With Michigan, Clemson, and Washington all losing on Saturday, it left a lot of chaos in the college football world. One of the main constants, though, as that Alabama was the only remaining defeated that mattered now after those three teams fell.
Well according to one set of ratings, college football’s other undefeated FBS team matters, too.
The FEI ratings describe themselves somewhat like ESPN’s Strength of Record, in that teams are ranked by the “likelihood that an elite team would achieve that team’s record”. In the latest set of FEI ratings after Week 11, the Top 4 are Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and “Michigan”.
Despite even FEI rating them with a weak schedule, the Bronco crack the Top 4 in their ratings for the first time. Western Michigan barely ranks ahead of Wisconsin and Michigan, and it is possible that both teams are able to pass the Broncos this week, even if all three teams get big wins.
The reason the ratings are interesting is that the College Football Playoff rankings have been hammering Western Michigan lately for a weak schedule. The team headed by P.J. Fleck has ranked in at Nos. 23 and 21 in the last two College Football Playoff rankings, which is far below the team’s No. 14 spot in the AP Poll over that same time frame.
As for the FEI ratings, they do have some legitimacy for accurately rating seven of the eight Playoff contenders from the past two seasons. They only one they got wrong was Ohio State in 2014, which was a controversial selection at the time.
Western Michigan is getting some respect nationally, though, as they will host ESPN’s College GameDay this week for their game against Buffalo.