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College Football Rankings: Jeff Sagarin NCAA Football Computer Rating Ranks Stanford No. 4

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After many weeks I finally took the time to bookmark the websites of the six computer ratings that make up the third part of the BCS rankings. While there are numerous question marks about many of these computer ratings, they are what the BCS uses so we’ll have to stick with them for now. God forbid they actually go to a playoff. That might make too much sense after all!

Jeff Sagarin’s NCAA football ratings make up one of the six computer ratings used in the BCS. Sagarin has been doing this for many years (even before the BCS) in conjunction with USA Today. What’s interesting about his rankings is that he has multiple rankings, one of which does not factor in margin of victory. The BCS uses THAT ranking and not Sagarin’s more inclusive ranking. On the link above, the rating used by the BCS is the column labeled ELO_CHESS. Sagarin has an interesting comment about that:

In ELO CHESS, only winning and losing matters; the score margin is of no consequence, which makes it very “politically correct”. However it is less accurate in its predictions for upcoming games than is the PURE POINTS, in which the score margin is the only thing that matters. PURE POINTS is also known as PREDICTOR, BALLANTINE, RHEINGOLD, WHITE OWL and is the best single PREDICTOR of future games. The ELO CHESS will be utilized by the Bowl Championship Series(BCS).

This rating places Stanford number four in the country thanks in part to a solid strength of schedule. The win over Arizona certainly helped, although it will be interesting to see how their upcoming games with the less stellar portions of the Pac-10 affect the rating.

Here’s this week’s top 15 from the Sagarin NCAA football rating (in the BCS-utilized rating:

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. TCU
4. Stanford
5. Nebraska
6. LSU
7. Oklahoma State
8. Wisconsin
9. Michigan State
10. Boise State
11. Arizona
12. Missouri
13. Utah
14. Iowa
15. Arkansas