2014 College Football – Week 3: Almost Clean Data

OK, we are almost there – with Cincinnati opening its schedule, we are one Bearcat game away from all teams having 2 games under their belt. This will allow the Strength of Schedule metrics (how a team does against “everybody else”) to kick in credibly (since of course each team will have an “everybody else”).  As one can imagine, the SEC dominates the rankings early.  Indeed, 7 of the top 10 positions are SEC Teams – although data is limited and I personally don’t think Eastern Michigan and Kentucky are great wins in the context of football, but who knows?  Auburn has been the most versatile team so far (6th on offense, 3rd on defense) while Florida has carried the mantle on defense so far (with LSU 2nd).  BYU, as longtime observers probably might expect, is tops offensively – although doing it as a running team certainly not a normal MO.  But anyway, the rankings are acceptable enough – how does this fit into the new college football playoff?  If we take it literally:

  • Six automatic qualifiers: The big five champs – using loss column standings and rankings, that would be Auburn, Oklahoma, UCLA, NC State and Penn State.  The best of the non-power conference teams is Boise State at #26.  So we populate the rest of the field:
  • The top 4.  Auburn, Oklahoma, Florida and UCLA … clearly we can go very deep into the SEC this year.  However, the committee is charged with providing some preference to conference champs.  UCLA more than fits the bill in this limited framework.  So, Auburn-UCLA is your Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma-Florida is the Rose Bowl.
  • What of the rest?  We have the Orange, Cotton, Peach and Fiesta Bowls.  The Orange Bowl gets the ACC champion against the highest ranked SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame opponent.  This clearly leads to NC State vs Alabama.  Good luck there, Wolfpack.
  • The rest of the bowls involve the displaced automatic qualifiers: Penn State and Boise State for the sake of argument.  We also get to four other teams for the sake of geography, competition and what have you.  This is all boogedy-boogedy right now, but I’ll take a stab.  Given the rankings – LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Notre Dame are your big 4.  Now I expect the SEC will diffuse itself as the season evolves and they start playing each other, but whatever for now.  So, controlling for geography and matchup:
    • Cotton Bowl: LSU v Notre Dame
    • Peach Bowl: Ole Miss v Penn State
    • Fiesta Bowl: Mississippi State v Boise State
  • Obviously this will change a lot – and I don’t like projections, so much as trying to systematically do the committee’s job if the season were to end.  Complete rankings below.

Weekly Power Rankings

Rank Team W L RPI Scale DSR Scale TotalRank
1 Auburn 2 0 1 (1) 1 (1) 1
2 Oklahoma 3 0 0.971 (3) 0.805 (11) 0.888
3 Florida 2 0 0.863 (10) 0.907 (2) 0.885
4 Alabama 3 0 0.949 (4) 0.816 (10) 0.882
5 LSU 3 0 0.822 (14) 0.9 (4) 0.861
6 UCLA 3 0 0.98 (2) 0.722 (20) 0.851
7 Ole Miss 3 0 0.855 (12) 0.818 (9) 0.837
8 Mississippi State 3 0 0.889 (7) 0.749 (17) 0.819
9 NC State 3 0 0.863 (10) 0.763 (14) 0.813
10 Notre Dame 3 0 0.941 (5) 0.678 (28) 0.81
11 Pittsburgh 3 0 0.762 (19) 0.855 (8) 0.808
12 Penn State 3 0 0.921 (6) 0.69 (26) 0.805
13 BYU 3 0 0.799 (16) 0.771 (13) 0.785
14 Oregon 3 0 0.855 (13) 0.674 (29) 0.764
15 TCU 2 0 0.804 (15) 0.714 (22) 0.759
16 West Virginia 2 1 0.64 (42) 0.872 (6) 0.756
17 Michigan 2 1 0.606 (51) 0.905 (3) 0.756
18 Navy 2 1 0.704 (34) 0.794 (12) 0.749
19 Baylor 3 0 0.611 (48) 0.887 (5) 0.749
20 Texas A&M 3 0 0.876 (9) 0.607 (36) 0.741
21 Arkansas 2 1 0.793 (18) 0.66 (32) 0.727
22 Georgia 1 1 0.591 (53) 0.856 (7) 0.723
23 Tennessee 2 1 0.71 (30) 0.722 (21) 0.716
24 Arizona 3 0 0.889 (7) 0.534 (58) 0.711
25 USC 2 1 0.739 (26) 0.669 (31) 0.704
26 Boise State 2 1 0.71 (30) 0.656 (33) 0.683
27 North Carolina 2 0 0.762 (20) 0.604 (38) 0.683
28 South Carolina 2 1 0.658 (40) 0.696 (24) 0.677
29 Syracuse 2 0 0.759 (22) 0.591 (41) 0.675
30 Northern Illinois 3 0 0.76 (21) 0.583 (44) 0.672
31 Louisville 2 1 0.584 (55) 0.741 (18) 0.662
32 East Carolina 2 1 0.733 (27) 0.567 (49) 0.65
33 Duke 3 0 0.705 (33) 0.593 (40) 0.649
34 Kentucky 2 1 0.622 (44) 0.67 (30) 0.646
35 Boston College 2 1 0.54 (67) 0.739 (19) 0.639
36 Georgia Tech 3 0 0.704 (35) 0.567 (48) 0.636
37 Cincinnati 1 0 0.683 (37) 0.587 (43) 0.635
38 Washington 3 0 0.794 (17) 0.47 (79) 0.632
39 Florida State 2 0 0.759 (22) 0.484 (74) 0.622
40 Arizona State 3 0 0.682 (38) 0.558 (53) 0.62
41 Nebraska 3 0 0.756 (24) 0.472 (77) 0.614
42 Virginia Tech 2 1 0.534 (71) 0.69 (25) 0.612
43 Wisconsin 1 1 0.457 (85) 0.757 (15) 0.607
44 Memphis 1 1 0.574 (59) 0.639 (35) 0.606
45 Missouri 3 0 0.7 (36) 0.511 (65) 0.606
46 Ohio State 2 1 0.506 (77) 0.702 (23) 0.604
47 Stanford 2 1 0.451 (86) 0.754 (16) 0.603
48 Louisiana Tech 2 1 0.74 (25) 0.462 (81) 0.601
49 Kansas State 2 0 0.713 (29) 0.484 (72) 0.599
50 Marshall 3 0 0.64 (43) 0.553 (56) 0.596
51 Minnesota 2 1 0.616 (46) 0.554 (55) 0.585
52 California 2 0 0.709 (32) 0.452 (84) 0.58
53 Oregon State 2 0 0.714 (28) 0.432 (90) 0.573
54 UAB 2 1 0.58 (58) 0.563 (52) 0.572
55 Miami-FL 2 1 0.495 (79) 0.64 (34) 0.567
56 Michigan State 1 1 0.535 (70) 0.577 (47) 0.556
57 Virginia 2 1 0.574 (60) 0.529 (61) 0.551
58 Old Dominion 2 1 0.611 (48) 0.489 (70) 0.55
59 Oklahoma State 2 1 0.536 (69) 0.563 (51) 0.549
60 San Diego State 1 1 0.493 (81) 0.605 (37) 0.549
61 LA-Monroe 2 1 0.545 (66) 0.538 (57) 0.541
62 Nevada 2 1 0.581 (56) 0.495 (68) 0.538
63 MTSU 2 1 0.581 (57) 0.494 (69) 0.537
64 Wyoming 2 1 0.644 (41) 0.413 (96) 0.529
65 San Jose State 1 1 0.619 (45) 0.435 (88) 0.527
66 Utah 2 0 0.664 (39) 0.385 (105) 0.524
67 Georgia Southern 1 2 0.461 (82) 0.581 (45) 0.521
68 Colorado State 2 1 0.615 (47) 0.427 (93) 0.521
69 Appalachian State 1 1 0.44 (90) 0.589 (42) 0.514
70 Air Force 2 1 0.588 (54) 0.437 (86) 0.512
71 Illinois 2 1 0.611 (48) 0.408 (99) 0.509
72 Bowling Green 2 1 0.508 (75) 0.506 (67) 0.507
73 Rutgers 2 1 0.534 (71) 0.473 (76) 0.503
74 Akron 1 1 0.529 (73) 0.476 (75) 0.503
75 UTEP 2 1 0.558 (62) 0.436 (87) 0.497
76 UTSA 1 2 0.517 (74) 0.47 (78) 0.494
77 New Mexico State 2 1 0.554 (63) 0.429 (91) 0.492
78 Texas Tech 2 1 0.564 (61) 0.411 (98) 0.487
79 Texas 1 2 0.442 (89) 0.532 (60) 0.487
80 Texas State 1 1 0.364 (101) 0.599 (39) 0.481
81 Western Kentucky 1 2 0.414 (93) 0.534 (59) 0.474
82 Maryland 2 1 0.508 (76) 0.427 (92) 0.467
83 Central Michigan 2 1 0.596 (52) 0.334 (116) 0.465
84 Rice 0 2 0.364 (98) 0.563 (50) 0.464
85 Clemson 1 1 0.372 (95) 0.554 (54) 0.463
86 Utah State 2 1 0.551 (64) 0.362 (111) 0.456
87 Temple 1 1 0.538 (68) 0.365 (110) 0.451
88 South Alabama 1 1 0.493 (80) 0.406 (100) 0.449
89 Iowa 2 1 0.31 (108) 0.578 (46) 0.444
90 UCF 0 2 0.364 (98) 0.513 (64) 0.438
91 Indiana 1 1 0.356 (104) 0.521 (62) 0.438
92 Northwestern 0 2 0.193 (121) 0.682 (27) 0.438
93 Iowa State 1 2 0.361 (102) 0.508 (66) 0.434
94 Arkansas State 1 2 0.371 (96) 0.485 (71) 0.428
95 Western Michigan 1 1 0.457 (84) 0.388 (104) 0.422
96 Army 1 1 0.459 (83) 0.367 (109) 0.413
97 Connecticut 1 2 0.364 (100) 0.445 (85) 0.405
98 Florida Atlantic 1 2 0.497 (78) 0.308 (118) 0.403
99 LA-Lafayette 1 2 0.394 (94) 0.406 (101) 0.4
100 Kansas 1 1 0.445 (88) 0.348 (113) 0.397
101 Tulsa 1 2 0.434 (91) 0.349 (112) 0.391
102 Colorado 1 2 0.282 (112) 0.484 (73) 0.383
103 Hawaii 1 2 0.328 (105) 0.435 (89) 0.382
104 Houston 1 2 0.305 (110) 0.456 (83) 0.38
105 Purdue 1 2 0.356 (103) 0.404 (102) 0.38
106 Southern Miss 1 2 0.547 (65) 0.211 (123) 0.379
107 FIU 1 2 0.24 (115) 0.514 (63) 0.377
108 Washington State 1 2 0.282 (111) 0.46 (82) 0.371
109 Ohio 1 2 0.418 (92) 0.303 (119) 0.36
110 UNLV 1 2 0.368 (97) 0.341 (115) 0.355
111 New Mexico 0 2 0.23 (116) 0.463 (80) 0.346
112 Eastern Michigan 1 2 0.446 (87) 0.212 (122) 0.329
113 Toledo 1 2 0.219 (118) 0.423 (95) 0.321
114 Tulane 1 2 0.249 (113) 0.37 (108) 0.309
115 Georgia State 1 2 0.192 (122) 0.425 (94) 0.308
116 Fresno State 0 3 0.203 (120) 0.412 (97) 0.308
117 Buffalo 1 2 0.219 (118) 0.383 (106) 0.301
118 Miami-OH 0 3 0.191 (123) 0.376 (107) 0.283
119 Ball State 1 2 0.15 (125) 0.346 (114) 0.248
120 South Florida 1 2 0.308 (109) 0.185 (125) 0.247
121 Wake Forest 1 2 0.312 (106) 0.176 (126) 0.244
122 Troy 0 3 0.165 (124) 0.31 (117) 0.237
123 Vanderbilt 1 2 0.22 (117) 0.217 (121) 0.219
124 Non FBS 5 77 0.24 (114) 0.17 (127) 0.205
125 Idaho 0 2 0 (129) 0.391 (103) 0.195
126 North Texas 1 2 0.31 (107) 0 (129) 0.155
127 Massachusetts 0 3 0.105 (127) 0.19 (124) 0.147
128 SMU 0 2 0.05 (128) 0.231 (120) 0.141
129 Kent State 0 3 0.105 (126) 0.08 (128) 0.092
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