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Why is this news?: Ohio State and Oregon top F/+ rankings, Ohio State basketball tumbles in AP poll

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

"According to Football Outsiders’ F/+ rankings, the two best teams in the country are facing off in Dallas."

Football Outsiders has updated its F/+ rankings and it looks like the playoff system got it right. The top two teams in this week’s edition are the Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 1) and the Oregon Ducks (No. 2). Ohio State is ranked sixth defensively and second offensively while Oregon checks in at ninth and second respectively.

For the uninitiated, Football Outsiders explains the advanced statistics used to calculate its F/+ rankings as follows:

Beginning with Football Outsiders Almanac 2009, Brian Fremeau and Bill Connelly, originators of Football Outsiders' two statistical approaches -- FEI and S&P+, respectively -- began to create a combined ranking that would serve as Football Outsiders' 'official' college football rankings.

The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) considers each of the nearly 20,000 possessions every season in major college football. All drives are filtered to eliminate first-half clock-kills and end-of-game garbage drives and scores. A scoring rate analysis of the remaining possessions then determines the baseline possession efficiency expectations against which each team is measured. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams, win or lose, and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams.

The S&P+ Ratings are a college football ratings system derived from both play-by-play and drive data from all 800+ of a season's FBS college football games (and 140,000+ plays).

On the heels of a 1-1 week that saw the team fall to Iowa and defeat Illinois, the Ohio State men’s basketball team continued its tumble down the AP basketball poll. Ranked 20 last week the Buckeyes now sit at number 22, a mere three spots from falling out of the poll entirely. Had the Buckeyes only played Iowa last week they might’ve fallen out entirely, but a solid, convincing win over Illinois was enough to help them stay afloat.

The team will have two chances this week to improve its ranking as it hits the road for contests against Minnesota and Indiana.

Much has been made this postseason about the travel necessitated by a two-game playoff and the financial burden that it places on the players’ families. Many parents including Natalie Collier (Stephen's mom) and Candice Lee (Darron's mother) have been outspoken about their desire for the university or the NCAA to help mitigate travel expenses.

As the rule sits now, even if the universities are willing (and the leadership at Ohio State appears to be), they are not allowed to provide any assistance. If Smith’s legislation is passed that could all change. It seems like a common-sense decision. The NCAA and its partners are making hundreds of millions off of these bowls, the least it could do is pay for a few plane tickets for the families of the players that everyone is tuning in to see.

The championship game won’t be the last chance that Ohio State fans have to see wide receiver Devin Smith in a Buckeye helmet. Smith has accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, an annual showcase game for NFL draft prospects. Smith will be joining teammates Jeff Heuerman, Curtis Grant, and Michael Bennett at the Senior Bowl.