OFR College Football Rankings, Week 10

Previous College Football Rankings:
10/5/15

10/12/15

10/19/15

10/26/15

What this ranking is: A ranking of team resumes so far. It’s a combination of many things – avoiding losses is the most important thing, as winning is the name of the game. Unique wins are a good thing, too – being the only team to beat another carries a lot of weight. Being one of two to beat another carries weight, but less. If the losses come to undefeated teams, that matters. And if they didn’t, how many losses the teams that beat you have piled up matter. Also, to a lesser extent, how you won and lost matters – blowouts, close wins, close losses – there are adjustments for all these. But it’s a look at what you’ve done in a vacuum separate from perceptions we hold about CFB teams. This isn’t in awe of Ohio State because of what Ohio State did last year, who coaches the Buckeyes, or the collection of talent on the roster. This is 100% score-based.

What this ranking is not: It’s NOT a measure of the best teams in the country. Try ESPN’s FPI or Football Outsiders’ F/+ rankings for really good measures of the best teams. This ranking is also not predictive – again, try those. A higher ranked team in this list isn’t suggested to be capable of beating a lower ranked team. That is not what this is. There’s an instinct people have to change all rankings into what they want rankings to be, and that’s an easy trap to fall into with OFR’s. “Man, ain’t no way [team ranked #15] is better than [team ranked #30]!” “[Team ranked #20] would destroy [team ranked #10]!” If you have either reaction, or anything similar, you need to re-read this section of the post. It’s just a look at resume, because at the end of the year, that’s what matters most. FSU wasn’t one of the 4 best teams in the country in 2014, but the Seminoles had one of the 4 best resumes, so they made the playoffs.

 

The Bottom Fourth (#’s 128-97)

Wyoming may not be any good, but RB Brian Hill is. Through 9 games, he has 1262 rushing yards. (<a rel=

128. Wyoming (1-8)
127. UCF (0-9)
126. Eastern Michigan (1-8)
125. Miami OH (1-8)
124. North Texas (1-7)
123. New Mexico State (1-7)
122. UL-Monroe (1-7)
121. Charlotte (2-6)
120. Hawaii (2-7)
119. Massachusetts (1-7)
118. Fresno State (2-6)
117. UTSA (1-7)
116. UTEP (3-5)
115. Kansas (0-8)
114. FIU (4-5)
113. SMU (1-7)
112. Florida Atlantic (2-6)
111. Idaho (3-5)
110. Old Dominion (3-5)
109. Tulane (2-6)
108. Ball State (3-6)
107. UNLV (2-6)
106. Oregon State (2-6)
105. Georgia State (2-5)
104. Colorado State (3-5)
103. New Mexico (4-4)
102. Wake Forest (3-6)
101. South Alabama (3-4)
100. Army (2-6)
99. Troy (2-6)
98. Connecticut (4-5)
97. Purdue (2-6)

Not Good (#’s 96-65)

96. San Jose State (4-4)
95. Middle Tennessee State (3-5)
94. Boston College (3-6)
93. Colorado (4-5)
92. UL-Lafayette (3-4)
91. Texas State (2-5)
90. East Carolina (4-5)
89. Vanderbilt (3-5)
88. Maryland (2-6)
87. Kent State (3-5)
86. Nevada (4-4)
85. Rice (4-4)
84. Nebraska (3-6)
83. Akron (3-5)
82. Virginia (3-5)
81. Syracuse (3-5)
80. Tulsa (4-4)

Tulsa - Zack Langer
79. Buffalo (4-4)
78. Kentucky (4-4)
77. South Florida (4-4)
76. Arizona (5-4)
75. Missouri (4-4)
74. Illinois (4-4)
73. Virginia Tech (4-5)
72. South Carolina (3-5)
71. Minnesota (4-4)
70. Utah State (5-3)
69. Ohio (5-3)
68. Rutgers (3-5)
67. Georgia Tech (3-6)
66. Southern Mississippi (6-3)
65. Auburn (4-4)

 

Not Bad (#’s 64-26)

64. Air Force (5-3)
63. Arizona State (4-4)
62. Iowa State (3-5)
61. Indiana (4-4)
60. Arkansas (4-4)
59. Central Michigan (5-4)
58. Northern Illinois (5-3)
57. Arkansas State (5-3)
56. San Diego State (6-3)
55. Washington (4-4)
54. Texas (3-5)
53. Kansas State (3-4)
52. NC State (5-3)
— James Madison (7-2)
51. Louisiana Tech (6-3)
50. Georgia (5-3)
49. Louisville (4-4)
48. Western Michigan (5-3)
47. Georgia Southern (6-2)
46. Boise State (7-2)
45. California (5-3)
44. Miami (5-3)
43. Duke (6-2)
42. Tennessee (4-4)
41. Texas Tech (5-4)
40. West Virginia (3-4)
39. Cincinnati (5-3)
38. Oregon (5-3)
37. Washington State (5-3)
36. BYU (6-2)
35. Bowling Green (6-2)
34. Marshall (8-1)
33. Pittsburgh (6-2)
32. UCLA (6-2)
31. Western Kentucky (7-2)
30. Penn State (7-2)
29. Texas A&M (6-2)
28. USC (5-3)
27. Navy (6-1)
26. Wisconsin (7-2)

USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
USC WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Really Good (#’s 25-5)

25. Florida State (7-1) 
Signature Wins: Miami
Change: -1
After weeks of piddling along, weeks that culminated with a strange loss to one of the ACC’s worst teams, FSU finally looked like they are supposed to look in a 45-21 win over Syracuse. Dalvin Cook is still the country’s most explosive running back, averaging 16.1 yards per carry on plays that go at least 5 yards. FSU’s schedule so far has been wildly uninteresting, but that changes this week, when college football gets very serious about things.
This Week: at Clemson

24. Mississippi State (6-2)
Signature Wins: Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss
Change: -1
The Bulldogs didn’t even play, but drop thanks to Auburn and Kentucky both losing. They should have win #8 in the bag this weekend, but after that things get tough.
This Week: at Missouri (Thursday)

23. Appalachian State (7-1)
Signature Wins: Georgia Southern
Change: -1
App State deserves to have dropped much more than one spot, considering they let Troy take them to overtime. It’s one of the most surprising results of the season, up with Georgia Tech beating FSU and South Carolina beating UNC. Saturday’s App State team probably loses against 70 or so FBS teams, but luckily were playing Troy.
This Week: vs. Arkansas State (Thursday)

22. North Carolina (7-1)
Signature Wins: Pittsburgh
Change: +3
The Tar Heels seem to be getting more consistent as the year goes on, and with the win over Pitt last Thursday, they’ve set themselves up to win the Coastal. Finishing with Duke, Miami, VT, and NC State, pretty much any scenario over the last 4 games is possible. Good thing they’ve found that consistency.
This Week: vs. Duke

UNC and QB Marquise Williams are trying to run as far away from the opening loss to South Carolina as possible. (Robert Willett - News Observer)
UNC and QB Marquise Williams are trying to run as far away from the opening loss to South Carolina as possible. (Robert Willett – News Observer)

21. Ole Miss (7-2)
Signature Wins: Alabama, Texas A&M
Change: none
The Ole Miss roller coaster continues. After a September where Ole Miss was consistently good, October has seen wild fluctuations in their performance, looking awful against Florida, great against New Mexico State, average against Memphis, great again against Texas A&M, and just ok against Auburn. I think they can survive another mood swing this weekend, but after that, the fighting Ackbars need to be on point to finish the season against LSU and the bell ringers down the road.
This Week: vs. Arkansas

20. Oklahoma (7-1)
Signature Wins: none
Change: -1
Oklahoma plays their first true quality opponent, of 3 total, on November 14. The next time we do these rankings, Oklahoma STILL won’t have a signature win to claim. The Big 12 is silly.
This Week: vs. Iowa State

19. Temple (7-1)
Signature Wins: Penn State, Cincinnati
Change: -4
I have to admit, Temple kept it closer than I expected, losing to Notre Dame by a score of 24-20. They only dropped 4 spots, because Temple wasn’t artificially propped up by its zero in the loss column. They’ve played and beaten some good teams, and kept things close this weekend against a very good Notre Dame squad. This isn’t 2014 Marshall. Temple’s good, they’re schedule is pretty good, and they don’t need 10 blowouts to get respect. The playoffs are now a near impossibility, but a major bowl is still in the cards.
This Week: at SMU (Friday)

18. Northwestern (6-2)
Signature Wins: Stanford, Duke
Change: -5
The Northwestern slide continues, and it continues to be slower than expected. Duke finally lost a game (well, according to some referees who were suspended for thinking that), which took longer than we thought. Stanford still hasn’t lost again, which is something of a surprise but not a major one. Iowa is still unbeaten, so that helps. I think Northwestern still has at least one more loss in front of them, with Wisconsin and Penn State both on the schedule. In short, Northwestern may still be ranked, but they’re on their way out of the top 25.
This Week: vs. Penn State

17. Utah (7-1)
Signature Wins: Michigan, Oregon, Cal, Utah State
Change: -1
Utah has a really nice resume except for a loss by multiple scores to a 3-loss team. I think we’re all aware of how good USC is capable of being, but it still throws a wrench into Utah’s year. Utah should be a good bet for at least 9 wins, and if they get more, expect to see them in play for a big bowl.
This Week: at Washington

16. Toledo (7-0)
Signature Wins: Arkansas State
Change: +4
We arrive at our lowest ranked undefeated team. Toledo’s schedule so far is the least impressive, with only Arkansas State having less than 4 losses, and Arkansas being the only Power 5 team with less than 5 (and Toledo won that by only 4 points). It’s a bit of a gauntlet from here on out for Toledo (as much a gauntlet as the MAC can provide, at least), so they’re no cinch for 13-0. Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Bowling Green (probably twice) are 4 of the MAC’s 5 other best teams, so Toledo could certainly be in for a 4-1 or even 3-2 finish. They’re capable, but it will be tough.
This Week: vs. Northern Illinois (Tuesday!)

 

Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah might be the nation's best. (Jason Elmquist)
Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah might be the nation’s best. (Jason Elmquist)

15. Oklahoma State (8-0)
Signature Wins: none
Change: +2
Oklahoma State edges Toledo because the bad teams they’ve beaten were at least Power 5 teams. That’s pretty much it. Texas Tech gave a bit of a scare, but it was nothing new for OSU. They’ve played Texas, Kansas State, and West Virginia close already. None of those teams are particularly good, and I’m not really convinced Oklahoma State is either. When you think Big 12, you probably think offense, but the player to watch on this team is DE Emmanuel Ogbah, who has 13.5 TFL/sacks and 2 fumble forces. The 6-4, 275 lb lineman will be playing on Sundays next fall, I think. As for OSU, they actually have to play somebody this weekend.
This Week: vs. TCU

14. Houston (8-0)
Signature Wins: none
Change: +4
Beating Vanderbilt isn’t a major accomplishment (sorry, Georgia), but the way in which Houston beat Vanderbilt over the weekend was. Vandy hadn’t given up many touchdowns this year, losing games 14-12 or 19-10. Houston shellacked the Commodores 34-0 in one of their best efforts of the year. They’ll have to face the other 3 best AAC teams – Memphis, Temple, and Navy – if they want to get there, but 13-0 is starting to look like a real possibility.
This Week: vs. Cincinnati

13. Stanford (7-1)
Signature Wins: UCLA, USC, Washington State
Change: +1
The Christian McCaffrey
Heisman campaign really needs to infiltrate the East Coast, because it’s one worth following. McCaffrey has 175 carries for 1060 yards, a 6.1 average. He is also somehow Stanford’s leader in targets (31), catches (25), and receiving yards (310). He’s averaging 10 yards per target, which is a really good number for a downfield receiver, much less a running back. He’s also the primary kick returner. And punt returner. The TDs in particular may not wow you, but just keep this in mind – Stanford has one of the very best offenses in the country, and few offenses have relied more on a single non-QB than Stanford has on Christian McCaffrey. He’s good, and you should be watching him every opportunity you get.
This Week: at Colorado

12. TCU (8-0)
Signature Wins: none
Change: none
TCU’s season is finally ready to kick off. Good luck in 2015, Horned Frogs!
This Week: at Oklahoma State

11. Baylor (7-0)
Signature Wins: none
Change: -5
1. Why Baylor over TCU? TCU has had a couple of close calls, beating Texas Tech 55-52 and Kansas State 52-45. Also, Baylor has more blowouts (wins of at least 21 points), with 6 to TCU’s 3.
2. Why the 5 spot drop for Baylor after an off week? Rice and Texas Tech both lost, and both were Baylor’s best wins, but it was mostly just other teams moving up when Baylor had no opportunity to do so. There’s not a ton of separation in this area of the rankings, so every win or loss can matter in some way.
This Week: at Kansas State (Thursday)

10. Memphis (8-0)
Signature Wins: Ole Miss, Bowling Green, Cincinnati
Change: -2
Because of their undefeated status, I think everyone is just circling Memphis/Houston on November 14 on the calendar as the only potential loss for either, but this weekend poses threatening games for both. Houston hosts Cincinnati, a popular preseason pick to win the AAC East, while Memphis hosts Navy, a 6-1 team whose only loss is to a very good Notre Dame team. The AAC has a real chance of Memphis or Houston handing the other its second straight loss. We’re all rooting for continued winning, because unlike Marshall from a year ago, a team like Memphis actually has a few quality wins to get playoff attention.
This Week: vs. Navy

9. Michigan (6-2)
Signature Wins: BYU, Northwestern
Change: +1
The Wolverines move up by not dropping. It’s a weird way to say it, but Michigan’s score in the rankings really didn’t change much. They got a minor bump for beating Minnesota (a bump that’s likely to go away), and they got a slight deduction for it being such a close game. Little movement or the Wolverines, like I said, and they moved up mostly due to the movement of other teams. I could see them finishing around this spot. On one hand, Utah, Michigan State, Northwestern, and others could lose, hurting Michigan’s schedule considerably. But on the other, Michigan is really good, and they could dominate the next three games and possibly beat Ohio State as well. In that case, it’ll probably even out.
This Week: vs. Rutgers

8. Michigan State (8-0)
Signature Wins: Michigan, Oregon, Western Michigan, Air Force
Change: -1
This is the team Iowa is rooting for in the East, because Michigan State is a good football team, but it’s not a great one like Ohio State. The Spartans are 8-0, but the season has really boiled down to one game – the Michigan game, won on a fluke at the last second. Every other opponent on MSU’s schedule is outside the top 40 of the FBS, and their 3 point win at home against Oregon is more a red flag at this point than the feather in the cap we thought at the time. They’ll have more chances to impress, but it’ll come very late.
This Week: at Nebraska

Michigan State QB Connor Cook (Photo: Mike Carter, USA Today Sports)
Michigan State QB Connor Cook
(Photo: Mike Carter, USA Today Sports)

7. Florida (7-1)
Signature Wins: Ole Miss, Georgia
Change: +2
Let’s talk Florida next week. I’m still not ready. Suffice to say the weekend’s result was completely disheartening and completely expected.
This Week: vs. Vanderbilt

6. Notre Dame (7-1)
Signature Wins: Navy, Temple, USC
Change: +5
The schedule is finally starting to do some favors for the Irish, despite the best efforts of Texas and Georgia Tech. The last 4 games have really been great ones for Notre Dame, and that includes the 24-22 loss to Clemson. Notre Dame might be the 2nd best team in the country. I don’t think they are, but if Clemson is the best, as many are starting to think, and Notre Dame basically played them equally for 4 quarters, at Clemson, I think there’s an argument to be made there. If Notre Dame wins out, I think they’ll be in the playoffs. I just can’t see the committee rejecting a team that beat USC, Navy, Temple, Pitt, and Stanford, with its only loss being by 2 on the road at another (likely) playoff team’s home stadium.
This Week: at Pittsburgh

5. Alabama (7-1)
Signature Wins: Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Georgia
Change: -1
The silver lining in Georgia’s loss over the weekend was that it weakened Alabama’s resume just enough to knock it outside the top 4. Alabama will have no problem returning to the top 4 if they keep winning, but it’s fun to see them outside the party for at least one week.
This Week: vs. LSU

 

The Four

4. Ohio State (8-0)
Signature Wins: Penn State, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois
Change: +1

I’m not sure, and I’d have to check, but I think this is Ohio State’s first ever entry into my top 4, and I did rankings last year. I didn’t do them after the season, because the point is determining teams’ playoff resumes. Ohio State would’ve definitely been top 2 at that point, along with TCU, my #1 team going into the postseason. Last year the Buckeyes were always right outside the top 4, thanks mostly to an embarrassing week 2 loss to Virginia Tech. While I don’t particularly like OSU, it’s nice to see them finally in the top 4, because now my objective ranking system can finally shed its “HATER” label. They should cruise to 10-0, but if Ohio State is to win another championship, they’ll have the toughest final 5 games of the season: vs Michigan State, at Michigan, Big Ten Championship (vs Iowa, most likely), Playoff round 1, National Championship. I’ll be very surprised if Ohio State wins all 5 of those games.
This week: vs. Minnesota

3. Iowa (8-0)
Signature Wins: Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Northwestern
Change: -1

Now that Georgia is officially done and Utah’s on the outside looking in, I’m now rooting for Iowa among the top teams. If I can’t enjoy this season, no one else should be able to either, and there’s nothing less enjoyable than the concept of “National Champion Hawkeyes”.
This week: at Indiana

2. LSU (7-0)
Signature Wins: Florida, Mississippi State, Western Kentucky
Change: -1

Ignore the drop, which was due to a bye week. Ignore pretty much everything other than this Saturday’s action in Tuscaloosa. It’s the biggest game in this series since 2011, and probably one of the 5 biggest in the rivalry’s history.
This week: at Alabama

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (Photo: Tigernet.com)
Clemson QB Deshaun Watson (Photo: Tigernet.com)

1. Clemson (8-0)
Signature Wins: Notre Dame, Appalachian State, NC State, Miami
Change: +2

Welcome to #1, Clemson. We’ve been expecting you. Enjoy your stay. Oh, and no pressure, but now that you’re here, you have to beat your biggest division rival to stay.
This week: vs. Florida State

About Brent Blackwell 172 Articles

Brent Blackwell also writes for College Football By The Numbers at www.cfbtn.com.

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