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.