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Ballot Type: hybrid

Overall Rationale:
I've refactored my approach to the poll for this year, and I don't expect it to look similar to the poll as a whole for a few weeks. The core problem this year is that with an absolute dearth of non-conference games, the already hard problem of comparing teams with very disparate schedules is near impossible.The approach I've used is based on the Elo rating, but is nested in a few steps:* Taking the most recent games between different subdivisions ['P5', 'Non-P5 FBS', 'FCS'] (or 'D2', 'D3', 'NAIA' if i had the data), and using the results to update a starting rating for each group of conferences.* Taking the most recent games between different conferences, and using the results to update a starting rating for each team.* Taking the most recent games for each team, and using the results to get a final rating.The non-conference and non-divisional games go back considerably further in time, and all three are weighted such that more recent games have a bigger impact (using a Kalman filter). What this does is set a baseline for each conference using a larger sample size of data that's less current, since otherwise we really have no way to compare many of the conferences this year until bowl season.This process is done twice:* Once using historical data (which currently includes all FBS games since 2014, and all FCS games since 2018).* Once using purely 2020 data.The first gives a rating that seems like a reasonably fair predictive rating. The second gives a rating based on what is earned this year. A weighted average of the 2 yields a final rating.The one hybrid aspect of this at the moment is that I reserved spots at the tail end for teams outside the top 25 from this rating system that:* Currently have the best record this season (3-0)* Have not lost a game in over a seasonThis took up spots 22-25 this week, which would have otherwise gone to: UNC, VT, Texas, and Baylor. 2 Pac-12 teams would have qualified if eligible: Oregon at #16 and Washington at #22. Other teams that may end up ranked in the poll that didn't make my top 25 were: #29 Texas A&M, #31 Tennessee, #34 Marshall, and #42 Oklahoma.Had I used this rating system last year, the final ranking would have been:LSU OSU CLEM ORE PSUUGA BAMA UF ND IOWAWISC WASH NDSU FAU OUMINN AFA UCF MEM APPAUB MICH TEX UK CINThere's more that can be tuned here, but this is a start.

Rank Team Reason
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 61.3
2 Ohio State Buckeyes 61.2
3 UCF Knights 61.1
4 Florida Gators 60.7
5 Georgia Bulldogs 60.6
6 Clemson Tigers 60.6
7 Memphis Tigers 60.6
8 Cincinnati Bearcats 60.5
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 60.2
10 BYU Cougars 60.0
11 Auburn Tigers 60.0
12 Miami Hurricanes 59.8
13 Penn State Nittany Lions 59.1
14 Oklahoma State Cowboys 59.0
15 LSU Tigers 58.8
16 Iowa Hawkeyes 58.4
17 Wisconsin Badgers 58.3
18 SMU Mustangs 58.2
19 Minnesota Golden Gophers 58.1
20 Mississippi State Bulldogs 58.1
21 Michigan Wolverines 57.8
22 Pittsburgh Panthers 56.5 (#36)
23 Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns 56.4 (#37)
24 North Dakota State Bison 50.7 (#115)
25 UTSA Roadrunners 50.6 (#116)

Submitted: Tue 29 Sep 2020 09:08