BoW 2015 College Football Ranking Index Week 14

Full 128 FBS Rankings Week 14

Final regular season top 25:

Rank Team Conference
1 Alabama SEC
2 Oklahoma XII
3 Clemson ACC
4 Michigan State B1G
5 Stanford PAC12
6 Ohio State B1G
7 Iowa B1G
8 Oregon PAC12
9 Northwestern B1G
10 Texas Christian XII
11 Mississippi SEC
12 Florida State ACC
13 Notre Dame Ind
14 North Carolina ACC
15 Oklahoma State XII
16 Michigan B1G
17 Southern California PAC12
18 Utah PAC12
19 Florida SEC
20 Louisiana State SEC
21 Baylor XII
22 Miami (FL) ACC
24 Houston Amer
25 Arkansas SEC

I feel confident that my formula picked the CFP participants correctly, but the order by the committee will likely be different. Alabama maybe gets the top spot after Clemson struggled with UNC, but doubtful Clemson would drop two spots.

Other New Year’s Six participants would be the rest of the top 11 and Houston. My formula would have the following match-ups:

CFP Orange: Alabama vs Michigan St

CFP Cotton: Oklahoma vs Clemson

Rose: Stanford vs Ohio St

Fiesta: Iowa vs Houston

Sugar: Oregon vs Ole Miss

Peach: TCU vs Northwestern

I doubt any of these match-ups are picked, but would make for some great games.

CFP vs BoW Poll 12/1/2015

12/1/15 poll CFP Diff BoW
1 Clemson -2 Alabama
2 Alabama 1 Oklahoma
3 Oklahoma 1 Clemson
4 Iowa -3 Michigan State
5 Michigan State 1 Stanford
6 Ohio State 0 Ohio State
7 Stanford 2 Iowa
8 Notre Dame -6 Northwestern
9 Florida State -2 Oregon
10 North Carolina 0 North Carolina
11 Texas Christian -2 Florida State
12 Baylor -5 Mississippi
13 Mississippi 1 Texas Christian
14 Northwestern 6 Notre Dame
15 Michigan -4 Oklahoma State
16 Oregon 7 Southern California
17 Oklahoma State 2 Baylor
18 Florida 0 Florida
19 Houston -6 Michigan
20 Southern California 4 Utah
21 Louisiana State 0 Louisiana State
22 Temple -18 Miami (FL)
23 Navy -10 UCLA
24 Utah 4 Arkansas
25 Tennessee -2 Houston

The discrepancies between my formula and the committee are dwindling as more data becomes available, except when it comes to the Group of 5 teams. The committee seems to be going out of their way to throw these teams a bone, though I’m not sure why. Houston will likely be their representative, so long as they can get past Temple at home this week.

The playoff picture was made a lot clearer with the losses of Baylor, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State.

Paths of Least Resistance

Clemson: Win the ACC CG and they’re in the playoff. Lose close, and they’d need some help but may still be able to sneak in at the 4 spot.

Alabama: Win the SEC CG, otherwise they’re out.

Oklahoma: This is the only team that is definitely in the playoff. Regular season is over.

Iowa: Win Big Ten CG and they’re in, lose and they’re out.

Michigan St: Notre Dame’s lost cleared the path for Michigan State to win the Big Ten and get in.

Ohio St: Needs one of Alabama or Clemson to lose. An Alabama loss would almost certainly put them in (barring a Stanford blowout win this week), a Clemson loss would be a toss-up.

Stanford: Win the PAC12 CG by a wide margin AND at least one of Clemson and Alabama lose. Running up the score is in the Cardinal’s best interest this week.

Notre Dame: Out.

Florida State: Out.

North Carolina: Needs to beat Clemson by a lot, and maybe the committee will look past those two FCS teams on the schedule. Everyone who enjoys good non-conference games should not want UNC to get into the playoff; it sets a terrible precedent for scheduling going forward.


BoW 2015 College Football Ranking Index Week 13

Rankings updated thru Week 13 (11/28/2015): (Full 128 FBS Rankings Week 13)

Rank Team Conference
1 Alabama SEC
2 Oklahoma XII
3 Clemson ACC
4 Michigan State B1G
5 Stanford PAC12
6 Ohio State B1G
7 Iowa B1G
8 Northwestern B1G
9 Oregon PAC12
10 North Carolina ACC
11 Florida State ACC
12 Mississippi SEC
13 Texas Christian XII
14 Notre Dame Ind
15 Oklahoma State XII
16 Southern California PAC12
17 Baylor XII
18 Florida SEC
19 Michigan B1G
20 Utah PAC12
21 Louisiana State SEC
22 Miami (FL) ACC
24 Arkansas SEC
25 Houston Amer


Highlights from Week 13: Despite no changes in my top 5, the playoff picture became much clearer. Upsets in the ACC or SEC championship games this week could untidy the bracket, but for now it is simple: Oklahoma is in, Alabama and Clemson win and they’re in, and the Big Ten champion is in.

ACC: Clemson hangs on to beat in-state rival South Carolina and will retain their playoff seeding with a win over North Carolina this week.

B1G: Ohio State finally woke up after sleepwalking through their regular season to earn their first win over a ranked opponent. Too little, too late, as Iowa will face Michigan State in Indianapolis this week for a spot in the CFP.

Big XII: Oklahoma makes a statement that they belong in the CFP after blasting Oklahoma State on the road.

PAC12: Stanford ended Notre Dame’s playoff hopes on a last second field goal and now get a rematch with USC to keep their ultra-slim playoff hopes alive. The Cardinal won the first round with the Trojans back in September.

SEC: Florida gets clobbered at home, but can still play spoiler to Alabama this week in Atlanta.

Prediction for CFP top 4: Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa. Stanford should move up to the top 7, along with Michigan State and Ohio State. The committee would have a tough decision to make if one of Alabama/Clemson lose; setting up well for the Big Ten to get two bids. A Stanford win would make for a tough decision between the 1-loss Buckeyes and 2-loss PAC12 champ.

Ticket watch Week 13

Week Home Rank Home team Opp Opp Rank Entry price Notes
13 12 Florida Florida St 13 207
13 Auburn Alabama 2 161
13 11 Oklahoma St Oklahoma 3 154
13 10 Michigan Ohio St 8 148
13 Nebraska Iowa 4 142 Friday game
13 Southern Cal UCLA 22 139
13 Washington Washington St 20 119 Friday game
13 21 Mississippi St Ole Miss 18 113
13 NC State North Carolina 14 101
13 South Carolina Clemson 1 78
13 9 Stanford Notre Dame 6 72
13 19 TCU Baylor 7 49 Friday game
13 17 Oregon Oregon St 44 Friday game
13 16 Northwestern Illinois 39 at Soldier Field
13 23 Utah Colorado 34
13 24 Toledo Western Michigan 22 Friday game
13 25 Temple UConn 17
13 Houston Navy 15 9 Friday game
13 5 Michigan St Penn St 0

MSU Ticket PricesMichigan State! What is going on here?? This is a game where they can clinch the division, and students are giving away tickets on StubHub. Meanwhile, their athletic department is getting desperate too:MSU ticket promo

This can be looked at in a couple ways. First, if you’re a Michigan State fan, this is an absolute steal of a price to go see your playoff-contending team in their home finale. On the other hand, why in the world is Michigan State struggling to fill their stadium when the team is ranked #5 and coming off an enormous win? This is not a new phenomenon, as just two weeks ago Michigan State struggled to sell tickets for the Maryland game. I do have a hypothesis, and would love to be proven wrong because it is just a sad indictment of their inferiority complex and/or obsession with the University of Michigan: Michigan State fans do not want to attend their team’s home games because doing so would prevent them from watching Michigan play.

I say this because I know a lot of Spartan fans that love watching their team play. However, a startling number of them rarely attend games (the exception being when they play Michigan), but love watching them on TV. It’s not for a lack of interest in their team, or not wanting to be outside in the cold (they LOVE tailgating). Their game this week is far from the least appealing match-up on this list. It is indisputably more appealing than Toledo/Western Michigan, Temple/UConn, and Utah/Colorado. And while it is an artificial rivalry, it is still a more appealing match-up on the field than Northwestern/Illinois, Oregon/Oregon St, North Carolina/NC State, or Clemson/South Carolina, all of which are commanding more than the MSU ticket office promotion. In a vacuum their lack of attendance doesn’t seem too bad, but placed side by side with other ranked teams it is pretty damning.

Anyway, great value in the Stanford/Notre Dame and TCU/Baylor games this week. The top ten most expensive are all rivalry games, with ranking seeming to correlate well to price.


CFP vs BoW Poll 11/24/2015

2015 BoW vs CFP Rankings Week 12, with difference in ranking between outlets listed in between team names.

Baylor, Florida St, Navy, and Temple(?) are all overvalued by the committee. Florida St and Baylor can validate their rankings with wins over ranked opponents this week. Oregon is playing much better than their ranking, as is North Carolina (watch out, Clemson).

Paths of Least Resistance

Each week, I will highlight the least convoluted path a team can take to get into the playoff. Granted, many alternate scenarios could result in the same outcome for a given team. In the interest of keeping this concise and easy-ish to follow, I’ll only give the clearest scenario and whether or not the team can afford a loss and still make the field of 4.

Clemson: Win out, including ACC CG. Can they lose? Maybe, but they need to win the ACC.

Alabama: Win out, cannot afford a loss.

Oklahoma: Beat Oklahoma St, and may still need help from Stanford beating Notre Dame or Big Ten chaos.

Iowa: Win out, probably can’t lose to Nebraska this week.

Michigan St: Win out AND 1 of the following needs to have 2 losses: SEC champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame. Small chance they could be selected over 1 loss Big XII (probably not Oklahoma), and a 1-loss Notre Dame probably jumps them.

Notre Dame: Beat Stanford and they’ll probably be in, but an Oklahoma loss would help.

Baylor: Win out, Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma St, AND 1 of the following needs to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big Ten champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame.

Ohio St: Win out, Michigan St needs to lose to Penn St AND 2 of the following need to have 2 losses: SEC champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Baylor.

Stanford: Win out, including PAC12 CG, AND 2 of the following need to have 2 losses: SEC champ, Big Ten champ, ACC champ, Oklahoma, Baylor.

Michigan: Michigan State needs to lose AND 3 of the following need to have 2 losses: SEC champ, ACC champ, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma St AND Stanford can’t win the PAC12.

Oklahoma St: Beat Oklahoma, need Stanford to beat Notre Dame then lose PAC12 CG, and need Baylor to lose a game.

Florida: Beating Florida St and Alabama might be enough to get back in, but still would need an exceptional amount of outside help.

All of the teams below cannot get to the top 4 (without Mass Chaos, see below), either due to too many losses, too weak a schedule, no chance to win their division, or a combination of any/all of these.

Florida St

North Carolina






Washington St

Mississippi State





Mass Chaos

If your team is currently below the threshold to get in the playoff without mass chaos, here is a chart of the most probable game results needed to create the amount of chaos necessary to completely blow up the paths outlined above. If all of the following happened, only the Oklahoma/Oklahoma St winner would have fewer than two losses. Bold lettered games indicate a loss to a team not in the current CFP Top 25.

Week 13 Baylor loses at TCU Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma St
Week 13 Clemson loses at South Carolina UNC loses at NC St Notre Dame loses at Stanford
Week 14 Clemson loses ACC CG
Big Ten
Week 13 Ohio St loses at Michigan Iowa loses at Nebraska  Michigan St loses to Penn St
Week 14 Iowa loses Big Ten CG
Entire conference has 2+ losses each
Week 13 Florida loses to Florida St  Alabama loses at Auburn
Week 14 If Alabama or Florida win their week 13 game, then that team loses the SEC CG

Important games in Week 13:

Iowa at Nebraska

Baylor at TCU

Ohio St at Michigan

Clemson at South Carolina

Penn St at Michigan St

Alabama at Auburn

North Carolina at NC State

Florida St at Florida

Notre Dame at Stanford

Oklahoma at Oklahoma St

Teams in bold still have playoff dreams, and a loss this late almost certainly knocks them out (Clemson being the lone possible exception).

Ticket watch will be a little earlier this week; tonight or tomorrow morning.


BoW 2015 College Football Ranking Index Week 12

Rankings updated thru Week 12 (11/21/2015): (Full 128 FBS Rankings)

*Note: WordPress discontinued their free table formatting, so now it looks like this. The linked spreadsheet is much easier to read.

Rank Team Conference
1 Alabama SEC
2 Oklahoma XII
3 Clemson ACC
4 Michigan State B1G
5 Stanford PAC12
6 Iowa B1G
7 Notre Dame Ind
8 Oregon PAC12
9 North Carolina ACC
10 Florida SEC
11 Northwestern B1G
12 Oklahoma State XII
13 Ohio State B1G
14 Michigan B1G
15 Baylor XII
16 Utah PAC12
17 Mississippi SEC
19 Washington State PAC12
20 Southern California PAC12
21 Texas Christian XII
22 Mississippi State SEC
23 Florida State ACC
24 Pittsburgh ACC
25 Louisiana State SEC

Highlights from Week 12: Alabama remains atop the standings. Oklahoma and Clemson switch places. Michigan State jumps into the top 4.

ACC: North Carolina survives the Frank Beamer farewell. Boston College hangs with Notre Dame, costing the Irish some crucial style points late in the season.

B1G: Michigan State pulls off the win of the year (so far) at Ohio St, clearing their path to the playoff. Iowa remains unbeaten.

Big XII: Oklahoma State is unbeaten no more, as Baylor leaves Stillwater with a 10 point victory. Oklahoma barely hangs on against TCU, and now seems to be the conference’s best bet at a playoff bid.

PAC12: Does anybody in the PAC12 South want to win the conference? Utah loses again and finds itself in a 3 way tie in the south division with USC and UCLA. Stanford clinches the North.

SEC: LSU is in free-fall, dropping their 3rd straight with all 3 by double digits. Florida avoids national embarrassment by hanging on in overtime against a horrible Florida Atlantic team.

Elsewhere: Houston finally loses, and not to who you’d expect. UConn becomes bowl eligible with the win over the Cougars, and the Group of 5 is officially out of the running for a playoff berth.

Prediction for CFP top 4: Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, and…Iowa? Michigan State? Oklahoma? My formula says it’ll be Oklahoma, but Iowa wasn’t really unimpressive enough to get jumped by a team with a worse record. I’ll post the comparison of polls, scenarios going forward, and a week 13 preview next time.

Ticket watch Week 12

Ticket prices for games with ranked teams. The drop in price for Iowa’s game from last week is surprising. There’s great value in games with two top 25 teams in games at Wisconsin and Oklahoma St. Notre Dame tickets are again among the most expensive, though the venue (Fenway Park) likely plays a role. Michigan St goes from least expensive ticket at home last week to most expensive on the road this week. They may return to the bottom again next week, but could avoid it with a win in Columbus.