Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rankings through November 26, 2016

Alabama still reigns supreme while the Big 10 dominates the playoff discussion with 4 teams in our top 6. The result of "The Game" leads to a potential nightmare scenario for the playoff committee. Neither Ohio State nor Michigan qualified for the Big 10 championship game which will feature Penn State and Wisconsin. A Penn State win will mean that in addition to winning the Big 10, they will also have a head-to-head win over Ohio State. The committee would then have to choose between leaving Ohio State out, leaving out the Big 10 champion who beat Ohio State, or possibly leaving out one loss ACC or Pac 12 champions. The decision would be much easier if Penn State loses, Clemson loses, or Washington loses. I don't mention Alabama because I think they are guaranteed a spot no matter what happens in the SEC championship game.

I anticipate a lot of talk about an 8-team playoff over the next week. A possible approach would to give the Big 5 conference champions a spot plus a Group of 5 team and 2 at-large picks. This year I think that would look like Alabama, Clemson, Washington, Penn State/Wisconsin, Oklahoma/Oklahoma State, Western Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rankings through November 19, 2016

After a fairly quiet week, with the exception of Louisville's upset loss and Ohio State's narrow escape, the rankings have mostly stayed the same. As we approach Rivalry Week, Ohio State vs Michigan, Washington vs Washington State, Alabama vs Auburn, and Clemson vs South Carolina loom large.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rankings thru November 12, 2016

Now things get interesting! As we have almost every year, an upset-filled week throws everything off. With undefeated Clemson, Michigan, and Washington and 1-loss Texas A&M all losing to unranked or not highly ranked (in the case of USC) teams, that week finally arrived. And with the upset US presidential election result this week, I guess it was the appropriate time.

With regards to the CFP, only Alabama is secure. Clemson and the Ohio State/Michigan winner still seem likely but their margin of error is slim. Louisville now has new life and Washington will be sweating it out until the end because of their weak schedule.

One final observation from these rankings is that the Big 10 is looking like the dominant conference with spots 3-6, including two loss Penn State and Wisconsin ahead of several one loss teams. Wisconsin's two losses are to Ohio State and Michigan, while Penn State has lost only to Michigan and Pittsburgh (who just beat Clemson) while beating Ohio State. Thus the flow of random walkers is mostly staying among these four teams which helps support their rankings.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Rankings thru November 5, 2016

Texas A&M's upset loss and Ohio State's blowout win of Nebraska were the big results of the weekend, but neither change the likely Alabama, Clemson, Washington, and Michigan/Ohio State winner as the playoff selections. Last week, we were in perfect agreement on the ranking of the top 6 teams with the CFP. I doubt we will repeat that since Texas A&M only dropped to #6, but I expect the top 5 will agree.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rankings through October 29, 2016

With the season's first College Football Playoff rankings set to be released on Tuesday, it is definitely time to check in with the random walker rankings to see where teams stand. Alabama is leaving right where they left off back in January with a dominant first half of the season. Currently Clemson, Washington, and the winner of the upcoming Michigan and Ohio State game also seem to be in great position for the top 4 playoff. But we still have over a month left in the season, so we should expect upsets to shuffle the landscape.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Final Rankings 2015

Alabama has once again been crowned national champion after an exciting and competitive championship game. We don't do preseason rankings since the results on the field are the only factor that determines the Random Walker Rankings. So check back in towards the end of September 2016 for next season's rankings.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bowl Game Predictions and Confidence Rankings

For those participating in a Bowl Mania type competition, below I list the RWFL predictions and confidence rankings for each of the bowl games. The predicted winners are simply the higher ranked teams, while the confidence rankings are set by ranking the difference in percentage of random walkers voting for each team.

The RWFL rankings correctly picked 25 of 42 games for a total confidence score of 580 out of a possible 903. For reference, in the ESPN Capital One Bowl Mania competition, the RWFL rankings finished at the 70.1% of all entries. The winner had a score of 789 after correctly picking 34 of 42 games and remarkably left the confidence levels in their default order based on the chronological ordering of bowl games.

WinnerLoserConfidence Score
AkronUtah St1
Oklahoma StMississippi2
CincinnatiSan Diego St3
Southern CalWisconsin4
Western KentuckySouth Florida5
Michigan StAlabama6
Washington StMiami FL7
Colorado StNevada9
MinnesotaCentral Michigan11
North CarolinaBaylor12
Winner of Cotton BowlWinner of Orange Bowl13
Virginia TechTulsa14
Georgia StSan Jose St15
Northern IllinoisBoise St18
HoustonFlorida St19
GeorgiaPenn State21
North Carolina A&TAlcorn St23
Ohio StateNotre Dame25
West VirginiaArizona St26
Arkansas StLouisiana Tech27
Appalachian StOhio U.28
ArizonaNew Mexico29
Western MichiganMiddle Tennessee St31
WashingtonSouthern Miss32
Bowling GreenGeorgia Southern33
Texas A&MLouisville34
Mississippi StNorth Carolina St37
ArkansasKansas St38
UtahBrigham Young39
CaliforniaAir Force40
LSUTexas Tech41

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