College Football Playoffs–The Power Rated Version

Now that we have the NCAA football playoff power rankings, version 2.0 out, I made some time to go update my preseason power ratings for the teams in the CFP Top 25.

This is not a look at resumes, or a debate over deserving, but a look at what the spreads would be in hypothetical matchups.

First, the ratings.

IAWCFPTopRating
11Georgia99.9
22Alabama96.3
34Ohio St95.5
46Michigan86.7
58Oklahoma86.7
610Oklahoma St85.6
711Texas A&M85.6
85Cincinnati85.0
9NRIowa St84.7
1018Wisconsin84.3
11NRPenn St83.9
1221Pittsburgh83.8
1315Ole Miss83.5
1417Auburn83.2
159Notre Dame83.1
16NRClemson83.0
173Oregon82.8
1824Utah81.9
1916NC State81.0
2013Baylor80.6
2120Iowa80.5
227Michigan St.80.5
2325Arkansas80.0
2412Wake Forest78.8
2519Purdue76.3
2614BYU75.2
2723UTSA73.2
2822San Diego St71.9
Courtesy: redandblack.com

The first column is where they rank in my power ratings. The second column is where they rank in the CFP rankings. The number on the right is their raw power rating. To figure a spread, subtract one rating from the other. Example: Georgia would be a 3.6-point favorite over Alabama, 4.4-point favorite over Ohio St. and so on.

The debate for a few weeks now has been whether Cincinnati deserves to be in as the top ranked Group of Five. As you can see above, there are seven teams I suspect would be favored over Cincinnati in a mythical matchup, albeit Oklahoma St and Texas A&M would probably be a pick’em on a neutral. Funny enough, unranked Iowa St might be as well.

As for the Michigan vs. Michigan St debate with the Wolverines getting seeded ahead of Sparty despite the head-to-head, well you can see my power ratings have a clear favorite there. In fact, they see Oregon and Michigan State both as vastly overrated in CFP rankings. Sparty was upset about getting put behind Michigan, because, well, Michigan. Yet they would likely go off as underdogs to three unranked teams–Iowa St, Penn St and Clemson. I suspect Michigan being better than MSU was not the reason they did that however. It feels like establishing precedent for taking Ohio State over Oregon.

Again, this is not a prediction of who will get in, or even who should, but who the best rated teams are. So when Cincinnati gets in and faces Georgia or Alabama, expect a 13- to 14-point spread or so.

That being said, I still expect this to shake out to Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Because it always looks something like that, no matter how much we root for chaos.

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