SP+ rankings after conference championship games

Galloway, Palmer and Herbstreit unanimously agree LSU should be No. 1 (3:06)

After a dominant performance by Joe Burrow and LSU, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer and Kirk Herbstreit agree LSU should take the No.1 spot over Ohio State. (3:06)

Six weeks into the season, following Ohio State's 34-10 romp over Michigan State, SP+ decided that Ryan Day's Buckeyes were the best team in the country, bumping them ahead of Alabama atop the list. Over the next month, OSU would achieve air so rareified that the Buckeyes went from potential "best team in 2019" status to "one of the best ever."

Things have gotten interesting late in the year, however. As the Buckeyes were showing signs of vulnerability -- granted, while beating three top-15 opponents by double digits -- LSU and Clemson appeared to be peaking. They have made up some ground and enter the postseason having shown a dramatically high ceiling.

Still, OSU's initial advantage was big enough to fend the other contenders off for the top spot in SP. The Buckeyes boast an edge both here and in a measure I call Résumé SP+, something. I went in detail about here. Résumé SP+ is designed to compare your actual performance (in terms of average scoring margin) against your schedule versus what SP+ projects the average top-five team would produce.

SP+ projects Ohio State as your title favorite and would give it the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, but the advantage shrank down the stretch. This could be one hell of a playoff.

What is SP+? In a single sentence, it's a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. I created the system at Football Outsiders in 2008, and as my experience with both college football and its stats has grown, I have made quite a few tweaks to the system. SP+ is intended to be predictive and forward-facing. That is important to remember. It is not a résumé ranking that gives credit for big wins or particularly brave scheduling -- no good predictive system is. It is simply a measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football. If you're lucky or unimpressive in a win, your rating will probably fall. If you're strong and unlucky in a loss, it will probably rise.