I have been asked to support my reasoning why I have been ranking Clemson above Alabama all year long. My explanation is very simple. It’s all in the data. The “eye test” in which the CFP committee uses, is just a subjective process of what you perceive is reality. Perception is always not reality and reality is not always perception. The difference between reality and perception is in how we view both and use our own cognitive thought process to determine which is real. In sports, the use of highly technical savy Football Predictor Indicators, e.g. ESPN’s FPI, which can be proven as lacking significant evidence as valid and cannot support a 95% efficiency rating as sucessful, based upon prediction percentages in relationship to final outcomes in game results in which they apply these FPI ratings to. The Sagarin Rating system is another analytical rating system that the CFP committee also uses to create thier rankings. This Sagarin system has also been proven by other analytics that the Sagarin system left out qualitative and quantitative variables that need to provide a better rating. Thus both the FPI and Sagarin systems are not valid.
As I answer this question, I use variables to assist in guiding me to a much improved ranking system associated with the professional model theory with criterial assessments to rank. The variables in which I examine and use for my rankings include but not lmiited to; Non-Conference Schedules, FCS Scheduling, Home Field Advantages or Dis-Advantages within the FBS Schedule, Conference Credibility in relationship to Home Field Advantages within the groups Non-Conference Schedule, Number of Away games played, Wins on the road during the Non Conference Games, Number of Home or Away Games in succession to detemine success and advantages plus many more to list. Then I use all those variable and use the Professional Model Theory to rank based upon win loss records, just like the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS. As you can see, there is plenty of data to examone to make a much improved ranking system for college football at the FBS level.
The way I examined the Clemson/Alabama debate is simply this. The data graph below depicts the current 2018 FBS college football season with accurate statistics prior to the November 11, 2018 scheduled games. Please refer to the chart below.
|1||NON CONF AWAY||0|
|3||NON CONF HOME||4|
|(6-2) .750||NON CONF RECORD||(7-4) .636|
|TXAM||NON CONF SCHED||LOU|
|GA STHRN||ARK ST|
|(17-9) .654||NC OPP RECORD||(11-16) .407|
|(58-32) .644||OVRL OPP SCHD REC||(51-48) .515|
|(19-26) .422||CONF OPP SCHD REC||(15-28) .349|
|(65-127) .512||OFF EFFICIENCY||(74-120) .617|
|26||DEF EFF STOPS||22|
|BC (7-2) A||REM. SCHEDULE||MSST (6-3) H|
|DUKE (6-3) H||FCS H|
|SC (5-3) H||AUB (6-3) H|
GRID– RECORD- Current FBS Record during the 2018 FBS College Football Season; FCS Game– Was and Is there a scheduled games versus an FCS Opponent (FCS is Football Championship Division; which means they are the NEXT level down in football classification, not holding FBS status but all their other NCAA sponsored sports play at the Division 1 levels and meets Title IX Requirments). Non Conf Away- Was and or Is their a TRADITIONAL Non Conference Away games scheduled at that FBS programs stadium site during the FBS 2018 College Football season. Non Conf Home– Was and or Is their a TRADITIONAL Non Conference Away games scheduled at that FBS programs stadium site during the FBS 2018 College Football season. Non Conf Record– Combined record of that FBS teams Non Conference scheduled opponents Non Conference record ONLY. Non Conf Sched– That FBS teams schedule non conference games versus those FBS opponents in the 2018 season. NC OPP Record– Combined overall records of that FBS teams scheduled non conference opponents in the 2018 season. OVRL OPP SCHED REC– That FBS teams combined records of all FBS teams scheduled during their 2018 FBS season schedule. CONF OPP SCHED REC- That FBS teams combined records of that FBS teams conference scheduled opponents in the 2018 FBS season. OFF EFFICIENCY- This is the cumulative total of number of offensive possessions during the FBS 2018 season, total number of scoring drives, and total number of offensive possessions. This does includes any scoring that the defense earned in relationship to interception touchdowns, punt return touchdowns, kickoff touchdowns and safeties in which resulted in a score. Defensive 3 Possession Stops– This categorical variable is the ability of the FBS team defense to stop their opponent in 3 SUCCESSIVE possessions WITHOUT their opponent scoring any points. Each 3 SUCCESSFUL defensive possession stops equals 1. The number in parenthesies is the that FBS team rank within the whole group of FBS teams to allow for comparison. Game Control– This is acategorical variable which is determined by the ranked FBS teams ability to win games based upon final outcomes by winning by 21 points or 3 possessions or more. REM SCHEDULE– Remaining Scheduled Games versus FBS and FCS programs and their current opponents records.
To support my data and reasons, please let me explain. The case for Clemson’s rank higher than Alabama is well supported by Clemson playing Texas A&M in College Station, winning and winning on the road. Clemson possesses a higher win loss percentage rate within their Non Conference Schedule compared to Alabama. Clemson scheduled non conference games with FBS opponents that are successful this 2018 FBS season. Where as, Alabama cannot use the excuse of playing a poor non conference schedule as a defense to their mirage like success. The Alabama non conference schedule is significantly weaker than Clemson. Clemson possesses a better defensive stop rate than Alabama versus statistically tougher FBS competition. Offensively, Alabama may be ranked higher than Clemson in offensive efficiency, but Alabama has not really played statistically tough FBS competition. Furtehrmore, Alabama has played a significantly less competitive schedule overall which is supported by the weaker SEC conference scheduled opponents and weaker non conference scheduled opponents success versus other non conference FBS programs.
To conclude, Alabama possesses a lighter remaining schedule with 3 Home games still left to play in better weather climate. In addition to that, Alabama plays a FCS program at the end of the regualr season prior to the annual rivalry game versus Auburn. My prediction, Alabama wins 48-7 versus The Citadel. published research supports this and Alabama will receive praise for the win veruss the FCS program. Clemson still has to play 3 ACC opponents with all 3 FBS ACC opponents combined records being (18-8) and on the road to Boston College in the COLDER weather. This means Clemsons strength of schedule is statistically better than Alabama’s.
To the media experts of the Experts Sports Programming Network and the CFP selection committee; YOU fail to see the other data which supports that Clemson by a few lengths should be ranked higher than Alabama. However, the Experts Sports Programming network is deep in LOVE with the “bride” and cannot see past that. This is called subjective bias. Until Clemson loses, I will ALWAYS rank CLEMSON higher than Alabama.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me via twitter @cfbpoexpert and I will reply as quick as I can.
Always rememeber if you use, say or verbalize anything from my posts, please adhere to MLA/APA rules and cite your source.