One of the benefits of a poll that uses mathematical data rather than a voter's opinion is that there is no recency bias. Too often in human polls we see a team that lost last week fall below a team it is likely better than simply because its loss was more recent, and fresher in our minds.

For instance, take a look at this week's AP Top 25, where TCU fell three spots to No. 11 after losing to Oklahoma. Now, three spots isn't far all things considered, but the Horned Frogs find themselves a spot below Oklahoma State. Both teams are 8-2 on the season, but you might remember that one of Oklahoma State's losses came to TCU. Since Oklahoma State won its last game, and that loss to TCU came earlier this season, recency bias leads us to believe that Oklahoma State's better than TCU is right now despite the fact we have tangible results proving it wasn't earlier this year.

That doesn't happen in the Fornelli 50. It doesn't matter when you lost; it only matters that you lost. I bring this up because there could be a disturbing result in this week's poll for Georgia.

The Bulldogs fell from No. 1 to No. 7 in this week's rankings, but it's not the number next to the name that's problematic. It's that, of all the one-loss teams remaining, Georgia fell below everyone except South Florida and Memphis. What's keeping it ahead of those two is a mix of defensive performance and strength of schedule. The Dawgs are behind both Clemson and Oklahoma, however, and considering that my formula weighs wins and losses more than anything, this suggests that it was Georgia's undefeated record propping it up all year more than its actual performance.

To be clear, this isn't any damning evidence against Georgia moving forward, but it isn't comforting either. While my formula has never been predictive of coming results from a week-to-week, matchup basis -- what I mean is, No. 4 isn't going to beat No. 10 just because it's ranked higher -- it does give a good idea of how a team is going to continue to perform over the course of the season. The fact Georgia is the lowest-ranked Power Five team with one loss -- and is behind UCF as well -- suggests a second loss could be more likely than Dawg fans want to think about right now.

So the loss to Auburn could prove to be a deathblow for Georgia's playoff hopes in the long run.

Now, before we get to the rankings, here's a quick reminder as to how it all works. If you'd like a more detailed explanation, you can find one here.

  • My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the rankings, they're math-based
  • There is true equality to start as math doesn't play favorites
  • Wins and losses mean more than anything
  • The formula is in no way predictive, it's a meritocracy
  • I won't share the formula, but it works
  • Tuesday night's MAC results are not included in these rankings
The Fornelli 50

No Longer Ranked: SMU (44), UTSA (47), Virginia (48), Arizona State (49), FIU (50)

USA Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at USA Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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