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College football should implement a ranking system similar to FIFA
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College football should implement a ranking system similar to FIFA


Jan 20, 2022, 3:05 PM

FIFA, the world’s governing body of soccer has some similarities to the set up as NCAA football:

- One they both deal with a large amount of teams, much more than most professional sports leagues around the world. FIFA has 211 member teams and NCAA has 130 FBS teams.

- Also, where NCAA football is broken up into conferences, FIFA is divided into 5 confederations based on geographic region/continent.

- Like in the college football where most of the time teams are playing other teams in their conference, in FIFA most games are played between teams within a confederation and because of this there is lots of debate over which confederations/conferences are better than others.

- In both sports, players mostly stay with the same team throughout their careers. Though this seems to be changing a bit with the transfer portal in college football for most of the history of college football is correct. I’m FIFA there are rules based on citizenship and nationality as to which countries players can play for.

One big difference though is how they rank their teams. FIFA has used a ranking system since the 1990s and it is based on a very simple yet objective formula. FIFA teams either earn or lose points after each game they play. This formula takes the weight of a game into consideration (I.e. a game competing for a trophy is worth more than a friendly/scrimmage). It also takes into account the team you are playing based on their ranking, and the result. If you win in regulation time you get more points than if you win in a shootout.

I think the NCAA would be great with a system like this. It would eliminate the subjectivity of a playoff committee and the clear and simply defined equation would make things very objective. If you play another FBS team you would get more points than if you played and beat an FCS team. This would incentivize teams to add less cupcake games to the schedule. Also instead of completely subjective rankings at the beginning of a season when teams haven’t played a game, points would carry over from the previous year…

Sorry I might be rambling on. College football is over and I was thinking of random things to talk about.

TLDR version: Go Tigers!

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Re: College football should implement a ranking system similar to FIFA


Jan 20, 2022, 3:38 PM

Still subjective...as it is now, any SEC team would get more points for a win over another SEC team, due to perception. That is what needs to be removed (perception).

My suggestion is that you get one point for a win (maybe two for a road win?), and no points for a loss, for the first five or six games of the season. Then a system kicks in that starts adding points for what turned out to be a quality win (the team was not ranked when you played them, but it ended up being the only loss for that team, thus, the points go up as the season progresses). If Clemson had of ended up with only the Georgia loss last season, some points could be added for quality of loss at the end of the season. Should be fairly easy to set up. No body would have gotten many points last season for beating Wake or Pitt in the first three games last year, but they both would give you more points as the season goes on.

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The CFP and Points


Jan 20, 2022, 4:29 PM

You raise some very good points. To accomplish, this the CFP would have to be dissolved and absorbed by the NCAA. Currently, they are independent and even now the NCAA does not sanction a national champion in football - the only sport they do not.

It also seems schools like Clemson would be hurt in a point system given Clemson's desire to play a couple of cupcakes every year for the home game revenue with very little risk. That could be changed but the strength of the conference could not and the past few years, the ACC would not add much to a point system.

Interesting points and well thought out, thank you for a good conversation starter.

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