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Sometimes it pays to have the week off. Sometimes it doesn't.
The USC Trojans and Boise State Broncos didn't even have to play a game this week to move up in our power rankings; while, unbeaten Cincinnati and South Florida, who match up on Thursday night and also had a bye last week, each move down two spots in the rankings that are calculated by simulating each team against every other FBS team 100 times (more below rankings table).
Florida and Alabama - now 1-2 in the AP poll as well - remain in the top two spots. The Gators continue to win almost 99% of their games. USC, the highest-ranked one-loss team, moves up one spot to No. 4 and, thanks in most part to a drop from TCU, also-idle Boise State jumps three spots into the top five. The Horned Frogs, fourth a week ago, eeked out a victory at Air Force, but the tight game costs them four spots.
Virginia Tech, posting its latest big victory over Boston College, hops six spots up to No. 6. That big leap helps bump the Bearcats and Bulls down.
The biggest bye-week winner is Notre Dame. The Irish got an extra week to prepare for USC and jump a dozen spots without even snapping the ball.
This week's biggest mover upward is Central Michigan. The Chippewas beat Eastern Michigan 56-8 to bolt up 36 spots - from 69th to 33rd - in the power rankings. Central Michigan, now 5-1 and atop the Mid-American Conference West, beats all other opponents 68.6% of the time, yet (in real-life) now goes on the road three straight weeks.
Other big leapers includ: the Texas Tech Red Raiders, whose 66-14 throttling of Kansas State helps them move up 26 spots to 39th; the Wyoming Cowboys, who beat New Mexico 37-13 and move up 25 spots to 57th and are now beating all other FBS opponents more than half the time; Troy, which moves up 21 spots to 77th; and Western Michigan, which hops 20 spots and into the top 100.
The biggest drop of the week goes to Colorado, which had Texas on the ropes at halftime but was shut out in the second half. The Buffaloes are now 1-4 and fall 31 spots, out of the top 100 to 101st. The Buffaloes are scoring less than 10 points per game in this week's simulations and beat their FBS opponents less than 20% of the time.
Other droppers include: Auburn and Wisconsin, which each saw their undefeated starts come to an end while they both dip 14 spots and out of the top 20; the Georgia Bulldogs, who drop from the top 25 to 51st after losing to Tennessee; and Boston College, which drops 19 spots and is now beating FBS opponents less than half of the time.
Teams Ranked by Winning Percentage
(everyone plays everyone 100 times)
|2.||Alabama Crimson Tide||-||97.2||49.9||7.1|
|4.||Boise State Broncos||+3||94.4||48.8||11.0|
|6.||Virginia Tech Hokies||+6||93.3||47.9||12.2|
|7.||TCU Horned Frogs||-4||92.9||43.0||9.7|
|10.||Ohio State Buckeyes||+1||89.8||38.0||9.5|
|11.||South Florida Bulls||-2||89.4||41.9||13.4|
|15.||Brigham Young Cougars||+4||82.8||40.1||18.5|
|16.||Oklahoma State Cowboys||-||82.8||37.7||17.0|
|17.||Penn State Nittany Lions||+8||79.4||32.0||14.8|
|19.||West Virginia Mountaineers||+11||78.5||35.8||16.2|
|21.||Miami (FL) Hurricanes||+2||77.6||34.1||17.0|
|24.||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+12||73.9||36.9||21.7|
|29.||Fresno State Bulldogs||+10||70.9||36.7||21.7|
|31.||South Carolina Gamecocks||+2||68.9||27.6||16.0|
|33.||Central Michigan Chippewas||+36||68.6||28.9||17.9|
|36.||Michigan State Spartans||-1||67.8||29.1||18.2|
|37.||California Golden Bears||-8||67.7||30.0||18.5|
|38.||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||-4||67.0||32.9||21.6|
|39.||Texas Tech Red Raiders||+26||66.1||27.8||19.1|
|41.||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||+7||64.7||27.9||20.4|
|42.||Air Force Falcons||-2||64.5||26.3||18.3|
|45.||Rutgers Scarlet Knights||+1||63.3||25.5||19.3|
|46.||Oregon State Beavers||+10||61.7||25.4||19.4|
|47.||Texas A&M Aggies||-3||60.2||26.6||21.4|
|49.||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||-2||59.7||26.0||21.1|
|50.||Nevada Wolf Pack||+11||56.7||28.9||24.4|
|52.||Florida State Seminoles||-3||54.4||26.8||24.6|
|54.||North Carolina State Wolfpack||-17||52.9||21.4||20.2|
|55.||Northern Illinois Huskies||+9||52.8||24.9||24.0|
|56.||Arkansas State Red Wolves||+2||51.1||23.6||23.4|
|62.||Boston College Eagles||-19||48.9||19.7||20.2|
|63.||North Carolina Tar Heels||+3||48.2||13.8||15.9|
|64.||Southern Miss Golden Eagles||-14||47.9||21.0||22.5|
|65.||Utah State Aggies||-12||47.6||23.9||25.7|
|66.||Minnesota Golden Gophers||+7||46.3||19.8||22.9|
|67.||Kansas State Wildcats||-7||45.7||20.9||24.9|
|71.||Arizona State Sun Devils||-||42.2||14.8||20.2|
|73.||Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns||+5||42.1||19.8||25.2|
|75.||Colorado State Rams||+9||40.2||18.5||25.7|
|80.||Mississippi State Bulldogs||-8||36.8||19.1||27.3|
|82.||Marshall Thundering Herd||+9||34.1||17.2||27.6|
|84.||Iowa State Cyclones||+2||33.7||18.8||28.7|
|85.||Western Michigan Broncos||+20||32.3||16.4||27.5|
|87.||Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders||-4||31.2||13.9||25.9|
|89.||Illinois Fighting Illini||-13||29.8||16.8||30.2|
|92.||Duke Blue Devils||+2||26.4||14.4||28.4|
|93.||Louisiana Tech Bulldogs||-6||26.4||15.1||30.2|
|95.||East Carolina Pirates||-2||24.8||12.1||27.7|
|96.||Army Black Knights||+6||23.4||11.2||28.5|
|97.||North Texas Mean Green||-8||23.3||13.0||30.4|
|98.||Tulane Green Wave||+3||22.9||13.0||31.6|
|102.||Southern Methodist Mustangs||+1||19.4||10.2||29.9|
|105.||San Diego State Aztecs||-1||16.8||8.8||28.7|
|106.||Kent State Golden Flashes||+7||15.9||9.4||31.5|
|108.||Florida Atlantic Owls||-2||14.2||11.8||38.9|
|109.||Bowling Green Falcons||-1||12.8||8.9||36.0|
|111.||Western Kentucky Hilltoppers||-||9.4||9.0||40.7|
|112.||Florida International Golden Panthers||+6||9.3||8.2||38.3|
|113.||Ball State Cardinals||-3||8.9||7.2||35.1|
|114.||New Mexico Lobos||-5||8.9||6.0||36.2|
|116.||Miami (OH) RedHawks||+1||6.7||5.4||38.1|
|117.||New Mexico State Aggies||-2||6.3||5.6||38.0|
|118.||San Jose State Spartans||+1||5.9||6.9||43.1|
|119.||Eastern Michigan Eagles||-3||5.9||5.6||42.1|
|120.||Washington State Cougars||-||4.2||5.5||42.4|
WhatIfSports.com utilizes its college football simulation technology to present the most comprehensive, deterministic and unbiased ranking of all teams. We simulated every possible DI FBS match-up one hundred times, and used the winning percentages from 700,000+ games to evaluate every team. All 120 teams are ranked below with their average points for and against from the simulated games. Simulations are based on updated, strength-of-schedule-adjusted stats, so significant week-to-week changes could occur.
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Eric Schmoldt is a writer and Paul Bessire is the Product Manager of Content and Quantitative Analysis for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in NCAA Matchup analysis and college football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul and Eric can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!