The Bob Rankings -- F.B.S. College Football Teams

The Bob Rankings are based on three factors: The first two answer the question, whom did you beat and by how much, (or, whom did you lose to and by how much). The third factor is a small home/road adjustment.

The who is based on the strength of schedule, and the how much by the final score of the game, with a cap on runaway scores.

Strength of schedule is adjusted for the level of competition. Games against schools in non-B.C.S. conferences are weighted lower than games against schools in B.C.S. conferences. Games against F.C.S. schools are weighted lower still. The strength of schedule factor builds in its contribution to a team’s rating as the season progresses. Because of that, early season ratings can be misleading, since the game score factor predominates early on. That is why the first ratings are not released until the season is half over. Even then, there can be some edgy placements, but it all works out by the end of the season.

The interaction of the game score and schedule strength factors means that beating a good team by a few points has the same effect as beating a bad team by a large margin. The best result would be to beat a good team by a large margin, and to be avoided is losing badly to a bad team.

Each week, the ratings are recalculated based on the result of a team’s latest game and games played to date by previous opponents. The highest-rated team is assigned a rating of 1.000. Remaining teams are assigned a rating relative to the top team which shows how close a team is to those nearby in the rankings.