clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

College Football Transitivity Rankings and Awards - Week 14

The shuffling in the Transitivity Rankings was more pronounced than it has been in recent weeks. Let's take a look.

A disappointing Saturday spelled a big drop in the CTR for Marshall
A disappointing Saturday spelled a big drop in the CTR for Marshall
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the Transitivity Rankings, where we rank all of FBS via the transitive argument, considering only who has beaten whom. An explanation of the method can be found here. Once you've familiarized yourself with the process, check out this week's rankings and analysis below:

Combined Transitivity Rankings - Week 14
Rank Team Change Avg Rank Win Rank Loss Rank Num Win Paths Avg Win Path Num Loss Paths Avg Loss Path FBS Wins FBS Losses
1 Florida State - 1.0 1 1 127 2.95 0 NaN 11 0
2 Alabama Arrow_up1 5.0 7 3 126 3.06 122 6.80 10 1
3 Mississippi Arrow_up1 7.5 6 9 126 3.05 122 5.82 8 3
4 Auburn Arrow_up2 8.5 3 14 126 3.01 122 5.40 7 4
5 LSU - 9.0 8 10 126 3.07 122 5.81 7 4
6 Oregon Arrow_up4 9.5 13 6 126 3.19 122 6.37 10 1
7 Mississippi State - 11.5 19 4 126 3.30 122 6.79 9 2
8 UCLA Arrow_up3 12.0 11 13 126 3.13 122 5.41 9 3
9 Georgia Arrow_down2 12.5 2 23 126 2.98 122 4.88 8 3
10 Oklahoma Arrow_up2 14.5 24 5 126 3.37 122 6.39 8 3
11 Michigan State Arrow_up4 16.0 15 17 126 3.20 122 5.23 9 2
12 Clemson Arrow_up20 16.5 17 16 126 3.23 122 5.25 8 3
12 Georgia Tech Arrow_up21 16.5 4 29 126 3.02 122 4.66 9 2
14 Nebraska Arrow_up2 17.0 12 22 126 3.18 122 4.99 8 3
15 Arkansas Arrow_down6 18.5 13 24 126 3.19 122 4.86 5 6
16 Utah Arrow_up3 19.5 18 21 126 3.29 122 5.01 7 4
17 TCU Arrow_down4 20.5 39 2 126 3.52 122 7.07 9 1
17 Texas A&M Arrow_down3 20.5 22 19 126 3.35 122 5.06 6 5
19 Arizona State Arrow_down2 21.5 31 12 126 3.44 122 5.43 8 3
20 Louisville Arrow_up7 23.5 15 32 126 3.20 122 4.62 8 3
20 Ohio State Arrow_up1 23.5 9 38 126 3.11 122 4.48 11 1
22 Arizona Arrow_down2 24.0 33 15 126 3.44 122 5.39 10 2
23 Wisconsin - 27.0 23 31 126 3.36 122 4.63 9 2
24 Notre Dame Arrow_up2 27.5 5 50 126 3.03 122 4.23 7 5
25 Baylor Arrow_down2 29.5 52 7 126 3.71 122 6.08 9 1
25 Kansas State Arrow_down4 29.5 51 8 126 3.70 122 6.06 8 2
25 Missouri Arrow_up6 29.5 10 49 126 3.12 122 4.24 9 2
28 Iowa Arrow_up1 31.0 27 35 126 3.42 122 4.54 6 5
29 South Carolina Arrow_down11 33.0 33 33 126 3.44 122 4.61 5 6
29 USC Arrow_up21 33.0 27 39 126 3.42 122 4.48 8 4
31 Boise State Arrow_up8 34.5 40 29 126 3.55 122 4.66 10 2
31 Washington Arrow_up3 34.5 58 11 126 3.80 122 5.57 7 5
33 Tennessee Arrow_up1 36.5 45 28 126 3.58 122 4.73 5 6
34 Colorado State Arrow_down9 37.0 48 26 126 3.63 122 4.84 9 2
34 Florida Arrow_down6 37.0 49 25 126 3.66 122 4.85 5 5
34 Rutgers Arrow_up6 37.0 33 41 126 3.44 122 4.44 6 5
34 Stanford Arrow_up12 37.0 47 27 126 3.61 122 4.78 6 5
34 West Virginia Arrow_up2 37.0 56 18 126 3.78 122 5.10 6 5
39 Minnesota Arrow_down10 41.5 36 47 126 3.46 122 4.28 7 4
40 Penn State Arrow_up4 42.0 27 57 126 3.42 122 4.07 6 6
41 Duke Arrow_up12 42.5 30 55 126 3.43 122 4.14 8 3
42 Maryland - 43.5 43 44 126 3.56 122 4.37 6 5
43 North Carolina State Arrow_up11 44.0 46 42 126 3.59 122 4.43 6 5
44 BYU Arrow_up14 46.0 20 72 126 3.33 122 3.80 7 4
45 Boston College Arrow_up2 47.0 25 69 126 3.39 122 3.87 6 5
45 Michigan Arrow_down7 47.0 40 54 126 3.55 122 4.16 5 7
47 Illinois Arrow_up2 48.5 31 66 126 3.44 122 3.91 5 6
48 Oklahoma State Arrow_up4 49.5 79 20 126 4.40 122 5.04 4 6
49 North Carolina Arrow_up19 51.0 26 76 126 3.41 122 3.70 5 6
50 Utah State Arrow_down2 52.5 44 61 126 3.56 122 4.06 8 4
51 Iowa State Arrow_up5 53.0 70 36 126 4.23 122 4.51 2 8
51 Northwestern Arrow_down6 53.0 36 70 126 3.46 122 3.81 4 7
51 Oregon State - 53.0 67 39 126 4.16 122 4.48 4 7
54 Nevada - 54.0 55 53 126 3.75 122 4.17 6 5
55 Kentucky Arrow_down14 55.0 65 45 126 4.10 122 4.36 4 7
55 Texas Arrow_up3 55.0 64 46 126 4.09 122 4.30 6 6
57 California Arrow_down20 55.5 60 51 126 3.97 122 4.21 4 7
57 Miami (Fl) Arrow_down15 55.5 38 73 126 3.50 122 3.79 5 6
59 Marshall Arrow_down57 56.5 70 43 126 4.23 122 4.39 10 1
59 Virginia Tech Arrow_up2 56.5 21 92 126 3.34 122 3.51 5 6
61 Texas Tech Arrow_down5 57.0 80 34 126 4.42 122 4.57 3 8
62 Air Force Arrow_up2 57.5 50 65 126 3.69 122 3.95 8 3
63 Northern Illinois Arrow_down5 58.0 60 56 126 3.97 122 4.11 9 2
64 East Carolina Arrow_down2 60.0 52 68 126 3.71 122 3.88 7 3
65 Cincinnati Arrow_down2 62.5 63 62 126 4.06 122 4.02 8 3
65 Louisiana Tech Arrow_up2 62.5 77 48 126 4.34 122 4.25 8 3
67 Washington State Arrow_down3 63.0 69 57 126 4.18 122 4.07 2 9
68 Virginia Arrow_down2 64.5 54 75 126 3.75 122 3.76 4 7
69 Memphis - 68.0 73 63 126 4.27 122 3.99 8 3
70 Indiana Arrow_down1 71.0 57 85 126 3.79 122 3.57 3 8
71 Pittsburgh Arrow_up1 71.5 40 103 126 3.55 122 3.34 5 6
72 Central Florida Arrow_up11 73.5 62 85 126 4.04 122 3.57 7 3
73 UL Lafayette Arrow_up3 75.0 93 57 126 4.79 122 4.07 7 4
74 Toledo Arrow_up1 76.0 88 64 126 4.63 122 3.97 7 4
75 Colorado Arrow_down3 76.5 116 37 126 5.37 122 4.50 2 10
75 Wyoming Arrow_up4 76.5 75 78 126 4.28 122 3.64 3 8
77 Kansas Arrow_down3 77.0 102 52 126 4.98 122 4.20 2 9
77 Purdue Arrow_down6 77.0 72 82 126 4.25 122 3.57 2 9
77 Rice Arrow_down1 77.0 84 70 126 4.52 122 3.81 7 5
80 San Diego State Arrow_up3 78.0 82 74 126 4.48 122 3.78 6 5
81 Western Kentucky - 79.0 59 99 126 3.96 122 3.41 7 5
82 Wake Forest Arrow_down2 81.0 68 94 126 4.17 122 3.48 2 9
83 Georgia Southern Arrow_up8 81.5 106 57 126 5.10 122 4.07 8 3
83 UTEP Arrow_up6 81.5 96 67 126 4.83 122 3.89 7 5
85 Arkansas State Arrow_down4 82.0 73 91 126 4.27 122 3.52 6 5
86 Bowling Green Arrow_down8 83.5 65 102 126 4.10 122 3.35 6 5
87 Western Michigan Arrow_down2 84.5 89 80 126 4.64 122 3.58 7 4
88 Fresno State - 86.0 83 89 126 4.48 122 3.54 5 6
89 Syracuse Arrow_down3 87.5 93 82 126 4.79 122 3.57 2 9
89 Temple Arrow_down2 87.5 75 100 126 4.28 122 3.37 4 6
91 Navy Arrow_up5 90.0 85 95 126 4.55 122 3.43 5 5
91 UAB Arrow_up4 90.0 91 89 126 4.72 122 3.54 5 6
93 Appalachian State Arrow_up4 91.0 97 85 126 4.87 122 3.57 6 4
94 UL Monroe - 92.0 104 80 126 5.03 122 3.58 4 8
95 Texas State Arrow_up4 93.0 93 93 126 4.79 122 3.50 6 5
96 Central Michigan Arrow_up1 93.5 86 101 126 4.58 122 3.36 6 5
96 South Alabama Arrow_down6 93.5 108 79 126 5.13 122 3.61 6 6
98 Akron Arrow_down7 94.0 78 110 126 4.39 122 3.25 4 7
98 Vanderbilt Arrow_down5 94.0 111 77 126 5.25 122 3.70 2 9
100 Houston Arrow_up4 95.0 87 103 126 4.59 122 3.34 6 4
101 Ohio - 96.0 107 85 126 5.13 122 3.57 5 6
102 Middle Tennessee State - 97.5 90 105 126 4.71 122 3.29 5 6
103 Old Dominion - 98.0 99 97 126 4.92 122 3.43 5 6
104 New Mexico Arrow_up3 98.5 100 97 126 4.94 122 3.43 4 8
104 Southern Miss Arrow_up1 98.5 115 82 126 5.31 122 3.57 2 9
106 Ball State Arrow_up4 99.5 81 118 126 4.46 122 2.99 4 6
107 Hawaii Arrow_down7 102.5 110 95 126 5.23 122 3.43 3 9
108 Florida Atlantic Arrow_down2 103.5 92 115 126 4.76 122 3.07 3 9
109 UTSA Arrow_down2 106.5 105 108 126 5.06 122 3.26 4 8
110 San Jose State Arrow_down1 109.0 111 107 126 5.25 122 3.28 2 9
111 Army Arrow_up4 109.5 98 121 126 4.87 122 2.88 3 6
112 Buffalo Arrow_up2 110.0 109 111 126 5.16 122 3.21 3 6
112 Connecticut - 110.0 103 117 126 5.02 122 3.01 1 9
114 Tulane Arrow_down3 110.5 113 108 126 5.25 122 3.26 2 8
115 Kent State Arrow_up7 111.0 100 122 126 4.94 122 2.86 2 9
116 South Florida Arrow_down1 113.0 121 105 126 5.97 122 3.29 3 8
117 Florida International - 115.5 118 113 126 5.53 122 3.12 3 7
117 North Texas Arrow_down5 115.5 119 112 126 5.65 122 3.20 3 8
119 UNLV Arrow_down1 116.5 117 116 126 5.47 122 3.03 1 11
120 Miami (Oh) Arrow_down1 117.0 120 114 126 5.67 122 3.07 2 9
121 Massachusetts Arrow_down1 118.5 114 123 126 5.28 122 2.81 3 9
122 Eastern Michigan Arrow_down1 120.5 122 119 126 6.14 122 2.95 1 10
123 Tulsa Arrow_down1 121.5 123 120 126 6.22 122 2.93 2 10
124 Troy - 124.0 124 124 3 1.00 123 3.49 3 8
125 Idaho - 125.5 125 126 2 1.50 124 3.02 1 10
126 SMU - 126.0 127 125 0 NaN 123 2.98 0 11
127 New Mexico State - 126.5 126 127 1 1.00 125 3.05 1 10
128 Georgia State - 127.5 127 128 0 NaN 126 3.13 0 11

For the first time in a number of weeks, we see some significant movement in the top 25. Most pronounced is the 57 spot drop suffered by Marshall. The formerly undefeated Herd were number 2 in last week's rankings, but their perch was always precarious as their schedule had not been very strong. After an overtime loss to Western Kentucky, Marshall no longer has that undefeated record to stand on, and their shaky schedule caught up to them.

Clemson and Georgia Tech both picked up wins over their intrastate, interconference rivals with Clemson downing South Carolina and Georgia Tech besting Georgia. South Carolina had been massively overrated in the CTR, which Clemson took advantage of to jump up 20 spots this week (South Carolina, on the other hand, fell 11 spots and out of the top 25). Georgia Tech rode their overtime victory over the Bulldogs to a 21 spot ascent in the CTR, tying Clemson at number 12 in this week's rankings.

In fact, the Clemson and Georgia Tech victories were only half of the four games the ACC stole from their SEC rivals. This development may well explain the SEC's weakened presence in this week's top 10, in particular giving Oregon its season-high CTR rank of recent weeks at number 6. Overall, every team in this week's AP top 25 except CTR 31 Boise State is in the CTR top 25 (which consists of 27 teams this week, due to ties). The exact ordering of the top 25 can vary significantly, however. In particular, AP top 6 teams TCU, Baylor, and Ohio State have been downgraded significantly.

CLUSTER WATCH

As noted above, previously undefeated Marshall entered the cluster (our term for the large mass of teams in the middle of the rankings with the same number of win paths and loss paths) this week. Florida State narrowly escaped the same fate, and must defeat Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship to remain the nation's only super-cluster squad. Meanwhile, the sub-cluster quintet of Troy, Idaho, SMU, New Mexico State, and Georgia State all fell over the weekend. Among them, only SMU has any games remaining, their tilt with two-win UConn representing the final chance for a change in sub-cluster membership this season.

AWARDS

Jekyll and Hyde Award

Description:
For the team whose performances in the WTR and LTR are most divergent. This one's for the team which has experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. Or perhaps the highest lows and the lowest highs.

Measure:
Largest difference between WTR and LTR.

Winner:
Colorado

Notes:
Now a two-time Jekyll and Hyde Award winner, the Buffaloes likely wouldn't be here if they could have held on in the fourth quarter against Utah. As it stands, the Buffs still have no good wins (WTR 116) but not many bad losses either (LTR 37). This 79 spot difference was enough to hold off second place Virginia Tech, who has a strong WTR of 21 (largely due to an early-season victory over Ohio State) but a bad LTR of 92 (largely due to a late-season loss to Wake Forest), a difference of 71 spots.

Are We There Yet Award

Description:
Not all shortest paths are created equal. Sometimes, teams have to work very hard to claim a win path, meandering tirelessly among the season's results before the path is earned. This one goes to a pair of teams for whom the shortest win path between them is longer than all other shortest paths.

Measure:
Maximum length shortest win path.

Winners:
Eastern Michigan, TCU

Notes:
No tie-breakers necessary this week, as Eastern Michigan's shortest path to TCU is the only shortest path covering 11 or more games. The argument looks like this:

Eastern Michigan > Buffalo > Massachusetts > Kent State > Army > Connecticut > Central Florida > BYU > Texas > West Virginia > Baylor > TCU

Frequent Flyer Award

Description:
If you took all of one team's shortest win paths, and made them actual travel itineraries, for which team would you be making the most stops? To win this one, you need to have a lot of win paths, but you don't want them to be too short.

Measure:
Largest sum of shortest win path lengths.

Winner:
Tulsa

Notes:
The Golden Hurricane's 126 win paths sum to a total of 784 games. This total was enough to hold off Eastern Michigan (126 paths, 774 total games), who has won this award five times in the last six weeks.

Conference Atlas & Coattail-Rider Awards

Description:
There are two awards here, one for the team which does the most to carry its conference's reputation on its shoulders (Atlas), and another for the conference black sheep who most disgraces his comrades (Coattail-Rider).

Measure:
The team whose CTR is highest above/farthest below the average among teams in its conference.

Winner:
Florida State (Atlas), Vanderbilt (Coattails)

Notes:
After seven straight weeks on top, it's time for Marshall to give up the Conference Atlas trophy. In their place comes Florida State, the cream of an otherwise mediocre ACC crop, who came in just decimal places ahead of Boise State. On the other hand, Vanderbilt finished their season with a loss to Tennessee. With no games left to possibly win, it's a safe bet that the Commodores can now hold on to the Coattail Rider trophy for the rest of the season. See the conference-by-conference breakdown below:

Conference Avg Conference Rank Atlas Atlas Rank Atlas Difference Coattail Hanger Coattail Rank Coattail Difference
AAC 95.45 East Carolina 64 31.45 SMU 126 30.55
ACC 46.36 Florida State 1 45.36 Syracuse 89 42.64
Big 12 40.30 Oklahoma 10 30.30 Kansas 77 36.70
Big Ten 38.64 Michigan State 11 27.64 Purdue 77 38.36
CUSA 93.54 Marshall 59 34.54 Florida International 117 23.46
MAC 100.08 Northern Illinois 63 37.08 Eastern Michigan 122 21.92
MWC 76.17 Boise State 31 45.17 UNLV 119 42.83
Pac-12 34.58 Oregon 6 28.58 Colorado 75 40.42
SEC 24.00 Alabama 2 22.00 Vanderbilt 98 74.00
Sun Belt 102.09 UL Lafayette 73 29.09 Georgia State 128 25.91
We Are Not Impressed Award

Description:
This award goes to the AP top 25 team whose reputation is most at odds with their transitive resume. Whatever human pollsters see in this team, the CTR is not buying the hype.

Measure:
The AP top 25 team whose ranking drops the most when compared to CTR.

Winner:
Baylor

Notes:
The CTR really hasn't liked the Big 12 in recent weeks, and Baylor has been the worst off for it. The Bears check in at number 5 in the AP, but can only manage a tie for 25 in the CTR, a 20 spot difference. Their closest competition in this category is (gasp!) Kansas State (AP 9, CTR 25, difference of 16). Both teams get a chance for a resume improving victory this weekend when they play each other for a share of the conference title.

Desserpmi Ton Era Ew Award

Description:
Like the We Are Not Impressed Award, but opposite. Indeed, the name of this award is "we are not impressed" backwards.

Measure:
The highest CTR among teams receiving no votes in the AP poll.

Winner:
Arkansas

Notes:
Though the SEC love has toned down a bit from last week, the CTR is still giving mid-pack SEC teams more credit than the pollsters. This is particularly true for CTR 15 Arkansas and CTR 17 Texas A&M, neither of which received votes in this week's AP poll.

KANSAS STATE WIN PATHS

For the second week in a row, the Cats have fallen in the CTR despite a victory on the field. A win this coming week at Baylor would almost certainly improve their standing, though probably not enough to equal their AP rank. For that, we likely need a good showing by the conference in its bowl games.

Below is the customary K-State win path diagram (which keeps getting wider and wider), along with the depth list. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time.

Click to embiggen. - jeffp171/Bring on the Cats

  • Level 1: Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, UTEP, West Virginia
  • Level 2: Baylor, Central Michigan, Iowa, Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State, New Mexico, North Texas, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, Tennessee, Tulsa, Toledo, UTSA
  • Level 3: Arkansas State, Appalachian State, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Georgia State, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Kent State, Kentucky, UL Lafayette, Massachusetts, Miami (Oh), Michigan, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Purdue, Rice, South Carolina, South Florida, SMU, Syracuse, TCU, Tulane, UAB, UNLV, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan, Wyoming
  • Level 4: Air Force, Akron, Army, Boston College, BYU, Central Florida, Connecticut, East Carolina, Florida, Fresno State, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, UL Monroe, Memphis, Miami (Fl), Minnesota, Missouri, Marshall, Navy, Notre Dame, Rutgers, South Alabama, San Jose State, Temple, Troy, Texas State, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wisconsin
  • Level 5: Arkansas, Auburn, Boise State, California, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado State, Duke, Georgia Southern, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio State, San Diego State, Stanford, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia, Washington State
  • Level 6: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington
  • Level 7: Alabama, Arizona State, Mississippi State, Oregon
  • No Path: Florida State