Rankings through October 13, 2018

Rank Team Score LW Spread Points
1 Clemson 3682.12 1 100.15
2 Alabama 3475.00 3 94.52
3 Oklahoma 3388.59 5 92.17
4 Ohio State 3360.26 4 91.4
5 LSU 3353.21 12 91.21
6 Georgia 3293.81 2 89.59
7 Kentucky 3278.46 9 89.17
8 Notre Dame 3249.36 6 88.38
9 Michigan 3229.47 10 87.84
10 Washington 3214.54 8 87.44
11 Florida 3183.40 11 86.59
12 Texas 3177.05 15 86.42
13 Iowa 3141.47 21 85.45
14 Penn State 3133.72 7 85.24
15 Duke 3108.08 13 84.54
16 Fresno State 3011.46 20 81.91
17 Texas A&M 3007.06 24 81.79
18 North Carolina State 2979.86 18 81.05
19 Michigan St. 2977.88 26 81
20 Mississippi State 2969.04 17 80.76
21 West Virginia 2967.59 14 80.72
22 Appalachian State 2967.05 25 80.7
23 Auburn 2927.58 19 79.63
24 Utah State 2926.52 27 79.6
25 Cincinnati 2914.36 28 79.27
26 Utah 2905.83 54 79.04
27 Wisconsin 2905.26 16 79.02
28 UAB 2880.47 39 78.35
29 Central Florida 2879.66 23 78.33
30 Syracuse 2857.58 32 77.73
31 North Texas 2850.73 45 77.54
32 Army 2840.90 48 77.27
33 Stanford 2821.22 43 76.74
34 Purdue 2811.06 40 76.46
35 Houston 2806.75 31 76.34
36 San Diego State 2798.86 37 76.13
37 Miami, FL 2795.93 30 76.05
38 Iowa State 2794.86 61 76.02
39 Oregon 2793.90 41 75.99
40 Maryland 2782.26 44 75.68
41 Texas Christian 2779.04 38 75.59
42 Washington State 2778.35 35 75.57
43 South Carolina 2774.47 22 75.47
44 Colorado 2771.80 29 75.39
45 Texas Tech 2768.45 47 75.3
46 Buffalo 2742.52 46 74.6
47 Virginia Tech 2738.79 33 74.5
48 Virginia 2732.60 59 74.33
49 Northwestern 2689.58 55 73.16
50 Boston College 2666.31 50 72.52
51 Temple 2656.77 52 72.26
52 Missouri 2654.06 34 72.19
53 Boise State 2636.39 42 71.71
54 Oklahoma State 2611.30 36 71.03
55 Minnesota 2592.57 49 70.52
56 BYU 2583.45 58 70.27
57 Georgia Southern 2552.56 57 69.43
58 Arizona State 2548.51 63 69.32
59 South Florida 2537.99 56 69.03
60 Florida International 2530.51 62 68.83
61 Memphis 2529.80 67 68.81
62 USC 2518.31 69 68.5
63 Troy 2510.55 53 68.29
64 Vanderbilt 2498.83 66 67.97
65 Louisiana Tech 2491.92 71 67.78
66 Mississippi 2490.59 60 67.74
67 Indiana 2483.28 51 67.55
68 Georgia Tech 2473.35 64 67.28
69 Pittsburgh 2428.78 76 66.06
70 Air Force 2415.52 65 65.7
71 Eastern Michigan 2410.75 88 65.57
72 Baylor 2410.23 74 65.56
73 Western Michigan 2406.08 72 65.45
74 Tennessee 2399.07 82 65.25
75 Marshall 2383.38 86 64.83
76 Northern Illinois 2366.79 85 64.38
77 Toledo 2362.83 78 64.27
78 Florida Atlantic 2319.97 83 63.1
79 Ohio 2306.49 77 62.74
80 Hawaii 2287.97 68 62.23
81 Arizona 2282.64 73 62.09
82 California 2267.71 70 61.68
83 Liberty 2253.83 93 61.3
84 UCLA 2250.90 106 61.22
85 Nevada 2248.63 89 61.16
86 Tulane 2236.22 91 60.83
87 Wake Forest 2235.24 84 60.8
88 Miami, OH 2229.76 101 60.65
89 Kansas State 2221.99 99 60.44
90 Ball State 2191.33 87 59.6
91 Arkansas State 2186.34 92 59.47
92 Akron 2180.26 81 59.3
93 Florida State 2180.24 94 59.3
94 Southern Mississippi 2165.17 80 58.89
95 Coastal Carolina 2161.48 79 58.79
96 Kansas 2140.04 95 58.21
97 Navy 2123.67 100 57.76
98 New Mexico 2123.27 90 57.75
99 Tulsa 2121.03 96 57.69
100 Charlotte 2092.97 114 56.93
101 SMU 2063.95 98 56.14
102 Illinois 2054.59 75 55.88
103 Louisiana 2047.84 110 55.7
104 Arkansas 2043.85 107 55.59
105 Middle Tennessee 2040.20 97 55.49
106 Nebraska 2039.62 117 55.48
107 Central Michigan 2017.03 113 54.86
108 North Carolina 1984.29 118 53.97
109 Louisville 1972.55 111 53.65
110 UNLV 1967.83 104 53.53
111 Massachusetts 1963.39 108 53.4
112 Oregon State 1960.46 105 53.32
113 Old Dominion 1933.52 103 52.59
114 Colorado State 1924.74 120 52.35
115 South Alabama 1918.81 124 52.19
116 Louisiana-Monroe 1905.58 123 51.83
117 East Carolina 1881.41 112 51.17
118 Wyoming 1870.59 109 50.88
119 Georgia State 1870.42 119 50.88
120 Texas-San Antonio 1847.36 115 50.25
121 Kent State 1831.88 102 49.83
122 Bowling Green 1800.66 121 48.98
123 Western Kentucky 1757.93 116 47.82
124 New Mexico State 1733.10 122 47.14
125 Texas State 1685.21 128 45.84
126 Rutgers 1628.10 125 44.28
127 San Jose State 1558.84 127 42.4
128 Rice 1521.67 126 41.39
129 Connecticut 1513.57 129 41.17
130 UTEP 1437.10 130 39.09

Home Field Advantage: 2.56

Shakeup Saturday did cause some movement in xHPI’s ratings, but with most teams being at least halfway through their seasons, we’re beginning to see that it is harder for teams to make a big move, either up or down.

This effect is particularly true at the top and bottom of the rankings, where the differences between teams’ scores tend to be greater, so scores of teams at either extreme may change significantly, that change may result in only a small change in the rankings. For instance, if #125 Texas State saw an increase in its score by 200 points, it would move up eight places, to #117. Similarly, if #5 LSU lost 200 points, it would fall eight places, to #13. However, the team exactly in the middle, #65 Louisiana Tech, would rise 17 spaces to #49 with an additional 200 points, and would drop 15 spaces to #80 if it lost 200 points.

At the top of the rankings, Georgia fell out of the playoff picture, dropping to the sixth spot. The Bulldogs were replaced by Oklahoma, which leapfrogged Ohio State into the third slot. LSU’s big victory put it in striking range of a playoff spot. Michigan’s big victory over Wisconsin resulted in only a one place improvement in its ranking.

In other recurring themes:

The Central Florida watch has expanded. Central Florida is not the only non-Power 5 team that merits possible consideration as a playoff contender. While not undefeated (and therefore, likely getting no consideration from the playoff selection committee), Appalachian State is now the highest ranked non-Power 5 team, at #22. The only blemish on their record was a close loss to Penn State in the season opener. In fact, they only a few points away from being the best ranked Mountaineer team, sitting right behind #21 West Virginia. Central Florida’s narrow victory over Memphis cost the Knights six places in the rankings, falling to #29. Both teams will have difficulty significantly given the quality of the teams that remain on their schedules.

Daylight opens up in the Turner Gill watch. Idle Kansas lost nine points and fell one place in the rankings while Liberty improved ten places after beating Troy. Just as importantly to KU, the Jayhawks are now the lowest ranked Big XII team, thanks to Kansas State’s impressive victory over Oklahoma State.

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Predictions for October 13, 2018

Favorite

Spread

Underdog

xHPI Favorite

xHPI Spread

xHPI Pick

Appalachian St. 10.5 Arkansas St. Appalachian St. 16.51 Appalachian St.
TCU 7.5 Texas Tech TCU 4.41 Texas Tech
Ga. Southern 17 Texas State Ga. Southern 23.3 Ga. Southern
South Florida 7 Tulsa South Florida 11.09 South Florida
San Diego St. 10.5 Air Force San Diego St. 10.26 Air Force
Utah 13.5 Arizona Utah 7.94 Arizona
Ohio State. 29.5 Minnesota Ohio State 21.5 Minnesota
Iowa 5.5 Indiana Iowa 5.96 Iowa
Oklahoma St. 7 Kansas State Oklahoma St. 17.21 Oklahoma St.
Toledo 2.5 Eastern Michigan Toledo 0.088 Eastern Michigan
Buffalo 12 Akron Buffalo 12.07 Buffalo
Northwestern 4.5 Nebraska Northwestern 21.21 NW
Florida 7 Vanderbilt Florida 17.13 Florida
Auburn 15 Tennessee Auburn 19.55 Auburn
Maryland 24.5 Rutgers Maryland 30.21 Maryland
Georgia Tech 2.5 Duke Duke 15.55 Duke
Boston College 13.5 Louisville Boston College 20.16 Boston College
UAB 16.5 Rice UAB 27.41 UAB
Troy 9.5 Liberty Troy 9.26 Liberty
North Texas 9.5 Southern Miss North Texas 12.05 North Texas
Notre Dame 21 Pittsburgh Notre Dame 28.09 Notre Dame
Miami, OH 11 Kent State Miami, OH 2.93 Kent State
Central Michigan 3 Ball State Ball State 4.7 Ball State
Western Michigan 14.5 Bowling Green Western Michigan 14.26 Bowling Green
Central Florida 4.5 Memphis Central Florida 10.21 Central Florida
Northern Illinois 4 Ohio Northern Illinois 0.31 Ohio
Texas A&M 2.5 South Carolina South Carolina 3.15 South Carolina
Purdue 10.5 Illinois Purdue 7.63 Illinois
Marshall 3.5 Old Dominion Marshall 4.61 Marshall
Washington 3.5 Oregon Washington 12.12 Washington
Georgia 7.5 LSU Georgia 5.48 LSU
Temple 7 Navy Temple 12.9 Temple
W. Kentucky 7.5 Charlotte Charlotte 3.52 Charlotte
Penn State 13.5 Michigan State Penn State 13.64 Penn State
Army 15 San Jose State Army 25.75 Army
Texas 14 Baylor Texas 20.41 Texas
Colorado State Pick ’em New Mexico New Mexico 7.86 New Mexico
Utah State 27 UNLV Utah State 26.33 UNLV
Louisiana 7.5 New Mexico St. Louisiana 8.04 Louisiana
Coastal Carolina 6.5 UL Monroe Coastal Carolina 19.02 Coastal Carolina
Virginia Tech 6 North Carolina Virginia Tech 22.91 Virginia Tech
Miami, FL 6.5 Virginia Miami, FL 5.61 Virginia
Alabama 27.5 Missouri Alabama 17.67 Missouri
Houston 16 East Carolina Houston 21.72 Houston
West Virginia 6.5 Iowa State West Virginia 13.98 West Virginia
Louisiana Tech 10.5 UTSA Louisiana Tech 10.22 UTSA
Califorinia 6.5 UCLA California 13.78 California
Michigan 9.5 Wisconsin Michigan 7.14 Wisconsin
FIU 3 Middle Tenn FIU 14.8 FIU
BYU 11 Hawaii BYU 5.66 Hawaii
Fresno State 18 Wyoming Fresno State 28.21 Fresno State
USC 7 Colorado Colorado 9.35 Colorado
Boise State 16.5 Nevada Boise State 10.91 Nevada

In past years, I’ve listed my Best Bets, which are the five games with the greatest difference between xHPI’s predicted point spread and the oddsmakers’ spread. Those picks are listed in bold italics in the table above.

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Spread Point Rankings through 10/6/18

Rank Team Spread Points LW
1 Clemson 97.23 1
2 Georgia 91.71 5
3 Alabama 89.19 3
4 Ohio State 88.6 9
5 Oklahoma 88.28 2
6 Notre Dame 87.73 4
7 Penn State 87.36 10
8 Washington 86.54 7
9 Kentucky 85.91 8
10 Michigan 85.22 13
11 Florida 84.16 17
12 LSU 83.78 6
13 Duke 83.06 12
14 West Virginia 82.84 14
15 Texas 80.53 20
16 Wisconsin 80.53 18
17 Mississippi State 78.22 46
18 North Carolina State 78.09 27
19 Auburn 77.54 11
20 Fresno State 77.48 19
21 Iowa 77.23 32
22 South Carolina 77.16 26
23 Central Florida 76.99 31
24 Texas A&M 76.46 36
25 Appalachian State 76.22 23
26 Michigan St. 76.17 16
27 Utah State 76.12 48
28 Cincinnati 75.85 29
29 Colorado 75.52 39
30 Miami, FL 75.34 15
31 Houston 75.33 21
32 Syracuse 74.31 25
33 Virginia Tech 74.09 30
34 Missouri 73.97 40
35 Washington State 73.51 41
36 Oklahoma State 73.02 24
37 San Diego State 72.84 55
38 Texas Christian 72.62 38
39 UAB 72.53 53
40 Purdue 72.29 44
41 Oregon 71.97 35
42 Boise State 71.57 22
43 Stanford 71.51 28
44 Maryland 71.1 42
45 North Texas 70.8 77
46 Buffalo 70.79 43
47 Texas Tech 70.66 37
48 Army 70.37 50
49 Minnesota 69.55 54
50 Boston College 69.26 47
51 Indiana 68.82 34
52 Temple 68.61 63
53 Troy 68.59 56
54 Utah 68.52 75
55 Northwestern 68 70
56 South Florida 67.94 52
57 Georgia Southern 67.49 66
58 BYU 67.41 33
59 Virginia 67.28 49
60 Mississippi 66.83 67
61 Iowa State 66.41 78
62 Florida International 66.19 58
63 Arizona State 65.9 45
64 Georgia Tech 65.06 73
65 Air Force 65.03 88
66 Vanderbilt 64.58 62
67 Memphis 64.33 65
68 Hawaii 64.2 59
69 USC 63.72 64
70 California 63.31 61
71 Louisiana Tech 63.27 51
72 Western Michigan 63.18 81
73 Arizona 63.03 69
74 Baylor 62.57 85
75 Illinois 62.21 79
76 Pittsburgh 62.09 93
77 Ohio 61.61 83
78 Toledo 61.6 76
79 Coastal Carolina 61.37 80
80 Southern Mississippi 61.2 68
81 Akron 61.17 57
82 Tennessee 60.44 91
83 Florida Atlantic 59.97 96
84 Wake Forest 59.85 60
85 Northern Illinois 59.47 98
86 Marshall 59.41 72
87 Ball State 58.3 74
88 Eastern Michigan 58.27 86
89 Nevada 58.21 82
90 New Mexico 57.5 105
91 Tulane 57.38 84
92 Arkansas State 57.26 90
93 Liberty 56.88 71
94 Florida State 56.54 101
95 Kansas 56.1 89
96 Tulsa 54.4 99
97 Middle Tennessee 53.84 113
98 SMU 53.43 95
99 Kansas State 53.36 111
100 Navy 53.26 92
101 Miami, OH 52.98 117
102 Kent State 52.5 110
103 Old Dominion 52.35 94
104 UNLV 52.24 97
105 Oregon State 52.19 107
106 UCLA 51.98 121
107 Arkansas 51.91 104
108 Massachusetts 51.86 102
109 Wyoming 51.72 106
110 Louisiana 51.56 115
111 Louisville 51.55 100
112 East Carolina 51.16 87
113 Central Michigan 51.15 103
114 Charlotte 50.68 108
115 Texas-San Antonio 50.6 124
116 Western Kentucky 49.61 109
117 Nebraska 49.24 120
118 North Carolina 48.73 112
119 Georgia State 47.3 114
120 Colorado State 47.19 127
121 Bowling Green 46.47 122
122 New Mexico State 45.97 129
123 Louisiana-Monroe 44.8 116
124 South Alabama 43.7 119
125 Rutgers 43.34 125
126 Rice 42.67 118
127 San Jose State 42.17 123
128 Texas State 41.73 126
129 Connecticut 39.35 128
130 UTEP 37.17 130
Home Field Advantage 2.4526

This week I introduce the rankings with spread points.

Spread points make it easy to determine a hypothetical point spread between any two teams. They are based on a regression model regressing the difference between two teams’ xHPI scores and the actual margin of victory. The model produces a coefficient by which the difference in ratings can be multiplied to determine a neutral field point spread between the two teams. The y-intercept of the regression equation serves as a measure of the home field advantage.

Because the regression equation changes from week to week, spread points are not comparable from week to week. Therefore, while Clemson’s spread points dropped from 110.05 last week to 97.23 this week, this does not mean that they are a weaker team than they were a week ago.

I will post predictions for next week’s games later in the week. However, I’ll use tonight’s game (Tuesday, October 9) to illustrate how spread points work. Arkansas State (57.26 spread points) is home to Appalachian State (76.22 spread points). To calculate a point spread, subtract the visitors’ spread points from the home team’s spread points and add the home field advantage. A positive result means the home team is favored, and a negative result means the visiting team is favored. So for tonight’s game:

57.26 (Ark. St.)  – 76.22 (App. St.) + 2.4526 = -16.5074

So xHPI favors Appalachian State by 16.5 points. The line is Appalachian State by 10.5. So xHPI recommends taking Appalachian State.

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Rankings through October 6, 2018

Rank Team Score LW
1 Clemson 3725.27 1
2 Georgia 3513.95 5
3 Alabama 3417.42 3
4 Ohio State 3394.56 9
5 Oklahoma 3382.39 2
6 Notre Dame 3361.38 4
7 Penn State 3347.07 10
8 Washington 3315.70 7
9 Kentucky 3291.68 8
10 Michigan 3264.99 13
11 Florida 3224.41 17
12 LSU 3210.12 6
13 Duke 3182.55 12
14 West Virginia 3174.04 14
15 Texas 3085.56 20
16 Wisconsin 3085.35 18
17 Mississippi State 2996.78 46
18 North Carolina State 2991.99 27
19 Auburn 2970.78 11
20 Fresno State 2968.77 19
21 Iowa 2958.90 32
22 South Carolina 2956.41 26
23 Central Florida 2949.81 31
24 Texas A&M 2929.59 36
25 Appalachian State 2920.19 23
26 Michigan St. 2918.21 16
27 Utah State 2916.65 48
28 Cincinnati 2906.03 29
29 Colorado 2893.40 39
30 Miami, FL 2886.42 15
31 Houston 2886.10 21
32 Syracuse 2847.07 25
33 Virginia Tech 2838.79 30
34 Missouri 2834.29 40
35 Washington State 2816.50 41
36 Oklahoma State 2797.66 24
37 San Diego State 2790.99 55
38 Texas Christian 2782.55 38
39 UAB 2778.81 53
40 Purdue 2769.55 44
41 Oregon 2757.32 35
42 Boise State 2742.33 22
43 Stanford 2739.99 28
44 Maryland 2724.30 42
45 North Texas 2712.79 77
46 Buffalo 2712.43 43
47 Texas Tech 2707.28 37
48 Army 2696.34 50
49 Minnesota 2664.87 54
50 Boston College 2653.60 47
51 Indiana 2636.78 34
52 Temple 2628.68 63
53 Troy 2627.94 56
54 Utah 2625.30 75
55 Northwestern 2605.21 70
56 South Florida 2603.12 52
57 Georgia Southern 2585.64 66
58 BYU 2582.63 33
59 Virginia 2577.95 49
60 Mississippi 2560.64 67
61 Iowa State 2544.38 78
62 Florida International 2535.96 58
63 Arizona State 2524.81 45
64 Georgia Tech 2492.65 73
65 Air Force 2491.76 88
66 Vanderbilt 2474.37 62
67 Memphis 2464.75 65
68 Hawaii 2459.90 59
69 USC 2441.52 64
70 California 2425.82 61
71 Louisiana Tech 2424.16 51
72 Western Michigan 2420.74 81
73 Arizona 2415.11 69
74 Baylor 2397.31 85
75 Illinois 2383.59 79
76 Pittsburgh 2378.75 93
77 Ohio 2360.42 83
78 Toledo 2360.27 76
79 Coastal Carolina 2351.23 80
80 Southern Mississippi 2344.83 68
81 Akron 2343.65 57
82 Tennessee 2315.54 91
83 Florida Atlantic 2297.61 96
84 Wake Forest 2293.26 60
85 Northern Illinois 2278.55 98
86 Marshall 2276.08 72
87 Ball State 2233.87 74
88 Eastern Michigan 2232.47 86
89 Nevada 2230.46 82
90 New Mexico 2203.23 105
91 Tulane 2198.43 84
92 Arkansas State 2193.79 90
93 Liberty 2179.33 71
94 Florida State 2166.24 101
95 Kansas 2149.40 89
96 Tulsa 2084.41 99
97 Middle Tennessee 2062.98 113
98 SMU 2047.03 95
99 Kansas State 2044.41 111
100 Navy 2040.45 92
101 Miami, OH 2029.78 117
102 Kent State 2011.67 110
103 Old Dominion 2005.74 94
104 UNLV 2001.55 97
105 Oregon State 1999.69 107
106 UCLA 1991.39 121
107 Arkansas 1989.02 104
108 Massachusetts 1986.79 102
109 Wyoming 1981.77 106
110 Louisiana 1975.56 115
111 Louisville 1975.00 100
112 East Carolina 1960.13 87
113 Central Michigan 1959.94 103
114 Charlotte 1941.65 108
115 Texas-San Antonio 1938.75 124
116 Western Kentucky 1900.65 109
117 Nebraska 1886.48 120
118 North Carolina 1867.18 112
119 Georgia State 1812.07 114
120 Colorado State 1807.88 127
121 Bowling Green 1780.49 122
122 New Mexico State 1761.49 129
123 Louisiana-Monroe 1716.52 116
124 South Alabama 1674.36 119
125 Rutgers 1660.41 125
126 Rice 1634.73 118
127 San Jose State 1615.84 123
128 Texas State 1598.76 126
129 Connecticut 1507.71 128
130 UTEP 1424.14 130

Where are the Spread Points? I introduced the idea of spread points last week. What I had posted then was based on xHPI’s performance in the 2016 season. I wanted to update my calculations and base them on the current season (which will be adjusted each week), but I didn’t want this calculation to hold up posting the rankings. I’ll post spread points with some predictions later in the week.

Red River ho-hum? Texas’s victory over Oklahoma did not produce a significant change in the standings. The Longhorns moved from #20 to #15, but Oklahoma remained in the top 5, dropping from #2 to #5.  Similarly, Kentucky’s loss to Texas A&M cost it only one spot in the rankings.

Central Florida watch – One of the big stories of the 2017 season was Central Florida’s undefeated season, and whether they should have been included in the college football playoff. I’ll be watching how xHPI treats them all year. This week, they enter the top 25 for the first time in 2018, but still have a lot of work to be a playoff contender.

Turner Gill watch – With Liberty playing an FBS schedule this year, I have included them in the rankings. Since I live in Kansas, I have an interest in how Kansas performs in xHPI. With Liberty’s entry into the xHPI standings, I’ll be paying particular attention to how they compare to KU, since KU fired Turner Gill to hire Charlie Weis (who was subsequently replaced by David Beaty). With Beaty on the hot seat, it will be interesting to watch how Turner Gill’s team compares to his former team. Currently, Liberty is two spots ahead of Kansas, although KU has closed the gap in the last two weeks.

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Rankings through September 29, 2018

Rank Team Score LW Spread Points
1 Clemson 3768.82 1 110.05
2 Oklahoma 3591.89 5 104.88
3 Alabama 3518.28 2 102.73
4 Notre Dame 3428.37 11 100.11
5 Georgia 3420.34 6 99.87
6 LSU 3395.80 7 99.16
7 Washington 3368.81 24 98.37
8 Kentucky 3368.32 12 98.36
9 Ohio State 3349.20 14 97.8
10 Penn State 3277.17 4 95.69
11 Auburn 3257.28 13 95.11
12 Duke 3249.89 8 94.9
13 Michigan 3239.23 9 94.59
14 West Virginia 3227.58 29 94.25
15 Miami, FL 3116.16 18 90.99
16 Michigan St. 3022.69 15 88.26
17 Florida 3022.51 25 88.26
18 Wisconsin 3007.01 22 87.8
19 Fresno State 3006.92 41 87.8
20 Texas 2971.16 16 86.76
21 Houston 2960.17 20 86.44
22 Boise State 2950.55 33 86.16
23 Appalachian State 2946.97 30 86.05
24 Oklahoma State 2942.25 17 85.91
25 Syracuse 2937.30 38 85.77
26 South Carolina 2936.34 10 85.74
27 North Carolina State 2927.66 48 85.49
28 Stanford 2925.25 21 85.42
29 Cincinnati 2902.67 31 84.76
30 Virginia Tech 2894.67 67 84.52
31 Central Florida 2872.75 36 83.88
32 Iowa 2868.21 27 83.75
33 BYU 2867.54 3 83.73
34 Indiana 2833.10 74 82.73
35 Oregon 2825.79 49 82.51
36 Texas A&M 2815.09 19 82.2
37 Texas Tech 2808.21 26 82
38 Texas Christian 2797.36 54 81.68
39 Colorado 2793.56 47 81.57
40 Missouri 2792.08 32 81.53
41 Washington State 2791.95 53 81.52
42 Maryland 2766.69 39 80.79
43 Buffalo 2751.43 28 80.34
44 Purdue 2740.29 46 80.02
45 Arizona State 2734.31 40 79.84
46 Mississippi State 2731.46 35 79.76
47 Boston College 2727.66 50 79.65
48 Utah State 2718.04 37 79.37
49 Virginia 2693.98 42 78.66
50 Army 2678.92 69 78.22
51 Louisiana Tech 2671.65 65 78.01
52 South Florida 2642.73 43 77.17
53 UAB 2620.98 66 76.53
54 Minnesota 2619.47 63 76.49
55 San Diego State 2594.53 52 75.76
56 Troy 2588.06 61 75.57
57 Akron 2575.50 64 75.2
58 Florida International 2571.94 68 75.1
59 Hawaii 2557.21 57 74.67
60 Wake Forest 2547.24 84 74.38
61 California 2541.79 23 74.22
62 Vanderbilt 2527.18 59 73.79
63 Temple 2518.53 44 73.54
64 USC 2511.67 76 73.34
65 Memphis 2509.43 55 73.28
66 Georgia Southern 2507.71 72 73.23
67 Mississippi 2506.69 45 73.2
68 Southern Mississippi 2447.91 56 71.48
69 Arizona 2431.44 51 71
70 Northwestern 2420.64 70 70.68
71 Liberty 2400.59 90 70.1
72 Marshall 2396.09 80 69.97
73 Georgia Tech 2382.13 81 69.56
74 Ball State 2381.36 94 69.54
75 Utah 2381.25 78 69.53
76 Toledo 2378.07 58 69.44
77 North Texas 2368.52 34 69.16
78 Iowa State 2355.67 79 68.79
79 Illinois 2337.90 77 68.27
80 Coastal Carolina 2332.12 60 68.1
81 Western Michigan 2325.73 86 67.91
82 Nevada 2322.06 88 67.8
83 Ohio 2321.32 92 67.78
84 Tulane 2310.52 98 67.47
85 Baylor 2291.96 71 66.93
86 Eastern Michigan 2275.77 62 66.45
87 East Carolina 2246.69 89 65.6
88 Air Force 2218.34 75 64.78
89 Kansas 2211.04 87 64.56
90 Arkansas State 2210.52 82 64.55
91 Tennessee 2208.40 83 64.49
92 Navy 2202.07 85 64.3
93 Pittsburgh 2180.07 73 63.66
94 Old Dominion 2158.85 104 63.04
95 SMU 2147.92 99 62.72
96 Florida Atlantic 2108.11 91 61.56
97 UNLV 2104.24 97 61.44
98 Northern Illinois 2083.32 116 60.83
99 Tulsa 2069.01 100 60.42
100 Louisville 2032.40 105 59.35
101 Florida State 2028.99 114 59.25
102 Massachusetts 2008.07 108 58.64
103 Central Michigan 1996.34 110 58.29
104 Arkansas 1992.93 115 58.19
105 New Mexico 1989.95 93 58.11
106 Wyoming 1981.77 107 57.87
107 Oregon State 1967.57 109 57.45
108 Charlotte 1956.42 101 57.13
109 Western Kentucky 1950.12 111 56.94
110 Kent State 1946.54 96 56.84
111 Kansas State 1943.29 112 56.74
112 North Carolina 1901.66 95 55.53
113 Middle Tennessee 1900.45 118 55.49
114 Georgia State 1884.88 124 55.04
115 Louisiana 1875.36 102 54.76
116 Louisiana-Monroe 1845.88 103 53.9
117 Miami, OH 1825.47 120 53.3
118 Rice 1825.35 106 53.3
119 South Alabama 1805.67 113 52.73
120 Nebraska 1794.85 121 52.41
121 UCLA 1774.23 119 51.81
122 Bowling Green 1742.85 117 50.89
123 San Jose State 1685.09 128 49.2
124 Texas-San Antonio 1664.00 126 48.59
125 Rutgers 1663.79 127 48.58
126 Texas State 1646.57 122 48.08
127 Colorado State 1595.24 125 46.58
128 Connecticut 1576.63 123 46.04
129 New Mexico State 1448.22 129 42.29
130 UTEP 1234.07 130 36.03
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Rankings through September 22, 2018

Rank Team Score
1 Clemson 3909.90
2 Alabama 3708.43
3 BYU 3607.09
4 Penn State 3572.99
5 Oklahoma 3523.68
6 Georgia 3471.53
7 LSU 3433.00
8 Duke 3364.55
9 Michigan 3342.09
10 South Carolina 3254.12
11 Notre Dame 3238.83
12 Kentucky 3226.10
13 Auburn 3208.37
14 Ohio State 3199.53
15 Michigan St. 3113.10
16 Texas 3098.70
17 Oklahoma State 3094.59
18 Miami, FL 3093.62
19 Texas A&M 3086.65
20 Houston 3085.96
21 Stanford 3071.69
22 Wisconsin 3067.15
23 California 3063.07
24 Washington 3015.52
25 Florida 3004.37
26 Texas Tech 2984.32
27 Iowa 2948.55
28 Buffalo 2945.42
29 West Virginia 2942.67
30 Appalachian State 2909.76
31 Cincinnati 2904.39
32 Missouri 2898.15
33 Boise State 2879.78
34 North Texas 2875.19
35 Mississippi State 2873.58
36 Central Florida 2829.93
37 Utah State 2825.10
38 Syracuse 2802.75
39 Maryland 2796.93
40 Arizona State 2785.47
41 Fresno State 2783.50
42 Virginia 2769.68
43 South Florida 2759.19
44 Temple 2715.34
45 Mississippi 2714.18
46 Purdue 2687.64
47 Colorado 2671.32
48 North Carolina State 2668.97
49 Oregon 2661.27
50 Boston College 2648.00
51 Arizona 2630.69
52 San Diego State 2626.75
53 Washington State 2626.04
54 Texas Christian 2623.79
55 Memphis 2623.55
56 Southern Mississippi 2620.36
57 Hawaii 2615.64
58 Toledo 2613.52
59 Vanderbilt 2609.02
60 Coastal Carolina 2595.59
61 Troy 2566.22
62 Eastern Michigan 2565.94
63 Minnesota 2553.68
64 Akron 2549.27
65 Louisiana Tech 2533.18
66 UAB 2531.05
67 Virginia Tech 2523.68
68 Florida International 2523.49
69 Army 2515.46
70 Northwestern 2503.86
71 Baylor 2496.31
72 Georgia Southern 2470.98
73 Pittsburgh 2397.97
74 Indiana 2366.75
75 Air Force 2364.65
76 USC 2359.77
77 Illinois 2342.51
78 Utah 2320.52
79 Iowa State 2317.44
80 Marshall 2290.53
81 Georgia Tech 2279.75
82 Arkansas State 2277.76
83 Tennessee 2276.57
84 Wake Forest 2246.92
85 Navy 2244.18
86 Western Michigan 2225.74
87 Kansas 2223.94
88 Nevada 2220.90
89 East Carolina 2217.39
90 Liberty 2182.79
91 Florida Atlantic 2178.39
92 Ohio 2169.99
93 New Mexico 2152.11
94 Ball State 2125.99
95 North Carolina 2122.14
96 Kent State 2094.10
97 UNLV 2082.10
98 Tulane 2080.16
99 SMU 2056.72
100 Tulsa 2049.07
101 Charlotte 2042.48
102 Louisiana 2021.26
103 Louisiana-Monroe 2020.95
104 Old Dominion 2016.61
105 Louisville 2014.14
106 Rice 2010.16
107 Wyoming 1987.04
108 Massachusetts 1966.02
109 Oregon State 1962.40
110 Central Michigan 1936.17
111 Western Kentucky 1932.31
112 Kansas State 1927.96
113 South Alabama 1913.52
114 Florida State 1898.01
115 Arkansas 1876.54
116 Northern Illinois 1817.53
117 Bowling Green 1790.78
118 Middle Tennessee 1782.44
119 UCLA 1772.30
120 Miami, OH 1770.33
121 Nebraska 1717.53
122 Texas State 1703.25
123 Connecticut 1661.87
124 Georgia State 1644.83
125 Colorado State 1643.78
126 Texas-San Antonio 1601.66
127 Rutgers 1561.25
128 San Jose State 1498.16
129 New Mexico State 1455.10
130 UTEP 1283.19

The first rankings of the 2018-19 season are posted. These are still pretty preliminary, but it’s surprising how little time it took for Clemson and Alabama to rise to the top, followed closely by Penn State and Oklahoma. BYU was a surprise at #3, but their victory over Wisconsin earned the Cougars enough points to be ranked highly, for the time being.

In future weeks, I plan to introduce what I’m calling spread points into the rankings. These translate the ratings I’ve traditionally shown into numbers that allow one to determine a hypothetical point spread between any two teams. Look for more about this in future weeks.

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Final Rankings, 2017-8

Rank Team Score
1 Alabama 3543.06
2 Georgia 3461.56
3 Penn State 3415.08
4 Clemson 3409.82
5 Ohio State 3358.30
6 Wisconsin 3279.40
7 Auburn 3224.95
8 Notre Dame 3221.45
9 Washington 3098.35
10 Oklahoma 3087.47
11 Central Florida 3024.98
12 Iowa 2939.61
13 Oklahoma State 2916.88
14 Texas Christian 2916.56
15 Miami, FL 2892.51
16 Michigan St. 2881.23
17 Stanford 2869.09
18 Virginia Tech 2862.95
19 North Carolina State 2859.86
20 Florida Atlantic 2857.50
21 Wake Forest 2839.70
22 Boise State 2821.21
23 USC 2808.13
24 LSU 2805.99
25 Northwestern 2793.78
26 Louisville 2784.43
27 Michigan 2783.91
28 Boston College 2736.39
29 Iowa State 2727.14
30 Memphis 2722.57
31 Fresno State 2713.96
32 Texas 2713.09
33 Navy 2710.47
34 Purdue 2705.71
35 Washington State 2686.29
36 South Florida 2676.44
37 Florida State 2669.49
38 Troy 2640.23
39 Houston 2625.98
40 Mississippi State 2612.14
41 Georgia Tech 2599.88
42 Utah 2596.54
43 Army 2592.22
44 San Diego State 2591.67
45 South Carolina 2589.52
46 Arizona State 2569.40
47 Appalachian State 2564.15
48 Ohio 2547.49
49 Toledo 2541.53
50 Marshall 2538.16
51 Kansas State 2537.77
52 Indiana 2536.96
53 Duke 2522.57
54 Texas A&M 2492.94
55 Arizona 2490.21
56 Arkansas State 2487.19
57 Missouri 2471.21
58 Texas Tech 2454.76
59 West Virginia 2437.11
60 Oregon 2432.10
61 Northern Illinois 2424.83
62 Louisiana Tech 2420.79
63 UCLA 2418.84
64 Pittsburgh 2406.25
65 SMU 2404.39
66 Syracuse 2392.65
67 Kentucky 2382.01
68 Wyoming 2379.25
69 Temple 2372.27
70 Colorado State 2368.65
71 Mississippi 2365.55
72 Buffalo 2360.13
73 North Texas 2347.71
74 Tulane 2321.90
75 Minnesota 2303.72
76 Florida 2300.08
77 Southern Mississippi 2295.47
78 Virginia 2290.14
79 Western Michigan 2287.48
80 Eastern Michigan 2281.70
81 Miami, OH 2281.01
82 Nebraska 2280.43
83 Colorado 2252.00
84 California 2251.25
85 Middle Tenneseee 2241.66
86 Texas-San Antonio 2239.49
87 New Mexico State 2237.93
88 Utah State 2229.81
89 Air Force 2221.41
90 Arkansas 2220.50
91 Florida International 2214.43
92 Vanderbilt 2208.80
93 UNLV 2176.06
94 North Carolina 2172.97
95 Massachusetts 2160.97
96 UAB 2160.71
97 Akron 2145.05
98 Tennessee 2126.65
99 Nevada 2114.21
100 Tulsa 2113.63
101 Idaho 2101.29
102 Maryland 2075.29
103 Western Kentucky 2064.55
104 South Alabama 2060.87
105 Louisiana-Monroe 2051.10
106 Georgia State 2041.58
107 Rutgers 2035.90
108 Central Michigan 2033.00
109 Baylor 2026.31
110 Cincinnati 2016.91
111 BYU 1960.87
112 Old Dominion 1952.23
113 Louisiana-Lafayette 1952.19
114 Connecticut 1940.55
115 Georgia Southern 1903.50
116 Bowling Green 1885.80
117 Illinois 1879.02
118 Coastal Carolina 1859.06
119 New Mexico 1837.64
120 East Carolina 1818.97
121 Hawaii 1782.73
122 Oregon State 1764.57
123 Texas State 1690.51
124 Kansas 1602.15
125 Charlotte 1594.23
126 Rice 1564.44
127 Kent State 1550.94
128 Ball State 1545.76
129 San Jose State 1527.36
130 UTEP 1478.43

You’ve been patient. For months, you’ve wondered who the 2017 national champion was. Finally, your patience has been rewarded.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn’t work on the rankings during the season, but I had always planned to get back to them. The 2017-8 season was fascinating, with plenty of drama, including debate about who should make the playoffs, whether Central Florida truly matched up with Power 5 conference teams, and (of local interest) whether Kansas had actually gotten worse.  As I watched the season unfold, I was anxious to see how xHPI would handle these controversies and all of the season’s developments.

Here are some observations of note about the season, from xHPI’s standpoint:

  • xHPI’s playoff matchups would have been Clemson (1) vs. Penn State (4), and Georgia (2) vs. Alabama (3). Throughout the season, Alabama was fairly consistently the top team, but not as dominant as it has been in years past. Alabama was ranked #1 in weeks 5 through 8 before dropping to #4 in week 9 (when its score dropped, despite being idle). It returned to the top spot in week 10, where it remained until the loss to Auburn in its final regular season game.
  • From week 8 through the end of the regular season, only five teams ranked in the top four: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Penn State. However, within this group, there was plenty of volatility.
  • xHPI recognized Central Florida’s quality early, but never gave it full credit for being on a par with the top Power 5 teams. xHPI ranked Central Florida #6 in week 5, but it never ranked above 9th after that. The Knights were ranked 11th at the end of the regular season, and xHPI did not predict their victory over Auburn (it had the Tigers favored by about a touchdown).
  • No, the Jayhawks didn’t improve. After finishing 120th in 2016, the Jayhawks ended the 2017-18 season at number 124. Interestingly, however, Kansas was not the toxic opponent to Big 12 teams that it had been in previous years. Victories over the Jayhawks did not consistently punish their Big 12 opponents, as was routine in the two previous seasons.
  • Big movements that late in the season are particularly unusual, because xHPI scores are averages, and as the denominator (games played) grows, it’s harder to produce big movements in the average.
  • Missouri had one of the strangest seasons that xHPI has recorded. Mizzou started the season playing poorly, and when xHPI’s week 4 rankings were calculated, the Tigers were ranked #119. As they started winning, their ranking improved, but only slightly. But beginning in week 8, they started making bigger movements, including a 20 spot jump in week 10 and a 15 place improvement in week 12.
    Week Rank xHPI Score
    Week 4 119 1684.64
    Week 5 116 1758.83
    Week 6 111 1851.33
    Week 7 109 1963.88
    Week 8 98 2127.16
    Week 9 88 2241.78
    Week 10 68 2398.61
    Week 11 60 2487.32
    Week 12 45 2570.88
    Week 13 50 2532.07
    Week 14 50 2534.4
    Final 57 2471.21

    Big movements that late in the season are particularly unusual, because xHPI scores are averages, and as the denominator (games played) grows, it’s harder to produce big movements in the average.

  • The unusually strong performance of the Big 10 in bowl games (7-1) and the Pac-12’s unusually weak performance (1-8) highlight an effect of how xHPI calculates its ratings of teams. Because it’s based on opponents’ strength, when a majority of a team’s opponents win (or lose), that team’s rating improves (or gets worse). In this case, even Big 10 teams that didn’t play in bowl games had good bowl seasons. While the average non-bowl team saw its score drop by about 2.5 points, the six Big 10 teams that did not play in bowls improved by almost five points, on average. The reverse effect was even more powerful for the Pac-12 teams that did not play in bowls. Those three teams’ scores fell by more than 42 points.
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