T Shoe Index Team Adjustments After Week 6
We’re getting into the heart of the college football season as conference play is beginning to really ramp up, which will continue to teach us more about these teams and hopefully (finally) answer the question about if there’s actually any elite team. AP #1 Georgia finally showed a pulse in demolishing Kentucky, Ohio State struggled for three quarters against Maryland, Michigan put another opponent in the woodchipper, USC needed three overtimes to beat Arizona and I don’t think anyone knows who is actually good, at least in terms of the “eye test”. How does my T Shoe Index see some of these teams as we head into Week 7?
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College Football Playoff Contenders
In the CFP era, we’ve never had a team lose two games and make the playoff, so we will assume that holds true again – although, if there’s a year that could change, it would be this one. Using my updated TSI power ratings and projecting out the rest of the season, these are the Power Five teams most likely to win 11+ games at this point: Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Washington, Florida State, and Texas. Florida State is the only team of this group not power rated in the TSI Top 10 (13th).
The craziest thing here is the Ohio State/Michigan/Penn State trio that is essentially projected to beat up on each other, so seeing how the Big Ten East race shakes out is fascinating. Georgia is clearly in the driver’s seat of the SEC and could probably be written in pen to make the CFP. Oklahoma just beat Texas head-to-head, and Oregon plays Washington this week. The Big 12 and Pac 12 not having divisions also adds a wrinkle here, because what if the Texas + loser of Oregon/Washington gets a rematch against the team that beat them in their respective conference championship games? How would the committee view that?
There’s still a ton of football - and inevitable chaos - to be seen. Looking at the futures market for season win totals at DraftKings, you can still get plus-odds on Washington (Over 10.5,+150), Oklahoma (Over 11.5, +180), Oregon (Over 10.5, +120). I think any of those would be reasonable bets, especially when you consider that after this weekend, the winner of Washington/Oregon will almost certainly be juiced to the over, and Oklahoma’s schedule allows for a reasonable expectation that they run the table.
Still Alive, Technically
For the purpose of this exercise, I’m considering a team “still alive” if they’re currently projected to win 10 games, which means they could overachieve and finish the season with one loss and sneak into the CFP with some help. Louisville, North Carolina, Alabama, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, and Tulane (G5) could all conceivably finish 11-1 this season. Louisville and North Carolina don’t play each other in the regular season, and I project a 7% chance that UL, UNC, and Florida State all finish the ACC schedule undefeated – what a world that would be.
Alabama isn’t quite Alabama of old, but that doesn’t mean they can’t rock-fight their way to Atlanta and a chance to take down Georgia for SEC supremacy. Stranger things have happened. Ole Miss is probably the biggest pretender on this list, as they had their shot against Alabama and no-showed. Numbers aside, I’d be more surprised if they finish with one loss than if they finished 9-3. Wisconsin and Tulane certainly could finish with one loss, but neither will have a resúmé that deserves much benefit of the doubt when trying to select a four-team field. These are teams I’d expect to hear from starting next year when the field shifts to 12 teams.
To learn more about who I am or what my T Shoe Index is, be sure to read my introduction on VSiN.com and check out my free CFB guide with ratings, projections and win probabilities for every single game this season and follow me on X, @TShoeIndex.
Updated T Shoe Index Power Ratings