Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 10: Top 25

With another week of college ball in the books, here are the rankings as of the morning of November 1st.

Rank +/- Team WinPct SoS Off Pts Def Pts Pace
001-- Florida 0.97160.679531.79.877.7
002+4 TCU 0.96770.485923.67.682.3
003-1 Texas 0.96460.582529.79.985.8
004-1 Boise St. 0.95570.391127.29.883.4
005-1 Alabama 0.95310.571924.28.980.6
006+3 Ohio St. 0.94590.471122.08.581.7
007+1 Penn State 0.94060.468222.59.081.4
008-3 Oklahoma 0.93780.704724.810.088.9
009-2 USC 0.92830.613324.910.684.3
010+1 Oregon 0.91350.635025.011.490.7
011-1 Virginia Tech 0.89180.678425.812.880.7
012+4 LSU 0.87760.501320.610.780.1
013+1 Cincinnati 0.85810.456421.311.784.6
014-2 Iowa 0.85540.558821.912.180.9
015-2 Nebraska 0.85010.498520.811.681.3
016-1 Clemson 0.84880.635220.511.584.4
017-- Texas Tech 0.84100.579127.515.888.6
018-- Utah 0.80410.392621.113.283.3
019+2 Tennessee 0.79820.623620.513.082.1
020+3 Pittsburgh 0.78070.531823.615.480.8
021-1 Georgia Tech 0.76410.685928.719.478.2
022+2 Oklahoma St. 0.75470.616825.017.282.6
023-4 Mississippi 0.74630.563919.713.782.1
024NA Wisconsin 0.74410.652220.714.585.1
025-- Oregon St. 0.72930.639921.615.587.5

New entries: Wisconsin

Dropped out: West Virginia

You can't see it in the condensed Top 25 rankings, but Wisconsin leapt an astounding 22 places to make their debut in the Top 25. Their domination of Purdue was so complete that their defensive efficiency dropped nearly 3 points in one game alone. By comparison, Oregon's convincing win against USC improved their efficiency by 0.3. The message here is simple: if you want to make noise in these rankings, utterly stomp your opponents into the ground by keeping them more than 40 yards away from the end zone.

I know some readers will point to Oregon still being one spot behind USC as a sign that something is amiss in Tempo-Free-Ville and that any rating system worth a bucket of warm spit would have the decency to rate Oregon above USC, especially after the historic thrashing we witnessed on Saturday. Further fanning the flames, they'd point out that placing TCU above Texas is just another example of how the system gets it wrong. However, I wonder how many of those people would also place Boise State ahead of Oregon? After all, if Oregon doubles-up USC at Oregon, then surely Boise State doubling up Oregon at BSU would be worth similar consideration?

My answer to these criticisms is the same as it has been: do you want a system that simply rewards winning, or predicts future games? I'm more interested in the latter. At this point Boise State has put up some amazing numbers against the competition and continues to do well. However the quality of their opponent is going to hurt them as the season goes on and the game against Oregon carries less and less weight. We've seen that over the last week, as Boise State wins big and still drops in the rankings. Oklahoma wins and drops three spots. Iowa wins and drops two spots. These teams are winning, yes, but not in particularly convincing ways. Iowa needed some luck and some hotly-debated officiating to put away #88 Indiana. Oklahoma gave up 30 points to #61 Kansas State.

Later this week I'll take a look at each of the top teams according to the BCS rankings and lay out how their seasons will likely play out. I'll also take a look at some teams that have a chance to either sneak into the BCS picture or become that 7-4 team that no one wants to play.