Ranking Best Teams in CFP Era (objectively)

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FieldsofJreams's picture

Would anyone have noticed if OP had swapped TTUN's place w/ Western Michigan's?

Sloopy1976's picture

I would add winning your conference to the point totals. Wonder if that would thin out the bottom half of those rankings.

Knarcisi's picture

Agree, you have to add this, at least for 3 points. 

FieldsofJreams's picture

Winning a division: +1 point

Unfortunately, TTUN will still be stuck at 3 points.

Knarcisi's picture

Half a point for 3rd place?

allinosu's picture

I guess we got the answer to who has it better than them.

buckeye_in_WI's picture

I did think about adding this in, but thought it was a bit tricky to figure out best points to award it. Is winning your conference better than winning a ny6 bowl? Is it worse? Tough call on that on. For simplistic sake I felt it best to leave conference championships out.

One way I thought of sussing out the lower point teams is to award points for final ranking. Like 1 point for finishing top 10, 0.75 for 11-15, 0.5 for 16-20, etc. Those small points would be inconsequential at the top but for all those 4 and 3 point teams may separate them fairly well.

Also I feel like a team like Oregon gets a bit too much credit compared to a team like Oklahoma or Washington or even FSU. Oregon had 1 great year but has otherwise been completely absent from the playoff scene while the other 3 teams have had at least a few solid seasons.

It's not by any means the best way to group the teams but I thought it was interesting to try a consistent method and see where things played out. Overall it's pretty close to what I expected but again lots of ways it could be changed or improved with a little more work.

FieldsofJreams's picture

To account for programs on the decline (like FSU, MSU, Oregon, etc.), the point system could depreciate in value over time.  Like ND's 2018 playoff appearence is valued more than Oregon's 2014 title-game appearence.  If Oregon had made the CFP this year, we would have to give them the benefit of the doubt.  In hindsight, we now know that Oregon's playoff days have likely come and gone.

PRO8's picture

You have to add some other categories to get a better spread for the lower ranked teams. Use  Conf champs  , maybe winning percentage and/or total wins. I would also think about awarding points for runner up to NC or maybe end of year BCS/ poll finish

buckeye_in_WI's picture

Agree need something to spread out lower teams.

Runner up gets 12 points for winning the first playoff games.

FieldsofJreams's picture

Did I miss something, when the heck did Arizona make a NY6 bowl?

Knarcisi's picture

I’d say Fiesta Bowl, maybe 2014 season. Believe they had a good season a lost to Oregon in the PAC12 championship game. 

Arsenal7's picture

Yep. Same year we won the natty. They were Oregon's only loss that year except Ohio State. Lost to Boise in the Fiesta Bowl after Anu Solomon took a horrible sack in the red zone with no timeouts.

Sloopy1976's picture

According to my calculations, OSU is 20 - 5 (.800 winning %) vs. the teams on that list in the CFP era. Not bad. 

MindSurfr's picture

OP, not sure if "making the playoffs" should be given any validity since it had been subjective with no real / consistent justification why team a made it in over team b.

buckeye_in_WI's picture

That's a fair point. But there were some teams that definitely "deserved" a playoff spot but then lost (e.g. 2014 Bama, 2016 tOSU) so there should be something to award teams for those types of seasons. I weighted making the playoff heavier than a ny6 bowl because IMO I'd much rather my team make the playoff and lose than be left out and win. But if you were a team that ended up say 5 of 6, and then went on to win your bowl game, you still get 4 points in that system which is a decent chunk. Not as much as making the playoff then losing but still more points than ttun has haha!

PsyBuck's picture

1-25 pts depending on where you finish in the final AP poll after the season. (1st place is 25, 2nd 24, etc etc.)


+1 pt per division 1 win (sorry 'bama you don't get shit for beating the citadel after being tied at half time)

+50 pts for playoff championship
+25 for making it to championship game (because it means you beat a quality opponent to get there)

(No extra points for making the playoff because it is so subjective and there is way too much bias and inconsistency involved)

+10 for winning a NY6 Bowl game
+5 for winning a non NY6 bowl
+3 for losing a NY6 bowl
+1 for losing a non NY6 bowl

+10 for power 5 conference win
+5 for power 5 division win

-100 pts if you play in Ann Arbor

"No we don't give a da*n 'Bout the whole state of *ichigan"

MindSurfr's picture

Lol. Does that mean we lose pts every other year bc thats where we beat them when we are not beating them at home?

PsyBuck's picture

Lol should have worded that better.

-100 pts if you play home games in Ann arbor.

"No we don't give a da*n 'Bout the whole state of *ichigan"

Buckabroad's picture

So, MSU is 10 spots ahead of TTUN. Help me out here, which of the two is the "little sister" again?

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

RunEddieRun1983's picture

Wow, it's true, Michigan does suck. 

Urban Meyer left an incredible legacy. 12/4/18 Ryan Day begins his.

EZE4TD's picture

You screwed up the calculations. I believe That Team gets 50 points for having more wins than anybody before 1950 and another 25 points because their helmet is (supposedly) "cool." I believe those two criteria are automatically factored in when you look at all the preseason polls, so prob should here as well.

Buckeyes01752's picture

I'd like to see a ranking based on winning games.

Points criteria Notes
1 per win naturally to reward wins
2 conference win each conference win is worth 3 points (including conference championship games)
2 P5 win rewards strong non-conference scheduling
1 G5 win rewards decent non-conference scheduling
0 FCS win no incentive to schedule FCS
0 P5 loss incentive to schedule P5 schools 
-1 G5 loss don't lose these games
-2 FCS loss don't pull a TUN
    Bonus points accumulate for winning post-season games based on the above
    AP rankings don't matter because they fluctuate too much during the season


Meek's picture

Is the conference win worth 2 or 3 points? It's listed as 2 on the left.

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Buckeyes01752's picture

It would be 3 (1 for the win + 2 for being in conference).

sullie's picture

Make ttun 33rd so they're completely off your list of 32 and that would make your list perfect. . .admittedly, I didn't read anything you wrote, I just saw ttun on there and got distracted.

buckeye_in_WI's picture


Ok after a few people suggested I went back through and awarded points for final ranking for each season. I also realized I accidentally gave Clemson too many points as I forgot they lost to Alabama in the first round in 2017 and not the finals (i originally gave them 12 points and credit for a 1st round win for 2017).

This is how I did the additional scoring:

  • Final ranking 1-10: 1 additional point
  • Final ranking 11-15: 0.75 additional points
  • Final ranking 16-20: 0.5 additional points
  • Final ranking 21-25: 0.25 additional points.

I did not add in teams that have never played in a NY6 bowl game, so teams like Northwestern who were ranking in final 25 a few times but have never played a NY6 bowl are not included in this list.

Here is the new rankings:

  1. Alabama: 136 points
  2. Clemson: 116.75 points
  3. tOSU: 66 points
  4. Oklahoma: 28 points
  5. Georgia: 24.25 points
  6. Oregon: 20.5 points
  7. FSU: 13.75 points
  8. MSU: 12.5 points
  9. Washington: 11.5 points
  10. Notre Dame: 10.5 points
  11. Wisconsin: 10 points
  12. PSU: 7.5 points
  13. TCU: 7 points
  14. tied 14-USC: 6.25 points
  15. tied 14-Stanford: 6.25 points
  16. tied-16 UCF: 5.75 points
  17. tied-16 LSU: 5.75 points
  18. tied 18-Ole Miss: 5.5 points
  19. tied 18-ttun: 5.5 points
  20. Florida: 5 points
  21. tied 21-Boise St: 4 points
  22. tied 21-Georgia tech: 4 points
  23. tied 21-Houston: 4 points
  24. tied 21-Texas: 4 points
  25. Baylor: 3.75 points
  26. Auburn: 3.25 points
  27. tied 27-Iowa: 3 points
  28. tied 27-Oklahoma St: 3 points
  29. Mississippi St: 2.5 points
  30. Miami: 2 points
  31. Arizona: 1.5 points
  32. Western Michigan: 1.5 points

Unfortunately this boosted ttun, but it does seem better at the lower ranks and im pretty sure it preserved the top 15 teams or so.

Anyways, fun little exercise. Can't wait for the season to start!