Sports analytics from Laura Albert's team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering

pre-championship game NCAA football rankings

Last week, we posted our college football playoff forecasts, from most likely to least likely to make the playoff. Our playoff forecasts then were as follows:

1 Oklahoma
2 Alabama
3 Clemson
4 Michigan State
5 Iowa

We note that Oklahoma was #1 because they do not have any remaining games in their schedule. With no uncertainly, they have no risk and will certainly make the playoff. They are not forecasted to be a #1 seed.

The rankings captured who was best at the time. areHere are our two lists of current rankings. I like the ln(mLRMC) rankings – they seemed to do a little better at getting it right. Both models rank Ohio State near the top, which is interesting because Ohio State will almost certainly not make the playoff due to not being in the B1G championship game. It’s worth noting that the forecasting component of our model recognizes this fact.

mLRMC rankings (prior to games on December 5):

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Alabama
  3. Clemson
  4. Ohio State
  5. Michigan State
  6. Iowa
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Stanford
  9. Houston
  10. Florida State
  11. North Carolina
  12. Mississippi
  13. TCU
  14. Michigan
  15. Florida
  16. Oklahoma State
  17. Baylor
  18. Oregon
  19. Temple
  20. Navy
  21. Northwestern
  22. Utah
  23. Western Kentucky
  24. Memphis
  25. USC

ln(mLRMC) rankings (prior to the games on December 5)

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Michigan State
  5. Ohio State
  6. Iowa
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Stanford
  9. North Carolina
  10. Florida
  11. Michigan
  12. Houston
  13. Mississippi
  14. TCU
  15. Florida State
  16. Northwestern
  17. Oregon
  18. Oklahoma State
  19. LSU
  20. Temple
  21. Baylor
  22. Utah
  23. Memphis
  24. USC
  25. Navy