So, to see for myself who the best teams in the country really were, I devised my own ranking system which is broken down into two simple components. Strength of Schedule and Style. Strength of Schedule tells us how good your wins were. Did you beat up on also-rans? Or did you win against quality opponents?
The Style component tells us how dominating your wins were. Did you barely escape? Or did you dominate your opponent?
The SOS component works like this:
Every win against an FBS foe is worth a number of points equal to how many wins that team has against other FBS foes. Thus wins against good opponents who win their other games helps you as the season goes on. Wins against poor opponents doesn't. Losses and wins against FCS opponents are worth nothing.
The Style component works like this:
Beating a team by 0-7 is worth 0 Style points.
Beating a team by 8-14 is worth 1 Style point.
Beating a team by 15-21 is worth 2 Style points.
Beating a team by 22 or more is worth 3 Style points.
Shutting out a team is worth 1 more Style point.
When I re-evaluated the top 10 of the BCS based on my SOS component, the results were as follows:
1. Notre Dame - 33
2. Florida - 29
3. Alabama -28
4. TIE Oregon and K State - 22
6. South Carolina - 20
7. TIE LSU and Florida State - 19
9. Georgia - 17
10. Louisville - 14
Some things jump out at me. ND has played the toughest schedule against winning opponents and its not even close. Florida has played a tougher schedule than Bama, such that even with their one loss, Bama still lags slightly behind. Oregon and K State's schedule has had the same difficulty, but its better than many pundits think.
For fun, I also evaluated Oregon State. They have 22 points, which would also put them in a dead heat with Oregon and K State. This is despite only having 6 FBS wins compared to Oregon and K State's 7 FBS wins. Their SOS has been very good.
Next, I calculated Style points with the following results:
1. Alabama - 25
2. Oregon - 21
3. TIE K State, S. Carolina, and Florida State - 13
6. TIE Florida and Georgia - 12
8. Notre Dame - 10
9. LSU - 9
10. Louisville - 3
Bonus: Oregon State - 4
Here we can see that Alabama and Oregon have been utterly dominant in their wins. Then a cluster of teams in the middle with Louisville lagging even behind OSU.
If we aggregate the results, a picture emerges of who the best teams really are:
1. Alabama - 53
2. TIE Oregon and Notre Dame - 43
4. Florida - 41
5. Kansas State - 35
6. South Carolina - 33
7. Florida State - 32
8. Georgia - 29
9. LSU - 28
10. Louisville - 17
With OSU at 26.
Its clear that Louisville is a pretender, barely escaping with wins against terrible teams. If I ranked the entire top 20, they might fall out altogether since I suspect teams like Stanford, USC would likely have more points then they. They absolutely do not deserve to be 10th in the country at all.
Its also clear that Alabama is far and away the best team in CFB. They have played a decent schedule so far and have utterly dominated their opponents, even more than Oregon has. However, its worth keeping in mind that Oregon does its damage early and often pulls its starters for the second half while Bama tends to play theirs the whole way.
Notre Dame and Oregon are currently a tie for 2nd place with a strong Florida team nipping at their heels. And although Oregon's schedule is not as strong as Notre Dame's, its interesting to note they have utterly dominated their opponents whereas Notre Dame has mostly won close games. Its clear that K State doesn't quite belong in the same conversation as an undefeated Oregon and Notre Dame, though they aren't terrible.