Mouse over column headers for definitions, or see this page
Rankings through games of 2013-10-13
Data from CFBStats
Data from CFBStats
New entries: Nebraska, Missouri, Boise St..
Dropped out: Miami-FL, Notre Dame, TCU.
Oh Oregon. What am I going to do with you? I think you're better than your current ranking suggests, but then you go and give up 24 points to Washington. I feel like I should rank you higher, given that so many of the points you give up are in garbage time, but then you have a weekend like this.
In the big picture, there three teams which have clearly separated themselves from the rest of the pack: Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State. It's possible that FSU is actually better than Oregon on both sides of the ball, but I'm skeptical. As it stands, I'm willing to say that the Seminoles and the Ducks are co-number-two teams, which could get interesting near the end of the year.
Conventional wisdom has Ohio State and Clemson as filling out the rest of the top five, but neither team has really put in the kind of performance as the three other teams. Boston College is the one common opponent for FSU and Clemson, but their losses to those teams have very different flavors. BC played both teams relatively even, but FSU eventually dominated the Eagles in a way that Clemson didn't. BC went up 17-3 over the Seminoles, but over a 22-minute stretch FSU outscored them 35-3 and were never really threatened again. Clemson got two quick scores in the 4th quarter to make the final margin 24-14, but the second score was a fumble-six, and the teams traded a series of go-nowhere drives until the clock ran out.
Ohio State continues to skate by on the narrowest of margins, eeking out narrow wins over Northwestern and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes are climbing in the TFG rankings, but doing so by getting just slightly more offense than they did last year (+3.3 PPH); their defense has improved slightly (-1.7 PPH), but isn't even top-25 at this point. Combine (1) Alabama's offense with (36) TCU's defense, and that's about where Ohio State is right now. It's entirely possible that they'll skate through the rest of the season undefeated, but things won't bode well for them in a bowl game against an FSU or a Clemson.
On a side note, we've recently switched data providers from NCAA.org to CFBStats. Go check out their site; it's a great resource.
Follow us on Twitter at @TFGridiron and @TFGLiveOdds.