Playoff Projections: Florida State, Stanford, Michigan State, Alabama

Stanford would be the surprise team in the first college playoff if their No. 2 spot in the Breitbart Sports Pythagorean Rankings held up at the end of the season. While Oregon would project to have a wider average margin of victory (47-21) than Stanford (36-14) if each team played the other 127, the Cardinal would project to go 119-8 to earn a spot against Michigan State (118-9) while Florida State (121-6) would face Alabama (117-10). The following are the new rankings of all 128 teams.

While Oregon has a better average point differential than Stanford by four points, the Pythagorean Theorem has shown over the years in all sports that the ratio of points is more important - thus teams with better defenses tend to do better than the high scoring teams in the formula (points scored to the 2.73rd power) / (points scored to the 2.73rd power + points allowed to the 2.73rd power) = estimated wins. The estimated points scored and allowed by each team over an 127-game schedule on a neutral field against every other team was based on the Massey Ratings for offenses and defenses, with adjustments made based on other computer rankings and actual results from Week 1.

Stanford is ranked only No. 11 to start the season, and will face a big test against USC next week.

Louisville's big win over Miami Monday night moved them into 16th place and 2nd to Florida State in the ACC, which would project to average a 31-25 win and 76 wins per team to be the fifth best conference.

The Big Ten would project to be 4th with a 32-26 average win an 80 victories.

The Big 12 and Pac-12 would both average a 35-24 win, but the Big 12 would have a fraction of an edge to project 91 wins to edge out the Big 12 with 90.

The SEC still projects at No. 1, with a 34-22 average win and 95 wins per team.

The American Athletic Conference comes in as the 6th best conference with a projected average score of a 26-30 loss, and East Carolina comes in as the top team outside the big five conferences, which would put them in line for the one New Years Day poll that goes to the top ranked champion from outside the big 5. Central Florida could have nailed down that top spot for the week, until they lost to Penn State on a last second field goal. East Carolina will have an even tougher time maintaining it as they travel to South Carolina as a heavy underdog against a team intent on coming back after a lopsided loss the Texas A&M.

Conference USA enters Week 2 ranked 7th (average 26-34 loss, 51 wins per team), followed by the Mountain West (25-34, 40 wins), Mid-American (22-35, 31) and Sun Belt (22-36, 29). 

Rnk Team Conf Pts Scored Allowed Wins Losses
1 Florida St ACC 48 17 121 6
2 Stanford P12 36 14 119 8
3 Michigan St B10 33 13 118 9
4 Alabama SEC 36 15 117 10
5 Oklahoma B12 43 19 115 12
6 Oregon P12 47 21 115 12
7 Auburn SEC 45 21 114 13
8 Oklahoma St B12 40 20 111 16
9 LSU SEC 38 19 111 16
10 Texas A&M SEC 53 27 110 17
11 Baylor B12 49 25 110 17
12 Georgia SEC 43 22 110 17
13 Missouri SEC 36 19 109 18
14 Ohio St B10 44 24 107 20
15 UCLA P12 38 21 107 20
16 Louisville ACC 36 20 106 21
17 USC P12 34 19 106 21
18 Wisconsin B10 33 19 105 22
19 Mississippi SEC 33 19 105 22
20 Notre Dame FBSI 33 19 105 22
21 Arizona St P12 40 24 102 25
22 South Carolina SEC 33 20 102 25
23 Kansas St B12 31 19 101 26
24 Washington P12 34 21 101 26
25 Texas B12 33 21 99 28
26 Arizona P12 36 23 99 28
27 BYU FBSI 35 23 97 30
28 Nebraska B10 38 25 97 30
29 Clemson ACC 38 25 97 30
30 Tennessee SEC 34 23 95 32
31 Mississippi St SEC 30 21 93 34
32 Penn St B10 34 24 92 35
33 Oregon St P12 35 25 91 36
34 Iowa B10 29 21 90 37
35 West Virginia B12 41 30 90 37
36 Minnesota B10 30 22 89 38
37 TCU B12 30 22 89 38
38 Virginia Tech ACC 27 20 88 39
39 Pittsburgh ACC 32 24 88 39
40 Michigan B10 34 27 83 44
41 Duke ACC 34 27 83 44
42 Texas Tech B12 36 29 82 45
43 Utah P12 32 26 81 46
44 North Carolina ACC 33 27 81 46
45 Georgia Tech ACC 33 27 81 46
46 East Carolina AAC 36 30 79 48
47 UT San Antonio CUSA 30 25 79 48
48 UCF AAC 30 25 79 48
49 W Kentucky CUSA 37 31 79 48
50 Boston College ACC 33 28 78 49
51 Florida SEC 20 17 77 50
52 Indiana B10 38 34 74 53
53 Arkansas SEC 28 26 70 57
54 Maryland B10 29 27 70 57
55 Temple AAC 32 30 70 57
56 Navy FBSI 28 27 67 60
57 Washington St P12 30 29 67 60
58 Iowa St B12 30 29 67 60
59 Rutgers B10 31 30 67 60
60 California P12 34 34 64 63
61 Arkansas St SBC 29 29 64 63
62 Miami FL ACC 29 29 64 63
63 Cincinnati AAC 28 28 64 63
64 Syracuse ACC 24 24 64 63
65 Vanderbilt SEC 24 24 64 63
66 Fresno St MWC 34 35 61 66
67 Marshall CUSA 34 35 61 66
68 N Illinois MAC 31 32 61 66
69 Boise St MWC 27 28 61 66
70 North Texas CUSA 25 26 60 67
71 Virginia ACC 27 29 58 69
72 Northwestern B10 24 26 57 70
73 Toledo MAC 30 33 56 71
74 Kentucky SEC 27 30 55 72
75 San Jose St MWC 31 35 53 74
76 Colorado St MWC 29 33 53 74
77 Ball St MAC 29 33 53 74
78 Rice CUSA 27 31 52 75
79 ULM SBC 26 30 51 76
80 Tulsa AAC 28 33 50 77
81 Illinois B10 28 33 50 77
82 ULL SBC 27 32 49 78
83 San Diego St MWC 26 31 49 78
84 SMU AAC 25 30 48 79
85 UAB CUSA 33 40 48 79
86 Houston AAC 23 28 47 80
87 Colorado P12 25 32 43 84
88 South Alabama SBC 25 32 43 84
89 Ohio MAC 26 34 42 85
90 Utah St MWC 17 22 41 86
91 Middle Tenn St CUSA 24 32 40 87
92 Kansas B12 21 28 40 87
93 Nevada MWC 26 35 39 88
94 Bowling Green MAC 20 27 39 88
95 FL Atlantic CUSA 22 30 38 89
96 Tulane AAC 21 29 37 90
97 C Michigan MAC 23 33 35 92
98 NC State ACC 22 32 34 93
99 UTEP CUSA 25 37 33 94
100 Hawaii MWC 25 37 33 94
101 UNLV MWC 23 34 33 94
102 Buffalo MAC 23 34 33 94
103 Memphis AAC 21 31 33 94
104 Connecticut AAC 21 32 31 96
105 Old Dominion CUSA 29 45 30 97
106 Wyoming MWC 24 38 28 99
107 Purdue B10 22 35 28 99
108 Wake Forest ACC 15 24 27 100
109 New Mexico St SBC 25 42 25 102
110 Kent MAC 18 30 25 102
111 Troy SBC 22 39 22 105
112 Louisiana Tech CUSA 20 36 21 106
113 Akron MAC 18 33 20 107
114 South Florida AAC 17 32 19 108
115 Army FBSI 20 38 19 108
116 Air Force MWC 21 40 19 108
117 Texas St SBC 18 35 18 109
118 Ga Southern SBC 18 36 17 110
119 New Mexico MWC 19 43 13 114
120 Southern Miss CUSA 18 42 12 115
121 Appalachian St SBC 17 40 11 116
122 Idaho SBC 18 44 10 117
123 Georgia St SBC 17 42 10 117
124 W Michigan MAC 17 42 10 117
125 E Michigan MAC 18 46 9 118
126 Florida Intl CUSA 13 35 8 119
127 Miami OH MAC 14 39 7 120
128 Massachusetts MAC 13 37 7 120
  Average   28.8 28.8 63.5 63.5

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