Data, Facts, Reality All Say It - Michigan State Is Elite

Data, Facts, Reality All Say It - Michigan State Is Elite

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Data, Facts, Reality All Say It - Michigan State Is Elite

The CollegeFootballNews.com people continue to demonstrate that they are smart.  CFN breaks down the facts and the facts don’t lie – Michigan State is elite.  Other programs are not.

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We’ve said it before – the CollegeFootballNews people are smart.

The hyperbole, the music videos that coaches make, the Twitters, the fact-less arguments, the braggadocio stemming from achievements dating back to the era when John F. Kennedy was a vibrant philanderer – none of that actually matters when trying to identify the college football programs that have earned “elite” status in 2018.

And, for years now, CFN has utilized a CFN-created formula that makes it easy, irrefutable, and legitimate to put all of it onto a piece of paper so that everyone can just see how the facts play out.

How many “elite” victories does a football program have?

It’s a way to examine whether or not your football program is really doing anything that actually matters.

Teams can pile up wins over Hawaii, Oregon State, Cincinnati, Louisiana Lafayette, Wake Forest, New Mexico State, Georgia Souther, and Massachusetts.

Those types of wins are nice and they help teams find ways to get invitations to bowl games.

But, how does your football program perform when it matches up against a program with a pulse, let alone a program that is recognized by people who are connected to reality to be “really good?”

In that context, Michigan State is among the best in the nation.

Marlowe Alter of the Detroit Free Press does a nice job of breaking down the nuances of the formula, if you’re interested in digging in – his/her article is below.

And, further below, we’ve included the link to the entire CFN piece that breaks the entire FBS into a full ranking of all of the teams in terms of “elite” victories over the last five years.

Bottom line takeaway –

Michigan State ranks 5th in the nation when it comes to “elite” victories that, as we’ve said, demonstrate that the program is accomplishing things that actually matter.

Alabama, for whatever it might be worth, ranks #4 in the nation.

Northwestern ranks 42nd in the nation.

Ohio State earned the #1 ranking.

If you’re wondering, UMAA is ranked last in the FBS.

Yes, it’s worth repeating since some people simply have a hard time with facts these days –

When it comes to winning games against teams that are “good,” UMAA is the worst team in all of college football.

So, first thing to do, if you’re a loyal SpartansWire reader, is to dig in just a tiny bit on the material we’ve included below.

Next thing to do is pack this information away and use it as often as possible.

Next time you’re in an environment when a UMAAer wants to talk about jersey sales, “brand equity,” supposed intellectual superiority, and all of the rest, just pull this out and share the facts the way a person who understands that facts matter might.

Enjoy.

DETROIT FREE PRESS PIECE –

Michigan football has fewer ‘Elite Wins’ than CMU, WMU since 2013

Michigan State is right behind Alabama; Michigan is tied for last in FBS

Ah, football, we missed you.

The hype and smack-talk is beginning to bubble, so here’s an interesting nugget for our pigskin craving readers.

College Football News analyzed the past five years of each program looking for “Elite Wins.”

Michigan State performed quite well in this study.

Michigan did not.

An “Elite Win” is a home victory over an FBS team that finished with two losses or fewer, or a road or bowl victory against a team that finished with three losses.

An extra half-win is added when a team earns a road or bowl victory over a team that finished with two losses or fewer.

How did our schools score in this “Elite Win” analysis?

Michigan State, 8, fifth most.

Central Michigan, 2.

Western Michigan, 1½.

Michigan, 0.

Eastern Michigan, 0.

That’s right, CMU and WMU both have more “Elite Wins” than Michigan, which has a big fat zero. That’s tied for last in the FBS, or as many as Big Ten foes Rutgers, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Maryland.

Alabama is fourth with a score of 8½ “Elite Wins,” Clemson and Oklahoma are tied for second with a score of 10, and Ohio State is atop the list with 12.

2017: Penn State
2015: at Michigan, at Ohio State (1½), Iowa (Big Ten Championship)
2014: Baylor (1½) (Cotton)
2013: Ohio State (Big Ten Championship), Stanford (Rose)

The Chippewas beat Oklahoma State in 2016 and Northern Illinois in 2014.

The Broncos won at two-loss Toledo in 2015.

As for the Wolverines, well zero speaks for itself.

Michigan won home games over Wisconsin and Penn State in 2016, Jim Harbaugh’s second season, but both the Badgers and Nittany Lions lost three games that year, so the wins do not qualify as “Elite.” Michigan defeated three-loss Northwestern at home in 2015.

MATERIAL STRAIGHT FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS PIECE:

In the CFN Five-Year Program Analysis, an Elite Win is a victory over an FBS team that finished with two losses or fewer, or on the road or in a bowl game against a team that lost three games. An extra 0.5 is added on to the Elite Win score when a team comes up with a road victory or in a bowl game over a team that finished with two losses or fewer.

T8. Baylor

2017: None
2016: Boise State (Fiesta)
2015: at Oklahoma State, North Carolina (Russell Athletic)
2014: TCU
2013: Oklahoma 
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 
5

T8. Oregon

2017: None
2016: None
2015: at Stanford
2014: Michigan State, at UCLA, Florida State (Rose)
2013: Kansas State (Fiesta)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 
5

T8. UCF

2017: USF, Memphis (Conference USA Championship)*
2016: None
2015: None
2014: None
2013: at Louisville, Baylor (Fiesta)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 
5
*Note: UCF beat Memphis twice to get the Tigers to three losses.

7. Houston

2017: at USF
2016: Oklahoma
2015: Navy, Florida State (Peach)
2014: at Memphis
2013: None
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 
5.5

6. Florida State

2017: None
2016: at South Florida, Michigan (Orange)
2014: Georgia Tech (ACC Championship)
2013: at Clemson, Auburn (BCS Championship)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 6.5

5. Michigan State

2017: Penn State
2016: None
2015: at Michigan, at Ohio State, Iowa (Big Ten Championship)
2014: Baylor (Cotton)
2013: Ohio State (Big Ten Championship), Stanford (Rose)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 8

4. Alabama

2017: Clemson (Sugar), Georgia (CFP Championship)
2016: Washington (Peach)
2015: at Georgia, Michigan State (Cotton), Clemson (College Football Playoff National Championship)
2014: None
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 8.5

T2. Clemson

2017: Miami (ACC Championship)
2016: at Florida State, Ohio State (Fiesta), Alabama (College Football Playoff National Championship)
2015: Appalachian State, North Carolina (ACC Championship), Oklahoma (Orange)
2014: None
2013: Ohio State (Orange)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 10

T2. Oklahoma

2017: at Ohio State, at Oklahoma State, TCU (Big 12 Championship)*
2016: at West Virginia
2015: TCU, at Oklahoma State
2014: None
2013: at Oklahoma State. Alabama (Sugar)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score:
 10
*Note: Oklahoma beat TCU twice to get the Horned Frogs to three losses.

1. Ohio State

2017: Penn State, Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship), USC (Cotton)
2016: at Oklahoma, at Wisconsin
2015: at Michigan, Notre Dame (Fiesta)
2014: at Michigan State, Alabama (Sugar), Oregon (College Football Playoff Championship Game)
Five-Year Program Analysis Elite Win Score: 12

LINK TO FULL CFN PIECE –

2018 CFN Five-Year Program Analysis: FBS Elite Wins Rankings No. 1-130

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