Thursday, January 13, 2011

Breaking down the Final PRS rankings (FBS Edition)

     At this point, you have had 24 hours to chew over our final rankings of the 2010 season, and there are probably some heads being scratched over the results. I will spare you the breakdown of how the poll works, as you can read about that in the right hand column of this blog. Once you read that, you will realize that it is a formulaic system, and that I have nothing to do with the final results every week, other than I calculate the formula every week.
    Now that that has been said, I will lay out the top 10, and give some explanations as to how people ended up where they did. Here we go...

1. Auburn
The Tigers finished at the top in the PRS like they did everywhere else. It's basic in that they went 14-0. Nobody else got within 300 points of the Tigers when all was said and done.

2. Boise State
The Broncos slid into this spot by playing what turned out to be a more difficult schedule than what most people thought that it was. The Broncos slipped ahead of TCU for this spot because of one essential game that TCU played. TCU played an FCS opponent and the Broncos did not, allowing the Broncos to slide up.

3. TCU
The Frogs were amazing in 2010. The Rose Bowl win was a program maker. The reason that the Frogs finished 3rd was that they essentially only get credit for 12 of their 13 wins, as they had a win over FCS Tennessee Tech, and this system gives very little credit for that. Exchange Tech with even a Sun Belt opponent, and the spots flip.

4. Oregon
Oregon had been in the top 3 for weeks this year, so even with the BCS title loss, The Ducks didn't have the ability to fall very far. Oregon picked the wrong day to play their worst game, but that makes two straight seasons that the Ducks have choked on the big stage. They have enough talent on hand to try again next season.

5. Ohio State
The Buckeyes carried the dignity of the entire Big 10 on their shoulders entering the Sugar Bowl. OSU barely held on after blowing a huge lead aganst Arkansas, but the win felt filthy knowing that all of their soon to be suspended players played a big part in the win. The Buckeyes had a huge season at the end of it all, but they will pay the price in 2011.

6. Stanford
The Cardinal dominated in the Orange Bowl, but the Cardinal was still 21 points away from being undefeated. One more item that kept them out of the top 5 was the season opening win over FCS Sacramento State. Stanford should avoid that kind of scheduling from here on out. As far as the PRS is concerned, Stanford only gets credit for 11 wins.

7. Nevada
The Wolfpack could have beaten just about anyone this season, and they backed those words by beating Boise State. This was an all time great team in Reno, and they were just a loss to Hawaii away from becoming a BCS buster. A higher ranking was kept at bay as the Pack had a win over Eastern Washington in the opener, giving them credit for only 12 wins instead of the 13 on record.

8. Oklahoma
The Sooners made a huge comeback in 2010, but there were two losses during the season that kept the Sooners in the second 5. The two losses that kept the Sooners back were road games against Missouri and Texas A&M. Look for a move up in 2011, as the Sooners have 17 starters returning.

9. LSU
The Tigers had some rough patches in 2010, and early on it felt like the wheels could fall off of the wagon at any time, but the Tigers kept on pushing ahead and made it to the Cotton Bowl. LSU won 11 games, but only get credit for 10, as one win was against FCS McNeese State.

10. Oklahoma State
The Cowboys looked like an early national title contender, but then came some letdown losses against Nebraska and Oklahoma in Stillwater. The Cowboys bounced back nicely in the Alamo Bowl, but truthfully, the Cowboys deserved a better bowl destination. The Cowboys avoided the temptation to schedule an FCS game, and got credit for all 11 wins.

I will breakdown 11-20 tomorrow. For further explanation, please feel free to shoot an email, and I will be happy to answer all questions.

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