We’ve nearly reached a tipping point in the Week 8 Achievement Index

I’ve tried to be patient with you, Achievement Index, I have.  But your refusal to stop spitting out weird results is testing me.

Severely.

I’m 99 percent of the way there to adjusting the weighting structure, and while there were many reasons for me to consider this, 6-1 Oklahoma being ranked several spots below 4-3 Miami (they of the fired coach for underperformance Miami) … that’s a pretty darn big one.

Of course there’s also Memphis. The Tigers are getting a lot of mileage out of wins over Ole Miss and Bowling Green. Good for them. A road win this week against Tulsa has boosted them further, but given the overall body of work, should they be in the Top 4 at this point?  They’ve got three “layup” wins under their belt … LSU has two (plus three Top-30 wins).

I’ve got nothing against Memphis. But I want the system to be a measure of a team’s successes as well as its lack of failures, and right now, it’s trending more toward the latter. (I also want a system that ranks LSU above Memphis.)

So instead of all of FBS, I’m just including  1-65 this week so as to divert some of my energy into retooling things some.  If all goes well, I’ll roll out an improved ranking next week.

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. 25 team in the F/+, but it did get credit for facing Alabama, which ranks at No. 3.  In reverse, Alabama didn’t get credit for being No. 3, but did get credit for beating No. 25.  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 Oct. 25 (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:

1. Michigan State (8-0) … 99.813
2. Ohio State (8-0) … 105.813
3. Memphis (7-0) … 120.688
4. LSU (7-0) … 130.75
5. Temple (7-0) … 142.563
6. Iowa (7-0) … 143.688
7. TCU (7-0) … 143.563
8. Clemson (7-0) … 145.938
9. Notre Dame (6-1) … 156.188
10. Baylor (7-0) … 156.875
11. Houston (7-0) … 159.438
12. Toledo (7-0) … 160.938
13. Oklahoma State (7-0) … 166.125
14. Appalachian State (6-1) … 183
15. Florida (6-1) … 265.125
16. Navy (5-1) … 424.813
17. Utah (6-1) … 469.625
18. Pittsburgh (6-1) … 532.25
19. BYU (6-2) … 922.563
20. Texas A&M (5-2) … 1128.25
21. Cal (5-2) … 1391.5
22. Ole Miss (6-2) … 1428.938
23. Georgia (5-2) … 1503.25
24. Penn State (6-2) … 1647.438
25. Mississippi State (6-2) … 1671.563

26. Stanford (6-1) … 1732.5
27. Northwestern (6-2) … 1808.125
28. Florida State (6-1) … 1892.75
29. Wisconsin (6-2) … 1988.125
30. Georgia Southern (5-2) … 2020.063
31. Alabama (7-1) … 2325.5
32. Western Kentucky (6-2) … 2670.25
33. Texas Tech (5-3) … 2682.188
34. Michigan (5-2) … 3050.938
35. Marshall (7-1) … 3072.375
36. West Virginia (3-3) … 3314.75
37. Boise State (6-2) … 3371.5
38. Miami (4-3) … 3372.875
39. Arizona State (4-3) … 4107.75
40. Bowling Green (6-2) … 4419.813
41. Utah State (4-3) … 4430.5
42. Northern Illinois (5-3) … 4581.75
43. Louisiana Tech (5-3) … 4757.063
44. Auburn (4-3) … 4842.188
45. Air Force (4-3) … 4965.25
46. Western Michigan (4-3) … 4969.375
47. Illinois (4-3) … 5427.25
48. Oklahoma (6-1) … 5517.25
49. North Carolina (6-1) … 6324.438
50. Kansas State (3-4) … 6473.313

51. Duke (6-1) … 6572.563
52. Southern Miss (5-3) … 6704.125
53. Iowa State (2-5) … 7162.25
54. South Florida (4-3) … 7330.313
55. Rice (4-3) … 7358.813
56. Cincinnati (4-3) … 7400.5
57. USC (4-3) … 7682.125
58. East Carolina (4-4) … 8097.938
59. Missouri (4-4) … 8516.938
60. UCLA (5-2) … 8538.375
61. Tennessee (3-4) … 8606.75
62. Central Michigan (4-4) … 8625.75
63. Texas (3-4) … 8760.375
64. N.C. State (5-2) … 8826.813
65. Louisville (3-4) … 9771.375

Yeah, not much else to add here. I like most of what we’re looking at, but it’s time to tighten it up.

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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