Thursday, September 11, 2014

Oregon Vaults to No. 1 After Impressive Win

By scoring the final 28 points in a 46-27 rout of Michigan State last week, Oregon has supplanted defending national champion Florida State in our CFP weekly rankings.

(See our explanation for the methodology of our standings.)

The Ducks jumped from No. 3 to the top spot, thanks to a massive increase in vote shares in the AP poll and the top spot in the composite computer rankings. Florida State dropped one spot to No. 2, followed by Auburn and Oklahoma.

Five of the top nine teams are from the SEC, though only one among the top four to qualify for the playoff. USC made the biggest jump, gaining seven spots to No. 7 after last week's close win at Stanford, while Notre Dame moved up six spots to No. 10.

After last week's bloodbath, the highest-ranked Big Ten team is Michigan State at No. 13. The Spartans, the defending conference champions and last year's Rose Bowl winner, still have the best shot of reaching the four-team playoff. But with the collective weakness of the conference, that will be a difficult task.

The Power 5 conferences, continuing a trend from the final years of the BCS, are dominating the standings. Of the 44 teams ranked this week, only two are from the "Group of Five" conferences, with American Athletic's Cincinnati at No. 35 and Conference USA's Marshall at No. 43. No team from the Mountain West, Mid-American or Sun Belt is currently ranked.


Anonymous said...

Sam, do you think there is any way to make a poll without using pre-season conceptions of team quality?

Should South Carolina be considered the 24th ranked team based on actual performance? Blown out at home and a 10 point win against East Carolina.

The Guru said...

The voters in early-season polls should really discard their previous ballots when voting each week. But the problem with the polls is that voters build their own prejudice and refuse to abandon such prejudice even when presented with facts.

Case-in-point: Why is UCLA still ranked No. 12 after close wins over Virginia and Memphis? Because the voters made them into a top-ranked team in the preseason and they'll stay there.