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30 Nov 2011

FEI: Conference Championships

by Brian Fremeau

College football's postseason is really screwy. Teams play completely unbalanced schedules, often with very few common opponents, and then two teams are selected at the end to participate in a championship game. There is rarely a high degree of certainty that the two best teams are selected, and the case for other candidates is often very strong.

I'm talking about the conference championship games, not the BCS. In the Pac-12, a terrible UCLA team has earned a spot to play for the championship due to sanctions against USC, but even if the Trojans were in, Stanford seems to be the better team. In the SEC, LSU and Alabama are clearly the two best teams in the conference, but Georgia gets to play for the title precisely because it didn't have to play either one of them or Arkansas beforehand. In the ACC, Virginia Tech and Clemson share only three common opponents to date, plus a head-to-head game that doesn't mean anything come Saturday. There's a rematch in the Big Ten too.

It certainly makes sense to crown a conference division champ based on round robin play within the division. But that's not happening either. An additional three or four games of cross-division play represents a significant amount of data in the conference standings. And those games are never equally balanced.

It seems to me that the conference championship structure deserves BCS-level scrutiny as well. Why not pit the two top teams in a conference as a whole (by record if you wish, or by some more sophisticated metrics) rather than be bound by the division distinctions? Or, if the division distinctions are important, why not only include division games in the division standings? It wouldn't make much sense for the Big East or Big 12 to include non-conference games in their respective championship standings. Why does it make sense to include non-division games in conference division standings?

As we head into what some are lamenting as a conference championship week lacking in significant games, I think it's worth examining these questions. They are especially valid in the face of conference expansion that will likely strain the connectedness of conferences as a whole and create even more discrepancies in intra-conference schedule strength.

Perhaps the superconference era is on the horizon, perhaps not. But if we wish to possibly one day have a system where four 16-team conference championship games serve as some sort of national quarterfinal, don't we want to ensure that the process by which those teams are selected is sound? Don't we want to ensure that the two best teams from each conference participate? These issues crop up every year and deserve some critical thought.

Below, I present the season-to-date resumes for each of the participants in the four AQ conference championship games, plus the de facto championship game in the Big 12. For each game that involved a common opponent, I highlight in yellow the team that had the better performance in each category: Offensive Efficiency (OE), Field Position Advantage (FPA), Offensive FEI (OFEI), Defensive FEI (DFEI), and overall opponent-adjusted game efficiency (GFEI). For head-to-head matchups, the team that performed better in each category is highlighted in blue.

SEC Championship Game

LSU Tigers (11-0)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 Oregon W 40-27 W 40-20 5 14 8 .212 285 .650 42 1.145 179 -1.085 29 .657 8 Med
9/15 Mississippi State W 19-6 W 16-6 51 85 34 .150 352 .385 1205 .831 316 -.206 343 .284 217 Low
9/24 West Virginia W 47-21 W 40-21 23 7 48 .201 296 .693 10 .756 349 -.969 52 .533 30 Med
10/1 Kentucky W 35-7 W 28-0 87 110 51 .381 136 .575 239 .888 281 -.043 442 .134 438 Low
10/8 Florida W 41-11 W 34-11 50 88 37 .346 162 .553 356 1.323 117 -.149 384 .339 160 Low
10/15 Tennessee W 38-7 W 24-7 57 76 26 .304 197 .670 24 .908 266 -.502 181 .397 112 Low
10/22 Auburn W 45-10 W 42-3 72 56 92 .655 27 .709 4 .801 330 -.523 175 .492 46 Low
11/5 Alabama W 9-6 W 9-6 3 18 2 .041 554 .517 551 .709 372 -1.197 19 .610 15 Med
11/12 Western Kentucky W 42-9 W 35-9 83 98 75 .391 133 .473 819 .952 246 .153 561 .163 390 Low
11/19 Mississippi W 52-3 W 42-3 101 114 78 .796 7 .675 14 1.994 16 .239 623 .576 19 Low
11/25 Arkansas W 41-17 W 38-17 16 15 53 .286 214 .491 719 1.493 80 -1.139 26 .478 50 Med
Georgia Bulldogs (9-2)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 Boise State L 21-35 L 21-35 8 22 28 -.154 964 .387 1199 .747 351 -.139 395 .171 376 High
9/10 South Carolina L 42-45 L 42-45 17 48 7 -.029 707 .449 955 1.489 81 .217 612 .201 327 High
9/24 Mississippi W 27-13 W 27-13 101 114 78 .148 358 .423 1086 .291 641 .340 713 -.072 806 Low
10/1 Mississippi State W 24-10 W 24-10 51 85 34 .148 359 .539 420 .364 605 -.741 92 .137 431 Med
10/8 Tennessee W 20-12 W 20-12 57 76 26 .134 374 .484 750 1.181 161 .210 607 .228 292 Med
10/15 Vanderbilt W 33-28 W 33-28 46 39 52 .055 506 .537 434 .479 520 -.235 321 .214 316 Med
10/29 Florida W 24-20 W 24-20 50 88 37 .042 551 .436 1022 .474 529 -.247 313 .108 482 Med
11/5 New Mexico State W 63-16 W 49-3 111 97 106 .730 14 .632 66 .552 478 -.485 190 .254 253 Low
11/12 Auburn W 45-7 W 38-7 72 56 92 .492 82 .578 224 .583 465 -.604 142 .329 167 Low
11/19 Kentucky W 19-10 W 19-10 87 110 51 .089 439 .594 167 -.245 992 .072 511 -.159 925 Low
11/26 Georgia Tech W 31-17 W 31-10 40 13 58 .375 144 .642 49 .893 275 -1.141 24 .614 14 Med

Georgia is riding a nine-game winning streak and played its best game of the year in a demolition of Georgia Tech last weekend, but the 40th-ranked Yellow Jackets were the highest ranked FEI opponent Georgia has faced since September, so the overall resume is pretty thin. In terms of GFEI performances, Georgia posted only two top-250 games this year. LSU has six top-50 performances. The six common opponent games fall mostly in the direction of the Tigers, though Georgia's defense compares favorably in its games against Mississippi State, Florida and Auburn.

ACC Championship Game

Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/10 East Carolina W 17-10 W 17-10 92 93 66 .091 436 .496 683 -.202 963 -.102 416 -.050 777 Low
9/17 Arkansas State W 26-7 W 26-7 67 87 63 .236 254 .575 236 .365 603 -.178 361 .125 451 Med
9/24 Marshall W 30-10 W 30-10 91 101 69 .238 253 .576 233 .279 651 .105 526 .108 481 Low
10/1 Clemson L 3-23 L 3-23 31 28 39 -.248 1075 .506 617 -.180 953 -.365 262 -.092 838 High
10/8 Miami W 38-35 W 38-35 28 3 67 .048 533 .505 628 1.707 41 .672 961 .255 252 High
10/15 Wake Forest W 38-17 W 35-17 54 34 64 .224 267 .589 178 .704 376 -.463 204 .340 159 Med
10/22 Boston College W 30-14 W 30-14 60 96 40 .208 292 .477 802 1.328 116 .506 819 .142 419 Med
10/29 Duke W 14-10 W 14-10 70 38 97 .046 539 .392 1189 -.715 1181 -.725 98 .070 543 Low
11/10 Georgia Tech W 37-26 W 37-26 40 13 58 .165 339 .584 196 1.397 102 -.088 423 .404 99 Med
11/17 North Carolina W 24-21 W 24-21 34 42 15 .039 561 .517 552 .904 270 .050 494 .171 380 Med
11/26 Virginia W 38-0 W 28-0 44 50 33 .421 115 .416 1116 1.797 31 -.756 86 .603 16 Med
Clemson Tigers (8-3)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 Troy W 43-19 W 36-19 109 107 88 .157 348 .593 172 -.580 1141 .616 908 -.290 1100 Low
9/17 Auburn W 38-24 W 38-24 72 56 92 .190 308 .450 952 1.409 100 .578 871 .027 623 Med
9/24 Florida State W 35-30 W 35-30 14 53 13 .060 496 .481 779 1.966 18 .510 828 .325 170 High
10/1 Virginia Tech W 23-3 W 23-3 13 21 20 .248 239 .494 698 1.000 229 -1.275 12 .671 7 High
10/8 Boston College W 36-14 W 36-14 60 96 40 .314 190 .503 645 1.314 120 .311 691 .248 260 Med
10/15 Maryland W 56-45 W 56-45 78 70 76 .105 417 .497 674 .700 380 .608 900 .046 590 Med
10/22 North Carolina W 59-38 W 59-24 34 42 15 .345 164 .631 68 1.486 82 -.509 179 .476 51 High
10/29 Georgia Tech L 17-31 L 17-31 40 13 58 -.174 989 .528 494 -.056 880 -.345 271 .065 547 High
11/12 Wake Forest W 31-28 W 31-28 54 34 64 .034 572 .390 1190 .437 550 -.160 374 .006 668 Med
11/19 North Carolina State L 13-37 L 6-37 49 60 27 -.341 1147 .414 1127 -.400 1074 .223 616 -.201 983 High
11/26 South Carolina L 13-34 L 13-34 17 48 7 -.286 1104 .534 443 .630 431 .540 847 .089 511 High

According to FEI, Florida State is the best team in the ACC Atlantic Division, not Clemson. Even despite the Seminoles' head-to-head loss to the Tigers. The Hokies' resume trumps the Tigers' too, again despite a head-to-head loss. The ACC title matchup is interesting because the difference in the two FEI profiles has more to do with the other games than the three common opponents shared by Virginia Tech and Clemson. Clemson's end-of-year skid was sudden and ugly, especially the loss to a very mediocre North Carolina State team. Virginia Tech played its best football of the year last week against Virginia, but doesn't have a single game against a top-25 FEI opponent on the resume.

Pac-12 Championship Game

Oregon Ducks (9-2)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 LSU L 27-40 L 20-40 1 12 1 -.212 1030 .350 1273 1.169 168 -.798 78 .405 98 Med
9/10 Nevada W 69-20 W 55-13 77 44 95 .600 35 .593 174 1.916 24 -.002 461 .402 105 Low
9/24 Arizona W 56-31 W 42-24 71 31 110 .245 241 .470 838 .834 313 -.093 420 .238 273 Low
10/6 California W 43-15 W 43-15 45 55 44 .333 175 .481 782 1.677 46 -.235 320 .354 148 Med
10/15 Arizona State W 41-27 W 41-27 35 27 61 .133 376 .485 747 .479 521 -.626 128 .251 258 Med
10/22 Colorado W 45-2 W 45-0 107 83 112 .677 23 .593 175 1.181 160 -.472 200 .403 100 Low
10/29 Washington State W 43-28 W 43-20 85 51 91 .299 203 .540 414 .458 539 -.140 392 .068 546 Low
11/5 Washington W 34-17 W 34-17 69 33 94 .221 276 .583 203 -.333 1041 -.915 58 .251 259 Low
11/12 Stanford W 53-30 W 53-30 6 11 10 .235 257 .597 159 1.718 39 -.673 117 .745 2 High
11/19 USC L 35-38 L 35-38 9 8 25 -.032 728 .560 316 .942 253 -.473 199 .289 212 High
11/26 Oregon State W 49-21 W 42-7 89 100 77 .417 117 .511 585 .846 303 -.020 451 .160 391 Low
UCLA Bruins (6-6)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 Houston L 34-38 L 34-38 21 6 56 -.057 811 .463 883 1.899 25 .483 804 .283 220 Low
9/10 San Jose State W 27-17 W 27-17 81 108 54 .124 386 .473 820 .660 407 .762 1011 -.092 839 High
9/17 Texas L 20-49 L 20-42 30 75 9 -.273 1095 .603 143 .720 367 1.691 1270 -.108 862 Low
9/24 Oregon State W 27-19 W 27-19 89 100 77 .109 408 .493 700 .221 699 .224 617 -.003 678 High
10/1 Stanford L 19-45 L 19-38 6 11 10 -.319 1129 .445 969 1.763 34 .605 897 .191 339 Low
10/8 Washington State W 28-25 W 28-25 85 51 91 .048 532 .481 780 .453 541 .619 913 -.183 955 High
10/20 Arizona L 12-48 L 7-45 71 31 110 -.571 1273 .530 478 -1.297 1283 1.868 1283 -.578 1287 Med
10/29 California W 31-14 W 31-14 45 55 44 .187 313 .546 383 .610 449 -.612 136 .207 324 High
11/5 Arizona State W 29-28 W 29-28 35 27 61 .012 640 .484 757 .624 440 .090 518 .130 446 High
11/12 Utah L 6-31 L 6-28 55 109 18 -.299 1113 .446 968 .134 754 1.399 1223 -.202 986 Med
11/19 Colorado W 45-6 W 31-6 107 83 112 .357 156 .503 636 .070 801 -.224 331 -.061 789 Med
11/26 USC L 0-50 L 0-36 9 8 25 -.791 1307 .530 475 -.202 962 1.911 286 -.326 1143 Low

UCLA is the worst team playing in a conference title game this weekend according to FEI, and it isn't close. The sting of a 50-point loss to cross-town rival USC isn't going to wear off soon, and the entire UCLA resume fits the profile of a team that has no business dressing up as a division champ. In fact, the Bruins won 3.0 more games than the FEI Mean Wins calculation expects a team of their caliber to have won, outperforming their rating in the win column more than any other team this year. In the common opponent comparison, Oregon naturally comes out on top in almost every game, however one oddity stands out: on a per-possession basis, UCLA's offense performed better against Stanford than Oregon did versus the Cardinal.

Big Ten Championship Game

Wisconsin Badgers (9-2)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/1 UNLV W 51-17 W 44-3 119 112 119 .901 2 .652 39 .549 480 .486 806 .237 277 Low
9/10 Oregon State W 35-0 W 28-0 89 100 77 .571 43 .576 234 .882 285 -.162 372 .315 181 Low
9/17 Northern Illinois W 49-7 W 42-7 59 10 103 .667 25 .518 547 1.816 30 -.974 50 .680 5 Low
10/1 Nebraska W 48-17 W 34-14 18 32 42 .336 171 .412 1133 2.272 9 -.747 90 .553 21 Med
10/15 Indiana W 59-7 W 52-7 105 68 111 .612 32 .684 12 .448 543 -.184 355 .220 302 Low
10/22 Michigan State L 31-37 L 31-37 11 49 5 -.069 829 .443 986 1.867 28 .463 792 .385 119 High
10/29 Ohio State L 29-33 L 29-33 32 58 23 -.042 765 .480 785 .883 284 .349 717 .243 264 High
11/5 Purdue W 62-17 W 52-17 79 77 81 .500 76 .507 610 .990 231 -.102 417 .294 208 Low
11/12 Minnesota W 42-13 W 35-13 103 84 105 .449 95 .412 1134 1.162 171 .168 574 .218 308 Low
11/19 Illinois W 28-17 W 28-17 53 105 6 .165 340 .626 80 1.380 104 .426 770 .282 223 Low
11/26 Penn State W 45-7 W 42-7 38 73 11 .526 62 .544 398 2.231 10 -.405 239 .637 11 Med
Michigan State Spartans (9-2)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/10 Florida Atlantic W 44-0 W 34-0 115 118 70 .648 28 .531 472 1.167 170 .416 765 .136 435 Low
9/17 Notre Dame L 13-31 L 13-31 19 19 19 -.206 1022 .504 634 .222 697 -.574 154 .226 294 High
9/24 Central Michigan W 45-7 W 38-7 95 69 100 .422 111 .555 344 -.013 852 -.547 169 .090 510 Low
10/1 Ohio State W 10-7 W 10-7 32 58 23 .032 588 .536 438 .248 678 -.732 94 .317 179 Med
10/15 Michigan W 28-14 W 28-14 7 5 17 .167 337 .478 798 .976 235 -1.168 22 .513 38 High
10/22 Wisconsin W 37-31 W 37-31 4 2 24 .069 486 .557 329 1.289 127 -.615 134 .476 53 High
10/29 Nebraska L 3-24 L 3-24 18 32 42 -.333 1141 .503 640 -.454 1098 -.116 406 .028 622 High
11/5 Minnesota W 31-24 W 31-24 103 84 105 .083 449 .595 164 -.541 1130 .669 959 -.292 1104 Low
11/12 Iowa W 37-21 W 37-21 33 36 45 .158 346 .587 185 .627 437 -.454 209 .441 73 Med
11/19 Indiana W 55-3 W 48-3 105 68 111 .714 18 .638 58 .220 700 -.680 115 .322 171 Low
11/26 Northwestern W 31-17 W 31-17 47 17 85 .222 270 .532 457 .873 291 -.442 219 .376 125 Med

The Big Ten participants share four common opponents and a head-to-head matchup, won by the Spartans in thrilling fashion on a Hail Mary completion as time expired. What sticks out for me in this breakdown is how consistently well Wisconsin has performed all year. They lost two games in the final minute on dramatic heaves, neither one of which qualifies as a bad loss. They dominated everyone else too, while Michigan State had four games rank below Wisconsin's worst in GFEI. The Badgers have one of the highest ceilings in college football, but they tripped up in their biggest test of the year the first time around against Michigan State. They'll have a chance for revenge on Saturday night.

Big 12 Bedlam

Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 Louisiana Lafayette W 61-34 W 54-27 80 82 83 .249 238 .540 415 .013 833 -.297 292 .036 606 Low
9/8 Arizona W 37-14 W 27-7 71 31 110 .317 187 .570 267 .167 742 -.868 68 .166 388 Low
9/17 Tulsa W 59-33 W 59-26 58 54 60 .325 180 .621 94 .809 327 -.144 390 .413 87 Low
9/24 Texas A&M W 30-29 W 30-29 22 16 35 .012 639 .554 348 1.047 213 -.297 291 .393 116 Med
10/8 Kansas W 70-28 W 56-7 114 104 96 .824 3 .662 33 .797 333 -.419 231 .315 180 Low
10/15 Texas W 38-26 W 38-26 30 75 9 .111 406 .438 1010 1.642 53 -.049 439 .421 83 Med
10/22 Missouri W 45-24 W 38-24 26 26 49 .138 367 .553 351 .830 318 -.635 125 .463 57 Med
10/29 Baylor W 59-24 W 42-3 41 1 87 .619 31 .616 108 .463 535 -2.477 1 .694 4 Med
11/5 Kansas State W 52-45 W 52-45 12 29 22 .067 488 .503 638 1.380 105 -.261 304 .346 153 Med
11/12 Texas Tech W 66-6 W 56-6 76 35 115 .752 11 .636 62 .565 473 -1.289 11 .702 3 Low
11/18 Iowa State L 31-37 L 31-37 63 95 32 -.050 793 .494 696 .437 549 .696 973 .015 649 High
Oklahoma Sooners (9-2)
Date Opponent Result NG
Result
Opp
FEI
Opp
OFEI
Opp
DFEI
GE GE
Rk
FPA FPA
Rk
OFEI OFEI
Rk
DFEI DFEI
Rk
GFEI GFEI
Rk
Rel
9/3 Tulsa W 47-14 W 44-7 58 54 60 .503 73 .652 40 1.073 204 -.611 139 .446 68 Low
9/17 Florida State W 23-13 W 23-13 14 53 13 .130 380 .539 424 .969 237 -.755 87 .540 24 Med
9/24 Missouri W 38-28 W 38-21 26 26 49 .187 312 .513 577 1.452 90 -.134 398 .367 136 Med
10/1 Ball State W 62-6 W 59-6 96 79 109 .631 29 .582 204 .578 468 -.700 108 .299 200 Low
10/8 Texas W 55-17 W 48-10 30 75 9 .434 105 .594 169 1.756 35 -.897 61 .672 6 Med
10/15 Kansas W 47-17 W 40-17 114 104 96 .235 256 .581 217 -.305 1028 .379 740 -.129 882 Low
10/22 Texas Tech L 38-41 L 38-41 76 35 115 -.026 700 .518 549 -.622 1152 .142 554 -.221 1009 High
10/29 Kansas State W 58-17 W 44-17 12 29 22 .386 134 .513 578 2.208 11 -.550 167 .810 1 Med
11/5 Texas A&M W 41-25 W 41-25 22 16 35 .131 379 .626 83 .649 416 -.880 64 .367 135 Med
11/19 Baylor L 38-45 L 38-45 41 1 87 -.069 836 .569 274 .075 799 -.207 342 .151 410 High
11/26 Iowa State W 26-6 W 26-6 63 95 32 .220 278 .557 333 .422 562 -.220 333 .140 422 Low

Terrific! A de facto conference championship game between two teams that have played the same set of eight conference opponents to date. Generally speaking, the common opponent comparisons are pretty even. Both teams have posted two top-10 GFEI games to date. Oklahoma's loss to Texas Tech drags down the Sooners a bit more than Oklahoma State's loss to Iowa State. The Cowboys also get the GFEI edge against Missouri and Texas A&M despite the Sooners having the stronger Game Efficiency in those games. That's because Oklahoma had those two opponents at home and Oklahoma State had them on the road. Same story with the two bad losses. Bedlam ought to be very closely contended, but Oklahoma State's home field will be a big edge.

FEI Week 13 Top 25

The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) rewards playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punishes losing to poor teams more harshly than it rewards defeating poor teams. FEI is drive-based, not play-by-play based, and it is specifically engineered to measure the college game.

FEI is the opponent-adjusted value of Game Efficiency (GE), a measurement of the success rate of a team scoring and preventing opponent scoring throughout the non-garbage-time possessions of a game. FEI represents a team's efficiency value over average. Strength of Schedule (SOS) is calculated as the likelihood that an "elite team" (two standard deviations above average) would win every game on the given team's schedule. "SOS Pvs" represents only games played to date. "SOS Fut" represents only remaining scheduled games.

Mean Wins (FBS MW) represent the average total games a team with the given FEI rating should expect to win against its complete schedule of FBS opponents. Remaining Mean Wins (FBS RMW) represent the average expected team wins for games scheduled but not yet played.

Offensive FEI (OFEI), Defensive FEI (DFEI), Special Teams Efficiency (STE) are also provided, along with Field Position Advantage (FPA), the share of the value of total starting field position earned by each team against its opponents.

Only games between FBS teams are considered in the FEI calculations. These FEI ratings are a function of results of games played through November 26. The ratings for all FBS teams can be found here. You can also find OFEI, DFEI, and STE on their own pages.

Rk Team FBS
W-L
FEI Last
Wk
GE GE
Rk
SOS
Pvs
Rk SOS
Fut
Rk FBS
MW
FBS
RW
OFEI Rk DFEI Rk STE Rk FPA Rk
1 LSU 11-0 .313 1 .317 2 .174 24 .779 12 10.6 0.8 .441 12 -.708 1 3.349 3 .587 2
2 Oklahoma State 10-1 .268 2 .252 7 .289 55 .791 13 10.5 0.8 .327 24 -.644 3 2.212 13 .550 7
3 Alabama 10-1 .252 3 .314 3 .257 46 - - 9.5 - .356 18 -.670 2 -.674 80 .521 34
4 Wisconsin 9-2 .243 4 .368 1 .342 69 .726 6 10.3 0.6 .637 2 -.342 24 .119 61 .528 20
5 Oregon 9-2 .226 5 .241 8 .152 18 .985 30 9.9 1.0 .419 14 -.530 8 1.313 25 .522 32
6 Stanford 11-1 .222 10 .256 6 .343 70 - - 10.4 - .443 11 -.503 10 .546 49 .500 62
7 Michigan 10-2 .212 8 .211 10 .272 51 - - 10.0 - .503 5 -.417 17 .124 59 .521 35
8 Boise State 10-1 .202 11 .283 5 .449 90 .985 36 10.7 1.0 .333 22 -.292 28 3.570 2 .610 1
9 USC 10-2 .199 7 .156 14 .207 36 - - 9.6 - .488 8 -.311 25 1.403 24 .524 26
10 Oklahoma 9-2 .197 9 .229 9 .240 40 .479 2 8.9 0.2 .483 9 -.454 12 .567 48 .570 4
11 Michigan State 9-2 .193 14 .154 15 .158 19 .629 5 8.4 0.4 .071 49 -.604 5 2.892 6 .547 8
12 Kansas State 8-2 .178 12 .077 35 .159 20 - - 7.9 - .282 29 -.378 22 2.244 12 .541 11
Rk Team FBS
W-L
FEI Last
Wk
GE GE
Rk
SOS
Pvs
Rk SOS
Fut
Rk FBS
MW
FBS
RW
OFEI Rk DFEI Rk STE Rk FPA Rk
13 Virginia Tech 10-1 .178 13 .130 18 .462 94 .856 16 9.6 0.7 .336 21 -.386 20 -.413 74 .512 40
14 Florida State 7-4 .171 15 .145 17 .387 82 - - 8.5 - .042 53 -.453 13 3.645 1 .573 3
15 Georgia 9-2 .163 36 .148 16 .410 86 .410 1 8.8 0.2 .276 30 -.449 14 -.295 72 .509 46
16 Arkansas 9-2 .160 6 .118 20 .098 4 - - 7.8 - .404 15 -.089 53 1.437 22 .525 25
17 South Carolina 9-2 .153 37 .102 26 .337 67 - - 8.3 - .082 48 -.557 7 -2.949 111 .489 78
18 Nebraska 8-3 .147 23 .082 32 .166 21 - - 7.4 - .255 32 -.186 42 2.173 14 .527 21
19 Notre Dame 8-4 .142 16 .124 19 .136 12 - - 7.7 - .351 19 -.393 19 .761 42 .492 72
20 Cincinnati 7-3 .138 27 .111 23 .318 62 .973 23 7.5 0.8 .347 20 -.260 31 1.073 32 .534 17
21 Houston 11-0 .136 32 .294 4 .708 114 .941 19 10.8 0.7 .496 6 -.049 56 .803 40 .511 41
22 Texas A&M 6-6 .134 18 .114 21 .147 16 - - 7.7 - .378 16 -.248 35 .370 54 .505 56
23 West Virginia 7-3 .132 35 .072 36 .197 35 .823 14 7.0 0.5 .489 7 -.154 48 -2.126 100 .468 102
24 Rutgers 7-4 .131 19 .050 42 .328 63 - - 7.5 - .010 59 -.643 4 2.428 10 .523 27
25 TCU 8-2 .131 26 .189 11 .470 95 .985 37 9.1 1.0 .327 25 -.163 46 1.293 27 .539 12

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 30 Nov 2011

11 comments, Last at 01 Dec 2011, 5:17pm by NYMike

Comments

1
by James D (not verified) :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 4:58pm

The Rams made the NFL playoffs last year, so I'm not going to be throwing stones at a divisional playoff system. Also, the college system is almost exactly the same as the AFC/NFC - remember when most people decided the Colts and Pats were the two best teams in the NFL for about three years running and claimed the AFC Champ game was the "real" Superbowl?

It's also hard to complain about a system where every team has a chance to win the conference, unlike the BCS where you can literally go undefeated and not win the championship (see Houston for the most recent example). Not every team will play the same strength of schedule, but there's only so much you can do to equalize that.

Even though the NFL has done it's best to even out divisional strength of schedule, it's not fair that the Lions had to play the Bears twice at full strength but the Packers get one game without Cutler. That'll have a significant impact on the game, but you can only control so much.

I'd rather have the flaws of the divisional system than picking two winners based upon human perception, because everyone knows what's required of them at the beginning of the season and every team controls its own destiny.

3
by ChrisH :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 5:18pm

I'm guessing you meant the Seahawks made the playoffs, not the Rams?

4
by James D (not verified) :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 5:21pm

Yes, I'm an idiot.

5
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 5:37pm

Ugly uniforms, no defense, poor QB play. I can understand the confusion.

2
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/30/2011 - 5:17pm

I still marvel at how highly regarded U-M and FSU are. They're like the college equivalent of DVOA's love-affair with the Eagles. Although I suppose FEI doesn't see that EJ Manual did a better Taj Boyd disappearing act than Boyd himself did, and that U-M caught ND on a day when their DBs couldn't look up and Nebraska on a day when they couldn't hold onto the ball.

10
by Spenser C (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2011 - 3:26pm

If you have watched any other Michigan games this year you would know that Michigan's receivers have been beating the defensive backs for jump balls all year.

6
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2011 - 12:29am

Somehow it makes the one season where WI actually IS really good they goof it up by being inept at the basics of the game like punting and playing prevent defense.

8
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 12/01/2011 - 11:19am

Well... MSU legitimately outplayed Wisconsin, regardless of the fluky end of the game. Wisconsin only tied it because MSU was equally inept at prevent defense and punting. But MSU didn't have a 31-17 lead midway through the 4th because WI couldn't cover punts.

11
by NYMike :: Thu, 12/01/2011 - 5:17pm

Well, Wisconsin outgained MSU, even considering the Hell Mary, gave up a blocked punt for a TD and had a FG blocked. So maybe the first commenter did get it right.

7
by TomTom (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2011 - 1:51am

SOS that is based on hard it would be for an elite team would make so much more sense if BCS is truly meant to pick top 2 teams. To go undefeated with an Oregon or LSU schedule where you play LSU/Stanford/USC or Oregon/Alabama/Arkansas are so much more difficult than a schedule where you only play 1 elite team (ie only 2 elite teams in your conference, and no OOC).

It really makes LSU's undefeated streak all the more impressive.

9
by Adam H (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2011 - 12:57pm

I want 18 team superconferences! The bigger the better, right? 8 divisional games and 0 cross divisional games mean you will never get a rematch in the championship game, and you can be certain that the division champ is certainly the most deserving team in the division (except for those pesky 3 way ties).

In comparison, 12 team conferences are horrible - only 5 intradivision games, and teams play a random 1/2 of the teams on the other side, which DO count towards your divisional standings? Yuck.