New NCAA Football Rankings by Bob Ryan

college rankingsLots of winds blowing around the rumor mill…

….how could Green Bay be so bad last Sunday? At the same time…I hope…almost pray…that Payton Manning retires 5 minutes after his season ends this year….he’s about as mobile as a 50 year man …oh wait… he is 39!

….rumor has it that Kirk Gibson will apply for the LA Dodgers managerial job. Gibson has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s earlier this year

…so at 39 years of age, Charles Woodson leads the NFL with 5 Interceptions. I thought he was a teammate of Jim Harbaugh at Michigan?

…the SS free agent pool just deepened as the White Sox declined the $10/mm option on Alexei Ramirez. Ramierez joins Ian Desmond, Jimmy Rollins, and Asdrubal Cabrera in this aging, expensive pool of free agent SS.

…heavy hitting Orioles slugger, Chris Davis, will no doubt end up wearing a different uniform next year…he’s coming off a $12mm year but the other 1B Free agents are not of the same ilk so he’ll command a lot…if Heyward departs…then…would the Cards be interested? He’d cost a ton.

….signals are being sent that the O’s may be interested in Card Brendan Moss as a platoon 1B since Davis will probably move on

….Julio Jones is the best receiver in the NFL at this moment…most receptions in league-70; most yards rec-892; 6 TD receptions (league leader as 7); 2nd in league in first down receptions

…so Dusty Baker dons yet another uniform color….he probably changes his uniforms as often as his toothpicks

….Yoenis Cespedes is packing his bags…again….why has this talent been on four different teams already?…..with the bat that he possesses(he had a total of 35 HR on 2 different teams this year)….it’s gotta be off the field stuff

…Tavon Austin is FINALLY looking like a #1 pick…he’s tied for 2nd in the entire NFL in TD’s with 7…btw…Frank Cignetti (Rams O-Coordinator) has done a much better job at getting him the ball than Shot-en&missed ever did in 2 years.

…possible FA bullpen considerations…. Darren O’Day –O’s (previous-3 yr-9.65mm); Tony Sipp –Astros (1y-2.4mm); Jim Johnson LAD (1 yr-1.6mm)

…how could you not be excited about the Florida State vs Clemson football game with coaches names like Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney ?

… Jeff Samardzija seems to always have “good stuff”… but ….he never wins on a consistent basis…likely landing ports for him—NYY, back to Cubbies, or Mil


Now…the answer to your biggest concern in life…NCAA Football Rankings..


Each week we’re deluged by the Coaches’ Poll, the Writers Poll, the Family Poll, the guys at work Poll, the local writers polls and now of course ….the College Football Playoff Poll.


Most of those polls are done by people who cover the sport with great zeal…they’re well-versed in the personnel of each school, the coaches habits—their life-time records in wins, losses, haircuts, number of shoes yada-yada- yada. But….in my opinion….they rank the teams as if they were professional scouts….who has the most pure athletes…who can run, jump, lift, sprint, tug, push, tell a good yarn, smile well, do a commercial …or whatever other measurements are used for determining the next Hershel Walker of the World.


While good…very good … athletes are required to win at the highest level…often …it seems to me…teams that don’t have 5500 pure athletes MAY have the best teams…their individual qualities blend with each other, they stay poised, smart …btw…being smart is one of the most overlooked qualities of good athletes….and make the play the right way most time and they don’t MAKE MISTAKES when the pressure is elevated or commit as many penalties.


I’m lucky to know personally a person on the College Football Playoff Poll committee.   He and all of he tells me…are genuine, intelligent, hard- working, football savvy experts who are striving to be as perfect as they can-be men. They watch so many games that their eyes have to turn to mush by Thanksgiving. They work to stay objective….but ….what human can really be 100% objective…we all bring in our attitudes, long-term feelings about coaches, teams, programs, conferences, etc…all of that MUST shade your measurements…. knowingly or unknowingly. They talk throughout the season then meet to try to get it right. So…my suggestion is in NO WAY intended to hint that this committee isn’t doing their best to land the best teams in the final four of the country or that they haven’t done a good job…it’s really an impossible task with this approach. It’s not the personnel….it’s the system.


Now I’ve reached the conclusion that there needs to be a numerical measurement of some sort to rank the teams….this feeling might come from my math background of teaching math 40 years….yes….I was after the abacus…or maybe the local MSHSAA program of using a point system to seed teams in their respective high school districts seemed effective to me….perfect…na…do you know anyone or anything perfect…other than my wife’s cheesecake?


So….with that in mind…I’m throwing out a starting spot for others to adjust, fine-tune, tinker, modify…whatever….and I STILL have some duties for our gold-star committee..


I’m trying to consider strength of schedule (very important factor to me) as symbolized by the records of the opponents AND the level of Classification of the school….for example…Harvard’s schedule doesn’t compare to Mizzou so that factor must also be considered. Here’s how I would do it…have our committee rank each year the top 6 conferences of the country plus any independents that fall into that same level—that would be Tier I; 2nd tier is the next four toughest conferences and the remaining conferences and all dII programs comprise the third level. So all schools are listed in one of the three tiers of conferences.


The remaining part of the equation is rather simple…here we go..


The rankings are based on totaling a team’s points. The LOWER the BETTER.


A poll would not start until week 6 of the season….only 20 teams in poll..1st poll is “pure”…that is no use of Ranked teams in computations



When a team beats a tier I team….your get 25 points plus you add on the number of losses that that opponent has attained…so.. for example..

Mizzou beat team X (tier one team) who has a 4-2 record after 6 weeks…

You get 25 points for the win and add 2 points (for the losses) to make 27

Here’s the exception that provides teams with the motive to play good teams…if you play a ranked team…say team XYX is ranked #12…you get 12 points & add their losses (not 25) then subtract your winning total (step 2).



Subtract from that total the amount of points that you won by over your opponent. If you won 35-18…you’d subtract 17 points (maximum pts allowed here is 20 points– to stop teams from running up the score)


Returning to our example…27 pts from step 1 minus the 17 pts in step 2 = 10


Do this after each game and then divide by the number of games.


****If you beat a Tier II team, you start with 35 points…not 25….

****Tier III, you start with 45 points



If you lose to a ranked team +20, tier I—start with 35 points, lose to tier II- its 45 points, loss to a tier III team is 60 points. After this initial amount ADD the number of points that you lost the game by to the opponent.



Now….is this perfect….heck no…but it sounds far more logical than a group of guys sitting around a table talking for or against a certain team because they do or don’t play a tough schedule, they do or they don’t “run it up”..the number of athletes alone should NOT be the consideration…how good is the team.


A team with a tougher schedule may lose and still be ranked higher than the unbeaten cup-cake schedulers. Just for grins….I used my suggestions for the FIRST ever BOB POLL….here it is…yes…Ohio State isn’t ONE but #9…they’ve played NOT ONE ranked team…have played two opponents from the MAC conference ( a long way from a tier I conference)…with the exception of those two MAC games, the Buckeyes have never won by more than 12 points…so they aren’t “blowing people away”..the do have some ranked teams coming up on their schedule …so…in this scenario they could move up easier than in other man-guess polls.


Now these numbers change each week as a team’s opponents records change so there will be constant movement. I had no agenda about which team would be ranked where….I just wanted to try the system….so here’s the way it panned out for this week…..your thoughts…or YOUR system of ranking? Now…don’t criticize a particular ranking in the poll…it’ll be different next week J



  • Baylor       (7-0)       14.0
  • Clemson   (8-0)       14.35
  • LSU          (7-0)       15.7
  • Alabama   (7-1)       16.625
  • Notre Dame (7-1)    17.25
  • TCU          (8-0)      17.875
  • Mich St    (8-0)      18.125
  • Iowa          (8-0)      18.375
  • Ohio St.   (8-0)      18.6
  • Florida     (7-1)      19.125
  • Stanford   (7-1)       19.375
  • Utah          (7-1)       20.125
  • Memphis  (8-0)       20.5
  • Oklahoma (7-1)       21.0
  • Houston   (8-0)     21.375
  • Florida St (7-1)       21.75
  • Okla St.     (8-0)      23.0






  1. Brother Peter says:

    Why do I know that you were a math teacher (for 50 years in your previous life) after reading the Bob Ryan Poll System for College Football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Jim Pleimann says:

    Heck, I think I saw a Prepcasts. com poll last week ranking their broadcasters. I have a lot of climbing to do!!
    So, oh master of the keyboard, who can the Cardinals acquire in a deal that includes Lynn and Adams? Get me the best available player…..

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