NCAA Top 25 – heading into Week 11

There are still plenty of tough games ahead for the team’s fighting for entry into the College Football Playoffs.  They all want to get to that National Championship game.  Clemson still has to travel to face a gritty BC team.  Ohio State and Michigan will square off in a couple weeks.   Notre Dame still has to play USC.  Plenty can still happen for all of these teams to include Georgia, Central Florida, Oklahoma, LSU, and Auburn.

Nov 3, 2018; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) prior to the snap during the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports Saturday was a separation day for the top teams in college football, with Penn […]

Saturday was a separation day for the top teams in college football, with Penn State and LSU bowing to some truly elite teams, providing some clarity as we move forward. Like all ELO systems (including our version for the NFL), PFF ELO is an iterative system that updates each team’s rating after each game based on two things: how well they played against their opponent and how well they were expected to play against their opponent. The PFF ELO rating system measures the former using our unique offensive, defensive and special teams grades, while the latter is determined by the PFF ELO ratings leading up to the game and where the game is played.

The Tigers dominated Louisville at home as Trevor Lawrence further separated himself from the freshman class of quarterbacks by recording a 121.7 passer rating on throws when he was kept clean from pressure. He has, for the most part, played within the talent of this offense. He has rarely forced throws, evidenced by the fact that only 11% of his attempts have been contested. 28.2% of his attempts have been positively graded, yet only 2.0% of his throws graded as big-time throws, which shows that he has been elevated by the talented skill position players around him. Clemson should be able to roll through their remaining ACC matchups on the strength of their defense and running game.

Notre Dame survived a late rally and ground out a victory against Northwestern. A once formidable stretch of games to end 2018 now looks very doable with matchups against sinking Florida State, a team our model has at #42 in Syracuse, before wrapping up with USC. The Fighting Irish will inevitably go as far as Ian Book can take them. Generating an EPA per dropback of 0.28 and twice as many big-time throws as turnover-worthy throws; reasons for optimism are apparent. However, Book has graded out as just the 34th best passer according to PFF grades and will need to improve on his passing in between the numbers if the Irish want to compete with the best in the college football playoff.

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