents and Notre Dame has a scoring profile of a much better team than its record.  As it showed in the beatdown of Michigan State – Notre Dame has the fundamentals of a good team.  Texas A&M is clearly a case of some limited data as SMU has only one opponent which it blew out in its rearview mirror.
  • The other big surprise in the Top Ten is Florida International.  However, with its wins over Louisville and a seemingly strong Central Florida team, the current season to date justifies this.  One suspects as the Sun Belt schedule kicks in that this will fade.

What does this mean in terms of a BCS bracketology?  Well without conference season starting, we go to the rankings to fill the automatic spots:

  • Big 12: Oklahoma (1)
  • Big Ten: Michigan (2)
  • SEC: LSU (6)
  • Big East: South Florida (11)
  • ACC: North Carolina (13)
  • Pac-12: with USC (5) out of contention, Stanford (19) gets the nod
  • Boise State (7): as a non-AQ in the Top 16
  • Texas A&M (3): as an at-large with Top 3 ranking.

So at large teams from the field.  Looking at the Top 14, the teams that make the most sense are Alabama and Illinois.  So, populating the bowls:

  • BCS Title Game: Oklahoma vs Michigan
  • Rose Bowl: Stanford vs Illinois
  • Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs Alabama
  • Sugar Bowl: LSU vs Texas A&M
  • Orange Bowl: North Carolina vs South Florida

No doubt this will change.  But here is the first view.

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