FanPost

Transitive Rankings Post Week 9- Auburn, Oregon Survive Carnage

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).

We've reached the unfortunate time of the year when we must deal with cycles.  For instance, Rutgers beat Tulane who beat Army who beat Rutgers.  In these circumstances, the transitive win goes to the team with the shortest "path".  In this case, Rutgers beat Tulane directly (path length 1) so they get the transitive win over Tulane, even though Tulane beat Army who beat Rutgers (path length 2).  

An unfortunate by-product is that teams can be ranked below teams they beat.  However, this will only occur if a cycle exists involving the two teams. 

The "above the fray" group now numbers 8, down from 17 last week.  Having the top two teams lose will do that.  

 

 

1 Auburn 114-0 (9-0)

Auburn remained undefeated and still has wins over two of the top 8 (LSU and Mississippi State).  

 

2 Oregon 113-0 (8-0)

Oregon fought off USC to stay in the top group.  They take #2 based on their Stanford win.  

 

3 TCU 112-0 (9-0)

3 Utah 112-0 (8-0)

3 Boise State 112-0 (7-0)

The three non-AQ teams are all in the same position: no losses, but no wins over anyone in the top group.  The winner of Utah-TCU will likely be the top of the bunch at the end of the season.  

 

3 LSU 113-1 (7-1)

LSU has the loss to Auburn, but a win over Mississippi State.  

 

7 Stanford 112-1 (7-1)

Losing to Oregon doesn't look like it will knock Stanford out of the top group any time soon.    

 

8 Mississippi State 112-2 (7-2)

Mississippi is in a precarious position: they can be knocked out of the group by any one of three teams losing  (Auburn, LSU and themselves).

 

9 Wisconsin 109-10 (7-1)

Wisconsin rises to the top of the Big Ten carnage following Iowa's win over MSU.  The Badgers have two high quality wins over MSU and OSU, while their win over ASU isn't bad either.  

 

10 Oklahoma 108-11 (7-1)

Oklahoma fell victim to Missouri's loss to Nebraska, but the Sooners' wins over Iowa State, Texas and Florida State kept them from falling too far.  

 

11 Missouri 105-14 (7-1)

Missouri is also among the recently dropped.  The mostly stay up due to their win over Oklahoma (31 wins), but wins over Texas A&M (16 wins) and Illinois (17 wins) help as well.  

 

12 Michigan State 104-15 (8-1)

Much like Missouri, MSU is held up mostly by a single win over Wisconsin (35 wins), though beating Northwestern helps too (21 wins).

 

13 Iowa 103-16 (6-2)

13 Nebraska 103-16 (7-1)

13 Arizona 103-16 (7-1)

16 Arkansas 101-18 (6-2)

17 Iowa State 100-19 (5-4)

18 Baylor 99-20 (7-2)

18 Oklahoma State 99-20 (7-1)

20 Alabama 98-21 (7-1)

Alabama continues to climb back into the top.  Beating LSU next week would move them into one of the highest positions outside the top group (and knock LSU and Mississippi State out of that group).  

 

21 Kansas State 97-22 (5-3)

22 Texas 95-24 (4-4)

Texas has been mocked quite a bit, but they don't really have any bad losses.  The worst one, UCLA only contributes 9 transitive losses.  On the other side of the ledger, Texas has a monster win over Nebraska (48 wins) and a nice win over Texas Tech (27 wins).  

 

23 Texas A&M 94-25 (5-3)

24 Nevada 93-26 (7-1)

24 Texas Tech 93-26 (4-4)

24 Oregon State 93-26 (4-3)

27 Ohio State 91-28 (8-1)

OSU has a rather unpleasant drop from the top group.  They really don't have much in the way of quality wins; the best one is over Miami, which looks less impressive each week.  

 

27 USC 91-28 (5-3)

27 California 91-28 (4-4)

30 UCLA 87-32 (3-5)

30 Florida 87-32 (5-3)

32 South Carolina 85-34 (6-2)

32 North Carolina State 85-34 (6-2)

32 Florida State 85-34 (6-2)

Florida State fell out of the top group in two ways: because of their loss to NC State and because of Missouri's loss (Missouri had previously beaten Oklahoma who beat FSU).

 

35 Air Force 84-35 (5-4)

36 Illinois 83-36 (5-3)

Illinois is another top group refugee.  The took a double hit this week: they had previously lost to both Missouri and MSU.  

 

36 Hawaii 83-36 (7-2)

38 Colorado 82-37 (3-5)

38 Northern Illinois 82-37 (7-2)

40 Arizona State 81-38 (4-4)

40 Virginia Tech 81-38 (6-2)

Virginia Tech was in the top group last week, but their decline is due to a change in method not an on-field result.  Previously, games against FCS were not included.  Now, FCS teams can be part of paths, but don't count for wins.  In other words, losing to JMU doesn't give a transitive loss to VT.  However, the fact that JMU lost to Massachusetts (who lost to Michigan), New Hampshire (who lost to Pitt), and Villanova (who lost to Temple) really hurts.  JMU is 3-4 against FCS teams.  

 

40 Washington 81-38 (3-5)

43 East Carolina 77-42 (5-3)

43 UCF 77-42 (6-2)

43 Temple 77-42 (7-2)

46 Michigan 76-43 (5-3)

47 Penn State 75-44 (5-3)

47 Georgia 75-44 (4-5)

49 Brigham Young 72-47 (3-5)

50 San Diego State 71-48 (6-2)

51 Miami (FL) 68-51 (5-3)

Miami hit the trifecta of failure: they lost to Virginia, FSU lost to NC State, and Missouri lost to Nebraska.  

 

52 North Carolina 67-52 (5-3)

53 Kentucky 66-53 (4-5)

54 Tennessee 62-57 (2-6)

55 Mississippi 60-59 (3-5)

Mississippi actually isn't hurt from their loss to Jacksonville State; JSU is 8-0.  Losing to Vanderbilt still stings though.  

 

56 Northwestern 59-60 (6-2)

56 Syracuse 59-60 (6-2)

58 Toledo 58-61 (6-3)

58 Fresno State 58-61 (5-2)

60 Pittsburgh 57-62 (5-3)

61 Clemson 56-63 (4-4)

62 Notre Dame 55-64 (4-5)

62 Virginia 55-64 (4-4)

Virginia gets a huge boost from the win over Miami.  51 of Virginia 54 wins come from that single game.  

 

64 Georgia Tech 54-65 (5-3)

64 Maryland 54-65 (6-2)

66 Tulsa 53-66 (5-3)

66 Navy 53-66 (5-3)

68 Southern Methodist 52-67 (5-4)

69 Army 51-68 (5-3)

69 West Virginia 51-68 (5-3)

71 Purdue 50-69 (4-4)

71 Houston 50-69 (5-3)

73 Rutgers 48-71 (4-3)

73 Connecticut 48-71 (4-4)

75 Louisville 46-73 (4-4)

76 Duke 45-74 (2-6)

76 Vanderbilt 45-74 (2-6)

76 Boston College 45-74 (3-5)

79 Kansas 44-75 (2-6)

80 South Florida 42-77 (4-3)

80 Cincinnati 42-77 (3-5)

80 Utah State 42-77 (2-6)

83 Wyoming 41-78 (2-7)

84 Southern Miss 40-79 (5-3)

84 Indiana 40-79 (4-4)

86 Wake Forest 39-80 (2-6)

87 Tulane 36-83 (3-5)

88 UAB 35-84 (3-5)

89 Buffalo 30-89 (2-6)

90 Troy 29-90 (4-3)

91 Rice 28-91 (2-6)

92 Kent State 27-92 (4-4)

92 Ohio 27-92 (6-3)

94 Florida Atlantic 25-94 (2-5)

94 Louisiana-Monroe 25-94 (4-4)

94 Marshall 25-94 (2-6)

94 Louisiana Tech 25-94 (3-5)

98 Miami (OH) 24-95 (5-4)

98 Arkansas State 24-95 (3-5)

100 Memphis 21-98 (1-7)

101 UTEP 20-99 (5-4)

101 Florida International 20-99 (2-5)

101 Minnesota 20-99 (1-8)

104 Bowling Green 19-100 (2-7)

105 North Texas 18-101 (2-6)

106 Middle Tennessee 15-104 (3-4)

107 Washington State 14-105 (1-8)

Even counting their lone win (over FCS Montana State), Washington State is still the worst AQ team.  

 

107 Louisiana-Lafayette 14-105 (2-6)

109 Western Kentucky 12-107 (1-7)

109 Western Michigan 12-107 (3-5)

109 Colorado State 12-107 (3-6)

112 Idaho 11-108 (4-4)

Idaho is the worst team with a .500 or better record, transitively speaking.  Having a best win over Western Michigan will do that, especially with losses to Louisiana-Tech and Colorado State.  

 

113 Ball State 9-110 (2-7)

114 San Jose State 8-111 (1-8)

115 Eastern Michigan 7-112 (1-8)

116 New Mexico State 5-114 (2-6)

116 Central Michigan 5-114 (2-7)

118 UNLV 1-117 (1-7)

119 Akron 0-117 (0-9)

120 New Mexico 0-118 (0-8)

Allowing FCS teams in paths has the effect of pushing the truly winless to the bottom.  New Mexico manages to squeeze out Akron by losing to 1-7 UNLV.  

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