rank / team / prior
1 Notre Dame 2
2 Alabama 1
3 Ohio St. 5
4 Kansas St. 4
5 Oregon 6
6 Florida 3
7 Louisville 12
8 LSU 8
9 Oregon St. 7
10 Georgia 21
11 S Carolina 15
12 Florida St. 16
13 Stanford 18
14 Toledo 13
15 TX Tech 9
16 Clemson 22
17 Boise St. 17
18 Nebraska —
19 N’western —
20 Miss. St. 11
21 Rutgers 10
22 Texas 20
23 TX A&M 25
24 Oklahoma 14
25 Tulsa —
Out of rankings: (20) W Virginia, (24) USC, (25) Wisconsin
I’m going to write separately about LSU-Alabama. For now, I’ll just mention that while I expect LSU won’t win, I had the same feeling the last time a coach I particularly dislike as a person brought a top-5 team to Baton Rouge. LSU may also have benefited from that experience. I certainly hope the Tigers are at a higher level than Mississippi St. is, and that was probably the best team Alabama has played by far. I believe that South Carolina and Florida are both better teams (or at least South Carolina was).
Top 25 comments
As I indicated last week, I have put aside my cynicism about Notre Dame for the purposes of this top 25 listing. From now on, I expect to just paste the top 25 that my computer formula comes up with. This is not about any deficiency of Alabama, who I believe has a shot at becoming #1 again in the next couple of weeks (the Tide faces LSU and Texas A&M), regardless of what Notre Dame does against Pitt and Boston College.
For the most-part, the undefeated teams are ahead of the one-loss teams. Florida is a notable exception. Why are they higher here than in the major polls? LSU and Florida have each beaten Texas A&M and South Carolina. But while the loss to Georgia loses Florida more points than LSU’s loss to Florida loses them, LSU still has to accumulate good enough wins to overcome the points that Florida got for beating LSU. The Tigers have not done so. I think LSU being ahead in the polls is merely a result of when the respective losses happened. If Florida had lost to Georgia before beating LSU and South Carolina, and LSU had beaten South Carolina before losing to Florida, I think you would see the poll rankings more in line with how many rankings are.
Except for a brief mention below, I’m going to talk about Louisville moving ahead of LSU in a comment to my main blog. It would have taken up too much space otherwise.
Ohio St. curiously moved ahead of Kansas St. even though Texas Tech is a better win than Penn St. is. So that was a result of past opponents for the respective teams. Oklahoma counts for much less of a win after losing to Notre Dame than it did before that. Not only was that a negative for Kansas St., but there were also some positives for Ohio St. with how past opponents such as Nebraska, Michigan St., and Miami U. (which beat a previously undefeated Ohio U.) fared on Saturday.
Oregon was close enough to Florida to move ahead, and I think the Gators’ drop was reasonable. There was a big gap between #7 and #8 last week and it showed when neither Florida nor Oregon St. fell out of the top 10.
I would note that in my old ratings, Louisville wouldn’t even be close to LSU, but the idea of this rating is to put the top two teams at the top. More often than not, an undefeated team deserves consideration ahead of a team with a loss. And we’re not talking one loss at the end of the season (in which case a few SEC teams with losses could be ahead of Louisville), we’re talking about one loss if the season were merely (for most teams) the 8 playing weeks that have gone by so far.
Georgia’s jump forward had some similarities to Louisville’s. It wasn’t just the value of the win (which for Georgia was much greater), it was also the improvement of Georgia’s strength of schedule as a result of the game.
Texas Tech slipped 6 spots for losing to Kansas St. but has a chance to move ahead of some teams next week, as Nos. 11, 12, and 14 all have byes, and #13 Stanford plays Colorado.
Clemson is up 6 spots, mostly as a result of other teams’ losses, and also because this was a part of the rankings where teams were statistically very close together. This is also why Oklahoma fell so far.
Nebraska and Northwestern benefited from other teams similarly to the way Clemson did, although they picked up quality wins also.
Texas and Texas A&M, like Boise St., just hardly got any points for their wins on Saturday. Too bad they won’t be playing each other this year, that could have been a good one.
Admittedly, the best team Tulsa has beaten has been Fresno St. (barely in the top 50), but if you win 7 games in a row, you have a shot to sneak into this top 25, especially if the one loss (Iowa St.) is near the top 25 (#34). Maybe one could argue Tulsa should be behind Iowa St. because of the loss to them, but I don’t want to punish so much for a loss to Iowa St. that it counts as worse than Iowa St.’s three losses. After all, one of Iowa St.’s losses is to Oklahoma St., which is about their equal.