Only one sport could inspire ESPN to run a 25-hour pregame show leading up to their first game of the new season: college football! After four wild and wacky weeks, we’re ready for the new C Ratings. In a last minute change, I decided that OT games ould be considered to have an MoV of 0. That means they only affect the winning percentage component of A Rating while averaging a 0, which translates to a .5, on the score ratio component. They also give B Points similar to a I-AA game: only the home field modifier regardless of outcome. As exciting as college football OT is, it’s a joke and has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual play of the game. It’s more of a skills competition, akin to penalty kicks in soccer. If drives occurred the way they do in actual play, as opposed to starting within field goal range, I might give it more weight.
As always, the first few weeks are still rather volatile, but still instructive. Impressively, LSU led the C Ratings after a masterful Week 1 performance over Mississippi State and have never looked back, up by nearly 5000. Florida, bolstered by my decision to include Western Kentucky as a I-A team despite a mostly I-AA schedule, is making the coming 1-2 showdown a can’t miss bout. USC looked like a preseason favorite after demolishing Michigan in the Rose Bowl and adding perhaps the best recruiting class in the nation, but they might not be the best team in their own conference. Oregon has looked unstoppable thus far. To think the ESPN family won’t have any Pac-10 action on October 27th, when these two square off on FSN. Oklahoma and Ohio State might also be contenders to go to New Orleans. It looks like it’ll be a long season in South Bend: the Golden Domers are in dead last and could stay there the rest of the way.
How the C Ratings are tabulated: First, A Ratings are tabulated by multiplying the total score ratio, which is expressed by (points-opponents’ points)/points, by the winning percentage. Score ratio minimizes the effect of running up the score. Next, B Points for each game are tabulated by (margin of victory)/(opponent’s A rating)+/-1 for wins, and -(margin of loss)/(1-opponent’s A Rating)+/-1 for losses. The “+/-” is + for road games and – for home ones. The total number of B Points is multiplied by the A Rating to get the B Rating. Conference Ratings are tabulated by averaging the B Ratings of all teams in the conference. (Independents are counted separately, and Army and Navy are counted as one conference.) Finally, the C Rating is tabulated by taking the difference between the team’s B Rating and his conference’s rating, taking a fraction of that equal to the fraction of Division I-A the conference makes up, and taking the result off the B Rating. The three ratings go A, B, C across.
2004 Auburn Title
With 7 teams in positive B Points in the SEC, if LSU can run the table, they better be No. 1 in the polls as well.
The LSU-Florida game in two weeks could be the game of the year.
Big 12 Leader
If USC falters, look for the Sooners to take advantage and run for the National Championship.
Huh? What are the Ducks doing here? They’ve never scored less than 30, only this week gave up more than 30, and never won by less than 20. If they stay unbeaten until USC at home and win there…
||Ohio State (4-0)
Big 10 Leader
2007 Boise State Title
The Buckeyes might be able to run the table if the Big 10 is as down a conference as people have started to think.
USC’s problem is twofold: two of its games were against mediocre opposition at best and they let Nebraska get garbage time scores. But more to the point? One fewer game than everyone else.
WTF? Never scored less than 40, never given up more than 35, and delivered a solid defeat to a decent Arkansas team. But the meat of the SEC is still to come.
||West Virginia (4-0)
Big East Leader
After a strong year, the Big East appears to once again be out of the top four BCS conferences. That just means a dominant-looking West Virginia could be unstoppable.
Huh? Scored less than 40 only once, never given up more than 14, beat a decent Oregon State team. They don’t want to just be spoilers this year.
What on earth is UConn doing at 4-0? Crushing a still-good Pitt team by 20 shows they’re for real. They might not drop for a while with Cincy and WV not on the schedule until November.
With the early favorites to be BCS busters struggling early, it looks like Hawaii is the major hope to crash the party—even if they did have to squeeze a victory over Louisiana Tech.
||Arizona State (4-0)
The Sun Devils, constantly on the verge of becoming a Pac-10 power, have looked impressive early on. But the real test comes October 27, when Cal comes to town.
||Michigan State (4-0)
The yearly heartbreak hasn’t started yet, and the weak Irish didn’t do anything to change that. But Wisconsin this week is the strongest team yet.
||Boston College (4-0)
Their next three look to continue the Eagles’ winning ways, but their hopes at the ACC Title Game will be decided when they return to ACC play against V-Tech, FSU, Clemson, and Miami.
Weak opposition largely to blame for the low rating. But they have a shot to establish their bona fides this week against Oregon.
They’ve faced nothing but weak opposition so far, but right now they look like the power team in the Big 12 North.
The tight win over UCF is really hurting their ranking, but it looks like it’s going to be a nice year for Colt McCoy and the Longhorns.
Only cupcakes so far, but never scored less than 45. Look for the run to end October 6 against Ohio State.
The Badgers might be a paper tiger, but unbeaten is unbeaten. We’ll see how strong they really are against Michigan State this week.
Demolished their first three opponents quite handily to pick up where they left off last year. Of course, Navy was the only decent team of the bunch, and one was I-AA; Maryland and Cincy should bulk up the resume.
Huh? Lost to a good Missouri team by only 6; then turned around and crushed a decent Indiana team. They can prove their worth to the nation this week against Penn State.
||Texas Tech (3-1)
Keep in mind, the tight loss to Oklahoma State<>
OT loss to Georgia aside, the Crimson Tide looked dominant to start the season. Like Texas Tech, they’ll probably fall off, but they could be spoilers to LSU on November 3rd.
Huh? Weak opposition inflates their A Rating—Toledo was the only team to score double digits against them, while KU has never scored less than 45. Could they be Big 12 North contenders?
Except FSU, Clemson has faced only weak opposition, deflating their rating. But the meat of the ACC is still to come.
37 teams total with positive C rating (none with negative B rating)
2004 Utah Title: #72 UNLV (2-2), .265, -2895.404, -2909.816
Watch List: #26 Auburn, #27 South Florida (UB), #28 Georgia, #29 South Carolina, #30 TCU, #31 Florida State
Other Positive B Ratings: #32 Mississippi State, #33 Miami, #34 Nebraska, #35 Iowa, #36 Virginia Tech, #37 Wyoming, #38 Central Florida, #39 New Mexico, #41 BYU, #42 Ball State (UB=Unbeaten not on top 25)
Bottom 10: #111 Louisiana-Lafayette, #112 Miami (OH), #113 Louisiana-Monroe, #114 SMU, #115 Rice, #116 San Jose State, #117 Florida International, #118 Temple, #119 Syracuse, #120 Notre Dame
Conference Rating: #1 SEC (2445.843), #2 Big 10 (674.497), #3 Big 12 (237.446), #4 Pac-10 (-296.172), #5 Big East (-1163.446), #6 ACC (-1275.477), #7 Mountain West (-3087.562, leader #30 TCU), #8 WAC (-6775.428), #9 MAC (-7014.195, leader #42 Ball State), #10 C-USA (-7132.373, leader #51 Houston), #11 Sun Belt (-11418.525, leader #90 Troy)
Complete list of teams still to come!