Ed Feng's Week 11 College Football Playoff Standings Predictions

Ed Feng@@thepowerrankAnalytics ExpertNovember 8, 2015

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 07:  Derrick Henry #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes away from Jamal Adams #33 of the LSU Tigers in the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

How will the College Football Playoff committee rank teams this Tuesday at 7 p.m. Eastern? 

We use analytics to make an educated guess. Based on last week's committee rankings, my algorithm adjusts teams based on the most recent opponent and margin of victory.

Teams that win keep their place unless they need overtime to beat Jacksonville State. Teams that lose dropbut not as much if they lose to a Top 10 team. You get the idea.

Let's look at the top movers from Week 10.

Ed Feng's College Football Playoff Standings Predictions
1Clemson (9-0)Won vs. Florida State, 23-13
2Alabama (8-1)Won vs. LSU 30-16
3Ohio State (9-0)Won vs. Minnesota, 28-14
4Notre Dame (8-1)Won at Pittsburgh, 42-30
5Baylor (8-0)Won at Kansas State, 31-24
6Iowa (9-0)Won at Indiana, 35-27
7Oklahoma State (8-0)Won vs. TCU, 49-29
8Stanford (8-1)Won at Colorado, 42-10
9Florida (8-1)Won vs. Vanderbilt, 9-7
10Utah (8-1)Won at Washington, 34-23
11LSU (7-1)Lost at Alabama, 30-16
12Oklahoma (8-1)Won vs. Iowa State, 52-16
13Mississippi State (7-2)Won at Missouri, 31-13
14Michigan (7-2)Won vs. Rutgers, 49-16
15Northwestern (7-2)Won vs. Penn State, 23-21
16Temple (8-1)Won at SMU, 60-40
17Michigan State (8-1)Lost at Nebraska, 39-38
18TCU (8-1)Lost at Oklahoma State, 49-29
19UCLA (7-2)Won at Oregon State, 41-0
20Boise State (7-2)BYE
21Houston (9-0)Won vs. Cincinnati, 33-30
22Florida State (7-2)Lost at Clemson, 23-13
23Memphis (8-1)Lost vs. Navy, 45-20
24North Carolina (8-1)Won vs. Duke, 66-31
25Wisconsin (8-2)Won at Maryland, 31-24
Ed Feng, ESPN

Alabama surges to No. 2 after shutting down Fournette, LSU

Leonard Fournette picked the wrong game to forget his Superman cape. Either that or Alabama's defenders had Kryptonite in their helmets, as they held the LSU star to 31 yards on 16 carries.

LSU QB Brandon Harris picked up the slack in the first half with a gorgeous touchdown to Travin Dural that kept the game close at halftime. However, Harris threw an early second-half interception that started the Alabama rout.

Alabama's convincing 30-16 win allows it to take over LSU's second spot in the committee rankings. With the loss, LSU drops to 11th among a slew of other one-loss teams.

The Crimson Tide gave LSU a heavy dose of Derrick Henry, who looked like a true Heisman candidate en route to 210 yards and three touchdowns on 5.5 yards per carry. This strategy should also work against future opponents Mississippi State and Auburn, both of which struggle in run defense.

In addition to the Alabama win, Ole Miss lost to Arkansas in overtime. With this second conference loss for the Rebels, Alabama will win the SEC West if it wins the two remaining games. Once again, Nick Saban has his team in its usual spot: contending for a national title.


Oklahoma State rises with convincing win over TCU

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

When a team gains almost 200 yards more than its opponent, it usually wins the game. It almost never loses by 20.

However, TCU accomplished this tragic feat against Oklahoma State, as Heisman hopeful Trevone Boykin threw four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. A goal-line stand by Oklahoma State in the fourth quarter also helped the Cowboys win 49-29.

The big win vaults a still-unbeaten Oklahoma State into the Top 10 of the committee rankings. But how good is this team? Oklahoma State entered the weekend 23rd in my rankings that drive the Bleacher Report playoff odds. Winning its first three Big 12 games by a total of 12 points hurts them in my numbers.

The Cowboys also didn't make the top 10 in two other trusted computer rankings: Jeff Sagarin (14th) and Massey-Peabody (21st). Oklahoma State will move up in computer rankings with the win over TCU but most likely not into the Top 10.  

Oklahoma State still has two monumental opportunities to impress the committee in home games against Baylor and Oklahoma. While the Cowboys will be underdogs in both games, the committee will have no choice but to put a 12-0 team into the playoff.

Clemson solidifies top spot in rankings

CLEMSON, SC - NOVEMBER 07:  Ben Boulware #10 of the Clemson Tigers hits Sean Maguire #10 of the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 7, 2015 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware had quite a game. With the Tigers nursing a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Boulware stuffed Florida State's Dalvin Cook on 4th-and-short. In case that wasn't enough, Boulware then stripped Travis Rudolph on the next drive to seal the game for the Tigers, who won 23-13.

With a 10-point win over a ranked opponent, the algorithm would normally move Clemson ahead of another team. But since the committee ranked Clemson first and my algorithm now works off these rankings (instead of the AP poll), the Tigers hold onto the top spot.

Clemson finishes up the season with Syracuse, Wake Forest and South Carolinanot exactly a murderers' row of opponents. In the ACC championship game, the Tigers should be eight-point favorites over North Carolina, their projected opponent.

Clemson has not only earned the top spot in the committee rankings but also has the easiest path to the playoff. When Bleacher Report reveals its playoff probabilities Tuesday night, Clemson will most likely have greater than a 75 percent chance to make the final four teams.

Ed Feng has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford and runs sports analytics site The Power Rank. You can find him on Twitter @thepowerrank.


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