2015 NCAA Football Ratings and New Year’s Six – Week 9

The methodology was detailed previously.

I guess now that we are at the 2/3 pole, the philosophical questions start to come up.  Can you justify a 1-loss team over an unbeaten and how would you do that?  I have long noted that the rankings should be a starting point for a discussion and not something to regard slavishly.  But we know the committee gives conferences some primacy, and so do I.  However – there is a sticky loophole.

Per usual, at my stage in life it is hard to find time to write opuses before the rankings – but here is what Excel told me:

W L Pts Scale SOS Rank
1 Clemson 8 0 0.5981 1.000 0.5981 17
2 LSU 7 0 0.5341 0.942 0.5341 52
3 Michigan State 8 0 0.5286 0.937 0.5286 54
4 Notre Dame 7 1 0.5105 0.921 0.6355 6
5 TCU 8 0 0.5026 0.914 0.5026 68
6 Alabama 7 1 0.4933 0.905 0.6183 12
7 Ohio State 8 0 0.4809 0.894 0.4809 74
8 Memphis 8 0 0.4786 0.892 0.4786 75
9 Oklahoma State 8 0 0.4769 0.891 0.4769 77
10 Iowa 8 0 0.4674 0.882 0.4674 82
11 Stanford 7 1 0.4569 0.872 0.5819 24
12 Florida 7 1 0.4458 0.862 0.5708 28
13 Utah 7 1 0.4311 0.849 0.5561 39
14 Oklahoma 7 1 0.4231 0.842 0.5481 43
15 Florida State 7 1 0.3976 0.819 0.5226 58
16 Toledo 7 0 0.3693 0.793 0.3693 114
17 Pittsburgh 6 2 0.3481 0.774 0.5981 16
18 Baylor 7 0 0.3460 0.772 0.3460 118
19 Houston 8 0 0.3432 0.770 0.3432 119
20 Northwestern 6 2 0.3425 0.769 0.5925 19
21 Temple 7 1 0.3393 0.766 0.4643 85
22 Michigan 6 2 0.3178 0.747 0.5678 30
23 Texas A&M 6 2 0.3163 0.745 0.5663 31
24 BYU 6 2 0.3128 0.742 0.5628 34
25 Navy 6 1 0.3117 0.741 0.4545 89
26 Ole Miss 7 2 0.3069 0.737 0.5291 53
27 North Carolina 7 1 0.2958 0.727 0.4208 96
28 Bowling Green 6 2 0.2933 0.725 0.5433 46
29 UCLA 6 2 0.2929 0.724 0.5429 47
30 USC 5 3 0.2841 0.716 0.6591 4
31 Wisconsin 7 2 0.2677 0.701 0.4899 70
32 Penn State 7 2 0.2670 0.701 0.4892 71
33 California 5 3 0.2634 0.698 0.6384 5
34 Mississippi State 6 2 0.2611 0.695 0.5111 63
35 Miami-FL 5 3 0.2348 0.672 0.6098 14
36 Duke 6 2 0.2241 0.662 0.4741 78
37 Boise State 7 2 0.2134 0.652 0.4356 93
38 Appalachian State 7 1 0.1820 0.624 0.3070 126
39 Georgia 5 3 0.1733 0.616 0.5483 42
40 Western Kentucky 7 2 0.1710 0.614 0.3932 104
41 Tennessee 4 4 0.1667 0.610 0.6667 3
42 Oregon 5 3 0.1639 0.608 0.5389 49
43 Marshall 8 1 0.1346 0.581 0.2457 129
44 Louisville 4 4 0.1284 0.576 0.6284 9
45 Ohio 6 2 0.1238 0.571 0.3738 112
46 Washington 4 4 0.1183 0.566 0.6183 13
47 Texas Tech 5 4 0.1077 0.557 0.5521 41
48 Minnesota 4 4 0.0923 0.543 0.5923 20
49 Washington State 5 3 0.0917 0.542 0.4667 84
50 Louisiana Tech 6 3 0.0887 0.540 0.4221 95
51 Georgia Southern 6 2 0.0851 0.536 0.3351 122
52 Cincinnati 5 3 0.0830 0.535 0.4580 87
53 Utah State 5 3 0.0796 0.532 0.4546 88
54 Auburn 4 4 0.0789 0.531 0.5789 26
55 Texas 3 5 0.0744 0.527 0.6994 1
56 NC State 5 3 0.0743 0.527 0.4493 90
57 West Virginia 3 4 0.0636 0.517 0.6350 7
58 Central Michigan 5 4 0.0616 0.515 0.5061 66
59 Arkansas 4 4 0.0599 0.514 0.5599 35
60 Arizona State 4 4 0.0559 0.510 0.5559 40
61 San Diego State 6 3 0.0479 0.503 0.3813 108
62 Virginia Tech 4 5 0.0404 0.496 0.5960 18
63 Kentucky 4 4 0.0399 0.496 0.5399 48
64 South Florida 4 4 0.0375 0.493 0.5375 51
65 Illinois 4 4 0.0280 0.485 0.5280 55
66 Arizona 5 4 0.0264 0.483 0.4708 80
67 Indiana 4 4 0.0179 0.476 0.5179 61
68 Northern Illinois 5 3 0.0178 0.476 0.3928 105
69 Kansas State 3 4 0.0159 0.474 0.5873 21
70 Tulsa 4 4 0.0105 0.469 0.5105 64
71 Missouri 4 4 0.0067 0.466 0.5067 65
72 East Carolina 4 5 0.0015 0.461 0.5570 38
73 Air Force 5 3 -0.0008 0.459 0.3742 110
74 Virginia 3 5 -0.0035 0.456 0.6215 10
75 Arkansas State 5 3 -0.0042 0.456 0.3708 113
76 Southern Miss 6 3 -0.0249 0.437 0.3084 125
77 Western Michigan 4 4 -0.0333 0.430 0.4667 83
78 South Carolina 3 5 -0.0408 0.423 0.5842 23
79 Georgia Tech 3 6 -0.0464 0.418 0.6202 11
80 Iowa State 3 5 -0.0478 0.416 0.5772 27
81 Syracuse 3 5 -0.0663 0.400 0.5587 36
82 Vanderbilt 3 5 -0.0672 0.399 0.5578 37
83 Rutgers 3 5 -0.0779 0.389 0.5471 44
84 Connecticut 4 5 -0.0785 0.389 0.4770 76
85 Maryland 2 6 -0.0815 0.386 0.6685 2
86 Rice 4 4 -0.0874 0.381 0.4126 100
87 Buffalo 4 4 -0.0887 0.379 0.4113 101
88 Nebraska 3 6 -0.0974 0.372 0.5693 29
89 South Alabama 3 4 -0.1105 0.360 0.4609 86
90 Boston College 3 6 -0.1228 0.349 0.5439 45
91 San Jose State 4 4 -0.1237 0.348 0.3763 109
92 Colorado 4 5 -0.1274 0.344 0.4282 94
93 Wake Forest 3 6 -0.1285 0.343 0.5382 50
94 Akron 3 5 -0.1375 0.335 0.4875 73
95 Tulane 2 6 -0.1476 0.326 0.6024 15
96 MTSU 3 5 -0.1523 0.322 0.4727 79
97 Kent State 3 5 -0.1561 0.319 0.4689 81
98 Nevada 4 4 -0.1614 0.314 0.3386 120
99 Purdue 2 6 -0.1699 0.306 0.5801 25
100 Oregon State 2 6 -0.1863 0.291 0.5637 33
101 Colorado State 3 5 -0.1872 0.290 0.4378 92
102 LA-Lafayette 3 4 -0.1973 0.281 0.3741 111
103 New Mexico 4 4 -0.2064 0.273 0.2936 127
104 Idaho 3 5 -0.2109 0.269 0.4141 98
105 Fresno State 2 6 -0.2231 0.258 0.5269 56
106 FIU 4 5 -0.2243 0.257 0.3313 123
107 Texas State 2 5 -0.2257 0.256 0.4886 72
108 Old Dominion 3 5 -0.2358 0.247 0.3892 107
109 Ball State 3 6 -0.2527 0.231 0.4139 99
110 UNLV 2 6 -0.2584 0.226 0.4916 69
111 Hawaii 2 7 -0.2590 0.226 0.5188 60
112 UTEP 3 5 -0.2757 0.210 0.3493 116
113 Massachusetts 1 7 -0.3107 0.179 0.5643 32
114 Troy 2 6 -0.3312 0.160 0.4188 97
115 Other 8 93 -0.3357 0.156 0.5851 22
116 LA-Monroe 1 7 -0.3486 0.145 0.5264 57
117 Miami-OH 1 8 -0.3668 0.128 0.5221 59
118 Kansas 0 8 -0.3704 0.125 0.6296 8
119 SMU 1 7 -0.3716 0.124 0.5034 67
120 Army 2 6 -0.4009 0.097 0.3491 117
121 Florida Atlantic 2 6 -0.4124 0.087 0.3376 121
122 UTSA 1 7 -0.4263 0.074 0.4487 91
123 Charlotte 2 6 -0.4269 0.074 0.3231 124
124 Georgia State 2 5 -0.4285 0.072 0.2858 128
125 North Texas 1 7 -0.4717 0.033 0.4033 102
126 UCF 0 9 -0.4862 0.020 0.5138 62
127 Wyoming 1 8 -0.4901 0.017 0.3988 103
128 Eastern Michigan 1 8 -0.4990 0.009 0.3898 106
129 New Mexico State 1 7 -0.5086 0.000 0.3664 115

So, if we fill in our conference qualifiers:  Clemson (1), LSU (2), Michigan State (3), TCU (5), Memphis (8), Stanford (11) – with Memphis being the Group of 5 candidate.  But what is that team at #4 who does not belong to either category?  Notre Dame is at #4 and JUST ahead of TCU.  Does this make sense?  How does a team who lost to the #1 team in our list while having wins against #21 (Temple), #25 (Navy) and #30 USC compare with an unbeaten whose best win is #47 Texas Tech.  What would the committee do with a chance to give the nod to the Irish credibly?  Do I just give TCU the #4 slot because I hated Notre Dame growing up?

This week, with four of the top 5 as conference champs, we have a clean Final Four.

  • Orange Bowl (National Semifinal A): Clemson v Notre Dame
  • Cotton Bowl (National Semifinal B): LSU v Michigan State
  • Rose Bowl (Big Ten/Pac 12): Ohio State v Stanford
  • Sugar Bowl (SEC/Big 12): Alabama v TCU
  • Peach Bowl: Alabama v Memphis
  • Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma State v Iowa

Fake 16 Team Tournament

Using conference losses as first criteria, head to head, then ranking – in the case of conferences with divisions, it’s highest ranking division winner.  The S-Curve is then shifted to avoid first round rematches.

Automatic Bids

  • Pac 12: Stanford (11)
  • Big Ten: Michigan State (3)
  • ACC: Clemson (1)
  • Big 12: TCU (5)
  • SEC: LSU (2)
  • American: Memphis (8)
  • MAC: Toledo (16)
  • C-USA: Western Kentucky (40)
  • MWC: Utah State (53)
  • Sun Belt: Appalachian State (38)

At-Large Positions

  • Notre Dame (4)
  • Alabama (6)
  • Ohio State (7)
  • Oklahoma State (9)
  • Iowa (10)
  • Florida (12)
  • Utah, Oklahoma, Florida State the first three teams out

REGIONS – if we rotate the New Year’s Six Bowls, that means Cotton and Orange are semis, so regionals are the other four.  Seeds are moved slightly as needed to avoid rematches in round 1.

Atlanta, GA Region

  • (1) Clemson v (4) Utah State
  • (2) Memphis v (3) Oklahoma State

Glendale, AZ Region

  • (1) Notre Dame v (4) Toledo
  • (2) TCU v (3) Florida

New Orleans, LA Region

  • (1) LSU v (4) Appalachian State
  • (2) Ohio State v (3) Stanford

Pasadena, CA Region

  • (1) Michigan State v (4) Western Kentucky
  • (2) Alabama v (3) Iowa
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