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College Football Power Rankings

Week 9 Rankings
By Eric Schmoldt and Paul Bessire, WhatIfSports.com
October 26th, 2009

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WhatIfSports.com utilizes its college football simulation technology to present the most comprehensive, deterministic and unbiased ranking of all teams. We simulated every possible DI FBS match-up one hundred times, and used the winning percentages from 700,000+ games to evaluate every team. All 120 teams are ranked below with their average points for and against from the simulated games. Simulations are based on updated, strength-of-schedule-adjusted stats, so significant week-to-week changes could occur.

Most Notable Storyline:
The battle to be the nation's best three-loss team is on.

Oklahoma has lost three times but has never left the national stage. The Sooners remain the 11th-ranked team in the country because all three defeats have come by three points or less - one to a top-five team and a pair of one-point losses to teams in our top 35. Oklahoma has lost all three games by a combined five points and remain ranked 11th in the country for a second consecutive week, beating opponents 87.5% of the time in 100 simulations against all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

But Clemson has followed a very similar path and now finds itself inside the top 20 after making a major statement with an overtime victory against Miami on Saturday.

The Tigers are also 4-3 and no team has beaten them by more than four points. Their resume includes a three-point loss at now-#14 Georgia Tech and a four-point loss to now-#3 TCU. Clemson's only difference remains its loss to Maryland. The upset came on the road by just three points, but the Terrapins are ranked outside our top 100.

That still isn't enough to keep the Tigers out of the top 20.

They boast the 17th-best defense in the country in terms of yards per game and the toughest part of their 14th ranked schedule is behind them after beating the Hurricanes and jumping 11 spots to No. 20 this week. The Tigers defeat all other FBS opponents 80.0% of the time.

Biggest Gains:
Nevada remains one of the most unbalanced teams in the country, and Saturday's 70-45 victory over then 6-1 Idaho painted a pretty good picture of the Wolfpack's season. Nevada boasts the nation's top rushing offense (by over a yard per carry at 7.23 yards per rush to UABs' 6.08) and are the second-best offense in the country in terms of yards per game. Yet the Wolfpack continues to rank in the triple-digits in almost every defensive category. The victory was Nevada's fourth in a row, moving it to 4-3 on the season and up 22 spots in the latest rankings, jumping to 24th.

Only Texas A&M equals that jump this week. The Aggies, also hovering around 100th in most defensive metircs, shook off three consecutive losses with a 52-30 drubbing of Texas Tech, leaping 22 spots as well to #51 in the country.

Florida Atlantic left itself plenty of room to move up in the rankings after it opened the season with four straight losses. The Owls move up 19 spots with their second consecutive victory to come int at #84 this week.

And the Tennessee Volunteers lost, but their valiant effort at taking down #2 Alabama is good enough for a double-digit jump. The Vols now have a losing record, but a 13-spot jump moves them to #29 in our power rankings.

Biggest Losses:
Colorado continues to be the most topsy-turvy team in the nation, jumping and falling by more than 20 spots in three consecutive weeks. A 31-spot spike after changing quarterbacks has now been followed by a 25-spot fall following a loss to Kansas State. The Buffaloes are back down to #81.

The truly biggest losses come from three teams that once had national championship hopes, but now have completely disappeared after losses this weekend.

Miami couldn't solve Clemson in overtime and fals from the top 20 all the way to #33, a drop of 15 spots. South Florida, undefeated just 10 days ago, plummets 21 spots to #43 in the rankings after the Bulls laid an egg at Pittsburgh. And BYU, once considered the top BCS-buster candidate after taking down Oklahoma in Week 1, is now outside the top 25. The Cougars dip 12 spots after being routed at home against TCU.

Teams Ranked by Winning Percentage(everyone plays everyone 100 times)

 TeamChangeWin PctPS/GPA/G
1.Florida Gators-98.752.26.8
2.Alabama Crimson Tide-96.947.66.7
3.TCU Horned Frogs+196.647.68.5
4.USC Trojans-195.044.511.0
5.Texas Longhorns-94.042.37.6
6.Cincinnati Bearcats+193.646.711.3
7.Boise State Broncos-192.844.911.6
8.Oregon Ducks-91.838.08.7
9.Iowa Hawkeyes-90.440.610.1
10.Oklahoma State Cowboys-87.640.515.3
11.Oklahoma Sooners-87.534.910.4
12.Penn State Nittany Lions-87.236.812.7
13.LSU Tigers+286.933.89.8
14.Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets+585.843.518.3
15.West Virginia Mountaineers-285.739.213.4
16.Houston Cougars-285.643.319.9
17.Pittsburgh Panthers+382.737.516.3
18.Ohio State Buckeyes+381.831.512.6
19.Arizona Wildcats+1081.236.417.0
20.Clemson Tigers+1180.028.810.9
 TeamChangeWin PctPS/GPA/G
21.Utah Utes-479.533.816.0
22.Notre Dame Fighting Irish+172.935.322.0
23.Virginia Tech Hokies+472.031.617.6
24.Nevada Wolf Pack+2271.735.521.7
25.Mississippi Rebels+1371.229.717.4
26.Fresno State Bulldogs+1470.835.621.9
27.California Golden Bears+570.431.519.6
28.Brigham Young Cougars-1270.233.421.9
29.Tennessee Volunteers+1370.226.415.3
30.Connecticut Huskies-270.128.016.9
31.Air Force Falcons+569.826.315.9
32.Oregon State Beavers+269.627.217.7
33.Miami (FL) Hurricanes-1568.828.918.2
34.Central Michigan Chippewas+168.629.819.0
35.Stanford Cardinal+667.632.322.9
36.Michigan State Spartans+366.926.617.4
37.Arkansas Razorbacks-1266.632.622.9
38.South Carolina Gamecocks-866.125.116.3
39.Nebraska Cornhuskers-1365.623.416.3
40.Kansas State Wildcats+765.027.219.5
 TeamChangeWin PctPS/GPA/G
41.Texas Tech Red Raiders-1764.825.718.1
42.Missouri Tigers-563.924.918.4
43.South Florida Bulls-2161.526.420.2
44.Idaho Vandals-1160.529.923.9
45.Rutgers Scarlet Knights+460.323.719.0
46.Florida State Seminoles+459.828.924.3
47.Wisconsin Badgers-359.426.821.9
48.Navy Midshipmen+959.426.521.7
49.Purdue Boilermakers+1655.522.320.6
50.Kansas Jayhawks-755.226.023.1
51.Texas A&M Aggies+2255.225.923.4
52.Georgia Bulldogs-455.122.820.4
53.Auburn Tigers-854.824.422.1
54.Temple Owls+854.719.618.8
55.Utah State Aggies+1253.625.924.2
56.Southern Miss Golden Eagles+852.022.820.9
57.Boston College Eagles-351.720.419.8
58.Troy Trojans+551.622.622.9
59.Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks-850.122.921.9
60.Arizona State Sun Devils-749.917.618.5
 TeamChangeWin PctPS/GPA/G
61.Iowa State Cyclones+949.321.322.3
62.Michigan Wolverines-748.323.524.3
63.Virginia Cavaliers+348.014.116.2
64.Northern Illinois Huskies-447.422.624.1
65.Wake Forest Demon Deacons-447.320.623.1
66.Ohio Bobcats-846.818.821.2
67.Kentucky Wildcats+743.318.523.4
68.Baylor Bears-1643.018.323.8
69.Tulsa Golden Hurricane-1042.521.526.2
70.Mississippi State Bulldogs+541.919.223.8
71.Arkansas State Red Wolves-41.518.424.5
72.North Carolina Tar Heels-441.211.717.3
73.Toledo Rockets-440.021.728.6
74.UCLA Bruins+538.415.423.2
75.Buffalo Bulls+238.318.227.0
76.Indiana Hoosiers-37.016.625.4
77.Wyoming Cowboys+336.114.123.3
78.North Carolina State Wolfpack-636.017.224.1
79.East Carolina Pirates+736.015.524.1
80.Duke Blue Devils+1335.818.626.0
 TeamChangeWin PctPS/GPA/G
81.Colorado Buffaloes-2535.614.122.4
82.Western Michigan Broncos+534.517.126.6
83.Vanderbilt Commodores+533.913.023.3
84.Florida Atlantic Owls+1933.821.532.2
85.Washington Huskies-332.718.229.1
86.Northwestern Wildcats+432.015.025.8
87.UCF Knights+231.513.524.1
88.Louisiana Tech Bulldogs-330.515.729.1
89.Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns-1129.815.927.6
90.Marshall Thundering Herd+129.614.727.8
91.North Texas Mean Green+128.315.729.4
92.Minnesota Golden Gophers-1128.113.526.5
93.UAB Blazers+427.718.231.0
94.Syracuse Orange+527.612.125.4
95.Illinois Fighting Illini-127.015.030.7
96.Hawaii Warriors-1326.716.931.0
97.Kent State Golden Flashes+826.712.726.9
98.UTEP Miners-26.116.231.2
99.San Diego State Aztecs+125.811.224.4
100.Louisville Cardinals-1624.014.630.0
 TeamChangeWin PctPS/GPA/G
101.Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders+323.711.727.5
102.Southern Methodist Mustangs-723.413.128.8
103.Maryland Terrapins-222.611.327.9
104.Memphis Tigers+622.112.931.1
105.Army Black Knights-921.511.028.1
106.Colorado State Rams-419.010.429.5
107.Bowling Green Falcons+116.411.033.4
108.Akron Zips-115.510.032.1
109.UNLV Rebels-15.312.436.1
110.Ball State Cardinals+113.010.032.2
111.Tulane Green Wave-511.79.735.6
112.Western Kentucky Hilltoppers+29.29.939.1
113.New Mexico Lobos-19.16.633.6
114.Miami (OH) RedHawks+38.86.234.1
115.Washington State Cougars+48.57.236.9
116.Florida International Golden Panthers-37.28.137.0
117.San Jose State Spartans-26.88.239.4
118.New Mexico State Aggies-4.75.838.8
119.Rice Owls-33.57.343.0
120.Eastern Michigan Eagles-1.94.946.7

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Eric Schmoldt is a writer and Paul Bessire is the Product Manager of Content and Quantitative Analysis for WhatIfSports.com, a division of FOX Sports Interactive specializing in NCAA Matchup analysis and college football sim games. With any comments, questions or topic suggestions, Paul and Eric can be reached at BtB@whatifsports.com. Thanks!

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