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27 Aug 2013

Varsity Numbers: Final 2013 Projections

by Bill Connelly

The 2013 college football season begins in a little more than 48 hours. I think I've written as many words as I can about this at SB Nation this offseason, and I encourage you to check out the cool, enormous megapage the SBN tech staff created for housing my lengthy team previews. Over here at FO, before the season begins, I wanted to pass along some updated projections.

Both Brian Fremeau (with FEI) and I (with S&P+) tinkered with the formulas and the returnee figures used for our projections, and below are the final results. You'll find two tables, one for projected rankings (S&P+, FEI, and F/+ broken out by offense and defense), and one for updated projected records (Total Mean Wins, Conference Mean Wins, projected strength of schedule).


Final 2013 F/+ Projections
Rk Team 2013 Proj. S&P+ Rk 2013 Proj. FEI Rk Dif 2013 Proj. F/+ Rk Proj. Off. F/+ Rk Proj. Def. F/+ Rk
1 Alabama 300.2 1 0.283 1 0 37.8% 1 16.1% 1 21.8% 1
2 Oregon 269.6 2 0.278 2 0 30.1% 2 12.6% 4 17.5% 3
3 Stanford 250.1 6 0.253 3 3 24.0% 3 5.8% 27 18.2% 2
4 LSU 253.3 4 0.216 4 0 22.9% 4 6.7% 19 16.3% 4
5 Florida 251.6 5 0.209 5 0 22.2% 5 6.9% 17 15.3% 5
6 Florida State 255.5 3 0.175 11 -8 21.5% 6 7.9% 13 13.6% 8
7 Notre Dame 248.6 9 0.182 10 -1 20.1% 7 9.6% 9 10.5% 13
8 Texas 242.9 14 0.208 6 8 20.0% 8 9.1% 11 10.9% 12
9 Georgia 249.0 8 0.172 13 -5 19.7% 9 14.6% 2 5.0% 30
10 Ohio State 245.9 12 0.182 9 3 19.5% 10 9.7% 8 9.8% 14
11 Texas A&M 244.7 13 0.188 7 6 19.4% 11 11.9% 6 7.6% 19
12 Oklahoma 250.0 7 0.162 15 -8 19.4% 12 13.4% 3 6.1% 28
13 Oklahoma State 246.9 11 0.173 12 -1 19.2% 13 12.0% 5 7.2% 22
14 TCU 239.1 19 0.185 8 11 17.9% 14 3.9% 36 14.0% 6
15 South Carolina 239.8 17 0.169 14 3 17.3% 15 5.7% 29 11.6% 10
16 Boise State 248.3 10 0.125 23 -13 17.2% 16 6.3% 21 10.9% 11
17 Wisconsin 239.8 16 0.152 18 -2 16.5% 17 4.1% 35 12.3% 9
18 Michigan State 239.8 15 0.147 20 -5 16.2% 18 2.2% 45 14.0% 7
19 USC 239.4 18 0.149 19 -1 16.2% 19 7.8% 14 8.4% 16
20 Oregon State 233.1 23 0.157 16 7 15.1% 20 7.3% 15 7.7% 18
21 Clemson 234.1 21 0.144 21 0 14.7% 21 10.3% 7 4.4% 33
22 Nebraska 234.7 20 0.123 24 -4 13.7% 22 7.0% 16 6.7% 24
23 Penn State 231.6 24 0.121 25 -1 12.9% 23 4.6% 32 8.3% 17
24 Michigan 233.8 22 0.104 27 -5 12.6% 24 6.0% 24 6.6% 25
25 Louisville 221.7 29 0.155 17 12 12.2% 25 8.0% 12 4.2% 34
Rk Team 2013 Proj. S&P+ Rk 2013 Proj. FEI Rk Dif 2013 Proj. F/+ Rk Proj. Off. F/+ Rk Proj. Def. F/+ Rk
26 Virginia Tech 229.6 25 0.087 31 -6 10.7% 26 2.1% 49 8.6% 15
27 Cincinnati 215.9 37 0.136 22 15 9.8% 27 5.2% 30 4.6% 32
28 Ole Miss 225.9 27 0.087 32 -5 9.8% 28 4.3% 34 5.5% 29
29 BYU 228.5 26 0.064 39 -13 9.3% 29 2.1% 48 7.2% 21
30 Missouri 220.4 31 0.098 29 2 9.0% 30 2.1% 47 6.9% 23
31 Arizona State 219.3 32 0.096 30 2 8.6% 31 2.2% 46 6.4% 26
32 Baylor 220.5 30 0.077 34 -4 8.0% 32 9.5% 10 -1.5% 75
33 Arizona 223.9 28 0.060 41 -13 7.9% 33 6.0% 23 1.9% 45
34 Miami 218.8 33 0.072 36 -3 7.3% 34 6.1% 22 1.2% 48
35 Northwestern 209.0 49 0.115 26 23 7.0% 35 6.4% 20 0.6% 53
36 Georgia Tech 215.6 38 0.067 38 0 6.2% 36 5.7% 28 0.5% 57
37 Kansas State 207.8 51 0.101 28 23 6.0% 37 2.8% 39 3.3% 40
38 Pittsburgh 212.0 46 0.078 33 13 5.9% 38 2.7% 40 3.2% 41
39 North Carolina 213.8 43 0.063 40 3 5.6% 39 6.7% 18 -1.1% 72
40 Northern Illinois 212.1 45 0.068 37 8 5.5% 40 2.3% 44 3.2% 42
41 Washington 214.8 39 0.052 43 -4 5.3% 41 1.2% 52 4.1% 35
42 Utah State 214.6 41 0.050 44 -3 5.2% 42 -1.0% 65 6.2% 27
43 West Virginia 216.2 36 0.039 50 -14 5.0% 43 4.5% 33 0.5% 56
44 UCLA 213.6 44 0.044 48 -4 4.6% 44 1.8% 50 2.9% 43
45 Texas Tech 214.6 40 0.038 51 -11 4.6% 45 3.5% 38 1.1% 50
46 Iowa 206.2 54 0.074 35 19 4.3% 46 0.6% 55 3.7% 37
47 Tennessee 216.4 35 0.015 55 -20 3.9% 47 4.9% 31 -1.0% 71
48 Vanderbilt 209.3 48 0.048 45 3 3.8% 48 0.2% 59 3.5% 38
49 Rutgers 207.6 52 0.057 42 10 3.8% 49 -3.5% 87 7.2% 20
50 Utah 209.7 47 0.045 47 0 3.7% 50 0.2% 60 3.5% 39
Rk Team 2013 Proj. S&P+ Rk 2013 Proj. FEI Rk Dif 2013 Proj. F/+ Rk Proj. Off. F/+ Rk Proj. Def. F/+ Rk
51 Fresno State 213.9 42 0.023 53 -11 3.6% 51 -1.4% 66 5.0% 31
52 Central Florida 208.8 50 0.046 46 4 3.5% 52 3.6% 37 -0.1% 66
53 Arkansas 217.1 34 -0.027 68 -34 2.0% 53 1.1% 53 0.8% 52
54 Mississippi State 206.2 55 0.026 52 3 1.9% 54 1.1% 54 0.9% 51
55 Syracuse 201.6 62 0.043 49 13 1.6% 55 1.5% 51 0.1% 62
56 Connecticut 202.1 61 0.020 54 7 0.6% 56 -3.1% 80 3.7% 36
57 Tulsa 206.3 53 -0.001 58 -5 0.6% 57 -1.4% 67 2.0% 44
58 Auburn 205.4 56 -0.006 59 -3 0.1% 58 -1.6% 71 1.7% 47
59 San Diego State 205.3 57 -0.009 61 -4 -0.1% 59 0.5% 57 -0.6% 67
60 Arkansas State 204.1 58 -0.015 64 -6 -0.7% 60 2.6% 41 -3.3% 79
61 San Jose State 199.6 65 0.002 57 8 -1.0% 61 -1.5% 69 0.5% 55
62 Toledo 202.5 60 -0.020 65 -5 -1.3% 62 -1.6% 72 0.3% 60
63 Houston 203.1 59 -0.038 73 -14 -2.0% 63 -2.5% 77 0.5% 58
64 Indiana 194.4 73 0.003 56 17 -2.2% 64 5.9% 25 -8.1% 106
65 Bowling Green 197.0 67 -0.021 66 1 -2.7% 65 -4.5% 96 1.8% 46
66 California 200.4 63 -0.040 75 -12 -2.8% 66 -3.4% 86 0.6% 54
67 Boston College 194.6 72 -0.013 63 9 -2.9% 67 -2.3% 76 -0.6% 68
68 Virginia 200.1 64 -0.040 76 -12 -2.9% 68 -3.2% 82 0.3% 59
69 South Florida 198.9 66 -0.040 77 -11 -3.2% 69 -0.4% 64 -2.8% 77
70 Nevada 195.8 71 -0.027 69 2 -3.3% 70 5.8% 26 -9.1% 112
71 SMU 196.6 69 -0.032 70 -1 -3.4% 71 -3.4% 85 0.1% 63
72 Iowa State 191.3 79 -0.011 62 17 -3.6% 72 -3.6% 89 0.0% 64
73 N.C. State 196.7 68 -0.041 78 -10 -3.8% 73 -3.1% 78 -0.7% 70
74 Purdue 196.1 70 -0.046 80 -10 -4.2% 74 -5.3% 98 1.1% 49
75 Minnesota 193.0 77 -0.032 71 6 -4.3% 75 -4.2% 93 0.0% 65
Rk Team 2013 Proj. S&P+ Rk 2013 Proj. FEI Rk Dif 2013 Proj. F/+ Rk Proj. Off. F/+ Rk Proj. Def. F/+ Rk
76 UL-Monroe 186.7 85 -0.008 60 25 -4.6% 76 0.6% 56 -5.1% 87
77 Louisiana Tech 193.2 76 -0.043 79 -3 -4.7% 77 2.5% 43 -7.3% 104
78 Ohio 190.4 82 -0.034 72 10 -5.0% 78 -3.6% 88 -1.4% 73
79 Temple 192.4 78 -0.047 81 -3 -5.1% 79 -2.1% 75 -3.1% 78
80 East Carolina 194.2 74 -0.059 85 -11 -5.3% 80 -1.9% 74 -3.4% 80
81 Rice 185.8 88 -0.025 67 21 -5.7% 81 -3.7% 90 -1.9% 76
82 UL-Lafayette 191.2 80 -0.054 83 -3 -5.8% 82 0.1% 61 -5.9% 91
83 Ball State 186.2 87 -0.039 74 13 -6.3% 83 -0.3% 63 -5.9% 92
84 Marshall 193.3 75 -0.084 93 -18 -6.7% 84 2.6% 42 -9.3% 113
85 Duke 190.5 81 -0.073 92 -11 -6.9% 85 0.0% 62 -6.9% 103
86 Kent State 187.5 84 -0.059 86 -2 -6.9% 86 -1.9% 73 -5.1% 86
87 Maryland 188.6 83 -0.067 88 -5 -7.1% 87 -7.2% 105 0.1% 61
88 Kentucky 186.2 86 -0.060 87 -1 -7.3% 88 -1.4% 68 -5.9% 90
89 Navy 183.0 96 -0.053 82 14 -7.8% 89 -1.6% 70 -6.2% 96
90 Western Kentucky 183.3 95 -0.057 84 11 -7.9% 90 -6.4% 103 -1.5% 74
91 Wake Forest 184.1 93 -0.067 89 4 -8.2% 91 -7.6% 107 -0.6% 69
92 Troy 184.3 92 -0.071 90 2 -8.3% 92 0.3% 58 -8.6% 109
93 Southern Miss 184.4 91 -0.103 97 -6 -9.9% 93 -6.3% 101 -3.6% 82
94 Western Michigan 184.7 89 -0.106 99 -10 -10.0% 94 -4.0% 92 -6.0% 93
95 Middle Tennessee 177.3 101 -0.071 91 10 -10.1% 95 -3.3% 83 -6.8% 102
96 Central Michigan 179.1 98 -0.087 94 4 -10.4% 96 -3.9% 91 -6.6% 99
97 Buffalo 177.4 99 -0.088 95 4 -10.9% 97 -7.5% 106 -3.4% 81
98 Air Force 183.9 94 -0.123 104 -10 -11.0% 98 -4.5% 97 -6.5% 98
99 Illinois 184.7 90 -0.128 105 -15 -11.1% 99 -6.2% 100 -4.9% 85
100 UAB 179.5 97 -0.123 103 -6 -12.1% 100 -3.2% 81 -8.9% 110
Rk Team 2013 Proj. S&P+ Rk 2013 Proj. FEI Rk Dif 2013 Proj. F/+ Rk Proj. Off. F/+ Rk Proj. Def. F/+ Rk
101 Florida International 176.0 102 -0.116 101 1 -12.6% 101 -8.0% 109 -4.6% 84
102 Wyoming 173.6 106 -0.105 98 8 -12.7% 102 -3.1% 79 -9.6% 114
103 North Texas 171.0 109 -0.097 96 13 -12.9% 103 -6.7% 104 -6.2% 97
104 Texas State 175.6 104 -0.132 106 -2 -13.5% 104 -3.4% 84 -10.2% 116
105 UNLV 172.2 107 -0.121 102 5 -13.8% 105 -6.4% 102 -7.4% 105
106 Hawaii 175.6 103 -0.145 111 -8 -14.1% 106 -10.3% 119 -3.8% 83
107 Washington State 177.4 100 -0.161 115 -15 -14.5% 107 -8.4% 111 -6.1% 94
108 Colorado State 171.7 108 -0.135 108 0 -14.6% 108 -8.5% 112 -6.1% 95
109 UTEP 170.8 110 -0.138 109 1 -15.0% 109 -8.3% 110 -6.7% 100
110 Army 169.6 113 -0.143 110 3 -15.6% 110 -4.3% 94 -11.3% 119
111 UTSA 167.2 117 -0.132 107 10 -15.6% 111 -4.4% 95 -11.2% 118
112 Memphis 170.0 112 -0.150 113 -1 -15.8% 112 -10.4% 120 -5.3% 88
113 Florida Atlantic 167.7 116 -0.146 112 4 -16.2% 113 -9.4% 116 -6.8% 101
114 Colorado 168.1 115 -0.159 114 1 -16.7% 114 -8.5% 113 -8.2% 107
115 South Alabama 157.7 119 -0.108 100 19 -16.7% 115 -11.0% 122 -5.7% 89
116 Kansas 170.4 111 -0.173 116 -5 -16.8% 116 -7.9% 108 -9.0% 111
117 Miami (Ohio) 174.6 105 -0.202 120 -15 -17.3% 117 -5.8% 99 -11.5% 120
118 Tulane 169.4 114 -0.195 118 -4 -18.2% 118 -10.0% 117 -8.2% 108
119 Eastern Michigan 163.3 118 -0.178 117 1 -18.8% 119 -8.7% 115 -10.1% 115
120 Akron 157.4 120 -0.199 119 1 -21.4% 120 -10.1% 118 -11.2% 117
121 New Mexico 155.2 122 -0.223 122 0 -23.0% 121 -8.6% 114 -14.4% 125
122 New Mexico State 149.2 123 -0.219 121 2 -24.4% 122 -10.9% 121 -13.5% 123
123 Idaho 155.5 121 -0.265 125 -4 -25.1% 123 -13.5% 123 -11.6% 121
124 Georgia State 135.0 125 -0.223 123 2 -28.0% 124 -14.4% 124 -13.6% 124
125 Massachusetts 138.4 124 -0.252 124 0 -28.7% 125 -15.9% 125 -12.7% 122

You won't find too many serious shifts between the projections in the Football Outsiders Almanac 2013 and the ones below, but here are some of the teams that moved quite a bit.

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Moving Up

  • SMU (20 spots, from 91st to 71st)
  • Florida State (13 spots, from 19th to sixth)
  • Utah State (10 spots, from 52nd to 42nd)
  • Washington (eight spots, from 49th to 41st)
  • Iowa State (seven spots, from 79th to 72nd)
  • San Jose State (seven spots, from 68th to 61st)
  • California (seven spots, from 73rd to 66th)

Moving Down

  • Air Force (23 spots, from 75th to 98th)
  • Temple (15 spots, from 64th to 79th)
  • N.C. State (12 spots, from 61st to 73rd)
  • Arkansas (10 spots, from 43rd to 53rd)
  • Wake Forest (10 spots, from 81st to 91st)
  • North Carolina (10 spots, from 29th to 39th)
  • Miami (nine spots, from 25th to 34th)
  • Oklahoma State (seven spots, from sixth to 13th)

Most of these shifts came simply from replacing the original returnee numbers with updated, more accurate figures. There are some further changes based on what Brian wrote about last week in his awesome preseason primer. (I also recommend checking out his updated Field Position Advantage tables.)

The most noteworthy changes, when it comes to the top teams, are Florida State and Oklahoma State. FSU moves from basically a tie with Clemson atop the ACC to a step or two ahead. OSU's projection is tempered a bit, though the Cowboys are still in a virtual tie with Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12 projections. (TCU is also involved, though the Horned Frogs also got bumped down a hair.)

Meanwhile, FEI and S&P+ disagree rather heavily on some teams, but that's par for the course. Arkansas and Tennessee look a lot better through S&P+'s eyes, in part because of the two-year recruiting rankings I use in my projections, and in part because Brian's recent tweaks were tough on both the Hogs and Vols. (Other teams S&P+ likes quite a bit more than FEI: Marshall, Washington State, Miami of Ohio, Illinois, Houston, West Virginia, Arizona, Boise State, and, as always, BYU.)

On the flipside, efficiency teams like Kansas State, Northwestern, and UL-Monroe are looked upon far more favorably by FEI. This makes me happy, as I really enjoy watching ULM and want FEI to be right. (Other teams favored by FEI: Rice, Iowa, South Alabama, Indiana, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Navy, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh.)


Final 2013 F/+ Win Projections and SOS
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
25 Louisville AAC 10.3 6.5 0.752 106
27 Cincinnati AAC 10.1 6.3 0.797 112
52 Central Florida AAC 7.5 5.3 0.485 77
49 Rutgers AAC 7.5 4.5 0.617 95
56 Connecticut AAC 6.7 4.0 0.601 94
63 Houston AAC 6.1 3.5 0.593 93
79 Temple AAC 5.4 2.7 0.393 65
69 South Florida AAC 5.1 2.9 0.465 75
71 SMU AAC 4.9 3.5 0.298 51
112 Memphis AAC 2.6 0.9 0.673 101
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
6 Florida State ACC Atlantic 10.6 7.2 0.314 55
21 Clemson ACC Atlantic 9.3 6.6 0.354 60
26 Virginia Tech ACC Coastal 8.8 6.0 0.134 20
39 North Carolina ACC Coastal 7.6 4.7 0.435 70
34 Miami ACC Coastal 7.5 4.7 0.281 47
38 Pittsburgh ACC Coastal 7.1 4.1 0.376 63
36 Georgia Tech ACC Coastal 7.0 4.5 0.363 61
55 Syracuse ACC Atlantic 6.2 3.8 0.297 50
73 N.C. State ACC Atlantic 6.0 2.9 0.417 69
67 Boston College ACC Atlantic 5.5 2.7 0.314 56
85 Duke ACC Coastal 5.0 2.0 0.634 96
91 Wake Forest ACC Atlantic 4.4 2.2 0.447 72
68 Virginia ACC Coastal 4.3 2.4 0.245 40
87 Maryland ACC Atlantic 4.2 2.1 0.342 58
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
13 Oklahoma State Big 12 9.9 7.0 0.278 46
8 Texas Big 12 9.5 7.0 0.213 35
12 Oklahoma Big 12 9.1 6.8 0.146 23
14 TCU Big 12 8.7 6.4 0.132 19
32 Baylor Big 12 7.2 4.4 0.202 34
37 Kansas State Big 12 7.0 4.1 0.191 29
43 West Virginia Big 12 6.4 3.6 0.189 28
45 Texas Tech Big 12 6.2 3.6 0.183 27
72 Iowa State Big 12 3.3 1.7 0.201 32
116 Kansas Big 12 1.6 0.3 0.151 24
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
10 Ohio State Big Ten Leaders 10.6 6.7 0.494 80
17 Wisconsin Big Ten Leaders 9.9 6.4 0.375 62
18 Michigan State Big Ten Legends 9.7 6.5 0.331 57
22 Nebraska Big Ten Legends 9.5 5.7 0.450 73
23 Penn State Big Ten Leaders 8.9 5.4 0.302 52
24 Michigan Big Ten Legends 7.7 4.7 0.242 39
35 Northwestern Big Ten Legends 6.9 3.6 0.286 48
46 Iowa Big Ten Legends 6.1 2.9 0.257 43
64 Indiana Big Ten Leaders 5.3 2.7 0.193 31
75 Minnesota Big Ten Legends 4.4 1.2 0.310 54
74 Purdue Big Ten Leaders 3.2 1.8 0.163 26
99 Illinois Big Ten Leaders 2.5 0.5 0.273 45
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
57 Tulsa Conf USA West 8.5 6.3 0.578 92
77 Louisiana Tech Conf USA West 8.2 5.4 0.937 125
81 Rice Conf USA West 7.6 5.3 0.566 89
84 Marshall Conf USA East 7.0 4.9 0.783 110
80 East Carolina Conf USA East 6.8 5.2 0.792 111
95 Middle Tennessee Conf USA East 6.1 4.3 0.763 107
93 Southern Miss Conf USA East 5.0 4.1 0.486 78
103 North Texas Conf USA West 4.9 3.5 0.559 88
100 UAB Conf USA East 4.9 3.6 0.435 71
109 UTEP Conf USA West 4.7 2.9 0.572 91
101 Florida International Conf USA East 4.6 3.3 0.748 105
118 Tulane Conf USA West 3.7 2.1 0.910 124
113 Florida Atlantic Conf USA East 3.7 2.7 0.837 116
111 UTSA Conf USA West 3.5 2.6 0.654 97
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
7 Notre Dame Independent 9.5 0.146 22
29 BYU Independent 7.2 0.219 38
89 Navy Independent 5.5 0.528 84
110 Army Independent 3.8 0.662 98
122 New Mexico State Independent 2.7 0.526 83
123 Idaho Independent 2.0 0.406 67
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
40 Northern Illinois MAC West 10.1 7.0 0.893 120
78 Ohio MAC East 8.4 5.9 0.770 108
65 Bowling Green MAC East 8.2 6.1 0.908 123
83 Ball State MAC West 7.6 5.0 0.879 118
62 Toledo MAC West 7.5 5.5 0.407 68
86 Kent State MAC East 5.9 4.2 0.350 59
96 Central Michigan MAC West 5.3 3.7 0.729 103
94 Western Michigan MAC West 5.3 4.2 0.536 87
97 Buffalo MAC East 5.1 3.9 0.512 81
117 Miami (Ohio) MAC East 3.4 2.9 0.867 117
120 Akron MAC East 2.6 1.5 0.674 102
119 Eastern Michigan MAC West 2.5 1.3 0.666 99
125 Massachusetts MAC East 1.7 0.9 0.571 90
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
16 Boise State MWC Mountain 10.8 7.4 0.670 100
51 Fresno State MWC West 9.2 5.7 0.743 104
42 Utah State MWC Mountain 8.4 6.4 0.488 79
61 San Jose State MWC West 7.5 5.2 0.387 64
59 San Diego State MWC West 7.2 5.1 0.397 66
70 Nevada MWC West 5.7 4.3 0.286 49
98 Air Force MWC Mountain 5.2 3.3 0.482 76
102 Wyoming MWC Mountain 5.1 2.9 0.453 74
108 Colorado State MWC Mountain 4.6 2.3 0.096 13
105 UNLV MWC West 4.0 2.4 0.805 113
106 Hawaii MWC West 2.9 2.0 0.531 85
121 New Mexico MWC Mountain 2.3 1.1 0.536 86
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
2 Oregon Pac-12 North 11.4 8.4 0.270 44
3 Stanford Pac-12 North 10.2 7.4 0.153 25
19 USC Pac-12 South 9.9 6.8 0.213 36
20 Oregon State Pac-12 North 8.9 6.1 0.116 15
33 Arizona Pac-12 South 8.1 5.2 0.250 41
31 Arizona State Pac-12 South 6.8 5.2 0.139 21
41 Washington Pac-12 North 6.3 4.2 0.097 14
44 UCLA Pac-12 South 5.7 3.7 0.046 7
50 Utah Pac-12 South 5.4 3.6 0.072 10
66 California Pac-12 North 3.9 2.6 0.049 8
107 Washington State Pac-12 North 2.3 0.4 0.079 12
114 Colorado Pac-12 South 1.8 0.4 0.191 30
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
1 Alabama SEC West 11.7 7.8 0.307 53
5 Florida SEC East 9.6 6.1 0.119 17
9 Georgia SEC East 9.4 6.1 0.201 33
11 Texas A&M SEC West 9.4 5.5 0.076 11
4 LSU SEC West 9.3 5.6 0.027 3
15 South Carolina SEC East 9.2 5.8 0.255 42
28 Ole Miss SEC West 7.0 3.9 0.036 4
30 Missouri SEC East 6.9 3.5 0.218 37
48 Vanderbilt SEC East 6.2 2.5 0.129 18
47 Tennessee SEC East 5.6 2.8 0.009 1
58 Auburn SEC West 5.1 1.6 0.044 6
53 Arkansas SEC West 4.9 1.9 0.016 2
54 Mississippi State SEC West 4.9 2.2 0.043 5
88 Kentucky SEC East 3.1 0.7 0.051 9
Rk Team Conf Div TMW CMW SOS SOS Rk
60 Arkansas State Sun Belt 8.7 5.4 0.815 114
82 UL-Lafayette Sun Belt 7.5 4.5 0.835 115
76 UL-Monroe Sun Belt 7.0 4.5 0.517 82
90 Western Kentucky Sun Belt 6.9 4.0 0.896 122
92 Troy Sun Belt 6.0 3.8 0.781 109
104 Texas State Sun Belt 5.5 2.9 0.880 119
115 South Alabama Sun Belt 4.0 2.2 0.896 121
124 Georgia State Sun Belt 3.1 0.6 0.119 16

  • Projected AAC champion: Louisville by a nose over Cincinnati. The season-ending Louisville at Cincinnati game could be a lot of fun and carry a lot of national heft.
  • Projected ACC champion: Florida State over Virginia Tech in the title game, though FSU and Clemson are both projected at seven conference wins when rounded, and the FSU-Clemson game is in Clemson. I'm pretty bearish on Virginia Tech; I think the offense needs another year before it comes around, and I think the Hokies are going to struggle to hold off North Carolina, Miami, and Georgia Tech in this race. But the projections love a steady winner, and despite last year's tumble, Virginia Tech is as steady as they come in the ACC.
  • Projected Big 12 champion: Texas, I guess? The Longhorns and Oklahoma State are both projected at 7.0 wins (with Oklahoma on their heels at 6.8), but with the UT-OSU game in Austin, we'll say Texas is more likely to win the tie-breaker.
  • Projected Big Ten champion: Ohio State over Michigan State. We're obviously not as high on the Buckeyes as many, but they still hold a slight edge over both Wisconsin and whoever wins the Legends Division.
  • Projected Conference USA champion: Tulsa over East Carolina. The three best teams in this conference are all potentially in the West Division, which is unfortunate for both Louisiana Tech and Rice, who are projected to fall a game short of Tulsa.
  • Projected MAC champion: Northern Illinois over Bowling Green. These teams enjoy two of the nation's weakest schedules, but this game could be outstanding, with NIU's outstanding offense pitted against BGSU's defense, which could be one of the nation's better mid-major Ds.
  • Projected Mountain West champion: Boise State over Fresno State. As is customary, the top half of this conference is far ahead of the bottom half, and while that means a lot of teams finishing with 2-4 wins overall, that also means a pair of fun division battles. Boise State should manage to hold off Utah State in the Mountain, but Fresno State has its hands full against SJSU, SDSU and Nevada in the West.
  • Projected Pac-12 champion: Oregon over USC. The Oregon-Stanford game will almost certainly decide the North, while USC seems to have a pretty solid advantage over Arizona, Arizona State, and projected underachievers UCLA. Of course, they did last year, too.
  • Projected SEC champion: Alabama over ... Florida, maybe? Florida and Georgia are projected to tie at 6.1 conference wins (with South Carolina close behind at 5.8), and since the two teams play on a neutral field each year, we'll say Florida, the more highly projected team, gets the nod and is sacrificed to a still-better-than-everybody-else Alabama squad.
  • Projected Sun Belt champion: Arkansas State. In my Sun Belt previews, I placed the two Louisiana schools ahead of the two-time defending conference champions; but again, our numbers love proven quantities, and it's not like I think ASU is THAT far behind…

For grins, then, here is a rough stab at BCS bowl pairings.

BCS Championship: Alabama (13-0) vs. Oregon (12-1)
Orange Bowl: Florida State (12-1) vs. Nebraska (10-2)
Rose Bowl: Ohio State (12-1) vs. Stanford (10-2)
Fiesta Bowl: Texas (10-2) vs. Louisville (10-2)
Sugar Bowl: Notre Dame (10-2) vs. Boise State (12-1)

There are plenty of other interesting teams sitting there with 10 wins -- Florida, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Cincinnati -- but while trying not to overthink this process, that's my best guess based on who would probably receive automatic bids (Boise State), etc.

So that's that then. Do you think North Carolina and South Carolina would mind moving their kickoff from early Thursday evening to ... about 30 minutes from now?

Posted by: Bill Connelly on 27 Aug 2013

12 comments, Last at 29 Aug 2013, 10:16am by Will Allen

Comments

1
by Mood_Indigo (not verified) :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 2:27pm

I don't think Stanford is going to lose to Oregon at home. Stanford has the defensive speed and athleticism to slow down the Duck offense. The coaches have the right strategy. The question is whether the Stanford D can execute. Meanwhile the new OC will add some wrinkles to the run game, e.g., getting Barry S. Sanders open in space. Stanford's last stretch of 5 games is brutal (five top-25 ranked teams and rivalry game).

2
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:05pm

I'm a sadist, so I always am more interested in who is at the bottom of the chart. Among the Big 5 conferencs, the PAC 12 has two teams ranked 100 or lower. The Big 10 has three ranked between 74 and 99, and the ACC four between 73 and 91. The poor 'ol Mountain West has half their league, 6 teams, ranked 98 or lower. Yeesh.

3
by D :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:14pm

Gotta disagree with your BCS projections. I know ND is always a good draw, but I'd be floored if the Sugar Bowl passed on whoever the second best SEC team is.

Anyways here is my guess using the same teams you picked (with a second SEC team swapped in)

BCS NCG - 'Bama/Oregon
Rose - tOSU/Stanford
Sugar - Georgia/BSU
Orange - FSU/ND
Fiesta - Texas/Louisville

Here is my thought process (keep in mind that after the auto-bids and NCG replacements the selection order this year is Orange, Sugar, Fiesta);

The NCG gets the top two teams (obviously), and tOSU, FSU, and Texas (as the B1G, ACC and XII champs) are sent to the Rose, Orange and Fiesta Bowls respectively.

Next, the Sugar Bowl would get to take a replacement for 'Bama (the top ranked team) and grabs Georgia (or another SEC team). Next the Rose Bowl takes Stanford to replace Oregon to preserve its B1G-PAC tradition.

The Orange Bowl gets the first at non-replacement large selection and takes the most appealing team left (ND). The Sugar Bowl is up next but with Louisville and BSU both guaranteed bids they have limited options. Since bowls generally don't like to take the same teams in consecutive years the Sugar Bowl takes BSU. That leaves the Fiesta with Louisville.

4
by jklps :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:25pm

Maryland shouldn't be amazing, but if last place in the ACC again, maybe time for a new coach who isn't so bull headed.

5
by mm(old) (not verified) :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 4:02pm

5 of the toughest 6 schedules in the Country are from the SEC West. I'd imagine Bob Stoops is very, very unhappy with you right now!

Of course Alabama sticks out with the 53rd most difficult schedule, and in the East you can clearly see which teams have Alabama on their schedule this year and which don't, just by the strength-of-schedule rankings. So a lot of that is just how difficult it is to play Saban's team. Still, the remaining SEC East teams schedule strength numbers would fit right into the Big 12 (not as good as the Pac 12, however).

6
by Josh :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 7:26pm

Of course Alabama sticks out with the 53rd most difficult schedule

That's cuz Bama don't have to play Bama, PAWLLLLLL

8
by my name is my password (not verified) :: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 12:22pm

Actually, it's because Alabama is playing VT (26); CSU (108); Ga State (124) and Chattanooga (NR) as a non-conference slate. Compare to UF, which also doesn't play Alabama, having Toledo (62); Miami (34); Ga Southern (NR); and FSU (6).

But don't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

9
by DaveSmith_1 (not verified) :: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 3:11pm

Speaking of CSU @ Bama, I was very surprised to see CSU with the #13 SOS. Going to Bama & hosting Boise State will improve most teams' SOS, but the only decent teams remaining on the schedule are Utah State(42), SJSU(61), & Tulsa(57).

10
by Brian Fremeau :: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 3:31pm

As with FEI, SOS here is calculated as the likelihood of an elite team going undefeated against the entire schedule. So playing Alabama is a big part of that.

11
by LionInAZ :: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 5:49pm

Alabama is to cowardly to schedule a competitive non-conference team.

It's easy to look good when you rig your schedule to have 8 home games out of 12 and creampuff non-conference opponents.

12
by hoegher :: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 11:29pm

Hells to bells that I have to defend Alabama, but they did schedule Michigan last year...

13
by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/29/2013 - 10:16am

If I could do anything to improve college football, it would be to develop strong incentives to avoid this sort of scheduling. You really need to shrink the top league from 125 teams to perhaps no more than 60-72 teams, however.

72 geographically balanced teams, with scholarships limited to 75-80 on a roster, would, I suspect, eventually give the NFL a run for their money, in terms of eyeballs on television.