College Football Playoff Ranking Using Advanced Stats – Week 10

Better late than never.

The games have already been played, but I think this information makes what happened this weekend make a little more sense.

I took the same ranking systems I use to rate the games every week and applied the College Football Playoff committee’s voting process to find out what the top-25 would look like.

I did apply some human intervention to the rankings. For example, the committee the last two years did not put a two-loss team higher than 17 in the initial rankings. So I did not make two-loss teams eligible for ranking until the top-13 had already been ranked. I also did not use any teams with three or more losses. (Computers see things we don’t, but it’s important to not just look at who SHOULD win, but who is actually getting it done.) USC, for example, was ranked highly by all of the advanced stats rankings, but with three losses out of eight games, it’s just not logical to put them in the top-25 right now.

TOP FOUR

RK TEAM REC CFP Com. RK
#1 Clemson 7-0 #1
#2 Alabama 7-1 #4
#3 Ohio St. 8-0 #3
#4 Baylor 6-0 #6

LOOKING IN

#5 LSU 7-0 #2
#6 TCU 7-0 #8

THE REST

#7 Notre Dame 7-1 #5
#8 Oklahoma 7-1 #15
#9 Stanford 7-1 #11
#10 Florida 7-1 #10
#11 Michigan St. 8-0 #7
#12 Florida St. 7-1 #16
#13 Utah 7-1 #12
#14 Iowa 7-0 #9
#15 Michigan 6-2 #17
#16 Mississippi St. 5-2 #20
#17 Ole Miss 6-2 #18
#18 Oklahoma St. 7-0 #14
#19 UCLA 6-2 #23
#20 Texas A&M 6-2 #19
#21 Memphis 7-0 #13
#22 North Carolina 5-1 N/A
#23 Houston 7-0 #25
#24 Wisconsin 7-2 N/A
#25 Duke 5-2 N/A

Observations:

  • The numbers like Alabama a lot. And after Saturday night, it looks like they’re right.
  • The numbers do not like six undefeated teams. Michigan St. and Iowa are not getting a lot of love, nor is Oklahoma St. (!). The numbers especially don’t like the Group of 5 undefeateds: #21 Memphis, #23 Houston, and un-ranked Toledo (!).

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

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