Conference Ratings: Liberty Beats FBS School, ACC Has Biggest Week, ND Survives

Conference Ratings: Liberty Beats FBS School, ACC Has Biggest Week, ND Survives

The school Jerry Falwell built gave the FCS another win over the FBS. Breitbart Sports projected Liberty would be in the Top 100 if they played in the FBS in our review of smaller programs. The ACC bounced back into third and sits just one point behind the 2nd-rated Big 12 in the conference ratings after Miami’s blowout of Cincy and UNC’s near upset of Notre Dame.

The following are the ratings updated from the Week 6 conference standings:

1. SEC (+14) dropped one point due to Vanderbilt’s struggle against and admittedly very good FCS Charleston Southern team, which we had ranked as the 88th best non-FBS program. We had Vandy favored by 16 and they won 21-20 against the undefeated FCS team. Tennessee and Kentucky won big as expected, with the Vols beating a Chattanooga team that was rated even higher than Liberty.

2. Big 12 (+10) dropped one point due to Iowa State strugging to a 37-30 win against a Toledo team that was destroyed by Missouri earlier in the year.

3. ACC (+9) was the big winner of the day, picking up two points and almost getting more as UNC fell just short at Notre Dame. Miami beat Cincinnati of the American by three touchdowns.

4-tie. Big Ten and Pac-12 (+8) both stayed at +8 due to playing only conference games. The big criticism of these rankings by many commentators was that Michigan was ranked higher than Penn State (see string of comments and responses here). I actually mentioned in a comment there that if my critics were so confident the ratings had the teams out of order they could certainly bet on the Penn State team the ratings were “underestimating” since they actually were playing Michigan this week. Hopefully they backed down, as the Wolverines won 18-13 today to back up these ratings.

6. Mountain West (-3) also stayed the same after playing only conference games, just one week after being the big winner.

7. American (-6) stayed the same with Cincinnati’s lopsided loss to Miami and Central Florida’s lopsided win against BYU not really impressing with BYU’s starting quarterback out for the season.

8. Conference USA (-7) pulled within a point of the American with Rice’s lopsided win over Army.

9. Mid-American (-16) improved one point with Toledo’s near upset of Iowa State.

10. Sun Belt (-19) stayed the same as App State’s narrow loss to Liberty of the FCS was actually closer than projected, but Louisiana-Monroe did not put up much of a fight against Kentucky.

While they are not rated as a conference, the Independents dropped another two points to a +2 with BYU and Army getting blown out and Notre Dame barely surviving against a UNC team that gave up 70 points to East Carolina. Navy did look very good in a 51-14 win over VMI, which we had ranked 184th of non-FBS teams, but we do not credit any more for margins greater than 25 points. Among the FCS schools, Charleston Southern’s near upset was a little better than expected, Liberty’s win was actually closer than expected, and VMI and Chattanooga were beaten by more than the max 25-point margin as expected.

Here are all the teams that played non-conference teams, the actual score, the predicted margins, how much that team will improve or regress against the rankings, and the opponent they played. The complete scoreboard including conference games will be in a future post.

Team Conf Week 7 Pred Margin Improve Opp
Cincinnati AAC v ACC 34-55 -9.0 -1.6 Miami FL
UCF AAC v Ind 31-24 -9.9 4.1 BYU
  AAC + 0        
Miami FL ACC v AAC 55-34 9.0 1.6 Cincinnati
North Carolina ACC v Ind 43-50 -22.5 2.1 Notre Dame
  ACC + 2        
Iowa St B12 v MAC 37-30 18.2 -1.6 Toledo
  B12 – 1        
Rice CUSA v Ind 41-21 6.1 2.0 Army
  CUSA + 1        
Toledo MAC v B12 30-37 -18.2 1.6 Iowa St
  MAC + 1        
Appalachian St SBC v FCS 48-55 -14.0 2.7 Liberty
ULM SBC v SEC 14-48 -24.6 0.0 Kentucky
  SBC + 1        
Tennessee SEC v FCS 45-10 25.0 0.0 Chattanooga
Vanderbilt SEC v FCS 21-20 16.0 -3.0  
Kentucky SEC v SBC 48-14 24.6 0.0 ULM
  SEC – 1        
Liberty FCS at SBC 55-48 14.0 -2.7 Appalachian St
VMI FCS v Ind 14-51 -25.0 0.0 Navy
Chattanooga FCS v SEC 10-45 -25.0 0.0 Tennessee
Charleston So FCS v SEC 20-21 -16.0 +3.0  
  FCS + 0        
BYU Ind v AAC 24-31 9.9 -4.1 UCF
Notre Dame Ind v ACC 50-43 22.5 -2.1 North Carolina
Navy Ind v FCS 51-14 25.0 0.0 VMI
Army Ind vs CUSA 21-41 -6.1 -2.0 Rice
  Ind – 2      


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