Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rankings through November 20th

With the top four teams in the BCS all off for the weekend, one doesn't expect much of a change at the top of the rankings. With most of the other highly-ranked teams winning, except Nebraska (previously BCS#8), there seems even less reason for change in algorithmic rankings. Yes, the debate continues about the relative rankings of the other one-loss teams, but the computer rankings used by the BCS don't factor in margin of victory (neither do we here).

So it is something of a surprise that the top of the plot below is so different from last week's figure. Obviously, we expect Nebraska to fall with a loss; but LSU used to be ahead of both TCU and Boise State for a wide range of "p values" (our bias parameter which influences the importance of strength of schedule and which serves as a very rough proxy for some different ranking systems).  That range where the strength of schedule of LSU, Stanford, and Missouri is enough here to put them ahead of Boise State has now narrowed in the left edge of the figure.  This is presumably in part because each of them beat teams with incoming records at .500 and below in conference this weekend; but I also suspect a variety of indirect effects in the developing network of wins and losses between teams.

Our rankings for the full FBS and FCS are available on Kenneth Massey's College Football Ranking Comparison.