Post Week 13 College Football Rankings

It’s Bama and everyone else. Maybe it’s always been that way and we’ve just never admitted it until now. Bama ranks #1 in the Post Week 13 College Football rankings and they’re showing no signs of letting up from here to trophy presentation time. Not even an SEC championship game–against a Florida team which took advantage of a mis-led Tiger team in Death Valley this past Saturday to clinch to SEC East–seems to be capable of derailing the Tide from grabbing their billionth football championship. yay them.

 

top-25-rankings

Ohio State and Michigan are beating folks up fairly regularly. Other than missteps against Iowa and Penn State, the residents of the Horseshoe and Big House have been outscoring opponents by 30 and 31 points per game, respectively. Is it possible that either of them have a shot at taking down Bama? It’s hard to imagine, but in a world where life is stranger than fiction, who really knows?!? Ohio State needs Penn State–the Buckeyes’ only defeat this year–to slip up this coming weekend against Michigan State in order to get to the Big Ten title match, presumably against #9 Wisconsin. Should they make it to the Big Ten title game, they’d be a shoe-in to make the CFB Playoffs. Should Michigan win, and thus make the Big Ten title game and assuming they win there, they’d take the #2 spot in the CFB Playoffs. Aside from those options, the rest of the playoff field is a crap shoot.

Outside of the Big Ten’s multitude of scenarios for crowning a champion, the remaining two spots of the CFB playoff should include some combination of the following teams: Clemson, Louisville and Washington.

Clemson will face either North Carolina or Virginia Tech in the ACC championship. Should they take the conference crown, they’re pretty much guaranteed a spot amongst the final four.

Washington is one win away from heading to the Pac-12 title game–presumably against Colorado–and could steal the final spot in the playoffs with a strong win against rival Washington State this coming weekend and a Pac-12 crown. Should the Huskies falter on either step it would directly benefit Louisville as a possible second entry from the ACC.

conference-rankings

Conference Rankings

The Big Ten has taken over the conference rankings lead from the SEC in what has been a very, very long run for the football powerhouse.

With 4 teams in the top 9, the Big Ten reins supreme as the strongest conference in the FBS in 2016. Though the SEC holds the top spot in the Top 25 rankings with Alabama sitting atop their regular perch, the rest of the league has faltered in highly ranked teams. After Bama, Auburn and Florida come in at 13th and 15th, respectively, while the former will represents half of the league in the conference championship game.

Pick’Em Accuracy

The Bassford College Football Matrix has had a good year picking games. It has tallied a 72.4% accuracy so far in 2016 while home teams have averaged winning percentage of 61.9%.

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Week 11 College Football Rankings

Alabama holds the top spot at 8-0 heading into their Week 11 tilt with LSU in Baton Rouge. The Tide have, for weeks now, looked like the class of the college football landscape but can the Tide “hold that Tiger” in a feisty Death Valley this Saturday?

cfb-rankings-after-11

#7 Auburn, who is a game behind Bama and already holding a head-t0-head victory over LSU is hoping for a huge upset in Baton Rouge. The Tigers held off Ole Miss this weekend to keep their SEC West title hopes alive.

#2 Clemson also held off a similarly hard-charging Florida State team beating the Seminoles in their own Death Valley this past Saturday to maintain their undefeated record.

Perhaps the biggest surprise(s) amongst the top 25 this week is the emergence of mid-major and #10 Western Michigan as well as 6-1 and #11 Troy. Those two teams are ranked higher than midway up the rankings by result of their high-ish margin of victory tally (WMU at 25.1 and Troy at 17.7). Both would be ranked higher if it weren’t for their unsurprisingly low SOS marks–both are lower than 50% for their opponents’ marks.

WMU is leading the MAC at 8-0 and likewise undefeated in conference games while Troy’s only loss came against #2  Clemson earlier this year.

conf-standings-after-11-cfb

The SEC holds the top spot amongst conferences in the Bassford Power Index. The ACC comes up just behind their southeastern counterparts with two teams in the top 10, Clemson and Louisville.

One mid-major ranks higher than a Power 5 conference as The American conference–with two top 25 teams in Houston and Temple–leads the Big 12 by a small margin. The Big 12 doesn’t have a single team in the top 10 and their top ranked team from last week, West Virginia, dropped a critical game this weekend lowering their ranking down to 22nd this week.

notables-cfb-after-11

The below is a compiled record tally for the Bassford College Football Matrix rankings throughout the 2016 season. The final column on the right records the overall FBS record for home teams by respective week of the season.

predictions-cfb-2016-after-11

 

2016 Projected Wins: NCAA FBS Edition

Another friend sent me a message this past week in response to my last article. He noted that the same regressions could possibly be deciphered for college athletics if there were only a way to monetize a salary. Since “students don’t receive payment to attend a particular university”, I had to find another salary. This led me to research head coach salaries for FBS schools.

Luckily, I was able to find data for this year and the last three years’—thanks mostly to USA Today’s Coaches Salary Database—worth of data. I then took that data and arranged it alongside the wins, winning percentages and SRS numbers for each team. (SRS data supplied by www.sports-reference.com/cfb)

Once I had everything sorted out and aligned, I was then able to run some correlation tests on each of the sets of data and found some interesting things.

  1. SRS data—because football-reference.com is so amazing—has an 87.4 percent correlation with win percentage.
  2. Head Coach Compensation only has about a 41.5 percent correlation with winning percentage. It is also more negatively correlated to points allowed than it is to points scored. Maybe this means that money can only buy good defense, on average?
  3. Compensation has a 68 percent correlation with SRS. This was significant, and seeing as SRS had a high correlation with WPCT, I decided that I could use this route Compensation–>SRS Rating–>Win Percentage. That made the computations much simpler.
  4. Seeing that the correlation with compensation was still lower than, say, a more acceptable rate of 85 percent, I decided to add in a trend factor. When running a regression for trend on WPCT and Wins I didn’t feel that either correlation rated high enough from year to year. So, I went back to SRS and found that it had an 86.7 correlation rate from year to year SRS.
  5. Once I arrived at projected data for wins and SRS (from both the Compensation and Trend data) I was able to then give a weighted (2:1 Trend) average of each university.
  6. These numbers are based off of current head coach salaries as well as five year trend data for SRS statistics. Not all schools had reported HC salary—mostly the private universities—and for them I took simply the weighted average of the two projected win trends.
  7. The below chart details a “Top 25” of projected wins based on the noted data pools.

 

Rank School Conf. Weighted

Average

Wins

Projected

Wins

(HC Salary)

Projected

Wins

(Trend)

Projected

SRS

(HC Salary)

Projected

SRS

(Trend)

1 Ohio State Big Ten 12 9 14 10.93 26.69
2 Alabama SEC 12 10 12 14.25 20.93
3 Mississippi SEC 11 9 13 7.71 23.86
4 Stanford Pac 12 11 11 16.38
5 Clemson ACC 11 9 12 7.96 19.82
6 Michigan State Big Ten 11 9 12 8.86 18.63
7 Baylor Big 12 10 10 14.67
8 Florida State ACC 10 9 11 9.48 16.94
9 Texas Christian Big 12 10 10 14.36
10 Mississippi State SEC 10 9 11 7.71 17.27
11 UCLA Pac 12 10 9 11 7.84 17.15
12 Auburn SEC 10 9 11 9.48 15.55
13 Southern California Pac 12 10 10 12.45
14 Oklahoma Big 12 10 9 10 10.85 12.68
15 Tennessee SEC 10 9 10 7.71 13.96
16 Notre Dame Ind. 10 10 11.52
17 Georgia SEC 10 9 10 8.19 13.11
18 Washington Pac 12 10 9 10 8.19 12.86
19 Utah Pac 12 9 8 10 5.75 13.91
20 Oregon Pac 12 9 8 10 3.98 14.34
21 Duke ACC 9 9 10.21
22 Louisville ACC 9 9 9 8.42 11.07
23 Arkansas SEC 9 8 10 7.20 11.64
24 Memphis AAC 9 6 11 -1.72 15.75
25 Louisiana State SEC 9 9 9 10.42 9.14

 

The below chart is a look at how the SEC would fare this year according to this compiled data.

EAST Weighted

Average

Wins W’s

Projected

Wins

(HC Salary)

Projected

Wins

(Trend)

Projected

SRS

(HC Salary)

Projected

SRS

(Trend)

Tennessee 10 9 10 7.71 13.96
Georgia 10 9 10 8.19 13.11
Florida 9 9 9 8.42 8.58
Missouri 8 9 8 7.84 5.18
South Carolina 7 9 6 9.48 -2.20
Kentucky 7 8 6 4.92 -2.02
Vanderbilt 4 4 -7.52
WEST Weighted

Average

Wins W’s

Projected

Wins

(HC Salary)

Projected

Wins

(Trend)

Projected

SRS

(HC Salary)

Projected

SRS

(Trend)

Alabama 12 10 12 14.25 20.93
Mississippi 11 9 13 7.71 23.86
Mississippi State 10 9 11 7.71 17.27
Auburn 10 9 11 9.48 15.55
Arkansas 9 8 10 7.20 11.64
Louisiana State 9 9 9 10.42 9.14
Texas A&M 9 10 9 11.25 7.83

 

10 Things that get me through the Offseason.

TV and Movie Mediagameofthronespic

TV Shows – At the end of the day, I’ll take anything, really. But, the shows that make me read page after page of online chapter summaries like GoT are what really make the year go by fast. Luckily, between binging on Walter White, Don Draper and Frank Underwood, I’ve had some really great options over the last two years.

Game of Thrones – This is, hands down, the greatest show on television right now. Even if you aren’t in to dragons and zombies there’s still boobs and gore to keep the action moving. The plot lines are fresh and varied and this show isn’t afraid to knock off the most beloved characters at inopportune times.

House of Cards – Man, where did Frank Underwood and this show come from, amirite?!? This web-series show is amazing, congrats Netflix! I generally don’t get into political dramas—I never saw a single episode of West Wing—but this show, and Kevin Spacey specifically, is too good to pass up.

Orange is the New Black – No, this is not simply an opportunity to watch gobs of hot women being forced to live with relatively few male counterparts. Actually this is yet another amazing Netflix original web-series that combines unique storyline with electric upstart talent.

Breaking Bad – Walter White is dead. But man, if you haven’t binged every episode of this show you might want to wait until February 2015 and thank me later when you wake up from your blue-meth-induced coma right before NFL Kickoff 2015.  It’s primarily how my wife and I got through the Summer of 2013.

Mad Men – I’ve binged on this all spring/summer long and now I’m ready for the Spring Finale! Long live Dick Whitman!

Summer Movie Releases — Technically, I haven’t been to any summer movie releases this year, but you get the idea. They’re fun, they’re epic and when I was in my late teens, I once led a dozen dirtboys-in-training to the release of the epic action-drama Armageddon and watched all of them (myself included) lose all sense of self by shedding tears like running backs shed would-be tacklers.  Though none of them would be likely to fess up to such “unmanly” acts.

2014nfldraft

NFL Off-season activities

NFL Draft – There’s an inverse relationship between how much a football fan enjoys a particular year’s draft and how well that fan’s team played in the prior year. So, I suppose it’s a good thing that for the last decade or so the NFL Draft has been ho-hum for Saints’ fans. It’s definitely panned out better for us lately than a Ditka-Williams infused draft-day.

Free Agency – Who will get the big Free Agent talent? This year, just like in 2006, WE DID!!! WHODAT!!! Every April just before the draft, teams align themselves so that they can be in good position to at least poll that year’s best and brightest free agents. Not all teams sign the best players, and not all rumors are true; but, odds are, if you have a favorite football team, they’re involved in a trade or FA signing rumor.

NFL Network – Between the innovation of the Redzone Channel and the application of NFL Rewind, the NFL Network has been shortening the gap from Super Bowl to Training Camp.

College Football Offseasonnatlsigningday

Spring Football – For most folks, Spring Football is simply an opportunity to have a small, lightly observed tailgate in the spring months. If you live in the south, you get 30 some odd days of this and you call it college baseball. Regardless, Spring Football is a good chance to see early enrollees get some playing time and also a perfect opportunity to second guess your coaching staff before any meaningful snaps are taken.

National Signing Day – Leave it to football fans like me to romanticize a non-event event such as National Signing Day, hashtag NSD2014. I actually took a day of leave from work for this year’s version and kept track of LSU’s signees minute by minute. I mean, I’m staring at a computer screen refreshing every couple of minutes to see if a state university has received a signed document from a teenager. That’s it! And people actually think I have sane tendencies!!!

LSU Baseball

Listen. If you don’t love college baseball there is something horribly, horribly wrong with you. But I’ll offer you this. I parallel a person’s lack of affection for college baseball to an atheist/nonbeliever’s lack of commitment to any particular religion. Just because a person doesn’t know how awesome a thing is doesn’t mean they should be turned away from the promised land. However, if a person witnesses the wonders of college baseball and still doesn’t willingly partake and unconditionally love the sport of college baseball…? well, fires of hell for them. Kidding/Not Kidding.

This thing called Pro Baseballmlbopeningday

If you don’t like college baseball there’s still a good chance that you might like major league baseball. The start of the MLB season is one of those few events during the American sporting season where your average employer totally understands if you call in sick and take your kids to the ballpark. Unfortunately, most pro baseball teams have been eliminated by mid-year, which makes for a very long season for most fans. If your team is playing well (like my A’s are this year!!! Watch out WS2014!!!) it can really liven up some otherwise empty summer weekends.

March Madness

There’s not a whole lot that can compare to the first weekend of March Madness. College Baseball’s postseason has a tremendous first weekend, but until ESPN or another cable sports outlet gives them the airtime (actual network airtime; see: not online) they deserve, they simply won’t garner the same size national love and appreciation.

NBA Season

It’s the professional version of basketball competition and really they do just about everything wrong. SEE: ARTICLE

fifa-world-cup-2014-brazilInternational Competitions

FIFA World Cup – Because Soccer exists, no matter how much we try to deny it.  Yes, I love my country.  Yes, I’ll support them whether they’re playing cricket, football or soccer.

FIBA World Cup – This exists.

World Cup of Baseball – This too.

Olympics – It’s hard to get a good year where you’re both interested in the sports being played (see: Summer Olympics) and also have a year where the games are being held in a city that isn’t time zone prohibitive. Case in point was this year’s Winter Olympics which had neither of the fore mentioned qualities. It was a) the Winter Olympics (because, curling) and b) held in Sochi, Russia which is 9 hours ahead Central Time—which meant that prime time events were held at 10am, right around the same time you were on your second cup of coffee…at work.

boobsBoobs

You know, life has many boobs. (I might very well be one of them) But boobs do make the world go ‘round. I happen to know this first hand because a) I’m a self-proclaimed “boob-man” and b) my wife has boobs. Why is that second point important? Using the transitive property, let’s follow the logic train:

1. Boobs are widely respected and found on every continent, nation, state and city in the world. No matter where you go, boobs are likely only an arm’s length away.

2. My wife has boobs.

3. Football exists because my wife allows me to enjoy it. (enjoy football, not boobs–but yes, I do enjoy her boobs as well)

(also important to note that the presence of an offseason allows my wife a needed respite between seasons, without which, there would be no tolerance for said regular season)

4. Football is likely the greatest human invention ever.

Kids

Naturally following the preceding discussion, we have kids. Kids are pretty cool. And, contrary to what I’d like to tell you, they can be awesome even when they’re awake. Why, just this past weekend I watched all three of my kids learn and recite a full Blues Brother’s quote and without even the slightest bit of bribery. See? Life is good. Just like item number 8, if you have a handful of kids (like the wifey and I do), time can really fly.

 

Vacation

Summer is vacation time. No matter where you live, it seems like everyone enjoys getting the hell out of wherever they call home and ruining someone else’s home just to be able to make it through the rest of the year. There’s the normal summer vacay period, which can cover either all of the kids’ break between spring and fall semesters or there’s the holiday period of July 4th but there’s also Spring Break and a handful of other offseason break periods to get a football fan safely from season’s end to kickoff.  Also, some vacations are better than others.