Georgia Football: Aggregating the Nation’s 1-128 Rankings

With the aforementioned release of Bill Connelly (USA Today’s dropped this morning, too), there are enough comprehensive college football rankings to do some kind of analysis on them.

Now, let me reiterate: Connelly and Steele are my go-to prognosticators. Why? For one, their factors involve so much more data than the typical returning starters and previous year’s record. Steele has 9 analytical models he uses to produce his rankings, Connelly probably has even more (it doesn’t hurt that they’re both high on the Dawgs for 2015).

Another factor separating them from the national journalists is the fact that they evaluate teams on an “if X played Y” basis, to evaluate team strength. For example, both have Tennessee in their top 20. The thought process follows that the Vols may go 8-4 against this year’s schedule, but put them in the Big Ten or ACC and they may be a 10-2 or 11-1 team.

USA Today and CBSSports, on the other hand? Probably pure clickbait/conversation pieces. CBS especially, as it ranks all of four SEC teams in its top 25. I’m not the world’s foremost SEC apologist, but that’s patently absurd and no objective reader would disagree. Vanderbilt is hot garbage, but are they really only better than seven teams in the country? I highly doubt it.

Here is the chart I put together for the whole SEC, with their average rankings calculated by some furious Excel spreadsheeting:

Team Steele USA Today Connelly CBS Average
Alabama 3 4 2 4 3.25
Auburn 14 6 8 3 3.25
Georgia 7 8 5 16 9
Ole Miss 15 14 7 14 12.5
LSU 10 24 10 27 17.75
Arkansas 18 21 14 31 21
Tennessee 19 27 18 33 24.25
Missouri 31 22 27 23 25.75
Mississippi St. 38 26 23 45 33
Texas A&M 32 29 30 47 34.5
South Carolina 56 35 42 40 43.25
Florida 40 37 37 69 45.75
Kentucky 58 68 50 77 63.25
Vanderbilt 77 90 94 121 95.5
29.85714 29.35714 26.21429 39.28571

So, on average, exactly half of the SEC is ranked in the top 25, and there are really no surprises: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Arkansas and Tennessee are obviously teams that have to prove it on the field, but their finishes made pundits more bullish on them than another high-potential team in Texas A&M.

I also used the data to see the average ranking of each team by each outlet. The key number here? Again, CBS as an outlier, with the SEC ranked almost 10 full spots below the other outlets, on average. Some real #Haterade there, they throw off what is otherwise a fairly good consensus ranking of each team.

Assuming, as a homer would, that CBS is therefore unreliable:

Team Steele USA Today Connelly Average
Alabama 3 4 2 3
Georgia 7 8 5 6.666667
Auburn 14 6 8 9.333333
Ole Miss 15 14 7 12
LSU 10 24 10 14.66667
Arkansas 18 21 14 17.66667
Tennessee 19 27 18 21.33333
Missouri 31 22 27 26.66667
Mississippi St. 38 26 23 29
Texas A&M 32 29 30 30.33333
Florida 40 37 37 38
South Carolina 56 35 42 44.33333
Kentucky 58 68 50 58.66667
Vanderbilt 77 90 94 87

Of distinct note is two flip-flops in the rankings: Georgia vaults to second in the SEC, from an average ranking of 9th to somewhere in the ether between 6 and 7. And my thoughts on Florida are somewhat validated, as they move up 8 spots and jump South Carolina.

If you were curious, Georgia’s nonconference opponents rank as follows:

Team Steele USA Today Connelly CBS Average
UL-Monroe 110 96 104 116 106.5
Georgia Southern 96 54 55 49 63.5
Georgia Tech 24 18 19 15 19

Tech, as they earned last year and with the return of Justin Thomas and a good bit of its defense, sits somewhere between LSU and Arkansas. Given wins over very strong Georgia and Mississippi State teams last year, that sounds about right to me. Georgia Southern had a GREAT season last year, and is seen, nationally, as Kentucky’s equal. Hopefully the opener against Monroe provides an opportunity to see all three quarterbacks, since that battle ain’t getting settled before September 5.

All told, the rankings of Georgia’s opponents go as follows:

UL-Monroe: 106.5
Vandy: 96.5
South Carolina: 43.25
Southern: N/A

Georgia HAS to get out of September 4-0.

Alabama: 3.25
Tennessee: 24.25
Missouri: 25.75
Florida: 45.75

Again, note that Tennessee and Missouri are top-25 teams without CBS. Florida is a top-40 team, and well…they’re Florida.

Kentucky: 63.25
Auburn: 3.25
Georgia Southern: 63.5
Tech: 19

Given the difficulty of October and my bias towards two things: that we should never lose to Tech and I don’t think Auburn is THAT good, November needs to be another 4-0 month. The playoff committee loves them some teams on hot streaks.

Anyway, this is a lot of data to tackle, but a good place to continue your thoughts on the 2015 season. Any more numbers y’all want crunched? Any further takeaways that I missed in this skim? Shoot me a comment or a tweet @Chad_Floyd and I’ll get on it.

About Chadwick

Enjoyer of adventure, would support a Trump policy that requires a minimum IQ to tweet. @Chad_Floyd for fun, @ChadFloydKW for real estate.

Posted on August 19, 2015, in 100 Days of SEC Dominance, 2015 College Football Previews, ACC, Alabama, Arkansas, Arkansas, Auburn, Daily Dose of Dawg, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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