The Report Card: Week Twelve Analysis of the Power 5 Conferences
A Weekly Look at the Power 5 Conferences and Independents
On November 21, 2017, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee presented its fourth rankings of the season based on strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, conference championships won and the eye test.
The biggest unknown in the Committee’s rankings each week is how much weight each committee member places on those factors when ranking the teams. During the initial three seasons of the playoff, the committee has leaned toward choosing teams with the best resume (most deserving teams) as opposed to relying on the eye test (best teams).
Click here for the Committee’s most recent rankings.
Each week, The Rebel Walk’s Jeff Tetrick presents a national report card on the Power 5 conferences and independent schools. The aim is to rank and grade the 5 conferences based on the cumulative results of each league’s teams that weekend.
Jeff will provide a brief weekly summary of each conference, suggest which teams are in playoff contention, and offer his ranking of the best teams in the country. The Independent schools have a section but are not ranked with the conferences.
Below are the criteria and his rankings for Week 12 of the 2017 season.
Report Card Criteria:
Key Win: A win over a Power 5 team is a key win.
Good Day: A win over a non-Power 5 school is a good day.
Key Loss: A loss to a non-Power 5 team is a key loss. As well, a loss to a non-conference Power 5 school is a key loss because of the missed chance to make the claim that conference A is better than conference B.
Key Wins: 5 Georgia, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, LSU, Missouri
Good Day: 4 Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Florida
Key Losses: 5 Kentucky, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Georgia moved to 10-1 with a convincing 42-13 win over Kentucky in Athens. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined for 238 rushing yards to keep the Bulldogs in the hunt for a college football playoff spot. Top-ranked Alabama (11-0) rolled to a 56-0 win over FCS opponent Mercer ahead of their showdown with Auburn this weekend. The Tigers (9-2) had an easy time with Louisiana-Monroe on the Plains, as Kerryon Johnson ran for 137 yards and a touchdown in Auburn’s 42-14 victory.
Texas A&M (7-4) scored a 31-24 decision over Ole Miss in Oxford. Derrick Tucker’s interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter was the difference for the Aggies in this close contest. South Carolina (8-3) forced 3 turnovers and got 3 touchdowns from QB Jake Bentley in a 31-10 win over FCS foe Wofford. Missouri gained bowl eligibility and won its fifth straight game by routing Vanderbilt 45-17 in Nashville. The Tigers (6-5) forced 3 turnovers and scored on a punt return and an interception return in dominating the Commodores.
Florida won for the first time since September by thumping UAB 36-7 at the Swamp. LSU (8-3) used its strong running game to throttle Tennessee 30-10 in Knoxville. The Volunteers will host Vanderbilt on Friday in a matchup of teams that sit 0-7 in league play, a scenario that few would have projected at the start of the season. Finally, Mississippi State (8-3) struggled to rally from a two-touchdown deficit against lowly Arkansas. The Bulldogs scored twice in the final four minutes to secure a 28-21 win.
In the playoff conversation: Alabama, Georgia