The preseason Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com rankings have successfully picked at least one of the national title game contestants 15 times over its previous 27 years of existence, including 8 of the 14 BCS champions. During the playoff era, the computer has picked 11 of the 24 Final Four teams. Last year's preseason projections correctly picked 12 division winners and 7 conference winners.
Now that the Big Ten has decided to come out and play, see how every team is expected to finish the regular season in what has now become the the CCR Top 91 Preseason Rankings.
This article also reveals the projected final regular season standings.
The Big Ten's inclusion leads to Alabama's exclusion from the Final Four, according to these projections. But note that the computer has LSU favored only fractionally (0.31) to topple the Tide in Baton Rouge on November 14.
Without the Big Ten playing, the expected Final Four was (1) Clemson, (2) LSU, (3) Oklahoma, and (4) Alabama.
With the Big Ten in the mix, Clemson stays at No. 1 but Wisconsin moves in to the No. 2 slot, pushing LSU down to the 3 seed and Oklahoma to the 4. That leaves Alabama out of the playoffs. It's also worth noting that the predicted Final Four are the only Power 5 schools projected to go undefeated.
Ultimately, Clemson is the computer's pick to win the National Championship game, getting less than a 1-point edge over the Badgers. The semifinal projections have Clemson by 5.1 over Oklahoma, and Wisconsin by 1.63 over LSU.
BYU (8-0) and Air Force (2-0) are picked to win all of the games on their respective schedules.
In the ACC, Clemson is favored by just 1.59 at Notre Dame on November 7, and by only 3.26 points at Virginia Tech on December 5.
The computer gives Wisconsin a narrow 1.94-point edge over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game.
Oklahoma's Final Four appearance relies on the Sooners winning the tie-breaking game with rival Oklahoma State on November 21 in Norman. Oklahoma is favored by a healthy 8.48 points in the Bedlam rivalry clash.
Here is how each conference race shapes up, and our projected champion:
ACC - No divisions this year and Notre Dame is an "honorary" member of the conference in which they compete in many other sports. The race boils down to this becoming Clemson over Notre Dame or Virginia Tech. Clemson has to play both on the road and is a narrow favorite in both games. It's also the only projected loss for both Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. We assign the Irish as runner-up by national ranking. In the end, Clemson takes its 6th straight ACC title.
ACC Championship game: Clemson over Notre Dame
American - No divisions this year and the computer has Memphis, Cincinnati and UCF ending in a tie. The three teams are projected to go 1-1 among themselves. UCF beats Cincinnati in Orlando and loses at Memphis. Memphis falls at Cincinnati. We broke the tie by national ranking and ultimately have Memphis taking a 2nd straight conference title.
American Championship game: Memphis over Cincinnati
Big 12 - Oklahoma over Oklahoma State. Twice. Bedlam at Norman gives the Sooners the regular season title. A title game rematch victory puts the Sooners in the Final Four after a 6th straight Big 12 crown.
Big 12 Championship game: Oklahoma over Oklahoma State
Big Ten - Wisconsin over Ohio State. Ohio State falls at Penn State in week 2, but still manages to win the East division. Wisconsin runs the table in the West. Nebraska gets dealt the nation's toughest schedule in what seems like conference revenge after Scott Frost and the administration were publicly outspoken about the initial shutdown. 'Huskers should go back to the Big 12.
Big Ten Championship game: Wisconsin over Ohio State
CUSA - Western Kentucky emerges from the East and UAB wins its 3rd straight West division title. Rice plays the nation's weakest schedule and currently has just 6 games to play.
CUSA Championship game: Western Kentucky over UAB
SEC - LSU or Alabama vs. Tennessee, Georgia, Florida or Kentucky. The computer has the defending national champion Tigers narrowly downing The Tide in Baton Rouge to claim the western half of the Southeastern Conference. In the Eastern half, the Vols emerge from a competitive while the Gators, 'Dawgs and Wildcats finish tied for second.
SEC Championship game: LSU over Tennessee
Sun Belt - Nothing new here. Appalachian State takes the east and Louisiana takes the west. Mountaineers win a third straight tile.
Sun Belt Championship game: Appalachian State over Louisiana.
For those teams that have already been playing, their actual wins and losses have been included in the projection.
|62||North Carolina State||4||7||3||7||66.91||47|
|23||Texas A & M||7||3||7||3||87.44||26|