The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its inaugural Top 25 standings on Tuesday, and that will certainly give us a better understanding of how they are perceiving the strength of various Group of Five contenders in the field. Everything up to this point in the post-BCS era has been mere speculation; now we will get a better understanding of how the crew tasked with picking the playoff quartet and the rest of the bowl teams is going to rate different factors.
We’ll know how legitimate Marshall — one of just three undefeated teams left in the country at this point — is viewed by the dozen-strong council before next week’s games. We’ll come to understand how the group weighs victories over two teams that are turning into ACC middleweights in the case of East Carolina, and how it compares to the successes of Colorado State. We’ll know how much conference championships/leadership will be weighted by the committee. And the panel will tip its hat as to how it is viewing the relative strength of each conference… and not just those ensconced in the Power Five.
Will the American Athletic Conference affiliation of East Carolina give it the benefit of the doubt over a Thundering Herd team that has yet to suffer a defeat? Will whichever team wins the Mountain West manage to claw its way back into the picture? Or will the best team of the group potentially be shut out by stipulations about conference champions?
Three teams have definitively separated themselves from the rest of the field, surviving with one or fewer losses up to this point. If chaos reigns, a team like Boise State or Northern Illinois or UCF could potentially punch its way back into the picture. But barring the inevitable upset or two that is almost certain to tweak these standings further before December, a clear triumvirate has made its mark up to this point of the season.
It hasn’t always been pretty, and one might say these teams are ranked entirely wrong in this power ranking. But we’re trying to think how the CFP selection panel might think, and things like conference affiliation and conference standings and margin of victory and wins and losses and strength of schedule are all going to be taken into account.
As such we’re going to break down each team further than we yet have in the CFP Mid-Major Power Rankings. We’ll break down teams on those five factors — winning percentage, conference strength as rated by a composite of the former BCS computers, adjusted margin of victory, conference/division position, and Sagarin strength of schedule will all be taken into account. Some things might look unfamiliar from recent weeks, but like the CFP committee we’re trying to look at this like an essentially clear slate.
So how do all these Group of Five contenders rate in this week’s CFP Mid-Major Power Rankings? Click ahead to read more about the teams that are still in the hunt for the Access Bowl bid that will be handed out in December…