Gleaned from the pages of Phil Steele's magazine

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by mulegator, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. mulegator
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    Link to Phil Steele's analysis and profiles of his top 40 teams
    http://www.gatorcountry.com/swampgas/threads/phil-steeles-top-40-his-poll.291446/


    Phil's top teams of 2014
    (Steele's projection of team rankings at the END of the 2014 season)

    53. Georgia Tech
    52. Fresno State
    51. UTSA
    50. Utah State
    49. Bowling Green
    48. Arizona
    47. Louisiana
    46. Northern Illinois
    45. Toledo
    44. Pitt
    43. Navy
    42. Kansas State
    41. Missouri
    40. Cincinnati
    39. Texas A&M
    38. BYU
    37. Miami
    36. Oregon State
    35. Maryland
    34. Mississippi State
    33. Nebraska
    32. Iowa
    31. Houston
    30. Michigan
    29. Virginia Tech
    28. Washington
    27. Northwestern
    26. Louisville
    25. Texas
    24. Florida
    23. Clemson
    22. Boise State
    21. UCF
    20. Stanford
    19. Marshall
    18. North Carolina
    17. Notre Dame
    16. Mississippi
    15. LSU
    14. TCU
    13. Wisconsin
    12. USC
    11. Michigan State
    10. South Carolina
    9. Auburn
    8. Baylor
    7. Georgia
    6. Oregon
    5. UCLA
    4. Oklahoma
    3. Ohio State
    2. Alabama
    1. FSU


    Steele's Power Poll

    1. FSU
    2. Alabama
    3. UCLA
    4. Oregon
    5. Oklahoma
    6. Auburn
    7. Ohio State
    8. Georgia
    9. Baylor
    10. South Carolina
    11. USC
    12. Stanford
    13. Mississippi
    14. LSU
    15. Michigan State
    16. Texas
    17. North Carolina
    18. TCU
    19. Florida
    20. Notre Dame
    21. Mississippi State
    22. Texas A&M
    23. Clemson
    24. Wisconsin
    25. Louisville
    26. Michigan
    27. Northwestern
    28. Washington
    29. Kansas State
    30. Nebraska
    31. Maryland
    32. Iowa
    33. UCF
    34. Oregon State
    35. BYU
    36. Marshall
    37. Oklahoma State
    38. Arizona State
    39. Arkansas
    40. Miami
    41. Arizona
    42. Missouri
    43. Virginia Tech
    44. Houston
    45. Tennessee
    46. Georgia Tech
    47. Duke
    48. Utah
    49. Texas Tech
    50. Boise State
    54. Penn State
    73. Kentucky
    76. Vanderbilt
    83. USF
    100. Florida Atlantic
    112. Troy
    114. Southern Mississippi
    117. Idaho
    118. UAB
    122. Georgia Southern
    123. FIU
    125. Appalachian State
    126. Eastern Michigan
    128. Georgia State


    Toughest conferences of 2014

    1. SEC
    2. Pac 12
    3. Big 12
    4. ACC
    4. Big 10
    6. American
    7. Independent
    8. Mountain West
    9. MAC
    9. CUSA
    11. Sun Belt


    Most Improved Teams

    1. TCU
    2. Florida
    3. Northwestern
    4. Air Force
    5. Nevada
    6. Louisiana Tech
    7. Memphis
    8. Tennessee
    9. NC State
    10. Army


    Toughest Schedules
    (Florida was #1 in 2013 .. FSU was #69)

    1. Notre Dame
    2. Tennessee
    3. Arkansas
    4. West Virginia
    5. Auburn
    6. Iowa State
    7. Virginia
    8. Utah
    9. California
    10. Texas
    11. UCLA
    12. Texas A&M
    13. Oklahoma State
    14. Miami
    15. Kentucky
    16. Stanford
    17. USC
    18. Washington State
    19. Rutgers
    20. Mississippi
    21. Syracuse
    22. Minnesota
    23. Kansas
    24. Colorado
    25. Arizona State
    26. Indiana
    27. North Carolina
    28. Boston College
    29. Arizona
    30. South Carolina
    31. Missouri
    32. Florida
    33. LSU
    34. Clemson
    35. Georgia
    36. Ohio State
    37. Wake Forest
    38. Illinois
    39. Maryland
    40. TCU
    46. FSU
    48. Oregon
    49. Oklahoma
    50. Michigan State
    51. Nebraska
    53. Michigan
    54. Penn State
    56. Mississippi State
    58. Vanderbilt
    61. Alabama
    71. USF
    86. UCF
    125. Marshall
    126. Troy
    127. Texas State
    128. Georgia Southern


    Phil's projection of the College Football Playoff

    (1 vs 4 .. 2 vs 3)

    1. FSU
    2. Alabama
    3. Ohio State
    4. Oklahoma

    FSU beating Alabama in the NC game.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  2. cistern
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    I thought we had a once in a lifetime difficult schedule? How could we be #32?
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  3. mulegator
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    mulegator VIP Member

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    Phil's system heavily penalizes teams for playing lower-ranked FBS opponents (Idaho, Eastern Michigan, Kentucky) and ANY FCS team (Eastern Kentucky).

    Comparing Notre Dame's schedule to Florida's schedule illustrates Steele's methodology. The Irish play teams ranked 1, 12, 18, 20, 26, 27, 30 and 43. The Gators play teams ranked 1, 2, 7, 10, 15 and 41.

    The Gators play five teams ranked in the top fifteen, while the Irish play seven teams ranked in the top thirty; four of which are in the top twenty.

    It's not like comparing apples to oranges .. more like comparing oranges to tangerines.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
  4. mulegator
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    mulegator VIP Member

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    Also interesting that 9 SEC teams make Steele's top 25 Power Poll but only 7 make it in to the final top 25.
  5. OaktownGator
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    I like Steele, but his SOS ranking methodology is nuts.

    We play the top two teams in the country on the road, five of the top fifteen teams, and seven of the top 45 teams in his own power poll.

    By comparison the Irish play the top team on the road, just two of the top fifteen, four of the top twenty, and seven of the top 45.

    While we both play seven top 45 teams, our schedule is far more loaded with really difficult games than the team he picks as having the most difficult schedule. And we end up at #32? Bizarre. Logically incorrect.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
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  6. theghost
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    I agree that #32 is too low....but as Mule points out we do play 3 really easy non-FBS teams (although after Georgia Southern it's hard to call ANY non-FBS team "easy"). So I can see why we fell to 32.

    In that regards, who is the "official" SOS ranking organization? The NY Times? When SOS is computed I'm certain it's not using Steele's rankings.

    Glad to see Steele have us at #2 most improved and in the top 20 of his power poll.
  7. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    I'd wager Steele is using his own SOS determination based on his rankings and their relative rankings.
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  8. The_Graygator
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    Steele is ok, but always remember that these magazine sportswriters are extremely subjective and they write and play to their favorites. It's human nature to be biased, they can't help it.

    What I find hilarious is that he has fsu's power rating at #1. They just won a title because of their pathetically weak schedule and a UF team team playing a WR at QB and walk-ons at LB, but he has them ranked that high again?

    fsu beat Bama? I'd have to see it to believe it. Bama would utterly destroy fsu. It's why I wanted them to play each other last season because if Bama had had a title to play for, Saban's Tide would have rolled fsu.
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  9. ThePlayer
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    Ltanford is a good school.

    They're part of the LAC-Ten
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  10. Wormwood56
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    Wormwood56 VIP Member

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    Do you have a link? The magazines are not in the stores yet in Texas. Are they there where you are?
  11. Wormwood56
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    Makes all the sense in the world. A 9-win team that plays five top ten opponents and loses four of them will not be ranked ahead of an 11-win team that plays two such teams. He doesn't see Miss State and Texas A&M finisheing ranked.

    Miss State's losses or tossups include:

    LSU (L)
    Texas A&M (T)
    Auburn (L)
    Alabama (L)
    Ole Miss (T)

    A 9-4 record would be borderline ranked. 8-5 and they are probably out.

    Texas A&M's losses or tossups include:

    USCe (T) - very early in the season, could be an upset
    Miss State (T)
    Ole Miss (T)
    Alabama (L)
    Auburn (L)
    Mizzou (T)
    LSU (L)

    That has 8-5 all over it.

    Florida's losses or tossups include:

    Alabama (L)
    LSU (T)
    Mizzou (T)
    Georgia (T)
    USCe (T)
    FSU (L)

    I see 9-3 here. Getting cautiously optimistic.

    USCe's losses or tossups include:

    Texas A&M (T)
    Georgia (T)
    Mizzou (T)
    Auburn (L)
    Florida (T)
    Clemson (T)

    I see 9-3 or 8-4 here as well.

    I also think a 6-2 record may be enough to win the SEC East. Lots of parity here.
  12. Wormwood56
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    Oak, too many people, including Jeff Sagarin, use the horrible top to bottom method of determining strength of schedule. For ranked teams, however, it should be based on the number of tough opponents, as the number of losses are more critical than the number of wins. For a top ten team aspiring to get a playoff spot, evern loss is a potential nail in the coffin.
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  13. OaktownGator
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    Thoroughly agree.

    And the Irish do have a tough schedule this year. Just not as tough as ours. Not really close.
  14. Wormwood56
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    To see if this comparison is true, let's compare our schedule with Notre Dame's based on last year's final records:

    Florida Opponent-------------W/L--------W/L---------------Notre Dame's Opponent

    Florida State.................................14-0...............14-0..........................Florida State
    Mizzou..........................................12-2................12-1...........................Louisville
    USCe.............................................11-2................11-3...........................Stanford
    Alabama.......................................11-2................10-4...........................Southern Cal
    LSU...............................................10-3...............10-4...........................Arizona State
    Vandy..............................................9-4.................7-6...........................Michigan
    Georgia............................................8-5.................7-6...........................North Carolina
    Tennessee........................................5-7.................7-6............................Syracuse

    Total...................................80-25........79-30

    Now the dropoff

    Kentucky.........................................2-10................5-7...........................Northwestern
    E. Michigan.....................................2-10..............10-4...........................Rice
    Idaho................................................1-11................9-4...........................Navy
    E. Kentucky (FCS)...........................0-12................1-11.........................Purdue

    Yup. Steele, like all the others, uses the top to bottom approach.
  15. Wormwood56
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    Actually, it is close. Even if we give the SEC team a one game edge for those out there who think an X-win SEC team is better than an X+1 P5 OOC team:

    Florida Opponent/W-L-----Lost Start------ND Opp--------W-L/Adj W-L-----Ret Start---Edge

    Florida State...............14-0..............8...................Florida State........14-0.....14-0.................8..............Wash
    Mizzou........................12-2............14...................Louisville..............12-1......11-2................10.............ND
    USCe...........................11-2.............10..................Stanford................11-3......10-4...............11..............Wash
    Alabama.....................11-2.............13...................Southern Cal........10-4.......9-5..................7.............Wash (yes)
    LSU.............................10-3............10...................Arizona State........10-4.......9-5...............14..............Florida
    Vandy...........................9-4.............14..................Michigan.................7-6.......6-7.................8..............ND
    Georgia.........................8-5...............7..................North Carolina.......7-6........6-7................8...............Florida
    Tennessee......................5-7............13...................Syracuse.................7-6........6-7................9...............ND
    Kentucky.......................2-10............9...................Northwestern.........5-7........4-8................6...............ND
    E. Michigan...................2-10.........NA..................Rice.......................10-4......10-4..............NA.............ND
    Idaho.............................1-11..........NA...................Navy......................9-4........9-4...............NA.............ND
    E. Kentucky...................0-12.........NA...................Purdue...................1-11.......1-11................9...............ND

    Total.............................85-68..............................................................103-56....95-64.....................ND 7, UF 2, Wash 3

    Top Five.......................58-13.................................................................57-12....53-16.....................ND 1, UF 1, Wash 3

    NOTES:

    * Louisville loses Teddy, but gaines Petrino, one of a small handful (Malzahn, Leach, Sumlin are the others) who can dramatically raise an offense immediately. Mizzou loses most of a defense that wasn't very strong to begin with, plys their QB. Mauk is very good, but...

    * USCe loses 10 starters, including their Savior at QB, the best defensive end in the nation, two other strong DL'men and two CBs. Stanford loses 11, but only one was a high draft pick, and return their QB. Stanford has to replace much of their Ol, while USCe keeps most of theirs.

    * Alabama loses 13 starters, including their QB, and three high draft picks. Yes, they reload with great talent, but USC is the only school in the nation that outrecruits Alabama player for player, and they come back deep and experienced.

    * Vandy loses a massive 14 starters, including 8 from their defense. Vandy doesn NOT win with offense. Michigan comes back more experienced.

    As for the rest, it is pretty self-evident.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  16. OaktownGator
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    I am saying it is not close based on projected rankings... either via pre-season pundits, or Steele's own (more analytical) power rankings.

    They both play seven of the top 45, but five of UF's opponents are top 15 while only two of ND's are top 15.

    Four of ND's opponents are predicted top 20 while four of UFs are predicted top 10 or 11 depending on whose ranking you look at.

    If these rankings are relatively accurate (they don't have to be accurate exactly, but reasonable in terms of how those teams stack up), then UF has a significantly more difficult schedule looking at those top five games.

    As you say, how winnable the most difficult games are, is generally what drives outcomes... and not just for those games, but for the games around them because the mental and physical toll adds up when you play several difficult games.

    Last year playing a fairly tough schedule, Stanford lost to unranked Utah and a USC team that finished below where our top five opponents are projected to finish this year. And Stanford was a BCS team.
  17. mulegator
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    I paid for an advance copy of Phil's magazine .. since I am an addict and everything. You can get an online copy from the philsteele.com website. The magazine will be in the stores in a few days.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2014
  18. Wormwood56
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    Rankings are very subjective, based in large part on the perception of hacks that SEC teams with 8 wins are as good as P5 OOC teams with 9 or even 10 wins. it's not that large, but the perception is still there.

    But then again:

    * USCe lost to a 5-7 Tennessee team and an 8-5 Georgia team. Both are unranked.

    * LSU lost to an unranked Georgia team and Ole Miss team;

    It happens to teams in every conference.
  19. OaktownGator
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    I agree it happens in every conference. I happened to be looking at top ten teams and noticed Stanford first. But my point is when you play a schedule with several tough teams on it, as Stanford, USCe, and LSU did, you are more susceptible to losing to a lower ranked team.

    Your team gets physically and mentally more worn down playing the tougher schedule, and also figures they finally get "a week off" and they're just not prepared to play, even against a team they should beat straight up every time they play.

    Also UGA is a bit of an exception in this comparison because of how much their team's performance varied based on health at their skill positions. At times they were a very good team, and at other times not so much.
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  20. ThePlayer
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    I'd love to believe USCe, Georgia, LSU & Mizzou are all toss-ups,
    but the reality of the situation is that we'll be underdogs in all 4.

    This seasons' success will likely come down to effective coaching.
    And what could possibly go wrong there?
    Okay, somebody better make me a stronger batch of Gatorade.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014

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