The Top 4 of the College Football Playoff rankings will look a little different this week after Texas A&M lost to Mississippi State and the three teams behind the Aggies — Washington, Ohio State and Louisville — all won big.
The playoff rankings are really the only thing that matter at this point, but they won’t come out until Tuesday night. So until then, we’ll provide you with the AP Poll, Coaches Poll, FootballOutsiders’ S&P+ rankings and ESPN’s FPI.
Remember, each poll or set of rankings can look drastically different. AP voters usually rank teams incrementally based on what happened that week. The committee is a little more volatile with the College Football Playoff rankings. S&P+ and FPI are intended to predict future results.
We’ll update each set of rankings as they’re released on Sunday morning and afternoon.
|10||Texas A&M||WVU||Wisc.||Texas A&M|
|14||WMU||Penn State||Oklahoma||Wash. St|
|17||OK State||OK State||Va. Tech||Tennessee|
|18||Va. Tech||FSU||WMU||Ole Miss|
|20||FSU||Nebraska||Texas A&M||Penn State|
|23||Wash St.||Wash St.||UNC||Florida|
AP Poll: A team receives 25 points for each first place vote, 24 for second place and so on through to the 25th team, which receives one point. The AP Poll has been around since 1936, and a panel of 61 voters make up the results.
Coaches Poll: A panel, chosen at random, of FBS coaches vote in the Amway Coaches poll. Like the AP Poll, each voter submits a Top 25 with a first-place vote worth 25 points, second place 24, and so on down to one point for 25th.
S&P+: The S&P+ Ratings — developed by Bill Connelly of SB Nation and Football Outsiders — are an analytical system “derived from the play-by-play and drive data of all 800+ of a season’s FBS college football games.” It considers efficiency, explosiveness, field position, turnovers and finishing drives as the most important factors for a football team. It’s less concerned with wins and losses than any of the other rankings.
ESPN FPI: FPI, maintained by ESPN, is a predictive model that projects a team’s future success based on its past performance. Per ESPN, “FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule.”
Around college football
No. 1 Alabama beat LSU 10-0 on Saturday. Left on its schedule now is Mississippi State, Chattanooga and Auburn, all at home, then the SEC Championship Game if it gets by Auburn.
No. 3 Michigan throttled Maryland at home and is now beating Big Ten opponents by an average of 37 points per game.
No. 6 Ohio State got back on track by dismantling No. 10 Nebraska, making that showdown in Columbus at the end of the month oh-so intriguing. Saturday’s game was all the more reason you should never doubt Urban Meyer, even if his team wasn’t perfect in October.
No. 5 Washington crushed Cal and No. 7 Louisville did the same to Boston College.
Nebraska spent the first two months of the season making its case for its ranking — Top 25, then Top 15, then Top 10 — and must feel like it has to go back to the drawing board after losing 62-3 at Ohio State. Land of 10’s Sean Keeler wrote about how the Huskers must now realize how far away they are from being on the Buckeyes’ level.
Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong suffered a scary injury against Ohio State and had to be immobilized and carted off the field. But he returned in street clothes to the sideline in the second half and tweeted that he’s doing fine after the game.
No. 11 Florida fell flat on its face in another embarrassment for the SEC East.
No. 12 Penn State should crack the Top 10 this week after James Franklin’s group dominated Iowa. The Nittany Lions are a much, much better team than they were in September and that’s a great sign for their future. Iowa on the other hand…well, Kirk Ferentz has some work to do.