Connelly: What this weeks CFP rankings should really look like

    Bill Connelly is a staff writer for

There are a lot of ways to rank football teams. Sometimes very different approaches produce the same results.

Last week I introduced what I thought was a fun update to the long-lost BCS rankings of yore — a combination of poll averages and computer ratings (of both the power rating and résumé ranking varieties) — as an alternate way of both looking at the College Football Playoff landscape and evaluating outliers in the CFP committee’s rankings. Then, on Tuesday night, the committee produced no major outliers. The top nine teams as picked by the committee and using my formula were exactly the same.

This week, we walk through the process once again. How will the committee react to a couple of top Pac-12 teams losing? Does LSU’s status take a knock after an unimpressive slog over Arkansas? (If so, does USC benefit?) What matters more, TCU’s road win over a ranked Texas team or Tennessee’s search for style points against Missouri? Let’s rank teams BCS style, then see where the committee disagrees.

This week’s résumé SP+ rankings

We once again start with résumés. While my SP+ ratings, like ESPN’s FPI, are designed to be predictive and forward facing, I created what I call “résumé SP+” in an attempt to look backward at how a team has played against its opponents.

Résumé SP+ is a look at two things: (1) how the average SP+ top-five team would be projected to perform against a given team’s schedule — in terms of scoring margin (which I cap at 50 points) instead of straight wins and losses — and (2) how the team’s scoring margin compares to that projection. Throw in a seven-point penalty for every loss a team has suffered (because losses matter on the résumé!), and we have what the CFP rankings would look like if SP+ and only SP+ were in charge.

This week’s résumé SP+ top 15:

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