College Football AP Poll Vs. KFord Most-Deserving Rankings: Why Is Georgia Still No. 1?

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Written By Kelley Ford | Last Updated
college football rankings

Georgia should not be the No. 1 team in the country. Sorry, not sorry. At this point, voters should be elevating those with the best resumes. Even when the College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee’s weekly top-25 rankings come out, it often does not accurately represent the most deserving teams. The best college football betting sites adjust weekly to CFB rankings, but the Bulldogs don’t deserve the top spot right now. Several other college football teams are getting too much respect, like the team in the midst of a sign-stealing investigation, Michigan.

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 RANKINGS: KFord MOST DESERVING After Week 8

If the College Football Playoff started this weekend, here’s who I’d have as the most deserving top-four teams in college football.

college football rankings

OVERRANKED College football teams

No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (7-0, 4-0): +8 spots

Results

  • W 48-7 vs FCS UT Martin
  • W 54-3 vs No. 114 Ball State
  • W 24-14 vs No. 41 South Carolina
  • W 49-21 vs No. 103 UAB
  • W 27-20 at No. 30 Auburn
  • W 51-13 vs No. 31 Kentucky
  • W 37-20 at No. 98 Vanderbilt

Georgia finally deserves to be No. 1! Just not in the way Dawg fans would like. Georgia deserves to be No. 1 on my list of most overranked teams. Georgia hasn’t necessarily done anything to “fall” in the AP Poll, which is why they haven’t. But more importantly, Georgia also hasn’t necessarily done anything this season to deserve to be ranked No. 1 in the first place. The Bulldogs are the two-time reigning national champions, ranked in the top 10 of my power ratings, and were preseason AP No. 1. That is why the Bulldogs are No. 1 in the AP Poll. And as I’ve written before, that’s not fair to the teams that have accomplished more on the field in 2023.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 9 (no change)
  • REC: 36%; No. 9 (down from No. 8)
  • SM: 5.9; No. 13 (down from No. 10)

No. 2 Michigan Wolverines (8-0, 5-0): +6 spots

Results

  • W 30-3 vs No. 84 East Carolina
  • W 35-7 vs No. 85 UNLV
  • W 31-6 vs No. 101 Bowling Green
  • W 31-7 vs No. 48 Rutgers
  • W 45-7 at No. 62 Nebraska
  • W 52-10 at No. 50 Minnesota
  • W 52-7 vs No. 87 Indiana
  • W 49-0 at No. 67 Michigan State

After demolishing their “little brother” in East Lansing last week, Michigan has ascended to No. 1 in my power ratings. But this isn’t a power rating article, and Michigan has shown up on this list more than any other team this season. However, each week, the Wolverines are overranked by a smaller margin than the week prior (+23 spots after Week 4; +15; +11; +9; +6 currently). As Michigan continues to add to its résumé, the Wolverines continue to climb in my Most Deserving metric. That’s the way it should work in a merit-based system. But the AP Poll had Michigan No. 2 in the preseason, and have simply kept the Wolverines there all season as the maize and blue have yet to lose a game.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 8 (season-best; up from No. 11)
  • REC: 41%; No. 11 (season-best; up from No. 12)
  • SM: 15.5; No. 1 (season-best; up from No. 5)

No. 9 Oregon Ducks (6-1, 3-1): +8 spots

Results

  • W 81-7 vs FCS Portland State
  • W 38-30 at No. 34 Texas Tech
  • W 55-10 vs No. 121 Hawaii
  • W 42-6 vs No. 59 Colorado
  • W 42-6 at No. 105 Stanford
  • L 33-36 at No. 9 Washington
  • W 38-24 vs No. 48 Washington State

Like Georgia, Oregon finds itself on this list for the second consecutive week. Ranked highly in the preseason (No. 15) and a top-10 team in my power ratings, the Ducks are highly regarded by the AP Poll for similar reasons as the Dawgs, However, as I’ve written before, these are not reasons that merit a high ranking. Adding a win against a top-50 power-rated Washington State team did move the Ducks up one spot in my rankings. However, Oregon still only has one win against a team with a power rating better than the Cougars at No. 48. That is not a résumé worthy of a top-10 ranking in the season.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 16 (up from No. 17)
  • REC: 61%; No. 18 (up from No. 20)
  • SM: 11.8; No. 3 (down from No. 6)

UNDERRANKED College football teams

Unranked Iowa Hawkeyes (6-2, 3-2): No. 24 in KFord MD

Results

  • W 24-14 vs No. 90 Utah State
  • W 20-13 at No. 44 Iowa State
  • W 41-10 vs No. 118 Western Michigan
  • L 0-31 at No. 3 Penn State
  • W 26-16 vs No. 63 Michigan State
  • W 20-14 vs No. 54 Purdue
  • W 15-6 at No. 23 Wisconsin
  • L 10-12 vs No. 58 Minnesota

No team has featured on this list more times this season than Iowa. The Hawkeyes continue to be discounted by the AP Poll voters, and if I had to guess why, I’d say it’s for the same reason many college football fans discount this team – the offense is dreadful. That unit currently ranks a season-worst No. 125 in my power rating rankings. But – and stop me if you’ve heard me say this before – that shouldn’t matter in a résumé ranking! The Hawkeyes accomplishments on the field in 2023 merit inclusion in the top 25 this week.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 24 (down from No. 12)
  • REC: 77%; No. 25 (down from No. 10)
  • SM: -9.1; No. 42 (down from No. 38)

No. 25 James Madison Dukes (7-0, 4-0): -11 spots

Results

  • W 38-3 vs FCS Bucknell
  • W 36-35 at No. 86 Virginia
  • W 16-14 at No. 51 Troy
  • W 45-38 at No. 90 Utah State
  • W 31-23 vs No. 40 South Alabama
  • W 41-13 vs No. 63 Georgia Southern
  • W 20-9 at No. 81 Marshall

Finally! After three weeks of me shouting for the AP Poll to rank the Dukes, James Madison finds itself in the top 25. But I’m still not satisfied. James Madison should have been No. 26 three weeks ago. Now the Dukes deserve to be in the top 15 based on their accomplishments. Voters need to remove their G5 bias and appreciate this résumé for what it is: really freaking impressive! Rank the Dukes higher!

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 14 (season-best; up from No. 18)
  • REC: 43%; No. 12 (season-best; up from No. 14)
  • SM: -8.9; No. 40 (season-best; up from No. 47)
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Receiving Votes Kansas State Wildcats (5-2, 3-1): -8 spots

Results

  • W 45-0 vs FCS Southeast Missouri
  • W 42-13 vs No. 51 Troy
  • L 27-30 at No. 25 Missouri
  • W 44-31 vs No. 26 UCF
  • L 21-29 at No. 42 Oklahoma State
  • W 38-21 at No. 28 Texas Tech
  • W 41-3 vs No. 24 TCU

Raise your hand if you think that Oklahoma or Texas would be unranked if they were 5-2 and the reigning Big 12 Champion. Okay, now put your hand down, liars. There is no way! I’m not suggesting that simply being 5-2 – or certainly being a reigning anything – is a valid reason to include a team in the top 25. What I am suggesting is that the AP Poll voters are discounting Kansas State because of the logo on their helmet. Kansas State has three wins against teams with a top-30 power-rating. The two losses are both to teams with a top-45 power-rating. I’m sorry, but it’s a joke that Kansas State isn’t ranked this week.

KFord Résumé Metrics

  • MD: No. 20 (season-best)
  • REC: 76%; No. 23 (season-best)
  • SM: 7.4; No. 11 (season-best)

Full College Football FBS Most-Deserving Rankings

college football rankings

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