The Playoff Committee is going to release its second set of rankings on Tuesday night. Expect a lot of shake-ups after all of the chaos from Week 10 that saw several championship contenders upended, and a couple new contenders emerge.
A few weeks ago, I came up with a new way to rank the best teams in college football. It was unique, it was creative. I called it the BCS.
Not that BCS!
It’s called the boxing card system. It’s really easy. You pick any two teams, stack up their games from best performance to worst, and then compare the two resumes side-by-side, and judge each comparable performance like you would a boxing match. Total up the scores at the end and bang, whoever has more points is ranked higher.
Confused? Here’s an example:
|W 31-17 @ Virginia Tech||W 31-16 @ Ohio St||Draw|
|W 14-6 vs Aub||W 62-52 at Oklahoma St||Draw|
|W 47-21 @ Louisville||W 29-24 vs Texas||10-9 Clemson|
|W 34-7 vs BC||W 49-27 vs Texas Tech||Draw|
|W 38-31 at NC State||W 42-35 @K State||Draw|
|W 24-10 vs Ga Tech||W 49-41 @ Baylor||10-9 Clemson|
|W 28-14 vs Wake||W 56-7 vs UTEP||Draw|
|W 56-3 vs Kent St||W 56-14 vs Tulane||Draw|
|L 27-24 vs Syracuse||L 38-31 vs Iowa St||10-9 Oklahoma|
|TOTAL Clemson 89 OU 88|
Each Sunday, I’m going through all of the top 15-20 teams’ resumes to stack them up using the BCS. I’ll be posting most of the toughest comparisons on Twitter @JoshParcell all week long, so follow me there and tweet me if there’s any match-ups you’d like to see.
Here’s how I’d rank the teams heading into Week 11, with record and national title odds in parentheses.
1. Georgia (9-0; +400)
- Best Performance: W 20-19 at Notre Dame
- Worst Performance: W 42-14 vs Stamford
- Championship hopes: Feeling good. Georgia is the only team I’d feel good about their chances lining up against Alabama. My big question for the ‘Dawg is how will Jake Fromm respond when he has to actually make plays late in a game? We may find out Saturday at Auburn.
2. Notre Dame (8-1; +700)
- Best Performance: W 42-14 vs USC
- Worst Performance: W 52-17 vs Miami (OH)
- Championship hopes: The November schedule is brutal. A trip to Miami this week followed by Navy, then finishing up at Stanford. The Irish have championship talent, but the road to the Playoff is still treacherous. Make no mistake about it though, if the Irish go 11-1, they will be in.
3. Alabama (9-0; -140)
- Best Performance: W 24-10 at LSU
- Worst Performance: W 41-23 vs Colorado State
- Championship hopes: The schedule may not stack up with the likes of Notre Dame, Clemson and Oklahoma, but NO one has looked as dominant as the Tide when they’ve brought their A-Game. Georgia has been nearly as consistently dominant against a slightly tougher schedule, and Notre Dame has three ranked wins to Alabama’s one (plus a one-point loss to #1 Georgia).
4. Clemson (8-1; +700)
- Best Performance: W 14-6 vs Auburn
- Worst Performance: L 27-24 vs Syracuse
- Championship hopes: If it weren’t for a Friday night in the Carrier dome with a crippled Kelly Bryant, Clemson would be unbeaten and ranked #1 in the country. The NC State game wasn’t the Tigers’ cleanest game they’ve ever played, but when you can beat a ranked team on the road with your C-game, that’s impressive. Clemson’s in great shape to make a third straight Playoff.
5. Oklahoma (8-1 +1400)
- Best Performance: W 31-16 @ Ohio State
- Worst Performance: L 38-31 vs Iowa State
- Championship hopes: After a mid-season slump, the Sooners are heating up again and might claim the best 1-2 punch of quality wins with road wins against Ohio State and Oklahoma State. If the Sooners win out, they’re almost certainly in the Playoff. They’ll have too many quality wins.
6. TCU (8-1; +4000)
- Best Performance: W 44-31 @ Oklahoma State
- Worst Performance: W 63-0 vs Jackson State
- Championship hopes: The Horned Frogs and Sooners are basically in the same boat. One-loss teams with the only blemish coming to Iowa State. Oklahoma’s non-conference resume is better, but I still think a 12-1 Big 12 champion TCU gets in over a one-loss Pac-12 champ or the SEC runner-up.
7. Miami (8-0; +1600)
- Best Performance: W 28-10 vs Virginia Tech
- Worst Performance: W 24-19 @ North Carolina
- Championship hopes: As I tweeted Sunday, if Miami’s season was a report card, the Hurricanes would have a bunch of C’s, D’s and one A-plus. The Hurricanes finally showed up for four quarters on Saturday against Virginia Tech and played the way we expected them to all season long. I’m not rewarding teams simply for winning; otherwise Central Florida would be in the top five. It’s about the quality of the opponent, and the quality of the performance. Until Saturday, Miami hadn’t proven it’s a top-10 team. Now it has. If the ‘Canes beat Notre Dame, they should crack my top five.
8. Washington (8-1; +2200)
- Best Performance: W 38-3 vs Oregon
- Worst Performance: L 13-7 @ Arizona State
- Championship hopes: The Huskies need some serious help. The strength of schedule is completely abysmal. By season’s end, the Huskies might own three wins over ranked teams, and none over the top-15…and that’s the absolute best case. Washington needs the Big 12 to cannibalize itself, Notre Dame to falter, and probably Wisconsin to lose as well to have a chance.
9. Auburn (7-2; +4000)
- Best Performance: W 49-10 vs Mississippi State
- Worst Performance: W 24-10 vs Mercer
- Championship hopes: It’s in Auburn’s hands. The path is there, with Georgia this week, Alabama in three weeks and then a hypothetical Georgia rematch in Atlanta. If the Tigers win out, they are a lock for the Playoff, even with two losses. While I can see the Tigers stunning Georgia this weekend, I can’t see them beating Alabama.
10. Michigan State (7-2; +10000)
- Best Performance: W 27-24 vs Penn State
- Worst Performance: L 39-31 at Northwestern
- Championship hopes: No shot. Even if Sparty runs the table, they would need a win or two over top-five/top-10 teams to justify making the Playoff with two losses (like Auburn would have). I nearly gave this spot to Wisconsin, but Michigan State’s wins over Penn State and Michigan were enough for me to keep them ahead of Wisconsin; who still has not beaten a ranked team, or been particularly dominant in most games either. Give Mark Dantonio credit for putting Michigan State in this position, but the ceiling for the Spartans is a New Year’s Six Bowl and a Big 10 championship. Still, that’s a hell of a ceiling for a team that was 3-9 a year ago.