College Football Rankings Experiment 2013 – Week #3

(As always, we lay out the process here)

Last week’s 20 unbeatens slip to 17 – as Washington, Northwestern and Maryland slip from the ranks, with Maryland going with particular emphasis.  The Stanford-Washington game was one of the best pure football games of the season, with Stanford playing a remarkably old school style.  It made for some good television in between the baseball games.  As the rankings evolve over the season, it is best to consider them “standings” more than anything.  A lot of the reason a team is at the top is that the quality opponents have not rolled in yet.  Indeed, Oregon falling from the top has more to do with them playing Colorado and Virginia getting pounded by Ball State than anything they did.  Baylor’s win over West Virginia looks a wee bit better.  Anyway, the standings as of this week.

  1. (2) Baylor
  2. (4) Florida State
  3. (1) Oregon
  4. (7) Clemson
  5. (11) Miami-FL
  6. (8) Stanford
  7. (5) Alabama
  8. (6) UCLA
  9. (12) Missouri
  10. (10) Ohio State
  11. (9) Louisville
  12. (16) Texas Tech
  13. (14) Fresno State
  14. (17) Houston
  15. (15) Oklahoma
  16. (20) Michigan
  17. (18) Northern Illinois
  18. (21) Georgia
  19. (22) LSU
  20. (3) Washington
  21. (–) Ball State
  22. (23) Oklahoma State
  23. (–) Florida
  24. (24) Virginia Tech
  25. (–) South Carolina

The plunge of the week was Washington – which is probably not fair and God knows they have a chance to bounce back against Oregon this week.  With few tough opponents (the league’s just starting), there is not much separation so W/L record tends to rule the day.  Washington is not unbeaten so there you go.  They will bounce back I reckon.  The big move up was for Miami as the Canes move to #5 after beating a solid Georgia Tech team while Florida keeps improving the value of that win.  What would the bowls look like based on this?

  1. Baylor v Florida State – the National Title Game
  2. Oregon, Alabama, Louisville and Ohio State round out the BCS league champs.  All automatic.
  3. Any non-AQ champ in the Top 12 would go here, bur Fresno is not quite there,
  4. Notre Dame not in Final 8 – no worries about them
  5. Clemson is at-large at #4.  They qualify automatically
  6. This leaves 7 of the 10 spots filled – so 3 at-larges left.  This week they go to Stanford, Missouri, Texas Tech

So projecting bowls with this lot?

  • BCS Title Game: Baylor v Florida State
  • Rose Bowl: Oregon v Ohio State
  • Orange Bowl:  Clemson v Missouri
  • Sugar Bowl:  Alabama v Texas Tech
  • Fiesta Bowl: Stanford v Louisville

But next year, there won’t be a BCS to kick around, so what would we do then?  Using next year’s alignment – I use a combination of ranking, geographic preference and what would be good on TV:

  • Rose Bowl (National Semifinal 1): Baylor v Clemson
  • Sugar Bowl (National Semifinal 2): Florida State v Oregon
  • Orange Bowl: Miami-FL v Louisville
  • Cotton Bowl:  Alabama v Texas Tech
  • Fiesta Bowl: Stanford v Ohio State
  • Chik-Fil-A Bowl:  Missouri v Fresno State
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