Editor’s note: The previous week’s results can be found here: week 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7 and 6.
The dust has settled on the 2011 season, and the Auburn Tigers came out on top. It was quite the turnaround for head coach Gene Chizik. Auburn finished the 2009 season in relatively pedestrian fashion. The Tigers compiled an 8-5 record, including a dubious 3-5 mark in conference play, edged out Northwestern in their bowl game, and finished the year ranked 34th in the AVR.
But behind the arm—and, perhaps more importantly, feet—of Cam Newton, Auburn reeled off 14 consecutive victories and hoisted the national championship hardware for the first time since 1957. Detractors of the BCS system can and will argue that TCU was cheated out of a shot to play for the title, but there is virtually no argument about which team had the more impressive resume.
Auburn played the 14th most difficult AVR strength of schedule (SOS), TCU the 95th. Sagarin notes a similar trend—the Tigers faced the 13th most difficult SOS while the Horned Frogs faced the 76th toughest slate of teams. Moreover, Auburn ranked first in quality wins/losses (QWL), i.e. they beat more AVR top 25 teams than any other squad in the country.
TCU had a great year and was a great team, but what they accomplished during the season pales in comparison to the gauntlet of teams Auburn went through on the road to Glendale. Additionally, the Tigers played and won one more game than the Horned Frogs. Although that doesn’t seem like much, when that game is a conference championship against a quality opponent, it makes running the table far more difficult.
The final season’s rankings (ESP, AVR, and top 10 AWP, SOS, TPR, MOV and QWL) are published in the tables below. There is plenty of information to scour and digest, but here are a few highlights:
- The top 10 teams in the AVR are Auburn, TCU, Boise State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, LSU, Oklahoma State, and Wisconsin. As was noted throughout the year, several played weak schedules. The Horned Frogs, Ducks, Cardinal and Badgers all faced a slate of competition that ranked in the bottom half of the FBS and only Auburn, Oklahoma, and LSU played a schedule ranked in the top 15.
- Comparing the final ESP and BCS rankings yields some interesting observations. One, two teams in the top 25 of the final BCS standings—West Virginia and Hawaii—do not appear in the top 25 of the ESP. Instead, Tulsa and Maryland round out the ESP top 25.
- And two, the average ranking delta between the ESP and BCS is 2.68 spots with a standard deviation of 1.7. The two ranking systems only agreed exactly on two teams—Auburn and Stanford—with six other squads—Oregon, TCU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Nebraska, and South Carolina—sitting only one place apart. Florida State (6 spots different), Arkansas (5), Michigan State(5), and Alabama(5) were the largest deltas.
- While the ESP and BCS mostly agree on the teams in the top 25, if not entirely on their exact placement, the AVR and Sagarin have more disagreement. Six teams—Mississippi State, North Carolina State, Iowa, USC, Arizona State, and Florida—appear in the Sagarin top 25 but not in the top 25 of the AVR. Instead, the AVR puts Michigan State, Nebraska, Utah, Northern Illinois, Tulsa, Hawaii, and Notre Dame in the top 25.
- As might be expected, there is also larger aggregate disagreement between Sagarin and the AVR. The average ranking delta between the two is 3.88 with a standard deviation of 2.51—both higher than the respective values for the ESP and BCS. The two ranking systems agree on Auburn at number one and LSU at number eight, but fail to match the relative placement of any other teams. The largest disparities include Stanford (7th in AVR, 2nd in Sagarin), Alabama (13th, 5th), Oklahoma (4th, 10th), Mississippi State (not ranked, 11th), Nevada (11th, 16th), North Carolina State (not ranked, 18th), Notre Dame (25th, 19th), and Iowa (not ranked, 21st).
- The Irish rank 25th in the AVR with the 1st ranked SOS, 22nd ranked QWL metric, 42nd ranked adjusted win percentage (AWP), 42nd ranked margin of victory (MOV), and 32nd best team performance ratio (TPR). The Irish finished the season ranked 64th in offensive TPR and 18th in defensive TPR. Notre Dame ranked 62nd in the latter category in 2009, and the 44-spot jump was the largest of any team from last season to this year.
Elite Selection Playoff (ESP)
|Rank||Team||AP Poll||Coaches Poll||AV Ranking||Points|
AV Ranking (AVR)
|Rank||Team||Points||Strength of Schedule||Quality Wins/Losses||Adjusted Win Percentage||Margin of Victory||Team Performance Ratio|
Adjusted Win Percentage (AWP)
Strength of Schedule (SOS)
Team Performance Ratio (TPR)
Margin of Victory (MOV)
Quality Wins/Losses (QWL)