Bama is Better But…

A new set of college football playoff rankings will be released today. Those rankings tell part of the story. Obviously, you need to get into the playoff to win it. Of course that ordering will change in the next two weeks depending on what happens rivalry weekend and during conference championship weekend.

But let’s forget about records and attempt to answer the question of who are the best teams in college football today. The answer to that question is easily seen through the SSA power ratings chart. Alabama is better than everyone and Ohio State is a clear second. After them, it’s a tight group of three: Oklahoma, Auburn, and Clemson.

While Alabama is better than everyone else, they can lose. The game at Mississippi State was a wake-up call for fans that thought Alabama was untouchable. According to our ratings, Alabama is about 7 points better than Auburn. Accounting for home field, we would expect Alabama to win by 3 or 4 points in the Iron Bowl. With Auburn’s RB Pettway out, Vegas has the line for this game set at 4.5 points. Using our conversion tool, a 4.5 point spread equates to a 63 percent win prob.

If Alabama wins this weekend, they would have to face Georgia in the SEC championship game. Our power numbers indicate Alabama is 9 points better than Georgia and it would be a neutral site game. This equates to a 74 percent win prob for the Tide.

Doing a little multiplication, 63 percent x 74 percent means Alabama has a 47 percent chance of entering the college football playoff undefeated. In other words, it’s more likely than not that Alabama will lose one of its two final games. So even though they are better than every other team in college football, they can still lose.

So forget the forecasts, know that nothing is certain, and enjoy the final two weeks of the college football season.

Follow Jordan on Twitter @JDSports84





About Jordan Sundheim 85 Articles
Jordan Sundheim is a veteran of the sports analytics field with a background in both athletics and statistics. He earned his master's at Duke, coached football at Stanford, and was part of the data science team at NCSA.