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College Football Transitivity Rankings - Week 10

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Guess where Clemson ranks this week
Guess where Clemson ranks this week
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It's been two weeks since we last posted the Transitivity Rankings. Plenty has happened since then, including losses by our previous number one and number two teams. Let's see what we're left with. (If you're confused, you can check the explanation from the season's first post.)

Clemson has taken over as the new number 1, mirroring their placing in the latest AP and CFP rankings. In behind them is Oklahoma State, reaping the benefits of their convincing victory over TCU. Next up are two Big Ten teams, with Iowa rating higher than the defending national champions.

American Athletic Conference: The new SEC?

As we discussed last week, the Transitivity Rankings allow us to divide FBS into three distinct groups. The upper class, ranked 1 through 11, has transitive victories over every team below them. The lower class, ranked 125 through 128, has transitive losses to every team above them. The largest group is the middle class, within which you can find a transitive path between any two teams.

For much of the season last year, the upper class was dominated by the SEC West. These teams weren't all undefeated, of course, but crucially they only lost games played within the division. This kept them immune from transitive losses to any other teams, and thus kept them at the top of the rankings.

After the actions of last night (notably Alabama vs. LSU and Arkansas vs. Ole Miss), the entire SEC is now in the middle class. The conference with the most upper-class teams? The AAC. Houston, Navy, Memphis, and Temple all find themselves above the fray. They're not in as strong of a position as the SEC West was last year, as the fates of all but Houston are tied to Notre Dame (who beat Navy and Temple) and Clemson (who beat Notre Dame). But barring any big upsets, the American should continue to place highly in these rankings.

Interactive path finder

As always, I'll leave you with the interactive path finder, where you can see precisely who your favorite team has beaten, and all the paths to get there. This week's longest path is SMU's 19 game path to Florida. Measuring by miles, the longest path is about 12,000 miles from Idaho to Stanford.