2014 College Football – Week 4 – Fully Official

As a preamble, the recent business in the NFL creates a lot of questions about exactly what people ask from football – and the role football plays in creating many of these circumstances.  Obviously there is some nature vs nurture – football does not spawn wife beaters per se, although given the head injuries and the need, the demand from fans for this nth degree level of machismo and ferocity, that the programming spills over into real life is not a surprise.  We see it with soldiers returning home, and fans after upsets.  Louisa Thomas in particular covers this well.  I could note other things on how the football culture fosters much of what is not so savory about culture generally, but that’s another show.  I still like the games, but I am also sick.

For my heart, the most satisfying of the matches was Georgia Tech’s unlikely victory over Virginia Tech.  Now, (putting on my college football fan hat here) Paul Johnson has been more or less totally unjustly maligned over his 6+ seasons at the helm – and with a new AD, calling his position “embattled” seems fair.  I know fans who certainly are ready to move on – although their reasons seem specious, and the nostalgia for previous eras of football a bit misplaced.  Calvin Johnson, hero of Georgia Tech football and my own fantasy league, was great at Georgia Tech, but also played in a deadly boring offense – the equivalent of a using McDonald’s fried for your moules frites.  The program is immeasurably better now – and as a football fan it is fun to watch the flexbone offense.  What the first four games this season has shown is how important a good quarterback is (duh).  Last year’s quarterback Vad Lee had more throwing talent (though from his numbers you would not notice it) but he was a raised pocket passer who could not run the option.  What Justin Thomas had brought to the table is the best skillset since Josh Nesbitt.  I am not predicting a 10 win season, but there is no reason not to be happy.  Now the game itself was a comedy of errors – but Thomas pounced on the opportunities and helmed a stirring comeback, not the usual terrain for an option team.

With Cincinnati getting its second win, now all of the teams have 2 games played, so a real SoS metric can be derived. As such, the rankings are clean. Obviously, results now have huge marginal impacts – that is how the #2 team last week can drop to #20.  Not only did Florida lose at Alabama, but Eastern Michigan got demolished by Michigan State which punctured the Gators’ schedule ratings.  At the same time. last week’s #5 (LSU) only dropped to #9 by losing to a good team and their best win (Wisconsin) looking better and better.  So how does this show in the bowl projections?

  • The final 4: Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma and UCLA get the top 4 spots.  While UCLA is slightly behind the other two SEC teams, its conference kingpin status elevates them into the Top 4.  This gives you an Alabama-UCLA Sugar Bowl and Auburn-Oklahoma Rose Bowl.
  • The other Big 5 champs (we use losses in conference as first tiebreaker, and rating as the second) are NC State for the ACC and Penn State for the Big Ten.  East Carolina is the current “best of the rest” at #21.
  • This speaks for seven of the 12 spots.  That leaves Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Baylor and BYU as the reamining bids.  LSU is ranked above BYU, but it is a small margin – small enough that the undefeated record would probably seduce a selection committee for now.  Based on the Orange Bowl contract, NC State plays the highest ranked of SEC/Big Ten/ND, so that puts Mississippi State in play.
  • BOWL PROJECTIONS.  Note we get a particularly juicy Cotton Bowl, and if you are into things like Crusades and Jihads, it is quite the Fiesta Bowl.
    • Sugar Bowl: Alabama v UCLA
    • Rose Bowl: Auburn v Oklahoma
    • Orange Bowl: NC State v Mississippi State
    • Cotton Bowl: Ole Miss v Baylor
    • Peach Bowl: Penn State v East Carolina
    • Fiesta Bowl: Notre Dame v BYU

Weekly Power Rankings

Rank Team W L RPI Scale DSR Scale TotalRank
1 Alabama 4 0 0.978 (2) 1 (1) 0.989
2 Auburn 3 0 0.971 (3) 0.932 (4) 0.951
3 Oklahoma 4 0 0.923 (4) 0.881 (9) 0.902
4 Mississippi State 4 0 0.912 (5) 0.873 (11) 0.893
5 Ole Miss 3 0 0.831 (9) 0.913 (5) 0.872
6 UCLA 3 0 1 (1) 0.736 (32) 0.868
7 Notre Dame 3 0 0.864 (7) 0.805 (17) 0.835
8 Baylor 3 0 0.66 (32) 0.992 (2) 0.826
9 LSU 3 1 0.649 (36) 0.984 (3) 0.817
10 BYU 4 0 0.859 (8) 0.747 (29) 0.803
11 TCU 2 0 0.775 (16) 0.823 (15) 0.799
12 NC State 4 0 0.795 (14) 0.8 (18) 0.797
13 Arkansas 3 1 0.797 (13) 0.794 (19) 0.796
14 Oregon 4 0 0.812 (10) 0.762 (23) 0.787
15 USC 2 1 0.682 (27) 0.876 (10) 0.779
16 Penn State 4 0 0.806 (12) 0.752 (27) 0.779
17 Texas A&M 4 0 0.811 (11) 0.728 (34) 0.769
18 West Virginia 2 2 0.589 (47) 0.91 (6) 0.749
19 Arizona 4 0 0.881 (6) 0.591 (54) 0.736
20 Florida 2 1 0.676 (29) 0.794 (20) 0.735
21 East Carolina 3 1 0.749 (20) 0.697 (37) 0.723
22 Louisville 3 1 0.618 (40) 0.817 (16) 0.718
23 Georgia 2 1 0.591 (45) 0.841 (14) 0.716
24 Pittsburgh 3 1 0.529 (62) 0.9 (7) 0.714
25 Tennessee 2 1 0.672 (30) 0.753 (25) 0.713
26 Boise State 3 1 0.669 (31) 0.733 (33) 0.701
27 South Carolina 3 1 0.65 (34) 0.75 (28) 0.7
28 Georgia Tech 4 0 0.778 (15) 0.598 (52) 0.688
29 Marshall 4 0 0.701 (25) 0.673 (39) 0.687
30 Nebraska 4 0 0.774 (17) 0.595 (53) 0.684
31 Florida State 3 0 0.768 (18) 0.599 (51) 0.683
32 Arizona State 3 0 0.751 (19) 0.61 (46) 0.681
33 Memphis 2 1 0.612 (42) 0.743 (31) 0.677
34 Oregon State 3 0 0.694 (26) 0.636 (42) 0.665
35 Wisconsin 2 1 0.486 (67) 0.844 (13) 0.665
36 Duke 4 0 0.709 (24) 0.601 (50) 0.655
37 Boston College 3 1 0.538 (59) 0.761 (24) 0.649
38 Michigan State 2 1 0.542 (56) 0.743 (30) 0.643
39 Cincinnati 2 0 0.73 (23) 0.552 (60) 0.641
40 Utah 3 0 0.746 (21) 0.532 (67) 0.639
41 Michigan 2 2 0.374 (92) 0.882 (8) 0.628
42 Washington 4 0 0.74 (22) 0.514 (75) 0.627
43 Stanford 2 1 0.389 (87) 0.849 (12) 0.619
44 Navy 2 2 0.47 (71) 0.763 (22) 0.616
45 Northern Illinois 3 1 0.653 (33) 0.577 (57) 0.615
46 Minnesota 3 1 0.633 (38) 0.578 (56) 0.605
47 Virginia Tech 2 2 0.452 (74) 0.752 (26) 0.602
48 Georgia Southern 2 2 0.588 (48) 0.614 (44) 0.601
49 Ohio State 2 1 0.434 (80) 0.768 (21) 0.601
50 California 2 1 0.65 (35) 0.523 (71) 0.586
51 Kansas State 2 1 0.578 (50) 0.586 (55) 0.582
52 Rutgers 3 1 0.616 (41) 0.533 (66) 0.575
53 Miami-FL 2 2 0.43 (81) 0.716 (35) 0.573
54 Missouri 3 1 0.52 (64) 0.621 (43) 0.57
55 Maryland 3 1 0.62 (39) 0.52 (72) 0.57
56 Virginia 2 2 0.493 (66) 0.646 (40) 0.569
57 Indiana 2 1 0.568 (52) 0.567 (59) 0.567
58 Oklahoma State 2 1 0.526 (63) 0.602 (49) 0.564
59 Iowa 3 1 0.449 (75) 0.677 (38) 0.563
60 Illinois 3 1 0.586 (49) 0.527 (69) 0.556
61 LA-Monroe 2 1 0.552 (54) 0.547 (63) 0.549
62 Colorado State 2 1 0.601 (43) 0.495 (80) 0.548
63 Nevada 2 1 0.589 (46) 0.502 (78) 0.546
64 Kentucky 2 1 0.544 (55) 0.545 (65) 0.545
65 Syracuse 2 1 0.475 (70) 0.608 (48) 0.541
66 UAB 2 1 0.552 (53) 0.526 (70) 0.539
67 Old Dominion 3 1 0.647 (37) 0.414 (101) 0.531
68 Clemson 1 2 0.339 (97) 0.698 (36) 0.518
69 Wyoming 3 1 0.68 (28) 0.356 (111) 0.518
70 Air Force 2 1 0.574 (51) 0.458 (88) 0.516
71 UTSA 1 2 0.517 (65) 0.512 (76) 0.514
72 Texas Tech 2 1 0.594 (44) 0.432 (95) 0.513
73 UTEP 2 1 0.538 (58) 0.48 (84) 0.509
74 Texas 1 2 0.403 (86) 0.611 (45) 0.507
75 MTSU 2 2 0.454 (73) 0.546 (64) 0.5
76 North Carolina 2 1 0.538 (60) 0.46 (87) 0.499
77 Temple 2 1 0.437 (78) 0.55 (61) 0.494
78 Western Michigan 2 1 0.478 (69) 0.495 (81) 0.487
79 Arkansas State 2 2 0.449 (76) 0.514 (74) 0.481
80 Colorado 2 2 0.411 (82) 0.519 (73) 0.465
81 Louisiana Tech 2 2 0.484 (68) 0.443 (91) 0.464
82 Kansas 2 1 0.537 (61) 0.375 (109) 0.456
83 Rice 0 3 0.227 (117) 0.645 (41) 0.436
84 Texas State 1 2 0.259 (112) 0.609 (47) 0.434
85 Akron 1 2 0.317 (100) 0.55 (62) 0.434
86 New Mexico 1 2 0.388 (88) 0.479 (85) 0.434
87 UCF 1 2 0.325 (99) 0.53 (68) 0.427
88 Washington State 1 3 0.271 (110) 0.574 (58) 0.423
89 Western Kentucky 1 2 0.351 (94) 0.483 (83) 0.417
90 San Jose State 1 2 0.458 (72) 0.376 (108) 0.417
91 Houston 2 2 0.35 (95) 0.476 (86) 0.413
92 Appalachian State 1 2 0.299 (105) 0.506 (77) 0.402
93 New Mexico State 2 2 0.379 (90) 0.424 (97) 0.402
94 Utah State 2 2 0.411 (83) 0.386 (104) 0.398
95 South Alabama 1 2 0.381 (89) 0.406 (103) 0.393
96 Bowling Green 2 2 0.406 (85) 0.38 (106) 0.393
97 Southern Miss 2 2 0.539 (57) 0.242 (122) 0.391
98 Central Michigan 2 2 0.446 (77) 0.318 (114) 0.382
99 Iowa State 1 2 0.329 (98) 0.429 (96) 0.379
100 Purdue 2 2 0.308 (102) 0.438 (92) 0.373
101 Toledo 2 2 0.306 (103) 0.438 (93) 0.372
102 Ohio 2 2 0.41 (84) 0.315 (116) 0.362
103 Buffalo 2 2 0.233 (115) 0.485 (82) 0.359
104 Fresno State 1 3 0.297 (107) 0.421 (98) 0.359
105 Florida Atlantic 1 3 0.437 (79) 0.274 (118) 0.355
106 Tulsa 1 2 0.374 (91) 0.327 (112) 0.351
107 Hawaii 1 3 0.229 (116) 0.458 (89) 0.343
108 San Diego State 1 2 0.298 (106) 0.377 (107) 0.338
109 Tulane 1 3 0.225 (118) 0.45 (90) 0.337
110 LA-Lafayette 1 3 0.301 (104) 0.369 (110) 0.335
111 South Florida 2 2 0.348 (96) 0.317 (115) 0.332
112 Army 1 2 0.257 (114) 0.382 (105) 0.32
113 FIU 1 3 0.135 (125) 0.5 (79) 0.317
114 Northwestern 1 2 0.193 (120) 0.437 (94) 0.315
115 Georgia State 1 3 0.152 (122) 0.415 (99) 0.283
116 Miami-OH 0 4 0.154 (121) 0.41 (102) 0.282
117 Wake Forest 2 2 0.366 (93) 0.18 (124) 0.273
118 Connecticut 1 3 0.276 (109) 0.261 (119) 0.268
119 Vanderbilt 1 3 0.267 (111) 0.249 (121) 0.258
120 UNLV 1 3 0.258 (113) 0.214 (123) 0.236
121 Ball State 1 3 0.14 (124) 0.322 (113) 0.231
122 North Texas 2 2 0.31 (101) 0.138 (126) 0.224
123 Idaho 0 3 0.027 (128) 0.414 (100) 0.22
124 Massachusetts 0 4 0.149 (123) 0.251 (120) 0.2
125 SMU 0 3 0.092 (127) 0.303 (117) 0.198
126 Non FBS 6 87 0.202 (119) 0.114 (127) 0.158
127 Eastern Michigan 1 3 0.288 (108) 0 (129) 0.144
128 Troy 0 4 0.094 (126) 0.14 (125) 0.117
129 Kent State 0 3 0 (129) 0.034 (128) 0.017
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