Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

McKinley Blackburn

First Reader

Alexandra Sterne

Second Reader

Alexandra Sterne


This research project looks to create a better system to rank college football teams in playoff contention. It uses surveys of coaches to create a weighted guideline to evaluate wins and losses for each team. This constructs a value for adjusted wins that is based on coaches’ data but strays away from the inherent bias that any single coach would have when ranking teams. The resulting Top 25 were then compared to the College Football Playoff final regular season rankings to gauge the success of the new system. The Adjusted Wins system that was established properly picked 13 out of the 16 bowl games, 81.25%, while the College Football Playoff ranking system picked 10 out of the 16 bowls games, 62.5%. The results illustrate the new system can be a more transparent and viable system for picking the playoff teams in college football.

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© 2022, Edward Buckhouse