during their game at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.

SEC/ACC Power Rankings: Week 1

College football season is finally here and every Monday during the college football season we will release our SEC/ACC Power Rankings. The Week 1 power rankings are based on our unbiased multi-step formula. The power rankings will change as the season goes on based on a formula that heavily weighs yardage differential along with strength of opponent at the time the game was played.

Clemson opens the season as our #1 team barely out ranking Alabama. If you want proof that these projections and rankings are unbiased, Clemson being #1 should be all you need to know. I may have to vomit after writing this.

Our projections were given some criticism over having Alabama projected with three losses. A fair question is how can a team with a projection of three losses be #2 in your power rankings? It is real simple. The top 6 teams in our power rankings are very closely bunched and these power number rankings are based on neutral field match-ups. Alabama is less than a point away from being ahead of Clemson. The difference is Alabama plays a brutal road schedule. They have to face Tennessee, LSU and Ole Miss all on the road. Alabama would be projected to beat them all if the games were on a neutral field.

So here we go, our first power rankings of the season. Happy College Football Season!!!

Preseason Rank Team
1 Clemson
2 Alabama
3 LSU
4 FSU
5 Tennessee
6 Ole Miss
7 Georgia
8 UNC
9 Louisville
10 Miami
11 Texas A&M
12 Florida
13 Arkansas
14 Auburn
15 Miss. State
16 Virginia Tech
17 Pittsburgh
18 Missouri
19 Georgia Tech
20 NC State
21 Kentucky
22 Duke
23 South Carolina
24 Vanderbilt
25 Boston College
26 Wake Forest
27 Virginia
28 Syracuse
clemson-south-carolina-2

What If Clemson and South Carolina Switched Schedules?

Do you know what you were doing ten years ago? Me neither, but the 2006 college football season was the last time Clemson had a higher rated schedule than the Gamecocks. My well meaning tater friends are sure to dispute this but I am using the Sagarin Ratings for the completed regular season.

For most of the last decade the schedule disparity between the Gamecocks and Clemson has been wide. However, Clemson has narrowed that gap recently. The ACC has improved and Clemson’s schedule the last few years has included two SEC teams on it. 

The schedule argument is one us Gamecock fans use a lot. Our tater friends quickly ring the SEC coattail riding bell when they hear it. 

This schedule argument we use is only out of self defense. You know how the story goes, “Spurrier was there for a decade and couldn’t even win a conference title”. Taters are then quick to point out Dabo’s growing room of hardware. 

Steve Spurrier coached at Carolina for 11 seasons…well…10 and some change. Over that time period the best team in the country was from the SEC 8 times. Think about it, if the Gamecocks wanted to win the SEC they needed to also be the best team in the country as well. This isn’t SEC coattail riding, these are the facts. Clemson won an ACC title in 2011 with four losses and were barely ranked. 

When do you think the Gamecocks would ever be able to lose four games in a season, be a marginally ranked team that is also the second best in their state and still pull off winning the SEC? Not going to happen. The schedule argument has been a valid one for Gamecock fans. Case closed…..however…..

It is now 2016 and I hear many Gamecock fans using the schedule argument for this upcoming season. Taking shots at Clemson schedule this year in comparison to ours might not have the same merit that it used to have. 

 I decided to use those unbiased formulaic projections and simply switch schedules for Clemson and South Carolina and see what happens. I was hoping to find some 3 game swing in games which would have been the norm if I had done this on a regular basis over the last decade. Instead I found that switching schedules would help both teams. 

Yes, the Clemson schedule would improve the Gamecocks projected win total. However, the Gamecock schedule would be even easier for Clemson than their actual schedule. What is the damn world coming to? Here are the numbers:

SC Playing Clemson Schedule 2016 South Carolina 2016
Opponent Projected Result Opponent Projected Result
at Auburn LOSS by 10 at Vanderbilt LOSS by 3
vs Troy WIN by 19 at Miss State LOSS by 10
vs SC State WIN by 34 vs East Carolina WIN by 13
at Georgia Tech LOSS by 6 at Kentucky LOSS by 4
vs Louisville LOSS by 5 vs Texas A&M LOSS by 4
at Boston College LOSS by 2 vs Georgia LOSS by 5
vs N.C State WIN by 1 vs UMASS WIN by 32
at Florida State LOSS by 21 vs Tennessee LOSS by 12
vs Syracuse WIN by 7 vs Missouri WIN by 1
vs Pittsburgh LOSS by 1 at Florida LOSS by 12
at Wake Forest LOSS by 1 vs Western Carolina WIN by 34
vs Clemson LOSS by 14 at Clemson LOSS by 22
Projected Overall Record                             4-8 Projected Conference Record                            2-6 Projected Overall Record    4-8 Projected Conference Record                               1-7
Best Case Record          8-4 Best Case Conference Record                            6-2 Best Case Record                  8-4 Best Case Conference Record                               5-3
Worst Case Record       3-9 Worst Case Conference Record                             1-7 Worst Case Record               3-9 Worst Case Conference Record                               0-8

The Gamecocks would pick up an extra conference win and have a chance to actually go 6-2 in the ACC. Even though the ACC is improving, this proves that even in the SEC East, the Gamecocks play in the better conference.

Clemson Playing SC Schedule 2016 Clemson 2016
Opponent Projected Result Opponent Projected Result
at Vanderbilt WIN by 15 at Auburn WIN by 8
at Miss State WIN by 8 vs Troy WIN by 37
vs East Carolina WIN by 31 vs SC State WIN by 52
at Kentucky WIN by 14 at Georgia Tech WIN by 12
vs Texas A&M WIN by 14 vs Louisville WIN by 13
vs Georgia WIN by 13 at Boston College WIN by 16
vs UMASS WIN by 50 vs NC State WIN by 19
vs Tennessee WIN by 6 at FSU LOSS by 3
vs Missouri WIN by 19 vs Syracuse WIN by 25
at Florida WIN by 6 vs Pitt WIN by 18
vs Western Carolina WIN by 52 at Wake Forest WIN by 17
at South Carolina WIN by 14 vs South Carolina WIN by 22
Projected Overall Record 12-0 Projected Conference Record 8-0 Overall Projected Record 11-1 Projected Conference Record 7-1
Best Case Record 12-0 Best Case Conference Record 8-0 Best Case Record 12-0 Best Case Conference Record 8-0
Worst Case Record 12-0 Worst Case Conference Record 8-0 Worst Case Record 11-1 Worst Case Conference Record 7-1

These numbers show that the Gamecocks schedule is easier for Clemson because of how the home and road games are distributed. The Gamecocks don’t have to play anyone on the road as good as Florida State. Clemson gets a break in that regard if they were going to play the Gamecocks schedule.

In closing, the schedule argument has been a valid argument for Gamecock fans. The facts and the numbers prove that. The schedule argument for this season is not valid however. Make a mental note.

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ACC Atlantic Projections

We have completed all our team projections for the ACC Atlantic. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. It is now time to look at what the projections tell us as it relates to the standings.

The first projection we will look at is the basic projection standings. We used our power numbers to go through each game predicting a winner and loser.

Projected ACC Atlantic Standings W L
Florida State 8 0
Clemson 7 1
Louisville 6 2
N.C State 3 5
Wake Forest 2 6
Boston College 1 7
Syracuse 0 8

Next we look at the best case scenario standings. Any game that is within 5 points we awarded both teams a win. Bernie Sanders’ supporters like these kinds of standings. It is a good way to project the ceiling for each team this year.

Best Case Standings W L
Florida State 8 0
Clemson 8 0
Louisville 7 1
N.C State 4 4
Syracuse 4 4
Boston College 3 5
Wake Forest 3 5

Next we look at the worst case scenario standings. This is a bit depressing as any game that is within a five point projected margin we give each team a loss. This is a good way to project the floor for each team this year.

Worst Case Standings W L
Clemson 7 1
Florida State 5 3
Louisville 6 2
N.C. State 2 6
Boston College 0 8
Syracuse 0 8
Wake Forest 0 8

Lastly, we put it all together and give an average number of conference wins for each team based on the regular projection, best case projection and worst case projection.

Team Average Conference Wins
Clemson 7.3
Florida State 7
Louisville 6.3
N.C. State 3
Wake Forest 1.7
Boston College 1.3
Syracuse 1.3

Clemson and Florida State are the clear favorites but what exactly are these projections saying? The first projection has Clemson losing at FSU in a tight game. This is also the worst case scenario for Clemson meaning that FSU is their only projected close game. FSU on the other hand, has a worst case scenario of 5-3. This disparity is the reason why Clemson is on top when we average all three scenarios together.

Who do I think will win the ACC Atlantic? I am praying nightly that it isn’t Clemson. Trust me. However, if my life was on the line and I had to predict who would win I would have to go with Clemson. My reasoning is simple. If Clemson beats FSU in a 50/50 toss up game, then the ACC Atlantic title is a lock for Clemson. Clemson is not going to lose two more conference games. However, if Clemson loses to FSU it is reasonable to suggest that FSU might trip up two more times in the conference giving Clemson the title. FSU has tougher conference games on the road this season than Clemson, not counting the game against each other.

Bottom line, it is close. Since it so close you have to bet on the team that can win the division more than one way. Clemson can do that more than FSU can. Here’s hoping this prediction jinxes the entire upstate of South Carolina.

SECEast

SEC East Projections

We have completed all our team projections for the SEC East. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. It is now time to look at what the projections tell us as it relates to the standings.

The first projection we will look at is the basic projection standings. We used our power numbers to go through each game predicting a winner and loser.

Projected SEC East Standings W L
Tennessee 8 0
Georgia 6 2
Florida 4 4
Missouri 2 6
Kentucky 2 6
Vanderbilt 1 7
South Carolina 1 7

Next we look at the best case scenario standings. Any game that is within 5 points we awarded both teams a win. Bernie Sanders’ supporters like these kinds of standings. It is a good way to project the ceiling for each team this year.

Best Case Standings W L
Tennessee 8 0
Georgia 7 1
Florida 7 1
Missouri 5 3
South Carolina 5 3
Kentucky 4 4
Vanderbilt 3 5

Next we look at the worst case scenario standings. This is a bit depressing as any game that is within a five point projected margin we give each team a loss. This is a good way to project the floor for each team this year.

Worst Case Standings W L
Tennessee 5 3
Florida 3 5
Georgia 2 6
Missouri 2 6
Kentucky 0 8
South Carolina 0 8
Vanderbilt 0 8

Lastly, we put it all together and give an average number of conference wins for each team based on the regular projection, best case projection and worst case projection.

Team Average Conference Wins
Tennessee 7
Georgia 5
Florida 4.7
Missouri 3
Kentucky 2
South Carolina 2
Vanderbilt 1.3

Tennessee is the clear projected favorite to win the SEC East and play for an SEC title in Atlanta. Their overall projections also have them with a legitimate shot to make one of the four national playoff spots.

SECWest

SEC West Projections

We have completed all our team projections for the SEC West. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. It is now time to look at what the projections tell us as it relates to the standings.

The first projection we will look at is the basic projection standings. We used our power numbers to go through each game predicting a winner and loser.

Projected SEC West Standings W L
LSU 8 0
Ole Miss 7 1
Alabama 5 3
Miss State 5 3
Auburn 3 5
Texas A&M 2 6
Arkansas 2 6

Next we look at the best case scenario standings. Any game that is within 5 points we awarded both teams a win. Bernie Sanders’ supporters like these kinds of standings. It is a good way to project  the ceiling for each team this year.

Best Case Standings W L
LSU 8 0
Alabama 8 0
Ole Miss 7 1
Texas A&M 7 1
Arkansas 6 2
Miss State 5 3
Auburn 4 4

Next we look at the worst case scenario standings. This is a bit depressing as any game that is within a five point margin we give each team a loss. This is a good way to project the floor for each team this year.

Worst Case Standings W L
LSU 5 3
Alabama 5 3
Ole Miss 4 4
Miss State 1 7
Auburn 0 8
Arkansas 0 8
Texas A&M 0 8

Lastly, we put it all together and give an average number of conference wins for each team based on the regular projection, best case projection and worst case projection.

Team Average Conference Wins
LSU 7
Ole Miss 6
Alabama 6
Miss State 3.7
Texas A&M 3
Arkansas 2.7
Auburn 2.3

Clearly our projections like LSU to be in Atlanta to play for an SEC title and one of the four national playoff spots.

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ACC Coastal Projected Standings

We have completed all our team projections for the ACC Coastal. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. It is now time to look at what the projections tell us as it relates to the standings.

The first projection we will look at is the basic projection standings. We used our power numbers to go through each game predicting a winner and loser.

Projected ACC Coastal Standings W L
Miami 7 1
North Carolina 6 2
Pitt 5 3
Virginia Tech 5 3
Georgia Tech 3 5
Duke 2 6
Virginia 0 8

Next we look at the best case scenario standings. Any game that is within 5 points we awarded both teams a win. Bernie Sanders’ supporters like these kinds of standings. It is a good way to project the ceiling for each team this year.

Best Case Standings W L
Miami 8 0
North Carolina 7 1
Virginia Tech 7 1
Georgia Tech 6 2
Pitt 5 3
Duke 5 3
Virginia 2 6

Next we look at the worst case scenario standings. This is a bit depressing as any game that is within a five point margin we give each team a loss. This is a good way to project the floor for each team this year.

Worst Case Standings W L
North Carolina 5 3
Miami 3 5
Duke 2 6
Pitt 2 6
Georgia Tech 1 7
Virginia Tech 1 7
Virginia 0 8

 

Lastly, we put it all together and give an average number of conference wins for each team based on the regular projection, best case projection and worst case projection.

Team Average Conference Wins
Miami 6
North Carolina 6
Virginia Tech 4.3
Pitt 4
Georgia Tech 3.3
Duke 3
Virginia 0.7

Miami and North Carolina are the clear favorites in the Coastal division. I give Miami the slight edge though as look for Mark Richt to lead his alma mater to play in the ACC title game in Charlotte.

Louisville

2016 College Football Projections: Louisville

Welcome to our college football projections for the 2016 season. We are going to project one team a day from the SEC and ACC until we do all 28 of them. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. These power numbers will change as the season goes along. We will post our power rankings every Monday during the season. Today we focus on Louisville.

Any game that is projected to be within 5 points we deem as a game that could go either way. In our best case scenario, we give every projected loss within 5 points a win. In our worst case scenario, we give every projected win within 5 points a loss. Here is our 2016 projection for the Louisville Cardinals:

Louisville 2016
Opponent Projected Result
vs Charlotte WIN by 41
at Syracuse WIN by 9
vs Florida State LOSS by 4
at Marshall WIN by 10
at Clemson LOSS by 13
vs Duke WIN by 12
vs N.C State WIN by 10
at Virginia WIN by 8
at Boston College WIN by 7
vs Wake Forest WIN by 15
at Houston LOSS by 4
vs Kentucky WIN by 11
Projected Overall Record 9-3 Projected Conference Record 6-2
Best Case Record 11-1 Best Case Conference Record 7-1
Worst Case Record 9-3 Worst Case Conference Record 6-2
Pitt

2016 College Football Projections: Pittsburgh

Welcome to our college football projections for the 2016 season. We are going to project one team a day from the SEC and ACC until we do all 28 of them. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. These power numbers will change as the season goes along. We will post our power rankings every Monday during the season. Today we focus on Pittsburgh.

Any game that is projected to be within 5 points we deem as a game that could go either way. In our best case scenario, we give every projected loss within 5 points a win. In our worst case scenario, we give every projected win within 5 points a loss. Here is our 2016 projection for the Pitt Panthers:

Pittsburgh 2016
Opponent Projected Result
vs Villanova WIN by 37
vs Penn State WIN by 2
at Oklahoma State LOSS by 8
at North Carolina LOSS by 8
vs Marshall WIN by 11
vs Georgia Tech WIN by 4
at Virginia WIN by 3
vs Virginia Tech WIN by 3
at Miami LOSS by 8
at Clemson LOSS by 18
vs Duke WIN by 6
vs Syracuse WIN by 10
Projected Overall Record 8-4 Projected Conference Record    5-3
Best Case Record 8-4 Best Case Conference Record    5-3
Worst Case Record 4-8 Worst Case Conference Record 2-6
GT

2016 College Football Projections: Georgia Tech

Welcome to our college football projections for the 2016 season. We are going to project one team a day from the SEC and ACC until we do all 28 of them. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. These power numbers will change as the season goes along. We will post our power rankings every Monday during the season. Today we focus on Georgia Tech.

Any game that is projected to be within 5 points we deem as a game that could go either way. In our best case scenario, we give every projected loss within 5 points a win. In our worst case scenario, we give every projected win within 5 points a loss. Here is our 2016 projection for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:

Georgia Tech 2016
Opponent Projected Result
vs Boston College WIN by 4
vs Mercer WIN by 35
vs Vanderbilt WIN by 6
vs Clemson LOSS by 12
vs Miami LOSS by 3
at Pittsburgh LOSS by 4
vs Georgia Southern WIN by 10
vs Duke WIN by 5
at North Carolina LOSS by 9
at Virginia Tech LOSS by 5
vs Virginia WIN by 8
at Georgia LOSS by 10
Projected Overall Record 6-6 Projected Conference Record 3-5
Best Case Record 9-3 Best Case Conference Record 6-2
Worst Case Record 4-8 Worst Case Conference Record 1-7
North Carolina State's Matt Dayes (21) runs for a touchdown as Presbyterian's Breyon Williams (34) chases during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. North Carolina State won 42-0. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

2016 College Football Projections: North Carolina State

Welcome to our college football projections for the 2016 season. We are going to project one team a day from the SEC and ACC until we do all 28 of them. These projections are unbiased and based strictly on our power numbers that have been calculated using a multi-step formula. These power numbers will change as the season goes along. We will post our power rankings every Monday during the season. Today we focus on North Carolina State.

Any game that is projected to be within 5 points we deem as a game that could go either way. In our best case scenario, we give every projected loss within 5 points a win. In our worst case scenario, we give every projected win within 5 points a loss. Here is our 2016 projection for the North Carolina State Wolfpack:

N.C State 2016
Opponent Projected Result
vs William and Mary WIN by 36
at East Carolina WIN by 9
vs Old Dominion WIN by 22
vs Wake Forest WIN by 8
vs Notre Dame LOSS by 6
at Clemson LOSS by 19
at Louisville LOSS by 10
vs Boston College WIN by 7
vs Florida State LOSS by 11
at Syracuse WIN by 3
vs Miami LOSS by 3
at North Carolina LOSS by 9
Projected Overall Record 6-6 Projected Conference Record  3-5
Best Case Record 7-5 Best Case Conference Record  4-4
Worst Case Record 5-7 Worst Case Conference             2-6