Achievement Index likes Clemson this week

The College Football Playoff Committee has a Top 4, in order, of Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame.

The Achievement Index’s Top 4 is Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Oklahoma State.

That isn’t far off, and we both have rewarded the Tigers for their performance to date.  Where we differ is Alabama vs. Oklahoma State, and well, look at the names on the jerseys to explain that one.

Oh sure, you could argue that Alabama has played a tougher schedule (true) and you could also argue against the Cowboys based on margin of victory/general prettiness (also true).  But I’ve made my own feelings on this clear: The Tide is getting a pass for a home loss to a three-loss team (Ole Miss).  No need to belabor it.  And truth be told, the Tide is surging up my rankings in a major way.  In a couple of weeks, Alabama might actually deserve that Top 4 spot … it’s still hard to project.

Anyway, I can tell you right now who would have the biggest gripe in my system, and it isn’t Alabama…

Before we get to this week’s rankings, here once again is the rundown of my methodology:

  1. Each team is ascribed a score derived from the combined efficiency rankings produced by the fine folks at Football Outsiders (specifically, Bill Connelley and Brian Fremeau), termed the “F/+” rankings.  The basic gist of each set of rankings that goes into this merged list — individually the “FEI” and the “S&P+ Ratings” — is to evaluate a team based on its efficiency on individual plays.  If you want a general sense of how “good” a team is, with only a few exceptions, you’re going to get an accurate reading from these.
  2. The scores pulled from the F/+ do not factor into an individual team’s ranking, however.  Rather, they provide the basis for evaluating who said team has played.  So for example, Wisconsin didn’t get any credit in regards to its own ranking for being the No. 32 team in the F/+, but it did get credit for facing Alabama, which ranks at No. 1.  In reverse, Alabama didn’t get credit for being No. 1, but did get credit for beating No. 32.  This is all about accomplishments. And for simplicity’s sake, all teams from below the FBS level got ascribed the same value: 129, which is one slot lower than the lowest FBS team (128).
  3. Basic weighting is applied such that, in general, road wins>neutral wins>home wins>bye weeks>road losses>neutral losses>home losses.  There are discrepancies such that a particularly egregious home loss can hurt a team more than two road losses, or a loss to No. 1 can actually help a team more than being off that week.  The actual weighting involved is the wild card here, as I expect I may tweak it some as we go along.  Lots of philosophical debates are involved in this process (For example: Is a road win worth more than two home wins?  And is a neutral site loss to No. 1 worse or better than a road loss to No. 8?).  These questions can go on for days, honestly, and much of it is dependent on an individual’s point of view.  I tried to go with the above approach as much as possible and applied a fair, consistent system across the board, so we’ll see where the chips fall.

And one final note … this is through games completed as of Nov. 15 (no last-minute Mac-tion additions; those will be added in due course at the conclusion of next week).  So with all that said, here we go:

Rank Team Record F/+ AI
1 Clem (10-0) 2 186.3
2 OSU (10-0) 5 188.6
3 ND (9-1) 4 193.6666667
4 OkSt (10-0) 16 205.7
5 Iowa (10-0) 23 211.7
6 Hou (10-0) 28 226
7 Fla (9-1) 11 245.3333333
8 Ala (9-1) 1 249.6666667
9 Bay (8-1) 7 308.125
10 TCU (9-1) 24 318.7777778
11 Navy (8-1) 10 340
12 Mich St (9-1) 15 426.2222222
13 Memph (8-2) 25 462.125
14 NW (8-2) 54 463.5
15 Wis (8-2) 32 476.375
16 Mich (8-2) 6 478.375
17 LSU (7-2) 12 485.5714286
18 Uga (7-3) 35 512.1428571
19 BG (8-2) 21 525.5
20 USC (7-3) 9 582.4285714
21 Pitt (7-3) 39 583.4285714
22 Temple (8-2) 45 598.875
23 FSU (8-2) 14 653.125
24 Tenn (6-4) 17 665.3333333
25 Toledo (8-1) 26 693.125

Ho hum, lots of good teams here. But wait, someone’s missing…

Rank Team Record F/+ AI
26 Miss St (7-3) 20 694
27 WKU (8-2) 31 728.75
28 Utah (8-2) 19 731.375
29 OU (9-1) 3 738.6666667
30 Ole Miss (7-3) 13 749.1428571
31 Stan (8-2) 8 806.875
32 UNC (9-1) 18 814.7777778
33 Ga South (7-2) 53 819.4285714
34 App St (8-2) 38 869.5
35 Mia (6-4) 71 945.8333333
36 WVU (5-4) 29 957
37 aTm (7-3) 46 979.8571429
38 Ore (7-3) 33 1003.857143
39 PSU (7-3) 36 1021.285714
40 TT (6-5) 52 1030.833333
41 Cal (6-4) 40 1045.333333
42 AF (7-3) 65 1071.285714
43 BYU (7-3) 37 1114.714286
44 SouthMiss (7-3) 63 1122.714286
45 Marsh (9-2) 43 1130.333333
46 W. Mich (6-4) 60 1207.5
47 LaTech (7-3) 41 1227.571429
48 N. Illinois (7-3) 48 1236.285714
49 Ark St (7-3) 69 1252.714286
50 Lville (6-4) 44 1264.666667

Oklahoma is No. 29.  Arguably the hottest team in the country, the team that just punked Baylor in Waco, and the team that many people are already making a case for in the Playoff 4 … is No. 29.  Why?  The Texas loss is really awful. I mean, it’s really, really awful.  The Longhorns boast a losing record, a No. 71 achievement ranking, and an even worse No. 84 F/+ (efficiency) ranking.  I like this OU team and on a subjective basis, I totally buy them as a playoff team.  But my system says they don’t deserve it. They don’t come close.

Rank Team Record F/+ AI
51 NCSt (6-4) 34 1352.833333
52 UCLA (7-3) 30 1364
53 USF (6-4) 57 1406.5
54 Ariz (6-5) 81 1524.5
55 Aub (5-5) 61 1550
56 Illinois (5-5) 66 1599.4
57 Cinci (6-4) 49 1608.166667
58 Ark (6-4) 22 1609.333333
59 Boise (7-3) 50 1862
60 WSU (7-3) 51 1871.571429
61 SDSt (7-3) 56 1875
62 ASU (5-5) 59 2132.8
63 Duke (6-4) 64 2307.833333
64 Tulsa (5-5) 89 2325
65 Ohio (6-4) 79 2412.666667
66 C. Mich (5-5) 58 2463.8
67 Minn (4-6) 62 2564.75
68 Mizz (5-5) 72 2727
69 M Tenn (5-5) 80 2773.4
70 Akron (5-5) 88 2946.8
71 Texas (4-6) 84 2947.75
72 UtSt (5-5) 47 2996.6
73 Vand (4-6) 75 3166.5
74 VaTech (5-5) 55 3183.2
75 ODU (5-5) 121 3260.2

Boise State suffered a bizarre home loss to New Mexico on the blue turf Saturday, knocking the Broncos down 26 spots this week. Thems the breaks.

Rank Team Record F/+ AI
76 Wash (4-6) 27 3365
77 IowaSt (3-7) 73 3404.666667
78 SouthAla (5-4) 106 3414.2
79 Ind (4-6) 68 3424
80 UNM (6-4) 100 3455.833333
81 Ken (4-6) 91 3491.75
82 Buff (5-5) 87 3558.4
83 K-State (3-6) 76 3791
84 Nev (6-4) 99 3825.833333
85 ECU (4-6) 74 3876
86 NM St (2-7) 122 4051.875
87 Neb (5-6) 42 4136.2
88 CSU (5-5) 78 4225.6
89 Rut (3-7) 107 4490
90 FIU (5-6) 104 4562.8
91 Uconn (5-5) 83 4719.666667
92 Syr (3-7) 85 4997.666667
93 UVA (3-7) 86 5037.666667
94 Colo (4-7) 92 5103.75
95 Rice (4-6) 124 5432.25
96 Maryland (2-8) 77 5599
97 GT (3-7) 67 5600.333333
98 SoCar (3-7) 82 5756.333333
99 WF (3-7) 94 5835.666667
100 ULL (4-5) 102 5870

The lowest team with a winning record is currently Nevada, whose best win is Buffalo. These two things are related.

Rank Team Record F/+ AI
101 SJ St (4-6) 96 6206
102 UTEP (4-6) 128 6716.5
103 BC (3-7) 70 6866
104 Tulane (3-7) 114 6955
105 KentSt (3-7) 108 7813
106 Fresno (3-7) 112 8082.333333
107 Ball St (3-7) 109 8110.333333
108 UNLV (3-7) 101 8582.333333
109 Troy (3-7) 93 8832
110 Idaho (3-7) 113 9475.666667
111 OregSt (2-8) 111 10007.5
112 Ga St (3-6) 98 11105.66667
113 Pur (2-8) 90 11191.5
114 Umass (2-8) 97 15407.5
115 Tx St (2-7) 116 15572.5
116 Miami Oh (2-9) 115 17648
117 Hawaii (2-9) 117 18161.5
118 UTSA (2-8) 103 18553
119 Char (2-8) 118 20277.5
120 FAU (2-8) 95 20785
121 Army (2-8) 110 22185
122 KU (0-10) 125 30710
123 SMU (1-9) 105 30801
124 La-Mon (1-9) 119 33627
125 UNT (1-9) 127 35179
126 UCF (0-10) 126 43820
127 Wyo (1-10) 120 45747
128 E. Mich (1-10) 123 51120

Nebraska’s loss to Purdue is looking worse by the week.

Week 10 rankings
Week 9 rankings

Week 8 rankings

Week 7 rankings

Week 6 rankings

Week 5 rankings

Week 4 rankings
Week 3 rankings

Week 2 rankings

As always, let me know your thoughts and feel free to share with friends, family, and special persons of import.  See any errors in record/placement?  Probably a typo since I did most of this by hand, but I’d appreciate hearing about it anyway … I might have goofed up something in the rankings themselves.

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