FanPost

Transitive Win/Loss Ranking Post Week 5-Tide, Hawkeyes, Various Felines


As every college football message board debater knows, winning football games is transitive. In other words, if Team A beats Team B and Team B beats Team C, the fans of Team A are perfectly within their rights to talk trash to fans of Team C. Obviously, Team A could have completely wiped the floor with Team C, they just didn't happen to play each other. If Team D happens to lose to Team C, they are also deserving of as much scorn as possible. Thus one way of ranking teams just counts how many teams' fans are permissible trash talk targets (minus those in the reverse situation).

 

 

1 Arizona 58-0 (3-0)

The Wildcat's win over Iowa is now worth a whopping 40 transitive wins.

 

2 Alabama 53-0 (5-0)

Alabama's wins over Florida and Penn State are worth 46 wins between the two of them, in part because of the chain of the week (described after the rankings).  

 

3 Iowa 48-1 (3-1)

The win over Penn State helped a lot, as did Iowa State beating Texas Tech.  

 

4 Louisiana State 45-0 (5-0)

I can't explain LSU or Les Miles and neither can anyone else.  Record-wise, they have beaten 5 teams each worth at least 5 transitive wins each.  

 

5 Michigan 43-0 (4-0)

Michigan's win over Connecticut also allows them access to the chain of the week.  

 

6 Oklahoma 41-0 (5-0)

The win over Texas is what put Oklahoma here, but their wins over FSU and Air Force also helped.  

 

7 Oregon 40-0 (4-0)

Transitive records means that if you beat someone, you take their stuff.  Oregon's win over previous #1 Stanford propelled them to #7.  

 

8 Boise State 38-0 (4-0)

As expected, the win over Virginia Tech gets better every time VT wins.  Since the Hokies beat NC State last week, Boise State gets bumped to the top 10.  

 

8 Kansas State 38-0 (3-0)

KSU remains the most egregious mistake in most top 25 rankings.  The two purple Wildcat teams (Northwestern and KSU) are the only ones that are undefeated and unranked in the AP but in the top 20 in transitivity.

 

10 Penn State 40-3 (2-2)

Penn State benefited retroactively from their Temple win because of the chain of the week.  Their losses to undefeated Alabama and one-loss Iowa don't hurt that much.  

 

10 Northwestern 37-0 (4-0)

Northwestern gets in on the chain of the week because of their opening win over Vanderbilt.  

 

12 Texas Christian 36-0 (4-0)

12 Stanford 37-1 (3-1)

12 Missouri 36-0 (3-0)

15 Temple 38-4 (3-1)

16 Nevada 32-0 (4-0)

17 Connecticut 36-6 (2-2)

17 Air Force 31-1 (3-1)

19 Auburn 29-0 (5-0)

20 Nebraska 28-0 (3-0)

20 UCLA 31-3 (3-2)

22 Virginia Tech 27-1 (3-1)

23 San Diego State 26-1 (2-1)

23 South Carolina 26-1 (2-1)

25 Florida State 25-1 (3-1)

25 Baylor 25-1 (3-1)

27 Vanderbilt 32-9 (1-3)

28 North Carolina State 24-2 (3-1)

28 Southern Mississippi 24-2 (3-1)

28 Mississippi 32-10 (3-1)

31 Florida 22-1 (4-1)

31 Michigan State 21-0 (4-0)

33 California 22-2 (1-2)

33 Ohio State 20-0 (5-0)

35 Colorado 21-3 (3-1)

35 Oklahoma State 18-0 (4-0)

37 Kansas 22-5 (2-2)

37 Iowa State 20-3 (2-2)

39 Texas 21-5 (3-2)

40 Houston 19-4 (2-1)

40 Fresno State 26-11 (2-1)

42 Illinois 15-2 (1-2)

43 Mississippi State 14-2 (2-2)

43 Miami (FL) 13-1 (2-1)

45 Georgia Tech 20-9 (2-2)

45 Arkansas 12-1 (2-1)

47 Texas-El Paso 15-5 (3-1)

48 Utah State 24-15 (1-3)

49 South Fla. 10-2 (2-1)

50 West Virginia 8-1 (2-1)

50 Northern Illinois 14-7 (2-2)

50 Clemson 10-3 (1-2)

53 North Carolina 17-11 (2-2)

54 Texas Tech 14-9 (2-2)

54 Utah 5-0 (4-0)

56 Miami (OH) 7-3 (3-2)

56 Brigham Young 23-19 (1-4)

56 Tennessee 8-4 (1-3)

59 Wisconsin 4-1 (3-1)

Wisconsin is the most egregiously ranked team.  Their wins are over teams whose combined FBS record is 1-10.

 

60 East Carolina 14-12 (2-2)

60 Oregon State 4-2 (2-2)

60 Notre Dame 6-4 (2-3)

60 Maryland 4-2 (3-1)

64 Indiana 2-1 (2-1)

64 Texas A&M 2-1 (2-1)

Texas A&M and Indiana are the most boring teams from a transitive perspective.  Their wins are against winless teams, while their losses are against undefeated teams.  

 

64 Central Florida 5-4 (1-2)

64 Washington 22-21 (2-2)

Transitive win/loss record guarantees that a team is always ranked above teams they beat, which lead to Washington's rapid rise (and USC's sudden drop).  

 

64 Georgia 11-10 (1-4)

64 Southern Methodist 12-11 (3-2)

70 Tulsa 13-14 (2-2)

70 Wyoming 7-8 (1-3)

72 Pittsburgh 1-3 (1-2)

73 Southern California 19-22 (4-1)

74 Navy 1-5 (1-2)

74 San Jose State 0-4 (0-3)

San Jose State has the dubious distinction of the best transitive win/loss record of teams with no wins.  Their losses are to Alabama, Utah, and Wisconsin. 

 

74 Rice 10-14 (1-4)

74 Toledo 6-10 (3-2)

78 Colorado State 4-9 (1-4)

79 Arizona State 0-6 (0-3)

79 Boston College 1-7 (1-2)

81 Kentucky 5-12 (3-2)

82 Idaho 3-11 (2-2)

83 Memphis 12-22 (1-4)

83 Buffalo 4-14 (1-3)

85 Purdue 3-14 (1-2)

86 Hawaii 13-25 (2-2)

87 Wake Forest 1-14 (1-3)

88 Ball State 2-16 (1-2)

88 Nevada-Las Vegas 1-15 (1-4)

88 Louisville 2-16 (1-2)

88 Tulane 2-16 (1-2)

92 Kent State 0-15 (0-3)

92 New Mexico State 0-15 (0-4)

92 Army 11-26 (3-2)

95 Minnesota 12-28 (1-3)

95 Western Kentucky 0-16 (0-4)

95 Cincinnati 0-16 (0-3)

98 Central Michigan 1-21 (1-3)

99 Syracuse 1-22 (1-1)

100 Virginia 0-23 (0-2)

100 Western Michigan 0-23 (0-3)

102 Rutgers 1-28 (1-2)

102 New Mexico 0-27 (0-5)

104 Akron 0-31 (0-4)

105 Washington State 0-33 (0-4)

106 Louisiana Tech 0-34 (0-4)

107 Florida International 0-37 (0-4)

108 Middle Tennessee State 11-50 (1-2)

109 Duke 0-42 (0-4)

110 Louisiana-Lafayette 10-55 (2-2)

ULL has the curious property of having 10 transitive wins but being ranked 11th to last.  They have a chain down to everyone below them.  

 

111 North Texas 9-64 (1-4)

112 Florida Atlantic 8-68 (1-3)

113 Alabama-Birmingham 7-70 (1-3)

114 Troy 6-70 (2-2)

115 Bowling Green State 3-74 (1-4)

116 Marshall 2-75 (1-4)

117 Arkansas State 1-75 (1-4)

118 Louisiana-Monroe 0-76 (0-3)

118 Ohio 1-77 (1-3)

120 Eastern Michigan 0-85 (0-5)

EMU wrested the "worst team" title away from ULM by losing to Ohio.  They are demonstrably worse than 85 of the 105 FBS teams with at least one win.  

 

Chain of the Week:  Iowa-Penn State-Temple-Connecticut-Vanderbilt-Mississippi-Fresno State-Utah State-BYU-Washington-USC

Most of the upper tier teams have at least some connection to this chain.  Because of it, Vanderbilt has 32 transitive wins from their single actual win over Mississippi.  

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