theknightswhosay

My Top 25 Week 12

In College Football, Rankings, Rankings Commentary on November 17, 2013 at 2:01 PM
New look to the top 4, but Auburn and Baylor won't have it easy in the coming weeks.

New look to the top 4, but Auburn and Baylor won’t have it easy in the coming weeks.

It was a strange week on the field, so I guess it makes sense that it’s a strange week in my ratings. I don’t usually mention the full ratings except as an afterthought, but go here for the exact ratings of all the FBS teams. I also have strengths of schedule and Conferences and Divisions “standings” that may help explain the order of some of these.

Only one team in my new top 25 (Stanford) lost, and they only fell 5 spots. Only two teams that I were in the top 25 previously and are no longer there won, and two of the previously-ranked (Northwestern and Michigan) were playing one another. So the dividing lines were fairly logical. The other team was Boise St., which I ranked in the preseason; but the Broncos have not appeared in the mathematical top 25 at all.

Stanford, a one-loss team, fell out of my top four; but they were replaced by another, Auburn. This isn’t really a problem since someone will lose the Iron Bowl (neither team will accumulate much credit next week since Alabama plays an FCS opponent and Auburn is idle), but I can imagine there are some Ohio St. proponents who might not be happy with that particular undefeated team being 5th.

If you look at the best wins, it makes sense why Baylor is ahead. The Bears have beaten (currently) #18 Oklahoma, #45 Buffalo, and #46 Texas Tech. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, have beaten #21 Wisconsin, #51 Iowa, and #54 Penn St. If you get much lower than that, we’re not talking about teams that should present a serious threat to a top-5 team anyway.

To be fair, sometimes there is just an unlucky team like #78 Northwestern who can seemingly play any number of teams close but just can’t seem to beat them. As their rating shows, that doesn’t translate into a lot of credit since my whole system is based on wins and losses. But the only reason I’m talking about Ohio St. is because they haven’t lost, so they’re benefitting from the same outlook.

If both Baylor and Ohio St. win this weekend, the Bears’ lead will increase even more since Oklahoma St. is worth significantly more than Indiana is. I think Baylor would pass up Auburn, but I can’t be sure if Ohio St. would. Ohio St.’s high-value games would come against Michigan and Michigan St. (who apparently will win the other Big Ten division). Baylor finishes its season against two currently unranked teams, although a fair number of points would be available as a result of beating Texas.

Also, Ohio St. is still 4 spots ahead of Fresno St. and 7 spots ahead of Northern Illinois, so it’s not like my ratings are suggesting the Buckeyes’ schedule couldn’t be worse. But it does so happen that for a major team in a major conference, it’s not a very good schedule at all to this point. I have the Buckeyes’ schedule 92nd. It’s third-worst in the Big Ten (ahead of Michigan St. and Wisconsin); and among comparable conferences, the only team lower than Ohio St. is Oklahoma St., which finishes the season against Baylor and Oklahoma. There are some AAC teams lower than Ohio St., but I don’t consider that on the same level as the “Big Five” conferences.

I also wouldn’t rule out Missouri moving up. I don’t anticipate the Tigers winning the next two games (which they must to assure their spot in the SEC championship in the first place), not to mention beating the winner of the Iron Bowl, but stranger things have happened this season.

Even though I wasn’t cheering for USC, it was nice to have some validation for my ranking of the Trojans in the preseason. Ole Miss, another preseason pick, also joined the top 25 for the first time since I went to the computer rankings. Along with USC, another team coached by a former Ole Miss head coach, Duke, joined the top 25. I’ve ranked Duke before, but I don’t believe I’ve ever done so this late in the season. Louisville also re-joined the top 25 after its win over Houston.

Top 25

rank / team / prior

1 Florida St. 1
2 Alabama 2
3 Auburn 5
4 Baylor 7
5 Ohio St. 4
6 Missouri 6
7 Clemson 9
8 Stanford 3
9 Fresno St. 8
10 Oregon 10
11 Arizona St. 11
12 N. Illinois 15
13 Mich. St. 16
14 S Carolina 13
15 UCF 14
16 Okie St. 18
17 TX A&M 12
18 Oklahoma 17
19 UCLA 25
20 Louisville —
21 Wisconsin 22
22 Duke —
23 Minnesota 19
24 USC —
25 Ole Miss —

Out of rankings: (20 U. Miami, (21) Va. Tech, (23) Ball St., (24) Texas

All 126 teams

Prior rankings:
Preseason
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11

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