DALLAS, TX — The Georgia Bulldogs, fresh off of an impressive 41-0 road victory over Tennessee, strengthened its hold on the No. 1 overall spot in the Week 6 Fan Plan Championship Index. The Bulldogs improved more than 10 percentage points in their chances to make the national championship game, entering Week 6 of the season with a 42.27% chance, the highest percentage of any team thus far this season. The Bulldogs also lead all teams with a 52.59% chance to make the College Football Playoff.
Clemson and Michigan remain and Nos. 2 and 3 this week, while a newcomer enters the playoff forecast at the No. 4 spot. Washington State’s upset win over USC vaulted the Cougars into the fourth spot with a 19.18% chance to make the championship game, moving Oklahoma to the No. 5 spot and outside of the playoff race were it to end today.
A number of non-Power 5 teams are also lurking in the FPCI, with Notre Dame holding the highest spot among those clubs at No. 7 with an 11.74% chance to play in the national championship game. Also in the rankings this week from outside the Power 5 conferences are No. 14 Central Florida (1.61%), No. 20 San Diego State (0.29%), and Nos. 24 South Florida and Navy (both 0.10%).
This week’s Top 10 is rounded out by No. 6 Penn State (16.63%). No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 8 Alabama (10.08%), No. 9 Ohio State (9.00%), and No. 10 TCU (8.61%).
|WK 6 RANK||TEAM||OVERALL RECORD||% TO MAKE CHAMPIONSHIP||% TO WIN CONFERENCE||FAN PLAN PRICE|
|20||San Diego State||5-0||0.29%||23.86%||$20.00|
Compiled weekly during the season, the FPCI is a proprietary analytical look at the current state of the chase for college football’s national championship. As opposed to traditional polls and rankings which purport to rank the best teams at a particular point in the season, the FPCI aims to rate college football teams by their real-time percent chance to make the national championship game — a dynamic metric that no other poll or ranking system measures.
The FPCI also includes the cost of a Fan Plan for each team. A Fan Plan is a one-of-a-kind indemnity product fans can purchase for their favorite team. If that team goes to the national championship game, Fan Plan pays for the fan’s game tickets and travel costs, up to the total coverage value of the Fan Plan. Each Fan Plan has a $1,000 coverage value and fans can buy additional coverage in $1,000 increments, up to $10,000 in total coverage. Fan Plan costs are dynamic and change based on each team’s real-time odds of making the championship game. The FPCI and Fan Plan pricing are based on season simulations that take into account a team’s wins and losses, opponents results, suspensions, weather, SOS, and other data points and projections.
FAN PLAN CHAMPIONSHIP INDEX NEWS & NOTES
BULLDOGS CONTINUE TO CLIMB: The Georgia Bulldogs’ 42.27% chance to make the national championship game, combined with their 52.59% chance to make the four-team playoff field, are impressive numbers for such an early point in the college football season. Certainly it is a byproduct of Georgia’s impressive play on the field. However, it can also be seen as a commentary on the rest of Georgia’s schedule, including what looks to be a weaker-than-normal SEC East Division.
The SEC East is one of just three Power 5 divisions that has only one team in the Top 25 of the FPCI. The others are the Big Ten West and Pac-12 South. Georgia’s remaining SEC East foes have a combined 5-7 conference record, which is buoyed dramatically by Florida’s undefeated but not-that-impressive 3-0 SEC mark. The Bulldogs do not have the highest percent chance to win the SEC, however – that still belongs to Alabama at 23.24% — but the Bulldogs’ higher percent chance to make the playoffs and the national championship game is a nod to Alabama’s more difficult road to Atlanta going through the SEC West.
MORE EXCITEMENT LATE NIGHT IN THE PAC-12: #pac12afterdark isn’t just a slick marketing hashtag. When the sun goes down out west, crazy occurrences and back-and-forth scoring shootouts often occur. Already this season we’ve seen Boise State and Washington State go into triple overtime before the Cougars pulled out a 47-44 victory. We also saw Arizona State outlasting and stunning the upstart Oregon Ducks and Utah needing a late fourth quarter fumble recovery to fend off upset-minded Arizona on Friday night in the desert in Week 4.
Week 5 was no exception, as the Washington State Cougars proved they’ve finally developed a defense to go along with their high-powered offense. The Cougars snapped a 15-game losing streak against ranked opponents, the Power 5’s longest such losing streak, when they defeated USC, 30-27. The win vaulted Washington State all the way to the No. 4 position in this week’s FPCI. At 5-0, the Cougars have a 19.18% chance to make the championship game but could have been heading into a hornet’s nest on Saturday when they travel to Eugene to face the Oregon Ducks. However, the Ducks lost their starting quarterback to a broken collar bone, severely limiting Oregon’s chances and giving Washington State’s magical season that much more of a boost as they enter the middle of the regular season schedule.
BIG 12 PLUMMETING: The Big 12 has missed out on the College Football Playoff two of the three years the playoffs have been in existence, and the 2017 season looks to be headed down the same road. Unless an undefeated Oklahoma can make it through the regular season and the conference championship game unscathed, it appears that the conference’s overall strength could keep it on the outside looking in. This week the Sooners are at No. 5 in the FPCI with an 18.69% chance to make the national championship game, still on the outside of the four-team group but definitely within striking distance. The Sooners are also favored in all of their remaining regular season games except for their Bedlam Series matchup in Stillwater against Oklahoma State, which the FPCI has at a pick ’em with each team owning a 50% chance to win the game.
Looking at the FPCI’s overall conference standings, the Big 12 has actually dropped behind the American Athletic Conference, a non-Power 5 league, in the pecking order. The SEC has been No. 1 all season and remains that way, followed by the ACC, which is up from No. 3 last week. The ACC traded spots with the Pac-12, which is No. 3 this week, with the Big Ten coming in at No. 4.
The American Athletic has three teams in this week’s FPCI Top 25 – No. 14 Central Florida and Nos. 24 South Florida and Navy. The Big 12 also has three teams ranked in the FPCI Top 25 with No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 10 TCU, and No. 18 Oklahoma State.
CRASHING THE PARTY: The American Athletic Conference’s No. 5 conference ranking marks the first time this season that a non-Power 5 conference is in the top five of the conference rankings. And while it is still extremely unlikely that a team from the American Athletic Conference or any other non-Power 5 league will break the glass ceiling and make the playoff field, there is an interesting team lurking that is not part of the Power 5, and that is Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish come in at No. 7 in the FPCI this week with a 4-1 overall record and an 11.74% chance to make the national championship game.
As an independent, Notre Dame does not play in a conference and, thus, does not have the same 13th data point that other Power 5 conference champions have. However, the Irish are a national brand and, already at No. 7, there are enough marquee games on their schedule for them to be in the fold if they can win out. Currently the FPCI has Notre Dame favored in all of their remaining games but projects the Irish to have a 9-3 overall record by season’s end. Notre Dame has an 85% chance to beat North Carolina this weekend and then a 62% chance to beat USC the following week. The Irish’s other marquee games come on November 11 at Miami (60% chance to win) and at Stanford in the regular season finale (63% chance to win).
EASIEST ROADS TO CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES: The route to the College Football Playoff begins with the conference championship games, and for some the path to those games is easier to navigate than for other thanks to the schedule maker. When assessing a team’s chances to make the national championship game, one important factor continues to be the remaining schedule and how many quality opponents are left for a team to play. For example, in the SEC East, Georgia appears to have smooth sailing to the SEC Championship Game, especially if it can pick up a win over Florida in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. The Bulldogs’ remaining schedule includes a number of weaker teams in the division, including upcoming games against Vanderbilt (3-2) and Missouri (1-3) before taking on Florida. According to the FPCI, the only real test left for the Bulldogs in the regular season is a November 11 matchup at Auburn, which Georgia has a 56% chance to win. By that time the Bulldogs may have already wrapped up the SEC East, though, and the matchup would essentially be meaningless as it relates to the conference championship race.
Another team that appears to have smooth sailing to its conference championship game is Clemson. The Tigers have already faced their biggest threats of the regular season in Auburn, Louisville, and Virginia Tech and we’re still in September. Of the seven games remaining on Clemson’s schedule, the lowest percentage to win comes against Georgia Tech on October 28. In that game, Clemson has an 81% chance to win. There are two other games in which the Tigers have just an 82% chance to win – at North Carolina State and against Florida State. All of the remaining games are near or above 90% as it relates to Clemson’s chances for victory.
A similar path is laid out for Wisconsin in the Big Ten West. The Badgers, currently at 4-0, are favored to win all of the remaining games according to the FPCI, with the lowest percent chance to win coming in their home game against Michigan on November 18. In that game the Badgers have a 61% chance to win. The next lowest percentage on Wisconsin’s remaining schedule is 71% at Minnesota and 77% chance to win at Indiana and against Iowa.
The clearest path to the conference championship game in the Pac-12 is Washington. The Huskies have a 64% chance to win at Stanford on November 10, according to the FPCI. That’s the lowest percentage left on the schedule, with their home game against Oregon at a 70% chance to win and their season finale against Washington State coming in at a 74% chance to win.