Miami players celebrate an upset over Duke on the last play of the game…no it is not on the Hardwood it is on the Gridiron. When did we arrive at a point where this is even fathomable, let alone it plays out? Three straight weeks of October Madness are now behind us and now we are only days away from the committee releasing who’s in the drivers seat for championship glory. This poll may be close to that one, it may be way off. I know that in the end it will probably shake itself out. Starting this weekend TCU travels to Oklahoma State and LSU plays Alabama in T-Town. There is 2 contenders knocked off right there. I am not basing anything off of preseason rankings, I am using some metrics-offensive efficiency (OE) and defensive efficiency (DE). I will take the remaining strength of schedule (RSOS) into consideration somewhat. The one thing I like the most is we look at an eyeball metric: how good is your good? This week I am going to add in cumulative over under, I feel that shows how well a team has been playing the entirety of the season.
1 Clemson 8-0 (last week: 1)
5th OE; 2nd DE; 52nd RSOS; +184 point differential. Clemson is the only team in America that is playing with a Top 5 offensive and defensive efficiency. If they can get by Florida State, it should be smooth sailing into the Playoff.
2 Ohio State 8-0 (last week: 2)
38th OE; 6th DE; 32nd RSOS; +187 point differential. Ohio State was off, JT Barrett was suspended. Cardale Jones will play against Minnesota next week. Upset?
3 LSU 7-0 (last week: 3)
8th OE; 18th DE; 1st RSOS; +114 point differential. LSU was off this week. All eyes will be on Tuscaloosa, including GameDay, as LSU-Alabama renew their rivalry.
4 Baylor 7-0 (last week: 4)
1st OE; 43rd DE; 9th RSOS; +252 point differential. Baylor was off this weekend as well. A Thursday night affair in Manhattan might be a little trickier than you think without Seth Russell. We will see if Baylor can really plug-n-play with a new QB midseason.
tie-5 Oklahoma State 8-0 (last week: 8)
25th OE; 26th DE; 2nd RSOS; +167 point differential. I thought Texas Tech had the Cowboys yesterday. But Oklahoma State reeled off 70 on the Red Raiders and put themselves right in the mix for a Playoff berth.
tie-5 TCU 8-0 (last week: 6)
2nd OE; 51st DE; 22nd RSOS; +195 point differential. TCU blew out West Virginia on Thursday night and now that sets up a meeting with Oklahoma State. The winner will be in the drivers seat for a playoff.
tie-7 Iowa 8-0 (last week: 7)
31st OE; 9th DE; 56th RSOS; +139 point differential. Lets face it, Iowa is probably going to be undefeated heading into the Big 10 Championship game barring a major upset.
tie-7 Michigan State 8-0 (last week: 5)
23rd OE; 35th DE; 40th RSOS; +90 point differential. Michigan State had a bye last week, they have the worst point differential of any team we’ve covered so far.
9 Oklahoma 7-1 (last week: 10)
12th OE; 12th DE; 11th RSOS; +218 point differential. Oklahoma has taken over the title “Best 1 loss team in the country”. They have a tune up game against Iowa State before traveling to Baylor.
10 Alabama 7-1 (last week: 12)
28th OE; 1st DE; 34th RSOS; +137 point differential. Alabama got an off week to prepare for the LSU game. This has the feel of a national quarterfinal game.
tie-11 Florida 7-1 (last week: 14)
32nd OE; 3rd DE; 55th RSOS; +124 point differential. Florida is now the clear cut favorite to get to the SEC Championship game from the East. If they can defeat in-state rival Florida State and win the SEC, they will have made a real good case to the committee.
tie-11 Florida State 7-1 (last week: 15)
14th OE; 34th DE; 37th RSOS; +128 point differential. Florida State bombed its way to victory with a backup QB. Now they have Clemson in the way of them and another ACC championship run.
13 Stanford 7-1 (last week: 9)
9th OE; 37th DE; 18th RSOS; +120 point differential. Stanford struggled in the wet night in Pullman. Having to rally to earn a 30-28 victory over Wazzou. Still a threat for the playoff.
14 Notre Dame 7-1 (last week: 13)
6th OE; 52nd DE; 47th RSOS; +114 point differential. Notre Dame was lucky to escape Philadelphia with a victory. Temple proved that on any given Saturday they can play with the big boys.
15 Utah 7-1 (last week: 11)
43rd OE; 17th DE; 36th RSOS; +99 point differential. Utah still has a chance to get to the Pac 12 Championship game, win it and win its way into the Playoff. A lot of things will need to fall right.
16 Houston 8-0 (last week: 17)
24th OE; 31st DE; 71st RSOS; +229 point differential. Houston may be the best non power 5 conference team this season. After shutting out Vandy, they are making that case.
17 Memphis 8-0 (last week: 18)
13th OE; 68th DE; 61st RSOS; +170 point differential. Memphis plays a home game with Navy, then travels to Houston and Temple. We will see where they are after the next 3 weeks.
18 Toledo 7-0 (last week: 16)
51st OE; 24th DE; 65th RSOS; +145 point differential. Toledo plays the next 3 Tuesday’s in succession. This will either give the committee something to look at or make them forget because of a loss. Toledo has to be perfect.
19 North Carolina 7-1 (last week: 20)
11th OE; 59th DE; 20th RSOS; +159 point differential. North Carolina is now in sole control of it’s own destiny after defeating Pitt and watching rival Duke lose to the U on one of the craziest plays of the season.
20 Ole Miss 7-2 (last week: 23)
20th OE; 19th DE; 3rd RSOS; +178 point differential. Ole Miss has played its way back into the conversation for an at-large New Year’s 6 bowl game.
tie-21 Michigan 6-2 (last week: 24)
59th OE; 7th DE; 48th RSOS; +138 point differential. Michigan needed a goal line stand to hang on against Minnesota and claim the Little Brown Jug. Good win, and it keeps the Wolverines in the conversation for an at-large New Year’s 6 bowl game.
tie-21 Mississippi State 6-2 (last week: 25)
18th OE; 22nd DE; 5th RSOS; +139 point differential. Do not sleep on the Bulldogs, remember they still have Dak at QB and a lot of skill position players.
23 USC 5-3 (last week: NR)
10th OE; 28th DE; 33rd RSOS; +126 point differential. I can’t for the life of me explain why a group who’s good is this good has 3 losses. I fully expect USC to win out and go 9-3 on the season. If you pull up FPI, which is where I get all my efficiencies, USC is playing at the 5th highest efficiency overall in the nation.
24 Temple 7-1 (last week: 19)
82nd OE; 11th DE; 77th RSOS; +120 point differential. Temple played very well against Notre Dame. They have a chance to win their conference still and perhaps even make the committee think about them later on this season.
25 Texas A&M 6-2 (last week: NR)
55th OE; 25th DE; 60th RSOS; +60 point differential. Somehow the Aggies change QB’s midseason and the offense wakes up just like last season. If they’d ever be consistent for 1 whole season they’d be dangerous.
All efficiency and strength of schedule rankings taken from ESPN