Ed Feng's Week 14 College Football Playoff Standings Predictions

Ed Feng@@thepowerrankAnalytics ExpertNovember 29, 2015

STILLWATER, OK - NOVEMBER 28: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 linebacker Eric Striker #19 and head coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners pose with the Big XII Championship trophy after defeating the Oklahoma State Cowboys on November 28, 2015 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Jackson Laizure/Getty Images)
Jackson Laizure/Getty Images

How will the College Football Playoff selection committee rank teams Tuesday?

We use analytics to make an educated guess. My algorithm starts with the previous week's committee rankings and adjusts teams based on their most recent opponent and margin of victory.

Teams that win keep their place unless they barely squeak by a three-win South Carolina team. Teams that lose drop—but not much if they lose to a Top 10 team. You get the idea.

Let's look at the most important movers from Week 13.

Ed Feng's College Football Playoff Standings Predictions
RankTeamResult
1Alabama (11-1)Won at Auburn, 29-13
2Clemson (12-0)Won at South Carolina, 37-32
3Oklahoma (11-1)Won at Oklahoma State, 58-23
4Iowa (12-0)Won at Nebraska, 28-20
5Michigan State (11-1)Won vs. Penn State, 55-16
6Ohio State (11-1)Won at Michigan, 42-13
7Stanford (10-2)Won vs. Notre Dame, 38-36
8Florida State (10-2)Won at Florida, 27-2
9North Carolina (11-1)Won at NC State, 45-34
10Notre Dame (10-2)Lost at Stanford, 38-36
11Baylor (9-2)Lost at TCU, 28-21, 2OT
12Northwestern (10-2)Won at Illinois, 24-14
13Ole Miss (9-3)Won at Mississippi State, 38-27
14TCU (10-2)Won vs. Baylor, 28-21, 2OT
15Oregon (9-3)Won vs. Oregon State, 52-42
16Temple (10-2)Won vs. UConn, 27-3
17Oklahoma State (10-2)Lost vs. Oklahoma, 58-23
18Houston (11-1)Won vs. Navy, 52-31
19Florida (10-2)Lost vs. Florida State, 27-2
20Michigan (9-3)Lost vs. Ohio State, 42-13
21Utah (9-3)Won vs. Colorado, 20-14
22LSU (8-3)Won vs. Texas A&M, 19-7
23Navy (9-2)Lost at Houston, 52-31
24USC (8-4)Won vs. UCLA, 40-21
25Wisconsin (9-3)Won at Minnesota, 31-21
Ed Feng

Oklahoma locks down playoff spot with dominant Bedlam win

At the beginning of the second quarter on Saturday night, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield knocked over an Oklahoma State defender to help spring Joe Mixon on a 66-yard touchdown run. It was that kind of day for the Cowboys, as the Sooners stormed to a 44-20 halftime lead en route to a 58-23 win.

Oklahoma dominated the game on the ground, rushing for 344 yards on 8.2 yards per carry. That's an insane rate, considering that the Sooners ran the ball on 62.7 percent of their plays.

Oklahoma stays at third in my projection of the committee rankings. Unlike years past, the lack of a Big 12 championship game helps the conference this season. In 2014, neither TCU nor Baylor had a final chance to impress the committee during championship week. In the Sooners' case, they have no chance to lose ground due to an unexpected loss, which will make it difficult, if not impossible, for the committee to drop the Big 12 champion out of the Top Four this season.

 

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Stanford beats Notre Dame to stay on playoff life support

PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Conrad Ukropina #34 of the Stanford Cardinal kicks the game-winning field at the end of regulation to be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish  at Stanford Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/G
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Notre Dame looked poised for a big win over Stanford on Saturday night after quarterback DeShone Kizer's touchdown run with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter gave the Irish a one-point lead. Unfortunately, they left too much time on the clock.

Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan led his team on a five-play, 45-yard drive, which culminated in Conrad Ukropina's 45-yard field goal for a signature 38-36 win.

With the victory, Stanford moves to seventh in the committee rankings, one spot behind Ohio State. The Cardinal play USC in the Pac-12 Championship Game next week, and a win could push them past the idle Buckeyes. Stanford, however, still needs other teams—namely Clemson and Alabama—to lose next weekend to make the playoff.

Notre Dame is no longer in contention for the playoff, but the Fighting Irish had a terrific 10-2 campaign despite a rash of season-ending injuries. They will most likely get a New Year's Six bowl as a consolation prize.

Baylor, Florida eliminated from playoff contention

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 27:  Head coach Art Briles of the Baylor Bears during the second half against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 27, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In addition to Notre Dame, two other teams had their playoff dreams go up in smoke this weekend.

Up until Friday, Baylor had survived season-ending injuries to two quarterbacks. Head coach Art Briles looked like a genius, as third-string quarterback Chris Johnson threw two long touchdown passes in a victory over Oklahoma State last week.

However, the moment—and the weather—proved to be too much for Johnson against TCU on a cold, rainy night in Fort Worth, Texas. In the second half and two overtimes, Johnson completed only one of his 11 passes, and the Bears lost to the Horned Frogs, 28-21.

Florida's playoff hopes ended Saturday night with a 27-2 loss to rival Florida State. The Gators defense allowed Dalvin Cook to run for 183 yards and two touchdowns on seven yards per carry. However, the defense wasn't Florida's problem this season. The offense is what held this team back. It rushed for 3.6 yards per carry, an awful 117th in the nation. While the Gators still have the SEC Championship Game and a bowl game to compete in, first-year head coach Jim McElwain has a clear route to improvement for next season.

With their losses, Baylor and Florida drop to 11th and 19th, respectively, in my projected committee rankings.

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