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NCAA College Football Rankings: Stew System - Week 5

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It’s a HARBAUGH, HARBAUGH, HARBAUGH, HARBAUGH World

Wisconsin v Michigan

We’re now after week 5 (really week 6, but whatever), and the swings are starting to settle a bit. Between weeks 2 to 3 the range in swings was from -103 to 89 (a 192 spread), from weeks 3 to 4 it dropped to -57 to 48 (a 105 spread), and this week it’s taken another significant drop, -31 to 33 (a spread of 64). It’ll keep getting smaller and smaller, but it’s not linear. I expect the change spread to drop to about 50 next week. Something fun to keep an eye on.

Team Ratings:

B1G Thoughts:

  • Not only does Michigan retain the #1 overall ranking, but they even widened the margin after squeaking by Wisconsin. A few reasons for this. Wisconsin gave them a pretty decent boost in strength of schedule, but their previous opponents also helped them out: Hawaii, Central Florida, Colorado, and Penn State all won. In the aggregate that’s a damn impressive weekend by the Wolverines.
  • OSU crushes Rutgers and their rating goes down? Yup, let’s just call this the Buttgers effect.
  • Maryland?!? Wait, WHAT!?!? Yes, Maryland. They’re undefeated, but they’re hardly the lowest rated undefeated. Their schedule has been pretty weak (20th worst), but they’ve been crushing teams with a +115 MoV over 4 games, that’s pretty damn good. Also, I’m hardly the only system to like Maryland this much. Over at the Massey Composite they may only be ranked 31st with a mean ranking of almost 34, but their standard deviation is over 17! That’s huge! No one knows what to make of the Terps.
  • Speaking of lower rated undefeated teams, it’s UNL. They’re pretty close to MD, and while their SoS is a little better, their MoV is far enough behind to drop them down a little.
  • Wisconsin is the 2nd highest rated 1 loss team, I expect them to be the highest 2 loss team this time next week. Also, for a comparison with Maryland. The Massey Composite has Wisconsin at 11, with a mean of 12.73, but a relatively tiny standard deviation of 3.36. Everyone seems to have Wisconsin pegged.
  • And here we have a pretty big drop to Indiana. Still, though, they’ve got to be pretty thrilled.
  • PSU getting a pretty important win to help keep the season from spiraling out of control. But still, needing a big comeback, at home, against this MN team? Not exactly a big boost in confidence.
  • Minnesota grabbed their first loss and promptly plummeted down the rankings. They’re currently the lowest ranked P5 team with a lone loss, but still higher than Toledo and EMU, so you’ve got that going for you. Also, ya know, a completely reeling Iowa team this week for Floyd.
  • And we’re getting to the truly shitty teams. jNW got a big win at Iowa. Brings bowl eligibility back into the discussion a little. Still, not sure I’d get too hopeful.
  • LOLOLOLOLOL Rutgers is ahead of MSU. This is almost entirely because Rutgers has played a very, very difficult schedule so far, but really the two are virtually tied, only a 0.01 difference.
  • There’s not much question about Illinois being bad. The talent on this team is woeful. However, there seems to be some positives with fundamentals and game preparation. Lovie is going to raise the baseline for Illinois. But man, he’s also going to infuriate Thump in his ability to Ferentz a game away.
  • Purdue, better than Notre Dame.
  • Hello Darkness, my old friend. Iowa, once again, finds itself with the easiest schedule in the country. Ferentz done fucked it up. I loathe post-extension Ferentz.

Other thoughts:

  • We all watch the games and know that Tennessee has been super lucky to win these games. But win them they have. 5-0 and with a top 10 SoS in the country. At any rate, they’re part of the game of the week against TAMU. Luck finally gonna run out?
  • The fighting Flecks crack my top 10 at #8. They’ve been flattening opponents. And again, I’m hardly alone. Massey Composite has them at 12th, with a mean of ~15 and a standard deviation of over 7.
  • Washington took a pretty huge SoS hit despite crunching up the trees.
  • Very possible to have 3 undefeated, G5 teams get pretty far in the season with Houston, WMU, and Boise State.
  • Troy is pretty similar to Maryland, in that they have been demolishing fools, they have a loss, but also a +107 MoV.
  • Air Force looking to challenge Boise State for the Mountain West, and grab the Commander-in-Chief trophy, as they just beat Navy.
  • I think I’m just going to be a Colorado fan now. Black and gold, hates Nebraska, has great beer, and a gorgeous state. Yeah, I’m sold. Go BUFFS!!
  • Midweek Fun Belt returns tonight with Georgia Southern vs. Arkansas State. If you like bloodbaths, I suggest taking a peak.

Big Risers:

  • South Alabama Shot up the rankings with their big beatdown of the Aztecs.
  • Wyoming coming back up after a rough loss to EMU. Taking a look at their schedule and it looks like they may be zig-zagging with wins/losses.
  • NC St. knocking on the door of my top 25, handing Wake Forest their first loss. They will probably make it if they can get past their pseudo in conference cupcake this weekend.

Falling Down:

  • Oh, Minnesota...Such a shame you dropped so much. Really feel for you guys.
  • And seems like Oregon State is every bit as bad we thought pre-season.
  • Toledo lost a heartbreaker to BYU last week, but BYU isn’t exactly a powerhouse this year. And their SoS was just waiting to sink them.

Projected Playoff Teams:

  • Now, for DJ’s article earlier in the week I just submitted my top 4 teams, as was requested. But I’m going to project forward here. One team per conference with preference given to conference champs.
  1. Michigan
  2. Clemson
  3. Tennessee
  4. Houston

Woah, woah, woah, Houston over Washington? Yeah, I feel a bit bad about that, but the AAC isn’t nearly as bad as you might think, look below at my conference ratings. Add to that if they beat Louisville (I doubt it, but my ratings have Houston above them right now), that’ll be two wins over strong P5 teams, which might be enough to get them in as an undefeated team.

Conference Ratings:

  • The SEC regains the top spot.
  • There’s a pretty big gap between the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and the rest of the country.
  • The Big 12 is bad.