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Advanced Playoff Committee Ranks – Week 13

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Unlocking the Playoff Committee Top 25

College Football’s #1 Projector of Weekly Playoff Rankings

By Adam McClintock and Dave Bartoo

The week prior to the Playoff Committee releasing their first top 25, Adam and I set out to create several models that could match what the committee did a year ago, in an effort to provide an advanced look at what to expect in their rankings.  This exercise, if a reasonable model could be created, would also help establish a pattern of ranking behavior so we can track if they are being consistent in ranking or are an inexplicable moving target every week.

Since our first modeling we have refined our projections and have been the #1 advanced playoff committee projection model since the playoffs started the rankings in 2014.

We had to remodel the entire system after a huge bot from the Atlanta area wiped out a ton of data bases in an attack.  In rebuilding the model, we were able to use the excellent work from Heather Dinich of ESPN of playoff committee members to enable us to read between the lines and find the bread crumbs of their methodology.  Follow her on Twitter @CFBHeather.

We determined the best course is to model each week with the base 5.0 model, then apply the “PC” rules to re-ranking the teams.  You can think of “PC” as short for playoff committee or politically correct, both may work in this situation.

Click to check out our Week 12 Ranks and Results

Thoughts and notes:

  • We kept Clemson #3 as their SOS is now superior to Michigan and they have more quality wins.  We know the PoComm loves them some Big Ten, but we feel the model will prove correct.
  • Louisville falls to #11 on the strength of their margin of victory and having a better SOS than Oklahoma State.
  • No surprise if the PoComm puts Oklahoma State next to Oklahoma.  Neither will be getting into the playoffs and then the committee looks good no matter who wins Bedlam.
  • USC models at #10 and Colorado at #9.  USC won the head to head and has a superior SOS to the Buffs.  We think the 2 loss Buffs stay ahead as they control their PAC12 destiny but the PoComm could lean head to head and SOS and jump the Buffs with the Trojans
  • Florida models at #17 but they have the same resume as Penn State but with a poor SOS.  Since Florida is in the SEC title game, the pocomm may move them up to make the UF/FSU look better and move UF closer to Alabama should they beat the Noles to set up a higher ranked SEC title game.
  • North Carolina modeled at #24 and Virginia Tech at #26.  We switched them as VT controls the division and beat UNC 34-3.
  • We discussed at length putting Pitt in over Washington State.  But ranked WSU makes the Apple Cup a bigger TV draw and supports Boise and Colorado.  Pitt supports Oklahoma State and makes PSU and Clemson loses look better.  We feel the committee likes the PAC over the Big 12 and wants a better TV hype for the Apple Cup.  WSU at 25 over Pitt.
  • Wisconsin: More Top 25 Wins and a smaller MOD keeping them ahead of PSU despite lower SOS
  • USC: 7 Game Win Streak and Excellent SOS have them highest 3 loss team, might even be ahead of Colorado due to Head to Head result
  • Louisville: Poor SOS, few QWs, Large MOD have them out of the Top 10
  • Auburn: Good SOS, High MOV, Low MOD have them the next highest 3 Loss Team
  • Florida State: Excellent SOS has the Seminoles in the Top 15 despite 3 losses and no Top 25 wins
  • Wouldn’t be surprised to actually see them have Tennessee at 15, Florida at 16, Nebraska at 17. Huskers have no top 25 wins, a poor MOV and weak SOS
  • Tennessee: Excellent SOS, 6 QWs, but only 1 against Top 25.  That, plus a head to head win, should keep them ahead of Florida
  • Boise: That 2 pt loss to Wyoming isn’t looking so bad now
  • Houston: Toughest team to rank.  Bad SOS, 2 Top 25 wins and 4 QWs.   We left them exactly where the model said they should be.
  • Western Michigan: That SOS is close to the worst in the FBS.  Not sure if they will even get in over Boise.  Right now, no.

WEEK 13 Advanced Top 25 Rankings

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 TV Re-Ranks – We all know these rankings are for show.  They create a stir and bring ratings, but largely, with no transparency, are meaningless, save the final 4 teams.  One of the trends that Adam and I have seen is the ability to use the ranks to hype games last in the season.  Example:  Does it matter if Utah is 25 or 26?  No it does not.  But #10 Colorado vs #24 Utah is much sexier that #10 Colorado vs unranked Utah.  What is a common practice, even though it would be categorically denied, is the lower ranked or even unranked team gets a little rankings goose.  Likewise, a team ranked higher in our predictor model will get pushed down when facing a non ranked team.  This week we feel that Michigan, Ok State, Utah, Washington State and Florida will all get bumps.  Auburn will stay the same as the highest ranked 2 loss team.  Navy will replace Virginia Tech because the committee needs a back up to Western Michigan.  The G5 NY6 representative must win their conference title.  Houston and Boise are unlikely to do so; therefore, the cover yo ass team for the committee is #25 Navy.
week-13-2016-pocomm-advanced-tv-reranks

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