By Bill Ellis

I have a plan to strengthen college football schedules across the board that could begin next season.

How? We’ll hit them in the wallet. That’s right, in the wallet. If you are paying an opponent, amend the contract to read that their payment will be reduced 10% for every lower division team on their schedule. For a little more fun, add an additional amount like 1% penalty for every one of their opponents that is playing a lower division team. Now, what about conference opponents? Hit them, too. Make them sacrifice 10% of their TV money back into the pool to be redistributed to the other conference members.

The downside of this plan could be the end of spotless 12-0 regular seasons. The upside is a much better barometer for measuring teams. I’ll sacrifice the style points for something more substantial.

RULE CHANGES RANT—I’ve got to get this off my chest. I hate that some calls are reviewable and others aren’t. I understand holding on the offensive line shouldn’t be because games would never end, but many others should be.

One area I want reviewed which should only take 10 seconds is on fights. If the player flagged is retaliating, let’s get a penalty on the original transgressor, too. Let’s also pick up those dead ball actions of jerks like Dillon Day.

One semi-rules rant is that with all of the millions and billions being spent to televise every game (Henderson State and SE Oklahoma was on in Atlanta last Thursday) why can’t the networks add a few more cameras to the stadiums? Would the game be damaged if colleges had at least as many angles as the NFL? Let’s start with four angles at every touchdown marker.

This past week—I said this was how I thought this week’s top five would look

1 TEXAS AM 177.3223 5 0   9
2 SOUTH CAROLINA 173.6819 4 1   4
3 NEBRASKA 166.891 5 0   6
4 NC STATE 154.004 5 0   13
5 OKLAHOMA 149.7809 4 0   1


These picks were contingent on Florida State losing to NC State and Stanford losing to Washington. Neither of these happened, but both games were a whole lot closer than most thought. In addition, Missouri bounced back from its loss to Indiana to beat South Carolina. Missouri is probably out of the national championship picture, but they can still win the SEC EAST, so, theoretically, they can still have a huge impact by potentially taking the SEC out of the playoffs by winning the SEC.

The question I’m hearing a lot right now is which teams REALLY look like championship material? It’s still hard to say especially with three of the teams near the top of eveybody’s rankings—Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon—all having open dates last week. There were some great games last week with many teams getting scares, but the only teams that may have been eliminated that were realistically eliminated were Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Penn State and NC State.

There are a slew of games this week that should help define the course of the season, but the loser of these will not be fully eliminated yet: LSU—Auburn, if LSU wins; Alabama—Ole Miss; Mississippi State—Texas A&M; Nebraska—Michigan State, if Michigan State wins; Ohio State—Maryland; TCU—Oklahoma; Baylor—Texas, if Texas wins; Georgia Tech—Miami, if Miami wins; UCLA—Utah, if Utah wins; Notre Dame—Stanford and BYU—Utah State.

My list of the teams I believe can still win the national championship is now down to 24 with 16 unbeatens. These are: Texas A&M, Nebraska, Florida State, Oklahoma, Auburn, UCLA, BYU, Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama, Arizona, Baylor, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, USC, Maryland, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Louisville, Stanford and LSU. I also believe there are approximately 10 other 1- and 2-loss teams that can still have a dramatic effect on which teams are ultimately selected.

The relevant teams that rose the most in the rankings were Missouri 40 spots to #5, USC 41 spots to #13, Georgia 48 spots to #16, Baylor 30 spots to #17, and Stanford 70 spots to #26. Northwestern and Air Force earned their mentions by rising 110 and 88 spots to be ranked 40th and 51st, respectively.

Several teams lost more than 50 spots, but these were either MAC or 1-AA teams.

Here’s how the top 30 looks this week:

1 TEXAS AM 167.8447 5 0 9
2 NEBRASKA 166.4176 5 0 6
3 FLORIDA ST 145.029 4 0 21
4 SOUTH CAROLINA 139.2996 3 2 4
5 MISSOURI 137.7107 4 1 45
6 OKLAHOMA 132.5183 4 0 1
7 AUBURN 132.1808 4 0 7
8 UCLA 129.3366 4 0 12
9 BYU 126.0742 4 0 3
10 NOTRE DAME 121.2546 4 0 23
11 OREGON 120.4639 4 0 11
12 ALABAMA 118.033 4 0 2
13 USC 110.5579 3 1 54
14 ARIZONA 110.1425 4 0 8
15 MARYLAND 109.9883 4 1 22
16 GEORGIA 107.7768 3 1 64
17 BAYLOR 102.3782 4 0 47
18 ARKANSAS 100.8348 3 2 15
19 NC STATE 100.3271 4 1 13
20 MIAMI 98.59408 3 2 33
21 MISSISSIPPI 98.312 4 0 24
22 OKLAHOMA ST 97.26068 3 1 31
23 LOUISVILLE 96.842 4 1 37
24 MISSISSIPPI ST 96.55832 4 0 5
25 ILLINOIS 95.77176 3 2 36
26 STANFORD 93.985 3 1 96
27 LSU 90.6228 4 1 18
28 EAST CAROLINA 90.37456 3 1 14
29 IOWA 89.37116 4 1 26
30 MINNESOTA 88.78176 4 1 50

The first questions that would jump out at me would be why is South Carolina still ranked #4 and ahead of Missouri who just beat them and why is Alabama out of the top 10 when they were #2 last week?

Here’s why–South Carolina had a GREAT week strength-of-schedule wise. Great enough that they ended up with about ten more points than they had last week. It helps that they haven’t played their 1-AA opponent yet and haven’t had their open date. These two things will catch up with them. If Missouri had played a stronger schedule, they’d be ranked ahead of South Carolina. Alabama and Oregon were hurt by their open weeks, and their strength of schedule isn’t helping very much. Oklahoma’s SOS was actually negative. Mississippi State fell for the same reasons.

This is how the final four finish according to my projections now. A&M beats Oregon for the national title. If A&M wins its next three games, the other polls should have them #1, too, no matter what any other team does.


1 TEXAS AM 602.8932 15 0 1
2 OREGON 537.6143 14 1 2
3 UCLA 476.5115 12 2 3
4 FLORIDA ST 475.3032 13 1 4

Since expanding the rankings to include the 1-AA teams, I’ve discovered a bunch of new schools I’d never heard of before that play college football. Schools like Rheinhardt, Ave Maria and Concordia. Many of these are Division II and Division III, and a lot are NAIA. Then, there’s the College of Faith. I discovered them last week while researching a sister project to the power ranking—Truing up the Stats. There are actually a couple Colleges of Faith and at least one University of Faith, but the one I’m interested in is located in Charleston and plays college football in NO DIVISION. NO RULING BODY! I guess, for the time being, COF should be able to take CFL players for their team, and from their performances, they need to.

If recent trends continue, we should see COF on Alabama’s schedule pretty soon.

As usual, I’m begging for likes, shares, recommendations, and comments. I get none of this, so I don’t know why I’m bothering to ask this, but please consider visiting http://collegefootballpowerranking.com/please-help-me-keep-this-page-going/ and help me to keep this site and the ranking going.

Thanks and enjoy the games,

Bill Ellis