So if I'm going to be spending all this time talking about Ranking Theory and which teams aren't dropping enough to fit the theory and all that, I should probably explain just what Ranking Theory is and why I'm doing it. In short, Ranking Theory was developed largely as a joke during last year's bowl season. After having followed college football for the past 10 years or so, I noticed trends between different weeks' rankings. There were certain drops that happened, some teams kept on getting preferential treatment. What I came up with was the following idea:
Relative to next
week's polls, all teams remain in the same order with the following
exceptions: after a loss the drop is 5-7 slots, unless they were a
preseason favorite, then they lose 4
for the first loss, 9 for the second loss. If they're not a preseason
favorite, 8-10 for the second loss. Mid-major teams lose 8-10 per loss,
unless they're already in the Top 25, need minimum 5 wins and/or
national/network hype to get ranked. In addition, add 1 in for a
loss to an unranked team and 2 for a home loss.
is the first year of Ranking Theory, so I'm still working the kinks out
in it. It's fairly simple how I determine what fit and what
didn't - just pull up this week's polls and last week's polls.
Check the teams that lost and the current ranking. The format
that I use when reporting it is as follows:
Team (AP Ranking/USA Today Ranking)
Team (New AP Ranking/USA Today Ranking)
To determine whether a team fit or not, I apply those previous criteria. Take Tennessee from Week 6.
This was their second loss of the season - had they been a preseason
fave, the expected drop would be 9 slots. However, they weren't,
so the expected drop should be 8-10. However, they dropped
9/11. Pretty close. However, that 11 is a little severe, so
the +2 home loss comes into play. This gives the expected drop as
10-12. So it's not entirely accurate, but it comes close
enough. (I've given thought of extending the window for a second
loss to 7-10, but, like the BCS, I only change my formula once a
season. Unlike the BCS, I'm right at least some of the
time.) Is it arbitrary? Yeah, it is. I still haven't
figured out what I'm defining as a preseason favorite - but then again,
none of them have lost yet, so I haven't had a chance to see that in
action. However, since it's an arbitrary method designed to
predict arbitrary methods, I don't see a huge problem with that.
Hope that helps.