Final Rankings, 2016-17

Rank Team Score LW
1 Alabama 3754.77 1
2 Clemson 3461.58 4
3 Michigan 3305.81 2
4 Ohio State 3212.93 3
5 Washington 3163.45 5
6 Wisconsin 3076.67 6
7 LSU 3064.16 7
8 Florida State 3035.27 17
9 Oklahoma 3031.44 12
10 USC 3025.14 9
11 Auburn 2987.67 8
12 Miami, FL 2986.67 15
13 Florida 2972.63 21
14 Louisville 2968.69 10
15 Western Michigan 2922.77 11
16 Virginia Tech 2903.94 20
17 Penn State 2885.52 14
18 Western Kentucky 2879.25 22
19 San Diego State 2871.54 23
20 Texas A&M 2858.22 19
21 Oklahoma State 2849.40 30
22 Colorado 2846.37 13
23 Temple 2818.04 18
24 Boise State 2810.19 16
25 Tennessee 2772.65 32
26 Stanford 2768.14 27
27 Kansas State 2757.09 36
28 Washington State 2750.11 24
29 Appalachian State 2747.63 34
30 South Florida 2743.70 26
31 Memphis 2723.42 25
32 West Virginia 2722.53 29
33 Pittsburgh 2711.68 31
34 BYU 2703.13 37
35 Toledo 2686.50 33
36 Tulsa 2666.48 45
37 North Carolina State 2664.58 52
38 Troy 2657.99 42
39 Houston 2654.15 35
40 Iowa 2649.58 28
41 Mississippi 2645.02 38
42 Air Force 2644.14 41
43 North Carolina 2637.73 40
44 Minnesota 2634.31 44
45 Georgia Tech 2631.26 49
46 Louisiana Tech 2629.71 47
47 Utah 2629.02 39
48 Notre Dame 2622.42 46
49 Arkansas 2590.94 50
50 Colorado State 2589.26 43
51 Northwestern 2574.55 51
52 Central Florida 2566.50 55
53 Baylor 2556.02 57
54 Nebraska 2555.06 48
55 Georgia 2551.89 56
56 Navy 2529.38 54
57 Wyoming 2511.96 53
58 Texas Christian 2434.51 59
59 Texas 2422.68 62
60 Mississippi State 2419.90 60
61 Old Dominion 2418.88 68
62 California 2410.22 64
63 Texas Tech 2409.47 66
64 Vanderbilt 2408.42 58
65 Army 2405.54 63
66 Wake Forest 2387.62 82
67 New Mexico 2386.32 72
68 Ohio 2384.35 61
69 Michigan St. 2349.91 70
70 Eastern Michigan 2340.49 65
71 Arkansas State 2335.16 69
72 Southern Mississippi 2333.82 81
73 UCLA 2330.12 74
74 Georgia Southern 2327.63 76
75 Indiana 2327.24 73
76 Middle Tenneseee 2324.68 67
77 Kentucky 2324.11 71
78 Northern Illinois 2307.79 75
79 Missouri 2307.68 79
80 Texas-San Antonio 2306.42 78
81 Oregon State 2303.91 77
82 Duke 2299.91 83
83 Oregon 2261.48 84
84 Idaho 2255.21 91
85 Arizona State 2252.86 85
86 South Carolina 2244.43 86
87 Iowa State 2223.76 88
88 Central Michigan 2206.08 80
89 Miami, OH 2204.60 87
90 Utah State 2194.65 89
91 SMU 2192.65 90
92 Boston College 2184.06 95
93 South Alabama 2174.26 92
94 Maryland 2127.22 93
95 Louisiana-Lafayette 2116.63 94
96 Syracuse 2113.35 97
97 Ball State 2104.23 96
98 Tulane 2094.09 98
99 East Carolina 2071.58 99
100 Nevada 2065.16 100
101 Georgia State 2050.26 102
102 Cincinnati 2049.17 101
103 UNLV 2046.05 103
104 Akron 2018.94 104
105 Hawaii 2013.46 111
106 Virginia 2013.00 107
107 Arizona 2007.02 106
108 North Texas 2006.41 109
109 Kent State 1984.62 105
110 Bowling Green 1980.28 108
111 Purdue 1958.19 110
112 Massachusetts 1928.34 116
113 Illinois 1924.78 112
114 Florida International 1923.77 113
115 San Jose State 1921.60 115
116 Charlotte 1916.08 114
117 Marshall 1886.18 117
118 UTEP 1871.67 119
119 New Mexico State 1864.99 118
120 Kansas 1862.54 120
121 Rice 1860.06 121
122 Fresno State 1842.31 122
123 Florida Atlantic 1790.73 124
124 Connecticut 1786.89 123
125 Louisiana-Monroe 1785.47 125
126 Buffalo 1757.73 126
127 Rutgers 1616.62 127
128 Texas State 1510.44 128

As I noted last week, xHPI’s gap between Alabama and Clemson was so great going into the national championship game that Clemson would have to beat Alabama in a bigger blowout than they had in the semifinal over Ohio State.  Their narrow victory was not enough to help them overcome Alabama’s huge lead in the rankings; in fact, the way they won–overcoming a ten point deficit in the final quarter–actually hurt their score, since xHPI provides only a small reward for scoring late. As a result, Alabama’s lead over Clemson in the xHPI rankings ended up decreasing by only about 50 points, leaving Clemson in second place.

So, for the first time in more than five years, xHPI’s national champion is not the team that won the national championship game. Does this mean xHPI is flawed? Perhaps.

In the offseason I will explore some tweaks that may improve the rankings. Those tweaks may address what was clearly too great a gap between Alabama and Clemson. In particular, I will consider building in some kind of weighting for later games. I’ve resisted that in the past because I’ve wanted to treat all games as equal, but clearly, xHPI did not adequately account for changes in teams’ abilities over the year. Not only did that affect how xHPI ranked Alabama and Clemson, but it came into play with teams like USC and Penn State, and their opponents (Michigan, in particular, blew out Penn State when they weren’t very good, but got the full credit for beating a top 10 team).

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Rankings through January 2, 2017

Rank Team Score LW Spread Points
1 Alabama 3777.76 1 110.31
2 Clemson 3435.40 4 100.31
3 Michigan 3305.73 2 96.53
4 Ohio State 3212.90 3 93.82
5 Washington 3164.65 5 92.41
6 Wisconsin 3077.43 6 89.86
7 LSU 3070.08 7 89.65
8 Florida State 3036.82 17 88.68
9 Oklahoma 3032.19 12 88.54
10 USC 3026.60 9 88.38
11 Auburn 2992.78 8 87.39
12 Miami, FL 2986.35 15 87.2
13 Florida 2975.96 21 86.9
14 Louisville 2969.27 10 86.7
15 Western Michigan 2923.09 11 85.35
16 Virginia Tech 2904.80 20 84.82
17 Penn State 2886.23 14 84.28
18 Western Kentucky 2879.95 22 84.09
19 San Diego State 2871.54 23 83.85
20 Texas A&M 2863.31 19 83.61
21 Oklahoma State 2849.32 30 83.2
22 Colorado 2847.11 13 83.14
23 Temple 2818.01 18 82.29
24 Boise State 2810.19 16 82.06
25 Tennessee 2775.65 32 81.05
26 Stanford 2769.11 27 80.86
27 Kansas State 2757.86 36 80.53
28 Washington State 2750.49 24 80.31
29 Appalachian State 2748.05 34 80.24
30 South Florida 2743.60 26 80.11
31 Memphis 2724.54 25 79.56
32 West Virginia 2722.53 29 79.5
33 Pittsburgh 2711.48 31 79.18
34 BYU 2703.48 37 78.94
35 Toledo 2686.50 33 78.45
36 Tulsa 2666.47 45 77.86
37 North Carolina State 2664.31 52 77.8
38 Troy 2657.92 42 77.61
39 Houston 2654.06 35 77.5
40 Iowa 2649.88 28 77.38
41 Mississippi 2648.54 38 77.34
42 Air Force 2644.14 41 77.21
43 North Carolina 2637.45 40 77.01
44 Minnesota 2634.31 44 76.92
45 Georgia Tech 2631.67 49 76.84
46 Louisiana Tech 2631.32 47 76.83
47 Utah 2630.09 39 76.8
48 Notre Dame 2622.71 46 76.58
49 Arkansas 2595.39 50 75.79
50 Colorado State 2589.26 43 75.61
51 Northwestern 2574.45 51 75.17
52 Central Florida 2566.50 55 74.94
53 Baylor 2556.02 57 74.64
54 Nebraska 2555.44 48 74.62
55 Georgia 2554.49 56 74.59
56 Navy 2529.38 54 73.86
57 Wyoming 2511.96 53 73.35
58 Texas Christian 2435.15 59 71.11
59 Mississippi State 2424.56 60 70.8
60 Texas 2422.68 62 70.74
61 Old Dominion 2419.19 68 70.64
62 Vanderbilt 2411.58 58 70.42
63 California 2411.03 64 70.4
64 Texas Tech 2409.47 66 70.36
65 Army 2405.49 63 70.24
66 Wake Forest 2387.38 82 69.71
67 New Mexico 2386.32 72 69.68
68 Ohio 2385.00 61 69.64
69 Michigan St. 2349.89 70 68.62
70 Eastern Michigan 2340.49 65 68.34
71 Arkansas State 2335.40 69 68.19
72 Southern Mississippi 2334.76 81 68.18
73 UCLA 2331.16 74 68.07
74 Georgia Southern 2328.45 76 67.99
75 Indiana 2327.18 73 67.95
76 Kentucky 2326.16 71 67.92
77 Middle Tenneseee 2325.16 67 67.89
78 Missouri 2310.09 79 67.45
79 Northern Illinois 2308.15 75 67.4
80 Texas-San Antonio 2306.91 78 67.36
81 Oregon State 2304.31 77 67.29
82 Duke 2299.68 83 67.15
83 Oregon 2262.20 84 66.06
84 Idaho 2255.46 91 65.86
85 Arizona State 2253.63 85 65.81
86 South Carolina 2246.55 86 65.6
87 Iowa State 2223.76 88 64.93
88 Central Michigan 2206.35 80 64.43
89 Miami, OH 2205.66 87 64.41
90 Utah State 2194.91 89 64.09
91 SMU 2192.65 90 64.03
92 Boston College 2183.79 95 63.77
93 South Alabama 2174.52 92 63.5
94 Maryland 2127.18 93 62.11
95 Louisiana-Lafayette 2116.63 94 61.81
96 Syracuse 2112.97 97 61.7
97 Ball State 2104.23 96 61.44
98 Tulane 2094.05 98 61.15
99 East Carolina 2071.45 99 60.49
100 Nevada 2065.16 100 60.3
101 Georgia State 2050.20 102 59.87
102 Cincinnati 2049.17 101 59.84
103 UNLV 2046.05 103 59.74
104 Akron 2019.27 104 58.96
105 Hawaii 2013.46 111 58.79
106 Virginia 2012.77 107 58.77
107 Arizona 2007.94 106 58.63
108 North Texas 2006.86 109 58.6
109 Kent State 1985.01 105 57.96
110 Bowling Green 1980.73 108 57.84
111 Purdue 1958.19 110 57.18
112 Massachusetts 1928.98 116 56.33
113 Illinois 1924.78 112 56.2
114 Florida International 1924.10 113 56.18
115 San Jose State 1921.60 115 56.11
116 Charlotte 1916.06 114 55.95
117 Marshall 1886.27 117 55.08
118 UTEP 1871.67 119 54.65
119 New Mexico State 1865.76 118 54.48
120 Kansas 1862.54 120 54.39
121 Rice 1860.38 121 54.32
122 Fresno State 1842.31 122 53.8
123 Florida Atlantic 1790.94 124 52.3
124 Connecticut 1786.86 123 52.18
125 Louisiana-Monroe 1785.74 125 52.14
126 Buffalo 1757.93 126 51.33
127 Rutgers 1616.93 127 47.21
128 Texas State 1510.70 128 44.11
Home Field Advantage: 3.2699

These rankings reflect the results of every game except the national championship game. Clemson’s blowout victory over Ohio State was strong enough to propel it into the #2 spot, setting up a national championship game matching the top two ranked teams. The ACC’s sweep of bowl games benefitted all conference teams, causing them to experience higher average score increases than teams from other conferences.

Factoring in score points, xHPI favors Alabama over Clemson by exactly ten points. The combined effect of Clemson’s strong performance in the semifinal game and the ACC’s overall bowl success is reflected in the fact that the difference between the two teams at the end of the regular season was 14.15 points. Still, this difference between the two teams is great enough that it will be almost impossible for Clemson to knock Alabama from the #1 spot. Running a quick “what-if” scenario shows that Clemson would have to beat Alabama even more convincingly than they beat Ohio State.

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Bowl Confidence Picks (2016-17)

The bowl games are listed in chronological order. The confidence picks go in descending order, so the highest confidence level is assigned 40 points, and the lowest confidence level gets 1 point.

If any readers are interested in comparing these picks to yours, I have created a group called “xHPI Readers” on the ESPN Capital One Bowl Mania game. That contest will also have you pick the winner of the North Carolina Central-Grambling game (I picked North Carolina Central and assigned it 1 point), and the national championship game (I picked the winner of the Washington-Alabama game, and gave it 36 points, since I have Alabama as a 10.22 winner over Ohio State).

New Mexico New Mexico 4.45 UTSA 17
Las Vegas San Diego State 2.53 Houston 9
Camellia Toledo 0.04 Appalachian State 1
Autonation Cure Central Florida 4.54 Arkansas State 18
New Orleans Southern Miss 1.80 Louisiana Lafayette 7
Miami Beach Tulsa 8.76 Central Michigan 30
Boca Raton W. Kentucky 1.38 Memphis 4
Poinsettia BYU 4.32 Wyoming 15
Idaho Potatoes Colorado State 9.40 Idaho 32
Bahamas Eastern Michigan 0.33 Old Dominion 2
Armed Forces Louisiana Tech 1.77 Navy 6
Dollar General Troy 9.55 Ohio 33
Hawaii Middle Tennessee 9.64 Hawaii 34
St. Petersburg Miss. State 5.49 Miami, OH 20
Quick Lane Maryland 1.07 Boston College 3
Independence NC State 2.82 Vanderbilt 11
Heart of Dallas Army 8.93 North Texas 31
Military Temple 18.03 Wake Forest 40
Holiday Washington State 5.37 Minnesota 19
Cactus Boise State 13.29 Baylor 37
Pinstripe Pittsburgh 4.36 Northwestern 16
Russell Athletic Miami, FL 8.30 West Virginia 26
Foster Farms Utah 8.65 Indiana 28
Texas Texas A&M 8.65 Kansas State 27
Birmingham South Florida 15.47 South Carolina 39
Belk Virginia Tech 8.71 Arkansas 29
Alamo Colorado 6.91 Oklahoma State 25
Liberty Georgia 3.14 TCU 12
Sun Stanford 3.86 North Carolina 13
Music City Tennessee 6.83 Nebraska 24
Arizona Air Force 13.06 South Alabama 36
Orange Michigan 10.22 Florida State 35
Citrus LSU 1.47 Louisville 5
Taxslayer Georgia Tech 6.31 Kentucky 22
Peach Alabama 14.53 Washington 38
Fiesta Ohio State 3.93 Clemson 14
Outback Florida 6.74 Iowa 23
Cotton Wisconsin 2.57 Western Michigan 10
Rose USC 5.93 Penn State 21
Sugar Auburn 2.04 Oklahoma 8
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Rankings through December 10, 2016 (end of regular season)

Rank Team Score LW Spread Points
1 Alabama 3731.54 1 108.96
2 Michigan 3386.51 2 98.89
3 Ohio State 3381.58 3 98.74
4 Clemson 3246.77 4 94.81
5 Washington 3233.82 5 94.43
6 Wisconsin 3088.99 6 90.2
7 LSU 3068.11 7 89.59
8 Auburn 3048.12 8 89.01
9 USC 3046.16 9 88.95
10 Louisville 3017.71 10 88.12
11 Western Michigan 3001.06 11 87.63
12 Oklahoma 2978.38 12 86.97
13 Colorado 2976.55 13 86.92
14 Penn State 2955.20 14 86.29
15 Miami, FL 2935.31 15 85.71
16 Boise State 2928.98 16 85.53
17 Florida State 2924.72 17 85.4
18 Temple 2904.34 18 84.81
19 Texas A&M 2897.85 19 84.62
20 Virginia Tech 2885.47 20 84.26
21 Florida 2884.68 21 84.23
22 Western Kentucky 2836.54 22 82.83
23 San Diego State 2804.32 23 81.89
24 Washington State 2803.35 24 81.86
25 Memphis 2789.46 25 81.45
26 South Florida 2774.56 26 81.02
27 Stanford 2770.23 27 80.89
28 Iowa 2765.81 28 80.76
29 West Virginia 2762.95 29 80.68
30 Oklahoma State 2739.95 30 80.01
31 Pittsburgh 2727.87 31 79.65
32 Tennessee 2726.42 32 79.61
33 Toledo 2722.58 34 79.5
34 Appalachian State 2721.31 35 79.46
35 Houston 2717.92 33 79.36
36 Kansas State 2713.84 36 79.24
37 BYU 2697.49 37 78.77
38 Mississippi 2657.49 38 77.6
39 Utah 2651.11 39 77.41
40 North Carolina 2638.09 40 77.03
41 Air Force 2636.94 42 77
42 Troy 2633.35 41 76.89
43 Colorado State 2624.42 43 76.63
44 Minnesota 2619.64 45 76.49
45 Tulsa 2615.75 44 76.38
46 Notre Dame 2612.50 48 76.29
47 Louisiana Tech 2606.97 46 76.12
48 Nebraska 2604.31 47 76.05
49 Georgia Tech 2592.34 49 75.7
50 Arkansas 2587.49 51 75.55
51 Northwestern 2578.30 52 75.29
52 North Carolina State 2567.19 53 74.96
53 Wyoming 2549.50 54 74.45
54 Navy 2546.12 50 74.35
55 Central Florida 2543.10 55 74.26
56 Georgia 2541.61 56 74.22
57 Baylor 2473.89 57 72.24
58 Vanderbilt 2470.53 58 72.14
59 Texas Christian 2434.18 59 71.08
60 Mississippi State 2423.26 60 70.76
61 Ohio 2418.20 61 70.61
62 Texas 2415.56 62 70.53
63 Army 2409.62 73 70.36
64 California 2407.39 63 70.3
65 Eastern Michigan 2399.68 64 70.07
66 Texas Tech 2396.21 65 69.97
67 Middle Tenneseee 2393.99 66 69.9
68 Old Dominion 2388.38 67 69.74
69 Arkansas State 2387.51 68 69.72
70 Michigan St. 2378.66 69 69.46
71 Kentucky 2376.24 70 69.39
72 New Mexico 2360.82 71 68.94
73 Indiana 2354.83 72 68.76
74 UCLA 2346.36 74 68.51
75 Northern Illinois 2342.06 75 68.39
76 Georgia Southern 2334.66 76 68.17
77 Oregon State 2326.23 77 67.93
78 Texas-San Antonio 2320.66 78 67.76
79 Missouri 2316.94 79 67.65
80 Central Michigan 2315.78 80 67.62
81 Southern Mississippi 2310.66 81 67.47
82 Wake Forest 2287.05 83 66.78
83 Duke 2286.08 84 66.75
84 Oregon 2284.85 82 66.72
85 Arizona State 2267.80 85 66.22
86 South Carolina 2244.96 86 65.55
87 Miami, OH 2235.30 87 65.27
88 Iowa State 2211.75 88 64.58
89 Utah State 2209.74 89 64.52
90 SMU 2194.59 90 64.08
91 Idaho 2190.40 91 63.96
92 South Alabama 2189.66 92 63.94
93 Maryland 2168.65 93 63.32
94 Louisiana-Lafayette 2136.83 94 62.4
95 Boston College 2131.70 95 62.25
96 Ball State 2129.82 96 62.19
97 Syracuse 2097.66 98 61.25
98 Tulane 2094.00 97 61.14
99 East Carolina 2066.42 99 60.34
100 Nevada 2063.71 100 60.26
101 Cincinnati 2057.14 101 60.07
102 Georgia State 2052.71 102 59.94
103 UNLV 2051.11 103 59.89
104 Akron 2038.73 104 59.53
105 Kent State 2013.69 105 58.8
106 Arizona 2012.73 106 58.77
107 Virginia 2012.16 107 58.76
108 Bowling Green 2011.92 108 58.75
109 North Texas 1991.68 109 58.16
110 Purdue 1974.88 110 57.67
111 Hawaii 1951.77 111 56.99
112 Illinois 1944.37 112 56.78
113 Florida International 1925.08 113 56.21
114 Charlotte 1924.19 114 56.19
115 San Jose State 1918.55 115 56.02
116 Massachusetts 1909.85 116 55.77
117 Marshall 1891.89 117 55.24
118 New Mexico State 1873.91 118 54.72
119 UTEP 1865.84 119 54.48
120 Kansas 1855.97 120 54.19
121 Rice 1854.43 121 54.15
122 Fresno State 1828.80 122 53.4
123 Connecticut 1794.67 123 52.4
124 Florida Atlantic 1791.34 124 52.31
125 Louisiana-Monroe 1788.97 125 52.24
126 Buffalo 1778.20 126 51.92
127 Rutgers 1639.13 127 47.86
128 Texas State 1514.99 128 44.24
Home Field Advantage: 3.2699

These rankings are updated to include the result of the Army-Navy game. It is interesting to note the effect of that game upon the standings. Army’s ranking improved ten places, while Navy dropped four spots. Beyond that, a total of 29 teams’ rankings were affected. Teams moved for two reasons:

  • They got bumped up Navy’s move down the rankings, or down by Army’s move up. These teams all should have fallen between #50 and #73 in the rankings.
  • Their scores changed slightly as a result of having played either Army or Navy earlier in the season. For the most part, these teams tended to be between #33 and #90 in the rankings. That appears to be due to the fact that teams generally are more bunched in the middle of the rankings than in the two tails.

In either case, these teams moved only one place in the rankings, with three exceptions: Houston (-2), Notre Dame (+2), and Oregon (-2). Notre Dame played both Army and Navy, Houston played Navy, and Oregon, interestingly, played neither.

Later this week I will post my confidence bowl picks. If any readers are interested in testing their predictions against xHPI’s, I may provide a link to a group contest as part of ESPN’s Capital One Bowl Mania contest.

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Rankings through December 3, 2016

Rank Team Score LW Spread Points
1 Alabama 3731.54 1 108.96
2 Michigan 3386.51 2 98.89
3 Ohio State 3383.07 3 98.79
4 Clemson 3246.06 4 94.78
5 Washington 3233.82 5 94.43
6 Wisconsin 3088.99 6 90.2
7 LSU 3068.11 7 89.59
8 Auburn 3048.12 9 89.01
9 USC 3046.08 10 88.95
10 Louisville 3016.51 11 88.08
11 Western Michigan 3000.06 12 87.6
12 Oklahoma 2979.13 14 86.99
13 Colorado 2976.55 8 86.92
14 Penn State 2956.07 17 86.32
15 Miami, FL 2934.24 15 85.68
16 Boise State 2929.34 18 85.54
17 Florida State 2925.49 16 85.42
18 Temple 2908.54 21 84.93
19 Texas A&M 2897.85 19 84.62
20 Virginia Tech 2885.53 20 84.26
21 Florida 2883.37 13 84.19
22 Western Kentucky 2834.74 22 82.77
23 San Diego State 2804.32 26 81.89
24 Washington State 2803.35 23 81.86
25 Memphis 2797.11 24 81.68
26 South Florida 2781.67 27 81.22
27 Stanford 2769.51 30 80.87
28 Iowa 2765.81 29 80.76
29 West Virginia 2762.95 28 80.68
30 Oklahoma State 2739.95 25 80.01
31 Pittsburgh 2726.70 34 79.62
32 Tennessee 2726.42 33 79.61
33 Houston 2724.61 32 79.56
34 Toledo 2722.58 31 79.5
35 Appalachian State 2721.31 35 79.46
36 Kansas State 2713.84 39 79.24
37 BYU 2697.49 36 78.77
38 Mississippi 2658.52 41 77.63
39 Utah 2651.11 40 77.41
40 North Carolina 2637.31 42 77.01
41 Troy 2633.35 38 76.89
42 Air Force 2630.83 43 76.82
43 Colorado State 2624.83 45 76.64
44 Tulsa 2622.54 44 76.58
45 Minnesota 2619.64 47 76.49
46 Louisiana Tech 2604.95 46 76.06
47 Nebraska 2604.31 49 76.05
48 Notre Dame 2602.90 48 76
49 Georgia Tech 2591.48 51 75.67
50 Navy 2590.11 37 75.63
51 Arkansas 2587.49 50 75.55
52 Northwestern 2577.31 52 75.26
53 North Carolina State 2567.03 53 74.96
54 Wyoming 2549.97 54 74.46
55 Central Florida 2549.54 55 74.45
56 Georgia 2541.61 56 74.22
57 Baylor 2474.11 58 72.24
58 Vanderbilt 2470.53 59 72.14
59 Texas Christian 2435.15 57 71.11
60 Mississippi State 2423.26 60 70.76
61 Ohio 2417.30 62 70.59
62 Texas 2415.03 61 70.52
63 California 2407.39 63 70.3
64 Eastern Michigan 2399.68 67 70.07
65 Texas Tech 2396.21 65 69.97
66 Middle Tenneseee 2392.95 68 69.87
67 Old Dominion 2388.02 66 69.73
68 Arkansas State 2387.51 64 69.72
69 Michigan St. 2378.58 69 69.45
70 Kentucky 2376.24 70 69.39
71 New Mexico 2361.29 71 68.95
72 Indiana 2354.34 72 68.75
73 Army 2349.61 75 68.61
74 UCLA 2346.36 73 68.51
75 Northern Illinois 2341.67 74 68.38
76 Georgia Southern 2334.66 83 68.17
77 Oregon State 2326.23 77 67.93
78 Texas-San Antonio 2318.80 78 67.71
79 Missouri 2316.94 76 67.65
80 Central Michigan 2315.78 80 67.62
81 Southern Mississippi 2308.95 79 67.42
82 Oregon 2284.85 81 66.72
83 Wake Forest 2281.07 82 66.61
84 Duke 2276.88 84 66.48
85 Arizona State 2267.80 85 66.22
86 South Carolina 2245.81 86 65.58
87 Miami, OH 2234.44 87 65.25
88 Iowa State 2211.75 89 64.58
89 Utah State 2210.11 88 64.54
90 SMU 2200.97 90 64.27
91 Idaho 2190.40 97 63.96
92 South Alabama 2189.66 91 63.94
93 Maryland 2168.65 92 63.32
94 Louisiana-Lafayette 2137.65 101 62.42
95 Boston College 2131.38 93 62.24
96 Ball State 2129.03 94 62.17
97 Tulane 2099.77 98 61.31
98 Syracuse 2099.10 96 61.29
99 East Carolina 2072.04 99 60.5
100 Nevada 2062.69 100 60.23
101 Cincinnati 2062.08 102 60.21
102 Georgia State 2052.97 95 59.95
103 UNLV 2051.11 103 59.89
104 Akron 2038.22 104 59.52
105 Kent State 2012.75 108 58.77
106 Arizona 2012.73 107 58.77
107 Virginia 2011.52 105 58.74
108 Bowling Green 2011.30 106 58.73
109 North Texas 1982.67 109 57.89
110 Purdue 1974.88 110 57.67
111 Hawaii 1952.19 111 57
112 Illinois 1944.37 112 56.78
113 Florida International 1924.71 113 56.2
114 Charlotte 1924.25 115 56.19
115 San Jose State 1919.41 114 56.05
116 Massachusetts 1910.63 116 55.79
117 Marshall 1891.26 117 55.22
118 New Mexico State 1873.68 122 54.71
119 UTEP 1861.13 119 54.35
120 Kansas 1856.35 118 54.21
121 Rice 1848.26 121 53.97
122 Fresno State 1830.10 123 53.44
123 Connecticut 1799.43 124 52.54
124 Florida Atlantic 1790.36 125 52.28
125 Louisiana-Monroe 1788.97 120 52.24
126 Buffalo 1770.70 126 51.7
127 Rutgers 1639.13 127 47.86
128 Texas State 1515.24 128 44.25
Home Field Advantage: 3.2636

The playoff selection committee got the only thing that matters right: they selected Alabama for the playoffs. After this week’s games, Alabama widened the gap between itself and the rest of the field. According to xHPI’s calculated point spreads, Alabama would be favored by more than 10 points over any other team. Alabama is so far ahead of any other team that xHPI is confident that they will win the national title, so it is virtually immaterial what other teams are in the playoff.

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Predictions for Games of December 3, 2016

Again, I hope you weren’t relying on my posting my predictions to place bets, since I didn’t post these predictions until after the Friday games were played (of course, all you need to calculate point spreads is right there on the rankings page). Of course, I’ve advised you before not to bet based on my predictions, although that advice is looking less strong now that xHPI has recorded its third straight week of winning predictions (see below).

Here are the predictions:

Favorite Margin Underdog
W. Michigan 17.29 Ohio
Washington 2.46 Colorado
Kansas State 0.64 TCU
Troy 8.05 Georgia Southern
Temple 1.55 Navy
Western Kentucky 8.91 Louisiana Tech
Oklahoma 8.01 Oklahoma State
South Alabama 12.95 New Mexico State
Louisiana-Lafayette 2.92 Louisiana-Monroe
West Virginia 11.72 Baylor
Alabama 21.83 Florida
Idaho 2.89 Georgia State
Arkansas State 23.43 Texas State
San Diego State 3.36 Wyoming
Clemson 10.71 Virginia Tech
Wisconsin 6.01 Penn State

 

As mentioned above, last week was again strong for xHPI’s predictions. xHPI went 33-26-2 against the spread, and 39-22 straight-up. For the three weeks I’ve been tracking predictions, xHPI is 94-78-5 against the spread (54.65%) and 115-62 straight-up (64.97%).

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Rankings through November 26, 2016

Rank Team Score LW Spread Points
1 Alabama 3713.39 1 108.43
2 Michigan 3389.49 3 98.97
3 Ohio State 3384.20 2 98.82
4 Clemson 3256.36 4 95.09
5 Washington 3155.13 9 92.13
6 Wisconsin 3133.71 5 91.5
7 LSU 3078.40 10 89.89
8 Colorado 3070.96 8 89.67
9 Auburn 3064.57 6 89.49
10 USC 3047.65 12 88.99
11 Louisville 3024.36 7 88.31
12 Western Michigan 3010.37 16 87.9
13 Florida 2965.66 11 86.6
14 Oklahoma 2954.48 14 86.27
15 Miami, FL 2940.81 17 85.87
16 Florida State 2937.66 22 85.78
17 Penn State 2927.83 18 85.49
18 Boise State 2919.58 15 85.25
19 Texas A&M 2901.22 13 84.72
20 Virginia Tech 2889.68 21 84.38
21 Temple 2842.15 23 82.99
22 Western Kentucky 2815.81 34 82.22
23 Washington State 2803.74 20 81.87
24 Memphis 2800.15 31 81.76
25 Oklahoma State 2791.63 24 81.52
26 San Diego State 2788.95 19 81.44
27 South Florida 2788.16 29 81.41
28 West Virginia 2776.99 32 81.09
29 Iowa 2774.88 37 81.03
30 Stanford 2772.82 25 80.97
31 Toledo 2729.66 26 79.71
32 Houston 2728.13 33 79.66
33 Tennessee 2727.10 27 79.63
34 Pittsburgh 2726.39 28 79.61
35 Appalachian State 2715.06 38 79.28
36 BYU 2702.73 44 78.92
37 Navy 2677.34 47 78.18
38 Troy 2669.82 43 77.96
39 Kansas State 2656.28 41 77.56
40 Utah 2653.43 42 77.48
41 Mississippi 2653.29 30 77.48
42 North Carolina 2643.02 36 77.18
43 Air Force 2642.77 55 77.17
44 Tulsa 2632.17 40 76.86
45 Colorado State 2630.28 56 76.8
46 Louisiana Tech 2622.42 39 76.57
47 Minnesota 2621.89 48 76.56
48 Notre Dame 2613.06 46 76.3
49 Nebraska 2606.22 35 76.1
50 Arkansas 2599.18 45 75.9
51 Georgia Tech 2586.65 50 75.53
52 Northwestern 2581.13 52 75.37
53 North Carolina State 2575.90 57 75.22
54 Wyoming 2562.38 49 74.82
55 Central Florida 2546.68 51 74.36
56 Georgia 2539.48 53 74.15
57 Texas Christian 2522.64 60 73.66
58 Baylor 2487.24 54 72.63
59 Vanderbilt 2480.10 63 72.42
60 Mississippi State 2431.30 73 70.99
61 Texas 2421.90 59 70.72
62 Ohio 2418.12 65 70.61
63 California 2406.97 78 70.28
64 Arkansas State 2406.67 58 70.27
65 Texas Tech 2399.66 72 70.07
66 Old Dominion 2398.61 66 70.04
67 Eastern Michigan 2396.14 68 69.97
68 Middle Tenneseee 2395.51 64 69.95
69 Michigan St. 2381.55 62 69.54
70 Kentucky 2380.06 69 69.5
71 New Mexico 2364.71 87 69.05
72 Indiana 2358.11 67 68.86
73 UCLA 2355.74 61 68.79
74 Northern Illinois 2344.77 80 68.47
75 Army 2344.57 77 68.46
76 Missouri 2333.80 81 68.15
77 Oregon State 2327.30 84 67.96
78 Texas-San Antonio 2325.99 82 67.92
79 Southern Mississippi 2316.76 89 67.65
80 Central Michigan 2316.34 71 67.64
81 Oregon 2291.17 75 66.9
82 Wake Forest 2285.86 74 66.75
83 Georgia Southern 2282.48 83 66.65
84 Duke 2280.51 79 66.59
85 Arizona State 2274.12 76 66.4
86 South Carolina 2259.67 70 65.98
87 Miami, OH 2240.07 91 65.41
88 Utah State 2217.83 88 64.76
89 Iowa State 2217.65 86 64.76
90 SMU 2206.44 85 64.43
91 South Alabama 2175.23 90 63.52
92 Maryland 2170.30 92 63.37
93 Boston College 2138.62 99 62.45
94 Ball State 2137.20 97 62.41
95 Georgia State 2113.64 96 61.72
96 Syracuse 2104.10 98 61.44
97 Idaho 2101.19 101 61.35
98 Tulane 2097.69 102 61.25
99 East Carolina 2073.74 95 60.55
100 Nevada 2064.46 111 60.28
101 Louisiana-Lafayette 2061.75 107 60.2
102 Cincinnati 2061.27 104 60.19
103 UNLV 2048.99 93 59.83
104 Akron 2036.45 103 59.46
105 Virginia 2018.88 94 58.95
106 Bowling Green 2013.92 105 58.81
107 Arizona 2011.78 113 58.74
108 Kent State 2009.54 106 58.68
109 North Texas 1989.41 100 58.09
110 Purdue 1976.72 110 57.72
111 Hawaii 1959.87 116 57.23
112 Illinois 1948.28 109 56.89
113 Florida International 1926.39 112 56.25
114 San Jose State 1925.90 117 56.24
115 Charlotte 1923.19 115 56.16
116 Massachusetts 1916.99 114 55.98
117 Marshall 1896.49 108 55.38
118 Kansas 1862.16 119 54.38
119 UTEP 1860.72 125 54.33
120 Louisiana-Monroe 1849.94 122 54.02
121 Rice 1849.80 118 54.01
122 New Mexico State 1843.52 121 53.83
123 Fresno State 1834.13 123 53.56
124 Connecticut 1803.37 120 52.66
125 Florida Atlantic 1792.02 124 52.33
126 Buffalo 1770.52 127 51.7
127 Rutgers 1638.33 126 47.84
128 Texas State 1492.48 128 43.58
Home Field Advantage: 3.2619

In the previous two weeks, xHPI’s top four closely resembled the top four in the college football playoff (CFP) standings. But I am confident that when the CFP standings are announced tomorrow (Tuesday), there will not be a lot of similarity to xHPI’s top four.

Alabama will almost certainly be at the top of both rankings. xHPI rates the Crimson Tide now nearly a ten-point favorite over any other team. Clemson is also in xHPI’s hypothetical playoff at #4, and will likely remain in the CFP playoff picture, but probably at higher than #4.

The result of the Michigan-Ohio State game is what creates the likely divergence between xHPI and the CFP standings. Not only does xHPI keep Ohio State and Michigan both in the top four, but Michigan actually leapfrogged Ohio State into the #2 position, despite losing the head-to-head battle. This counter-intuitive result may prompt claims that the system is rigged and demands for a recount.

Since this result appeared strange, I double-checked my calculations, and looked into the numbers to see exactly how this could have happened. Since the game went into overtime, the game scores (refer to the Technical Notes for an explanation) for each team were very close to one another (Ohio State got 52.13 points for the win, compared to Michigan’s 47.87). The initial quality ratings (IQR) of the two teams were very similar, as well, with Ohio State holding a slight edge over Michigan. This means that Michigan’s slightly lower game score could possibly result in a higher rating score for that game when multiplied by Ohio State’s IQR. I thought it might have been possible that the result of the game increased Ohio State’s IQR even more, giving Michigan a bump in the final rating. However, when I looked at the points each team earned for the game (the product of the IQR and the game score), Ohio State earned 3,687.03 points compared to Michigan’s 3,454.02 points. So based on the game alone, both teams’ scores should have increased (each teams’s game result was higher than its average of its previous 11 games). However, despite this high game result, both teams’ scores went down–Michigan’s by 9.19 points, and Ohio State’s by 19.73 points.

Therefore, the game itself had less impact on the standings than did changes to the results of previous games, due to the ever-changing IQRs of each team’s other 11 opponents. Both had drops in their scores, due probably to the outcome of their common Big Ten opponents. Michigan was able to mitigate that drop due to big wins by a couple of its non-conference opponents (most notably Colorado). Ohio State’s signature win was against idle Oklahoma, so their result in this game did not change significantly. That difference alone was likely enough to move Michigan ahead of Colorado.

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