Playoff Committee Unofficial SOS Ranks – Week 10
True Playoff Committee SOS Rankings
Games played through week 10, 2016
The Playoff Committee noted, last year, that they use their SOS to rank teams. It is not any of the public SOS ranks fans and writers frequently reference. The committee, as it turns out, states they do not use an SOS ranking. They just call winning percentage averaging an SOS ranking.
Noted Selection Committee expert, Stewart Mandel tweeted out the following (see below) about the committee’s ‘SOS rankings’. This is basically an in-season version of the commonly referred to NCAA pre-season strength of schedule rankings. The committee takes it a step further and considers the winning percentage of the opponents of a team’s opponents on their schedule. An example of this, for Auburn. is in the little chart to the right.
Committee doesn’t use an SOS ranking. It looks at opponents’ record and opponents’ opponents record.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 12, 2014
Stewart further advised me that for FCS teams, only the loses count against the composite opponent record. So if LSU played McNeese State (8-0), only the losses are added to the composite record of opponents for LSU (more on this later). So if you end up beating an FCS team that goes 11-1, you are only dinged for the one loss by that FCS opponent.
I have not been able to determine, and thus assume it counts as nothing, the strength of home versus the road. In the Big 12, the PAC 12 and soon to be in the Big Ten and ACC, some teams have five home conference games, while the other half have five road conference games. That is a significant difference in schedule strength.
To create the ‘SOS’ ranking,we averaged the records of the opponents into the records of the opponents opponents to get the composite. All three are broken down and ranked below into opponents record, opponents opponents record and the average of the two records.
Thru Week 10 Selection Committee Estimated SOS Ranks
My note: Even though the committee does not account for a 13th game in a conference championship, playing another tough game by all but the Big 12 adds significant weight to a team SOS. A good example is Vegas odds. The ACC game may be a pick’em by kick off. A game at PK has 50/50 odds for either team winning and that would effectively double the strength of schedule if viewed through Vegas odds. Whatever. This is what the committee advised it uses for SOS so take it as you want.
CASE STUDY: LSU: The Tigers played at Syracuse and cancelled the game with McNeese State. In the PoComm formula, the Syracuse winning percentage and the winning percentage of the Syracuse opponent counts towards the SOS ranking of LSU. If the Tiger played McNeese State, the hit to the LSU SOS would be the losses by McNesse State. If the situation was reversed, with the Syracuse game cancelled and LSU beating McNeese State, the Tigers SOS ranking would GO UP from no. 46 to no. 37. Kind of makes me giggle.
Like it or not, this is exactly how the formula was spelled out to me.
[click on image to enlarge]