WHO’S GOT THE POWER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AFTER WEEK 5? PLUS, I’VE GOT A PLAN!

WHO’S GOT THE POWER IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL AFTER WEEK 5? PLUS, I’VE GOT A PLAN!

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

2014 WEEK 5 POINTS RE CO RD   LAST RANK
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:

LAST
2014 WEEK 5 POINTS RE CO RD RANK
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.

 

LAST
2014 WEEK 17 POINTS RECORD RANK
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

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Who’s Got the Power in College Football after Week 3?

Who’s Got The Power after Week 3?

Let’s start this week by congratulating Alabama for its great and scary win over Texas A&M. Bama’s offensive line and running issues appear to be behind them, and they MAY not face another team with an offense as explosive as A&M’s. Then again, when they play Auburn, Ole Miss, LSU, and possibly Georgia, they could see teams with offenses nearly as explosive but who can also play some defense. As great as Manziel is, it should always be a little troubling when an opponent sets records against your defense. If they make it back to the title game, Oregon and Ohio State could both hang 70 on them, as it looks right now.

I’d like to also congratulate ULM for its win over Wake Forest, UCF beating Penn State, and UCLA for its 2nd half beatdown of Nebraska scoring 38 unanswered points from the midway point of the 2nd quarter to win 41-21 after being down 21-3. UCLA, you may be pretty good. Ole Miss beat Texas as it was expected to by nearly everyone outside of Texas.

Wisconsin earned special attention for finding a new way to give away a win. Their coach has been studying Les Miles closely.

I almost was able to congratulate Division 1 for not losing a single game to Division 1-AA. Almost. Thanks, Florida International.

The Roundup–SEC WEST
Alabama could still be great, but there is a little room for doubt. A lot of those A&M receivers were WAY too open. LSU could be great. Mettenberger hasn’t thrown a pick yet, and he has 9 TD passes. For your reference, he had 12 TD passes last season. The defense has shown signs of greatness, and it has gotten burned a few times. I’m not sure if it has been burned when all of its starters have been playing. Auburn could be more than just a good test this weekend. Texas A&M may be one of the scariest offensive teams out there. Its defense scares its own coaching staff. Arkansas had a solid win over Southern Miss which doesn’t tell us much. Ole Miss’s win over Texas looks good in the headlines, but Texas is currently outside the top 100. Don’t take that to discount Ole Miss. We’ll learn a lot more about them on September 28 when they play Alabama. Auburn’s game this week with LSU won’t define its season, but it will help show if Malzhan has a team ready to compete today for the division title. Mississippi State is the only team with a losing record in the West, and that should change after this weekend’s game with Troy. This could be another solid unit with the possibility of upsetting someone.

SEC EAST–With three teams open, there isn’t a lot to learn from this past weekend. South Carolina had a solid win over Vanderbilt, and Kentucky looked better than most expected in losing to Louisville by only 14. Tennessee looked horrible in its game with Oregon. Most teams look horrible against Oregon. Besides LSU-Auburn, the most intriguing game this week will be Florida-Tennessee. This could be a season-defining game for both teams.

The Big 10–Ohio State beat up California. Bo Pelini could start hearing whispers about his job security. Wisconsin has issues after putting the ball on the ground (on purpose). Michigan should have lost their game to Akron. I wrote last week that we may not know how good Michigan is until late into the season, and I’m standing by it. They shouldn’t face a challenge until the Michigan State game, yet they shouldn’t have faced a challenge with Akron. Lots of teams have unexpected bad games. We’ll see if Michigan is unexpectedly a bad team.

The Big 12–Not too much drama, outside of Austin. Texas Tech-TCU provided a textbook definition of poor officiating. Besides Oklahoma, OK State, Texas Tech and Baylor are undefeated. No great games this weekend, but the Baylor-ULM game should be a fun one. Avoid the Kansas-LA TECH game for fear your eyes will melt from watching the poor play.

ACC–Winston still looks awesome. It was against Nevada. Georgia Tech may be for real. Wake Forest is getting ready for basketball season. This week the GA Tech-North Carolina game should be pretty good. NC State gets to show us if Clemson is vulnerable.

PAC 12–Reported signs of life around the USC football complex, but I think its too early to tell. Yes, they dominated Boston College. A lot of teams have dominated Boston College the last few years. Boston College is into that. UCLA whooped Nebraska. Two fun, important games this weekend are Arizona-Stanford and Arizona State-Washington. All four teams are still undefeated.

All American–I don’t expect SMU to prove very much against Texas A&M this weekend, but Rutgers could show us something against Arkansas for the second year in a row.

Strangest rumors–to me. That DeLoss Dodds will be forced to step down as AD at Texas and be replaced by Mack Brown. Can you imagine the list of candidates Brown will draw up for his replacement? First of all, the obligatory call to Nick Saban will happen. After that, to preserve his legacy, I see luminaries such as Lane Kiffen, Terry Bowden, Tommy Bowden, Gene Chizik and Skip Holtz making the cut. Phil Fulmer will call them.

The Rankings–don’t fall in love with this week’s top 10 because a lot of these teams could be displaced. Several have open dates. The rest are playing extremely weak opponents. The winner of the LSU-Auburn game should move up a lot.

Here they are:

WEEK 3
1 OREGON 15.17108756 3 – 0 7
2 GEORGIA 14.41171419 1 – 1 1
3 UCLA 13.61333341 2 – 0 23
4 WASHINGTON 12.92539748 2 – 0 13
5 ALABAMA 12.23428459 2 – 0 12
6 UCF 12.19344824 3 – 0 38
7 WASHINGTON ST 11.18626575 2 – 1 3
8 MIAMI 11.13480385 2 – 0 4
9 BYU 10.77144237 1 – 1 6
10 MICHIGAN 10.29585437 3 – 0 5
11 LSU 9.189857679 3 – 0 9
12 AUBURN 8.482734581 3 – 0 10
13 OKLAHOMA ST 8.006391457 3 – 0 8
14 FLORIDA ST 7.845052222 2 – 0 14
15 OKLAHOMA 7.53690716 3 – 0 17
16 ILLINOIS 7.384632444 2 – 1 2
17 MISSISSIPPI 7.268839654 3 – 0 21
18 CLEMSON 6.867811111 2 – 0 11
19 NORTHWESTERN 6.334795605 3 – 0 15
20 NORTHERN ILL 6.298228222 2 – 0 20
21 GA TECH 6.226658 2 – 0 60
22 OHIO UNIV 6.174974123 2 – 1 48
23 ARIZONA ST 6.050958444 2 – 0 64
24 TEXAS TECH 6.028380667 3 – 0 27
25 UTAH ST 5.733176148 2 – 1 19
26 STANFORD 5.170108 2 – 0 25
27 OHIO ST 5.078005309 3 – 0 36
28 LOUISVILLE 5.01245916 3 – 0 33
29 FRESNO ST 4.666512395 2 – 0 30
30 NOTRE DAME 4.412461185 2 – 0 26
31 INDIANA 4.336620815 2 – 1 96
32 ARIZONA 4.261057679 3 – 0 57
33 VIRGINIA TECH 4.134273877 2 – 1 69
34 USC 4.062114285 2 – 1 108
35 NAVY 3.907650593 2 – 0 31
36 ARKANSAS 3.822283605 3 – 0 40
37 TENNESSEE 3.546369728 2 – 1 22
38 MINNESOTA 3.348550815 3 – 0 35
39 NC STATE 3.336583333 2 – 0 32
40 SOUTH CAROLINA 2.950787407 2 – 1 54
41 TEXAS ST 2.861969333 2 – 0 39
42 TEXAS AM 2.419701037 2 – 1 37
43 NORTH CAROLINA 2.398022593 1 – 1 44
44 COLORADO 2.282558222 2 – 0 50
45 MICH ST 2.214761284 3 – 0 51
46 MARYLAND 1.800994385 3 – 0 34
47 BAYLOR 1.213253556 2 – 0 52
48 VIRGINIA 0.973846889 1 – 1 55
49 RICE 0.759174111 1 – 1 68
50 ARKANSAS ST 0.753619506 2 – 1 67
51 MISSOURI 0.694451778 2 – 0 53
52 ULM 0.068146716 2 – 1 72
53 PITTSBURGH 0.04081837 1 – 1 74
54 HOUSTON -0.068508815 2 – 0 49
55 FLORIDA -0.173264222 1 – 1 58
56 NEBRASKA -0.479353432 2 – 1 28
57 RUTGERS -0.712450173 2 – 1 91
58 PENN ST -1.493566716 2 – 1 16
59 UNLV -1.994584741 1 – 2 95
60 NORTH TEXAS -2.012105037 2 – 1 109
61 WYOMING -2.035471704 2 – 1 62
62 IOWA -2.367011185 2 – 1 93
63 BOISE ST -2.797012593 2 – 1 80
64 WISCONSIN -2.908831975 2 – 1 56
65 SAN JOSE ST -3.00003442 1 – 1 73
66 DUKE -3.090899185 2 – 1 43
67 MIDDLE TENN -3.132127111 2 – 1 92
68 WEST VIRGINIA -3.208057877 2 – 1 63
69 EAST CAROLINA -3.259219022 2 – 1 41
70 MARSHALL -3.507840889 2 – 1 45
71 TEXAS SAN ANTONIO -3.516739852 1 – 2 46
72 TCU -3.531451901 1 – 2 70
73 KENT ST -3.623048198 1 – 2 71
74 MISSISSIPPI ST -4.079455506 1 – 2 75
75 FLORIDA ATLANTIC -4.606730815 1 – 2 79
76 SYRACUSE -4.624863506 1 – 2 77
77 KENTUCKY -4.81133684 1 – 2 76
78 TROY -4.996465235 2 – 1 42
79 NEVADA -5.243096593 1 – 2 83
80 CALIFORNIA -5.547600889 1 – 2 86
81 BOSTON COLLEGE -5.60536163 2 – 1 24
82 NEW MEXICO -5.621702519 1 – 2 59
83 TOLEDO -5.659434889 1 – 2 81
84 SMU -5.719930444 1 – 1 89
85 PURDUE -5.766871556 1 – 2 90
86 BUFFALO -5.769577506 1 – 2 82
87 VANDERBILT -5.959135852 1 – 2 85
88 ARMY -6.78115758 1 – 2 94
89 AKRON -6.817821481 1 – 2 101
90 CINCINNATI -6.836645728 2 – 1 97
91 UAB -7.012332963 0 – 2 102
92 KANSAS -7.126179111 1 – 1 64
93 UTAH -8.163970975 2 – 1 29
94 TULSA -8.22988163 1 – 2 104
95 OREGON ST -8.541935654 2 – 1 119
96 TULANE -8.552680099 2 – 1 116
97 EASTERN MICH -8.656591259 1 – 2 61
98 BOWLING GREEN -8.869919506 2 – 1 18
99 SOUTHERN MISS -9.324667531 0 – 3 105
100 UL-LAF -9.514958025 1 – 2 107
101 TEXAS -9.644657136 1 – 2 106
102 WAKE FOREST -10.6981916 1 – 2 98
103 HAWAII -11.25909919 0 – 2 113
104 IDAHO -11.28820657 0 – 3 110
105 COLORADO ST -11.37345249 1 – 2 111
106 MEMPHIS -12.19208815 0 – 2 88
107 MIAMI (OH) -12.4011543 0 – 2 112
108 CENTRAL MICH -12.64814484 1 – 2 78
109 BALL ST -12.84495511 2 – 1 47
110 UTEP -13.17014815 1 – 1 115
111 AIR FORCE -14.69332248 1 – 2 114
112 SOUTH ALABAMA -15.251828 2 – 1 117
113 WESTERN KENTUCKY -15.79091664 1 – 2 66
114 NEW MEXICO ST -16.63980321 0 – 3 87
115 LA TECH -17.63691514 1 – 2 84
116 KANSAS ST -21.36890489 2 – 1 118
117 CONNECTICUT -30.39491422 0 – 2 120
118 IOWA ST -32.24823326 0 – 2 121
119 SAN DIEGO ST -34.69610237 0 – 2 122
120 SOUTH FLORIDA -36.11974109 0 – 3 123
121 WESTERN MICH -52.76262741 0 – 3 125
122 TEMPLE -55.34946748 0 – 3 99
123 OLD DOMINION -55.38939605 0 – 3 100
124 UMASS -55.94312593 0 – 3 124
125 FLORIDA INT -75.74586696 0 – 3 103
126 GEORGIA STATE -98.07212973 0 – 3 126

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know what I can do to improve the site or the rankings.

Thanks,
Bill
PS: Last week was a record setting week for the number of visitors and views for this site. To be able to keep this page going, I have added a donations page. You can find it here, https://collegefootballpowerranking.wordpress.com/please-help-me-keep-this-page-going/.