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Final Rankings Thoughts

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Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby MikeTheTiger » January 7th, 2019, 10:26 pm

These kinds of discussions don’t tend to generate much response these days, but I thought I’d go ahead and take a crack at it anyway. Here is how I grouped the teams for the purposes of comparison:

Top 5 = CFP semifinalists plus Ohio St.
Top 20 = Remaining major teams with four or fewer losses (except NC St) plus UCF
Top 30 = Add 5-loss major teams (except BC) plus Fresno St, Boise St, Utah St and Army
Top 50 = Major conference bowl teams plus minor teams in Top 30 plus Appalachian St and Cincinnati

Why is NC St not in the Top “20” or “30” and why is BC not in the Top “30”? Every Top “20” except UCF has a win over a Top “30” and Army and Utah St are the only Top “30” teams added that don’t have a Top “30” win. NC St and BC have no such wins. None of the Top “30” have more than 2 losses outside the Top “30”. BC has 3. NC St also has only 2 wins over the Top “50”. All of the Top “20” except UCF have 3 or more. UCF stays in the Top “20” because they have no losses outside the Top “20”. NC St has no wins over the Top “30” and a loss outside the Top “30”. Utah St and Army are the only Top “30” teams with that combination. That would argue more with excluding those teams from the Top “30” as well rather than including NC St. I kept them there because I suspect the polls will have them in the Top 25.

I think almost everyone would agree that the winner tonight is #1 and the deserving national champions. The only question about #2 would be if Ohio St might sneak in front of Clemson should they lose. Ohio St’s 49-20 loss to Purdue should be enough to end that debate, but Clemson’s wins hold up against Ohio St as well. Their win over ND trumps Ohio St’s win over Michigan and both teams have 3 wins over the Top “20” as defined above. Ohio St does add a win over Northwestern, but Clemson has 10 wins over the Top “50” to only 7 for Ohio St.

I know it will be trendy to try to knock ND out of the Top 5 based upon the bad bowl performance, but their overall resume still holds up well. Their two wins over the Top “20” is as good as anyone but Bama, Clemson and Ohio St. Only Alabama has more than the 4 wins over the Top “30” that ND has and only Clemson has more wins over the Top “50” (no one else matches ND either). As bad as their loss to Clemson looked, it was to a top two team. Everyone behind them has losses just as bad or they have multiple losses to worse teams. What about Oklahoma with two losses? Is there room for a three loss team ahead of them? Like ND, their win totals match the teams behind them while they have fewer losses overall.

So how do Ohio St, ND and Oklahoma stack up? Ohio St lost by 29 to Purdue. ND lost by 27 to Clemson. OU doesn’t have a blowout loss, but they have two losses. Do you penalize them relative to OSU for losing by 11 to Bama? OSU has 3 wins over the Top “20” compared to 2 for the other two, but they also have the loss outside the Top “30” while neither of the other two have losses outside the Top “20”. They each have 4 wins over the Top “30”, while ND has one more Top “50” win with 8 compared with 7 for the other two. OSU’s extra win over the Top “20” comes from getting to face Washington in the Rose Bowl rather than being in the CFP. Their resume was the worst of the three before the bowls (which is why they were left out). Should they jump the other two now with the results of the bowls? It looks like the GASF Ratings are going to have ND #3, Ohio St #4 and Oklahoma #5.

Okay, so who comes next? UCF has only one loss, but no wins over the Top “30”. WSU has only two losses, but no wins over the Top “20”. LSU, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Texas and Texas A&M have two wins over the Top “20”. Michigan and Syracuse have only one win over the Top “20”, but both have only one loss outside the Top “5”. LSU and Georgia have 4 wins over the Top “30” and no losses outside the Top “20”. Kentucky and WSU have 4 wins over the Top “30” and one loss outside the Top “20” (and Top “30”). Washington has 4 wins over the Top “30”, but 3 losses outside the Top “20” (including one outside the Top “30”). Florida has 3 wins over the Top “30” and one loss outside the Top “20”. Texas has 3 wins over the Top “30”, but two losses outside the Top “30”. The SEC teams in the group are 3-1 non-conference against the group. Syracuse is 1-0 for the ACC. The Big 12 is 1-1. The Big Ten is 0-2. The Pac-12 teams in the group didn’t play anyone in the group non-conference, but are 1-1 against the Top “30”. The SEC’s Top “30” teams are 1-1 non-conference against this group.

With the most wins as a group non-conference, the SEC teams should be at the front of the field. The CFP committee put Florida ahead of LSU on the basis of their head-to-head result, but it’s hard to ignore the Georgia results now that all three have 3 losses. LSU and Georgia lost to Bama and a four-loss team in the Top “20” group. Florida lost to 3-loss Kentucky and 5-loss Missouri. Each had one other Top “20” win, but LSU and Georgia had two other Top “30” wins to only one for Florida. Each beat a mediocre ACC team. Overall, LSU and Georgia have stronger resumes than Florida with very little to separate the two of them. LSU’s 20-point head-to-head victory and +12 margin in the head-to-heads for the three compared to -1 for Georgia tip the balance in LSU’s favor. The GASF Ratings have it LSU, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Texas, Penn St, Syracuse, W. Virginia, Washington, Washington St.

The rest of the Top 25 in the GASF Ratings is Miss St, UCF, Iowa St, Auburn, Northwestern, Iowa, Utah and Stanford. Oregon and Fresno St are the first two out. I think there are lots of arguments for rearranging those teams. Auburn’s win over Washington lifts the SEC teams (with Miss St having the head-to-head), but they are pulled back down by Miss St’s loss to Iowa. Iowa is pulled back by the loss to Northwestern and by Northwestern’s really poor early season performance with losses to Duke and Akron. That is offset by Iowa’s wins over Miss St and Iowa St and Northwestern’s win over Utah. That Pac-12 teams have fewer losses, but no real signature wins non-conference.

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Re: Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby MikeTheTiger » January 8th, 2019, 10:38 pm

One of the most obvious differences between the GASF Ratings and the final polls is the placement of minor conference teams. UCF is the only minor conference team in the GASF Ratings Top 25. Fresno St, Utah St, Boise St, Army and Cincinnati all made the Top 25 in the polls. This is really where the pollsters start to place too much emphasis on W-L record without enough consideration for the strength of the schedule faced. The three MWC teams were 1-3 against unranked major conference bowl opponents with no games played against ranked opponents outside of their games against each other plus another loss to unranked San Diego St. Army was 0-1 against unranked major conference bowl opponents with no ranked wins. Cincinnati did win a bowl over a major conference team, but also lost to Temple. Overall those 5 were 2-4 against unranked major conference bowl teams with no wins over ranked teams and two other losses to unranked teams outside of head-to-head matchups.

Now, let's compare that to the major conference teams the polls left out: Miss St, Auburn, Iowa St, Utah and Stanford. Miss St had no losses to unranked opponents plus a win over ranked A&M and major bowl team Auburn. Auburn did lose to Tennessee, but they beat two ranked opponents and major bowl team Purdue. Iowa St was 2-1 against unranked major conference bowl teams plus a win over ranked Texas. Utah was also 2-1 against unranked major conference bowl teams (with a win over Stanford in the Top 25 in the Ratings). Stanford was 4-1 against unranked major conference bowl teams (with the loss to Utah in the Top 25 in the Ratings). Overall those 5 were 8-2 against unranked major conference bowl teams (excluding head-to-head) with 3 wins over ranked opponents and one other loss to an unranked team. I don't think there is any question that the major conference teams on this list are more deserving of being ranked than the 5 minor conference teams that wound up in the polls in their stead.

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Re: Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby MikeTheTiger » January 8th, 2019, 11:09 pm

Another big difference is Texas and Washington St in the Top 10 ahead of Michigan, Kentucky and Texas A&M. Texas does have two Top 10 wins, but two losses to unranked teams and 3 outside the Top 10. Kentucky and A&M have one Top 10 win each and match Texas' two wins over ranked teams. Kentucky lost to one unranked team, while A&M lost to two teams just outside the Top 25 (but in the Top 25 in the Ratings). Kentucky and A&M come close to matching Texas' wins while having better losses. Michigan doesn't have a Top 10 win, but they do have two wins over ranked teams and no losses outside the Top 10. This one really comes down to weighting the wins against the losses.

WSU, on the other hand, has no wins over ranked teams, though I did make the case that Iowa St, Stanford and Utah probably should be. They also have only two losses, but one of those was to an unranked team. Michigan's resume matches up better against WSU. They have one more loss, but all the losses were to the Top 10 while WSU has two losses outside the Top 10. Their best wins were a little bit better. Kentucky has one unranked loss like WSU and two losses outside the Top 10 (though A&M should be on the cusp). Kentucky's wins are much better. A&M has two extra losses, but those came against #1 and #2. The other two losses were on the cusp of the Top 25. Like Kentucky, they have the better wins. I think you only land at WSU ahead of Kentucky, Michigan and A&M if you ignore their weak schedule and just look at W-L record.

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Re: Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby MikeTheTiger » January 9th, 2019, 11:46 pm

Is anyone else beside me and Jake going to submit a GACFFP ballot? I can't remember if it closes tonight at midnight or tomorrow at midnight.

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Re: Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby Dubby » January 10th, 2019, 12:23 am

*YNC* MikeTheTiger wrote:Is anyone else beside me and Jake going to submit a GACFFP ballot? I can't remember if it closes tonight at midnight or tomorrow at midnight.


Going to bed if still open tomorrow I'll submit one
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Re: Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby Iconoclast » January 10th, 2019, 1:10 am

*YNC* MikeTheTiger wrote:Is anyone else beside me and Jake going to submit a GACFFP ballot? I can't remember if it closes tonight at midnight or tomorrow at midnight.


Not sure if I can submit one.
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Re: Final Rankings Thoughts

Postby Dubby » January 10th, 2019, 12:12 pm

The voting is closed

Sorry I missed it
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