In honor of the playoff committee’s first rankings we rebuilt the method we use to project the committee’s choices at the end of the year. Tough to do algorithmically, given how much they consider and how little history we could draw on, but we didn’t do bad calling their first ranking (got the playoff four right, anyway). This means our numbers jumped a little bit this week, most notably in Georgia’s favor. We now consider the Dawgs more likely to make the playoff than not, and about even odds of two SEC teams making it.
We’ll write-up our methodology one of these days. After the basics like W/L and conference championships, the two main inputs are Strength of Record (SOR) and our Massey-Peabody power rankings. For both we use MP rankings that consider only a team’s in-season performance, as we are all-too-aware of the (myopic) disdain most folks have for priors when it comes to assessing college football teams. Historically these power rankings and SOR calcs have received about equal weight in committee rankings. This means that teams projected to have strong SORs at the end of the year are doing a bit better in our sims now.
Still, most of the uncertainty that remains is football uncertainty, not committee uncertainty. And that plays against Notre Dame, who debuted at #3 in the committee’s numbers but face a tough schedule down the stretch.
The foursome we’re seeing most often are Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and Clemson. Those first three are each >50% to make it. Clemson is lower, scrapping with Washington and Oklahoma as a trio of most-likely P5 conference champs vying for the final spot in the bracket.
As one of the only undefeated teams remaining, Wisconsin comes in at a healthy 20%, well above the other expected conference runner-ups. As hard as it may be to upend Ohio State, at least they control their own destiny. Nothing quite like a 1-game schedule.
Next we have the runners-up from the 3-team races in the Big 12 and ACC – Okie State, Miami, TCU and VaTech — as well as Notre Dame. UCF, Penn State and Auburn round-our our list of those still alive. It’s a big fall for the Nittany Lions and one of the most surprising results from our sims.
|Team||MP||Rank||E(Ws)||E(Ls)||P(L<2)||Win Conf||Make Playoff||Committee Rank Now|