I used to be able to defend the statement that the Football Bowl Subdivision didn't need a D2 or D3 -style playoff because it was small enough and there was enough inter-regional play that two teams sufficed. That hasn't been as easy since the change that counted games vs FCS teams for bowl-eligibility every year (instead once every four years) and is even less so now that some conferences play nine conference games.
|Opponents and Opponents' Opponents|
There are three new teams to division 1A (now that both subdivisions have a championship I'm going back to the more descriptive nomenclature) so 378 more team-pairs. Somewhat surprisingly, considering that only 29 teams play a 12-game 1A schedule, the field is about as well-connected as 2013's. 2.8 percent of all team-pairs require four steps to be connected by an "A plays B plays C plays ..." chain, compared to 3.6 in 2013. The average path length is again a barely-acceptable 2.49. 45.3% of all team-pairs are either opponents or opponents' opponents.
As always, the Independents are the most and teams from conferences with nine-game conference schedules the least -connected. See Division 1A Connectivity by Team for the details.
The pre-season ratings aren't generally out yet, but using 2013's Composite computer ranking there are only 11 matchups between 2013 top-25 teams from different conferences.
|30-Aug||#1 Florida St vs #14 Oklahoma St (Arlington TX)|
|#22 Wisconsin vs #16 LSU (Houston TX)|
|#11 Clemson at #23 Georgia|
|6-Sep||#3 Michigan St at #8 Oregon|
|13-Sep||#17 Central Florida at #4 Missouri|
|4-Oct||#5 Stanford at #24 Notre Dame|
|18-Oct||#24 Notre Dame at #1 Florida St|
|8-Nov||#24 Notre Dame at #15 Arizona St|
|22-Nov||#18 Louisville at #24 Notre Dame|
|29-Nov||#7 South Carolina at #11 Clemson|
|#24 Notre Dame at #21 Southern Cal|
That doesn't mean there aren't a lot of good games - 36 more top 25 matchups are conference games, and there are around 200 matchups where both teams are from the top half of the field. See Matchups Between Teams with Top 64 Rankings.
© Copyright 2014, Paul Kislanko