Third College Football Playoff Rankings Vs. KFord: Georgia Doesn’t Deserve No. 1

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Written By Kelley Ford | Last Updated
college football playoff rankings

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released its rankings for the third time this season and moved Georgia ahead of Ohio State for the No. 1 spot. It is the ultimate authority in choosing the four playoff teams that will decide CFB national championship futures, and the best college football betting sites adjust their odds accordingly. Here’s the problem. The methodology for the CFP playoff bracket is archaic and often inconsistent.

In today’s environment of advanced statistics and more sophisticated mathematical models, better ways exist to rank college football teams. Enter the KFord Most-Deserving Rankings.

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MOST-DESERVING COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS

To summarize, my Most-Deserving (MD) Rankings are a results-oriented (résumé-based) metric that describes how a team has performed against its schedule (including scoring margin) relative to how the average top-25 FBS team would be expected to perform against that same schedule.

For a full explanation of the inputs and concepts to keep in mind, refer back to my first CFB rankings post of the season. Which teams are the most over- and under-ranked by the AP Poll, according to my MD Rankings? Let’s discuss.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL Playoff VS. KFORD MOST-DESERVING Rankings: Week 12

college football playoff rankings

BIGGEST GRIPES WITH TOP 4 of College Football Playoff Rankings

OVERRANKED
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (10-0, 7-0): +5 spots compared to KFord MD

Results

  • W 48-7 vs FCS UT Martin
  • W 45-3 vs No. 114 Ball State
  • W 24-14 vs No. 41 South Carolina
  • W 49-21 vs No. 104 UAB
  • W 27-20 at No. 25 Auburn
  • W 51-13 vs No. 31 Kentucky
  • W 37-20 at No. 99 Vanderbilt
  • W 43-20 vs No. 33 Florida (in Jacksonville, FL)
  • W 30-21 vs No. 19 Missouri
  • W 52-17 vs No. 15 Ole Miss

Few teams have improved their résumé more in the past three weeks than Georgia, as the Dawgs have knocked off three top-35 power-rated teams by an average score of 42-19. But when your previous seven games were against teams with an average power-rating of 69 (plus an FCS opponent), there was a lot of ground to make up on the best résumés in the country.

Georgia has two more big résumé-boosting opportunities upcoming: this week at No. 15 power-rated Tennessee and in two weeks in Atlanta against currently No. 6 power-rated Alabama. If Georgia continues to win, the Dawgs will be in my Most Deserving top 4; however, their current résumé doesn’t belong in the top 4, let alone at No. 1, when compared to the other contenders. 

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 6
  • REC: 8% (No. 7)
  • SM: 9.2 (No. 8)

UNDERRANKED
No. 5 Washington Huskies (10-0, 7-0): -1 spot compared to KFord MD

Results

  • W 56-19 vs No. 49 Boise State
  • W 43-10 vs No. 93 Tulsa
  • W 41-7 at No. 42 Michigan State
  • W 59-32 vs No. 41 California
  • W 31-24 at No. 31 Arizona
  • W 36-33 vs No. 3 Oregon
  • W 15-7 vs No. 87 Arizona State
  • W 42-33 at No. 104 Stanford
  • W 52-42 at No. 15 USC
  • W 35-28 vs No. 21 Utah

My entire Most-Deserving Top Four – Ohio State, Michigan, Florida State, and Washington – is underranked by exactly one spot by the Committee. So Washington gets the spotlight since the Huskies are the team that my numbers suggest deserves to be in the top four but are not (thanks again, Georgia).

There is only a 3% chance that the average top-25 FBS team would be undefeated against Washington’s schedule. That’s second-best in the country, but the Huskies can’t crack the Committee’s top four because preferential treatment is being given to the two-time reigning national champions.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 4
  • REC: 3% (No. 2)
  • SM: 5.9 (No. 13)

BIGGESGT GRIPES WITH THE TOP 25

OVERRANKED
No. 11 Oregon State Beavers (8-2, 5-2): +8 spots compared to KFord MD

Results

  • W 42-17 at No. 65 San Jose State
  • W 55-7 vs FCS UC Davis
  • W 26-9 vs No. 103 San Diego State
  • L 35-38 at No. 39 Washington State
  • W 21-7 vs No. 21 Utah
  • W 52-40 at No. 48 California
  • W 36-24 vs No. 25 UCLA
  • L 24-27 at No. 31 Arizona
  • W 26-19 at No. 66 Colorado
  • W 66-17 vs No. 99 Stanford

Oregon State was the most overranked team in the Committee’s Top 25 a week ago, per my numbers. Following a resounding win against Stanford, the Beavers moved up three spots in Most Deserving Rankings this week, but the Committee also moved them up a spot. So while the differential is now down to only eight spots, Oregon State does retain the title of most overranked team this week. Based on overall résumé, I’d have four three-loss teams ranked ahead of Oregon State. But the Beavers are taking advantage of a relatively weak schedule and benefiting from the Committee’s overemphasis on a team’s number of losses.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 19
  • REC: 71% (No. 20)
  • SM: 3.0 (No. 15)

UNDERRANKED
No. 22 Utah Utes (7-3, 4-3): -6 spots compared to KFord MD

Results

  • W 24-11 vs No. 25 Florida
  • W 20-13 at No. 55 Baylor
  • W 31-7 vs FCS Weber State
  • W 14-7 vs No. 22 UCLA
  • L 7-21 at No. 18 Oregon State
  • W 34-14 vs No. 51 California
  • W 34-32 at No. 14 USC
  • L 6-35 vs No. 3 Oregon
  • W 55-3 vs No. 84 Arizona State
  • L 28-35 at No. 13 Washington

Following a hard-fought loss at Washington, the Utes fell four spots in my Most Deserving Rankings. The Committee also dropped Utah four spots. Sounds fair, right? Wrong. Because the Committee didn’t have Utah properly ranked to begin with. Similar to Oregon State, Utah finds itself in the same position as a week ago, just on the other side of the equation: the most underranked team by the Selection Committee.

All three of Utah’s losses have come to top-18 power-rated opponents, and two of them have been on the road. Don’t get me wrong: losses are bad, you want to avoid them. But not all losses are created equal. With three top-25 power-rated wins and only one FBS opponent with a power rating lower than No. 55, the Utes have a very strong résumé, despite the number of losses.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 16
  • REC: 55% (No. 16)
  • SM: -0.1 (No. 20)

FULL FBS COLLEGE FOOTBALL MOST DESERVING RANKINGS: Week 12

college football playoff rankings

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