A new team reigns supreme at the top of this week’s Pigskin Rating System team rankings here at Sports Unbiased. Despite losing in the Red River Shootout to a Texas team that continues to fall down the standings, Oklahoma has rebounded to win three straight by lopsided scores and vault up the PRS rankings. The Sooners are in a conference with three undefeated teams, yet it is Bob Stoops’ crew that rates as the top team in the Big 12 at the moment.
We will find out on Tuesday how the College Football Playoff selection committee rates not just the Big 12 contenders but everyone in the hunt for a major bowl game or a spot in the four-team bracket. Will the pool of human selectors have a different idea of which teams merit consideration than we’ve seen the numbers spit out?
It is always a fun question, especially when the selection process is purely subjective and impossible to quantify. But instead of expounding too much up top, let’s dive right in and look at some notable snippets about this week’s rankings:
- Neither Stanford nor Notre Dame looked impressive in victory this week, barely escaping road trips to Washington State and Temple respectively, and they took a subsequent hit in the PRS rankings. Both the Cardinal and the Fighting Irish slid two spots despite the wins as a result. Conversely, Washington’s blowout of Arizona bumped the Huskies 25 spots in the rankings, from the edge of the top 50 into the bottom quintile of the top 25.
- The top rated of the mid-majors is undoubtedly Houston, who shut out Vanderbilt 34-0 at home to move to 8-0 on the season. The Cougars now have wins over ACC and SEC opponents after adding the Commodores to their earlier defeat of Louisville, though they have yet to reach the toughest part of the schedule. Cincinnati, Memphis, and Navy will all visit TDECU Stadium over the month of November with the AAC West crown on the line.
- Temple’s loss to Notre Dame means that only 11 undefeated teams remain among the 127 full FBS members, with eight Power Five teams still sporting zeroes in the loss column. Several unbeaten schools continue to be overlooked within the PRS rankings, though. While Houston and Toledo are among the top 25, Memphis is looking up from the outside as the third undefeated mid-major. LSU, the only remaining unbeaten in the mighty SEC, is sitting behind eight teams that already have at least one loss — including two division rivals. Iowa moved to 8-0 on the season, but it didn’t budge from 19th in the rankings. At least the Hawkeyes are doing better than their Big Ten counterpart Michigan State, however; the Spartans are not only ranked 30th in the PRS rankings, but they also sit 20 spots behind the Michigan team they upset in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago.
- How would the first round look if a 16-team playoff was seeded off the PRS numbers? Here is the breakdown of matchups, where higher seeds would host games on campus:
- #16 Boise State (MWC/7-2, 6.8 PRS) at #1 Oklahoma (Big 12/7-1, 8.4 PRS)
- #15 LSU (SEC/7-0, 6.8 PRS) at #2 Baylor (Big 12/7-0, 8.2 PRS)
- #14 Florida (SEC/7-1, 6.9 PRS) at #3 Ohio State (Big Ten/8-0, 8.0 PRS)
- #13 Notre Dame (IND/7-1, 6.9 PRS) at #4 Alabama (SEC/7-1, 7.9 PRS)
- #12 Stanford (Pac-12/7-1, 7.0 PRS) at #5 Clemson (ACC/8-0, 7.6 PRS)
- #11 Oklahoma State (Big 12/8-0, 7.0 PRS) at #6 Ole Miss (SEC/7-2, 7.5 PRS)
- #10 Michigan (Big Ten/6-2, 7.2 PRS) at #7 TCU (Big 12/8-0, 7.5 PRS)
- #9 Houston (AAC/8-0, 7.2 PRS) at #8 USC (Pac-12/5-3, 7.2 PRS)
- Were the playoffs to start today, two of the four teams from last season’s inaugural College Football Playoff field would make their way back into the hunt this year. Meanwhile, Florida State and Oregon — who squared off in last year’s epic Rose Bowl — are unlikely to land in any of the New Year’s Six games this season. Arizona, Missouri, and Georgia Tech are returning division champions that have fallen even further from grace, and that trio is left to scramble just to reach bowl eligibility. At least none of them has tumbled quite as far as UCF, who is two years removed from a Fiesta Bowl victory and less than a year removed from stealing a share of the AAC championship.
You can scroll through the full rankings below, including the breakdown of each category calculated in the Pigskin Rating System. To brush up on the methodology used in the rankings, click here.