Monthly Archives: November 2015

Who’s Really In? – College Football Playoff Rankings that Matter

Now that we have clarity on conference champions/championships, I’m going to apply some logic to the Playoff rankings from last week. The rankings will have some movement tomorrow, but we can take a look today at a set of rankings that actually means something.

The Committee has, in so many words, said that conference championships are one of the most important factors in deciding who’s in the Playoff. Therefore, it’s my belief that you must either win your conference, get second place, or that your only conference loss must be to the conference champion (better explanation here).

Here’s who is I believe should be eligible for the playoff and why.

  1. Clemson – Undefeated/possible ACC champion
  2. Alabama – Possible SEC champion
  3. Oklahoma – Big 12 Champion
  4. Iowa – Undefeated/possible Big Ten champion
  5. Michigan St. – Possible Big Ten champion
  6. Notre Dame – Because Notre Dame. And their two losses are to possible conference champions.
  7. Ohio St. – Their only conference loss was to Michigan St. (their division’s conference championship game representative)
  8. Stanford – Possible Pac-12 champion
  9. Florida – Possible SEC champion
  10. North Carolina – Possible ACC champion
  11. Navy – Only conference loss was to Houston (their division’s CCG representative)
  12. Temple – Possible AAC champion

No other teams matter. Obviously a four-loss USC or a runner-up in a G5 conference is not going to be in the Playoff. This is simply a list of those who were ranked and should be eligible for the final four.

My prediction: Clemson, Bama, OU, Michigan St.

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Plan Accordingly: Week 13 College Football Viewing Guide

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the highest projected “watchability.” All times AZ.

Thursday

Texas Tech at Texas 5:30 PM FS1
South Florida at UCF – Blowout Bowl 5:30 PM ESPN

Friday Morning

#15 Navy at Houston – G5 Game of the Week 10:00 AM ABC
Marshall at Western Kentucky 10:00 AM FS1
Miami at Pittsburgh 10:00 AM ESPN2

Friday Midday

#20 Washington St. at Washington – Upset Special 1:30 PM FOX
#4 Iowa at Nebraska 1:30 PM ABC
Missouri at Arkansas 12:30 PM CBS

Friday Evening

#7 Baylor at #19 TCU 5:30 PM ESPN
Tulsa at Tulane 6:00 PM ESPNU

Saturday Morning

#8 Ohio St. at #10 Michigan – Upset Special 10:00 AM ABC
Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech 10:00 AM FSN+
Cincinnati at East Carolina – OT Bowl 10:00 AM CBSSN

Saturday Midday

#22 UCLA at USC – Upset Special 1:30 PM ABC
#14 North Carolina at NC State 1:30 PM ESPN2
BYU at Utah St. 1:30 PM CBSSN

Saturday Evening

#6 Notre Dame at #9 Stanford – Game of the Week / OT Bowl / Upset Special 5:30 PM FOX
#13 Florida St. at #12 Florida – Upset Special 5:30 PM ESPN
#18 Ole Miss at #21 Mississippi St. 5:15 PM ESPN2

Saturday Night

Arizona St. at Cal 8:00 PM FS1
Nevada at San Diego St. 8:45 PM ESPN2
Air Force at New Mexico 8:15 PM ESPNU

Plan Accordingly: Top Games – Week 13

UPDATE: Ranking system tweaked. Changes below.

Games are ranked like recruits: 5 stars, 4 stars, and 3 stars. Just like in recruiting, 2-star and 1-star games won’t be given much attention.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, and ESPN’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 11-10 .524 1-2 .333
Overall 91-60 .603 13-15 .464

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ.

GAME OF THE WEEK

GAME DAY TIME TV PICK
#8 Ohio St. at #10 Michigan Sat. 10:00 AM ABC MICH
#6 Notre Dame at #9 Stanford Sat. 5:30 PM FOX STAN

4-Star Games

GAME DAY TIME TV PICK
#6 Notre Dame at #9 Stanford Sat. 5:30 PM FOX STAN
#8 Ohio St. at #10 Michigan Sat. 10:00 AM ABC MICH
#13 Florida St. at #12 Florida Sat. 5:30 PM ESPN UF
#7 Baylor at #19 TCU Fri. 5:30 PM ESPM TCU
#13 Florida St. at #12 Florida Sat. 5:30 PM ESPN UF
#18 Ole Miss at #21 Mississippi St. Sat. 5:15 PM ESPN2 MISS
#22 UCLA at USC Sat. 1:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 USC
Texas A&M at LSU Sat. 5:30 PM SECN LSU

3-Star Games

GAME DAY TIME TV PICK
#3 Oklahoma at #11 Oklahoma St. Sat. 6:00 PM ABC OU
Texas A&M at LSU Sat. 5:30 PM SECN LSU
#4 Iowa at Nebraska Fri. 1:30 PM ABC IOWA
#20 Washington St. at Washington Fri. 1:30 PM FOX UW
#4 Iowa at Nebraska Fri. 1:30 PM ABC IOWA
Arizona St. at Cal Sat. 8:00 PM FS1 CAL
#15 Navy at Houston Fri. 10:00 AM ABC NAVY
Arizona St. at Cal Sat. 8:00 PM FS1 CAL
#14 North Carolina at NC State Sat. 1:30 PM ABC/ESPN2 UNC
BYU at Utah St. Sat. 1:30 PM CBSSN BYU
Miami at Pittsburgh Fri. 10:00 AM ESPN2 PITT
Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech Sat. 10:00 AM FSN+ LT
Marshall at Western Kentucky Fri. 10:00 AM FS1 WKU
Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech Sat. 10:00 AM FSN+ LT
Miami at Pittsburgh Fri. 10:00 AM ESPN2 PITT
Penn St. at #5 Michigan St. Sat. 1:30 PM ESPN MSU
Cincinnati at East Carolina Sat. 10:00 AM CBSSN CIN
Illinois vs. #16 Northwestern (in Chicago) Sat. 1:30 PM ESPNU NW
Wisconsin at Minnesota Sat. 1:30 PM BTN WIS
Illinois vs. #16 Northwestern (in Chicago) Sat. 1:30 PM ESPNU NW
Georgia at Georgia Tech Sat. 10:00 PM ESPN2 UGA
Missouri at Arkansas Fri. 12:30 PM CBS ARK
Western Michigan at #24 Toledo Fri. 10:00 AM CBSSN TOLEDO

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking

College Football Week 12 Superlatives

Here are some of the projected best and worst of the upcoming slate of games.

Games of the Week

Power 5 #15 LSU at #22 Ole Miss
Group of 5 Toledo at Bowling Green

Upset Specials

Games with a ranked team most likely to be upset
#24 USC at #23 Oregon
#20 Northwestern at #25 Wisconsin
#10 Baylor at #6 Oklahoma St.
#15 LSU at #22 Ole Miss
#21 Memphis at Temple

Best Games Featuring Two Un-Ranked Teams

Power 5 Group of 5
Mississippi St. at Arkansas Toledo at Bowling Green
Louisville at Pitt Cincinnati at South Florida
Illinois at Minnesota Western Michigan at Northern Illinois
Georgia Tech at Miami Air Force at Boise St.
Georgia Southern at Georgia
Iowa St. at K-State

Overtime Bowls

Most likely to go into overtime / Best Match-Up
Power 5 Mississippi St. at Arkansas
Group of 5 Buffalo at Akron

Blowout Bowls

Most likely to have a huge margin of victory / Worst Match-Up
Power 5 #1 Clemson over Wake Forest
Group of 5 Louisiana Tech over UTEP

Toilet Bowls

Worst combined ratings of the two teams
Power 5 West Virginia at Kansas
Group of 5 Louisiana-Monroe at Texas St.

College Football Playoff Ranking Using Advanced Stats – Week 12

This is what the College Football Playoff rankings would look like if the committee was comprised of the advanced stat ratings by Bill Connelly, Brian Fremeau, and ESPN. I applied the Committee’s voting process with a small amount of human intervention:

  • Two-loss teams were not included in any listing steps until the top-9 had been ranked.
  • Three-loss teams were not included in any listing steps until all undefeated, one-loss, and two-loss teams from the original consideration list had been exhausted.

TOP FOUR

RK TEAM REC CHG CFP RK
#1 Clemson 10-0 #1
#2 Alabama 9-1 #2
#3 Oklahoma 9-1 #7
#4 Ohio St. 10-0 #3

LOOKING IN

#5 Notre Dame 9-1 #4
#6 Baylor 8-1 #10

THE REST

#7 Florida 9-1 +4 #8
#8 Navy 8-1 +5 #16
#9 Oklahoma St. 10-0 +1 #6
#10 Stanford 8-2 -2 #11
#11 Michigan 8-2 +3 #12
#12 LSU 7-2 -5 #15
#13 Michigan St. 9-1 -1 #9
#14 North Carolina 9-1 +6 #17
#15 TCU 9-1 -6 #18
#16 Florida St. 8-2 #14
#17 Utah 8-2 #13
#18 Mississippi St. 7-3 -3 N/A
#19 Iowa 10-0 -1 #5
#20 UCLA 7-3 -1 N/A
#21 Bowling Green 8-2 UR N/A
#22 Wisconsin 8-2 +2 #25
#23 Houston 10-0 #19
#24 USC 7-3 +1 #24
#25 Ole Miss 7-3 -4 #22

Here’s what the rankings would look like if I applied the process straight-up without regard to the record of any of the teams.

#1 Alabama 9-1
#2 Clemson 10-0
#3 Oklahoma 9-1
#4 Ohio St. 10-0
#5 Notre Dame 9-1
#6 Baylor 8-1
#7 USC 7-3
#8 Stanford 8-2
#9 Ole Miss 7-3
#10 Michigan 8-2
#11 Florida 9-1
#12 LSU 7-2
#13 Navy 8-1
#14 Oklahoma St. 10-0
#15 Tennessee 6-4
#16 Florida St. 8-2
#17 North Carolina 9-1
#18 Mississippi St. 7-3
#19 UCLA 7-3
#20 Michigan St. 9-1
#21 TCU 9-1
#22 Arkansas 6-4
#23 Utah 8-2
#24 West Virginia 5-4
#25 Iowa 10-0

Plan Accordingly: Week 12 College Football Viewing Guide

UPDATE: CFP rankings added

The top three games during each time slot are listed below starting with the highest projected “watchability.” All times AZ.

Tuesday

Toledo at Bowling Green – Group of 5 Game of the Week 4:00 PM ESPN2
Ball St. at Ohio 5:00 PM ESPNU

Wednesday

Western Michigan at Northern Illinois 6:00 PM ESPN2
Central Michigan at Kent St. 6:00 PM ESPNU

Thursday

Louisiana-Monroe at Texas St. – Toilet Bowl 5:30 PM ESPNU
East Carolina at UCF 5:30 PM ESPN

Friday

Cincinnati at South Florida 6:00 PM CBSSN
Air Force at Boise St. 7:30 PM ESPN2

Saturday Morning

#21 Memphis at Temple – Upset Special 10:00 AM ESPNU
Illinois at Minnesota 10:00 AM ESPNEWS
Georgia Tech at Miami 10:30 AM ESPN3 (streaming)

Saturday Midday

#15 LSU at #22 Ole Miss – Game of the Week / Upset Special 1:30 PM CBS
UCLA at #13 Utah 1:30 PM FOX
#9 Michigan St. at #3 Ohio St. 1:30 PM ABC

Saturday Evening

Mississippi St. at Arkansas – Overtime Bowl 5:00 PM ESPN
#10 Baylor at #6 Oklahoma St. – Upset Special 5:30 PM FOX
#18 TCU at #7 Oklahoma 6:00 PM ABC

Saturday Night

Cal at #11 Stanford 8:30 PM ESPN
Colorado at Washington St. 8:45 PM ESPN2
San Diego St. at UNLV 8:30 PM CBSSN

Plan Accordingly: Top Games – Week 12

UPDATE: CFP rankings added

Games are ranked like recruits: 5 stars, 4 stars, and 3 stars. Just like in recruiting, 2-star and 1-star games won’t be given much attention.

Games are ranked using a super-scientific system comparing the overall quality of the two teams and the closeness of the match-up. The quality of each team is found using Brian Fremeau’s, Bill Connelly’s, and ESPN’s advanced stats ranking systems.

PICK RESULTS

All Games Pct. Upset Picks Pct.
Last Week 8-7 .533 3-0 1.000
Overall 80-50 .615 12-13 .480

Without further ado: the games. All times AZ.

GAME OF THE WEEK

GAME DAY TIME TV PICK
#15 LSU at #22 Ole Miss Sat. 1:30 PM CBS MISS**

4-Star Games

GAME DAY TIME TV PICK
Mississippi St. at Arkansas Sat. 5:00 PM ESPN ARK
#10 Baylor at #6 Oklahoma St. Sat. 5:30 PM FOX BAY*
#18 TCU at #7 Oklahoma Sat. 6:00 PM ABC OU
UCLA at #13 Utah Sat. 1:30 PM FOX UTAH

3-Star Games

GAME DAY TIME TV PICK
#9 Michigan St. at #3 Ohio St. Sat. 1:30 PM ABC OSU
Toledo at Bowling Green Tue. 4:00 PM ESPN2 BGSU
#24 USC at #23 Oregon Sat. 1:30 PM ESPN USC*
Cal at #11 Stanford Sat. 8:30 PM ESPN STAN
Louisville at Pittsburgh Sat. 1:45 PM ESPNEWS PITT
#21 Memphis at Temple Sat. 10:00 AM ESPNU MEM
Cincinnati at South Florida Fri. 6:00 PM CBSSN CIN
Western Michigan at Northern Illinois Wed. 6:00 PM ESPN2 NIU
#20 Northwestern at #25 Wisconsin Sat. 1:30 PM BTN WIS**
Illinois at Minnesota Sat. 10:00 AM ESPNEWS MICH
#12 Michigan at Penn St. Sat. 10:00 AM ABC MICH
#17 North Carolina at Virginia Tech Sat. 10:00 AM ESPN UNC
Georgia Tech at Miami Sat. 10:30 AM ESPN3 (streaming) GT*
Georgia Southern at Georgia Sat. 5:00 PM ESPNU UGA
Air Force at Boise St. Fri. 7:30 PM ESPN2 BOISE
Iowa St. at K-State Sat. 10:00 AM FS1 KSU

*Upset picks
**Vegas favorite despite lower ranking
***Vegas underdog despite higher ranking