While the Fornelli 50 rankings are decided in a much different manner than those of the College Football Playoff, we still saw the same kind of carnage here last week.
Michigan, Washington and Clemson -- three of the top six teams in the rankings -- all suffered losses, and when you combine that with Auburn's loss as well, we see some changes in this week's rankings.
Though the changes may not be as drastic as you think.
Much like what I believe we'll see with the new CFP rankings, the fact that so many teams lost over the weekend provided some stability to the Fornelli 50.
Before we get to the rankings, though, a quick refresher on how the Fornelli 50 rankings work. Please read them before you come yell at me about them.
1. My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the rankings. They are based on a mathematical formula of my creation. So keep this in mind before you call me an idiot, which I know you will.
2. There is true equality to start. The math doesn't play favorites. Before the season begins, defending national champion Alabama is just as good as our defending Bottom 25 champion Central Florida. The only factor that matters in the rankings is how you've performed on the field in 2016.
3. Wins and losses mean more than anything. I have a lot of different statistics involved, and I factor in strength of schedule, but at the end of the day whether you won or lost is going to mean more than anything else. Also, just because it's too difficult for me to rank FCS teams as well, my formula doesn't have much respect for FCS schools. If you beat one it won't mean much, and if you lose to one, well, you might show up in The Bottom 25.
4. The formula is in no way predictive. It is based on nothing but what has occurred in the season to this point in time. Just because a team is currently ranked No. 15 does not mean it's better or that it's going to beat a team ranked No. 35. It just means that, to this point, it has been the 15th-best team in the country. Think of it as a meritocracy in its purest form. The math plays no favorites. I put this here every week, but my inbox and Twitter mentions make it pretty clear you don't read it.
5. I won't share the formula. I just don't want to. I'm not a mathematician. I know my formula isn't perfect. I don't think a perfect formula can exist, so I don't share it because I don't care what anybody thinks. So don't ask. Just know that, even if you don't agree with it right now, at the end of the season, it has been startlingly accurate.
Let's get to rankin'.
1. Alabama 10-0 (1)
2. Louisville 9-1 (4): My formula loves Louisville. It may consider Alabama the best team in the country, but it wants to have Louisville's babies. All season long, my formula has had Louisville ranked higher than in any other polls, and even after the loss to Clemson, the Cardinals fell from No. 2 in these rankings to No. 5 ... a full 10 spots ahead of the Clemson team it had just lost to.
And now the Cardinals have climbed back up to No. 2, though it had nothing to do with Clemson's loss, it just took advantage of the Michigan and Washington losses. Truth be told, Clemson's loss actually hurt Louisville a bit just because it hurt a strength of schedule that was already weak.
Which brings me to the point I wanted to make about Louisville.
While my formula loves it, the College Football Playoff committee doesn't.
Now, it's entirely possible that when the new CFP rankings come out on Tuesday night, Louisville will be in the top four, but I don't think that'll be the case. I believe that loss to Clemson will keep the Tigers ahead of the Cardinals, and the truth is, I have a hard time arguing it should be the other way around.
I just have to believe that the only way Louisville reaches the playoff is if Clemson loses to Wake Forest this weekend, because it has no shot of getting in unless it wins the ACC. This is a Louisville team with a 43-point win over Florida State, and the most exciting player on the planet in Lamar Jackson, but it won't have the resume it needs to get past not being the ACC champion.
Beating Houston this week would help matters a bit, but Houston's stock has taken a hit in recent weeks as well, and right now Louisville's second best win is probably Duke. That's simply not enough to get the job done.
In other words, Wake Forest is going to have more fans than it's ever had before this weekend.
3. Ohio State 9-1 (5)
4. Michigan 9-1 (2)
5. Washington 9-1 (3)
6. Western Michigan 10-0 (8)
7. Clemson 9-1 (6)
8. San Diego State 9-1 (11)
9. Boise State 9-1 (9)
10. West Virginia 8-1 (10)
11. Washington State 8-2 (13)
12. Penn State 8-2 (12)
13. Wisconsin 8-2 (16)
14. Oklahoma 8-2 (14): All the way back in September, I made the proclamation that Oklahoma, and every other team in the Big 12, had been eliminated from this year's playoff. Well, if there's anything that this past weekend truly messed up, it was that assertion made two months ago.
While Michigan and Clemson are basically in control of their own playoff destinies at this point -- if both win out and win their conferences, I don't see them being left out -- I can't be quite as sure about Washington. As the committee showed us in their original rankings, they were somewhat skeptical of Washington's resume when they had it ranked behind a one-loss Texas A&M.
Washington climbed to No. 4, but a win over USC would have helped solidify its standing. Instead, the Huskies lost and confirmed some of the committee's concerns, and that suddenly opens the door for the Sooners.
Now, obviously, if there's any conference the committee showed a lack of belief in so far, it has been the Big 12. I expect that will change this week, and Oklahoma will work its way into the top 10. When it does, a win on the road against West Virginia this week, followed up by a win against Oklahoma State would really improve the Sooners' standing.
I still don't think that would be enough for Oklahoma, though, but another Washington loss would be huge for the Sooners. If Washington loses to Washington State, or in the Pac-12 title game, it opens up an interesting discussion in that room.
And remember a couple of years ago when Ohio State got in over both TCU and Baylor? I think we'd see the same kind of situation, except this time it would be to the Big 12's benefit. A 10-2 Oklahoma team with wins over Baylor, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia probably carries more weight than a 10-2 Washington team with wins over Utah and Washington State. And Oklahoma would also have "better" losses than the Huskies, as well as a stronger brand.
So for these next few weeks, Oklahoma fans have two teams to root for: the Sooners, and whoever the hell is playing Washington.
15. USC 7-3 (22)
16. Colorado 8-2 (19)
17. Auburn 7-3 (7)
18. Florida 7-2 (18)
19. Troy 8-1 (15): A couple of weeks ago in this very spot, I wrote a plea to everybody out there with an AP vote. It was a simple request: if Troy kept winning, please vote for it on your ballot.
Well, Troy has kept winning since, picking up a huge win over Appalachian State this weekend, setting up an even bigger game with Arkansas State on Thursday night.
And the AP voters listened. When the new AP Poll was released on Sunday afternoon, there at No. 25 were the Trojans. It's the first time the Trojans have ever been ranked by the AP Top 25, and I don't think I have ever been more excited by an AP poll. I'm not some kind of major Troy fan, but I am a fan of seeing teams that deserve recognition receive it.
It's part of the reason I compiled this formula in the first place. I wanted something that judged teams based solely on how they've played this year because all too often we reward or punish teams based on what our own personal expectations were for them.
When I see Troy ranked ahead of Power Five teams like North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Tennessee, it makes me happy. Troy being ranked at No. 25 will always mean a lot more to Troy than being ranked No. 20 would be to a team like Tennessee.
So congratulations, Troy, you deserve it.
20. Nebraska 8-2 (20)
21. Western Kentucky 8-3 (31)
22. Louisiana Tech 8-3 (33)
23. Houston 8-2 (28)
24. Toledo 8-2 (30)
25. Oklahoma State 8-2 (25)
26. South Florida 8-2 (26)
27. Texas A&M 7-3 (21)
28. Utah 8-2 (36)
29. Virginia Tech 7-3 (17)
30. LSU 6-3 (32)
31. North Carolina 7-3 (23)
32. Appalachian State 7-3 (24)
33. Temple 7-3 (34)
34. Florida State 7-3 (41): I was curious about Florida State's ranking. For as much as my formula has loved Louisville, I've always felt like it has hated Florida State more than it probably should. So I did a little experiment.
I had a sneaking suspicion that the one thing destroying Florida State in these rankings was that 63-20 loss to Louisville earlier this season. So after entering all the information from this past weekend's games into my spreadsheet to get this week's rankings, I went back in to do an alternate universe rankings. One where that loss to Louisville never happened, and these Seminoles were 7-2, just to see how large of an impact the loss had.
Well, long story short, it was a big one, but maybe not as big as you'd think.
Without that Louisville loss, this Florida State team is sitting at No. 20 in these rankings. Ahead of teams like Nebraska, Houston and Oklahoma State, but still behind fellow two-loss teams like Florida and Colorado, as well as three-loss USC.
Still, that being said, a 14-point difference is still pretty big.
Oh, and before you ask, it had an impact on Louisville standing too, but not as large as I thought it would be.
The Cardinals drop to sixth, behind Western Michigan, but still ahead of Clemson.
35. Stanford 7-3 (44)
36. Minnesota 7-3 (29)
37. Miami 6-4 (43)
38. Tulsa 7-3 (35)
39. TCU 5-4 (39)
40. Baylor 6-3 (27)
41. Air Force 7-3 (37)
42. Ohio 7-3 (38)
43. Tennessee 7-3 (49)
44. Navy 7-2 (46)
45. Iowa 6-4 (Not ranked)
46. Old Dominion 7-3 (NR)
47. UCF 6-4 (NR)
48. Texas 5-5 (45)
49. New Mexico 7-3 (49): There have been a few different teams around the country that have rebounded from slow starts to finish strong, but one team that hasn't received much attention for it is Bob Davie's New Mexico squad.
The Lobos started the season with a 2-3 mark, and two of those three losses came to New Mexico State and Rutgers. The same New Mexico State and Rutgers that are a combined 4-15 this season. The Lobos other loss was to Boise State, but since that game, they've won five straight, and are in contention for a Mountain West title.
They'd need some help -- Boise State has to lose to UNLV or Air Force -- but if they win out, they can get to the Mountain West title game. Even if they don't, it's been a remarkable turnaround. The kind that has you wondering whether or not Bob Davie may get some consideration for other jobs this winter.
He took over a New Mexico program that was in bad shape. It had gone 3-33 in the three seasons prior to Davie's arrival, and he won four games his first year there in 2012. It took some time, but Davie got the Lobos to 7-6 last season, and this year we're talking about a team that could win nine or 10 games.
That kind of thing doesn't happen by accident.
50. Memphis 6-4 (40)