With the regular season finalized (save for the Army-Navy Classic), I’m going to switch things up a bit from the usual format. Instead of giving commentary on the top 25 teams, I’ll be presenting a grid of all the FBS teams. (If you want facts that are still mostly accurate, you can find my last two rankings here and here.) I’ll also do a quick rundown of the conference rankings as well as provide some (hopefully) interesting facts to help prepare you for Bowl Season.
Speaking of Bowl Season, my goal this year, time willing, is to provide a full primer for all the bowl games, including anticipated victory margin. This will be my first attempt at finding out whether my normalized victory margin is worth the time or just a bunch of useless math. With Bowl Season kicking off in 13 short days, I hope to have part one of the primer issued by Friday.
But before we get to the bowls, let’s take a moment to talk about the dominance of Florida State this season. In my tertiary research, I was unable to come across any team that even approached Florida State’s point differential of +550. To put that number in perspective, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes, who Bill Connelly calls the best team in the last 40 years, scored only 512 points the entire season. The Seminoles have reached their ridiculous level of preeminence by boasting the nation’s second-ranked scoring offense and the top-ranked scoring defense. Using my previously-mentioned scoring system, I have Jimbo Fisher’s team as 21-point victors come January 6th. Simply put, they are not to be trifled with.
Now, onto the conferences …
- SEC – Average Ranking: 40.07
- Pac-12 – 46.83
- Big Ten – 50.58
- ACC – 52.71
- Big 12 – 55.00
- American – 70.50
- Mountain West – 78.08
- MAC – 78.54
- Conference USA – 79.07
- Sun Belt – 81.63
As anticipated, there is a sizable gap between the SEC and the rest of the nation. It’s important to remember that these rankings aren’t influenced by public opinion (including polls), consecutive championships or ESPN money. These rankings simply take into account a variety of quantifiable variables and spits out a ranking. So all that hoopla about how great the SEC is actually isn’t hoopla at all.
These conference rankings take the average of every team’s final ranking in my poll. So for example, the average SEC team finished 40th. Because these numbers can become skewed if there’s one team carrying a conference (say, Fresno State) or one team that’s truly ankles and toes below the rest (that’s the opposite of head and shoulders, right?), they could vastly influence the average ranking. So I took a strategy from the BCS standing and eliminated the top and bottom ranked team for each conference.
If we used the revised formula, here’s how the rankings would shake out:
- SEC – 38.25
- Pac-12 – 44.40
- Big Ten – 48.80
- ACC – 52.67
- Big 12 – 55.38
- American – 72.50
- Sun Belt – 78.50
- Conference USA – 79.42
- MAC – 79.55
- Mountain West – 80.20
The biggest loser from this approach was the Mountain West conference, which was being carried by Fresno State. Outside of the Bulldogs, who finished 18th, the Mountain West does not have a single team in the top 45. What they do have, however, is three teams who finished 108th or lower, with Hawaii’s one win placing them at 117th.
The conference that gained the most was by far the Sun Belt. While the Sun Belt has an utter dearth of quality teams, they only had one truly horrible team. Georgia State, who finished 125th, singlehandedly brought down it’s conference’s average by six spots. The rest of America’s smallest conference finished between 57th and 89th. In fact, they are the only conference in the country to not have two teams be ranked 90th or lower. Of course, they do only have eight teams …
Now for the part we’ve been waiting for. Here are the final rankings, minus the Army-Navy game (for those wondering, a Navy 10-point win would jump them up to 55th with Army dropping to 109th). If you have any questions on these rankings that you can’t find in the explanation, feel free to ask me on Twitter. I will answer all questions that don’t ask whether I was dropped a lot as a child.
|Team||My Rank||BCS Rank||Ranking Total||Win %||Point Differential|
|San Diego State||72||–||52.07||0.583||-50|
|San Jose State||77||–||50.24||0.500||-32|
|North Carolina State||99||–||36.08||0.250||-88|
|New Mexico State||118||–||18.97||0.167||-282|