Monthly Archives: October 2014

Updated Playoff Projection Using Advanced Stats

Using Bill Connelly’s win projections at Football Study Hall (top contenders, Pac-12, ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12), I have projected all of the remaining games for unbeaten and one-loss teams ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings. For ECU, I did my best to project their remaining games using F/+ ratings.

See last week’s projections for more explanation.

Changes in projections are in bold. The picture is quite a bit muddier this week with several teams now having one or more toss-up games.

Here are my updated top four using advanced stats projections and a little bit of intuition. Read on to find out how I came to my conclusions.

TOP FOUR

Ole Miss
TCU
Florida St
Alabama

As far as seeding goes, you’re guess is as good as mine. I would assume the committee would not have the two SEC teams playing each other in the semi-finals, but I definitely could be wrong there. Perhaps they would rather have an all-SEC semi-final rather than the potential of an all-SEC championship game. Who knows?

Below are the projected results of each team’s remaining FBS schedule.


#1 Mississippi St

Current Record: 7-0
Current Conference Record: 4-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Arkansas W 8-0 5-0
12 @ Alabama L 9-1 5-1
13 Vanderbilt W 10-1 6-1
14 @ Ole Miss L 10-2 6-2

#2 Florida St

Current Record: 7-0
Current Conference Record: 4-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ Louisville Toss-Up 8-0 or 7-1 5-0 or 4-1
11 Virginia W 9-0 or 8-1 6-0 or 5-1
12 @ Miami Toss-Up 10-0, 9-1, or 8-2 7-0, 6-1, or 5-2
13 Boston College W 11-0, 10-1, or 9-2 8-0, 7-1, or 6-2
14 Florida W 12-0, 11-1, or 10-2 8-0, 7-1, or 6-2
15 ACC Championship or Bye W or N/A 13-0, 12-1, or 10-2 9-0*, 8-1*, or 6-2

*ACC Champs


#3 Auburn

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ Ole Miss L 6-2 3-2
11 Texas A&M W 7-2 4-2
12 @ Georgia W 8-2 5-2
14 @ Alabama L 9-3 5-3

#4 Ole Miss

Current Record: 7-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Auburn W 8-1 5-1
13 @ Arkansas W 10-1 6-1
14 Mississippi St W 11-1 7-1
15 SEC Championship W 12-1 8-1*

*SEC Champs


#5 Oregon

Current Record: 7-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Stanford W 8-1 5-1
11 @ Utah W 9-1 6-1
13 Colorado W 10-1 7-1
14 @ Oregon St W 11-1 8-1
15 Pac-12 Championship W 12-1 9-1*

*Pac-12 Champs


#6 Alabama

Current Record: 7-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
11 @ LSU W 8-1 5-1
12 Mississippi St W 9-1 6-1
14 Auburn W 11-1 7-1

#7 TCU

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ West Virginia W 7-1 4-1
11 K-State W 8-1 5-1
12 @ Kansas W 9-1 6-1
14 @ Texas W 10-1 7-1
15 Iowa St W 11-1 8-1*

*Big 12 Champs


#8 Michigan St

Current Record: 7-1
Current Conference Record: 4-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
11 Ohio St W 8-1 5-0
12 @ Maryland W 9-1 6-0
13 Rutgers W 10-1 7-0
14 @ Penn St W 11-1 8-0
15 Big Ten Championship Toss-Up 12-1 or 11-2 9-0* or 8-1

*Big Ten champions


#9 Kansas St

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 4-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Oklahoma St W 7-1 5-0
11 @ TCU L 7-2 5-1
13 @ West Virginia Toss-Up 8-2 or 7-3 6-1 or 5-2
14 Kansas W 9-2 or 8-3 7-1 or 6-2
15 @ Baylor L 9-3 or 8-4 7-2 or 6-3

#10 Notre Dame

Current Record: 6-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record
10 @ Navy W 7-1
11 @ Arizona St L 7-2
12 Northwestern W 8-2
13 Louisville Toss-Up 9-2 or 8-3
14 @ USC L 9-3 or 8-4

#11 Georgia

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Florida W 7-1 5-1
11 @ Kentucky W 8-1 6-1
12 Auburn L 8-2 6-2
14 Georgia Tech W 9-2 6-2
15 SEC Championship L 10-3 6-3

#12 Arizona

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ UCLA L 6-2 3-2
11 Colorado W 7-2 4-2
12 Washington W 8-2 5-2
13 @ Utah Toss-Up 9-2 or 8-3 6-2 or 5-3
14 Arizona St Toss-Up 10-2, 9-3, or 8-4 7-2, 6-3, or 5-4
15 Bye or Pac-12 Championship* L 10-3, 9-3, or 8-4 7-3, 6-3, or 5-4

*If Arizona wins both of their toss-up games and UCLA loses one of their toss-ups.


#13 Baylor

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Kansas W 7-1 4-1
11 @ Oklahoma L 7-2 4-2
13 Oklahoma St W 8-2 5-2
14 Texas Tech W 9-2 6-2
15 K-State W 10-2 7-2

#14 Arizona St

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Utah W 7-1 5-1
Notre Dame W 8-1 5-1
@ Oregon St W 9-1 6-1
Washington St W 10-1 7-1
@ Arizona Toss-Up 11-1 or 10-2 8-1 or 7-2
Pac-12 Championship or Bye L or N/A 11-2 or 10-2 8-2 or 7-2

#15 Nebraska

Current Record: 7-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Purdue W 8-1 4-1
12 @ Wisconsin W 9-1 5-1
13 Minnesota W 10-1 6-1
14 @ Iowa W 11-1 7-1
15 Big Ten Championship Toss-Up 12-1 or 11-2 8-1* or 7-2

*Big Ten Champs


#16 Ohio St

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Illinois W 7-1 4-0
11 @ Michigan St L 7-2 4-1
12 @ Minnesota W 8-2 5-1
13 Indiana W 9-2 6-1
14 Michigan W 10-2 7-1

#17 Utah

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ Arizona St L 6-2 3-2
11 Oregon L 6-3 3-3
12 @ Stanford L 6-4 3-4
13 Arizona Toss-Up 7-4 or 6-5 4-4 or 3-5
14 @ Colorado W 8-4 or 7-5 5-4 or 4-5

#18 Oklahoma

Current Record: 5-2
Current Conference Record: 2-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ Iowa St W 6-2 3-2
11 Baylor W 7-2 4-2
12 @ Texas Tech W 8-2 5-2
13 Kansas W 9-2 6-2
15 Oklahoma St W 10-2 7-2

#21 Clemson

Current Record: 6-2
Current Conference Record: 5-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
11 @ Wake Forest W 7-2 6-1
12 @ Georgia Tech W 8-2 7-1
13 Georgia St W 9-2 7-1
14 South Carolina W 10-2 7-1
15 Bye or ACC Championship** N/A or W 10-2 or 11-2 7-1 or 8-1*

*ACC Champs

**If Florida St loses their two toss-up games


#22 UCLA

Current Record: 6-2
Current Conference Record: 3-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Arizona W 7-2 4-2
Washington W 8-2 5-2
USC W 9-2 6-2
Stanford W 10-2 7-2
Bye or Pac-12 Championship* L 10-3 or 10-2 7-3 or 7-2

*If Arizona St loses their toss-up vs Arizona


#23 East Carolina

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ Temple W 7-1 4-0
12 @ Cincinnati W 8-1 5-0
13 Tulane W 9-1 6-0
14 @ Tulsa W 10-1 7-0
15 UCF W 11-1 8-0*

*American Champs


#24 Duke

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 2-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 @ Pitt W 7-1 3-1
11 @ Syracuse W 8-1 4-1
12 Virginia Tech W 9-1 5-1
13 North Carolina W 10-1 6-1
14 Wake Forest W 11-1 7-1
15 ACC Championship L 11-2 7-2

#25 Louisville

Current Record: 6-2
Current Conference Record: 4-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
10 Florida St Toss-Up 7-2 or 6-3 5-2 or 4-3
11 @ Boston College W 8-2 or 7-3 6-2 or 5-3
13 @ Notre Dame Toss-Up 9-2, 8-3, or 7-4 6-2 or 5-3
14 Kentucky W 10-2, 9-3, or 8-4 6-2 or 5-3

Toss-Up Predictions

Florida St: FSU will lose one, but not both, of their toss-up games. That will put the Seminoles at 11-1 going into the ACCCG and they will beat Duke. This will keep Clemson out of the ACCCG.

Michigan St/Nebraska (Big Ten Championship Game): I would put my money on Michigan St here. Michigan St finishes 12-1 as the Big Ten champs and Nebraska finishes 11-2.

Arizona St: ASU over the Cats in Tucson. ASU wins the Pac-12 South.

Louisville: Like FSU, I like Louisville in one of their toss-ups, but not both. (I’m just not sure which one it will be.) 9-3.

Arizona/Utah: I like Utah on the road against Arizona. Couple that with Arizona’s loss to ASU and Tucson and Salt Lake both finish 8-4.

K-State: West Virginia is scary to me at home. I’m picking WVU. Fighting Bill Snyders go 8-4.

Notre Dame: If I have to pick, I say Louisville beats FSU at home but then loses on the road to Notre Dame. Irish go 9-3.


Projected Records

TEAM PROJ CONF REC PROJ FINAL REC W/ TOSS-UP PREDICTIONS
Florida St 9-0*, 8-1*, or 6-2 13-0*, 12-1*, or 10-2 12-1*
Ole Miss 8-1 12-1* 12-1*
Oregon 9-1 12-1* 12-1*
Michigan State 9-0 or 8-1 12-1* or 11-2 12-1*
Nebraska 8-1 or 7-2 12-1* or 11-2 11-2
TCU 8-1 11-1* 11-1*
Alabama 7-1 11-1 11-1
East Carolina 8-0 11-1* 11-1*
Duke 7-2 11-2 11-2
Arizona State 8-2 or 7-2 11-2 or 10-2 11-2
Clemson 7-1 or 8-1 10-2 or 11-2* 10-2
Oklahoma 7-2 10-2 10-2
Baylor 7-2 10-2 10-2
Mississippi St 6-2 10-2 10-2
Ohio State 7-1 10-2 10-2
Louisville 6-2 or 5-3 10-2, 9-3, or 8-4 9-3
UCLA 7-3, or 7-2 10-3 or 10-2 10-2
Georgia 6-3 10-3 10-3
Arizona 7-3, 6-3, or 5-4 10-3, 9-3, or 8-4 8-4
Auburn 5-3 9-3 9-3
Kansas State 7-2 or 6-3 9-3 or 8-4 8-4
Notre Dame 9-3 or 8-4 9-3
Utah 5-4 or 4-5 8-4 or 7-5 8-4

*Conference Champions

No undefeated teams? It is more than a possibility.


Playoff Candidates

Team Reason
Ole Miss SEC Champ
Florida St ACC Champ
Oregon Pac-12 Champ
Michigan St Big Ten Champ
TCU Big 12 Champ
East Carolina American Champ
Alabama Only Loss to SEC Champ
Arizona St Pac-12 Runners-Up
Georgia SEC Runners-Up
Nebraska Big 10 Runners-Up
Duke ACC Runners-Up
Mississippi St SEC Bias

Who’s in?

A one-loss SEC champ is in: Ole Miss.

One-loss conference champions from the ACC, Pac-12, Big Ten and Big 12 plus Alabama muddy the waters quite a bit.

Oregon lost to un-ranked Arizona and had a close one against Washington St, but handled #7 Michigan St with relative ease, beat #18 UCLA on the road, and is projected to beat #17 Utah on the road. Three quality wins, no “quality losses,” one “bad loss,” and one close-call.

Michigan St has the afore mentioned loss to the Ducks, beat #19 Nebraska and is projected to beat #16 Ohio St and #15 Nebraska again in the Big Ten Championship. Otherwise, their schedule is somewhat lacking. However, beating a top-25 team twice is nothing to shake a stick at. Three projected quality wins and one “quality loss.” Unfortunately, that loss came to another playoff contender which gives the Ducks the advantage here.

Florida St had close calls against Oklahoma St, NC State, #5 Notre Dame, and #22 Clemson (without their starting QB). Their one loss would be to a #25 Louisville or (a currently un-ranked) Miami (I’m betting Louisville). Two quality wins, one “semi-quality loss,” two close-calls. But being the defending national champs, the human-factor of the committee gives them an edge over Oregon.

TCU is an easy team in this group to put in the playoff. Take away one quarter against Baylor and this team has been outstanding. They upset a top-5 Oklahoma, smashed #15 Oklahoma St, and are projected to beat another top-10 team in K-State as well as #20 West Virginia. Four quality wins and one “quality loss.”  They’re in.

Alabama fans’ haven’t been happy that the Crimson Tide didn’t stomp a couple of their foes, but besides only beating Arkansas by one point and a six-point loss to the likely #1 or #2 seed in the playoff, they have looked good. And with projected wins against #19 LSU, #1 Mississippi St, and #3 Auburn, I don’t see how they don’t get invited. Five quality wins, one “quality loss.” They’re in.

As far as the other teams go, I still don’t see how any of the two-loss teams or ECU have enough going for them to be included over the four teams I’m projecting above. There is just not enough evidence in their favor that they belong in the playoff.

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Plan Accordingly: What to Watch – Week 10

Here’s what you need to watch this weekend. All times AZ. See below for a breakdown of the best games to watch by day and time slot.

Game of the Week

#3 Auburn at #4 Ole Miss Saturday 4:00 PM ESPN

4-Star Games

#2 Florida St at #25 Louisville Thursday 4:30 PM ESPN
#7 TCU at #20 West Virginia Saturday 12:30 PM ABC

3-Star Games

Boston College at Virginia Tech Saturday 9:30 AM ESPN3 (Streaming) / ACCN
Stanford at #5 Oregon Saturday 4:30 PM FOX
Tennessee at South Carolina Saturday 4:30 PM SECN
#12 Arizona at #22 UCLA Saturday 7:30 PM ESPN

2-Star Games

#24 Duke at Pittsburgh Saturday 9:00 AM ESPNU
Virginia at Georgia Tech Saturday 12:30 PM ESPNU
#17 Utah at #14 Arizona St Saturday 8:00 PM FS1

1-Star Games

Wisconsin at Rutgers Saturday 9:00 AM ESPN
Arkansas at #1 Mississippi St Saturday 4:15 PM ESPN2

Best Games to Watch by Day/Time

Thursday

#2 Florida St at #25 Louisville 4:30 PM ESPN

Friday

Cincinnati at Tulane 5:00 PM ESPN2

Saturday Morning

Boston College at Virginia Tech 9:30 AM ESPN3 (Streaming) / ACCN
#24 Duke at Pittsburgh 9:00 AM ESPNU

Saturday Lunchtime

#7 TCU at #20 West Virginia 12:30 PM ABC
Virginia at Georgia Tech 12:30 PM ESPNU

Saturday Afternoon

#3 Auburn at #4 Ole Miss 4:00 PM ESPN
Stanford at #5 Oregon 4:30 PM FOX

Saturday Night

#12 Arizona at #22 UCLA 7:30 PM ESPN
#17 Utah at #14 Arizona St 8:00 PM FS1

Who’s Going to Win – Week 10 Picks

Last week’s results: 41-8 (.837), upset picks: 1-1 (.500)
Overall: 322-117 (.733), upset picks: 15-29 (.341)

Upset Pick of the Week

#25 LOUISVILLE over #2 Florida St

Upset Picks

#4 OLE MISS over #3 Auburn
#22 UCLA over #12 Arizona
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL over Rice
BOSTON COLLEGE over Virginia Tech
NC STATE over Syracuse
GEORGIA ST over Appalachian St
NEW MEXICO ST over Texas St
NEW MEXICO over UNLV
OLD DOMINION over Vanderbilt
TENNESSEE over South Carolina
CAL over Oregon St

Picks in BOLD. Upsets in ITALICS. Non-ranked team upsets are based on betting lines at the time of writing this.

#2 Florida St at #25 LOUISVILLE
Troy at GEORGIA SOUTHERN
CINCINNATI at Tulane
Tulsa at MEMPHIS
Arkansas at #1 MISSISSIPPI ST
#3 Auburn* at #4 OLE MISS
Stanford at #5 OREGON
#7 TCU at #20 West Virginia
Oklahoma St at #9 KANSAS ST
Navy vs #10 NOTRE DAME (in Landover)
Florida vs #11 GEORGIA (in Jacksonville)
#12 Arizona* at #22 UCLA
Kansas at #13 BAYLOR
#17 Utah at #14 ARIZONA ST
Purdue at #15 NEBRASKA
Illinois at #16 OHIO ST
#18 OKLAHOMA at Iowa St
#23 EAST CAROLINA at Temple
#24 DUKE* at Pittsburgh
AIR FORCE at Army
Northwestern at IOWA
Maryland at PENN ST
WISCONSIN at Rutgers
Rice at FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
UCF at UConn
Louisiana-Monroe at TEXAS A&M
North Carolina at MIAMI
BOSTON COLLEGE at Virginia Tech
CENTRAL MICHIGAN at Eastern Michigan
WASHINGTON at Colorado
WESTERN MICHIGAN at Miami (OH)
Western Kentucky at LOUISIANA TECH
NC STATE at Syracuse
Virginia at GEORGIA TECH
BYU at Middle Tennessee
Indiana at MICHIGAN
GEORGIA ST at Appalachian St
Texas St at NEW MEXICO ST
Kentucky at MISSOURI
HOUSTON at South Florida
USC at Washington St
ARKANSAS ST at Idaho
South Alabama at LOUISIANA
NEW MEXICO at UNLV
COLORADO ST at San Jose St
UAB at Florida Atlantic
OLD DOMINION at Vanderbilt
TENNESSEE at South Carolina
Texas at TEXAS TECH
Southern Miss at UTEP
CAL at Oregon St
San Diego St at NEVADA
Wyoming at FRESNO ST
UTAH ST at Hawaii

*Underdog despite higher ranking

Using Advanced Stats to Project the Playoff Top 4

UPDATED 10/29

Using Bill Connelly’s conference win projections at Football Study Hall (Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC), I have projected all of the remaining games for ranked unbeaten, one-loss teams (except for Marshall; if you want to go to the Playoff, all of your non-conference games can’t be against the MAC), and a select group of two-loss teams who are projected to win out. For the ACC teams, Notre Dame and ECU, I did my best to project their remaining games using F/+ ratings.

Scroll all the way to the bottom if you just want to see the top four.

Using the game projections, I found conference and overall win-loss records for the regular season as well as projected conference champions. Finally, using that information, I chose the most likely top-four teams who will be competing in the college football playoff.

Once the final records had been projected, to select the final four teams, I made a few assumptions beforehand. First of all, that undefeated Power 5 conference champions will be invited to the playoff. Secondly, the only possible two-loss teams to be invited would have to be from the SEC West or a conference champion. Third, that there is no way the committee will chose three teams from the same conference (even the SEC). Finally, that if two one-loss conference champions are available, the committee will look at the “quality” of those teams’ wins and loss.

#1 Mississippi St

Current Record: 6-0
Current Conference Record: 3-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Kentucky W 7-0 4-0
Arkansas W 8-0 5-0
@ Alabama L 9-1 5-1
Vanderbilt W 10-1 6-1
@ Ole Miss L 10-2 6-2

#2 Florida St

Current Record: 7-0
Current Conference Record: 4-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Louisville Toss-Up 8-0 or 7-1 5-0 or 4-1
Virginia W 9-0 or 8-1 6-0 or 5-1
@ Miami W 10-0 or 9-1 7-0 or 6-1
Boston College W 11-0 or 10-1 8-0 or 7-1
Florida W 12-0 or 11-1 8-0 or 7-1
ACC Championship W 13-0 or 12-1 9-0 or 8-1

#3 Ole Miss

Current Record: 7-0
Current Conference Record: 4-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ LSU W 8-0 5-0
Auburn W 9-0 6-0
@ Arkansas W 11-0 7-0
Mississippi St W 12-0 8-0
SEC Championship W 13-0 9-0*

*SEC Champs

#4 Alabama

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Tennessee W 7-1 4-1
@ LSU W 8-1 5-1
Mississippi St W 9-1 6-1
Auburn W 11-1 7-1

#5 Auburn

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 2-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
South Carolina W 6-1 3-1
@ Ole Miss L 6-2 3-2
Texas A&M W 7-2 4-2
@ Georgia L 7-3 4-3
@ Alabama L 8-4 4-4

#6 Oregon

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Cal W 7-1 4-1
Stanford W 8-1 5-1
@ Utah W 9-1 6-1
Colorado W 10-1 7-1
@ Oregon St W 11-1 8-1
Pac-12 Championship W 12-1 9-1*

*Pac-12 Champs

#7 Notre Dame

Current Record: 6-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record
@ Navy W 7-1
@ Arizona St L 7-2
Northwestern W 8-2
Louisville W 9-2
@ USC L 9-3

#8 Michigan St

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Michigan W 7-1 4-0
Ohio St L 7-2 4-1
@ Maryland W 8-2 5-1
Rutgers W 9-2 6-1
@ Penn St W 10-2 7-1

#9 Georgia

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Florida W 7-1 5-1
@ Kentucky W 8-1 6-1
Auburn W 9-1 7-1
Georgia Tech W 11-1 7-1
SEC Championship L 11-2 7-2

#10 TCU

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 2-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Texas Tech W 6-1 3-1
@ West Virginia W 7-1 4-1
K-State W 8-1 5-1
@ Kansas W 9-1 6-1
@ Texas W 10-1 7-1
Iowa St W 11-1 8-1*

*Big 12 Champs

#11 Kansas St

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 3-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Texas W 6-1 4-0
Oklahoma St W 7-1 5-0
@ TCU L 7-2 5-1
@ West Virginia L 7-3 5-2
Kansas W 8-3 6-2
@ Baylor L 8-4 6-3

#12 Baylor

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Kansas W 7-1 4-1
@ Oklahoma L 7-2 4-2
Oklahoma St W 8-2 5-2
Texas Tech W 9-2 6-2
K-State W 10-2 7-2

#13 Ohio St

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 2-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Penn St W 6-1 3-0
Illinois W 7-1 4-0
@ Michigan St W 8-1 5-0
@ Minnesota W 9-1 6-0
Indiana W 10-1 7-0
Michigan W 11-1 8-0
Big Ten Championship W 12-1 9-0*

*Big Ten Champs

#14 Arizona St

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 3-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Washington W 6-1 4-1
Utah W 7-1 5-1
Notre Dame W 8-1 5-1
@ Oregon St W 9-1 6-1
Washington St W 10-1 7-1
@ Arizona W 11-1 8-1
Pac-12 Championship L 11-2 8-2

#15 Arizona

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 2-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Washington St W 6-1 3-1
@ UCLA L 6-2 3-2
Colorado W 7-2 4-2
Washington W 8-2 5-2
@ Utah L 8-3 5-3
Arizona St L 8-4 5-4

#16 Nebraska

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 2-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Rutgers W 7-1 3-1
Purdue W 8-1 4-1
@ Wisconsin W 9-1 5-1
Minnesota W 10-1 6-1
@ Iowa W 11-1 7-1
Big Ten Championship L 11-2 7-2

#17 Oklahoma

Current Record: 5-2
Current Conference Record: 2-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Iowa St W 6-2 3-2
Baylor W 7-2 4-2
@ Texas Tech W 8-2 5-2
Kansas W 9-2 6-2
Oklahoma St W 10-2 7-2

#18 East Carolina

Current Record: 6-1
Current Conference Record: 3-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Temple W 7-1 4-0
@ Cincinnati W 8-1 5-0
Tulane W 9-1 6-0
@ Tulsa W 10-1 7-0
UCF W 11-1 8-0*

*American Champs

#19 Utah

Current Record: 5-1
Current Conference Record: 2-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
USC Toss-Up 6-1 or 5-2 3-1 or 2-2
@ Arizona St L 6-2 or 5-3 3-2 or 2-3
Oregon L 6-3 or 5-4 3-3 or 2-4
@ Stanford L 6-4 or 5-5 3-4 or 2-5
Arizona W 7-4 or 6-5 4-4 or 3-5
@ Colorado W 8-4 or 7-5 5-4 or 4-5

#21 Clemson

Current Record: 5-2
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
Syracuse W 6-2 5-1
@ Wake Forest W 7-2 6-1
@ Georgia Tech W 8-2 7-1
Georgia St W 9-2 7-1
South Carolina W 10-2 7-1

#25 UCLA

Current Record: 5-2
Current Conference Record: 2-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
@ Colorado W 6-2 3-2
Arizona W 7-2 4-2
Washington W 8-2 5-2
USC W 9-2 6-2
Stanford W 10-2 7-2

Projected Records

TEAM PROJ CONF REC PROJ FINAL REC
Ole Miss 9-0 13-0*
Florida St 9-0 or 8-1 13-0 or 12-1*
Oregon 9-1 12-1*
Ohio State 9-0 12-1*
TCU 8-1 11-1*
East Carolina 8-0 11-1*
Alabama 7-1 11-1
Arizona State 8-2 11-2
Georgia 7-2 11-2
Nebraska 7-2 11-2
Michigan State 7-1 10-2
Clemson 7-1 10-2
Oklahoma 7-2 10-2
Baylor 7-2 10-2
UCLA 7-2 10-2
Mississippi St 6-2 10-2
Notre Dame 9-3
Kansas State 6-3 8-4
Arizona 5-4 8-4
Auburn 4-4 8-4
Utah 5-4 or 4-5 8-4 or 7-5

*Conference Champions

Now that we have projected the remaining games, I think we can safely put Ole Miss and Florida St into the playoff as undefeated SEC and ACC conference champions, respectively. Also, I think we can safely eliminate teams with two or more losses from consideration.

Since there are no other relevant unbeaten teams, using my rules for playoff eligibility, the following teams make up the possible pool for the two remaining spots.

Team Reason
Florida St ACC Champ
Oregon Pac-12 Champ
Ohio St Big Ten Champ
TCU Big 12 Champ
East Carolina American Champ
Alabama Only Loss to SEC Champ who is already in
Arizona St Pac-12 Runners-Up
Georgia SEC Runners-Up
Nebraska Big 12 Runners-Up

Other than those teams, I think you’d have a hard time making an argument for anyone else (even Mississippi St). With five one-loss teams (of which four are conference champions and the fifth being from the strongest division in the country), I can’t see how a two-loss team gets in.

That leaves us with Florida St, Oregon, Ohio St, TCU, East Carolina, and Alabama. It’s time to look at quality of wins and losses.

Florida’s only potential loss may come at the hands of Louisville on the road. Their wins against Oklahoma St and NC State were suspect and the close win against Clemson came without their Heisman-trophy winning QB. However, I think the human element of the selection committee gets them in based on past credentials. I don’t think the committee will be able to look past the fact that they’re defending champions and may have only lost once in two years.

Oregon’s loss to an un-ranked Arizona and barely squeaking by Washington St make them an unlikely pick out of these five.

Despite hanging half a hundred on four teams in a row, Ohio St‘s loss to Virginia Tech is looking worse and worse every week. And save Michigan St, their schedule is super weak.

TCU makes a good case for being chosen. They have strong wins over Oklahoma and Oklahoma St and their loss came at the hands of a quality Baylor team who they dominated for three of four quarters.

East Carolina. You almost lost to UConn. Sorry, you’re out.

While Alabama hasn’t been who most thought they would be, a huge win over Texas A&M and their only loss being a six-point deficit to arguably the best team in the nation. I think they’re in.

That’s it. There you have your advanced-stats-projected top-four college football playoff teams.

TOP 4

  1. Ole Miss
  2. Florida St
  3. Alabama
  4. TCU

Plan Accordingly: What to Watch – Week 9

Here’s what you need to watch this weekend. All times AZ. See below for a breakdown of the best games to watch by day and time slot.

Games of the Week

4-Star Games

Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh Saturday 12:30 PM ESPNU
#15 Arizona at Washington St Saturday 3:00 PM PAC-12

3-Star Games

BYU at Boise St Friday 6:00 PM ESPN
Maryland at Wisconsin Saturday 9:00 AM BTN
#20 USC at #19 Utah Saturday 7:00 PM FS1

2-Star Games

Miami at Virginia Tech Thursday 5:00 PM ESPN
#3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU Saturday 4:15 PM ESPN

1-Star Games

Texas at #11 Kansas St Saturday 9:00 AM ESPN
Rutgers at #16 Nebraska Saturday 9:00 AM ESPN2
Oregon St at Stanford Saturday 12:30 PM ABC
#4 Alabama at Tennessee Saturday 4:30 PM ESPN2
South Carolina at #5 Auburn Saturday 4:30 PM SECN
#13 Ohio St at Penn St Saturday 5:00 PM ABC

Best Games to Watch by Day/Time

Thursday

Miami at Virginia Tech 5:00 PM ESPN

Friday

BYU at Boise St 6:00 PM ESPN

Saturday Morning

Maryland at Wisconsin 9:00 AM BTN
Texas at #11 Kansas St 9:00 AM ESPN

Saturday Lunchtime

Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh 12:30 PM ESPNU
Oregon St at Stanford 12:30 PM ABC

Saturday Afternoon

#15 Arizona at Washington St 3:00 PM PAC-12
#3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU 4:15 PM ESPN

Saturday Night

#20 USC at #19 Utah 7:00 PM FS1

A Mid-Major Team is Better than Every Ranked One-Loss Team

Applying the college football transitive property, we can see below that none of the remaining one-loss teams belong in the inaugural college football playoff. An average mid-major team is better than all of them*. The updated rankings are below.

Hat tip to my friend Adam for the inspiration for this research.

Bowling Green is better than Alabama and Georgia

1. Bowling Green beat Indiana.
2. Indiana beat Missouri.
3. Missouri beat Florida by 29 but Alabama only beat Florida by 21.

3. Missouri beat South Carolina.
4. South Carolina beat Georgia.

UAB is better than Auburn

UAB only lost to Mississippi St by 13 but Auburn lost to Mississippi St 15.

Central Michigan is better than Notre Dame

Central Michigan beat Purdue by 21 but Notre Dame only beat Purdue by 16.

Nevada is better than Baylor and TCU

1. Nevada beat BYU.
2. BYU beat Texas by 34 but Baylor only beat Texas by 21.
3. Baylor beat TCU.

Louisiana Tech is better than K-State

Louisiana Tech beat UTEP by 52 but K-State only beat UTEP by 30.

Akron is better than Ohio St, Arizona, Oregon, Michigan St, and Nebraska

1. Akron beat Pittsburgh.
2. Pittsburgh beat Virginia Tech.
3. Virginia Tech beat Ohio St.

2. Pittsburgh beat Boston College.
3. Boston College beat USC.
4. USC beat Arizona.
5. Arizona beat Oregon.
6. Oregon beat Michigan St.
7. Michigan St. beat Nebraska.

Updated Rankings

1 Mississippi St
2 Florida St
3 Ole Miss
4 Bowling Green
5 Alabama
6 UAB
7 Auburn
8 Akron
9 Oregon
10 Central Michigan
11 Notre Dame
12 Michigan St
13 Georgia
14 Nevada
15 TCU
16 Louisiana Tech
17 Kansas State
18 Baylor
19 Ohio State
20 Arizona St
21 Arizona
22 Nebraska
23 Oklahoma
24 East Carolina
25 Utah

*This is a joke.

Who’s Going to Win? – Week 9 Picks

Last week’s results: 33-19 (.635), upset picks: 1-6 (.143)
Overall: 281-109 (.721), upset picks: 14-28 (.333)

Upset Pick of the Week

WASHINGTON ST over #15 Arizona

Upset Pick

GEORGIA TECH over Pittsburgh

Picks in BOLD. Upsets in ITALICS. Non-ranked team upsets are based on betting lines at the time of writing this.

ARKANSAS ST at Louisiana
UConn at #18 EAST CAROLINA
MIAMI at Virginia Tech
#6 OREGON at California
South Florida at CINCINNATI
Troy at SOUTH ALABAMA
BYU at BOISE ST
#1 MISSISSIPPI ST at Kentucky
#3 OLE MISS at #24 LSU
#4 ALABAMA at Tennessee
South Carolina at #5 AUBURN
Michigan at #8 MICHIGAN ST
Texas Tech at #10 TCU
Texas at #11 KANSAS ST
#13 OHIO ST at Penn St
#14 ARIZONA ST at Washington
#15 Arizona at WASHINGTON ST
Rutgers at #16 NEBRASKA
#20 USC at #19 UTAH*
Syracuse at #21 CLEMSON
#22 WEST VIRGINIA* at Oklahoma St
Florida Atlantic at #23 MARSHALL
#25 UCLA at Colorado
UAB at ARKANSAS
MEMPHIS at SMU
North Carolina at VIRGINIA
MINNESOTA at Illinois
Maryland at WISCONSIN
North Texas at RICE
NORTHERN ILLINOIS at Eastern Michigan
San Jose St at NAVY
Ohio at WESTERN MICHIGAN
UMass at TOLEDO
AKRON at Ball St
GEORGIA SOUTHERN at Georgia St
Kent St at MIAMI-OHIO
GEORGIA TECH at Pittsburgh
CENTRAL MICHIGAN at Buffalo
Oregon St at STANFORD
LOUISIANA TECH at Southern Miss
BOSTON COLLEGE at Wake Forest
Vanderbilt at MISSOURI
Old Dominion at WESTERN KENTUCKY
UNLV at UTAH ST
Temple at UCF
Wyoming at COLORADO ST
UTEP at UTSA
Texas St at LOUISIANA-MONROE
NEVADA at Hawai’i

*Underdog despite higher ranking