What follows is an explanation mostly copied from 2014's week 1 post.
A few years ago, I thought to myself, "I could do a better job than some of the BCS computers". As I recall, at the time I felt Mizzou was underrated. The BCS rules stated margin of victory cannot be used, so I thought I'd stick to that. I put together a convergence algorithm, in which I initially rank the teams by record (so all the undefeated teams start tied at #1), then calculate each team's strength of schedule based on the current rankings of its opponents, and re-sort based on that strength. I run through this process until 2 consecutive iterations give the same result, or there is a loop. So, if iteration 10,002 gives the same rankings as iteration 10,000, then each subsequent iteration would fluctuate between the rankings in 10,000 and 10,001. I average those rankings to come up with the final rankings. It is still possible - but generally unlikely - that teams can tie for a final ranking. Now that the BCS is dead, I'll just consider these rankings my advice on #1 to #4 to the College Football Playoff committee.
Due to most teams playing other teams in lower divisions at times, and a lack of desire on my part to delve so deeply that I have to track down NAIA schedules, I've decided to count all games listed on ESPN's college football site, which includes all FBS, FCS, and Division II and III schedules, and any of their lower-tier opponents, but only when those opponents play at least a Division III team. I then filter the final results to only the 128 FBS schools.
In week 1, there are only 2 possible situations for a team. First is to be 1-0, having defeated an 0-1 team. Second is, unsurprisingly, to be a 0-1 team, having lost to a 1-0 team. For this reason, in week 1, all 1-0 teams will be tied for #1, and the rest tied at N+1, where N is the number of #1 teams. Did your team choose to beat up on an FCS (formerly known as Division 1-AA) team? Congrats, you're #1 this week!
This year the FBS lost a team, and gained a team. You've probably heard about the controversy around UAB's program, but they're supposed to be back in 2017. Joining the fray to round out the 128 FBS teams is UNC-Charlotte.
I found one bug in my software this year, which didn't affect the final rankings in 2014, but could have jostled some teams around in the early weeks. If you wagered anything based on my rankings, my apologies. I only found it because there's one team, Montana, that has played two games this year, while all others have only played one, with North Dakota State enjoying a bye week after their pre-week 1 matchup. Sorting is hard when you roll your own algorithm like an idiot.
Let's get to the silliest rankings of the year, week 1!
|1||San Jose State||1-0|
|1||San Diego State||1-0|
|80||New Mexico State||0-1|