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For the last couple of years, I have introduced the first edition of the College Football SRS Ratings after five weeks.  So with five weeks in the books, it’s time to release the first college football ratings. And while it’s too early to put too much weight on these ratings, they help to at least begin framing the discussion of which are the most impressive teams in college football.  As a reminder, here is the methodology:

1) For each game not played at a neutral site, 3 points are given to the road team. After that adjustment, all wins and losses of between 7 and 24 points are recorded exactly as such. This means that a 24-10 road win goes down as +17 for the road team, -17 for the home team.

2) With one exception, wins of 7 or fewer points are scored as 7-point wins and losses of 7 or fewer points are scored as 7 point losses. So a 4-point home win goes down as +7 (and not a 1) and a 1-point home loss is a -7 (and not a -4). The one exception is that road losses of 3 or fewer (and home wins of 3 or fewer) are graded as ties. So a 21-20 home victory goes down as a 0 for both teams.

3) Wins/Losses of more than 24 points are scored as the average between the actual number and 24. This is to avoid giving undue credit to teams that run up the score. So a 75-point home win goes down as a 48-point win.

Once we have a rating for each team in each game, we then adjust each result for strength of schedule. This is an iterative process, where we adjust the ratings hundreds of times (to adjust for SOS, you have to adjust for the SOS of each opponent, and the SOS of each opponent’s opponent, and so on.) in Excel. Then we produce final ratings, where the SRS rating is the sum of the Margin of Victory and Strength of Schedule in every week.

After five weeks, what are the results? As usual, the table is fully searchable (type “-0” for example, to see a list of undefeated teams, SEC to see all SEC teams, or ACC-Coas if you really want to see how the ACC Coastal is doing). Right now, the number one team is Ohio State, followed by Michigan, and then Alabama.  This time last year, Alabama was the #1 team in the SRS despite already having one loss; that turned out to be pretty prescient, as the Crimson Tide wound up winning the national championship.

For the Buckeyes? They are 4-0, with an average (adjusted) Margin of Victory of 35.1 points per game (unadjusted, it’s 47.75) against an average opponent that is 36.2 points better than average (average includes all football teams at all levels, so all FBS teams will have a positive grade). Below are the ratings for all 128 FBS teams.

As always thanks to Dr. Peter R. Wolfe for providing the weekly game logs.

RkTeamConfDivConf RkGMOVSOSSRSREC
1Ohio StateB10B10-East1435.136.271.34-0
2MichiganB10B10-East2524.146.470.55-0
3AlabamaSECSEC-West1525.34166.35-0
4ClemsonACCACC-Atl151747.864.85-0
5LouisvilleACCACC-Atl2524.639.163.74-1
6Texas A&MSECSEC-West2520.441.762.15-0
7HoustonAmerAmer-West1526.533.860.35-0
8Miami FLACCACC-Coas3429.130.759.94-0
9WashingtonP12P12-North152633.359.35-0
10WisconsinB10B10-West351345.958.94-1
11MississippiSECSEC-West359.249.458.63-2
12Florida StACCACC-Atl455.552.357.83-2
13AuburnSECSEC-West459.447.556.93-2
14Western MichiganMACMAC-West1523.132.9565-0
15LSUSECSEC-West556.448.755.13-2
16TennesseeSECSEC-East659.845.2555-0
17Virginia TechACCACC-Coas5415.83954.73-1
18OklahomaB12B12142.452.354.62-2
19North CarolinaACCACC-Coas659.743.853.54-1
20StanfordP12P12-North241.651.753.43-1
21ColoradoP12P12-South3517.935.453.34-1
22Washington StP12P12-North4410.940.451.32-2
23NebraskaB10B10-West4516.234.8515-0
24Kansas StB12B122414.136.850.92-2
25UCLAP12P12-South554.84650.83-2
26South FloridaAmerAmer-East2516.733.950.64-1
27Boise StMWCMWC-Mntn141436.250.24-0
28FloridaSECSEC-East7514.635.249.84-1
29West VirginiaB12B12348.341.549.84-0
30ToledoMACMAC-West2420.928.849.63-1
31Georgia TechACCACC-Coas753.245.648.83-2
32Central FloridaAmerAmer-East359.138.747.83-2
33MemphisAmerAmer-West4418.52947.53-1
34TCUB12B12459.13847.13-2
35TroySUNSun151828.546.54-1
36BaylorB12B125520.22646.25-0
37Texas TechB12B126416.529.646.13-1
38North Carolina StACCACC-Atl8416.429.746.13-1
39Southern CalP12P12-South65-1.747.7462-3
40Brigham YoungINDInd15-1.446.745.32-3
41ArkansasSECSEC-West859.835.2454-1
42MarylandB10B10-East5424.520.444.94-0
43Air ForceMWCMWC-Mntn2415.429.544.84-0
44PittsburghACCACC-Coas954.84044.83-2
45OregonP12P12-North75340.643.62-3
46Oklahoma StB12B12758.934.743.63-2
47Mississippi StSECSEC-West943.839.643.32-2
48Appalachian StSUNSun250.842.543.33-2
49UtahP12P12-South858.235.143.34-1
50IowaB10B10-West658.834.443.23-2
51GeorgiaSECSEC-East105-3.446.643.23-2
52TulsaAmerAmer-West548.534.5433-1
53Penn StateB10B10-East75-1.24442.83-2
54NavyAmerAmer-West648.632.941.53-1
55CaliforniaP12P12-North95437.541.53-2
56Wake ForestACCACC-Atl1055.635.841.44-1
57Georgia SouthernSUNSun3410.13141.13-1
58Arizona StP12P12-South1056.434.540.94-1
59Boston CollegeACCACC-Atl115634.540.53-2
60ArizonaP12P12-South115-2.442.640.22-3
61ArmyINDInd2417.922.340.23-1
62MissouriSECSEC-East1156.733.239.92-3
63NorthwesternB10B10-West85-241.739.72-3
64South CarolinaSECSEC-East125-3.443.139.72-3
65Southern MissCUSACUSA-West1516.323.439.74-1
66VanderbiltSECSEC-East135-3.242.639.42-3
67San Diego StMWCMWC-West348.830.2393-1
68TempleAmerAmer-East7510.228.538.73-2
69Western KentuckyCUSACUSA-East257.830.838.63-2
70MinnesotaB10B10-West949.928.638.53-1
71Louisiana TechCUSACUSA-West35533382-3
72Michigan StB10B10-East104-0.638.537.92-2
73TulaneAmerAmer-West855.232.537.73-2
74IndianaB10B10-East1145.83237.73-1
75Central MichiganMACMAC-West353.333.837.13-2
76AkronMACMAC-East452.334.336.63-2
77East CarolinaAmerAmer-East95-4.84136.22-3
78Middle Tennessee StCUSACUSA-East4513.622.335.94-1
79Notre DameINDInd354.831.135.92-3
80TexasB12B12841.433.935.32-2
81IllinoisB10B10-West124-7.142.435.21-3
82South AlabamaSUNSun45-0.635.735.13-2
83Ohio U.MACMAC-East556.228.8353-2
84KentuckySECSEC-East145-8.44334.62-3
85Utah StMWCMWC-Mntn45-1.335.834.52-3
86WyomingMWCMWC-Mntn554.628.833.43-2
87CincinnatiAmerAmer-East105-1.134.233.13-2
88DukeACCACC-Coas1250.231.932.12-3
89Iowa StB12B1295-7.138.931.81-4
90RutgersB10B10-East135-8.239.731.52-3
91VirginiaACCACC-Coas135-1.432.831.42-3
92Old DominionCUSACUSA-East554.826.531.33-2
93SyracuseACCACC-Atl145-8.138.930.82-3
94Louisiana-MonroeSUNSun54-13.443.730.31-3
95Ball StMACMAC-West655.424.830.23-2
96Oregon StP12P12-North124-7.437.329.91-3
97Georgia StSUNSun64-14.644.329.70-4
98Louisiana-LafayetteSUNSun75-4.834.129.32-3
99Hawai`iMWCMWC-West65-9.138.1292-3
100ConnecticutAmerAmer-East115-8.337.3292-3
101UNLVMWCMWC-West752.526.428.92-3
102MassachusettsINDInd45-9.63828.41-4
103Texas St-San MarcosSUNSun84-10.338.127.92-2
104New MexicoMWCMWC-Mntn84621.827.82-2
105MarshallCUSACUSA-East64-6.934.327.41-3
106Kent StMACMAC-East75-9.73727.31-4
107Northern IllinoisMACMAC-West85-9.635.926.31-4
108Colorado StMWCMWC-Mntn95-6.332.426.12-3
109SMUAmerAmer-West125-9.33525.72-3
110Arkansas StSUNSun94-1843.125.10-4
111Eastern MichiganMACMAC-West956.31824.34-1
112Florida AtlanticCUSACUSA-East75-12.636.824.21-4
113IdahoSUNSun105-17.140.523.42-3
114Fresno StMWCMWC-West105-12.534.722.21-4
115Miami OHMACMAC-East105-11.633.822.20-5
116San José StMWCMWC-West115-11.332.821.51-4
117KansasB12B12104-10.331.721.51-3
118Texas-San AntonioCUSACUSA-West84-3.824.720.91-3
119NevadaMWCMWC-West125-726.419.42-3
120New Mexico StSUNSun115-11.330.619.32-3
121North TexasCUSACUSA-West95-6.925.818.92-3
122PurdueB10B10-West144-725.818.82-2
123RiceCUSACUSA-West105-18.236.718.50-5
124Florida Int'lCUSACUSA-East115-18.236.618.41-4
125BuffaloMACMAC-East114-14.131.517.41-3
126Bowling GreenMACMAC-East125-24.34015.71-4
127UNC-CharlotteCUSACUSA-East125-17.632.414.81-4
128UTEPCUSACUSA-West135-19.834.514.71-4
  • The Big 10 is back, with an asterisk: Ohio State and Michigan look excellent, and Wisconsin is still in the top ten after falling, 14-7, to Michigan on Saturday. The downside? Michigan State, Penn State, and Iowa all look pretty bad this year.
  • Alabama, A&M, Ole Miss, Auburn, and even LSU crack the top 15. Not only are those five in the SEC, but those teams are all in the same division of the SEC. The first SEC East team is Tennessee at #16, and Arkansas and Mississippi State still rank in the top 50, meaning all seven teams in the SEC West are at least decent.
  • Notre Dame ranks 79th. So there’s that.
  • In the Pac-12, Washington is living up to its preseason hype, but the story may be Colorado, leaders in the Pac-12 South. The Buffaloes have been so bad for so long, but this year, CU is 4-1 with the only loss coming to Michigan.
  • In the ACC, Clemson and Louisville are great (and just staged a classic on Saturday night), but don’t sleep on Miami: the Hurricanes currently rank 8th in the SRS.
  • The Big 12 looks really bad this year. West Virginia and Baylor are the only remaining undefeated teams, and neither crack the top 25. The other B12 heavies (Oklahoma, Kansas State, TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas)
  • In non-Power 5 news, yeah, Houston has been the story. But guess what: Western Michigan is 5-0 and ranks 14th in the SRS. The MAC looks pretty bad this year other than Toledo, and that’s the last game on the WMU schedule. Note that the 5-0 record includes road wins against two Big Ten teams, Northwestern and Illinois. This isn’t just crazy SRS talk: the Broncos just snuck into the rankings for the first time in school history.

What stands out to you?

  • vfefrenzy

    I’m assuming that contrary to the rule stated in paragraph 1 of the methodology, home wins of 8 or 9 points are scored at +7 to the home team. Otherwise a 9 point win at home would be worth less than a 4 point win at home.

    Also, my Vols go from a 39 in the first half to a 59.8 in the second half. If you take out the Virginia Tech game, where the Vols scored 24 straight in the 2nd quarter after going down 14-0, the Vols splits become even more stark. They go from 34.95 to 60.7, which is basically going from Ohio to Houston. That is ridiculous.