Tip Top 25 in helmets, smaller

2017 TipTop 25 Week Twelve

 Clemson is the first school picked at random from my hat

Welcome back to the college football ranking system that began with a preseason top 25 that was based solely on picking teams at random out of a hat, as shown above. You can see that Clemson was selected first, thereby securing our preseason #1 slot, and they held on to that spot for 6 weeks, beating 3 ranked opponents along the way. But then they took an upset loss at Syracuse, finally giving up their hold on #1.

As the games are played, I am also ranking teams completely blind to their histories and "name" value, so that they are ranked solely based on what they do this season and, for now at least, on where they were ranked in the preseason. Eventually, where teams were ranked in the preseason should have little or no impact on their current rankings.

Wisconsin Remains #1

MS Paint of Wisconsin 2017

Wisconsin was picked out of my hat 18th in the preseason, and they jumped up to #5 after stomping #5 Utah State in their opener. Utah State turned out to be not very good, and Wisconsin's schedule has been rather unimpressive, so the Badgers lingered around #5 for much of the season. They rose to #3 after Week Ten, and the next week #1 Georgia and #2 Notre Dame both lost, enabling Wisconsin to rise to #1.

While Wisconsin's schedule has been weak, you could say the same about the teams just behind them. In the end, 11-0 Wisconsin is #1, 10-0 Central Florida is #2, and 11-0 Alabama is #3 because that is the order these teams were ranked relative to each other in the preseason. None of the 3 teams has played a tough schedule. 10-0 Miami is #4 because they have had 4 close wins, all over unrated teams, while Alabama has had 2, and Wisconsin and UCF just 1 each.

TipTop 25 After Week Twelve Games

Last week our #1 and #2 teams had lost and dropped in the ratings, and our #8 team had lost and dropped all the way out of the top 25, so there was some reshuffling of the rankings, particularly in the top 10. This week, however, our top 15 teams remain exactly the same as last week, and there isn't even much reshuffling of the teams behind them. This week's TipTop 25 is as follows:

Team Record LW This Week's Result
#1 Wisconsin 11-0 1 Won 24-10 over #15 Michigan
#2 Central Florida 10-0 2 Won 45-19 at Temple
#3 Alabama 11-0 3 Won 56-0 over an FCS team
#4 Miami (Florida) 10-0 4 Won 44-28 over Virginia
#5 Clemson 10-1 5 Won 61-3 over an FCS team
#6 Auburn 9-2 6 Won 42-14 over Louisiana-Monroe
#7 Georgia 10-1 7 Won 42-13 over 7-4 Kentucky
#8 Oklahoma 10-1 8 Won 41-3 at Kansas
#9 Notre Dame 9-2 9 Won 24-17 over 6-4 Navy
#10 Texas Christian 9-2 10 Won 27-3 at Texas Tech
#11 Oklahoma State 8-3 11 Lost 45-40 to unrated Kansas State (now #30)
#12 Ohio State 9-2 12 Won 52-14 over Illinois
#13 Michigan State 8-3 13 Won 17-7 over Maryland
#14 Penn State 9-2 14 Won 56-44 over Nebraska
#15 Michigan 8-3 15 Lost 24-10 at #1 Wisconsin
#16 Northwestern 8-3 18 Won 39-0 over Minnesota
#17 Southern Cal 10-2 23 Won 28-23 over UCLA
#18 Texas 6-5 Unrated Won 28-14 at #17 West Virginia
#19 Virginia Tech 8-3 16 Won 20-14 over Pittsburgh
#20 West Virginia 7-4 17 Lost 28-14 to unrated Texas (now #18)
#21 Iowa State 7-4 20 Won 23-13 at Baylor
#22 Iowa 6-5 19 Lost 24-15 to unrated Purdue
#23 Mississippi State 8-3 22 Won 28-21 at Arkansas
#24 Memphis 9-1 21 Won 66-45 over Southern Methodist
#25 Washington State 9-2 24 Did not play

Notes on Changes to This Week's TipTop 25

#11 Oklahoma State lost 45-40 at home to an unrated team, but they did not drop in the ratings. That's because the team behind them, Ohio State, had themselves previously taken an upset loss, 55-24 at #22 Iowa. So Oklahoma State's upset loss just makes them even, in that regard, with Ohio State. Ultimately, Oklahoma State remains ranked higher than Ohio State because Oklahoma State was ranked #44 in the preseason and Ohio State was not ranked at all. But in addition to that, Oklahoma State has beaten 3 ranked teams and Ohio State has beaten 2, and Oklahoma State gave Oklahoma a slightly better game than Ohio State did.

Texas' big win at West Virginia, previously rated #17, causes a lot of reshuffling. Texas lost to unrated Maryland in their opener, but they defeated #21 Iowa State in September, and now their win over West Virginia (who has beaten Iowa State) shows that the loss to Maryland is the fluke and not the win at ISU, so now Texas belongs ranked ahead of both West Virginia and Iowa State. Meanwhile, Southern Cal, who has previously beaten Texas, now has another quality win with Texas rated (this helps Oklahoma State remain #11 as well, as discussed above), and so USC shoots up in the ratings a bit. Previously, their overtime win at home over Texas was a hindrance to their rating.

Note that although Texas is 6-5, they have 2 wins over rated teams (West Virginia and Iowa State), and they lost to #8 Oklahoma by only 5 points, and to #11 Oklahoma State and #17 Southern Cal in overtime, so there are a lot of indications that they are a legit top 25 team power-wise. I moved Texas into the ratings ahead of Virginia Tech because Texas was more impressive against West Virginia than Virginia Tech was, and Texas has beaten 2 rated teams, VT just 1.

I moved Mississippi State ahead of Memphis because MSU has beaten #26 Louisiana State, while Memphis has beaten no one that is close to ranked, and I probably should have made this change last week.

Close to the Top 25

The following teams are next in line to be ranked:

#26 Louisiana State
#27 Boise State
#28 San Diego State
#29 Stanford
#30 Kansas State
#31 Washington
#32 Troy
#33 Fresno State

End of the TipTop 25

The point of this top 25 has been an experiment with random preseason ratings and with trying to ignore teams' historic reputations and "brand name" values. Ideally, after next week's games the preseason ratings should mean very little, so this will be my last top 25. Starting next week, I'll be doing what I normally do after Thanksgiving, which is commenting on the AP poll top 25 each week until I fix the final AP poll top 25 in January.