College Football Power Ratings: Through Week 4

We are now a third of the way through the season already. I’ve altered the formula just a bit by adding Net Tackles for Loss. I just think it’s one of the most important stats in college football and I discovered a site that tracks it well, so I added it into the formula.

The updated top-25:

Bama takes over the #1 spot, Ohio State moves up to #2, Georgia moves down to #3.

Now I will just say, Alabama’s schedule has been hot garbage. I have no idea how ESPN has them with the 37th toughest schedule in the country.

They should not get credit for the Texas game because Ewers got hurt, and they still almost lost. They’ve played Utah State, Texas without Ewers, UL-Monroe and Vanderbilt. Somehow that is the 37th toughest schedule in the country? This is straight up gaslighting.

Utah State is my #112 ranked team, UL-Monroe is my #109 ranked team, Vanderbilt is #80. Texas is ranked #26 overall. Average those teams out and Alabama played about the 82nd-toughest schedule in the country. Or at least the average ranking of the teams they’ve played is 82. Give them some extra credit for playing Texas on the road, but that still doesn’t drag them up from 82 to 37.

So this idea that they’ve played the 37th-toughest schedule is laughable.

Bama’s stats are ridiculously dominant. They’re elite in virtually every category other than Net Pass YPA.

And I think they’re an elite team. They’re one of the top-3. But I think a lot of this statistical dominance is a product of the horrible teams they’ve faced. This is not a Bama team loaded up with weapons. We saw them almost lose to Texas not even three weeks ago. At the time I said Bama might have multiple losses. This is a flawed team and I don’t think they magically got a lot better.

I still think they’re National Title contenders because this is Bama, but I don’t think they’re as good as their stats make them out to be.

By the way, Jahmyr Gibbs looks like the next Alvin Kamara. Go look up the dude’s highlights and tell me he does not remind you of Kamara–who, interestingly enough, once played at Alabama before transferring to Tennessee.

The rest:

LSU, after a shaky start, now creeps into the top-10. But Florida State, the team that beat LSU in week 1 on that wild ending with the blocked extra point, sits all the way up at #5. I think that’s way too high, but FSU is undefeated thus far. We will see some wacky things in these rankings early in the season because of the fact that most teams have only played non-conference opponents. The rankings should get a little more anchored in reality as conference play begins.

Minnesota is #6. The Golden Gophers have been statistically dominant this year, are the overwhelming favorites to win the Big Ten West, and just dominated Michigan State 34-7. People might say, “Well they haven’t played anyone!” They’ve got a better SoS rating than Michigan does!

Oklahoma-TCU is happening this week. I’ve got Oklahoma as my 11th ranked team and TCU as #14. I think TCU wins the game outright. It’s a home game for them, and they’re 6.5 point dogs.

Clemson I have at #19 and NC State is at #29. I have Clemson as about a 4.5 point favorite over the Wolfpack, and since the game is at home in Clemson, and will be played in a tropical storm (Ian is heading up from Florida and straight at South Carolina, and will be directly above Clemson on Saturday night as this game is being played). I think that favors Clemson with their elite athletes on defense.

I was going to say “elite defense” but then I remembered they got torched by Wake Forest. So I’ll just say they have elite players on defense. I don’t know if NC State will be able to function well in that weather.

So that’s what I’ve got this week for the power ratings. They’re still a work in progress since I don’t have line of scrimmage data (Football Outsiders will release it after week 5), but they’re pretty much done.

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