It’s college football playoff week and it’s Michigan Ohio State’s marquee game. The College Football Playoff Committee has been ranking Ohio State ahead of Michigan for the past few weeks, and the numbers are starting to agree. Not only did both the AP and coaches polls flip Ohio State and Michigan this week, but so did my projected CFP rankings.
The Buckeyes are up to No. 2 in my final prediction before Saturday’s game in Ann Arbor. My model has had little separation between the three main groups in recent weeks and it still holds true. Apparently, this is fixed in the field. But now Georgia is No. 1, with Ohio State at No. 2 and Michigan at No. 3. Last week, Michigan was ranked 2nd ahead of Ohio State in my estimation, although the committee didn’t see it that way.
Otherwise, not much activity at the top. Oregon State slipped up a few spots after the loss to Washington, but the rest is what it is now.
How the proposed steps work
Using the committee’s previous ranking, I looked at the various parameters that were valued, and after some consideration and analysis, I came up with a well-tested formula compared to the actual ranking. Now, there are some caveats. The committee changes from year to year and I have no way of knowing if changes in personnel will change what is valued. But I’m sure the changes won’t be drastic, and whatever formula I come up with can be correct. After all, it’s a sport where if you win games, you rise up and if you lose, you fall down.
We are including an additional column for strength of schedule, which my model ranks each team’s schedule. That’s where most of the discussion revolves around strength of schedule as to how to differentiate teams with similar numbers of losses.
One final note before the rankings, my algorithm does not take into account the committee’s previous week’s rankings. The algorithm is simply projecting where the teams will be placed based on how the committee has ranked teams not just this past week, but throughout the entire College Football Playoff.
Project college football game rankings
Just missed: SMU, North Carolina, UNLV, Utah
James Madison is ineligible for the postseason and was not considered by the CFP committee, but if the Dukes were to be included, they would come in at No. 23 ahead of NC State.
What will the 12 team playoff look like?
Byes: Georgia, Ohio State, Washington, Florida State (Top Four Conference Champions)
No. 12 Tulane at No. 5 Michigan
No. 11 Penn State at No. 6 Oregon
No. 10 Missouri at No. 7 Texas
No. 9 Louisville at No. 8 Alabama
(Imeka Egbuka photo: Jason Mowry / Getty Images)