“The Sterritt Score is an attempt to show how much a team has dominated their schedule. Average margin of victory (MOV) and knockout time (KO) are used to come up with a value for each team, which is then multiplied by their record and their strength of schedule to come up with a final Sterritt Score by which the teams are ranked. A knockout is defined as the last point in the game where the losing team has the ball within one possession. This is the first year that the Sterritt Score has been calculated, so there may be some bumps along the road, but nevertheless, enjoy!” — Ryan Sterritt
Week 11 Sterritt Score Results
Week 10 Sterritt Score Results
I don’t have the CFP rankings plugged in since they don’t come out until Tuesday, but I figured I would go ahead and send these over since you guys also record Tuesday night. Things got a little shaky this week, there’s a few teams that I don’t agree with. But with all of the upsets, it was bound to happen. Here’s the Top 10:
10) Mississippi State
7) Notre Dame
4) Ohio State
Clemson has a MASSIVE lead over everyone, including Alabama. As long as they win out, they’re in, no questions asked. The only game left on their schedule that could cause problems for the #1 Tigers will be the ACC Championship, likely against #13 UNC. If not for UNC’s stupid loss against #89 South Carolina in the first game of the college football season, they would be inside the top 8. It sounds crazy, but UNC has a great dual threat QB in Marquise Williams and a pretty stout defense led by our old friend Gene Chizik. As I’ve said in weeks past, though, the only way the ACC gets into the Playoffs is with an undefeated Clemson.
As much as in pains me to say it, #2 Alabama has earned itself a spot in the top 4. We all thought LSU was a sure fire Playoff team as long as they had Leonard Fournette, but the Tide had something to say about that. The Heisman favorite had all of 31 yards on Saturday, and was outclassed in every way by Derrick Henry. The Alabama wins over #22 Wisconsin and #53 Arkansas are looking better by the week, and on average they have been knocking their opponents out only five minutes into the second half, good for the 10th ranked KO time in the country to go along with the 16th most difficult schedule. They will have a few more battles left, however, going to #10 Mississippi State this week before finishing at #63 Auburn and (if they win out) an SEC Championship Game against #14 Florida.
Here is the point where I brag a little bit. Although I didn’t have TCU losing to Oklahoma State last week, I was a lot lower on the Horned Frogs than most people. While the Committee had them at #8, and many people felt they should be higher, I had them at #14 last week. They certainly didn’t look like a top 10 team versus the Cowboys, and now they have fallen to #20. Another big upset of the week was #19 Michigan State falling to #48 Nebraska. It was yet another in a string of weird, fluky plays at the end of a game, this time costing Michigan State instead of helping them. Finally, playing with fire against mediocre teams has cost the Spartans, after having six of their eight wins come in the 4th quarter, and three within the last minute. They haven’t lost the Big 10 yet, with a matchup still against #3 Ohio State coming up. If #12 Iowa is still undefeated by the Big 10 Championship game, then that game will serve as a defacto play-in game for the Playoffs.
More than usual, there are a few teams that I feel like are probably mis-ranked. Navy at #8 is a bit too high, although their resume is actually pretty good. They have double digit wins against every team they have played besides #7 Notre Dame (who they lost to). More importantly, they destroyed previously #16 Memphis by 25. So while I’m sure I’m higher on them personally than the CFP rankings will be, I don’t feel they should be #8. Maybe around #15 or so. Another one I can’t figure out is Toledo. Last week, I had them at #18. However, they lost to #36 NIU just hours after the Playoff Committee released their rankings. So you would figure they would have dropped out of the top 25, right? Wrong. Somehow, they didn’t fall at all. Their actual calculated Sterritt Score fell by three points, a pretty significant margin after a close loss, but for whatever reason their ranking relative to the rest of the country remained the same. Perhaps the team with the strangest ranking is LSU, who fell from #4 all the way to #16 despite losing to the previously #5 team. Sure, they got beat pretty bad, but by a really good team. I’d probably only slide them down to #8-9. Sixteen is just too low in my mind.
Auburn was able to jump up a few spots to #63. Despite a strong showing against the Aggies last week, our average margin of victory is still slightly in the negative. The good news is that our average knockout time is now positive, and with UGA and Idaho the next two weeks, we’re in good shape to rise quite a bit in the rankings.
Week 9 Sterritt Score Results
Here are the week 9 national rankings:
10) Notre Dame
3) Ohio State
I’m really starting to like the way the rankings are taking shape. The teams that have played the best on the field are in the Top 10. However, more importantly, two of perhaps the most talented teams are not: TCU and Michigan State. I’ll start with #14 TCU. Even though they destroyed West Virginia last Thursday night, and have looked good in essentially every game sans their opener at Minnesota, they really haven’t played ANYONE. Their best wins according to these rankings are against 3-4 #54 West Virginia and 5-4 #55 Texas Tech. Just remember these rankings are reactive, not predictive. If TCU is really worthy of a high ranking, they’ll get it. They have four games left, and three of those teams (OKST, OU, and Baylor) have one loss between them. Now about #19 Michigan State. They have three wins better than any of TCU’s (#11 Michigan, #50 Central Michigan, and #51 Oregon), but they haven’t looked dominant in ANY game this year besides #59 Western Michigan and #70 Air Force. When #91 Rutgers and #94 Purdue take you to the last minute within a possession, you don’t deserve a Top 10 ranking. The Spartans have four games left, against two dumpster fires teams in Maryland and Nebraska, one really good team in Ohio State, and an above average one in Penn State. The Spartans certainly need to win out, and look really good against the Cornhuskers and Terrapins to make a Playoff spot in the Sterritt Score.
Per usual, the SEC is the top conference, the Big 10/Pac 12/Big 12 are essentially equal ranking around #50 on average, and the ACC lags behind with an average ranking of about #59. The American Athletic Conference has nearly caught up to the ACC, with an average ranking of #61. How crazy is that?
There are a ton of huge games this weekend. #27 FSU at #1 Clemson, #4 LSU at #5 Alabama, #40 Duke (boy did they get jobbed) at #21 UNC (it’s not just a basketball game these days!), #13 Navy at #16 Memphis, #14 TCU at #20 Oklahoma State (another lowly ranked unbeaten), and several other big conference games that could decide divisions.
There are still 11 unbeaten teams across the country. That’s almost double what there normally is at this point in each season. We know at least one will go down (the loser of the TCU/OKST game), and four others are playing what is likely their most difficult game left on their schedule this week (Memphis, LSU, Clemson, and Toledo). Regardless, this is shaping up for a fun year for the Playoff Committee.
Auburn (#68) didn’t drop much (well, at all) after their close loss against #24 Ole Miss. Despite lowering our average margin of victory a bit, our average KO time slightly went up. Since we had the ball as time expired with a chance to tie (barely), there was no knockout in last week’s game. We face a tough matchup going to College Station this week against #34 TAMU. Hey, there’s always hope, right?
Week 8 Sterritt Score Results
Clemson is the ACC’s only hope for a playoff team. FSU is ranked #30, so if Clemson drops a game anywhere, especially to a team other than FSU, the ACC will be locked out of the Top 4. The conference is far and away the worst of the P5 conferences.
Baylor will stick around in the Top 4 for a few more weeks, with a BYE this week and a bad Kansas State next week. However, with Seth Russell out for the year, there’s a good chance they lose at least one of their last four games, finishing with #8 OU, #18 OKST, #15 TCU, and Texas.
The SEC’s bid for a playoff spot is basically a three team race. The winner of the LSU/Bama game likely wins the West, and will play Florida in the SEC Championship game. Unfortunately, there is a scenario once again where both Bama and LSU make the Playoff. If Bama beats LSU and wins out, including the SEC Championship, and LSU is a one loss team with it’s only loss to Bama, AND Clemson doesn’t go undefeated, AND the Pac 12 winner has 2 losses… LSU would have a real case to grab that #4 spot. They would probably need Notre Dame to pick up another loss to not give the Committee that out. Notre Dame does still have Temple and Stanford on their schedule, along with three middling ACC teams.
The AAC is still going strong with 4 ranked teams (#12 Navy, #14 Memphis, #20 Houston, and #23 Temple). None of these teams have played each other yet, and with Navy, Memphis, and Houston all in the same division, we should see some good games in the next few weeks. It would be interesting to see Temple run the table, which would include wins against Notre Dame, Penn State, Cincinnati, Memphis, and potentially an undefeated Houston or one loss Navy/Memphis (again) in the conference championship game. I would argue that’s a better resume than FSU’s undefeated season last year, and a better resume than any non-power conference team has ever put together.
Despite the loss, Auburn bumped up 3 spots to #68. Since our average KO time was negative, and going to overtime meant a KO time of 0 this week, our avg KO time became slightly less negative. For comparison, we are very close in the rankings to #66 UK, #67 Washington, and #72 Texas.
As a whole, the rankings suggest the SEC is still the best conference, with the Pac 12/Big 10/Big 12 all very similar, the ACC as a distinct step below them, and the AAC actually is looking more like the ACC than other group of 5 conferences.