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Daniel Wilco | | October 11, 2017

Top 25 by the numbers: Ranked teams have worst weekend of the year

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Just when you thought things were getting settled, the Top 25 had to go and do … whatever it is Week 6 was.

In the worst performance of the year for ranked teams, six Top 25 squads lost, including two in the Top 10. Four of those losses came against unranked opponents.

AP TOP 25: View the full poll | Reaction

That sounds about right as the season gets into its chaotic middle stretch.

So what does it all mean for the Top 25? Let’s take a look behind the numbers of the AP Top 25 after Week 6:

(click to enlarge)


17-6 — Record for ranked teams in Week 6 of the season, winning by an average score of 33-18. That scoring margin is the smallest for the Top 25 this season, and the six losses tie Week 3’s performance for the worst of the year. But that doesn’t even tell half the story. Two Top 10 teams fell at home. No. 3 Oklahoma lost to Iowa State and No. 7 Michigan dropped a rivalry matchup with Michigan State. The Nos. 17, 20, 21 and 23 teams all lost as well, each sent packing from the Top 25. For the first time this year, no ranked game saw a winning margin of 50 points or more. The biggest blowout belonged to No. 10 Ohio State, which took care of Maryland 62-14, while the closest game was No. 21 Florida’s 17-16 loss to LSU. In all, 13 ranked teams won by two scores or more, 11 won by at least three touchdowns and four Top 25 teams came out more than 30 points ahead.

Week Record Percentage Top 25 score Opponent score Winning margin Losses to unranked teams
1 21-4 84.00% 39.32 17.56 21.76 1
2 17-4 80.95% 33.86 16.57 17.29 0
3 17-6 73.91% 37.78 20.87 16.91 4
4 20-4 83.33% 36.21 19.29 16.92 2
5 16-4 80.00% 39.00 19.40 19.60 1
6 17-6 73.91% 32.70 18.22 14.48 4


8 — Number of conferences represented in the poll (including independent schools). By weighting the teams inversely to their rankings (i.e., No. 25 is worth 1, No. 1 is worth 25, etc.), the Big Ten comes out in first place among conferences for the sixth straight week. After Oklahoma’s quick departure from the No. 3 slot, Penn State swooped in, but Michigan’s loss at home sent them out of the Top 10. The SEC is close on the Big Ten’s tail with two teams in the Top 4 (No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Georgia). No. 10 Auburn gives the SEC three in the Top 10.

  Conference Number of teams Teams Weighted score
1 Big Ten 5 No. 3 Penn State, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 9 Ohio State, No. 17 Michigan, No. 21 Michigan State 73
2 SEC 4 No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Georgia, No. 10 Auburn 63
3 ACC 4 No. 2 Clemson, No. 11 Miami, No. 15 Virginia Tech, No. 20 NC State 56
4 Pac-12 4 No. 5 Washington, No. 8 Washington State, No. 13 USC, No. 23 Stanford 55
5 Big 12 4 No. 6 TCU, No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 24 Texas Tech 48
6 American 2 No. 18 South Florida, No. 22 UCF, No. 25 Navy 13
7 Independent 1 No. 16 Notre Dame 10
8 Mountain West 1 No. 19 San Diego State 7


37 — Number of teams that have been ranked this season. Michigan State, Texas Tech and Navy all hopped into the rankings this week for the first time. That’s more fresh faces than we’ve seen since Week 4, when Mississippi State, San Diego State, Utah and Oregon all entered the Top 25. Of those four, only San Diego State is still ranked.


16 — Number of teams that have been ranked every week since the preseason. Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Clemson, Penn State, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, USF, Virginia Tech and Washington State all started the year in the preseason Top 25 and haven’t left. Louisville and Florida managed to hang on until Week 6, but both fell out after losses this week. Last year, only seven teams (Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Ohio State, Michigan, Washington and Louisville) were able to stay in the rankings wire-to-wire.


22 — Teams that have been ranked No. 20-No. 25 this year. The 20s have been a revolving door. Of the six teams that started the season ranked in the 20s, just two (Virginia Tech and Washington State) are still ranked. We’ve seen 16 other teams make appearances in spots 20-25, but only one has lived in the 20s for more than three weeks at a time — Florida. The Gators started the season at No. 17, before dropping to No. 22 and bouncing around from 20-24 for five weeks before losing to LSU in Week 6 and dropping out of the rankings. Of the 15 times a team has fallen out of the rankings, 10 have dropped from the 20s.


2 — Teams that have moved only upwards since the start of the season. Those would be Clemson and Georgia. The Tigers started the year at No. 5 before sneaking into the No. 2 spot in Week 4, where they’ve lived ever since. Georgia began way down at No. 15, but the Bulldogs’ first 6-0 start since 2005 has them in the College Football Playoff hunt at No. 4. That ’05 season saw the Dawgs start the year 7-0, rise to No. 4, drop two straight SEC matchups, win the SEC Championship, then lose to West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.


4 — Unranked teams that took down Top 25 opponents this week, tied for Week 4 for the most this year. The biggest upset of the year belongs to Iowa State, which dominated No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman, giving the Sooners their first loss of the year. Over in Ann Arbor, No. 7 Michigan’s first night game against Michigan State went about as well as the Wolverines could expect after coughing up five turnovers and forcing none in a 14-10 Michigan State win. Lower in the rankings, No. 20 Utah lost a close game to Stanford 23-20, and No. 21 Florida fell to LSU by a heartbreaking point.


10 — The biggest drop in the rankings this week, courtesy of Michigan. The Wolverines had risen from a preseason No. 11 ranking all the way to No. 7 before falling to their unranked rivals. Honorable mention of the week goes to Oklahoma, which fell nine spots to No. 12, making them the second team from the Top 3 to find itself out of the Top 10. The first squad to do that this year? Florida State, which fell out of the rankings completely in Week 5.


5 — The biggest jump in the rankings this week, made by Notre Dame. After a one-week appearance at No. 24 in Week 2, the Fighting Irish re-entered the rankings in Week 5 at No. 22, before strong wins against weak teams (Miami (Ohio) and North Carolina) sent them to their current spot of No. 16. Five games against ranked foes await Notre Dame in its final six matchups, leaving plenty of opportunity to continue the upward climb.

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