Whoo Pig Lateral! Another crazy finish in College Football this weekend, this one courtesy of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the campus of the University of Mississippi. Being from Arkansas that was pretty sweet, twitter and facebook blew up with shares of the craziness that happened. How about Michigan State-Nebraska? I felt the receiver was not guided out of bounds at all and it was a blown call, however Michigan State could have still pulled the win out if Connor Cook had not have bobbled his last throw. LSU, TCU, and Michigan State all Playoff Committee Top 10 teams all lost. Memphis was higher in the committee poll than we have them, but we no longer need to worry about them as Navy took away all hope for them to reach any New Year’s 6 Bowl. I am not basing anything on preseason rankings and just looking at what happens on the field this season. I use metrics such as Offensive Efficiency (OE) and Defensive Efficiency (DE) and new this week I am using a new metric: Strength of Victory (SV) as computed by the Sagarin Rankings. One more thing we look at here is: How good is your good?
1 Clemson 9-0 (last week:1)
9th OE; 2nd DE; 2nd SV +194 Point Differential. Clemson shook off the Florida State demons yesterday and now have a clear path to the ACC Championship Game and a #1 seed in the College Football Playoff.
2 Oklahoma State 9-0 (last week: tie-5)
22nd OE; 17th DE; 9th SV; +187 Point Differential. Bold, Oklahoma State is playing as efficiently as anyone else in the country, the difference is they do not have a loss. With Baylor and Oklahoma still having to go to Stillwater the Big 12 Championship now runs through Stillwater, OK.
3 Iowa 9-0 (last week: tie-7)
30th OE; 13th DE; 16th SV; +147 Point Differential. Another bold selection here. All that remains between Iowa and a date at the Big 10 Championship Game is Minnesota and Purdue at home and a road game at Nebraska.
4 Ohio State 9-0 (last week: 2)
38th OE; 5th DE; 5th SV; +201 Point Differential. Last night Ohio State went through the motions in yet another lackluster total team performance. Sure they came away with the victory, but they remind me of Florida State from a year ago.
5 Baylor 8-0 (last week: 4)
1st OE; 45th DE; 4th SV; +259 Point Differential. Baylor seems to be able to plug and play anyone at QB. Escaping Manhattan was good for them, however now they must play Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and TCU in succession.
6 Oklahoma 8-1 (last week: 9)
12th OE; 10th DE; 3rd SV; +254 Point Differential. Oklahoma’s loss to Texas can not be explained, however it has seemed to lit a fire in the Sooners. They are blowing people out and these games are not even competitive.
7 Alabama 8-1 (last week: 10)
32nd OE; 1st DE; 1st SV; +151 Point Differential. What Alabama did to LSU should not be legal. The game was not as close to 30-16. Alabama’s good is really good, which makes the loss to Ole Miss even more unexplainable.
8 LSU 8-1 (last week: 3)
11th OE; 24th DE; 11th SV; +100 Point Differential. The National Championship dream is probably over, as well as Fournette’s dream of a Heisman Trophy. But does a Sugar Bowl bid help take some of the sting away? It might just do that like a good batch of New Orleans jambalaya.
9 Stanford 8-1 (last week: 13)
7th OE; 35th OE; 8th SV; +152 Point Differential. Stanford controls its own destiny. Still having Notre Dame and Utah on the schedule helps as long as those two keep winning as well.
10 Florida 8-1 (last week: tie-11)
46th OE; 4th DE; 12th SV; +126 Point Differential. Despite Florida struggling with Vanderbilt, they have an elite defense and if they ever get some offense to go with that…they’re good is sky high.
11 Notre Dame 8-1 (last week: 14)
5th OE; 46th DE; 7th SV; +126 Point Differential. Notre Dame has fought off the injury bug all year and still are alive with only the one loss at Clemson. Don’t sleep on the Irish, they still have a date with Stanford.
12 Houston 9-0 (last week: 16)
27th OE; 26th DE; 24th SV; +232 Point Differential. Houston may crash the New Year’s 6 party this season. They are the only Group of 5 conference member left that is unbeaten. They handled Vanderbilt 34-0…the same Vanderbilt who almost beat Florida.
13 Utah 8-1 (last week: 15)
43rd OE; 11th DE; 14th SV; +110 Point Differential. Utah grabbed a very good victory at Washington last night. Washington has one of the top 12 defenses in the country and Utah hung 34 on them. Utah can still make some major moves up the poll.
14 Mississippi State 7-2 (last week: tie-21)
18th OE; 19th DE; 17th SV; +157 Point Differential. Quietly Mississippi State has been putting together a very good season. Things will get a bit more noticed this weekend as Alabama visits Starkville.
15 North Carolina 8-1 (last week: 19)
6th OE; 59th DE; 21st SV; +194 Point Differential. Another quietly good team here, North Carolina now has a date with Clemson at the ACC Championship game if it can get by Miami at home then road trips to Virginia Tech and NC State.
16 Florida State 7-2 (last week: tie-11)
19th OE; 32nd DE; 19th SV; +118 Point Differential. Even though Florida State lost at the #1 team in the country, they are still alive for a New Year’s 6 bowl.
17 TCU 8-1 (last week: tie-5)
3rd OE; 62nd DE; 6th SV; +175 Point Differential. TCU got their butts kicked yesterday plain and simple. There is still hope to get to a major bowl, however the Playoff may have slipped away.
tie-18 Michigan 7-2 (last week: tie-21)
42nd OE; 9th DE; 13th SV; +171 Point Differential. Michigan is quietly going about its business after the Michigan State game and if they keep taking care of business, we all know where all the eyes will be once the Buckeyes are on the opposite sideline.
tie-18 Michigan State 8-1 (last week: tie-7)
21st OE; 39th DE; 22nd SV; +89 Point Differential. The Spartans have been in close games all season. Last night it finally caught up to them. A tune up against Maryland will help as the following game is against the Buckeyes.
20 USC 6-3 (last week: 23)
15th OE; 22nd DE; 10th SV; +134 Point Differential. It is hard not to rank the Trojans higher, however they have 3 losses and that is what is making them stay near the bottom of the Top 25. They are the 6th most efficient team in the country.
21 Ole Miss 7-3 (last week: 20)
14th OE; 36th DE; 15th SV; +177 Point Differential. After a wild finish against Arkansas, Ole Miss gets a week off to finish the season. Still have LSU and the Egg Bowl on the schedule.
22 UCLA 7-2 (last week: NR)
28th OE; 28th DE; 23rd SV; +104 Point Differential. UCLA still has hope, if Utah stumbles and they can handle USC the Bruins still have a shot at the Rose Bowl (home game for them).
23 Temple 8-1 (last week: 24)
66th OE; 16th DE; 39th SV; +140 Point Differential. It looked like Temple was having a Notre Dame hangover until they opened the floodgates and hung 60 on SMU. Still a very good team capable of playing anyone tough.
24 Wisconsin 8-2 (last week: NR)
49th OE; 23rd DE; 20th SV; +164 Point Differential. When your only losses are to Alabama and Iowa, you are having a pretty good season. A big game for second place with Northwestern this weekend will determine the bowl hierarchy that Wisconsin will get this January.
25 Boise State 7-2 (last week: NR)
41st OE; 15th DE; 26th SV; +194 Point Differential. Boise State year in and year out has become a contender for big time games. Can we get them into a bigger conference?
All Efficiency rankings taken from ESPN and all Strength of Victory rankings are straight from the Sagarin rankings