College Football Top 25 Week 5

In College Football, Rankings, Rankings Commentary on September 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

It’s almost October, and that’s when my full computer ratings go online. There are still several teams that have strengths of schedules that are too bad to be rated the normal way, so it’s usually good to wait that additional week.

However, I did run the numbers to give me a rating. The top 25 overlapped a lot more than it usually does. I noticed that with the major polls as well. I guess there just isn’t that much competition among teams that might be vying for a top 25 spot this year. The teams that are playing serious competition and doing well are fairly easy to recognize without delving too deeply.

I decided the best approach would be to make this a transitional week between subjective rankings and strictly going on the computer formula. Sometimes I move one or two teams around on this blog even after I go to the computers, but that’s only to keep the top 5 (and sometimes just the top 1) from being too chaotic. Alabama came out first, so maybe next week will be 100% based on the computers. To be clear, I do not ever alter the order on my computer ratings site.

Washington is one of the best teams in the formula right now. Often, teams like that peak too soon, but they might be awfully close to Alabama if not ahead if the Huskies beat Stanford next week. Likewise, Stanford may have the top rating if they win.

Anyway, my basic approach for this week was to rank the teams the way I’ve been doing and then add that ranking to the (preliminary, unpublished) computer ranking. Lower number = better team. I did make a few adjustments from there. I included one team (Florida) that didn’t make the top 25 after that procedure and excluded one (Missouri) that did; but like I was saying, there really isn’t that much to choose from when rounding out the top 25 anyway.

Florida came out #26 when I added the two numbers together, and Missouri came out #21. I will put Missouri in if they win next week and are in the computer top 25, but I don’t think it’s out of place to be a little bit hesitant there. Vanderbilt probably isn’t too great this season, but at least beating them would show Missouri may be moving up in the SEC East. I’m not convinced of that yet.

You’ll notice Texas A&M is a bit down, but apart from the loss to Alabama (all losses are negative in my system), they haven’t really played anyone. “Johnny Football” dancing around the field just doesn’t impress the mathematics of what that team has done so far. Even if you look at ease of victory (which does not affect them in my ratings), the final scores are really not that great: for instance, the point totals given up to Rice and Sam Houston St. and the fact that Arkansas was in Saturday’s game well into the fourth quarter. Anyway, I put the Aggies higher than they would be if I had just added the two rankings together. The computer formula did not even put them in the top 25. Of course, if they start beating teams like Auburn and Ole Miss (their next two opponents), I would expect them to get a little bit closer to their poll ranking.

There were a few other minor examples, but I don’t think I moved any other teams more than a couple of spots from where the numbers mentioned put them. Ohio St. might be 3 positions higher. I still want to give them some credit for the winning streak, and they will be playing an apparently decent team again next week. I didn’t want to move them down drastically to possibly move them back up anyway.

I expect a similarly reasonable transition between this week and next week. At least I think this one is reasonable. I know we have to wait another year for the top-4 system to be implemented, but I couldn’t help but notice how well what I have so far would fit that. SEC champion + Pac-12 champion + Clemson + Ohio St. It never quite happens the way you think it might two months from the end of the regular season though.

Top 25

rank / team / prior

1 Alabama 1
2 Stanford 4
3 Clemson 6
4 Georgia 7
5 Washington 12
6 Ohio St. 2
7 Oregon 3
8 Oklahoma 11
9 LSU 5
10 Florida St. 13
11 Louisville 8
12 S Carolina 9
13 Texas Tech 21
14 Miami 14
15 Fresno St. 25
16 TX A&M 10
17 UCLA 19
18 Va. Tech —
19 Michigan 16
20 Ole Miss 15
21 Auburn 20
22 Baylor 22
23 N’western 17
24 Florida 23
25 N. Illinois —

Out of rankings: (18) Okie St., (24) Notre Dame

Prior rankings:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

I also wanted to mention this is the first month in a good while, at least during the football season, in which I’ve gotten more views than the same month in the prior year. Thanks for visiting.

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