South Alabama is the opposite of Alabama to my model. Held back only by a loss to Troy, it sees South Alabama as unlucky to not be an undefeated team with a near win to UCLA. Is this too high? Perhaps, but I am still tweaking my model hopefully to take into account rankings at time of win in the future. Not for this year though, as I wish the rankings to be mine alone, and my data does not go that far. Ultimately South Alabama is the first non-championship game in here and that in itself is impressive.
I feel bad penalizing UNC and UCF for playing in their CCGs, but they both kind of limped their way through the end of the season, and I think Mississippi State and South Alabama deserve to be in the top 25.