Last year I skipped posting my Imaginary Mythical National NCAA FBS Football Playoff brackets but it is a dark and wet weekend so I have some time to look into it this year. This year I am going to focus on a mythical 8 team playoff based on a pairwise rankings modified from the system used by US College Online. USCHO has very successfully mimicked the committee selections for the Division I College Hockey Playoffs for many years.
The first thing we need to do is select the teams to evaluate or Teams Under Consideration (TUC). Since I am shooting for an 8 team playoff, I want to consider about 12 teams or so to make sure I get the best 8. Let’s start by taking the top 12 teams based on Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
Note that this method only considers games between FBS teams. Wins against FCS teams do not count. Teams that schedule “cupcakes” for their non-conference opponents get no credit for winning those games.
This list varies from the top 12 teams selected by the NCAA FBS Selection Committee which has Florida State, North Carolina and TCU instead of Northwestern, Oregon, and Louisiana St. Let’s add them making the list of TUC 15 teams:
Teams Under Consideration
The criteria I will use for the pairwise comparisons are:
- RPI- An indicator of success on the field and strength of schedule
- Overall Won/Lost
- Won/Lost in the last 6 games- An indicator of who’s hot and who’s fading
- Won/Lost against other TUC teams
- Won/Lost against common opponents
- Head to head
The first tie breaker will be head to head and if necessary the second tie breaker will be RPI.
Here are the results:
Pairwise Ranking Results
A “1” means the team listed in the row wins over the team listed in the column. Here they are sorted by total wins:The top 4 teams match those of the selection committee except for Michigan St and Alabama flipped in the 2nd and 3rd positions. A 4 team playoff bracket would look just like that of the committee. (Great minds think alike!)
Here is my imaginary mythical 8 team bracket:
Note that I flipped the 5th and 6th seeds to avoid a rematch of Alabama and Mississippi until the final.