Tag: rankings

39 Years, 40 Songs

Updating last year’s list of songs which were #1 on my birthday.  Anyway, here we go – and obviously this is an authoritative list that should be accepted as fact.

40. “Have You Ever” by Brandy (1999) – ooh, the mid to late 90s was a fallow period here.  There were a lot of simpering slow jams, and this was probably the worst of them, but the competition is fierce.  Brandy in particular sang these songs like she was half asleep

39. “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton (1997) – really the comments for #39 apply here, although instead of low talking there is the sort of balladeering earnestness which can inspire snorts from heartless people like me.

38. “All For Love” by Rod Stewart, Brian Adams and Sting (1994) – I actually like early editions of all of these musicians and don’t despise Sting’s solo material as much as a well read person ought to.  But this is that special cocktail of simpering earnestness and low quality that can make really bad pop music.

37. “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (1996) – I am detecting a pattern in the years here among our really shaky songs.  No wonder I did not enjoy college more.

36. “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men (1995) – It is funny – if I described the song (unironic love song, Motown label, great singers) in 1967, I’d be all in.  But a 90s version of this sort of song just doesn’t age well.  Really, only “End of the Road” is tolerable now.  This is too hard to listen to to even be snort-worthy.

35. “The First Time” by Surface (1991) – The only song for this study I looked up and did not remember.  That sums it up well.  Another 1990s disposable slow jam.

34. “Bad and Boujee” by Migos f/ L’il Uzi (2017) – I listened to this just for this purpose.  This is pretty clearly the worst hip-hop song on this list.  Slow,  but without force.  The rapping sounds half asleep but without cool.  It is tempting to put this even lower but then I remember how much I hated so many of those 90s ballads.

33. “Sorry” by Justin Bieber (2016) – It’s the first Bieber song I listened to on purpose.  I will always rank up-tempo-ish songs above the simpering dreck we’ve seem earlier, but that is not saying much.  It’s actually not that bad though – does that sound like a compliment?

32. “Grillz” by Nelly (2006) – Clearly the worst hip-hop song to qualify for this list.  It is a shame because a large portion of Nelly’s canon is quite good.  This feels like a lapse in reason.  Or maybe it’s because I am jealous that I don’t have a grill of my own.

31. “Truly, Madly, Deeply” by Savage Garden (1998) – Another simpering 1990s ballad, but significantly better than normal.  It’s not the best example on the list, but the more understated vocals keep this from being a total mess.

30. “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton (1990) – The no talent ass-clown  covered a forgettable Laura Brannigan song and did it quite well.  Really, this is a pretty good edition of a pretty awful genre, and holds up fairly well.  Or maybe it’s because it worked so well for John Oliver.

29. “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd (1992) – This is a pretty indefensible boy band song.  In case you have forgotten Color Me Badd, this is the vocal group who brought boy band harmonizing to “I Wanna Sex You Up”, one of the cheesier pop songs of the last few decades – and somehow the biggest hit from the soundtrack to New Jack City.  But sometimes, pop music is as much about cheese which can make a sing-along in stuck traffic worthwhile.

28. “U Got It Bad” by Usher (2002) – Nearing the end of the 1990s-2000s slow jamz blessedly – Usher infuses a little bit of soul and style into a pretty disposable song – it’s not enough to qualify as “good”, but better than the other ones.

27. “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John (1982) – I remember this song because it played during my mother’s aerobics classes when I was a kid.  It is amazing that this song was a year’s #1 overall song.  It certainly has not aged well – really the kitsch is all there is.  That said, the song is fun – which is more than can be said about the others below this.

26. “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (2010) – Deciding between this and “Physical” was tough.  You could go either way – both are sublimely silly songs which are hard to justify as year end #1s.  I guess recency is enough – as this song does not seem quite as dated.

25. “Let Me Love You” by Mario (2005) – If only there was a B-side by Luigi.  That said, it’s a breezy R&B song with some slow jam aspects but a much more pleasant listen.

24. “We Found Love” by Rihanna (2012) – The quality of the songs starts to increase here.  In fact, I’d say the next 24 are all at least partial thumbs-ups.  Rihanna’s prodigious success eluded my real interest in pop music – so others know her canon better than I do.  That said, this is a solid entry.

23. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars (2011) – Style is everything sometimes.  Bruno Mars here is no less earnest and simpering than some of the stuff which I scoffed at earlier in this list.  However, the piano and the tempo of the song provides a bit more of a dramatic touch – like it could have been in a musical or operetta perhaps.  It feels a bit more weighty.

22. “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon (1981) – John Lennon is among the more overrated artists in rock history.  He was tremendously important of course – and really he defined the Beatles early sound, where you can see the band’s Rock and Roll influences.  Lennon’s voice was that of someone who played music in bars and clubs – and he created the hard driving sound that the Beatles became known for in the early days.  After the breakup, though?  “Imagine” is a very dated slog that tries too hard for its message – overtly preachy songs are always issues.  His songs lacked the craft of Paul McCartney’s Wings stuff, and his deeper material lacked the complexity of George Harrison’s, and he took himself much more seriously than say Ringo Starr.  The posthumous Double Fantasy contained some of his best work, including “Woman” which is undoubtedly his best non-Beatles song.  This song is okay, but it is hard to hear it and not think that his death drove this song’s success.

21. “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick and Friends (1986) – A song everybody knows, and it is hard to put anything Stevie Wonder touches so low.  It has some of the snort-worthy earnestness that came with those 1980s compilations – and the video is hilarious, at least the idea that the friends all hang out together.  It probably should be ranked lower, but it’s ubiquity keeps it here.

20. “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce (2007) – We’re at the Beyonce portion of the program.  Overall I am not a huge fan – and actually like the Destiny’s Child stuff a little better.  So a middle ranking for a middle of the road song.

19. “Independent Women (Part I) by Destiny’s Child (2001) – See, I like it a little better?

18. “I Will Always Love You” by Whtiney Houston (1993) – The soppiest song on the list?  Maybe.  But Whitney Houston was always a defining voice of pop music in my life.  Stuff from earlier albums hit me more – but a song like this does show where she could have been a Streisand for people my age.  This is a fairly indefensible genre, but she works it better than anybody.

 

17. “Low” by Flo-Rida (2008) – One of things that becomes clear as I ran through this list was recent years pop music has actually gotten better.  Now it’s not better than the 1970s or mid 1980s, but catchy hooks and bouncy beats have rescued the era from some of the horrid material which permeated the late 1990s.  This song is infectious – and it is nice to have a hip hop song about butts in here – somehow an era-spanning survey would feel incomplete without it.

16. “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera (2000) – Christina and Britney Spears came up at about the same time, and they parallel nicely Madonna and Cyndi Lauper coming up around 1984.  In both cases you have female artists who were popular in their time, and in each case you had one artist who actually could really sing.  In both cases Britney and Madonna had more success, but Aguilera and Cyndi Lauper were much better singers.  In Christina Aguilera’s case, especially that first album, it gave the disposable pop songs a dimension that Britney certainly could not reach.  This is a genuinely good pop song which has aged well.

15. “At This Moment” by Billy Vera and the Beaters (1987) – A forgotten song from 1981 which was revived because of Family Ties, one part of the ultimate TV Sitcom powerhouse night growing up.  Hearing it now, the song is actually more pleasant and low key than I remember it.   The sound clearly is meant to evoke jazzy standards – much like George Michael’s “Kissing A Fool” would later in the year.  Uncharitably, I could say it is derivative of old world crooning, but hey, it does work on that level.

14. “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga (2009) – Lady Gaga’s first big hit.  I remember dismissing this in sort of a grumpy old man way – because it was pop of this kind, and thus had to stink.  But I remember friends playing it during a camping trip and somehow it sounded different.  It’s still a dance-pop song, but Lady Gaga does them well.  No reason to run from it.

13. “Timber” by Pitbull (2014) – I like Pitbull.  The Pitbull Channel on SiriusXM is continuously listenable.  His songs all sound the same, but are infectious anyway.  I like how he insists on that sort of “non dancing” sorts of moves which would make him a dead ringer for a plaid-shirted douchebag if he were a white guy and not a sharply dressed Miami Cuban-American.  Making silly dance songs is not the same noble goal that say John Lennon had – but I have to tip my hat to someone who does it well consistently.

12.  “Like A Virgin” by Madonna (1985) – Really, this is the song that announced Madonna as a really big f’ing deal – even if you had heard “Lucky Star”.  It’s a song and tune everybody knows, and it certainly deserves its pop reknown.  Indeed that it did not crack the Top 10 tells you the quality of the songs that have been at the top near January 20th.

11. “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars (2013) – I am sure there is some recency bias here.  But this is a really fun song and the radio always stops when it comes on.  Usually I am a compulsive channel change – but this always gets my attention.  Bruno Mars is one of the better artists that the last few years has produced – indeed my 3-year old would approve (and will, later).

10. “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson (1988) – It is hard to properly communicate to youngsters how big a deal Michael Jackson was.  There are boy bands who make girls instinctively fling their panties and whatnot, and there are bands like U2 the world admires – regardless of whether its a good idea.  Michael Jackson had numerous issues and problems which can’t help but detract from his musical legacy, but his album drops and videos were clock stopping sorts of events.  He became a parody of himself later, and the criminal charges are what they are.  It is also clear that he never had much of a childhood and was mistreated by a lot of people who saw him talent and dollar signs.  This was the 3rd single from Bad, and while the idea of Michael Jackson macking on a woman is hard to picture without snorting, this song works.  He was a great pop music craftsman.

9. “Baby Come Back” by Player (1978) – The #1 song when I was born.  This list is littered with slow jams from the 1990s, most rather unpleasant in terms of quality.  A song like this one (and another one a few songs from now) are such a repudiation to something like (insert Boyz II Men song here) by just being so much better.  I sing a version of this song when it’s time to change my son’s diaper.

8. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (2015) – Bruno Mars appears again.  You know this song.  Do we need to cover it?  My daughter loves this song, and she smiles and gives me a “Don’t Believe Me Just Watch!”  It has everything a party song should have – and when it was the first song to play at a wedding I was at, I wondered why so early when it was unlikely any other song would be better.  The video is a clear throwback to 80s Michael Jackson – which in itself makes me feel old.

7. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes (1984) – Progressive Rock as a genre has a lot of weird bloated songs.  Yes was a pioneer of the genre – and “Roundabout” is particularly rough to listen to.  But this song, an early entry in what was to be a really great pop music year, is a tight, elegant tune with a good hook.

6. “Two Hearts” by Phil Collins (1989) – This is probably the ranking which will inspire the most snorts of derision.  Phil Collins does that.  He either works for you, or he doesn’t.  He has always worked for me and I am not sure why.  There are no guilty pleasures – so I refuse to be embarrassed by this.  This song was from his movie Buster, unseen by me, and it intentionally evokes some of the BritPop of the 1960s (time of polka-dotted dresses, go-go boots and such).  It’s a terrific pop song.

5. “Down Under” by Men At Work (1983) – Vegemite sounds disgusting.  This is among the very best songs on this list – with a reggae-touched beat which is hard to remain angry with.

4. “Le Freak” by Chic (1979) – Really this is arguably the best pop song of the 1970s.  Disco is one of those things I have evolved with.  As a teenager listening to classic rock in a talcum powder white hometown – disco seemed ridiculous.  I wrongly fell into the same traps that classic rock fans fell into – talking about disco ruining the world of music, and supporting things like record burnings.  However, and this is a dirty secret that you only learn when you listen to a lot of 70s pop, disco flat saved popular music.  Seriously.  Paul Anka, Eric Clapton, countless John Denver songs.  Yeesh.  Disco rode into to just provide some diversity and some life affirmation, and when you had a decade of Carpenters and Captain and Tenille, you need all the help you can get.

3. “Hey-Ya” by Outkast (2004) – How the hell is this #3?  I am still surprised too.  Yes, it’s my list – but I did want to look at these things new.  This song still works and Andre 3000 is just so brilliant.  How do you brighten your day?

2. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (2003) – Right there with songs like “Cult of Personality” and “Welcome to the Jungle” – this is among the songs I turn to when getting fired up for a competition (or a game where my team is playing).  It’s become cliche of course – but the beat and baseline is just absolutely perfect.

1. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson (1980) – Really any of the top 4 would have worked here.  However, there is real soul here – the kind which sounded weird with Jackson 5 songs – and such a smooth beat and flow.  Michael Jackson produced many soul songs of consequence as a member of the Jackson Five – but his pre-pubescent voice to me, made it hard to really feel songs like “Got to be There” and “I’ll Be There”.  It helps to be a grown up to give love songs the sort of gravitas it needs to be special.  This qualifies.  I was too young to remember Off The Wall, but as a solo album to reintroduce Michael Jackson it is perfect.  I remember a magazine somewhere talking about it as the perfect brand extension – how do you not alienate your boy band customers while pushing into a new space.  Jackson managed that perfectly here, with an album that evokes classic motown while remaining wholly Michael’s.

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38 Years, 39 Songs

As the previous post hopefully indicated, I’d like to read and write more (non-sports stuff of course) – and so one of the ideas I had been spinning in my head since one of my friends talked about looking at every year end Top 10 for his 40th birthday.  The problem with both my resolution to write and this sort of exercise is that I’m lazy – but I thought laying music across my lifetime would at least be interesting.

As such – with my own birthday awfully darn close, here is a countdown ranking of every song that was #1 on my birthday from age zero to now.  I tried to listen to all of these fresh, and then to try to eliminate old guy bias.  There were a lot of crappy songs in 1989 too.  Anyway, here we go – and obviously this is an authoritative list that should be accepted as fact.

39. “Have You Ever” by Brandy (1999) – ooh, the mid to late 90s was a fallow period here.  There were a lot of simpering slow jams, and this was probably the worst of them, but the competition is fierce.  Brandy in particular sang these songs like she was half asleep

38. “Un-Break My Heart” by Toni Braxton (1997) – really the comments for #39 apply here, although instead of low talking there is the sort of balladeering earnestness which can inspire snorts from heartless people like me.

37. “All For Love” by Rod Stewart, Brian Adams and Sting (1994) – I actually like early editions of all of these musicians and don’t despise Sting’s solo material as much as a well read person ought to.  But this is that special cocktail of simpering earnestness and low quality that can make really bad pop music.

36. “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men (1996) – I am detecting a pattern in the years here among our really shaky songs.  No wonder I did not enjoy college more.

35. “On Bended Knee” by Boyz II Men (1995) – Really, only “End of the Road” is tolerable now.  This is too hard to listen to to even be snort-worthy.

34. “The First Time” by Surface (1991) – The only song for this study I looked up and did not remember.  That sums it up well.  Another 1990s disposable slow jam.

33. “Sorry” by Justin Bieber (2016) – It’s the first Bieber song I listened to on purpose.  I will always rank up-tempo-ish songs above the simpering dreck in the previous 6 entries, but that is not saying much.  It’s actually not that bad though – does that sound like a compliment?

32. “Grillz” by Nelly (2006) – Clearly the worst hip-hop song to qualify for this list.  It is a shame because a large portion of Nelly’s canon is quite good.  This feels like a lapse in reason.  Or maybe it’s because I am jealous that I don’t have a grill of my own.

31. “Truly, Madly, Deeply” by Savage Garden (1998) – Another simpering 1990s ballad, but significantly better than normal.  It’s not the best example on the list, but the more understated vocals keep this from being a total mess.

30. “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” by Michael Bolton (1990) – The no talent ass-clown  covered a forgettable Laura Brannigan song and did it quite well.  Really, this is a pretty good edition of a pretty awful genre, and holds up fairly well.  Or maybe it’s because it worked so well for John Oliver.

29. “All 4 Love” by Color Me Badd (1992) – This is a pretty indefensible boy band song.  In case you have forgotten Color Me Badd, this is the vocal group who brought boy band harmonizing to “I Wanna Sex You Up”, one of the cheesier pop songs of the last few decades – and somehow the biggest hit from the soundtrack to New Jack City.  But sometimes, pop music is as much about cheese which can make a sing-along in stuck traffic worthwhile.

28. “U Got It Bad” by Usher (2002) – Nearing the end of the 1990s-2000s slow jamz blessedly – Usher infuses a little bit of soul and style into a pretty disposable song – it’s not enough to qualify as “good”, but better than the other ones.

27. “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John (1982) – I remember this song because it played during my mother’s aerobics classes when I was a kid.  It is amazing that this song was a year’s #1 overall song.  It certainly has not aged well – really the kitsch is all there is.  That said, the song is fun – which is more than can be said about the others below this.

26. “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (2010) – Deciding between this and “Physical” was tough.  You could go either way – both are sublimely silly songs which are hard to justify as year end #1s.  I guess recency is enough – as this song does not seem quite as dated.

25. “Let Me Love You” by Mario (1982) – If only there was a B-side by Luigi.  That said, it’s a breezy R&B song with some slow jam aspects but a much more pleasant listen.

24. “We Found Love” by Rihanna (2012) – The quality of the songs starts to increase here.  In fact, I’d say the next 24 are all at least partial thumbs-ups.  Rihanna’s prodigious success eluded by real interest in pop music – so others know her canon better than I do.  That said, this is a solid entry.

23. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars (2011) – Style is everything sometimes.  Bruno Mars here is no less earnest and simpering than some of the stuff which I scoffed at earlier in this list.  However, the piano and the tempo of the song provides a bit more of a dramatic touch – like it could have been in a musical or operetta perhaps.  It feels a bit more weighty.

22. “(Just Like) Starting Over” by John Lennon (1981) – John Lennon is among the more overrated artists in rock history.  He was tremendously important of course – and really he defined the Beatles early sound, where you can see the band’s Rock and Roll influences.  Lennon’s voice was that of someone who played music in bars and clubs – and he created the hard driving sound that the Beatles became known for in the early days.  After the breakup, though?  “Imagine” is a very dated slog that tries too hard for its message – overtly preachy songs are always issues.  His songs lacked the craft of Paul McCartney’s Wings stuff, and his deeper material lacked the complexity of George Harrison’s, and he took himself much more seriously than say Ringo Starr.  The posthumous Double Fantasy contained some of his best work, including “Woman” which is undoubtedly his best non-Beatles song.  This song is okay, but it is hard to hear it and not think that his death drove this song’s success.

21. “That’s What Friends Are For” by Dionne Warwick and Friends (1986) – A song everybody knows, and it is hard to put anything Stevie Wonder touches so low.  It has some of the snort-worthy earnestness that came with those 1980s compilations – and the video is hilarious, at least the idea that the friends all hang out together.  It probably should be ranked lower, but it’s ubiquity keeps it here.

20. “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce (2007) – We’re at the Beyonce portion of the program.  Overall I am not a huge fan – and actually like the Destiny’s Child stuff a little better.  So a middle ranking for a middle of the road song.

19. “Independent Women (Part I) by Destiny’s Child (2001) – See, I like it a little better?

18. “I Will Always Love You” by Whtiney Houston (1993) – The soppiest song on the list?  Maybe.  But Whitney Houston was always a defining voice of pop music in my life.  Stuff from earlier albums hit me more – but a song like this does show where she could have been a Streisand for people my age.  This is a fairly indefensible genre, but she works it better than anybody.

17. “At This Moment” by Billy Vera and the Beaters (1987) – A forgotten song from 1981 which was revived because of Family Ties, one part of the ultimate TV Sitcom powerhouse night growing up.  Hearing it now, the song is actually more pleasant and low key than I remember it.   The sound clearly is meant to evoke jazzy standards – much like George Michael’s “Kissing A Fool” would later in the year.  Uncharitably, I could say it is derivative of old world crooning, but hey, it does work on that level.

16. “Low” by Flo-Rida (2008) – One of things that becomes clear as I ran through this list was recent years pop music has actually gotten better.  Now it’s not better than the 1970s or mid 1980s, but catchy hooks and bouncy beats have rescued the era from some of the horrid material which permeated the late 1990s.  This song is infectious – and it is nice to have a hip hop song about butts in here – somehow an era-spanning survey would feel incomplete without it.

15. “What A Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera (2000) – Christina and Britney Spears came up at about the same time, and they parallel nicely Madonna and Cyndi Lauper coming up around 1984.  In both cases you have female artists who were popular in their time, and in each case you had one artist who actually could really sing.  In both cases Britney and Madonna had more success, but Aguilera and Cyndi Lauper were much better singers.  In Christina Aguilera’s case, especially that first album, it gave the disposable pop songs a dimension that Britney certainly could not reach.  This is a genuinely good pop song which has aged well.

14. “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga (2009) – Lady Gaga’s first big hit.  I remember dismissing this in sort of a grumpy old man way – because it was pop of this kind, and thus had to stink.  But I remember friends playing it during a camping trip and somehow it sounded different.  It’s still a dance-pop song, but Lady Gaga does them well.  No reason to run from it.

13. “Timber” by Pitbull (2014) – I like Pitbull.  The Pitbull Channel on SiriusXM is continuously listenable.  His songs all sound the same, but are infectious anyway.  I like how he insists on that sort of “non dancing” sorts of moves which would make him a dead ringer for a plaid-shirted douchebag if he were a white guy and not a sharply dressed Miami Cuban-American.  Making silly dance songs is not the same noble goal that say John Lennon had – but I have to tip my hat to someone who does it well consistently.

12.  “Like A Virgin” by Madonna (1985) – Really, this is the song that announced Madonna as a really big f’ing deal – even if you had heard “Lucky Star”.  It’s a song and tune everybody knows, and it certainly deserves its pop reknown.  Indeed that it did not crack the Top 10 tells you the quality of the songs that have been at the top near January 20th.

11. “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars (2013) – I am sure there is some recency bias here.  But this is a really fun song and the radio always stops when it comes on.  Usually I am a compulsive channel change – but this always gets my attention.  Bruno Mars is one of the better artists that the last few years has produced – indeed my 3-year old would approve (and will, later).

10. “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson (1988) – It is hard to properly communicate to youngsters how big a deal Michael Jackson was.  There are boy bands who make girls instinctively fling their panties and whatnot, and there are bands like U2 the world admires – regardless of whether its a good idea.  Michael Jackson had numerous issues and problems which can’t help but detract from his musical legacy, but his album drops and videos were clock stopping sorts of events.  He became a parody of himself later, and the criminal charges are what they are.  It is also clear that he never had much of a childhood and was mistreated by a lot of people who saw him talent and dollar signs.  This was the 3rd single from Bad, and while the idea of Michael Jackson macking on a woman is hard to picture without snorting, this song works.  He was a great pop music craftsman.

9. “Baby Come Back” by Player (1978) – The #1 song when I was born.  This list is littered with slow jams from the 1990s, most rather unpleasant in terms of quality.  A song like this one (and another one a few songs from now) are such a repudiation to something like (insert Boyz II Men song here) by just being so much better.  I sing a version of this song when it’s time to change my son’s diaper.

8. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes (1984) – Progressive Rock as a genre has a lot of weird bloated songs.  Yes was a pioneer of the genre – and “Roundabout” is particularly rough to listen to.  But this song, an early entry in what was to be a really great pop music year, is a tight, elegant tune with a good hook.

7. “Two Hearts” by Phil Collins (1989) – This is probably the ranking which will inspire the most snorts of derision.  Phil Collins does that.  He either works for you, or he doesn’t.  He has always worked for me and I am not sure why.  There are no guilty pleasures – so I refuse to be embarrassed by this.  This song was from his movie Buster, unseen by me, and it intentionally evokes some of the BritPop of the 1960s (time of polka-dotted dresses, go-go boots and such).  It’s a terrific pop song.

6. “Down Under” by Men At Work (1983) – Vegemite sounds disgusting.  This is among the very best songs on this list – with a reggae-touched beat which is hard to remain angry with.

5. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson (2015) – Bruno Mars appears again.  You know this song.  Do we need to cover it?  My daughter loves this song, and she smiles and gives me a “Don’t Believe Me Just Watch!”  It has everything a party song should have – and when it was the first song to play at a wedding I was at, I wondered why so early when it was unlikely any other song would be better.

4. “Le Freak” by Chic (1979) – Really this is arguably the best pop song of the 1970s.  Disco is one of those things I have evolved with.  As a teenager listening to classic rock in a talcum powder white hometown – disco seemed ridiculous.  I wrongly fell into the same traps that classic rock fans fell into – talking about disco ruining the world of music, and supporting things like record burnings.  However, and this is a dirty secret that you only learn when you listen to a lot of 70s pop, disco flat saved popular music.  Seriously.  Paul Anka, Eric Clapton, countless John Denver songs.  Yeesh.  Disco rode into to just provide some diversity and some life affirmation, and when you had a decade of Carpenters and Captain and Tenille, you need all the help you can get.

3. “Hey-Ya” by Outkast (2004) – How the hell is this #3?  I am still surprised too.  Yes, it’s my list – but I did want to look at these things new.  This song still works and Andre 3000 is just so brilliant.  How do you brighten your day?

2. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (2003) – Right there with songs like “Cult of Personality” and “Welcome to the Jungle” – this is among the songs I turn to when getting fired up for a competition (or a game where my team is playing).  It’s become cliche of course – but the beat and baseline is just absolutely perfect

1. “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson (1980) – Really any of the top 4 would have worked here.  However, there is real soul here – the kind which sounded weird with Jackson 5 songs – and such a smooth beat and flow.  Michael Jackson produced many soul songs of consequence as a member of the Jackson Five – but his pre-pubescent voice to me, made it hard to really feel songs like “Got to be There” and “I’ll Be There”.  It helps to be a grown up to give love songs the sort of gravitas it needs to be special.  This qualifies.  I was too young to remember Off The Wall, but as a solo album to reintroduce Michael Jackson it is perfect.  I remember a magazine somewhere talking about it as the perfect brand extension – how do you not alienate your boy band customers while pushing into a new space.  Jackson managed that perfectly here, with an album that evokes classic motown while remaining wholly Michael’s.

Quick College Basketball Rankings 2015-16, So FAR

Running a quick “win based” College Basketball Ranking.  Essentially I applied a Bradley-Terry model for solving team rankings.

BACKGROUND: I have messed around with rankings for college football or basketball, and one of the things I have messed with previously was the RPI, or an RPI-like formula.  However, the RPI makes exogenous assumptions about what “strength of schedule” is.  The NCAA used something like 50% on your opponent win % and 25% on opponents’ opponents win%.  But these are arbitrary.  Is there a method which figures out the schedule strength as we go?

Now, suppose at the season’s start we assume all the teams are equal.  That is every team has a rating of 100, and every game is a coinflip.  So the chances of team A to win over team B is (rating A/(rating A + rating B)).  So obviously if we knew the true “ratings” of a team’s opponents, we could figure out a team’s expected wins.  But we don’t know those ratings – and the best estimator we have is the team’s actual results.  Therefore, by using Excel’s iteration feature and messing around with some stats, we can guess the ratings of the 352 teams such that we come close to matching actual wins.

So, the ratings number here refers to an odds calculation.  A team with a 1000 rating would win 10 out of 11 meetings with a team with a 100 rating.  For simplicity we do not consider home court – there are enough games that it should even out.  We also consider all non D-1 teams as a collective “Other”.

Balance Rec is the expected winning percentage if the team played every other team once.  The strength of schedule is the weighted average rating of opponents.

Rnk Conf W L Rating BalRec SOS Rank
1 Michigan State Big Ten 13 0 14356.66 98.37% 626.518 28
2 Xavier Big East 11 0 9731.567 97.66% 477.5056 37
3 Oklahoma Big 12 8 0 3411.988 94.33% 244.7509 136
4 Providence Big East 12 1 3212.107 94.06% 1318.719 14
5 Butler Big East 9 1 2364.754 92.49% 584.1154 30
6 Purdue Big Ten 11 1 2172.061 92.01% 447.1423 45
7 Kansas Big 12 9 1 2153.276 91.96% 1592.205 3
8 SMU American 9 0 2050.147 91.66% 123.6624 259
9 Virginia ACC 9 1 2025.301 91.59% 466.2198 44
10 Miami-FL ACC 9 1 1933.996 91.30% 472.0007 42
11 George Washington Atlantic 10 10 1 1812.697 90.88% 399.513 62
12 Arizona Pac 12 11 1 1705.6 90.48% 401.1922 61
13 South Carolina SEC 10 0 1652.728 90.27% 83.20252 311
14 Pitt ACC 9 1 1557.59 89.85% 379.8735 76
15 AR-Little Rock Sun Belt 10 0 1540.288 89.77% 78.45484 319
16 Iowa State Big 12 9 1 1384.059 88.99% 269.3674 120
17 Louisville ACC 9 1 1328.929 88.68% 1514.793 6
18 Dayton Atlantic 10 8 2 1324.805 88.66% 1250.642 17
19 North Carolina ACC 10 2 1285.698 88.42% 392.4868 67
20 Cincinnati American 10 2 1253.337 88.22% 1194.386 19
21 West Virginia Big 12 10 1 1129.656 87.38% 284.0427 115
22 Villanova Big East 8 2 1096.641 87.13% 685.4255 25
23 USC Pac 12 10 2 978.8672 86.14% 980.1052 21
24 Texas Big 12 8 2 931.2984 85.69% 395.3158 64
25 Maryland Big Ten 10 1 917.0939 85.55% 200.2279 176
26 Texas Tech Big 12 8 1 895.9052 85.34% 215.3759 158
27 Texas A&M SEC 9 2 887.9042 85.25% 303.1039 105
28 Utah Pac 12 9 2 882.1099 85.19% 389.8271 69
29 Colorado Pac 12 10 1 871.5499 85.08% 201.6375 174
30 Florida SEC 7 3 869.7305 85.06% 1974.687 1
31 Northwestern Big Ten 11 1 698.459 82.89% 158.2988 220
32 Oregon Pac 12 10 2 692.4779 82.81% 200.3152 175
33 Duke ACC 9 2 591.9659 81.13% 222.5817 150
34 Chattanooga Southern 9 2 566.2585 80.63% 313.7137 98
35 Michigan Big Ten 8 3 556.4187 80.44% 1227.392 18
36 Kansas State Big 12 8 2 553.6651 80.38% 296.1265 107
37 Kentucky SEC 9 2 553.1978 80.37% 196.8245 179
38 Monmouth MAAC 8 3 553.0293 80.37% 409.0552 53
39 Saint Mary’s West Coast 9 1 552.237 80.35% 104.488 277
40 Seton Hall Big East 9 2 541.9979 80.14% 279.7806 117
41 UCLA Pac 12 8 4 523.8287 79.75% 507.4969 35
42 Davidson Atlantic 10 7 2 523.7172 79.75% 386.435 72
43 TX-Arlington Sun Belt 9 2 513.1001 79.51% 209.1744 164
44 Oregon State Pac 12 9 2 510.5491 79.45% 303.5904 103
45 Alabama SEC 7 3 504.4048 79.31% 1254.631 16
46 Wake Forest ACC 8 2 498.4755 79.17% 206.1358 169
47 Saint Joe’s Atlantic 10 8 2 469.6442 78.46% 254.0703 131
48 Valparaiso Horizon 10 2 469.546 78.46% 162.2798 213
49 Marquette Big East 9 1 448.8143 77.91% 91.40332 300
50 Gonzaga West Coast 9 3 446.9723 77.86% 329.3035 93
51 Vanderbilt SEC 7 3 442.8931 77.75% 476.3588 38
52 Richmond Atlantic 10 7 3 436.9498 77.59% 349.7549 87
53 Arizona State Pac 12 8 3 416.7474 77.00% 257.3052 128
54 Ole Miss SEC 9 2 415.3242 76.96% 161.457 217
55 Evansville Missouri Valley 10 2 383.31 75.94% 328.3704 94
56 Louisiana Tech Conference USA 9 2 372.8115 75.58% 151.2916 225
57 Hawaii Big West 7 1 364.63 75.30% 147.1342 233
58 Indiana Big Ten 9 3 363.9727 75.27% 191.8728 180
59 Notre Dame ACC 8 3 358.7101 75.08% 210.7531 163
60 Iowa Big Ten 7 3 357.86 75.05% 372.452 79
61 Memphis American 7 3 353.4611 74.89% 509.8004 33
62 California Pac 12 9 2 338.0114 74.30% 134.2132 244
63 South Dakota State Summit 10 2 321.2157 73.61% 127.4486 253
64 Baylor Big 12 8 2 321.1749 73.61% 213.69 160
65 Georgia SEC 5 3 320.6685 73.59% 291.3309 112
66 New Mexico Mountain West 7 3 312.2647 73.23% 394.4619 65
67 Georgia State Sun Belt 7 1 304.3702 72.88% 86.13703 306
68 Kent State Mid American 7 2 301.5321 72.75% 243.2791 138
69 Northern Iowa Missouri Valley 6 3 300.5598 72.71% 403.1405 60
70 Tulsa American 7 4 296.4685 72.52% 415.0917 52
71 Fordham Atlantic 10 9 1 292.6117 72.34% 74.14047 323
72 Syracuse ACC 8 3 288.7588 72.15% 186.4324 183
73 Grand Canyon WAC 10 2 288.5663 72.14% 162.2317 214
74 Duquesne Atlantic 10 10 2 284.5874 71.95% 178.7139 195
75 Connecticut American 7 3 278.3547 71.64% 251.3717 132
76 Boise State Mountain West 8 4 268.8033 71.15% 1564.924 4
77 NC State ACC 8 3 268.4503 71.13% 160.4963 218
78 Auburn SEC 5 3 267.8889 71.10% 1414.542 10
79 Southern Illinois Missouri Valley 11 2 266.9634 71.05% 71.36209 326
80 MTSU Conference USA 7 2 265.7619 70.99% 102.6337 282
81 Florida State ACC 9 2 262.9277 70.83% 91.18279 302
82 Stanford Pac 12 6 4 258.6086 70.60% 501.2587 36
83 UNLV Mountain West 8 4 253.5834 70.31% 334.0595 92
84 James Madison Colonial 9 3 246.2168 69.89% 180.0947 190
85 Georgia Tech ACC 8 3 240.0143 69.52% 186.0775 184
86 Mercer Southern 9 2 235.5533 69.24% 101.0679 284
87 Saint Bonaventure Atlantic 10 7 2 222.8851 68.43% 94.05559 295
88 Rhode Island Atlantic 10 7 4 218.4141 68.13% 472.9855 40
89 Charleston Colonial 7 3 215.9103 67.96% 295.6022 108
90 Ohio State Big Ten 6 5 212.5648 67.73% 407.6252 55
91 Akron Mid American 8 2 211.4513 67.65% 149.6008 228
92 Penn State Big Ten 8 3 207.6121 67.37% 235.3735 145
93 William and Mary Colonial 7 3 206.8607 67.32% 386.6128 71
94 Northern Illinois Mid American 9 2 203.2061 67.05% 67.23984 330
95 Houston American 8 2 202.5915 67.00% 83.57977 309
96 Texas A&M-CC Southland 8 3 201.284 66.90% 211.3404 162
97 Detroit Horizon 6 3 197.8871 66.65% 278.9066 119
98 Illinois Big Ten 7 5 195.5664 66.47% 509.3516 34
99 Wichita State Missouri Valley 5 5 194.6378 66.40% 388.8977 70
100 Ohio Mid American 8 3 181.9289 65.36% 104.0909 278
101 Wisconsin Big Ten 7 5 175.6493 64.82% 419.2944 51
102 BYU West Coast 7 3 173.5125 64.63% 215.1707 159
103 UC-Irvine Big West 9 4 172.658 64.55% 169.9908 205
104 Virginia Tech ACC 8 3 165.3312 63.87% 220.4349 155
105 San Diego State Mountain West 7 5 162.3236 63.58% 373.7914 78
106 Missouri SEC 5 5 162.3195 63.58% 1327.103 13
107 Washington Pac 12 7 3 158.3051 63.19% 176.3142 198
108 Creighton Big East 8 4 155.6212 62.92% 383.5475 73
109 Fresno State Mountain West 8 4 154.8571 62.84% 264.319 124
110 Oakland Horizon 7 3 154.1688 62.77% 107.5451 273
111 Elon Colonial 9 3 151.9713 62.54% 106.7637 274
112 IPFW Summit 9 4 151.7023 62.51% 161.6522 216
113 Oral Roberts Summit 8 6 149.6704 62.30% 466.3952 43
114 Temple American 5 5 139.878 61.22% 541.9301 31
115 Air Force Mountain West 7 4 135.9954 60.76% 161.8069 215
116 Morehead State Ohio Valley 6 3 134.4133 60.57% 244.6451 137
117 Tennessee SEC 5 5 133.1522 60.42% 527.4761 32
118 Oklahoma State Big 12 7 4 133.1234 60.42% 157.1002 222
119 LSU SEC 6 4 132.3829 60.33% 147.8129 232
120 Georgetown Big East 6 5 130.8608 60.14% 255.3254 130
121 VCU Atlantic 10 5 5 129.8142 60.01% 296.3623 106
122 Idaho Big Sky 7 4 127.9972 59.78% 279.764 118
123 Arkansas SEC 5 5 124.4416 59.32% 202.6792 172
124 Northeastern Colonial 7 4 124.2663 59.30% 1524.427 5
125 Minnesota Big Ten 6 5 119.5797 58.67% 179.626 192
126 Nebraska Big Ten 7 5 119.4977 58.66% 408.5047 54
127 North Florida Atlantic Sun 10 4 116.3788 58.23% 225.2575 147
128 Nevada Mountain West 8 3 114.6098 57.97% 102.8992 281
129 Long Beach State Big West 6 7 114.1332 57.90% 360.1876 82
130 Hofstra Colonial 6 4 114.0289 57.89% 247.1861 135
131 Washington State Pac 12 7 2 113.966 57.88% 76.91909 321
132 South Dakota Summit 7 5 110.8092 57.42% 127.456 252
133 Toledo Mid American 8 4 110.4129 57.36% 82.40166 313
134 North Dakota State Summit 8 3 109.0823 57.16% 163.2236 211
135 Tennessee State Ohio Valley 9 2 107.1656 56.86% 49.24391 341
136 Milwaukee Horizon 8 4 107.0523 56.85% 97.14843 292
137 UAB Conference USA 7 4 107.0003 56.84% 103.7492 279
138 Army Patriot 8 3 106.6298 56.78% 201.7355 173
139 Southern SWAC 8 4 106.1689 56.71% 113.4725 266
140 Pepperdine West Coast 7 5 105.7652 56.65% 148.2051 231
141 Belmont Ohio Valley 7 6 101.5743 55.98% 184.0491 186
142 New Mexico State WAC 7 5 100.9503 55.87% 110.7613 270
143 Buffalo Mid American 6 5 100.905 55.87% 267.7746 121
144 Princeton Ivy 6 3 99.91848 55.70% 176.0969 199
145 Eastern Michigan Mid American 7 4 97.51827 55.30% 1471.22 8
146 Winthrop Big South 7 3 97.50207 55.29% 118.4078 264
147 Siena MAAC 7 4 96.14594 55.06% 108.8681 271
148 Utah State Mountain West 6 3 95.41995 54.93% 118.7427 263
149 Western Kentucky Conference USA 6 5 94.77352 54.82% 1065.818 20
150 NJIT Atlantic Sun 7 5 94.51362 54.78% 371.2797 80
151 MO-Kansas City WAC 7 4 94.32533 54.74% 102.5217 283
152 Coastal Carolina Big South 7 5 92.97952 54.50% 140.3555 240
153 TCU Big 12 6 4 92.40041 54.40% 288.1046 113
154 High Point Big South 8 4 92.05381 54.33% 150.4858 227
155 Albany America East 8 4 92.05341 54.33% 86.53133 304
156 NC-Asheville Big South 7 6 91.46559 54.23% 260.0446 126
157 East Carolina American 7 5 90.47521 54.04% 221.7374 153
158 Radford Big South 7 5 90.11368 53.98% 98.28952 287
159 Colorado State Mountain West 7 5 89.15722 53.80% 181.2799 189
160 Wagner Northeast 6 3 88.96836 53.76% 142.3583 238
161 Saint John’s Big East 7 5 88.90896 53.75% 139.0167 242
162 Mississippi State SEC 5 5 88.25045 53.63% 347.5639 88
163 Stony Brook America East 6 4 87.04454 53.40% 125.3673 255
164 CS-Bakersfield WAC 7 4 85.88641 53.17% 107.575 272
165 Murray State Ohio Valley 5 6 84.98656 53.00% 163.9463 209
166 Navy Patriot 8 4 84.22668 52.84% 168.2739 206
167 Loyola-IL Missouri Valley 7 5 82.28139 52.45% 106.641 275
168 Samford Southern 8 4 81.7591 52.34% 212.971 161
169 DePaul Big East 5 6 81.53032 52.30% 429.9297 49
170 Yale Ivy 5 5 80.68001 52.12% 403.836 59
171 Massachusetts Atlantic 10 6 5 79.14969 51.80% 374.7023 77
172 Wyoming Mountain West 7 5 78.03177 51.56% 81.3973 315
173 Iona MAAC 4 4 77.05181 51.35% 197.6454 178
174 Florida Gulf Coast Atlantic Sun 6 5 76.80454 51.29% 224.7395 148
175 Cal Poly Big West 5 6 76.74453 51.28% 261.4002 125
176 Tennessee Tech Ohio Valley 8 4 76.13156 51.14% 89.82999 303
177 LA-Monroe Sun Belt 5 5 73.7125 50.60% 255.5286 129
178 Columbia Ivy 8 5 73.41411 50.53% 154.5833 223
179 Old Dominion Conference USA 5 6 71.35259 50.05% 351.3579 85
180 Green Bay Horizon 6 4 71.30695 50.04% 93.53474 296
181 NC-Wilmington Colonial 5 3 69.15057 49.52% 56.26714 336
182 Clemson ACC 7 4 67.79483 49.19% 221.9584 151
183 Denver Summit 8 4 67.10477 49.02% 44.06131 345
184 Illinois State Missouri Valley 5 7 66.98361 48.98% 239.2409 140
185 Sacramento State Big Sky 6 4 66.51103 48.87% 95.35476 293
186 Omaha Summit 7 6 66.48232 48.86% 141.1927 239
187 Ball State Mid American 7 3 65.67836 48.65% 71.07506 327
188 UCF American 5 4 65.59876 48.63% 119.7377 261
189 Vermont America East 6 6 63.42122 48.06% 307.2194 101
190 Campbell Big South 7 3 62.96391 47.94% 34.51392 351
191 Loyola-CA West Coast 7 5 62.87 47.92% 102.9935 280
192 Cleveland State Horizon 4 7 60.8165 47.36% 223.6861 149
193 Missouri State Missouri Valley 4 7 60.62984 47.30% 353.7226 83
194 UTEP Conference USA 6 5 59.29703 46.93% 113.0319 267
195 Bowling Green Mid American 7 4 58.85106 46.80% 151.7102 224
196 Canisius MAAC 4 6 58.14536 46.60% 163.3266 210
197 Saint Louis Atlantic 10 5 6 57.99163 46.56% 202.8532 171
198 Delaware Colonial 5 3 57.68764 46.47% 45.4431 343
199 Marshall Conference USA 4 7 56.72495 46.18% 221.4463 154
200 Indiana State Missouri Valley 5 6 56.39403 46.09% 322.0307 97
201 George Mason Atlantic 10 5 7 55.34958 45.77% 293.536 110
202 Miami-OH Mid American 6 5 55.19991 45.73% 932.8075 22
203 Cornell Ivy 5 5 52.05968 44.74% 232.1787 146
204 Western Carolina Southern 4 7 50.91604 44.37% 381.8765 74
205 Boston University Patriot 6 6 50.91249 44.37% 95.06018 294
206 East Tennessee Southern 5 5 50.89767 44.37% 170.9231 204
207 Montana State Big Sky 6 6 49.08381 43.76% 83.11959 312
208 Stephen F Austin Southland 7 3 49.03521 43.74% 71.85902 325
209 Weber State Big Sky 6 5 48.87045 43.69% 77.17739 320
210 UCSB Big West 2 7 48.85153 43.68% 327.4407 95
211 Eastern Kentucky Ohio Valley 8 6 48.38938 43.52% 149.5771 229
212 CS-Fullerton Big West 6 5 48.35661 43.51% 91.94486 299
213 Western Illinois Summit 7 4 48.25857 43.48% 74.95474 322
214 Fairfield MAAC 4 5 47.91701 43.36% 259.3228 127
215 Austin Peay Ohio Valley 5 7 47.21498 43.11% 137.1574 243
216 Alabama State SWAC 4 6 46.6057 42.90% 172.1397 201
217 Rice Conference USA 5 6 45.30522 42.43% 176.4917 197
218 Towson Colonial 8 4 44.47747 42.12% 59.65935 335
219 Hampton MEAC 4 5 44.29563 42.05% 393.8632 66
220 Tulane American 6 6 43.34406 41.69% 174.3818 200
221 Eastern Washington Big Sky 6 6 40.57299 40.61% 207.304 168
222 San Francisco West Coast 6 5 40.22058 40.46% 86.45911 305
223 UC-Davis Big West 4 5 40.14356 40.43% 112.4305 268
224 Portland West Coast 7 7 40.09284 40.41% 128.1927 251
225 Fairleigh Dickinson Northeast 4 6 40.0277 40.38% 187.8999 182
226 Wright State Horizon 5 7 38.9366 39.93% 926.0345 23
227 Western Michigan Mid American 5 5 38.5235 39.76% 83.45596 310
228 Troy Sun Belt 5 5 38.45051 39.73% 98.19108 289
229 Boston College ACC 5 6 37.83492 39.46% 1644.885 2
230 Howard MEAC 7 5 36.39212 38.83% 219.7714 156
231 Alabama A&M SWAC 4 3 35.00391 38.20% 41.38713 348
232 Rutgers Big Ten 4 7 34.67485 38.05% 342.5692 91
233 SIU-Edwardsville Ohio Valley 3 8 33.40051 37.44% 434.6232 47
234 TN-Martin Ohio Valley 6 7 32.86254 37.18% 132.7653 247
235 UNH America East 7 5 31.97907 36.75% 208.3268 165
236 Southern Miss Conference USA 3 6 31.57814 36.55% 166.2552 207
237 Marist MAAC 3 6 31.14682 36.33% 86.04807 307
238 South Alabama Sun Belt 4 6 29.95711 35.71% 97.35159 291
239 Citadel Southern 7 5 29.75744 35.61% 236.8599 144
240 Drake Missouri Valley 4 7 29.36403 35.40% 91.32515 301
241 Colgate Patriot 4 6 28.94409 35.17% 93.11454 298
242 VMI Southern 4 6 28.54824 34.95% 313.2098 99
243 South Florida American 3 9 28.17351 34.75% 396.9874 63
244 Long Island Northeast 5 4 27.53137 34.39% 47.12672 342
245 Holy Cross Patriot 5 6 26.96297 34.06% 237.858 143
246 LaSalle Atlantic 10 4 4 26.82404 33.98% 164.2358 208
247 North Dakota Big Sky 5 5 26.7454 33.94% 65.78477 332
248 Savannah State MEAC 4 6 26.61145 33.86% 207.9614 166
249 Manhattan MAAC 3 7 25.87492 33.43% 150.6658 226
250 Texas State Sun Belt 6 3 25.79861 33.38% 42.78118 347
251 Charlotte Conference USA 2 8 25.63789 33.28% 380.0467 75
252 UC-Riverside Big West 7 5 25.6028 33.26% 40.14979 349
253 Furman Southern 6 5 25.53278 33.22% 171.6903 202
254 LA-Lafayette Sun Belt 4 6 25.35604 33.11% 352.7457 84
255 San Diego West Coast 4 6 25.3297 33.10% 143.8106 236
256 St Francis-PA Northeast 4 6 24.53906 32.61% 199.6887 177
257 Montana Big Sky 3 6 24.52767 32.61% 361.9715 81
258 Norfolk State MEAC 5 7 24.49842 32.59% 308.0215 100
259 IUPUI Summit 4 9 24.02754 32.29% 280.4452 116
260 Houston Baptist Southland 4 7 23.96875 32.26% 149.1551 230
261 Saint Peters MAAC 3 6 23.95964 32.25% 294.7911 109
262 CS-Northridge Big West 4 7 23.73179 32.11% 188.5554 181
263 FIU Conference USA 4 7 23.6473 32.05% 93.24826 297
264 Dartmouth Ivy 3 6 23.21866 31.77% 118.2064 265
265 Sam Houston Southland 5 6 23.12969 31.72% 342.7381 90
266 Gardner-Webb Big South 5 8 23.04843 31.66% 242.0093 139
267 Quinnipiac MAAC 4 6 22.72115 31.45% 84.7834 308
268 Youngstown State Horizon 5 8 22.08497 31.02% 284.3312 114
269 Lamar Southland 7 4 21.95699 30.94% 37.5448 350
270 Pennsylvania Ivy 5 5 21.93475 30.92% 49.47399 340
271 Kennesaw State Atlantic Sun 3 10 21.87994 30.88% 350.0132 86
272 Wofford Southern 3 7 21.75303 30.80% 238.605 142
273 Jackson State SWAC 4 8 21.71872 30.77% 184.9726 185
274 Harvard Ivy 3 6 21.52931 30.64% 632.2375 27
275 Central Michigan Mid American 5 5 20.70137 30.07% 72.65309 324
276 MA-Lowell America East 4 7 20.44884 29.89% 146.2147 235
277 Stetson Atlantic Sun 4 8 20.21216 29.71% 180.0119 191
278 NC A&T MEAC 5 9 19.98096 29.55% 265.3792 122
279 Bucknell Patriot 3 6 19.01618 28.83% 132.2442 248
280 Seattle WAC 5 6 18.12817 28.14% 61.12272 333
281 Eastern Illinois Ohio Valley 2 8 17.77854 27.87% 99.52789 285
282 St Francis-NY Northeast 4 7 17.41341 27.57% 162.2924 212
283 Bethune-Cookman MEAC 4 7 17.14824 27.36% 182.9491 187
284 SC State MEAC 5 7 17.1319 27.34% 119.1441 262
285 Lafayette Patriot 3 7 16.75704 27.03% 219.4999 157
286 Incarnate Word Southland 4 5 16.52914 26.84% 675.4705 26
287 Niagara MAAC 3 8 16.4759 26.80% 124.5496 258
288 Brown Ivy 3 6 16.38237 26.72% 611.2868 29
289 Morgan State MEAC 2 7 15.86176 26.27% 407.1964 56
290 Utah Valley WAC 5 6 15.67676 26.11% 44.93907 344
291 Northern Kentucky Horizon 3 6 15.61088 26.06% 1290.709 15
292 Santa Clara West Coast 4 9 15.4148 25.88% 205.2979 170
293 North Texas Conference USA 4 8 15.31287 25.79% 146.8826 234
294 Charleston Southern Big South 4 8 15.25506 25.74% 104.7571 276
295 Hartford America East 4 8 14.98865 25.50% 404.6422 57
296 San Jose State Mountain West 4 7 14.66321 25.21% 79.06083 317
297 AR-Pine Bluff SWAC 2 11 14.55172 25.10% 1461.34 9
298 Binghamton America East 2 8 14.544 25.10% 1510.161 7
299 Rider MAAC 2 9 14.20467 24.78% 430.4766 48
300 Lipscomb Atlantic Sun 4 11 13.54025 24.15% 171.2785 203
301 Florida Atlantic Conference USA 3 8 12.95586 23.57% 1377.372 11
302 Mount Saint Mary’s Northeast 3 8 12.93862 23.56% 178.9265 194
303 Arkansas State Sun Belt 3 7 12.06534 22.66% 140.0525 241
304 Chicago State WAC 4 10 12.00951 22.60% 264.5347 123
305 Pacific West Coast 2 8 11.9067 22.49% 239.0326 141
306 NC-Greensboro Southern 4 7 11.65133 22.22% 97.71555 290
307 Idaho State Big Sky 3 7 11.271 21.81% 133.2625 246
308 UMBC America East 3 9 10.95039 21.46% 99.24285 286
309 Bradley Missouri Valley 2 10 10.85416 21.35% 472.9823 41
310 Presbyterian Big South 5 6 10.71997 21.20% 27.13184 352
311 New Orleans Southland 3 7 10.63354 21.10% 126.7157 254
312 American Patriot 2 8 10.56894 21.02% 66.98575 331
313 Georgia Southern Sun Belt 3 6 10.10154 20.48% 159.2361 219
314 MD-Eastern Shore MEAC 2 10 9.77895 20.10% 1360.449 12
315 Jacksonville Atlantic Sun 5 6 9.546499 19.82% 51.68455 337
316 Nicholls State Southland 3 7 9.066996 19.22% 404.0471 58
317 Central Arkansas Southland 1 7 9.007618 19.15% 867.6253 24
318 Portland State Big Sky 3 6 8.729338 18.79% 68.8598 328
319 NC Central MEAC 3 8 8.67456 18.72% 82.19878 314
320 Abilene Christian Southland 4 7 8.362175 18.31% 50.82457 339
321 Appalachian State Sun Belt 2 9 8.327825 18.27% 251.2336 133
322 Maine America East 2 9 8.297641 18.23% 121.91 260
323 Loyola-MD Patriot 1 8 7.636205 17.33% 306.935 102
324 Lehigh Patriot 2 8 7.580073 17.25% 474.3124 39
325 Northern Colorado Big Sky 3 8 7.023093 16.45% 303.5236 104
326 Grambling SWAC 2 9 6.962659 16.36% 207.6892 167
327 Northern Arizona Big Sky 2 8 6.861548 16.21% 423.1187 50
328 Robert Morris Northeast 2 10 6.847856 16.19% 179.2027 193
329 Jacksonville State Ohio Valley 4 11 6.545139 15.74% 81.38773 316
330 Southern Utah Big Sky 3 7 6.293619 15.35% 182.7011 188
331 Longwood Big South 3 9 6.185932 15.18% 78.51793 318
332 Sacred Heart Northeast 1 9 5.650385 14.32% 125.1767 256
333 Drexel Colonial 1 8 5.404088 13.90% 346.5695 89
334 Bryant Northeast 2 9 5.190944 13.54% 390.0591 68
335 Texas Southern SWAC 1 10 4.90638 13.04% 98.2851 288
336 Florida A&M MEAC 4 9 4.85622 12.95% 60.78712 334
337 TX-Rio Grande WAC 3 8 4.494004 12.29% 221.8401 152
338 Coppin State MEAC 2 11 4.383958 12.09% 157.9905 221
339 UIC Horizon 1 8 4.208415 11.75% 67.80467 329
340 Central Connecticut Northeast 1 8 3.89757 11.15% 51.30196 338
341 SC Upstate Atlantic Sun 3 11 3.198165 9.69% 111.4415 269
342 SE Louisiana Southland 2 10 2.773493 8.74% 250.4653 134
343 Alcorn State SWAC 1 9 2.671931 8.50% 128.6974 250
344 Liberty Big South 3 10 2.600516 8.33% 43.73552 346
345 Delaware State MEAC 0 12 2.215602 7.38% 131.2521 249
346 Prairie View SWAC 0 10 1.931909 6.65% 133.9661 245
347 Northwestern State Southland 2 7 1.823691 6.35% 323.273 96
348 UTSA Conference USA 2 10 1.753253 6.16% 125.07 257
349 SE Missouri State Ohio Valley 0 10 1.630564 5.82% 292.0693 111
350 McNeese State Southland 2 7 1.427465 5.23% 442.3906 46
351 Mississippi Valley SWAC 0 13 1.232809 4.63% 177.6903 196
352 Other Other 8 339 0.438419 1.85% 143.2234 237

2015 NCAA Football Ratings and New Year’s Six – Week 8

The methodology was detailed previously.

Can a 3-5 team have the best week ever?  I’m not sure but in a lost season, that Georgia Tech miracle against Florida State was worth an attaboy.  Otherwise, in a theoretically sleepy week, there were a lot of fascinating results.  USC knocked off Utah, and of course Florida State lost.  Alabama had to sweat seriously to beat Tennessee, and Clemson demolished a “not that bad” Miami team, enough to get the Canes coach fired.  Michigan State had to muck around for three quarters before getting Indiana out of there.

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 7 0 0.5841 1.000 0.5841 25
2 LSU 7 0 0.5399 0.963 0.5399 48
3 Memphis 7 0 0.5166 0.943 0.5166 61
4 Michigan State 8 0 0.5150 0.942 0.5150 63
5 Alabama 7 1 0.5053 0.934 0.6303 10
6 TCU 7 0 0.4965 0.927 0.4965 73
7 Oklahoma State 7 0 0.4839 0.916 0.4839 80
8 Iowa 7 0 0.4784 0.912 0.4784 82
9 Ohio State 8 0 0.4771 0.911 0.4771 84
10 Oklahoma 6 1 0.4749 0.909 0.6178 11
11 Notre Dame 6 1 0.4726 0.907 0.6155 13
12 Pittsburgh 6 1 0.4584 0.895 0.6012 18
13 Utah 6 1 0.4544 0.892 0.5973 20
14 Stanford 6 1 0.4461 0.885 0.5890 23
15 Florida 6 1 0.4169 0.860 0.5597 38
16 Temple 7 0 0.4127 0.857 0.4127 102
17 Florida State 6 1 0.4067 0.852 0.5495 39
18 Toledo 7 0 0.3906 0.838 0.3906 108
19 Houston 7 0 0.3639 0.816 0.3639 120
20 Northwestern 6 2 0.3587 0.811 0.6087 14
21 Baylor 7 0 0.3566 0.810 0.3566 122
22 California 5 2 0.3302 0.788 0.6159 12
23 Duke 6 1 0.3278 0.786 0.4707 85
24 BYU 6 2 0.3248 0.783 0.5748 31
25 Texas A&M 5 2 0.3170 0.777 0.6027 16
26 UCLA 5 2 0.3168 0.776 0.6025 17
27 Bowling Green 6 2 0.2963 0.759 0.5463 42
28 Navy 5 1 0.2799 0.746 0.4465 93
29 Michigan 5 2 0.2781 0.744 0.5638 37
30 Mississippi State 6 2 0.2733 0.740 0.5233 52
31 Ole Miss 6 2 0.2715 0.739 0.5215 56
32 Wisconsin 6 2 0.2700 0.737 0.5200 57
33 North Carolina 6 1 0.2504 0.721 0.3933 106
34 Penn State 6 2 0.2424 0.714 0.4924 78
35 Georgia 5 2 0.2323 0.706 0.5180 59
36 USC 4 3 0.2185 0.694 0.6471 5
37 Boise State 6 2 0.2014 0.680 0.4514 91
38 Western Kentucky 6 2 0.1948 0.674 0.4448 94
39 Appalachian State 6 1 0.1877 0.669 0.3305 125
40 Arizona State 4 3 0.1615 0.647 0.5901 22
41 Washington State 5 2 0.1497 0.637 0.4354 96
42 Texas Tech 5 3 0.1495 0.637 0.5245 51
43 Auburn 4 3 0.1468 0.634 0.5753 30
44 Marshall 7 1 0.1452 0.633 0.2702 128
45 Texas 3 4 0.1405 0.629 0.7119 1
46 Miami-FL 4 3 0.1382 0.627 0.5667 35
47 Ohio 6 2 0.1348 0.624 0.3848 111
48 Tennessee 3 4 0.1202 0.612 0.6916 2
49 Minnesota 4 3 0.1167 0.609 0.5453 43
50 NC State 5 2 0.0972 0.593 0.3829 112
51 West Virginia 3 3 0.0941 0.590 0.5941 21
52 Georgia Southern 5 2 0.0932 0.590 0.3789 117
53 Louisiana Tech 5 3 0.0930 0.589 0.4680 87
54 Oregon 4 3 0.0885 0.586 0.5171 60
55 Arizona 5 3 0.0825 0.581 0.4575 88
56 Washington 3 4 0.0797 0.578 0.6512 3
57 Utah State 4 3 0.0755 0.575 0.5041 67
58 Illinois 4 3 0.0752 0.574 0.5037 68
59 Louisville 3 4 0.0729 0.573 0.6443 6
60 South Florida 4 3 0.0720 0.572 0.5005 71
61 Kentucky 4 3 0.0704 0.570 0.4989 72
62 Cincinnati 4 3 0.0646 0.566 0.4932 77
63 Arkansas 3 4 0.0634 0.565 0.6348 8
64 East Carolina 4 4 0.0493 0.553 0.5493 40
65 Kansas State 3 4 0.0370 0.543 0.6085 15
66 Northern Illinois 5 3 0.0355 0.541 0.4105 103
67 Missouri 4 4 0.0221 0.530 0.5221 54
68 Indiana 4 4 0.0182 0.527 0.5182 58
69 South Carolina 3 4 0.0080 0.518 0.5794 29
70 San Diego State 5 3 0.0073 0.518 0.3823 113
71 Georgia Tech 3 5 0.0067 0.517 0.6317 9
72 Arkansas State 4 3 0.0058 0.516 0.4344 97
73 Central Michigan 4 4 0.0015 0.513 0.5015 70
74 Southern Miss 5 3 -0.0057 0.507 0.3693 118
75 Tulsa 3 4 -0.0247 0.491 0.5467 41
76 Rice 4 3 -0.0277 0.488 0.4008 104
77 Vanderbilt 3 4 -0.0301 0.486 0.5413 47
78 Air Force 4 3 -0.0302 0.486 0.3984 105
79 Virginia Tech 3 5 -0.0436 0.475 0.5814 27
80 Nebraska 3 5 -0.0525 0.468 0.5725 33
81 Syracuse 3 4 -0.0561 0.465 0.5153 62
82 Akron 3 4 -0.0604 0.461 0.5111 65
83 Western Michigan 3 4 -0.0606 0.461 0.5108 66
84 Maryland 2 5 -0.0643 0.458 0.6500 4
85 Virginia 2 5 -0.0721 0.451 0.6422 7
86 Rutgers 3 4 -0.0752 0.449 0.4962 75
87 Wake Forest 3 5 -0.0813 0.444 0.5437 44
88 Boston College 3 5 -0.0831 0.442 0.5419 45
89 Colorado 4 4 -0.0839 0.441 0.4161 101
90 South Alabama 3 4 -0.1034 0.425 0.4680 86
91 San Jose State 4 4 -0.1151 0.415 0.3849 110
92 Nevada 4 4 -0.1206 0.411 0.3794 116
93 Idaho 3 4 -0.1225 0.409 0.4490 92
94 MTSU 3 5 -0.1227 0.409 0.5023 69
95 Iowa State 2 5 -0.1302 0.403 0.5841 26
96 Connecticut 3 5 -0.1354 0.398 0.4896 79
97 Tulane 2 5 -0.1400 0.395 0.5743 32
98 Buffalo 3 4 -0.1402 0.394 0.4312 98
99 Colorado State 3 4 -0.1406 0.394 0.4308 99
100 FIU 4 4 -0.1427 0.392 0.3573 121
101 Kent State 3 5 -0.1459 0.390 0.4791 81
102 Oregon State 2 5 -0.1727 0.367 0.5416 46
103 New Mexico 4 4 -0.1790 0.362 0.3210 126
104 Old Dominion 3 4 -0.1801 0.361 0.3913 107
105 Texas State 2 4 -0.1889 0.354 0.4778 83
106 Fresno State 2 6 -0.2175 0.330 0.5325 50
107 UNLV 2 5 -0.2196 0.328 0.4947 76
108 Hawaii 2 6 -0.2267 0.322 0.5233 53
109 LA-Lafayette 2 4 -0.2304 0.319 0.4363 95
110 UTEP 3 4 -0.2319 0.318 0.3395 124
111 Massachusetts 1 6 -0.2696 0.286 0.5876 24
112 Purdue 1 6 -0.2895 0.270 0.5676 34
113 LA-Monroe 1 6 -0.2912 0.268 0.5659 36
114 Ball State 2 6 -0.2984 0.262 0.4516 90
115 Other 8 92 -0.3206 0.244 0.5994 19
116 Troy 2 5 -0.3325 0.234 0.3818 114
117 SMU 1 6 -0.3351 0.231 0.5220 55
118 Miami-OH 1 7 -0.3366 0.230 0.5384 49
119 UTSA 1 6 -0.3451 0.223 0.5120 64
120 Army 2 6 -0.3831 0.191 0.3669 119
121 Charlotte 2 5 -0.3977 0.179 0.3166 127
122 Georgia State 2 4 -0.4074 0.171 0.2593 129
123 Kansas 0 7 -0.4197 0.161 0.5803 28
124 Eastern Michigan 1 7 -0.4588 0.128 0.4162 100
125 Wyoming 1 7 -0.4932 0.099 0.3818 115
126 UCF 0 8 -0.5036 0.091 0.4964 74
127 Florida Atlantic 1 6 -0.5042 0.090 0.3530 123
128 North Texas 0 7 -0.5482 0.053 0.4518 89
129 New Mexico State 0 7 -0.6119 0.000 0.3881 109

And no, Baylor still has not played anybody despite their elite scoring margin – so again the eye test does not match what has actually been accomplished.  Memphis seems like a strange choice for #3, but seriously – their resume IS better than Ohio State, Baylor or TCU.  Now that will probably change, but for now?

Clemson (1), LSU (2), Memphis (3), Michigan State (4), TCU (6), Stanford (14)

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

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

Fake 16 Team Tournament

Using conference losses as first criteria, 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 (14)
  • Big Ten: Michigan State (4)
  • ACC: Clemson (1)
  • Big 12: TCU (6)
  • SEC: LSU (2)
  • American: Memphis (3)
  • MAC: Toledo (18)
  • C-USA: Western Kentucky (38)
  • MWC: Boise State (37)
  • Sun Belt: Appalachian State (41)

At-Large Positions

  • Alabama (5)
  • Oklahoma State (7)
  • Iowa (8)
  • Ohio State (9)
  • Oklahoma (10)
  • Notre Dame (11)

REGIONS (EAST v WEST, SOUTH v SOUTHWEST)

EAST (Miami, FL)

  • (1) Clemson v (4) Western Kentucky
  • (2) Iowa v (3) Oklahoma

WEST (Pasadena, CA)

  • (1) Michigan State v (4) Toledo
  • (2) Alabama v (3) Ohio State

SOUTH (Atlanta, GA)

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

SOUTHWEST (Glendale, AZ)

  • (1) Memphis v (4) Boise State
  • (2) TCU v (3) Notre Dame

2015 NCAA Football Ratings and New Year’s Six – Week 7

The methodology was detailed previously.

Clearly the best week ever belonged to Michigan State, between their stunning win over Michigan, Oregon’s strong win over Washington increased the timber of its schedule considerably.  Meanwhile, Oklahoma and Alabama started back up the rankings with strong road wins.

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 Utah 6 0 0.6034 1.000 0.6034 20
2 Michigan State 7 0 0.5622 0.964 0.5622 43
3 Clemson 6 0 0.5612 0.964 0.5612 44
4 Oklahoma State 6 0 0.5525 0.956 0.5525 50
5 LSU 6 0 0.5470 0.951 0.5470 52
6 Florida State 6 0 0.5392 0.945 0.5392 59
7 TCU 7 0 0.5207 0.929 0.5207 70
8 Alabama 6 1 0.5192 0.927 0.6620 4
9 Memphis 6 0 0.5134 0.922 0.5134 73
10 Ohio State 7 0 0.5000 0.911 0.5000 79
11 Oklahoma 5 1 0.4893 0.901 0.6560 8
12 Iowa 7 0 0.4892 0.901 0.4892 84
13 Notre Dame 6 1 0.4723 0.887 0.6151 16
14 Florida 6 1 0.4436 0.862 0.5865 33
15 California 5 1 0.4313 0.851 0.5980 23
16 Texas A&M 5 1 0.4260 0.847 0.5927 27
17 Pittsburgh 5 1 0.4258 0.847 0.5924 28
18 Stanford 5 1 0.4251 0.846 0.5918 30
19 Toledo 6 0 0.4113 0.834 0.4113 110
20 BYU 5 2 0.3956 0.821 0.6813 3
21 Houston 6 0 0.3947 0.820 0.3947 117
22 Baylor 6 0 0.3919 0.817 0.3919 118
23 Temple 6 0 0.3888 0.815 0.3888 120
24 Navy 4 1 0.3173 0.753 0.5173 72
25 Northwestern 5 2 0.3063 0.743 0.5920 29
26 Michigan 5 2 0.3050 0.742 0.5907 31
27 UCLA 4 2 0.2877 0.727 0.6210 13
28 Bowling Green 5 2 0.2765 0.718 0.5622 42
29 Western Kentucky 6 1 0.2709 0.713 0.4137 109
30 Georgia 5 2 0.2685 0.711 0.5542 48
31 Duke 5 1 0.2589 0.703 0.4256 104
32 Ole Miss 5 2 0.2559 0.700 0.5416 56
33 Boise State 5 2 0.2552 0.699 0.5409 58
34 North Carolina 5 1 0.2543 0.699 0.4210 106
35 Mississippi State 5 2 0.2465 0.692 0.5323 64
36 Ohio 6 1 0.2463 0.692 0.3891 119
37 Wisconsin 5 2 0.2374 0.684 0.5232 68
38 Marshall 6 1 0.2263 0.674 0.3692 123
39 Auburn 4 2 0.2155 0.665 0.5489 51
40 Penn State 5 2 0.2129 0.663 0.4986 80
41 Utah State 4 2 0.2105 0.661 0.5438 54
42 Miami-FL 4 2 0.2077 0.658 0.5411 57
43 Texas Tech 5 2 0.1999 0.652 0.4856 85
44 Illinois 4 2 0.1885 0.642 0.5218 69
45 Georgia Southern 5 1 0.1848 0.639 0.3515 125
46 Arizona 5 2 0.1815 0.636 0.4672 93
47 Arizona State 4 3 0.1799 0.634 0.6084 17
48 Appalachian State 5 1 0.1782 0.633 0.3449 127
49 Minnesota 4 3 0.1643 0.621 0.5929 26
50 Tennessee 3 3 0.1576 0.615 0.6576 6
51 USC 3 3 0.1522 0.610 0.6522 9
52 Washington 3 3 0.1514 0.610 0.6514 10
53 East Carolina 4 3 0.1442 0.604 0.5728 38
54 Kentucky 4 2 0.1343 0.595 0.4677 92
55 Oregon 4 3 0.1267 0.588 0.5553 46
56 West Virginia 3 3 0.1152 0.579 0.6152 15
57 Missouri 4 3 0.1045 0.569 0.5331 63
58 Washington State 4 2 0.0955 0.561 0.4288 103
59 Texas 2 4 0.0954 0.561 0.7621 1
60 Kansas State 3 3 0.0940 0.560 0.5940 25
61 Indiana 4 3 0.0833 0.551 0.5119 75
62 South Florida 3 3 0.0651 0.535 0.5651 41
63 Louisiana Tech 4 3 0.0645 0.535 0.4931 82
64 Cincinnati 3 3 0.0544 0.526 0.5544 47
65 NC State 4 2 0.0468 0.519 0.3801 122
66 Tulsa 3 3 0.0429 0.516 0.5429 55
67 Northern Illinois 4 3 0.0423 0.516 0.4709 91
68 Nebraska 3 4 0.0338 0.508 0.6053 19
69 South Carolina 3 4 0.0316 0.506 0.6030 21
70 Arkansas 2 4 0.0285 0.504 0.6952 2
71 Virginia Tech 3 4 0.0133 0.491 0.5848 36
72 Syracuse 3 3 0.0087 0.487 0.5087 76
73 Wake Forest 3 4 -0.0054 0.474 0.5660 40
74 Southern Miss 4 3 -0.0073 0.473 0.4213 105
75 Maryland 2 4 -0.0077 0.472 0.6590 5
76 Louisville 2 4 -0.0094 0.471 0.6573 7
77 Arkansas State 3 3 -0.0232 0.459 0.4768 89
78 San Diego State 4 3 -0.0277 0.455 0.4009 115
79 Rice 3 3 -0.0289 0.454 0.4711 90
80 Virginia 2 4 -0.0342 0.450 0.6324 11
81 Boston College 3 4 -0.0368 0.447 0.5346 62
82 Rutgers 3 3 -0.0396 0.445 0.4604 94
83 Akron 3 4 -0.0408 0.444 0.5306 65
84 South Alabama 3 3 -0.0436 0.441 0.4564 96
85 Air Force 3 3 -0.0457 0.440 0.4543 97
86 Central Michigan 3 4 -0.0519 0.434 0.5195 71
87 MTSU 3 4 -0.0589 0.428 0.5126 74
88 Vanderbilt 2 4 -0.0677 0.421 0.5989 22
89 Western Michigan 2 4 -0.0723 0.417 0.5944 24
90 Connecticut 3 4 -0.0740 0.415 0.4974 81
91 Kent State 3 4 -0.0803 0.410 0.4911 83
92 Oregon State 2 4 -0.0812 0.409 0.5855 34
93 Colorado State 3 4 -0.0880 0.403 0.4834 86
94 Georgia Tech 2 5 -0.0884 0.403 0.6259 12
95 New Mexico 4 3 -0.0985 0.394 0.3301 128
96 Old Dominion 3 3 -0.1022 0.391 0.3978 116
97 Iowa State 2 4 -0.1140 0.381 0.5527 49
98 Tulane 2 4 -0.1278 0.369 0.5389 60
99 Colorado 3 4 -0.1279 0.369 0.4436 101
100 Fresno State 2 5 -0.1543 0.346 0.5600 45
101 San Jose State 3 4 -0.1564 0.344 0.4151 108
102 FIU 3 4 -0.1624 0.339 0.4090 111
103 Idaho 2 4 -0.1624 0.339 0.5042 78
104 Nevada 3 4 -0.1630 0.338 0.4084 112
105 Hawaii 2 5 -0.1760 0.327 0.5383 61
106 LA-Lafayette 2 3 -0.1820 0.322 0.4180 107
107 UNLV 2 5 -0.2099 0.298 0.5044 77
108 Buffalo 2 4 -0.2132 0.295 0.4535 98
109 LA-Monroe 1 5 -0.2143 0.294 0.6190 14
110 Ball State 2 5 -0.2362 0.275 0.4781 88
111 Massachusetts 1 5 -0.2482 0.265 0.5851 35
112 Texas State 1 4 -0.2559 0.258 0.5441 53
113 UTEP 2 4 -0.2592 0.255 0.4074 113
114 Purdue 1 6 -0.2696 0.246 0.5876 32
115 Miami-OH 1 6 -0.2832 0.235 0.5740 37
116 SMU 1 5 -0.3080 0.213 0.5253 66
117 Charlotte 2 4 -0.3117 0.210 0.3550 124
118 Other 8 91 -0.3131 0.209 0.6061 18
119 Army 2 5 -0.3266 0.197 0.3877 121
120 UTSA 1 6 -0.3323 0.192 0.5249 67
121 Georgia State 2 4 -0.3522 0.175 0.3144 129
122 Troy 1 5 -0.3852 0.147 0.4481 99
123 Florida Atlantic 1 5 -0.3981 0.135 0.4353 102
124 Kansas 0 6 -0.4300 0.108 0.5700 39
125 Eastern Michigan 1 6 -0.4521 0.089 0.4050 114
126 Wyoming 1 6 -0.5099 0.039 0.3472 126
127 UCF 0 7 -0.5204 0.030 0.4796 87
128 North Texas 0 6 -0.5416 0.012 0.4584 95
129 New Mexico State 0 6 -0.5550 0.000 0.4450 100

Baylor is still lagging with the schedule, so #22 despite their elite scoring margin – so again the eye test does not match what has actually been accomplished.

Utah (1), Michigan State (2), Clemson (3), Oklahoma State (4), LSU (5), Memphis (9)

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

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

Fake 16 Team Tournament

Using conference losses as first criteria, then ranking

Automatic Bids

  • Pac 12: Utah (1)
  • Big Ten: Michigan State (2)
  • ACC: Clemson (3)
  • Big 12: Oklahoma State (4)
  • SEC: LSU (5)
  • American: Memphis (9)
  • MAC: Toledo (19)
  • C-USA: Western Kentucky (29)
  • MWC: Utah State (41)
  • Sun Belt: Georgia Southern (45)

At-Large Positions

  • Florida State (6)
  • TCU (7)
  • Alabama (8)
  • Ohio State (10)
  • Oklahoma (11)
  • Iowa (12)

WEST (1 seed)

  • (1) Utah v (4) Georgia Southern
  • (2) Alabama v (3) Memphis

SOUTH (4 seed)

  • (1) Oklahoma State v (4) Toledo
  • (2) Florida State v  (3) Iowa

MIDWEST (2 seed)

  • (1) Michigan State v (4) Utah State
  • (2) TCU v (3) Ohio State

EAST (3 seed)

  • (1) Clemson v (4) Western Kentucky
  • (2) LSU v (3) Oklahoma

2015 NCAA Football Ratings and New Year’s Six – Week 6

The methodology was detailed previously.

Well, to the surprise of nobody – Toledo and Temple, despite continuing to win, ease on down the ratings.  It’s what happens when conference chum keeps filling the resume up.  Of course, this reality will make a non-Power 5 team cracking the top 4 difficult – and provides more good reasons to have a 16-team tourney or something.  Also, after slogging around the bottom of the Top 20, TCU’s schedule got a wicked jolt from wins by Minnesota and Texas, along with the Horned Frogs stirring comeback against Kansas State.

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 Utah 5 0 0.5715 1.000 0.5715 34
2 Oklahoma State 6 0 0.5643 0.994 0.5643 36
3 TCU 6 0 0.5488 0.981 0.5488 42
4 Clemson 5 0 0.5466 0.979 0.5466 43
5 Texas A&M 5 0 0.5435 0.977 0.5435 45
6 Florida State 5 0 0.5320 0.967 0.5320 52
7 Florida 6 0 0.5291 0.965 0.5291 58
8 Ohio State 6 0 0.5074 0.947 0.5074 75
9 LSU 5 0 0.5052 0.945 0.5052 76
10 Toledo 5 0 0.4937 0.935 0.4937 83
11 Memphis 5 0 0.4724 0.918 0.4724 94
12 Temple 5 0 0.4702 0.916 0.4702 95
13 Alabama 5 1 0.4557 0.904 0.6224 12
14 Michigan 5 1 0.4417 0.892 0.6084 16
15 Northwestern 5 1 0.4410 0.892 0.6077 18
16 Michigan State 6 0 0.4385 0.890 0.4385 105
17 Oklahoma 4 1 0.4252 0.879 0.6252 9
18 Iowa 6 0 0.4246 0.878 0.4246 114
19 Notre Dame 5 1 0.4244 0.878 0.5911 22
20 Stanford 4 1 0.4236 0.877 0.6236 11
21 Houston 5 0 0.4224 0.876 0.4224 115
22 California 5 1 0.4146 0.870 0.5813 29
23 UCLA 4 1 0.4005 0.858 0.6005 19
24 BYU 4 2 0.3756 0.837 0.7089 2
25 Western Kentucky 5 1 0.3632 0.827 0.5299 56
26 Baylor 5 0 0.3501 0.816 0.3501 127
27 Boise State 5 1 0.3496 0.816 0.5163 70
28 Pittsburgh 4 1 0.3394 0.807 0.5394 48
29 Ole Miss 5 1 0.3315 0.801 0.4982 79
30 Navy 4 1 0.3225 0.793 0.5225 64
31 Duke 5 1 0.3150 0.787 0.4817 86
32 Penn State 5 1 0.2958 0.771 0.4625 97
33 Ohio 5 1 0.2609 0.742 0.4276 111
34 Kentucky 4 1 0.2604 0.742 0.4604 98
35 Bowling Green 4 2 0.2512 0.734 0.5845 27
36 Washington 3 2 0.2505 0.734 0.6505 5
37 Georgia 4 2 0.2401 0.725 0.5734 31
38 Minnesota 4 2 0.2398 0.725 0.5732 32
39 Georgia Southern 4 1 0.2384 0.724 0.4384 106
40 Arizona State 4 2 0.2336 0.720 0.5670 35
41 North Carolina 4 1 0.2254 0.713 0.4254 113
42 Indiana 4 2 0.2198 0.708 0.5531 41
43 Marshall 5 1 0.2072 0.698 0.3738 124
44 Mississippi State 4 2 0.1981 0.690 0.5315 53
45 Wisconsin 4 2 0.1935 0.686 0.5268 62
46 USC 3 2 0.1874 0.681 0.5874 24
47 Arizona 4 2 0.1850 0.679 0.5183 68
48 Texas Tech 4 2 0.1812 0.676 0.5145 72
49 Louisiana Tech 4 2 0.1630 0.661 0.4963 81
50 Illinois 4 2 0.1616 0.660 0.4949 82
51 Kansas State 3 2 0.1551 0.654 0.5551 39
52 Missouri 4 2 0.1482 0.649 0.4816 87
53 West Virginia 3 2 0.1412 0.643 0.5412 47
54 Miami-FL 3 2 0.1342 0.637 0.5342 50
55 Auburn 3 2 0.1293 0.633 0.5293 57
56 Tennessee 3 3 0.1283 0.632 0.6283 8
57 Utah State 3 2 0.1218 0.627 0.5218 65
58 Appalachian State 4 1 0.1217 0.627 0.3217 128
59 Cincinnati 3 2 0.1187 0.624 0.5187 67
60 Tulsa 3 2 0.1135 0.620 0.5135 73
61 East Carolina 3 3 0.0916 0.602 0.5916 21
62 Syracuse 3 2 0.0796 0.592 0.4796 89
63 South Alabama 3 2 0.0765 0.589 0.4765 93
64 NC State 4 2 0.0753 0.588 0.4086 118
65 Texas 2 4 0.0552 0.572 0.7219 1
66 Wake Forest 3 3 0.0442 0.562 0.5442 44
67 Air Force 3 2 0.0307 0.551 0.4307 108
68 Virginia Tech 3 3 0.0289 0.550 0.5289 59
69 Arkansas 2 4 0.0284 0.549 0.6951 3
70 Vanderbilt 2 3 0.0248 0.546 0.6248 10
71 Northern Illinois 3 3 0.0162 0.539 0.5162 71
72 Washington State 3 2 0.0151 0.538 0.4151 117
73 Oregon State 2 3 0.0090 0.533 0.6090 15
74 Connecticut 3 3 -0.0017 0.524 0.4983 78
75 Nevada 3 3 -0.0105 0.517 0.4895 84
76 Louisville 2 3 -0.0115 0.516 0.5885 23
77 Akron 3 3 -0.0116 0.516 0.4884 85
78 Rice 3 3 -0.0204 0.509 0.4796 90
79 Maryland 2 4 -0.0218 0.508 0.6449 6
80 Boston College 3 3 -0.0218 0.508 0.4782 91
81 San Jose State 3 3 -0.0318 0.499 0.4682 96
82 Oregon 3 3 -0.0527 0.482 0.4473 103
83 Georgia Tech 2 4 -0.0551 0.480 0.6116 14
84 South Florida 2 3 -0.0584 0.477 0.5416 46
85 Western Michigan 2 3 -0.0692 0.468 0.5308 54
86 Southern Miss 3 3 -0.0709 0.467 0.4291 109
87 South Carolina 2 4 -0.0720 0.466 0.5947 20
88 Colorado 3 3 -0.0722 0.466 0.4278 110
89 Tulane 2 3 -0.0722 0.466 0.5278 61
90 San Diego State 3 3 -0.0742 0.464 0.4258 112
91 Ball State 2 4 -0.0810 0.459 0.5857 25
92 UNLV 2 4 -0.0838 0.456 0.5828 28
93 FIU 3 3 -0.0846 0.456 0.4154 116
94 Nebraska 2 4 -0.0880 0.453 0.5786 30
95 Arkansas State 2 3 -0.0965 0.446 0.5035 77
96 MTSU 2 4 -0.1058 0.438 0.5609 38
97 Hawaii 2 4 -0.1135 0.432 0.5532 40
98 Iowa State 2 3 -0.1185 0.427 0.4815 88
99 Central Michigan 2 4 -0.1284 0.419 0.5383 49
100 New Mexico 3 3 -0.1284 0.419 0.3716 125
101 Virginia 1 4 -0.1297 0.418 0.6703 4
102 Colorado State 2 4 -0.1435 0.407 0.5231 63
103 LA-Lafayette 2 3 -0.1472 0.404 0.4528 100
104 Buffalo 2 3 -0.1486 0.402 0.4514 101
105 Kent State 2 4 -0.1561 0.396 0.5106 74
106 Massachusetts 1 4 -0.1576 0.395 0.6424 7
107 Old Dominion 2 3 -0.1628 0.391 0.4372 107
108 LA-Monroe 1 4 -0.1807 0.376 0.6193 13
109 Rutgers 2 3 -0.2030 0.357 0.3970 121
110 UTEP 2 4 -0.2173 0.345 0.4493 102
111 Charlotte 2 3 -0.2234 0.340 0.3766 123
112 Miami-OH 1 5 -0.2480 0.320 0.5853 26
113 Fresno State 1 5 -0.2614 0.309 0.5719 33
114 Idaho 1 4 -0.2663 0.305 0.5337 51
115 UTSA 1 5 -0.2711 0.301 0.5622 37
116 Texas State 1 4 -0.2712 0.301 0.5288 60
117 Troy 1 4 -0.2817 0.292 0.5183 69
118 Purdue 1 5 -0.3032 0.274 0.5301 55
119 Other 8 90 -0.3100 0.268 0.6084 17
120 SMU 1 5 -0.3363 0.247 0.4970 80
121 Florida Atlantic 1 4 -0.3540 0.232 0.4460 104
122 Army 1 5 -0.3552 0.231 0.4781 92
123 Eastern Michigan 1 5 -0.4466 0.155 0.3867 122
124 Kansas 0 5 -0.4805 0.127 0.5195 66
125 Georgia State 1 4 -0.5173 0.096 0.2827 129
126 UCF 0 6 -0.5438 0.074 0.4562 99
127 New Mexico State 0 5 -0.5973 0.030 0.4027 119
128 North Texas 0 5 -0.5984 0.029 0.4016 120
129 Wyoming 0 6 -0.6335 0.000 0.3665 126


Projecting New Year’s Six Games

 

Baylor is still lagging with the schedule – so again the eye test does not match what has actually been accomplished.  Alabama and Michigan as the top two one-loss teams seems obvious.  So, the automatics as of today.

Utah (1), Oklahoma State (2), Clemson (4), Texas A&M (5), Ohio State (8), Toledo (10)

This week, with four of the top 5 as conference champs, we have a clean Final Four.  The rest is a bit muddier.  Now, as a practical matter I’d expect Alabama to pass say Memphis, but what the hell for now.

  • Orange Bowl (National Semifinal A): Utah v Texas A&M
  • Cotton Bowl (National Semifinal B): Oklahoma State v Clemson
  • Rose Bowl (Big Ten/Pac 12): Ohio State v Stanford
  • Sugar Bowl (SEC/Big 12): Florida v TCU
  • Peach Bowl: Florida State v LSU
  • Fiesta Bowl: Toledo v Memphis

2015 NCAA Football Ratings and New Year’s Six – Week 5

The methodology was detailed previously.

Well, that happened.  As we covered last week, Temple slowly dripping down the list as the schedule reveals itself – which is how the standings really should work.  This past week, there was a lot of carnage with UCLA, Notre Dame, Georgia all suffering surprising losses (ND not a surprise, but UCLA and Georgia home beatdowns which did not seem likely).  As you can imagine the rankings shook up a lot.

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 Oklahoma 4 0 0.6267 1.000 0.6267 3
2 Utah 4 0 0.5281 0.929 0.5281 28
3 LSU 4 0 0.5255 0.927 0.5255 30
4 Texas A&M 5 0 0.4985 0.908 0.4985 45
5 Toledo 4 0 0.4985 0.908 0.4985 46
6 Florida State 4 0 0.4929 0.904 0.4929 50
7 Northwestern 5 0 0.4863 0.899 0.4863 53
8 Ohio State 5 0 0.4863 0.899 0.4863 54
9 Clemson 4 0 0.4791 0.894 0.4791 59
10 Florida 5 0 0.4662 0.885 0.4662 65
11 Houston 4 0 0.4586 0.879 0.4586 68
12 Alabama 4 1 0.4369 0.864 0.6369 2
13 Temple 4 0 0.4361 0.863 0.4361 76
14 Michigan State 5 0 0.4227 0.854 0.4227 85
15 Stanford 4 1 0.4053 0.841 0.6053 6
16 Iowa 5 0 0.3944 0.833 0.3944 96
17 Oklahoma State 5 0 0.3909 0.831 0.3909 98
18 Navy 4 0 0.3859 0.827 0.3859 100
19 Michigan 4 1 0.3838 0.826 0.5838 8
20 Memphis 5 0 0.3776 0.821 0.3776 104
21 California 5 0 0.3673 0.814 0.3673 111
22 Ole Miss 4 1 0.3553 0.805 0.5553 23
23 TCU 5 0 0.3552 0.805 0.3552 114
24 UCLA 4 1 0.3211 0.781 0.5211 32
25 Georgia 4 1 0.3100 0.773 0.5100 36
26 BYU 3 2 0.3068 0.770 0.7068 1
27 Notre Dame 4 1 0.2957 0.762 0.4957 48
28 Western Kentucky 4 1 0.2942 0.761 0.4942 49
29 Indiana 4 1 0.2732 0.746 0.4732 61
30 Baylor 4 0 0.2724 0.746 0.2724 123
31 Pittsburgh 3 1 0.2566 0.734 0.5066 39
32 USC 3 1 0.2539 0.732 0.5039 41
33 Duke 4 1 0.2469 0.727 0.4469 71
34 West Virginia 3 1 0.2423 0.724 0.4923 51
35 Boise State 4 1 0.2357 0.719 0.4357 77
36 Illinois 4 1 0.2308 0.716 0.4308 82
37 Kentucky 4 1 0.2042 0.697 0.4042 94
38 Georgia Southern 4 1 0.2027 0.696 0.4027 95
39 Penn State 4 1 0.1912 0.687 0.3912 97
40 North Carolina 4 1 0.1796 0.679 0.3796 102
41 Ohio 4 1 0.1724 0.674 0.3724 108
42 Missouri 4 1 0.1723 0.674 0.3723 109
43 Syracuse 3 1 0.1690 0.672 0.4190 88
44 Bowling Green 3 2 0.1664 0.670 0.5664 13
45 Miami-FL 3 1 0.1623 0.667 0.4123 92
46 Mississippi State 3 2 0.1620 0.667 0.5620 17
47 Kansas State 3 1 0.1614 0.666 0.4114 93
48 Arizona State 3 2 0.1608 0.666 0.5608 18
49 Minnesota 3 2 0.1089 0.628 0.5089 37
50 Auburn 3 2 0.1069 0.627 0.5069 38
51 Marshall 4 1 0.1063 0.626 0.3063 120
52 NC State 4 1 0.0925 0.617 0.2925 121
53 East Carolina 3 2 0.0820 0.609 0.4820 57
54 Wisconsin 3 2 0.0731 0.603 0.4731 62
55 Tulsa 2 2 0.0656 0.597 0.5656 14
56 Arizona 3 2 0.0651 0.597 0.4651 66
57 Oregon State 2 2 0.0587 0.592 0.5587 22
58 Cincinnati 3 2 0.0538 0.589 0.4538 70
59 Texas Tech 3 2 0.0437 0.582 0.4437 74
60 Boston College 3 2 0.0403 0.579 0.4403 75
61 Oregon 3 2 0.0345 0.575 0.4345 79
62 Appalachian State 3 1 0.0344 0.575 0.2844 122
63 Louisiana Tech 3 2 0.0283 0.571 0.4283 83
64 South Alabama 3 2 0.0204 0.565 0.4204 86
65 Tennessee 2 3 0.0072 0.555 0.6072 5
66 Utah State 2 2 0.0030 0.552 0.5030 42
67 Vanderbilt 2 3 0.0016 0.551 0.6016 7
68 Arkansas 2 3 -0.0193 0.536 0.5807 9
69 Southern Miss 3 2 -0.0203 0.536 0.3797 101
70 Air Force 2 2 -0.0257 0.532 0.4743 60
71 Hawaii 2 3 -0.0324 0.527 0.5676 12
72 Louisville 2 3 -0.0366 0.524 0.5634 16
73 Washington 2 2 -0.0392 0.522 0.4608 67
74 UNLV 2 3 -0.0395 0.522 0.5605 19
75 Maryland 2 3 -0.0407 0.521 0.5593 21
76 Nebraska 2 3 -0.0594 0.508 0.5406 24
77 Colorado 3 2 -0.0646 0.504 0.3354 116
78 Ball State 2 3 -0.0664 0.503 0.5336 27
79 South Carolina 2 3 -0.0744 0.497 0.5256 29
80 Tulane 2 2 -0.0842 0.490 0.4158 90
81 Northern Illinois 2 3 -0.0879 0.487 0.5121 34
82 Connecticut 2 3 -0.0940 0.483 0.5060 40
83 Georgia Tech 2 3 -0.0993 0.479 0.5007 43
84 Wake Forest 2 3 -0.1014 0.477 0.4986 44
85 Central Michigan 2 3 -0.1036 0.476 0.4964 47
86 Virginia Tech 2 3 -0.1099 0.471 0.4901 52
87 MTSU 2 3 -0.1144 0.468 0.4856 55
88 Akron 2 3 -0.1191 0.465 0.4809 58
89 Iowa State 2 2 -0.1244 0.461 0.3756 106
90 Arkansas State 2 3 -0.1326 0.455 0.4674 64
91 New Mexico 3 2 -0.1383 0.451 0.2617 124
92 LA-Monroe 1 3 -0.1425 0.448 0.6075 4
93 Nevada 2 3 -0.1441 0.447 0.4559 69
94 FIU 2 3 -0.1690 0.429 0.4310 81
95 Virginia 1 3 -0.1714 0.427 0.5786 10
96 San Jose State 2 3 -0.1798 0.421 0.4202 87
97 Rice 2 3 -0.1810 0.420 0.4190 89
98 Massachusetts 1 3 -0.1844 0.418 0.5656 15
99 Kent State 2 3 -0.2132 0.397 0.3868 99
100 Western Michigan 1 3 -0.2132 0.397 0.5368 25
101 Texas State 1 3 -0.2136 0.397 0.5364 26
102 Old Dominion 2 3 -0.2234 0.390 0.3766 105
103 Buffalo 2 3 -0.2307 0.385 0.3693 110
104 Texas 1 4 -0.2317 0.384 0.5683 11
105 Colorado State 2 3 -0.2355 0.381 0.3645 113
106 South Florida 1 3 -0.2389 0.379 0.5111 35
107 Rutgers 2 2 -0.2499 0.371 0.2501 125
108 San Diego State 2 3 -0.2520 0.369 0.3480 115
109 Washington State 2 2 -0.2533 0.368 0.2467 126
110 Fresno State 1 4 -0.2745 0.353 0.5255 31
111 UTEP 2 3 -0.2779 0.351 0.3221 117
112 Charlotte 2 3 -0.2790 0.350 0.3210 118
113 Miami-OH 1 4 -0.2858 0.345 0.5142 33
114 LA-Lafayette 1 3 -0.3058 0.331 0.4442 73
115 Idaho 1 4 -0.3151 0.324 0.4849 56
116 Florida Atlantic 1 3 -0.3178 0.322 0.4322 80
117 Troy 1 3 -0.3260 0.316 0.4240 84
118 Purdue 1 4 -0.3300 0.313 0.4700 63
119 UTSA 1 4 -0.3533 0.297 0.4467 72
120 Other 7 90 -0.3675 0.286 0.5603 20
121 SMU 1 4 -0.4268 0.244 0.3732 107
122 Army 1 4 -0.4346 0.238 0.3654 112
123 Eastern Michigan 1 4 -0.4878 0.200 0.3122 119
124 North Texas 0 4 -0.5653 0.145 0.4347 78
125 UCF 0 5 -0.5876 0.129 0.4124 91
126 Georgia State 1 3 -0.5936 0.124 0.1564 129
127 Kansas 0 4 -0.6219 0.104 0.3781 103
128 New Mexico State 0 4 -0.7590 0.005 0.2410 127
129 Wyoming 0 5 -0.7667 0.000 0.2333 128

Now, the human polls would have TCU and Baylor in the Top 5 – why are they so low here?  Well, as it turns out so far – there is not a lot of evidence that the team’s best wins (Texas Tech, Texas, Minnesota) were in fact any good.  Right now those teams both look to have played soft slates so far and it shows in the record.  Now, I do think there is plenty of time for this to resolve itself, but right now the two Oklahoma schools have much better actual resumes.

Projecting New Year’s Six Games

Following the work the committee did last year, we stick with conference champs only unless there is a strong case to do otherwise.  Looking at the automatic qualifiers:

Oklahoma (1), Utah (2), LSU (3), Toledo (5), Florida State (6), Northwestern (7)

In real life, Florida State should pass Toledo as long as both teams keep winning.  But right now, Toledo’s win at Arkansas trumps FSU just a little bit – and it is fun to give the honour to somebody new.  Stanford v California for the second Pac-12 spot, but since neither has lost in conference, Stanford’s rating gets primacy.  I also note that the Peach Bowl has Florida State-Florida a match which almost certainly won’t happen. (since it is a rematch) but for our “stop the music now” exercise it fits.

  • Orange Bowl (National Semifinal A): Oklahoma v Toledo
  • Cotton Bowl (National Semifinal B): Utah v LSU
  • Rose Bowl (Big Ten/Pac 12): Northwestern v Stanford
  • Sugar Bowl (SEC/Big 12): Texas A&M v Oklahoma State
  • Peach Bowl: Florida State v Florida
  • Fiesta Bowl: Ohio State v Clemson