Author Archives: dudeyoucrazy

Missouri over Purdue and Into the Top 25?


I’m a big fan of “relative” statistical valuations. I like to see how teams perform against opponents relative to their season-long average. Obviously, the more games we see the more important and relevant those season-long averages become. But two games into the year, it’s worth taking a look at one matchup in particular: Missouri and Purdue.


PURDUE’S OFFENSE vs. MISSOURI’S DEFENSE

Purdue’s Offense Relative to Opposition

Purdue has racked up 948 yards of offense against two opponents, Northwestern and Eastern Michigan. Northwestern and Eastern Michigan have each played an additional game this season and in those two contests surrendered a total of 687 yards of offense. Quite obviously, Purdue’s total in two games (948) is a lot more than was racked up by outside competition against Northwestern and Eastern Michigan. In fact, the total is 38% above the outside season-long averages. The translation: Purdue’s offense is good. Purdue has racked up 138% of expected offensive yardage. But is Mizzou’s defense good too?

Missouri’s Defense Relative to Opposition

Missouri has allowed a total of 525 yards of offense to Tennessee-Martin and Wyoming. Wyoming has averaged 327.5 yards of offense in two non-Mizzou games and Tennessee-Martin racked up 461 yards in its only other game (ironically, against MTSU). Thus, the two teams combine for 788.5 yards of expected output. This total is, notably, well above the total gained against Missouri, which implies that Missouri’s defense is, in fact, good. At least so far. Missouri is allowing 66.6% of expected yardage to opponents.

The Prediction

Again, this data is rough because there’s not a lot to go off of as we enter Week 3. Nonetheless, let’s look at the data two ways:

  1. If Purdue is averaging 474 yards of offense per game (which is true) and Missouri is allowing an average of 66.6% of teams’ offensive averages (also true) and both truths hold constant, Purdue would rack up 315.6 yards.
  2. If Missouri is allowing 262.5 yards per game (which is true) and Purdue is amassing 138% of teams’ average yards allowed (also true) and both truths hold constant, Purdue would rack up 362.2 yards.

If I average those out, we’re reaching a projected yardage total of 338.9 yards for Purdue.

What about the other side of the ball? Let’s do the exact same thing.

 


MISSOURI’S OFFENSE vs. PURDUE’S DEFENSE

Missouri’s Offense Relative to Opposition

Missouri has racked up 1,154 yards of offense against two opponents, Tennessee-Martin and Wyoming. UT-M and Wyoming would allow a combined average of 765.5 yards of offense across two games. Quite obviously, Missouri’s total in two games (1,154) is a lot more than was racked up in outside competition against UT-M and Wyoming. This total is 50.8% above the outside season-long averages. The translation: Missouri’s offense is really good. Mizzou has racked up 150.8% of expected offensive yardage. But will Purdue put stop the Tigers in their tracks?

Purdue’s Defense Relative to Opposition

Purdue has allowed a total of 817 yards of offense to Northwestern and Eastern Michigan. These two teams have combine for 854 yards of output in their two other games. This total is slightly higher than the total allowed by Purdue, which implies that Purdue’s defense is slightly better than expectation. Purdue is allowing 95.7% of expected yardage to opponents.

The Prediction

As I said, this data is light in depth and therefore quality. Nonetheless, let’s look at the data the same two ways:

  1. If Missouri is averaging 577 yards of offense per game (which is true) and Purdue is allowing an average of 95.7% of teams’ offensive averages (also true) and both truths hold constant, Mizzou would rack up 552.0 yards.
  2. If Purdue is allowing 408.5 yards per game (which is true) and Mizzou is amassing 150.8% of teams’ average yards allowed (also true) and both truths hold constant, Mizzou would rack up 615.8 yards.

If I average those out, we’re reaching a projected yardage total of 583.9.

 


CONCLUSIONS

Frankly, the most likely outcome of this experiment is that all the data gets thrown out the window. The existing sample size is too small to be anywhere close to predictive.

But, if you do believe the data, then you’d be expecting a relatively high-scoring game with a lot of offense (nearly 925 yards in total). But one team, Missouri, should run away with the thing thanks to a yardage advantage of roughly 150.

Also, I don’t know that this will hold true, but it is worth noting that Purdue has had a terrible time scoring the ball this season.

  • The Boilermakers have scored just 46 points (not good) on 948 yards of offense (pretty good) for an average of one point scored for every 20.6 yards of offense.
  • Meanwhile, Missouri has scored 91 points (good) on 1,154 yards (very good) for an average of one point scored for every 12.7 yards gained.

You can’t read too far into the data, but if those numbers hold the final score based on projected yardages above would be something like Missouri 46, Purdue 16.

I don’t think this will get that one-sided. But I do think Missouri will win and comfortably cover the seven-point spread on the road. Why does that matter? Well, if you’re reading this you’re probably a Georgia fan and you’re probably sick of hearing lies about a weak Georgia schedule. There’s an outside chance that Missouri could move into the Top 25 in time for Georgia’s trip to Faurot Field.

Right now, only five SEC teams are ranked (#1 Alabama, #3 Georgia, #7 Auburn, #12 LSU, #16 Mississippi State), and that’s a relatively small number compared to recent history. Hell, one week ago, Florida and South Carolina were also ranked. Had Carolina upset Georgia (which some idiots expected) and Florida taken care of business (which everyone expected) and had Texas A&M squeezed out a few more points, there might be eight ranked SEC teams. Point being, I would expect another SEC team to get ranked sooner than later. 3-0 SEC teams often get noticed. Other point being: I’d expect someone from the East to move in. It’s probably a jump to think Mizzou would get there (Kentucky seems more likely at the moment thanks to the Florida win, a likely victory over Murray State this week and I think a good shot at beating Miss State on 9/22), but it’s at least worth hoping for.

Even more broadly, I think it behooves Georgia to 1. Win out and 2. Have someone from the East rise up to a ranked spot. I think the Tigers may be the best mid-term bet for that and I do think they’re a better team than Kentucky and Vanderbilt (the only other undefeateds in the East).

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

Week 3 Top 25 Preview: Everyone Wants Ohio State to Lose, Right?


If you followed my picks in Week 1, you made money. If you followed my picks in Week 2, you also made money. Last week I was 6-4 against the spread. For the year, I’m sitting at 14-8-1. You can follow the picks all year here. Or check the recap on the Tweets:

 

A quick check-in on schedule strength and elite games.

Through last week, 12 teams had played in Top 25 vs. Top 25 matchups. Four of those teams hailed from the SEC, which was more than any other conference. The ACC and Pac-12 each had three. The Big Ten had 1 team in a ranked vs. ranked matchup and Notre Dame represented one such game. This week, we get three ranked vs. ranked games:

  • LSU at Auburn
  • Boise State at Oklahoma State
  • Ohio State at TCU

The involvement of such games by each conference will now stand as follows:

  • SEC: 6 (Auburn x 2, LSU x 2, Georgia, South Carolina)
  • ACC: 3 (Miami, Florida State, VA Tech)
  • Pac-12: 3 (Washington, Southern Cal, Stanford)
  • Big Ten: 2 (Michigan, Ohio State)
  • Big 12: 2 (Oklahoma State, TCU)
  • Mountain West: 1 (Boise State)
  • Independent: 1 (Notre Dame)

I mentioned this in relation to my inaugural Top 25 Poll, but all that really matters in terms of schedule strength is games against Top 25 opponents. It’s interesting that the SEC is criticized for weak early-season scheduling but the conference has played twice as many Top 25 vs. Top 25 games as any other conference.

With that out of the way, here are the games and the picks.

3:30 p.m. #12 LSU at #7 Auburn (-9.5) (CBS)

We still don’t know much about either of these teams, so I’m working on two theories: 1. Any team with talent and a semblance of preparation could have beat Mark Richt and Miami in Week 1 because Mark Richt is the coach at Miami. 2. Auburn is starting slow (which it always does) and this year’s slow start was a win over a Top 10 Washington team. If I buy into those two preconceived notions, Auburn is the better team. But 9.5 points still seems large. Further, I feel like if this game is ugly, it plays to LSU’s advantage. My professional gambling advice would actually be to take the LSU money line (+295) because I do think there is a better than 1-in-3 or 1-in-4 chance LSU makes it ugly enough to win. But this column isn’t about moneylines. So I’m hedging a bit.

Picks: Auburn outright and LSU +9.5

 

3:30 p.m. #17 Boise State at #24 Oklahoma State (-2.5) (ESPN)

Boise State came out of the gates HOT this year. Troy was a trendy upset pick in Week 1, but the Broncos won 56-20 thanks in no small part to four forced turnovers. Last week, Boise State galloped to a 62-7 win over UConn. Even more impressive than the final score: Boise State outgained UConn 818 to 193. Neither of those numbers are typos. Boise State ranks 4th nationally in total offense (617 per contest) and Oklahoma State is sitting in first place (675 per game), so this should be a shootout, but to an extent I think the Broncos are more seasoned. Frankly, I think this line is spot-on, but I’m going against it. Either way, this should be a fun game to watch. If it’s not, I think that bodes well for the Broncos.

Picks: Boise State outright and Boise State +2.5

 

7:00 p.m. #4 Ohio State (-13) at #15 TCU (ABC)

TCU is probably the Top 15 team I know the least about. Ohio State is probably the Top 15 team that everyone in the country most hates right now. So I’m going with the people. Nah, I can’t quite do that. I think Ohio State is too explosive on offense (though I’d love to be wrong). I do think TCU will cover though. How’s that for analysis?

Picks: Ohio State outright but TCU +13.

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

Week 3 SEC Preview: Bet on Georgia Minus the Points and Mizzou Might Be a Lock


If you followed my picks in Week 1, you made money. If you followed my picks in Week 2, you also made money. Last week I was 6-4 against the spread. For the year, I’m sitting at 14-8-1. You can follow the picks all year here. Or check the recap on the Tweets:

Let’s jump in.

First things first, all the games are on Saturday because the SEC is blessed by real football.

12 p.m. Murray State at Kentucky (SEC Network)

There’s no line on this game—thankfully. So I’ll just say “congrats” to the Wildcats for finally beating the Gators last week. Great job by you.

Pick: Kentucky outright

 

12 p.m. UTEP at Tennessee (-30.5) (SEC Network)

I still think Tennessee is probably trash. But know what’s worse—way worse—than trash? UTEP. The Miners haven’t won a game since 2016. They lost to FCS Northern Arizona by 21 points two weeks ago. They’ve lost their last five games against Power 5 opposition by 47, 49, 34, 35 and 49 points. Sheesh.

Picks: Tennessee outright and Tennessee -30.5

 

2:30 p.m. Vanderbilt at Notre Dame (-14) (NBC)

Nothing says SEC Love quite like this spread. Make no mistake about it: Vanderbilt is the worst team in the SEC’s weaker division. And yet, the Commodores are just 14-point dogs at # 8 Notre Dame! That’s insanity. I do think Notre Dame is a good team, and even if Vandy is much-improved this year I don’t see them keeping it within two scores. But boy, would that be fun!

Picks: Notre Dame outright and Notre Dame -14

 

3:30 p.m. LSU at Auburn (-9.5) (CBS)

We still don’t know much about either of these teams, so I’m working on two theories: 1. Any team with talent and a semblance of preparation could have beat Mark Richt and Miami in Week 1 because Mark Richt is the coach at Miami. 2. Auburn is starting slow (which it always does) and this year’s slow start was a win over a Top 10 Washington team. If I buy into those two preconceived notions, Auburn is the better team. But 9.5 points still seems large. Further, I feel like if this game is ugly, it plays to LSU’s advantage. My professional gambling advice would actually be to take the LSU money line (+295) because I do think there is a better than 1-in-3 or 1-in-4 chance LSU makes it ugly enough to win. But this column isn’t about moneylines. So I’m hedging a bit.

Picks: Auburn outright and LSU +9.5

 

4:00 p.m. North Texas at Arkansas (-7) (SEC Network)

This line is a classic overreaction to Colorado State’s win over Arkansas. Look, when you have a brand new coach (after firing the last guy), you’re going to have early missteps. A 17-point collapse against Colorado State is a misstep on steroids, but I don’t think it is yet indicative of things falling apart under Chad Morris. I think the talent edge and the hangover of embarrassment will carry Arkansas.

Picks: Arkansas outright and Arkansas -7

 

4:00 p.m. Colorado State at Florida (-20) (SEC Network)

This spread is way too large. Have line-makers forgotten that Colorado State is 1-0 in SEC play (thanks to a win over lowly Arkansas) and Florida is 0-1 in SEC play (thanks to a loss to lowly Kentucky)?

Picks: Florida outright but Colorado State +20

 

7:00 p.m. Alabama (-21.5) at Ole Miss (ESPN)

I’m going to do a preview post on this later, but ultimately if you’re taking Bama you are saying, “I think Bama can stop Ole Miss three more times than I think Ole Miss can stop Bama.” I firmly believe that to be true for two reasons: 1. In general, I have confidence in Alabama defenses even against talented offenses. 2. Ole Miss couldn’t stop calls to a hooker an NCAA scandal a nose-bleed.

Picks: Alabama outright and Alabama -21.5

 

7:15 p.m. MTSU at Georgia (-32.5) (ESPN2)

If there was one, single takeaway from last week’s walloping of South Carolina, it was the presence of depth on Georgia’s roster. In a game like this, the only way Georgia would not cover is if the Dawgs relied too much (relative to the spread) on getting youung second- and third-teamers on the field. But I think the depth is such that there won’t be much of a letdown if—no, when—that happens. MTSU lost to Vanderbilt by 28 points. Do we not think Georgia is five points better than Vandy? Georgia beat South Carolina by 24 points (on the road). Do we not think the Gamecocks are nine points better than MTSU? Either I’m missing something or this is a rare opportunity to bet a big line as a homer.

Picks: Georgia outright and Georgia -32.5

 

7:30 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Mississippi State (-33) (SEC Network)

I couldn’t care less about this game, so I’m picking Miss State because they’ll use Fitzgerald until he’s dead and he should shine in this one.

Picks: Mississippi State outright and Mississippi State -33

 

7:30 p.m. Marshall at South Carolina (-13) (ESPNU)

Now that the pressure of contending for the SEC East is off the Gamecocks’ back (seriously), let’s see how Muschamp’s boys play. This should be a nice tune-up before back-to-back road SEC games to kickoff a seven-game in-conference stretch. I think the Cocks cruise.

Picks: South Carolina outright and South Carolina -13

 

7:30 p.m. Missouri (-7) at Purdue (Big Ten Network)

I said it in the preseason, but I think Missouri has as good of a shot as anyone at finishing second in the SEC East. It’s been against mediocre competition, but I like what Derek Dooley has gone in two games as O.C. He’s got the Tigers running more than they’re passing (that was the case against both UT-Martin and Wyoming and has been the case for about 54% of all plays). And the passing game is still downright nasty. Senior QB Drew Lock has hit on 74.3% of his passes for an average of 344 yards per game. He’s tossed 8 TDs and no interceptions and is picking up nearly 10 yards per attempt. Wide receiver Emanuel Hall has been a monster – 14 catches, 342 yards, 3 TDs. Meanwhile the defense has allowed only 27 total points and an average of 262.5 yards of offense per contest. It’s early and the opponents have been weak, But Mizzou ranks 12th nationally in total offense and 17th in total defense. That explosive offense will line up against a Purdue defense that ranks 93rd in yards allowed. That thus-far-impressive Tiger defense will play an average (39th nationally) Purdue offensive unit. It’s worth noting here that Purdue has had a real problem scoring. The Boilermakers are 39th in total yards (as pointed out a moment ago), but they’re 96th in the nation in scoring.

Picks: Missouri outright and Missouri -7

 

7:30 p.m. Louisiana-Monroe at Texas A&M (-27) (SEC Network)

Barring an emotional letdown (which may occur), I don’t see how A&M doesn’t win or how the Aggies fail to cover.

Picks: Texas A&M outright and Texas A&M -27

 

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

DudeYouCrazy Top 25 – September 11: Georgia to Make College Foobtall Playoff, But How Many More SEC Teams?


First and foremost, if you missed the general introduction check this out. With that out of the way, let’s go.

1. LSU

Frankly, I was glad to not have Georgia in the top spot here because I did not want to be a homer. LSU gets the top spot for two reasons: 1. The Tigers’ win over then-no. 8 Miami is arguably the best win of the year. What’s more, the Tigers have room for more quality wins with four more games remaining against ranked opponents. Frankly, this is where I expect my poll to be much more volatile than other polls — there will actually be week-to-week chances at the top spot (OH MY!). For the time being, however, the Tigers have the best win in the country (IMO) and a chance to have two top-25 (and Top 10 for that matter) wins after this week.

2. Auburn

I’d argue that Auburn’s win over Washington is the second-best win of the year. It was not as decisive as LSU’s, but it was at a neutral site and the Huskies remain the highest-ranked team in the country to lose a game (they were ranked 6th in the AP at the time). Auburn has four remaining contests against Top 25 foes, beginning this week with LSU. Spoiler: the winner of that game will have my top spot next week, and I’m picking the Tigers. Not letting me get away with that? Fine. I’m picking Auburn.

3. Georgia

I promise this won’t be an all-SEC top five and it’s going to get interesting in just a moment, but the fact remains that the largest margin of victory over a Top 25 opponent this year belongs to Georgia and the Dawgs got it on the road in a hostile environment with a 24-point win over South Carolina. That is, in my opinion, the third-best win of any team in the country at this juncture (though it’s close) and the Dawgs still have two projected ranked games in the regular season and a projected conference championship game (something I’m not awarding to LSU or Auburn yet because ya know…).

4. Stanford

Stanford beat #17 USC by 14 points. That’s more impressive than Notre Dame’s 7-point win over #14 Michigan. Further, as we look ahead, Stanford has an opportunity to improve more on its resume. Stanford has four more games against teams currently ranked by the AP and is projected to have a 5th in the Pac-12 title game. Notre Dame has 3 more ranked games.

5. Notre Dame

See the logic above for why Notre Dame isn’t higher. Why is Notre Dame above Virginia Tech (who beat then-number 19 FSU by 21)? It all has to do with the upcoming schedule. Fortunately, Notre Dame and VA Tech will settle things on the field on October 6th, so I’m just really not worried about this.

6. Virginia Tech

The win over FSU was technically an upset and the Seminoles’ disastrous performance against Samford should not negate what Tech accomplished. So, here the Hokies sit. Six may seem high for a team currently ranked 13th by the AP, but they’re one win over Notre Dame away from having one of the best top-end track records in the country with just one more ranked regular season opponent and possibly an ACC Championship game remaining. That’s a sweet spot to be and based on what’s happened in two weeks (very little) and what lies ahead (a lot), it’s entirely possible.

7. Arizona State

This frothiness will work itself out sooner than later, but for the time being Herm Edwards’ Sun Devils have the seventh-best win in the country and no black eyes. That puts them at seventh. Of all the Top 10 teams, they seem the most-likely to fall deep (i.e. out of the Top 20) quickly.

8. Oklahoma

Oklahoma has looked strong so far this season against mediocre competition, but what works well for the Sooners is that they have enough Top 25 games remaining (3) to make some noise, they are projected to play a Top 25 opponent for the conference title, and they should be favored in every game left by both my poll and the AP. They’re in a good spot to climb which puts them ahead of the likes of Alabama, etc.

9. Alabama

Thus far, LSU and Auburn have better resumes than Alabama. That’s why they’re ranked higher. Therefore, I can’t have Bama as the top team without a Top 25 win, because they have to play the top teams in the country (by my methodology). Something has to give.

10. West Virginia

I love Will Grier. Everyone knows that. And everyone should love him too. The Mountaineers should be undefeated until November when they end the year with three-straight games against the Top 25. They’ll build quite a cushion while accomplishing very little. That’s a nice little place to be.

11. Ohio State

If you’re coming from a Power 5 conference that was left out of the Playoff a year ago, perception is everything. I think the sweet spot for Top 25 teams is to play 3 other ranked opponents (see Tweet below for some context). But if you’re going to err, go over that tally if you’re a Big Ten school. Again, you were left out a year ago. Ohio State has four upcoming games against ranked foes so that puts them above the likes of Wisconsin from their own conference.

12. Penn State

Penn State isn’t really being “docked” for the App State debacle, but I refuse to have ties in my polls. So for the time being that’s the difference between the Nittany Lions and Ohio State.

13. Wisconsin

See the commentary above regarding Ohio State. It’s just going to be tough for Wisconsin to build a resume by my standard with only two ranked opponents on tap. Per my rankings, they’ll play Michigan (#22) and Penn State (#12). That’s all that’s guaranteed.

14. TCU

Everyone in the Big 12 plays everyone. So TCU is basically the same as Oklahoma and West Virginia at this juncture with one obvious exception: the Horned Frogs have to play Ohio State this week. Now, if they win they immediately vault up this poll and leapfrog the Sooners, the Mountaineers and a few other schools. But that risk can’t be rewarded preemptively.

15. Oklahoma State

Basically, copy and paste the paragraph above and change “Ohio State” to “Boise State.” I’ve got TCU higher because a win over the Buckeyes will be valued more than a win over the Broncos. But both would be huge.

16. Mississippi State

I hate this team as a Top 25 team, but they have to go somewhere. They’ll have plenty of shots at better teams (notably LSU, Auburn and Bama) but I don’t expect much to come from that. But the fact remains: they have a schedule that will allow them to climb. The same is not necessarily true of the undefeateds below them.

 

17. Oregon

The jury’s still out on this Ducks squad, but if they can pick and choose moments and avoid upsets they have a schedule that will enable them to move up while other teams beat each other.

18. Boise State

“You only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo.” Translation: Boise State will play a single ranked team this year. They will finish the year 1-0 vs. the Top 25 or 0-1. They could move briefly into the Top 10 with a win or settle at the bottom (or out) of the rankings with a loss this week.

 

19. Clemson

Know what’s worse than only playing one ranked team? Playing no ranked teams. And right now, Clemson has ZERO ranked opponents on its schedule. It’s just tough to build good-will that way. What will they need to move up in my poll? They need everyone to lose. They need a slew of teams (likely either Auburn or LSU, some combo of Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State, some combo of OK State, TCU and Oklahoma and for good measure – Mississippi State) to lose 2-3 (or more) games. And they need to win against a ranked ACC foe in the conference championship. How crazy is college football? They’ll probably close out in the Top 6 of my poll when it’s all said and done.

20. UCF

Hard to get credit for beating good teams if you don’t play any. Maybe that sucks, maybe it doesn’t. But what you shouldn’t do, dear reader, is buy into the notion that no one will schedule UCF. Sure, the Knights went undefeated last year and claimed a made-up National Championship. But they were 6-7 with losses to two Power 5 teams (Michigan and Maryland) in 2016. That’s not a “do-not-schedule” caliber season. They literally lost every single game (including two to Power 5 programs in Stanford and South Carolina) in 2015. In total, UCF is 3-7 vs. Power 5 opposition during scheduled regular season games over the past five years. Schedules are made years in advance. You think people were scared of the winless team from 2015?

21. Washington

The “best” loss on the board for Top 25 teams right now belongs to Washington. Losing by five points to my No. 2 team (Auburn) in a neutral but Tiger-heavy Atlanta game is pretty darn respectable. The Huskies have enough “strong” games left (3 more vs. the AP Top 25) to make headway without having to navigate an insane minefield. They can make moves in two weeks vs. Arizona State.

22. Michigan

I don’t trust Jim Harbaugh as far as I can throw him and with four more games against ranked opposition, I have trouble seeing how he gets above the 18-22 range all season. For now, he’s downgraded for a loss to Notre Dame. They may pick up some steam over the next month or so before a big date with Wisconsin.

23. Miami

Miami gets the edge over USC for the time being because a 16-point loss to my No. 1 team (LSU) is marginally better than a 14-point loss to my No. 4 team (Stanford). But Miami can’t make up much ground with its schedule.

24. USC

A 17-3 loss to Stanford may not prove to be a season-ender and perhaps this is a bit harsh (though the AP has the Trojans at 22), but what has USC accomplished this year? Nothing. And they’ve only got two ranked opponents left on the schedule. Tough to make up ground that way.

25. Michigan State

Of all the losses by currently-ranked teams, Michigan State’s loss to Arizona State is the worst for two reasons: 1. Arizona State was not ranked at the time and 2. Arizona State is my (and the AP’s) lowest-ranked team with a Top-25 win. There’s not anything to love about the Spartans.

 


Poll Summary

Team Dude’s Rank AP Rank Relative Positioning
LSU 1 12 Up 11
Auburn 2 7 Up 5
Georgia 3 3 Same
Stanford 4 9 Up 5
Notre Dame 5 8 Up 3
Virginia Tech 6 13 Up 7
Arizona State 7 23 Up 16
Oklahoma 8 5 Down 3
Alabama 9 1 Down 8
West Virginia 10 14 Up 4
Ohio State 11 4 Down 7
Penn State 12 11 Down 1
Wisconsin 13 6 Down 7
TCU 14 15 Up 1
Oklahoma State 15 24 Up 9
Mississippi State 16 16 Same
Oregon 17 20 Up 3
Boise State 18 17 Down 1
Clemson 19 2 Down 17
UCF 20 18 Down 2
Washington 21 10 Down 11
Michigan 22 19 Down 3
Miami 23 21 Down 2
USC 24 22 Down 2
Michigan State 25 25 Same

So Who’s in the Playoff?

When the season ends, my projected Top 4 and my Poll’s Top 4 should be identical. We’re not there yet so let’s take a look at both.

My poll gives us: LSU, Auburn, Georgia and Stanford. Obviously, the committee isn’t going to take three teams from the SEC. Fortunately, one will be weeded out this week in a head-to-head battle and I think the winner of that game may ultimately be supplanted by Alabama.

So in my projection, I’m swapping Bama for LSU and Auburn. In deference to precedent and the poll itself, I’m leaving a second SEC team (Georgia) in. Stanford and Notre Dame will play in a few weeks and I’d take Notre Dame in that game (regardless of poll positioning). I think VA Tech will also be bumped by Notre Dame, I think AZ State will lose a slew of games. Oklahoma is the next team I don’t have an eliminating scenario for. So let’s put the Sooners in. Thus, my projection is: Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. 

 

That’s all I got/

Andrew

 

Introducing the DudeYouCrazy Top 25 Poll


I’ve flirted with doing this for a while, but I’m ready to jump into the polling biz.

Here’s how my poll is going to work and what I’m prioritizing.

How the Poll Works

Tactically speaking, you can look for a revised poll every Tuesday morning. These rankings aren’t going to be based on hot-takes or tomfoolery. In fact, they will mostly mirror the AP Top 25 poll but with an emphasis on re-ordering.

Why am I copying the AP Poll? Well, I hope I’m not. But whether you agree with that polling process or not, it’s hard to escape its impact on media coverage and team perception. I’m not going to upstage the AP Poll, but I do think I could add a component of consistency to the process and that’s what I aim to do.

What am I prioritizing?

First and foremost, I want to pay attention to what’s been done on the field. Admittedly, it’s hard to do that early in the season (when nobody has done very much) and that’s where I think using a universe of ranked AP teams will help focus on what the rest of the nation is focusing on.

In general, I’m of the opinion that games between ranked opponents are the best judge of what a team can and can’t do. As it relates to the poll’s purpose, I’m seeking to carve out a firm opinion on the Top 4 by year-end. I’m of the belief that what you do against good teams matters tremendously if you want to be in the College Football Playoff. So, big wins vs. big teams will be the top priority.

When it comes to splitting hairs on losses, obviously margin of defeat matters as will quality of opposition. To state what shouldn’t need to be stated: losing on the road to a ranked team by a small margin looks a lot better than losing at home to an FCS team.

But in general, I don’t really care about the “fat middle” of a team’s schedule. Assuming teams are taking care of business, I don’t view a comfortable 20-point win over a trash in-conference or Power 5 opponent any differently than I view a 45-point win vs. an FCS regional school. You aren’t winning a spot in the playoff for either of those games. You’re winning a spot in the playoff for beating good teams.

I’m also putting an emphasis on remaining games against ranked foes and even projected conference championships. I think it matters that #23 Arizona State has four more games against ranked opponents while #21 Miami only has one — especially if I view both teams through the lens of what’s happened so far.

Further, I care tremendously about where a team was ranked at the time of the game. To use a very recent and relevant example (at least for Georgia fans), I do think it matters that South Carolina was ranked when Georgia played. Had the Gamecocks not played Georgia, they likely would still be ranked. And quite assuredly they would be ranked highly had they beaten Georgia. Georgia deserves credit for foiling then-ranked South Carolina.

Lastly, this is not a ass-backward way of putting Georgia at no. 1. I have Georgia third in the initial poll. The Bulldogs are one of just two teams with identical rankings in my poll relative to the AP. Further, the Dawgs are the only team I have ranked in the top seven that aren’t higher than their natural AP positioning.

That’s all I got/

Andrew

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