Full 128 FBS Rankings include records and strength of schedule (including postseason games). Alabama was near the top in schedule strength prior to the playoff and those two games were enough to give them the top spot, which makes their season that much more impressive; this was clearly the best team in 2015.
Stanford’s jump to number two makes sense when the context of schedule strength is included; 4th strongest compared to Clemson’s 30th strongest. Along the same lines, LSU was fortunate to have had their game with McNeese St cancelled as that would’ve hurt their schedule strength more than an extra win over an FCS team would’ve helped it. Similarly, USC is ranked fairly high despite 6 losses because their schedule was so difficult.
Next year I’ll include a weekly update on schedule strength with the rankings. I’ll also have more analysis on ticket prices, and I’d like to incorporate TV ratings though the data I’ve found for this past season was typically incomplete.