2018 College Football Year End Rankings on the Hour Glass
Just recently we wrote about how excited we are to have our Hour Glass rankings back for 2018 and how we are doubling down on last year’s success by expanding our coverage. You can read about that here. As we detail out our power rankings, how the system we use works and more.
In our initial story we explain the analytics, the criteria and give you our initial power rankings for 2018. Now it’s time to look at how we think the season will look come post conference championship weekend.
We have tons of data coming your way in the form of conference and team previews, but today we want to focus on who we think will be in the College Football Playoff, the New Year’s Day Six and more.
Power Rankings differ from final rankings because schedules come into play – who you play, when, where, order off opponents and more factor into how good a team could be. It is important to understand our power rankings stand as basically a measuring stick of how strong teams are; almost like a Vegas line.
As always there will be some drama as we approach the College Football Playoff, but it will most likely always be that way, until this hot puppy is expanded – even then there will be controversy.
The SEC, ACC and BIG 10 look to again be the power players in college football, which means you should expect a representative from those conference in the playoff. That leaves us with the BIG12 and PAC12 or a very unlikely scenario where we see a Group of Five team crash the party.
While we saw two teams from the same conference in the playoff this past year in Georgia and Alabama, I wouldn’t look for that to become a common thing. This year, both the BIG12 and PAC12 have some interesting teams, but the BIG12 looks like it will cannibalize itself and we will discuss that more in our BIG12 primer.
The PAC12 however should be a fun league this year and all eyes will be on Washington in week one as they play Auburn to open the season on a neutral field. Make no mistake this ballgame with Washington and Auburn is a week one College Football Playoff elimination game. If Washington can win that ball game they will be the team to beat early on in the PAC12 and could run all the way to the playoff.
Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama all look to be the classes of their conferences in 2018 and again we will look at those conferences in more detail in their conference primers, which will be out in the coming days.
Georgia, Miami, Iowa, West Virginia, Oklahoma and a few more could have a say in who gets in the Final Four, but for us, unless something squirrely happens, like a Deondre Francois injury a year ago – this looks to be a four horse race in 2018.
Our Final four are as follows:
TEAM Wins Losses
1 Alabama 13 0
2 Clemson 13 0
3 Ohio State 13 0
4 Washington 13 0
Now the odds of all four going undefeated are slim to almost none as all four teams have tricky parts of their seasons, like Washington having to play back to back road games at UCLA and Oregon; or Ohio State tripping at Penn State or late in the year to Michigan State or a final week classic with Michigan.
Clemson plays on the road at Texas A&M in week two, At Georgia Tech on September 22nd and at Florida State on October 27th – all games that could give the Tigers problems. Alabama has Mississippi State and Auburn late in the year, but both games are at home. They also have to their annual game against LSU - this year on the road.
All things considering – these four teams have the best talent, coach and quarterback combo in the country in 2018, and our numbers show they should be the four best at the end of 2018.
We have Alabama meeting Ohio State for the National Championship and Alabama – yes, that Alabama winning it all again.
What about the rest:
The New Year’s Day Six should set up to have some great games again at the end of the year and here is how we think those games will match up.
Boise State looks like they should be the class of the Group of Five (we will discuss that in depth soon), Iowa returns the second best quarterback in the BIG10, a great coach in Kirk Ferentz and has enough talent to knock off Wisconsin in 2018. Plus their schedule is very manageable as they avoid Michigan and Ohio State in the regular season.
Oklahoma and Michigan both should make some noise in 2018, but will settle for a match-up in the Fiesta; while Georgia will fall shy of the playoff losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, but face a feisty West Virginia team out of the BIG12 in Atlanta.
Mississippi State out of the SEC should have a banner year under first year head coach Joe Moorhead. Their talent plus schedule sets them up well in 2018, and they should play an emerging power in the Miami Hurricanes out of the ACC in the Sugar Bowl.
This should be another jam packed, fun filled college football season – here is how our final 130 looks.
Coming up next – Coaching evals and coaching rankings.
Projected final 128 - heading into Bowl Season with final records.