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Playoff Committee Unofficial SOS Ranks – Week 11

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True Playoff Committee SOS Rankings

Games played through week 11, 2016

Extras: The BS of SOS (Click here) and the results of SOS rankings in Bowls (Click)

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.

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 11 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.


SEC – 26.21
PAC – 12 –  42.22
ACC –  43.35
BIG TEN – 45
Big 12 – 78.9


Rank Team
1 Oregon St
2 Florida St
3 Tennessee
4 Ole Miss
5 Arkansas
6 Alabama
7 Penn St
8 Rutgers
9 Arizona
10 Clemson
11 Auburn
12 Vanderbilt
14 Texas A&M
15 LSU
16 Ohio St
17 Oregon
18 Syracuse
19 Northwestern
20 Illinois
21 California
22 Wisconsin
23 USC
24 Utah St
25 N.C. State
26 Missouri
27 SMU
28 Bowling Green
29 Pittsburgh
30 Kansas
31 Kent St
32 Georgia Tech
33 Stanford
34 Mississippi St
35 Texas Tech
36 BYU
37 New Mexico St
38 Idaho
39 Georgia
40 N. Illinois
41 Boston College
42 North Carolina
43 Colorado St
44 Kentucky
45 Miami
46 Michigan St
47 UConn
48 Iowa St
49 Nebraska
50 ULM
51 Michigan
52 Virginia
53 Colorado
54 Georgia St
55 Duke
56 Tulane
57 Temple
58 UMass
59 Purdue
60 Virginia Tech
61 ECU
62 Georgia Southern
63 Boise St
64 Arizona St
65 Fresno St
66 C. Florida
67 Maryland
68 Rice
69 Indiana
70 San Jose St
71 Washington St
72 Houston
73 Wyoming
74 Florida
75 Akron
76 Kansas St
77 Tulsa
78 Louisville
79 Navy
80 South Carolina
81 Texas St
82 Appalachian St
83 TCU
84 Hawaii
85 Notre Dame
86 Cincinnati
87 Oklahoma
88 ULL
89 Marshall
90 Arkansas St
91 Iowa
92 FIU
93 E. Michigan
94 Utah
95 South Florida
96 Texas
99 S. Alabama
100 Oklahoma St
101 W. Kentucky
102 N. Texas
103 C. Michigan
104 Memphis
105 Charlotte
106 Minnesota
107 West Virginia
108 W. Michigan
109 Washington
110 UNLV
111 Air Force
112 Toledo
113 Buffalo
114 Middle Tenn. St.
115 UTSA
116 Troy
117 Old Dominion
118 Wake Forest
119 Southern Miss
120 Ball State
121 New Mexico
122 Louisiana Tech
123 Nevada
124 FAU
125 Ohio
126 Army
127 Baylor
128 San Diego St
129 Miami (OH)

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