2017 VPR, Week 14 and Bowl Matchups

4 Dec

The college football playoff committee has shown that they want three things from the entrants into the playoff.  (I did not suggest this, but I cannot remember to whom I should give credit.)  They value conference champions and teams that tied for their division lead but missed the championship game on a tie-breaker.  They disqualify teams with more than one loss.  And they want to avoid putting teams into double jeopardy like what the BCS thrust upon LSU in 2011.

The 2017 season gave the committee three slam dunk choices.  Clemson, Georgia, and Oklahoma all won power conferences while only suffering one defeat, and the defeats came to teams all clearly out of the playoff race.  After Sunday night, no one disputed those teams.

However, I found myself disappointed with the committee’s fourth selection for the first time since the playoff began.  Most acknowledged that the committee had four reasonable choices: Ohio St and Alabama and dark horses USC and UCF.  Ohio St and USC both won power conferences, something that goes pretty far with the committee, but they violated at least one of the committee’s other principles.  Both had two losses and Ohio St gathered a second strike by suffering a home loss to Oklahoma early in the season.  The committee took Alabama as the fourth team, the easy choice because of the Tide’s strong brand name.

The committee took the easy choice but I argue that they failed to make the deserving choice.  Alabama went 11-1 in the best conference in football, but when you unpack that record its not quite as impressive as its face value.  The Tide lost to Auburn, the other best team in their division, and missed conference champion Georgia entirely.  They did defeat #23 LSU, #27 Mississippi St, and #29 Fresno St, but this wasn’t exactly a traditional murderer’s row SEC schedule.  For comparison, Auburn played six games against the Top 40 and Georgia played five.  Alabama took advantage of SEC reputation without true SEC quality.

UCF also played three games against the Top 40.  They beat #36 South Florida and #17 Memphis twice.  But Central Florida has two advantages over Bama; they went undefeated and they actually won their conference.

And I understand that a gap in quality exists between the SEC and the AAC, but the gap narrowed this season more than you would expect.  Every year, one G5 conference challenges the big boys and provides competition on par with the worst of the P5 conferences.  The G5 conferences just remain a step below because none of them can maintain that level consistently.  The AAC took on the mantle this year and has produced a positive VPR at 59 points.  The worst power conference, the Big XII, only has 64 points.  That’s the difference, as a conference, of one extra win over a team like Vanderbilt or Air Force.  If Oklahoma got an automatic pass into the playoff this year, why not UCF?

Taking Alabama over UCF also just plain looks bad.  We all know that money drives the sport and the P5 conferences will get a disproportionate piece of the pie, but it looks hypocritical when the NCAA treats all of FCS as one, equal entity and then denies a perfectly deserving G5 team while taking a second team from the most spoiled conference in the land.  The rich get richer and poor get the (still lucrative) scraps of the Peach Bowl.

The committee should have taken Central Florida, the more deserving team.

georgia logo

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
1. Georgia 12 1 73
2. Clemson 12 1 73
3. UCF 12 0 71
4. Wisconsin 12 1 68
5. Oklahoma 12 1 68
6. Ohio St 11 2 65
7. Alabama 11 1 63
8. USC 11 2 61
9. Auburn 10 3 57
10. Notre Dame 9 3 55
11. Penn St 10 2 54
12. Miami (FL) 10 2 52
13. Boise St 10 3 51
14. FAU 10 3 46
15. Toledo 11 2 45
16. Washington 10 2 44
17. Memphis 10 2 44
18. Michigan St 9 3 43
19. Stanford 9 4 43
20. TCU 10 3 42
21. San Diego St 10 2 39
22. Washington St 9 3 39
23. LSU 9 3 37
24. Troy 10 2 36
25. Virginia Tech 9 3 34
26. Northwestern 9 3 33
27. Mississippi St 8 4 31
28. Oklahoma St 9 3 30
29. Fresno St 9 4 30
30. Iowa 7 5 30
31. Michigan 8 4 29
32. NC State 8 4 28
33. South Carolina 8 4 27
34. North Texas 9 4 27
35. Boston College 7 5 27
36. South Florida 9 2 24
37. Arizona St 7 5 22
38. Louisville 8 4 20
39. Wake Forest 7 5 20
40. Navy 6 5 18
41. Army 8 3 17

 

Fantasy Bowl Matchups

While I never turn down more college football and I love a great story like New Mexico St, I also appreciate when really good teams play each other and I miss when bowl qualification really meant something.  So I pare down the Bowls to twenty of the oldest, most prestigious, and most lucrative as well as one with a cool destination for the players (Hawaii) and one with amusing, pro-Reddit media (Belk Bowl).  Only the forty best teams by VPR qualify.  I try to keep real conference tie-ins where possible.  I made all of my selections before the committee announced their decisions.

Note: Army and Navy are currently ranked #41 and #40, respectively, heading into their big rivalry game.  That means the winner finishes the regular season in the Top 40 and earns the final bowl invite in this system.  Go Army, Beat Navy!

Rose Bowl #2 Clemson v #3 UCF
Sugar Bowl #1 Georgia v #5 Oklahoma
Orange Bowl #4 Wisconsin v #12 Miami (FL)
Cotton Bowl #8 USC v #9 Auburn
Fiesta Bowl #6 Ohio St v #7 Alabama
Peach Bowl #10 Notre Dame v #11 Penn St
Sun Bowl Arizona St v Boston College
Gator Bowl #25 Virginia Tech v South Carolina
Liberty Bowl South Florida v North Texas
Citrus Bowl #18 Michgian St v #23 LSU
Independence Bowl Wake Forest v Army/Navy
Holiday Bowl #22 Washington St v Iowa
Outback Bowl Northwestern v Mississippi St
Cactus Bowl #19 Stanford v Oklahoma St
Camping World Bowl #24 Troy v NC State
Las Vegas Bowl #13 Boise St v #15 Toledo
Alamo Bowl #16 Washington v #20 TCU
Music City Bowl #17 Memphis v Michigan
Hawaii Bowl #14 FAU v #21 San Diego St
Belk Bowl Louisville v Fresno St

 

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2017 VPR, Week 13

27 Nov

wisconsin badger

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
1. Wisconsin 12 0 69
T2. Alabama 11 1 63
T2. Georgia 11 1 63
4. Clemson 11 1 62
5. UCF 11 0 60
6. Oklahoma 11 1 57
7. Auburn 10 2 57
8. Notre Dame 9 3 56
9. Penn St 10 2 54
10. Ohio St 10 2 53
11. USC 10 2 52
12. Miami (FL) 10 1 51
13. Washington 10 2 45
14. Stanford 9 3 45
15. Memphis 10 1 44
16. TCU 10 2 43
17. Michigan St 9 3 43
18. Boise St 9 3 42
19. San Diego St 10 2 40
20. Toledo 10 2 39
21. LSU 9 3 37
22. Washington St 9 3 37
23. FAU 9 3 37
24. Virginia Tech 9 3 35
25. Northwestern 9 3 34

Week 14: Top 40 vs Top 40

#14 Stanford vs #11 USC, Friday, 8:00 PM
North Texas at #23 FAU, Noon
#15 Memphis at #5 UCF, Noon
#16 TCU vs #6 Oklahoma, 12:30
#2 Georgia vs #7 Auburn, 4:00 PM
Fresno St at #18 Boise St, 7:45 PM
#12 Miami (FL) vs #4 Clemson, 8:00 PM
#10 Ohio St vs #1 Wisconsin, 8:00 PM

Conference Rankings

Conference Victory Points
SEC 284
Big 10 224
ACC 196
Pac 12 165
Big 12 60
AAC 55
MWC -96
MAC -98
C-USA -135
Sun Belt -217

2017 VPR, Week 12

20 Nov

alabama-3

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
1. Alabama 11 0 60
2. Wisconsin 11 0 59
3. Georgia 10 1 55
4. Notre Dame 9 2 55
5. Miami (FL) 10 0 54
6. USC 10 2 50
7. Clemson 10 1 49
8. UCF 10 0 46
9. Oklahoma 10 1 46
10. Penn St 9 2 46
11. Ohio St 9 2 43
12. Auburn 9 2 42
13. Boise St 9 2 42
14. TCU 9 2 39
15. Memphis 9 1 38
16. Michigan St 8 3 38
17. Washington St 9 2 37
18. Mississippi St 8 3 36
19. San Diego St 9 2 33
20. FAU 8 3 33
21. Washington 9 2 32
22. Stanford 8 3 32
23. Toledo 9 2 31
24. LSU 8 3 29
25. Michigan 8 3 29

Week 13: Top 40 v Top 40

South Florida at #8 UCF, Friday, 3:30 PM
#11 Ohio St at #25 Michgian, Noon
#1 Alabama at #12 Auburn, 3:30 PM
#13 Boise St at Fresno St, 3:30 PM
#7 Clemson at South Carolina, 7:30 PM
Texas A&M at #24 LSU, 7:30 PM
#4 Notre Dame at #22 Stanford, 8:00 PM
#17 Washington St at #21 Washington, 8:00 PM

2017 VPR, Week 11

14 Nov

Alabama logo

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
1. Alabama 10 0 53
2. Wisconsin 10 0 46
3. Notre Dame 8 2 44
4. Georgia 9 1 43
5. Clemson 9 1 43
6. Miami (FL) 9 0 42
7. USC 9 2 42
8. Oklahoma 9 1 40
9. UCF 9 0 39
10. Penn St 8 2 39
11. Ohio St 8 2 38
12. Boise St 8 2 36
13. Washington St 9 2 35
14. Auburn 8 2 33
15. TCU 8 2 32
16. Michigan St 7 3 32
17. Memphis 8 1 31
18. Oklahoma St 8 2 31
19. Mississippi St 7 3 28
20. San Diego St 8 2 27
21. Iowa 6 4 27
22. Michigan 8 2 26
23. Toledo 8 2 26
24. Washington 8 2 25
25. Stanford 7 3 24

Week 12: Top 40 v Top 40

#22 Michigan at #2 Wisconsin, Noon
Kentucky at #4 Georgia, 3:30 PM
Navy at #3 Notre Dame, 3:30 PM

2017 VPR Week 10

6 Nov

georgia alabama notre dame

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
T1. Georgia 9 0 42
T1. Alabama 9 0 42
3. Notre Dame 8 1 39
4. Wisconsin 9 0 36
5. Clemson 8 1 36
6. UCF 8 0 35
7. USC 8 2 34
8. Miami (FL) 8 0 32
9. Penn St 7 2 32
10. TCU 8 1 31
11. Michigan St 7 2 30
12. Ohio St 7 2 29
13. Oklahoma 8 1 28
14. Memphis 8 1 28
15. Washington 8 1 27
16. Boise St 7 2 27
17. Washington St 8 2 26
18. Toledo 8 1 25
19. San Diego St 8 2 25
20. Mississippi St 7 2 24
21. Iowa 6 3 24
22. Oklahoma St 7 2 22
23. Auburn 7 2 21
24. Michigan 7 2 21
25. Virginia Tech 7 2 21

Week 11: Top 40 v Top 40

#15 Washington at Stanford, Friday, 10:30 PM
NC State at Boston College, Noon
#11 Michigan St at #12 Ohio St, Noon
#22 Oklahoma St at Iowa St, Noon
#1 Georgia at #23 Auburn, 3:30 PM
#21 Iowa at #4 Wisconsin, 3:30 PM
#1 Alabama at #20 Mississippi St, 7:00 PM
#3 Notre Dame at #8 Miami(FL), 8:00 PM
#10 TCU at #13 Oklahoma, 8:00 PM

2017 VPR, Week 9

30 Oct

georgia logo

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
1. Georgia 8 0 31
2. Penn St 7 1 31
3. Notre Dame 7 1 31
4. Alabama 8 0 30
5. Clemson 7 1 30
6. Wisconsin 8 0 29
7. Ohio St 7 1 29
8. UCF 7 0 26
9. TCU 7 1 25
10. USC 7 2 25
11. Memphis 7 1 24
12. Miami (FL) 7 0 23
13. Mississippi St 6 2 22
14. Boise St 6 2 22
15. San Diego St 7 2 22
16. Oklahoma St 7 1 21
17. Oklahoma 7 1 20
18. Michigan St 6 2 20
19. Washington 7 1 19
20. Virginia Tech 7 1 19
21. NC State 6 2 19
22. Washington St 7 2 19
23. Iowa St 6 2 18
24. Toledo 7 1 17
25. South Carolina 6 2 17

Week 10: Key Games

#2 Penn St at #18 Michigan St, Noon
Stanford at #22 Washington St, 3:30 PM
#25 South Carolina at #1 Georgia, 3:30 PM
#5 Clemson at #21 NC State, 3:30 PM
Wake Forest at #3 Notre Dame, 3:30 PM
#7 Ohio St at Iowa, 3:30 PM
#17 Oklahoma at #16 Oklahoma St, 4:00 PM
#8 UCF at SMU, 7:15 PM
#20 Virginia Tech at #12 Miami (FL), 8:00 PM
LSU at #4 Alabama, 8:00 PM
Arizona at #10 USC, 10:45 PM

2017 VPR, Week 8

23 Oct

bama elephant

Team Wins Losses Victory Points
1. Alabama 8 0 29
2. Penn St 7 0 26
3. Georgia 7 0 25
4. TCU 7 0 23
5. Clemson 6 1 23
6. Notre Dame 6 1 23
7. UCF 6 0 22
8. Wisconsin 7 0 22
9. Miami (FL) 6 0 21
10. Michigan St 6 1 21
11. Memphis 6 1 20
12. USC 6 2 20
13. Ohio St 6 1 19
14. NC State 6 1 19
15. Washington St 7 1 18
16. Boise St 5 2 16
17. San Diego St 6 2 16
18. Washington 6 1 15
19. Oklahoma St 6 1 15
20. South Florida 7 0 14
21. Virginia Tech 6 1 14
22. Toledo 6 1 14
23. Mississippi St 5 2 14
24. LSU 6 2 14
25. Oklahoma 6 1 13

Week 9: Key Games

#14 NC State at #6 Notre Dame, 3:30 PM
#2 Penn St at #13 Ohio St, 3:30 PM
UCLA at #18 Washington, 3:30 PM
#23 Mississippi St at Texas A&M, 7:15 PM
#12 USC at Arizona St, 10:45 PM.