SMART Football Power Rankings

NoVA Buckeye's picture
October 23, 2012 at 2:19a

Introducing, the SMART Football Power Ranking!

Since polls don't accurately measure how good a team is or performs, I made a ranking system based on performance. Here is the scoring system:

24 Points for a win over a BCS school

20 Points for a win over a Non AQ 1-A School

16 Points for a win over a 1-AA Team

12 Points for a win over a D-II Team

8 Points for a win over a D-III Team

4 Points for a win over a NAIA Team

2 Points for each win the opponent has

1 point for each win a D-II or lower opponent has

I pointed out the D-II and lower points because some 1-A teams play D-II teams or lower.

Without further ado, here are my rankings. The +/- is for AP ranking with point average in parenthesis.

The teams following are the 35 teams that received the most votes in the latest AP poll.

1. Florida (32) +1

2. Notre Dame (31.14285714) +3

3. Oregon State (31) +4

4. Alabama (29.71428571) -3

5. Kansas State (29.14285714) -2

6. OHIO STATE (29) +3

7. Oregon (28.85714286) -3

8. Rutgers (28) +10

9. Texas Tech (26.57142857) +6

10. Stanford (26.28571429) +9

11. LSU (26.25) -5

12. Oklahoma* (26) -4

13. Mississippi State* (26) +0

14. Louisville (25.71428571) +2

15. Florida State (25.5) -4

16. Clemson (25.42857143) -2

17. USC (25.14285714) -7

18. West Virginia (24.85714286) +7

19. Penn State** (24.57142857) +12

20. Georgia** (24.57142857) -8

21. Texas A&M (24.28571429) +1

22. Michigan*** (23.71428571) -2

23. Ohio*** (23.71428571) +0

24. Boise State (23.14285714) -3

25. Toledo**** (23.5) +1


26. Wisconsin**** (23.5) +2

27. Nebraska***** (23.42857143) +3

28. Texas***** (23.42857143) -1

29. North Carolina State****** (22.85714286) +3

30. Louisiana Tech****** (22.85714286) -6

31. UCLA******* (22) +4

32. Arizona******* (22) +2

33. TCU (21.14285714) -4

34. South Carolina (20.75) -17

35. Oklahoma State (20.33333333) -2


Most underrated: Penn State (+12)

Most overrated: South Carolina (-17)


SEC has most Top 5, Top 15, Top 20, and Top 25 teams still in this system.

Pac-12 has most Top 10 teams, though.


1. Florida has played a very frontloaded schedule. They have two FCS games down the road that will hurt their final ranking. They have the best win so far of any Top 25 team in this system so far.

2. Notre Dame has no great wins, but they also have no bad wins, which can't hurt their ranking.

3. Oregon State still has to play a FCS game, but was leapfrogged with impressive wins over UCLA and Wisconsin.

4. Alabama's best win is against an SEC cellar-dweller known as Ole Miss. They play Mississippi State this weekend which would average in a 38 point boost for the winning side.

5. Kansas State has great wins, but played a bad FCS team and that brought down its ranking.

6. While the Buckeyes wins don't look impressive, UCF has turned out to be a great last-minute replacement on the rating scale.

7. Oregon may have impressive numbers, but it really comes down to who you play, and Oregon has played really bad teams with their most impressive win being against Arizona.

8. Rutgers seems high, but it's no error. The Scarlet Knights have no losses and that won't hurt a team in the final rankings, unless you're Ohio and have a schedule 0/1-win FCS cupcakes.

9. Texas Tech's loss to Oklahoma doesn't look good, but their wins over WVU and TCU look better.

10. Stanford's win over Dule is looking better by the week. The loss to Washington, however, isn't.

11. LSU has beaten a team in South Carolina with a lot of wins and another team in Texas A&M with even more wins, but those FCS cupcakes are the equivalent to pulling a Plaxico Burress.

12. Remember when Big Game Bob couldn't win the big game? He has wins over Texas and Texas Tech and has plenty of games left to play including Notre Dame.

13. Mississippi State has more cupcake wins than Rutgers, causing them to fall lower than predicted.

14. Louisville is also a victim of the schedule bug. North Carolina win looks good, though.

15. See #11. Two FCS games will hurt any team, no matter how impressive a win against Clemson looks.

16. And then there's Clemson.

17. Hawai'i win and Stanford loss are looking really bad for SC.

18. WVU comes out higher than the AP poll, but they were blasted too far back in my opinion. One thing that helps WVU is their win over JMU. JMU may be a FCS team, but they have won a lot of games, which is equal to a win over Kansas.

19. Penn State beat Northwestern and would be #9 right now if they didn't lose to UVA. #3 (gasp) if they beat Ohio.

20. Georgia and South Carolina have no good wins, and that hurts every time when you have multiple losses.

21. Remember how bad the MAC is? They have two ranked teams, which is the same as the ACC has.

22. The B1G has 3 ranked teams, but two fringe teams in Wisconsin and Nebraska.



Okay guys, let's hear what you think about this system.





*- Oklahoma wins tiebreaker over Mississippi State due to more impressive victory (Texas Tech) than MSU (Tennessee)

**- Penn State wins tiebreaker over Georgia due to more impressive victory (Northwestern) than UGA (Tennessee/Vanderbilt)

***- Unfortunately, Michigan wins tiebreaker over Ohio due to performance against a common opponent (UMass)

****- Toledo wins tiebreaker over Wisconsin due to more impressive victory (Cincinnati) than Wisconsin (Minnesota)

*****- Nebraska wins tiebreaker over Texas due to more impressive victory (Wisconsin) than Texas (Ole Miss/Oklahoma State)

******- North Carolina State wins tiebreaker due to more impressive victory (Florida State) than Louisiana Tech (Illinois/UVA)

*******- UCLA wins tiebreaker over Arizona due to standing in Pac-12 South

Comments Show All Comments

cplunk's picture

I like this, but that's because it matches about how I think the teams should be ranked, and who doesn't like things that make them seem right?
interesting though, very interesting.
have you run your system back for a few years and seen how previous years end up?

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Haven't done that yet, but I'm considering it. This system throws out garbage known as preseason rankings and ranked wins. For example, a win over Duke would count more than a win over South Carolina because Duke has more wins than South Carolina. Even though South Carolina is ranked, you can see that they haven't beaten any good teams this season and that hurts their credibility.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

d5k's picture

You say South Carolina hasn't beaten any good teams yet they demolished Georgia.  Georgia was top 5 at the time so obviously that is a quality win?  Oh wait, Georgia hasn't beaten anybody and has close wins over Kentucky and Vanderbilt. 
Isn't this obvious evidence that the polls collude to assure 3-4 SEC teams in the top ten at any point in the season, and thus in the final polls?  If Georgia was preseason 30th in the country then South Carolina wouldn't have vaulted up the polls with that win to top 2 and wouldn't still be 7th going into last week's shellacking.  I think Florida and Alabama are pretty good this year in the SEC and the rest of the teams are down.  I also don't think Alabama is as good as last year when the hype seems to assume that they are somehow better than last year.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Here's my opinion on Alabama's ranking: They are the defending champs, so they do deserve to be in the top of the media polls, like all defending champs should. However, the quality of their schedule thus far has been lacking. They beat a Michigan team that hasn't beaten anyone, and that's about it.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

hodge's picture

I think that you've made an awesome empirical system that hopefully is emulated by the selection committee when they are selecting the field for the upcoming four-team playoff.  Granted, the look test also has a significant place in here, but I think that the two of these things--when used in conjunction--would be a superb way to select the four team field.

Hoody Wayes's picture

This is a great idea! Your ranking system is based on a calculus, formulated on the football field. Polling is preserved and objective. Nice work!

chicagobuckeye's picture

I think these rankings look pretty good.  The only thing I would try to add is a margin of victory category.  I think that while the Buckeyes are a top 10 team I wouldn't say I think they are better than Oregon.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Some teams match up better than others, as is the theme of our season, and we can't tell if its because of matchups or a team being that much better. As Herm Edwards said, "you play to win the game!!!!!"

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

d5k's picture

I like that you don't have bias toward preseason group-think.  I'd like to see margin of victory incorporated somehow to root out some of the luck-factor (although this might hurt the Buckeyes' ranking).

Nkohl13's picture

This is awesome. I wanted to do somthing similar but i just cant keep track of everything. Great work.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Impressive Sir.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

kgratz's picture

what if after all those rankings are done, you add points for beating a team that is ranked within the top 25 of those rankings? so florida would get bonus points for beating LSU and AM but not for beating SC because they are no longer in the top 25.  that way you still have a quality win factor, but its not dominating like it is right now.

How Firm Thy Friendship

NoVA Buckeye's picture

That could mess up the rankings by adding points to unranked teams that would somehow "jump" the rankings and cause #25 to drop out of the rankings. It would be too confusing.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

cplunk's picture

You're already getting points for a quality win- that opponent will hav a good record.

NoVA Buckeye's picture

I'm actually considering a new point system that goes:
1 point for every win the other team has over a FCS or below team
2 points for every win the other team has over a FBS team

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.