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Advanced Playoff Committee Ranks – Week 14

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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 13 Ranks and Results

Thoughts and notes:

  • #Thereisnoeyetest  – Never have believed it, never will.  This simple formula is way to accurate to assume their is an intense ‘eye test’ debate
  • Clemson stays behind Ohio State this week, but they are forecast to move ahead of Ohio State in quality wins and tie with top 25 wins.
  • Ohio State is #2, but I (dave) strongly question their ability to stay.  They have earned it through play and SOS but this system is not about the 4 best teams.  Pre-set parameters count.
  • Michigan still pencils out #5.  They will drop behind the Big Ten title winner.  They could be lower if the committee want to push PSU and Wisconsin ahead to make the Big Ten title game a bit more interesting. I prefer them leaving Michigan at #5 to troll their fans who think a team that finished 3rd in their division, with 2 losses in their last three games gets in to the playoffs.
  • Colorado has the worst SOS of the 10-2 teams and barely got my Utah.  No reason to expect anything different.

WEEK 14 Advanced Top 25 Rankings


 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 Temple is #35 or #25?  No it does not.  But #20 Navy vs #25 Temple in the AAC title game is much sexier than unranked Temple vs #20 Navy.    What we see as 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 is championship week so most games are top 25 tilts.  Here is our TV re-rank breakdown
  • SEC Title Game: No change for Alabama.  Bump for Florida from #16 to #14.  Auburn just lost and has 4 loses.  Stanford is not playing so it’s easy to goose up the Gators.
  • PAC 12 Title Game:  Washington will be #4 and playing for a playoff berth.  Colorado is at #8.  No up rank for Colorado because it will degrade the Big Ten title game ranks, which will pull a bugger audience.
  • Big Ten Title Game: While we could see both PSU and Wisconsin ahead of Michigan to make a #5 vs #6 match up, there is really no reason.  The winner passes Michigan next week in the rankings, the loser falls below.
  • Big 12 Bedlam: Who cares?  They are playing for a set of steak knives.  #9 vs #10 is a pretty as they can make it.
  • ACC:  Here is a big one.  Clemson will jump Ohio State in the formula next week so no reason to make them #2 unless they are setting up to leave out the Buckeyes.  Virginia Tech comes in at #20 in the model.  Let give them a BIG TV re rank to #16.  It can all be justified jumping Navy, WMU, Louisville and 4 loss Auburn.
  • AAC:  Navy will be ranked but they are playing unranked Temple.  Temple only has one QW and is NO WHERE NEAR a top 35 resume, let alone a top 25 one.  This is the big re-rank.  If Temple is #25, we win.  Boise doesn’t need to be there so they are out.  Now you go from #20 Navy and unranked Temple to a #20 vs #25 AAC game and a ranked team is assured of a NY6 bowl between WMU, Navy and Temple.

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