CFP Rankings: Michigan stays at #4

Submitted by PeppersTheWorldEater on November 20th, 2018 at 7:25 PM

Full rankings:

1. Alabama (11-0)
2. Clemson (11-0)
3. Notre Dame (11-0)
4. Michigan (10-1)
5. Georgia (10-1)
6. Oklahoma (10-1)
7. LSU (9-2)
8. Washington State (10-1)
9. UCF (10-0)
10. Ohio State (10-1)
11. Florida (8-3)
12. Penn State (8-3)
13. West Virginia (8-2)
14. Texas (8-3)
15. Kentucky (8-3)
16. Washington (8-3)
17. Utah (8-3)
18. Mississippi State (7-4)
19. Northwestern (7-4)
20. Syracuse (8-3)
21. Utah State (10-1)
22. Texas A&M (7-4)
23. Boise State (9-2)
24. Pitt (7-4)
25. Iowa State (6-4)



November 20th, 2018 at 9:35 PM ^

You are right - there is a fairly big drop-off at #10.  That's the big thing in these rankings.

All those teams from #11-#17 have rather fungible resumes.  PSU's 3 best wins are at Pittsburgh, vs Wisconsin and vs Iowa.  The worst loss is vs. MSU.  Is that noticeably different than any of Kentucky, Florida, Texas, WVU, Washington and Auburn?  No, it's really not.

I'm not saying my personal "Strength of Record" rankings that I play around with are perfect.  But I have the same top #10 as the CFP rankings.  I have PSU at #13 - Kentucky and Boise State ahead of them, and PSU ahead of Florida instead of behind them.  But that whole group is rather close together and interchangable.


November 21st, 2018 at 12:57 AM ^

I really appreciate the perspective you bring to this blog.  You deserved a better lot in life than to be raised a PSU fan. ;)

You’re right, though; this seems like the same discussion we have every year in March about how soft the basketball bubble is.  Once you get past the top tier of teams, each team has multiple flaws, and the way that you rank them really just depends upon the criteria you use (and, as such, which flaws you consider most important).  And I think if you looked at the rankings last year, or in 2016, or etc., you’d find the same thing.  The size of the tiers change year-to-year, but it’s pretty much the same story.

PSU was destroying teams, non-OSU division, prior to their puzzling MSU game, and I think the Michigan game says more about Michigan and the power of a year’s focus than it does PSU.  (Just like the 2017 game said more about PSU than it did about Michigan).  This is a good PSU team; not great, and definitely flawed, but good.


November 20th, 2018 at 8:52 PM ^

Same reason OSU is at #10: the teams below them are worse.  I mean, you can argue for West Virginia to get moved up, since they only have 2 losses and beat Texas, but those two losses were to #25 Iowa State and unranked Oklahoma State.  I'd probably put them ahead of Penn State, but I don't know that anyone else necessarily deserves it.


November 20th, 2018 at 10:09 PM ^

Here's an exercise.  Take the S&P+ rankings and use those to "rank the various opponents a school has played", while also correcting for "site of game" by increasing an opponent's S&P+ by 3 points for a neutral site game, and 6 points for a road game.

Do that, and you would find that WVU's 3rd best win of the year is ......... vs. Tennessee (neutral-site game).

Nothing against WVU, but they don't have many impressive victories beyond at Texas and at Texas Tech. 

Per this "ranking of opponents played method", Utah has 6 victories more impressive than a neutral-site win at Tennessee, Florida, Washington and PSU each have 5 victories more impressive, and Kentucky and Texas each have 4.

I think various rankings are picking up on this - and it's why WVU isn't quite so high despite having only 2 losses (vs. the other schools having 3).


November 20th, 2018 at 7:53 PM ^

Syracuse's rank is all about trying to keep ACC teams in there. But the crappy teams they keep overranking keep losing...

Iowa and Wisconsin losing could have hurt PSU, except they're propping up Pitt for the same reason, and that inflates PSU

LSU, FLA, and Kentucky are all about 8 spots each too high as well...