Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Final Pre-Bowl Rankings 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Alabama's Longest One Second

After one of the greatest finishes in recent history and probably the best game of the season, Auburn's win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl catapults them up to #1 in our rankings.  Surprisingly, Stanford with two losses is #2 over undefeated FSU and OSU and one loss Missouri and Alabama.  It's interesting to notice how much variability there remains in the rankings as our parameter p is varied.

We only have one weekend left of the regular season and still there is much uncertainty to who will be in the final BCS championship game.  Will it be FSU and OSU?  Will it be FSU vs the SEC champion?  There is sure to be controversy regardless of the outcomes of the games this weekend.  Possibly only Auburn and FSU winning and OSU losing provide voters with a clear top 2.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Alabama and Florida State in the driver's seat

After Stanford's huge win over Oregon on Thursday night and Alabama's win over LSU last night, it seems that only a big upset will now prevent an Alabama vs FSU national championship game.  Florida State has a fairly easy road left while Alabama still has to play Auburn and the SEC East champion, likely Missouri.  

Stanford's shocking loss to unranked Utah now is especially devastating as they would be the top ranked team in these rankings if they had beaten Utah and would certainly be top 2 in the BCS at this point.

Ohio State and Baylor remain undefeated but are on the outside looking in due to the perceived weakness of their schedules in our rankings and those of most of the other computer ranking systems as well.  I expect many of the playoff advocates, along with Baylor and OSU fans, will wish that it was initiated one year earlier.  But with a month left, history teaches us that we will have a few more surprises before the end.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

10th Year Anniversary...and 10th Week Rankings

Welcome back to another year of the random walker rankings.  This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the birth of these rankings!  And next week marks the 10 year anniversary of our rankings being featured in ESPN the Magazine.  

Of course, this year also marks the final season of the BCS and, as a result, computer rankings directly contributing to choosing the teams for the national championship game.  Next season we will have a 4 team playoff to decide the national champion where the teams will be chosen and seeded by a committee of "experts" as it is done for college basketball.

Without further ado, here are the top 18 teams after 10 weeks:
Thanks again to Peter Wolfe for providing us with all the data in an easy-to-use format.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Post-Bowl Rankings

Last night's BCS Championship Game certainly settled things (and quickly). With their victory over Notre Dame complementing every else they've achieved this season, it is not surprising that Alabama has moved into #1 in these algorithmic rankings at most values of the bias parameter, p, as visualized below.

In closing out our rankings for the season, we once again say thank you to both Peter Wolfe and Kenneth Massey for making this task easier on all of us. Both are part of the official Bowl Championship Series standings. Wolfe provides the data in an easy-to-process form. Massey publishes the College Football Ranking Comparison, including the RWFL rankings at p=0.75 run on the full network of connected teams (where the rankings are broken out separately for the FBS and FCS).

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rankings through December 1st

Like all but one of the official BCS computer rankings, the (having nothing to do with the process) RWFL rankings have Florida at #2, not just at our selected p=0.75 bias parameter but at all values of p, despite Alabama's SEC Championship win over Georgia. But Florida is #4 in the polls, and rules are rules.

Speaking of rules being rules, with the title game set between Notre Dame and Alabama, the controversy is about Northern Illinois getting a BCS Bowl bid. Needing to finish ahead of only one automatic qualifying conference champion, they're ahead of two (FSU and Wisconsin), both in the official standings and in the RWFL rankings visualized below (where we even get an appearance from Div-II Minnesota State).

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rankings through November 24th

A few minor differences are evident when comparing the plot below with last week's figure; but on the whole, the trends are very similar. Florida continues to be the "surprise" #2 at all values of p in the RWFL rankings, but it would seem to be all but academic that the BCS title game will feature Notre Dame against the winner of the Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game. We will wait to see how much higher the winner of that game rises in the RWFL rankings.

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