Week 12 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) and F/+ ratings, I have projected all of the remaining games for remaining relevant teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.

See the first projections for more explanation.

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

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Ohio St.

Below are the projected results of each team’s remaining FBS schedule. Changes in projections are in bold.


#1 Mississippi St

Current Record: 8-0
Current Conference Record: 5-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

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

#2 Oregon

Current Record: 9-1
Current Conference Record: 6-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
13 Colorado W 10-1 7-1
14 @ Oregon St W 11-1 8-1
15 Pac-12 Championship (Arizona St.) W 12-1 9-1*

*Pac-12 Champs


#3 Florida St

Current Record: 9-0
Current Conference Record: 6-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 @ Miami L 9-1 6-1
13 Boston College W 10-1 7-1
14 Florida W 11-1 7-1
15 ACC Championship (Duke) W 12-1 8-1*

*ACC Champs


#4 TCU

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 5-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

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

*Big 12 Co-Champs


#5 Alabama

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 5-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 Mississippi St W 9-1 6-1
14 Auburn W 11-1 7-1
15 SEC Championship (Missouri/Georgia) W 12-1 8-1*

*SEC Champs


#6 Arizona St

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 6-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 @ Oregon St W 9-1 6-1
13 Washington St W 10-1 7-1
14 @ Arizona W 11-1 8-1
15 Pac-12 Championship (Oregon) L 11-2 8-2

#7 Baylor

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 5-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

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

*Big 12 Co-Champs and would be submitted to the Committee as the conference champion representative


#8 Ohio St

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 5-0

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 @ Minnesota W 9-1 6-0
13 Indiana W 10-1 7-0
14 Michigan W 11-1 8-0
15 Big Ten Championship (Wisconsin) W 12-1 9-0*

*Big Ten Champs


#9 Auburn

Current Record: 7-2
Current Conference Record: 4-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 @ Georgia W 8-2 5-2
14 @ Alabama L 9-3 5-3

#10 Ole Miss

Current Record: 7-2
Current Conference Record: 4-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
13 @ Arkansas W 9-2 5-2
14 Mississippi St W 10-2 6-2

#11 UCLA

Current Record: 8-2
Current Conference Record: 5-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
13 USC W 9-2 6-2
14 Stanford W 10-2 7-2

#12 Michigan St

Current Record: 7-2
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 @ Maryland W 8-2 5-1
13 Rutgers W 9-2 6-1
14 @ Penn St W 10-2 7-1

#13 Kansas St

Current Record: 7-2
Current Conference Record: 5-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

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

#14 Arizona

Current Record: 7-2
Current Conference Record: 4-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 Washington W 8-2 5-2
13 @ Utah L 8-3 5-3
14 Arizona St L 8-4 5-4

#15 Georgia

Current Record: 7-2
Current Conference Record: 5-2

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
12 Auburn L 7-3 5-3
14 Georgia Tech W 9-3 5-3

#16 Nebraska

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

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

#21 Duke

Current Record: 8-1
Current Conference Record: 4-1

Remaining FBS Schedule

Week Opponent W/L Overall Record Conference Record
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

Toss-Up Predictions

Kansas St.: West Virginia is tough at home. I’m picking the Mountaineers and K-State to finish 8-4

Nebraska: I’m giving the Badgers the home-field advantage (especially with Ameer Abdullah probably not at full strength). Huskers finish 10-2.


Projected Records

TEAM PROJ CONF REC PROJ FINAL REC W/ TOSS-UP PREDICTIONS
Ohio St. 9-0* 12-1* 12-1*
Oregon 9-1* 12-1* 12-1*
Florida St. 8-1* 12-1* 12-1*
Alabama 8-1* 12-1* 12-1*
TCU 8-1** 11-1** 11-1**
Baylor 8-1*** 11-1*** 11-1***
Arizona St. 8-2 11-2 11-2
Duke 7-2 11-2 11-2
Nebraska 6-2 or 7-1 10-2 or 11-2 10-2
Michigan St. 7-1 10-2 10-2
Ole Miss 6-2 10-2 10-2
Mississippi St. 6-2 10-2 10-2
UCLA 7-2 10-2 10-2
Auburn 5-3 9-3 9-3
Georgia 5-3 9-3 9-3
Kansas St. 6-3 or 7-2 8-4 or 9-3 8-4
Arizona 5-4 8-4 8-4

*Conference Champions
**Conference Co-Champions
***Conference Co-Champions and submitted to Committee as Conference Champs


Playoff Candidates

Team Reason
Ohio St. Big Ten Champ
Oregon Pac-12 Champ
Florida St. ACC Champ
Alabama SEC Champ
TCU Big 12 Co-Champ
Arizona St Pac-12 Runners-Up
Nebraska Big Ten Runners-Up
Duke ACC Runners-Up
Ole Miss/Mississippi St. SEC Bias
Baylor Big 12 Co-Champ

Who’s in?

Based on how things have played out in the last three weeks’ worth of rankings, two-loss teams are a non-factor. This eliminates Arizona St., Nebraska, Duke, Ole Miss, and Mississippi St. We’re left with six one-loss teams, all of whom are conference champions or co-champions.

We can easily put one team in. A one-loss SEC champ is in: Alabama.

Five teams left for three spots. Using the current rankings, let’s look at quality wins and each team’s loss.

With WVU and OU dropping out of the rankings Oregon has the best resume regarding top-25 wins with #12 Michigan St., #11 UCLA, #23 Utah, and #6 Arizona St. Baylor has the worst list of quality wins with only TCU still being ranked. If you include Oklahoma and West Virginia as quality wins, then TCU also would have four with #25 Minnesota, #13 Kansas St., Oklahoma, and West Virginia. Advantage: Oregon, Ohio St., TCU.

When looking at quality of losses, TCU has the “best” loss coming at the hands of #7 Baylor. Ohio St.’s loss to Virginia Tech is the worst. The other three teams are pretty even in their losses to pretty good, but not great teams. Advantage: TCU, Oregon, Florida St./Baylor tie.

I don’t know if the committee will factor in ugly wins/near misses as a good or bad thing. Either way, Florida St. has a bunch of them: Oklahoma St., #19 Clemson*, NC State, #18 Notre Dame, and Louisville. The best ugly win is Baylor over TCU. TCU’s win over WVU on the road isn’t too bad either. Oregon and Ohio St.’s near losses to Wazzu and Penn St., respectively, don’t look that great. Advantage: Baylor, TCU, Ohio St.

Just looking at who’s playing the best football right now, I give the advantage to everybody except Florida St.

Conclusion: If Oregon keeps being Oregon, TCU doesn’t slip up against their weak remaining schedule, and Ohio St. can beat the two ranked opponents remaining on their schedule, those three are in.

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