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Lambert Power Rankings, 10/11/2008

This week's Lambert Power Rankings coincides with the release of the inaugural Lambert Poll by the ECAC.

To refresh your memory, my LPR is formula-based and it's not something too difficult for my tiny little head to wrap itself around. Rising up the "Lambert Power Rankings" is easy: win games on your schedule, especially conference games and games vs. Eastern teams. Oh yeah, and play good teams, too: there's a "degree of difficulty" to my power rankings: beat up on patsies and it won't count as much as an FBS win.

Unlike the official Lambert Poll, I also include the MEAC teams in my poll north of Virginia and also include Liberty and VMI in my rankings. The ECAC Lambert Cup rules state that a school can only be eligible if they play more than half their games against "Northern" schools.

Here are the rankings for the week of 10/11/2008:

1. James Madison (CAA, 6-1, 74 points)
2. Richmond (CAA, 4-3, 53 points)
3. New Hampshire (CAA, 4-1, 48 points)
4. UMass (CAA, 4-2, 47.5 points)
5. Villanova (CAA, 4-1, 45 points)
6. William & Mary (CAA, 3-2, 42 points)
7. Hofstra (CAA, 3-2, 40 points)
8. Liberty (Big South, 6-0, 35.75 points)
9T. Lafayette (Patriot, 4-1, 35.50 points)
9T. Harvard (Ivy, 3-1, 35.50 points)
9T. Cornell (Ivy, 3-1, 35.50 points)

The CAA dominates my objective ranking system due to their abject dominance in out-of-conference games - and challenging scheduling. Had Liberty not played two games against D-II opponents and still gone 6-0, they would probably be doing much better.

Here's the real ECAC Lambert Cup poll for comparison:

1. James Madison 6-1
2. Villanova 4-1
3. Massachusetts 4-2
3. New Hampshire 4-1
5. Richmond 4-3
6. Harvard 3-1
7. William & Mary 3-2
8. Lafayette 4-1
9. Colgate 4-2
10. Yale 3-1
10. Sacred Heart 6-0

The poll includes Sacred Heart out of the NEC - who isn't in my Top 10 due to a weak schedule, weaker than even Liberty's - and 3-1 Yale and 4-2 Colgate.

Here's the GPI's take on the strongest teams in the East:

1. James Madison (1.00)
2. Villanova (5.88)
3. Richmond (6.38)
4. UMass (8.63)
5. New Hampshire (13.50)
6. William & Mary (18.63)
7. Liberty (20.00)
8. Harvard (23.38)
9. Northeastern (24.25)
10. Maine (24.88)

Eight of the ten are CAA teams - and it even includes one team that's not in the LPR (Northeastern) and excludes one that I include (Hofstra). If there's any doubt that the CAA is still the top dog in the East, the Lambert Cup poll, the GPI and the LPR all point to the fact that the CAA still dominates Eastern college football at our level.

Here's the GPI of all the Patriot League schools.

40 Holy Cross (35.38)
45 Lafayette (37.63)
60T Colgate (47.13)
66 Lehigh (51.25) (up 7 spots from last week)
82T Fordham (61.50)
82T Bucknell (61.50.75)
103 Georgetown (74.13)

Of the eight playoff conferences, the Patriot League right now would still be considered seventh-best autobid conference out of eight autobid conferences, ranking 9 overall (behind six of the other seven playoff conferences, the Great West Football Conference, and the Ivy League). They rank ahead of the MEAC, the eighth autobid conference, by a pretty wide margin (52.65 to 62.44).

The Patriot League sits one and a half points below the Big South and three points behind the OVC. If "that school in Easton" can knock off Liberty this weekend, it might be a great help to the Patriot League in terms of a Patriot League team knocking off a nationally-ranked opponent - but our GPI could possibly lurch upwards, too.

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