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The Simple Formula to the Final BCS Rankings

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The Simple Formula to the Final BCS Rankings

So easy, even Craig James can do it.

Article 6.0 in the 6 part The BCS Top 25 Unplugged Series [1.0]  [2.0]  [3.0]  [4.0]  [5.0]

How it works

As I have already shown in the previous articles in this July 2012 series, it is not about the top 25 best teams, it is about the 25 best records and the perceived strength of each conference.  That is all you need to have in creating the best odds on final BCS top 25 ranking predictions.  While you may not get your pre-season final ranking guess with the right teams, the order in which humans and human run computers with no oversight will fall very close to this breakdown.

What you need

Just two things

  1. Your list of Total Win projections for every team during the regular season plus top non AQs
  2. The order list of conference strength pecking order defined by the last 6 years of rankings.   In case you forgot or didn’t read Article 3.0, it goes SEC, PAC12, BIG12, ACC, Big Ten, Big East, NonAQ1 and NonAQ2

Organizing the teams – A DIY Profile

  1. Start with your undefeated teams.  SEC trumps all others.  For non-AQ2 teams (SDSU, USM, Houston) knock them down at least 1, maybe 2 games to the bottom of the 11-1 or 10-2 AQ projections.  Boise State is the only emotional darling that gets to be lumped in with Big East results.  Teams at 11-2 are ranked ahead of 10-2.
  2. 11-1 teams sorted by BCS ranking conference pecking order.  For teams in the same conference don’t worry about head to head so much.  Just go with the one ranked highest in the pre-season poll.  Voters hate to admit they were wrong.
  3. 10-2 teams sorted by BCS ranking conference pecking order.   This is where 11-1 or 12-0 Non-AQ teams might reside depending on your total wins predictions (and who you expect them to beat).
  4. The 9-3 teams could also include 11-1 NonAQ2 teams at the bottom along with NonAQ1 that are 10-2.
  5. Lastly but the toughest are the last 8 in and first 8 out.  These are almost all 8-4 teams, 9 or 10 win non-AQ1 teams and 11-1/12-0 nonAQ2 teams.  7-5 teams are very rare but a 7 wins SEC, Big 12 or PAC12 could squeak in but the odds show it is unlikely so they are a bad high risk prediction.

*Reminder: The BCS voters and computers have included at least 4 non-AQs every year regardless of SOS so try to figure out who get a medal for playing and winning with a schedule 80% of all AQ teams would likely go undefeated with this year.  Good one to start with is Boise State.  Conference USA is also a favorite but with two new and unproven head coaches you may want to pass on them.

That’s it.  You are done and have the absolute best odds based on your total wins projections of nailing the final BCS top 25 poll.  Don’t believe it, check back here with the BCS rankings in your hand at the end of November.


The CFBMatrix Final BCS Top 25 Rankings Projected

In doing the CFBMatrix Top 25 it is done in order of, #1 total wins expected and then by conference strength as that is where the most difficulty is in most schedules (expect Clemson playing OoCs South Carolina AND Auburn).  The problem with most pre-season and in-season top 25 rankings is that voters and publishers are like sheep.  They go with what the media (ESPN) and the fans expect to look good and not be scorned.  I give Phil Steele’s publication credit for holding to their projections for wins and ranking them accordingly (i.e. UNC & UCF) and not bombing teams with a worthless SOS to the top (even though that’s how it works).

In following the trends research of the BCS Top 25 Unplugged articles and the above steps to make the final BCS Top 25 guestimate from the CFBMatrix I start with the projected undefeated teams.  I have broken the teams down by expected total loses including .5 games. *Note for advanced Top 25ers: When you have a team that you feel is a good bet between numbers like Alabama between 10 and 11 wins.  Give them 10.5 and reorganize.  That is how I try to throw this together to up my odds slightly of being ‘less’ wrong.

Undefeated – None. Going 12-0 is very hard and even harder to predict exactly who it will be.

1 – 1.5 loss teams:

#1. Oklahoma – Elite talent. Easy Sked. Even HC (coaching effect on ave. season)
#2. Alabama – Elite. + HC
#3. LSU– Elite. Even HC
#4. Oregon – Semi-elite. Great schedule (easy) + HC
#4. USC – Elite. – HC
#6. Florida State – Elite talent. Great Sked. -HC

2 to 2.5 loss teams

#7. Ohio State – Elite talent. Great sked. New HC (+ road – home at last team)
#8. Georgia – Elite. Ave HC.
#9. Texas – Elite. Great sked. Big – HC
#10. Michigan – Semi Elite. Ave HC. Good sked.
#11. Virginia Tech – Good sked. + HC
#12. Michigan State – Big + HC. Great sked

3 to 3.5 loss teams

#13. Auburn – Elite. Even HC. Solid sked
#14. South Carolina – + HC. Semi-Elite.
#15. Clemson – Even HC. Semi-Elite talent
#16. North Carolina – Great sked!!! New HC but he was terrible at USM (3 of 4 years)
#17 Wisconsin – Moved up due to new 9-3 projections with Penn State getting hammered
#18. Cincinnati – Big + HC. Favorable Sked
#19. Boise State – Big + HC.  Very easy sked

Now it gets dicey.  #19 through #34 can be juggled and interchanged however you like.  It’s not going to matter much as it is a real crapshoot.
#20. Oklahoma State – Big + HC. Good sked
#21. Florida – Elite talent.  Big – HC
#22. Houston – Ridiculous SOS level sked.  Whole thing reads like SEC OoC = great for top 25
#23. Rutgers – Got to sneak in a couple of dark horse since no one really cares.
#24. Stanford – Elite talent. Tough sked. + HC. 2013 PAC12 North Champ
#25 San Diego State – My 3rd Non-AQ in sticking with BCS ranking pattern. 10-2 should do it.


Vote getters outside the final Top 25

#26. TCU – Patterson has been awesome in MWC but average talent in Big12.  Overrated.
#26. Louisville – Strong has been bad for 2 straight years.  Calling the bluff
#26. West Virginia – New conference.  Same as TCU
#26. Nebraska – Pelini below average and not improving talent.
#26. Notre Dame – 10-2 on paper. Can’t go against HC Kelly trends. Should be top 15
#26. Utah – Best game and player development HC in PAC12
#26. BYU – CBM has had one big year out of 5. Betting the trend
#26. USM – Most talented Non AQ. Tough sked. New HC. Could easily be there.
#35. Arkansas –
#36. Tennessee
#37. Cal
#38. UCLA
#39. Washington
#40. Baylor
#41. Georgia Tech
#42. Virginia
#43. Iowa

Whew!  What a load of crap.  I have shown the BCS rankings are no more than glorified excel spreadsheet sorting by wins and perceived conference power.  Only #1 and #2 matter as selections for the BCS NCG.  You can claim moral victories and such but the rankings in no real way for #1 to #25 rank the teams well.  It is a crude guestimate at best and until we take out the humans controlling the process, reduce OoCs and lengthen a play-in playoff system of 8 to 16 teams it’s always going to be ruled by human emotion and preferences.

-Dave Bartoo, The CFBMatrix.


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