Week 7 was a doozy in the world of college football starting with a huge upset of number 2 Clemson Friday night. The chaos kept rolling until late Saturday night as numerous AP top 25 teams fell to unranked competition. Let’s dig into the biggest results of the weekend and see how Forward Progress performed.

  • (2) Clemson - 24 vs. (NR) Syracuse - 27
    • This Friday the 13th (spooky!) game really set the tone for the weekend with playoff hopeful Clemson dropping a close game at unranked Syracuse. The computer model was predicting a 25 point blowout for Clemson. Ouch.
  • (8) Washington State - 3 vs. (NR) California - 37
    • The spooky kept coming Friday night as California held the high-powered offense of visitor Washington State to just 3 points. Forward Progress was calling this one favorable but close for WSU so chalk up another miss for the computer.
  • (5) Washington - 7 vs. (NR) Arizona State - 13
    • Washington fell to Arizona State late Saturday night, putting the brakes on what had been a hotly anticipated Apple Cup against WSU at the end of the season. The model once again projected a 19 point lead for Washington for another big misstep.
  • (10) Auburn - 23 vs. (NR) LSU - 27
    • LSU continues to struggle out of the trenches after their loss to Troy with a big home win against Auburn. Forward Progress showed Auburn favored by 5 points resulting in a 9 point miss.
  • (24) Texas Tech - 35 vs. (NR) West Virginia - 46
    • Finally a win for the computer. The model was predicting WVU to score 39 against TTU’s 35, pretty close to the actual score!

Over the course of the weekend 7 teams in the top 25 lost to unranked teams, an October bloodbath for the AP poll. Overall Forward Progress correctly predicted 30 of 51 game outcomes for an accuracy of 59% and a Kappa of 0.168. Oof.

Let’s see how next week is expected to shake out.


  Team Predicted Wins Ranking Date Rank Movement
1 Alabama 245 2017-10-15 0
2 Clemson 243 2017-10-15 0
3 Ohio State 239 2017-10-15 0
4 Oklahoma 239 2017-10-15 1
5 Penn State 239 2017-10-15 -1
6 Miami (FL) 235 2017-10-15 1
7 Georgia 228 2017-10-15 6
8 Oklahoma State 228 2017-10-15 8
9 Florida State 226 2017-10-15 1
10 Notre Dame 226 2017-10-15 1
11 USC 226 2017-10-15 -5
12 Washington 226 2017-10-15 -4
13 Virginia Tech 223 2017-10-15 -1
14 Wisconsin 223 2017-10-15 -5
15 Texas Christian 217 2017-10-15 4
16 Auburn 215 2017-10-15 -2
17 Michigan 215 2017-10-15 -2
18 Georgia Tech 207 2017-10-15 4
19 LSU 207 2017-10-15 8
20 Michigan State 207 2017-10-15 -3
21 North Carolina State 207 2017-10-15 -1
22 Stanford 206 2017-10-15 1
23 West Virginia 198 2017-10-15 1
24 Colorado State 195 2017-10-15 -3
25 Iowa State 194 2017-10-15 5

The top 2 remain stationary once again as Clemson’s prior inertia is unaffected by their drop against Syracuse. Oklahoma’s win over Texas bumps them back into the running with Penn State and Ohio State. Georgia and Oklahoma State both surged up the ranks after decisive wins over their competition while USC and Washington fall back after lackluster performances. TCU is steadily climbing as they continue to win but we’ll have to see how the model responds after they face Oklahoma in the middle of November. LSU has popped into the tail end of the top 25 after their win over Auburn but they may not stay very long as they will face stiff competition in the form of Alabama on November 4th.

On the whole I remain pleased with the rankings coming out of Forward Progress. I did slightly better than a coin flip on what turned out to be a very chaotic weekend and I remain confident that the rankings will remain informative through the end of the season.