clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The College Football Playoff's top 25 teams and their win-loss records vs. each other

New, comments

How do teams fare against ranked competition?

The Playoff selection committee released its latest rankings Tuesday. As we get deeper into the season, the committee's reasoning seems to become more confounding.

"Game control" is now a thing college football fans have to think about, since it's apparently a factor. Committee chair Jeff Long referenced Alabama as controlling its share of games, but didn't make clear whether he was referring to the ESPN-created stat that goes by the name Game Control. Committee members supposedly weren't going to be allowed to use advanced stats, so perhaps it's just a confusing coincidence.

While that's unclear, another part of the process is a little easier to figure out: resumes. Specifically, teams' records against ranked opponents. Long frequently references top-25 wins each week, so let's look at how the field stacks up in that respect.

As for the question marks below, the committee doesn't say how it rates wins and losses against currently unranked opponents. So if a team's win or loss didn't come against a top-25 team, there's no way of knowing whether it was good or bad. To the right, we've included a composite of the AP/Coaches polls and computer ratings, for comparison.

Rank Team vs. top 25 vs. unranked Best win Best loss Computer/polls composite
1 Alabama 1-1 8-0 vs. No. 4 Miss. St. at No. 8 Ole Miss 1
2 Oregon 3-1 6-0 at No. 9 UCLA vs. No. 15 Arizona 2
3 Florida State 2-0 8-0 vs. No. 22 Clemson N/A 4
4 Mississippi State 1-1 8-0 vs. No. 14 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama 3
5 TCU 3-1 6-0 vs. No. 12 Kansas St. at No. 7 Baylor 5
6 Ohio State 2-0 7-1 at No. 11 Michigan St. vs. Virginia Tech 7
7 Baylor 2-0 6-1 vs. No. 5 TCU at West Virginia 8
8 Ole Miss 1-1 7-1 vs. No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Auburn 6
9 UCLA 2-2 6-0 at No. 13 Arizona St. vs. No. 2 Oregon 12
10 Georgia 3-0 5-2 vs. No. 14 Auburn ? 9
11 Michigan State 1-2 7-0 vs. No. 23 Nebraska at No. 2 Oregon 13
12 Kansas State 1-2 6-0 at No. 21 Oklahoma at No. 5 TCU 10
13 Arizona State 2-1 6-1 vs. No. 17 Utah vs. No. 9 UCLA 16
14 Auburn 2-2 5-1 at No. 8 Ole Miss at No. 4 Miss. St. 11
15 Arizona 1-1 7-1 at No. 2 Oregon at No. 9 UCLA 15
16 Wisconsin 1-0 7-2 vs. No. 23 Nebraska ? 14
17 Utah 2-2 5-1 at No. 9 UCLA vs. No. 2 Oregon 23
18 Georgia Tech 1-0 8-2 vs. No. 22 Clemson ? 16
19 USC 1-2 6-1 at No. 15 Arizona vs. No. 13 Arizona St. 22
20 Missouri 0-1 8-1 ? vs. No. 10 Georgia 25
21 Oklahoma 0-3 7-0 ? at No. 5 TCU 18
22 Clemson 1-3 6-0 vs. No. 24 Louisville at No. 3 Florida St. NR
23 Nebraska 0-2 8-0 ? at No. 11 Michigan St. 20
24 Louisville 0-2 7-1 ? vs. No. 3 Florida St. NR
25 Minnesota 0-2 7-1 ? at No. 5 TCU NR

Some more observations:

  • Among the one-loss contenders, Oregon and TCU appear to have the best resumes. They, along with Auburn, Utah and Clemson, are the only ranked teams to have played four ranked opponents, and the Ducks and Horned Frogs are the only two with winning records against top-25 competition in that group.
  • Best win: Ole Miss at home against top-ranked Alabama. Best loss: Mississippi State's recent loss at the Crimson Tide.
  • Baylor has been hit hard for its schedule, but compare the Bears to Mississippi State. Both have two games against top-25 teams, and unlike the Bulldogs, Baylor is 2-0. Of course, last week Mississippi State had two more wins against ranked teams, before LSU and Texas A&M dropped out.
  • In Georgia's three games against ranked teams, the Bulldogs have won by an average score of 38-9. What in the world were they doing against South Carolina and Florida?
  • Minnesota hanging on at No. 25 is actually pretty important. The Golden Gophers give Ohio State its second win over a ranked team and TCU its third. Would Baylor have a shot at jumping either if the Gophers weren't propping up the Buckeyes and Horned Frogs?
  • Unbeaten Florida State is now looking up at two one-loss teams. This is getting comical.
  • Mississippi State is going to beat a top-10 Ole Miss team to finish the regular season 11-1, holding on to a top-four ranking. When the Playoff bracket is announced a week later, the Bulldogs won't be included because they won't have a conference title to boast. You know it's coming.