My initial intention was to see how a BCS-style formula might differ from a college football playoff committee. Instead, I found a formula for predict committee actions.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been using a formula similar to the old BCS format: two-thirds were derived from survey averages (AP and coach surveys), and one-third from computer averages (FPI and SP+ to simulate “best,” record strength and resumes). SP+ to simulate the “most deserving”) – as an alternative way to rank teams for the purposes of qualifying for the playoffs. (I very inventively call it the Formula.) Last week the CFP committee agreed on the top 14 Formula teams. It was an inspiring exercise in both understanding the committee and accepting its ratings, but admittedly it was also pretty easy. The top 4 is pretty clear at the moment, and last week’s top 14 formula matched the poll average.

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However, things are getting more complicated now. Tennessee’s shocking crushing loss to South Carolina saw fifth place become something of a mayhem. So let’s take another look at what the Formula has to offer, and then we’ll see if the committee deviates from the script in Tuesday night’s rankings release.

Summing up the 12th week

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Before we dive into this week’s rankings, let’s take another look at last week. All four top teams were undefeated going into Week 12 and, losing only to top ranked Georgia, Tennessee finished fifth rather easily. As Oregon shares tumbled after losing to Washington, sixth place was a tight battle between 8-2 LSU, 9-1 USC and 8-2 Alabama, with Clemson trailing slightly in 9th.