theknightswhosay

Week 5 Top 25 and Commentary

In College Football, Rankings, Rankings Commentary on October 2, 2011 at 10:40 PM

Took me most of the day, but I got it all done finally. I am a little disappointed because I feel like it’s a step back from what I was doing with the subjective rankings (I’ll explain), but it was finally at the point where it was too hard to do a fair subjective ranking anyway. I had the teams arranged in a pretty neat way with the winning teams ahead of the losing teams, but now that’s gotten more complicated. It makes a lot less sense to have Temple between Penn St. and Maryland, for instance, and there is of course the triangle of impossibility with South Florida beating Notre Dame, who beat Pitt, who beat South Florida (handily). Those are just a couple of examples where I thought, “What would I do with this information?”

I don’t see any glaring errors (although I was able to find some), but there usually are some mistakes at this point. Let me know if anything seems ridiculously out of place (like an undefeated team being 80th or a team with one win being 40th or something of that nature). I have one area where I type in the record and another area where wins go in one set of columns and losses go in another, so if that doesn’t match up, it causes really strange results. Sometimes the ratings comparison gives me a heads up when I realize I have the highest or lowest ranking for a given team.

I wish teams with respectable losses were higher (and undefeated teams with bad schedules were lower), but it will come around. Right now in most cases if you have on loss, you’re 25% behind in the winning percentage. Two losses, you’re probably 50% behind or at least 40% behind. When it gets to be more like a 10 or 15% difference with each loss, that will allow some of the good record/poor schedule teams to move down.

These rankings are made with the emphasis on having the top 5 to 10 teams in the right order at the end of the season. I give teams some amount of credit based on winning FCS games, and it depends in part on that team’s record. It doesn’t amount to much at the end of the season, but with 1/3 to 1/5 of opponents being FCS for a lot of teams, it does count for more now, so there can be some weird results because of that. Also, if a team has a bye week and an FCS opponent at this point, that makes it more likely that team has gotten by without playing anyone. So even if it’s a team that will likely finish with 4 or 5 wins, they might look good mathematically right now. So not only do my ratings not predict future events, but future events are needed in order to make my ratings look better.

This also isn’t a good barometer yet for teams that have played and lost tough games. Oregon, for instance, would have been better off beating another FCS team than losing to LSU. The Ducks only have intra-subdivision wins over Nevada and Arizona. The only reason Oregon is as high as they are is because Nevada has had a good schedule. I don’t think Arizona will finish winless against FBS teams, so when they win a game, that will pick the Ducks up a little more, and Nevada’s record should improve at least to the vicinity of .500.

The system’s limitations on giving Oregon its due have also affected LSU. In the by-the-numbers ratings, LSU is 4th because the only win that comes across as being of very high quality is West Virginia. Along with Oregon, Mississippi St. doesn’t count for too much because the Bulldogs have only beaten Memphis and Louisiana Tech (in OT at home, which gives Miss. St. even less credit). But again, if they turn their record around and get some wins of higher quality, this will help out LSU.

I treat #1 as a special case, and as is typical, I leave the team I have at #1 unless there is something at least troubling that happens. An example is the game USC nearly lost at Washington in 2007 (the Trojans won, 27-24, and lost to Stanford the next week). LSU just beat Kentucky 35-7, with the 7 coming as the last score of the game, so nothing troubling there. And as I just explained, I think they’ve beaten quality teams, it just hasn’t come across in the numbers yet. But my ratings site is always going to be the exact numbers the formula gives me.

I’ll at least leave LSU there for a few weeks unless I think the team that rates #1 is either equally deserving or more deserving. If LSU loses, that will also cause me to lean toward the by-the-numbers #1. Not only do the Tigers face Florida next week, but Oregon will play Cal and Arizona St. in the next two weeks. Mississippi St. faces UAB (not a good team, but a needed chance for an FBS win) and South Carolina. Getting into the conference schedule already helps out the stronger conferences in general.

Well, here it is, just keep the things I just said in mind.

Full ratings site
(1-120) {or see the “Ratings Site” tab above}

Top 25:
rank / team / prior
1 LSU 1
2 Michigan 6
3 Clemson 4
4 Alabama 2
5 Illinois 19
6 Texas —
7 Oklahoma 3
8 Boise St. 12
9 Ga. Tech —
10 Wisconsin —
11 S Carolina 5
12 Okie St. 7
13 Nebraska 11
14 Kansas St. 18
15 Stanford —
16 N.Carolina —
17 Auburn —
18 Va. Tech —
19 Houston —
20 Washington 25
21 W Virginia 17
22 S. Florida 9
23 Texas Tech —
24 USC 21
25 Florida 10

Out of rankings: (8) Baylor, (13) TCU, (14) Penn St., (15) Oregon, (16) Temple, (20) Arizona St., (22) Notre Dame, (23) Maryland, (24) U. Miami

Prior rankings:

Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1
Preseason

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