Week 7 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Now that we’ve entered conference play, things are beginning to sort themselves out. Even if you think Alabama is number 1, there’s no question after their sound defeat of Florida yesterday that LSU has the best body of work. Georgia’s loss to South Carolina has sweeping consequences, dropping Notre Dame along with the Dawgs.

The highest ranked team in the State of Texas is SMU…

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. LSU (+6)

  2. Wisconsin (+17)

  3. Boise State (+1)

  4. Ohio State (-3)

  5. Clemson (+7)

  6. Florida (-3)

  7. Auburn (-5)

  8. Alabama (+3)

  9. Penn State (-4)

  10. SMU (-1)

  11. Minnesota (+21)

  12. Baylor (+3)

  13. Oklahoma (+3)

  14. Appalachian State (+18)

  15. Oregon (+6)

  16. Cincinnati (-2)

  17. Texas (-4)

  18. Michigan (+9)

  19. Iowa (+10)

  20. Notre Dame (-12)

  21. Louisiana tech (+35)

  22. Iowa State (+30)

  23. Georgia (-17)

  24. TCU (+33)

  25. Arizona State (nc)

Week 6 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Big move by Ohio State both with their defeat of Michigan State as well as Cincinnati's win over UCF. Boise State hangs in there, but with a low strength schedule they’re unlikely to stay in the top 4 for long. The biggest move comes from Navy with their defeat of Air Force.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Ohio State (+7)

  2. Auburn (-1)

  3. Florida (+17)

  4. Boise State (-2)

  5. Penn State (+13)

  6. Georgia (+7)

  7. LSU (-1)

  8. Notre Dame (+13)

  9. SMU (+7)

  10. Virginia (+13)

  11. Alabama (nc)

  12. Clemson (-8)

  13. Texas (-6)

  14. Cincinnati (+14)

  15. Baylor (+24)

  16. Oklahoma (+17)

  17. Wake Forest (-5)

  18. Pitt (+25)

  19. Wisconsin (+7)

  20. Memphis (+14)

  21. Oregon (+16)

  22. Appalachian State (-5)

  23. Air Force (-13)

  24. Navy (+36)

  25. Arizona State (-22)

Week 5 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Week 5 is here, and things are beginning to settle down. The popular speculation team known as Alabama slowly rises through the ranks, alongside Georgia, but the best SEC teams in body of work - meaning actually beating teams that have gone on to beat others - are Auburn and LSU. Our #1 team from a couple weeks back, Florida, has slowly fallen as the quality of their wins has failed to keep up with the gains made by others.

The Boise State/Air Force/Arizona State cluster is pretty strong in the network currently due to some strong wins branching outward from the three. That will probably decline over the coming weeks, but it’s a strong start.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Auburn (+2)

  2. Boise State (-1)

  3. Arizona State (+12)

  4. Clemson (+4)

  5. Colorado (-3)

  6. LSU (-2)

  7. Texas (+2)

  8. Ohio State (+8)

  9. Oklahoma State (+14)

  10. Air Force (nc)

  11. Alabama (+9)

  12. Wake Forest (+5)

  13. Georgia (+6)

  14. Michigan State (nc)

  15. Mississippi State (-10)

  16. SMU (-3)

  17. Appalachian State (+8)

  18. Penn State (nc)

  19. Kansas State (-13)

  20. Florida (-9)

  21. Notre Dame (+14)

  22. California (-15)

  23. Virginia (-11)

  24. Iowa (+2)

  25. Washington (-4)

Week 4 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

This week is exceedingly late due to travel. Special thanks to Alexandra Joosse at William and Mary for helping out on the software front.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Boise State (+17)

  2. Colorado (+31)

  3. Auburn (nc)

  4. LSU (+11)

  5. Mississippi State (+25)

  6. Kansas State (+2)

  7. California (+3)

  8. Clemson (-6)

  9. Texas (+29)

  10. Air Force (+14)

  11. Florida (-10)

  12. Virginia (+6)

  13. SMU (-1)

  14. Michigan State (-16)

  15. Arizona State (-7)

  16. Ohio State (-12)

  17. Wake Forest (-11)

  18. Penn State (+8)

  19. Georgia (+7)

  20. Alabama (-8)

  21. Washington (+15)

  22. Wisconsin (+4)

  23. Oklahoma State (+3)

  24. Minnesota (-18)

  25. Appalachian State (+12)

Week 3 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

At the end of week 3, all FBS teams are connected by at least one win or loss (illustration below).

As a reminder, this ranking evaluates the relative quality of total combined wins less the impact of losses, resulting in a ranking of “total body of work”. It is not, on its own, predictive. So, the greatest team in college football might be an Alabama, a Georgia, or an LSU, but their total value of wins doesn’t do enough to provide evidence of such because they have not defeated teams who also have good wins. LSU is toward the top with its defeat of Texas, but defeating Georgia Southern does very little, and Nichols State does nothing at all. Alabama is in a similar situation with South Carolina, Duke, and New Mexico State. The quality of Georgia’s wins are so phenomenally bad that even one loss teams that Eastern Michigan and BYU fair better.

Of course this will all change as we begin to enter conference play and the season continues to evolve, but these early non-conference games provide an important baseline. If Alabama or Georgia is that good, perhaps they shouldn’t schedule so many cupcakes during the first quarter of the season. For now, best total body of work goes to the Gators.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

1) Florida
2) Clemson
3) Auburn
4) Ohio State
5) Utah
6) Minnesota and Wake Forest
8) Arizona State and Kansas State
10) Kentucky and California
12) Alabama, Iowa, and SMU
15) LSU and UCF
16) Wyoming
17) Boise State, Michigan, and Virginia
21) Memphis and Notre Dame
23) Eastern Michigan
24) Air Force
25) BYU

2019 State of World Liberty Index

by Patrick Rhamey

The State of World Liberty Index was a combination of indices compiled originally in 2006 by Nick Wilson.  Since then, I've periodically updated the index.  My methodology is similar to the original with the following exceptions: I use only the civil liberties portion of Freedom House, economic liberty (Fraser/Heritage) is weighted evenly with social liberty, and the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Scores are of equal weight to each of the Freedom House Civil Liberties sub-components.  All changes are done with the purpose of creating the most accurate relative ranking of countries by the degree of liberty (economic and social) enjoyed by the average individual within the state or territory.  Note, the ranking is not reflective of, nor does it include, political or electoral rights.  Where data is available, territories or colonies (e.g. Hong Kong) are included.

Also included is a ranking of the Conservative-Progressive spectrum, where conservative would be very high economic liberty but low social liberty, and progressive would be very high social liberty but low economic liberty.  This added dimension allows for grouping states by both freedoms and ideology, such as Moderate Free (New Zealand) and Moderate Tyranny (North Korea), Progressive Free (Ireland) and Progressive Tyranny (Venezuela), and Conservative Free (Hong Kong) and Conservative Tyranny (Syria).

Also please note, rankings used to create the below are typically delayed by one to two years.  So, they do not reflect any recent events that may have occurred within the past 6-12 months.

Full rankings are here.

2019 Liberty by Quintile.  Colors represent countries grouped by quintiles in order of blue (top 20%), green (20-40%), yellow (40-60%), orange (60-80%), and red (80-100%).

2019 Most Free Countries:

1. New Zealand
2. Switzerland
3. Ireland
3. Australia
3. Canada
6. Netherlands
6. Finland
8. Norway
8. Luxembourg
8. Sweden

2019 Most Oppressive Countries:

1. North Korea
2. Syria
2. Eritrea
4. Venezuela
5. Cuba
6. Libya
7. Turkmenistan
8. Equatorial Guinea
8. Sudan
10. Central African Republic

2019 Five Year change in Liberty.  Blue is an increase in rank by >20 and green >10 since 2014.  Orange is a fall in rank of >10 and red >20 since 2014.

2019 Greatest 5 Year Increase:

1. Jamaica
2. Argentina
3. Cote d’Ivoire
4. Kyrgyz
4. Ecuador
4. Slovenia
7. The Gambia
7. Malawi
7. East Timor
7. Burkina Faso

2019 Greatest 5 Year Decrease:
1. Turkey
2. Djibouti
3. Bahamas
3. Nicaragua
5. Dominica
5. Barbados
5. Bahrain
8. Maldives
9. Brazil
10. St. Vincent

2019 Conservative-Progressive Ranking. Grouped by quintile, red is very conservative, pink is conservative, yellow is neutral, light blue is progressive, and blue is very progressive.

Below image graphs the amount of liberty enjoyed by the average citizen in a state (x-axis) by the balance on whether the state more heavily regulates economic or social behaviors (y-axis).  

2019 Most Conservative:

1. Bahrain
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Rwanda
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Singapore
5. Turkmenistan
7. Azerbaijan
8. Laos
9. China
9. Qatar

2019 Most Progressive:

1. Kiribati
2. Argentina
3. Micronesia
4. Barbados
5. Sao Tome y Principe
5. Dominica
7. Solomon Islands
8. Uruguay
8. Greece
8. Brazil
8. Benin

Post-Bowl Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

No surprises here. If you’re wondering why Oklahoma gains despite losing to Alabama - Texas beat Georgia.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Clemson (+1)

  2. Alabama (+1)

  3. Notre Dame (-2)

  4. LSU (+2)

  5. UCF (-1)

  6. Oklahoma (+3)

  7. Florida (+1)

  8. Ohio State (+7)

  9. Georgia (-4)

  10. Texas A&M (nc)

  11. Kentucky (+2)

  12. Michigan (-1)

  13. Auburn (+3)

  14. Cincinnati (+5)

  15. Syracuse (+8)

  16. Washington State (+13)

  17. Texas (+13)

  18. Army (+3)

  19. Missouri (-12)

  20. Penn State (-2)

  21. Mississippi State (-9)

  22. NC State (-2)

  23. Iowa (+8)

  24. Stanford (+2)

  25. Duke (+9)

Final End of Season Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

UCF should have gone, and 4 SEC teams are more deserving than Oklahoma.

Also, keep in mind the ranking evaluates the total body of work, as discussed in the explanation. It is not intended to be predictive. Notre Dame has, given the quality of their opponents, the highest value of combined wins. That does not, however, mean Notre Dame is better than Alabama or will beat Alabama.

Also, remember that the network treats all wins, no matter when during the season, equally in calculating their value in the rank. Alabama has the best win in the network (Georgia). However Notre Dame defeated consistently decent (if not as exceptional) teams (Michigan, Wake, Stanford, Pitt, Northwestern, Syracuse), across lots of conferences, providing more extensive evidence to their goodness relative to all NCAA teams, not just within a single conference (though it be the best one). Notre Dame’s unique position as an independent gives it more to gain from cross-conference wins in the ranking, but also more to lose should they stumble (as BYU demonstrates). Further, while Bama had some uniquely good wins, they also had some uniquely worthless ones that didn’t do much to bolster their “total body of work” (Louisiana, Louisville, Arkansas, and Citadel). Those cupcakes have earned Alabama the #3 spot in the Network Ranking.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame

  2. Clemson

  3. Alabama

  4. UCF

  5. Georgia

  6. LSU

  7. Missouri

  8. Florida

  9. Oklahoma

  10. Texas A&M

  11. Michigan

  12. Mississippi State

  13. Kentucky

  14. South Carolina

  15. Ohio State

  16. Auburn

  17. Vanderbilt

  18. Penn State

  19. Cincinnati

  20. NC State

  21. Army

  22. West Virginia

  23. Syracuse

  24. Utah

  25. Ole Miss

Should-have-been Bowls by Network Ranking:
Orange Bowl - College Football Playoff: Notre Dame v UCF
Cotton Bowl - College Football Playoff: Clemson v Alabama
Sugar - Georgia v Oklahoma
Rose - Washington v Ohio State
Citrus - Michigan v Florida
Fiesta - Missouri v NC State
Outback - Penn State v Texas A&M
Gator - Iowa v South Carolina
Holiday - Michigan State v Stanford
Liberty - TCU v Mississippi State
Redbox - Minnesota v Washington State
Sun - Duke v Arizona State
Military - Boston College v Cincinnati
Arizona - Hawaii v Louisiana
Belk - Virginia v Kentucky
Peach - LSU v Northwestern
Alamo - West Virginia v Utah
Camping World - Syracuse v Texas
Music City - Pitt v Vanderbilt
Texas - Iowa State v Auburn
Pinstripe - Miami v Wisconsin
Independence - Georgia Tech v Army
Cheez-It - Baylor v San Diego State
Quick Lane - Virginia Tech v Purdue
First Responder - Wyoming v BYU
Hawaii - UAB v Utah State
Dollar General - NIU v Arkansas State
Armed Forces - Oklahoma State v Temple
Birmingham - South Florida v Toledo
Bahamas - MTSU v Buffalo
Potato - Ohio v Boise State
Gasparilla - Wake Forest v Marshall
Frisco - Houston v Eastern Michigan
Boca Raton - FIU v Memphis
New Orleans - North Texas v Appalachian State
Camellia - Western Michigan v Georgia Southern
Las Vegas - Fresno State v Oregon
New Mexico - Louisiana Tech v Nevada
Cure - Tulane v Troy

Week 13 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Quite late, but here it is nonetheless.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Clemson (nc)

  3. Alabama (nc)

  4. UCF (+1)

  5. Georgia (+1)

  6. LSU (+1)

  7. Missouri (+1)

  8. Florida (+2)

  9. Oklahoma (nc)

  10. Texas A&M (+3)

  11. Michigan (-7)

  12. Mississippi State (-1)

  13. Kentucky (-1)

  14. Ohio State (+2)

  15. Auburn (nc)

  16. South Carolina (-2)

  17. Vanderbilt (nc)

  18. Penn State (nc)

  19. Cincinnati (nc)

  20. NC State (+1)

  21. West Virginia (-1)

  22. Army (+1)

  23. Syracuse (+6)

  24. Buffalo (+1)

  25. Ole Miss (-1)

Week 12 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

No big movements other than Vandy moving positively from defeating Ole Miss. Top 4 remains the same.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Clemson (+1)

  3. Alabama (-1)

  4. Michigan (nc)

  5. UCF (nc)

  6. Georgia (nc)

  7. LSU (nc)

  8. Missouri (nc)

  9. Oklahoma (+1)

  10. Florida (-1)

  11. Mississippi State (+1)

  12. Kentucky (+1)

  13. Texas A&M (+3)

  14. South Carolina (-3)

  15. Auburn (nc)

  16. Ohio State (-2)

  17. Vanderbilt (+11)

  18. Penn State (+1)

  19. Cincinnati (+1)

  20. West Virginia (-2)

  21. NC State (+4)

  22. Washington State (nc)

  23. Army (nc)

  24. Ole Miss (-3)

  25. Buffalo (-8)

Week 11 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

UCF hanging out on the bubble, and interestingly, facing the strongest opponent of any of the top four this coming weekend.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Alabama (nc)

  3. Clemson (+1)

  4. Michigan (-1)

  5. UCF (nc)

  6. Georiga (+1)

  7. LSU (-1)

  8. Missouri (+2)

  9. Florida (+3)

  10. Oklahoma (+3)

  11. South Carolina (-2)

  12. Mississippi State (-1)

  13. Kentucky (-5)

  14. Ohio State (+1)

  15. Auburn (-1)

  16. Texas A&M (nc)

  17. Buffalo (+1)

  18. West Virginia (-1)

  19. Penn State (+2)

  20. Cincinnati (+4)

  21. Ole Miss (-1)

  22. Washington State (nc)

  23. Army (+4)

  24. Tennessee (+16)

  25. NC State (-6)

Week 10 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Alabama (+1)

  3. Michigan (+2)

  4. Clemson (-2)

  5. UCF (+4)

  6. LSU (-2)

  7. Georgia (-1)

  8. Kentucky (-1)

  9. South Carolina (+2)

  10. Missouri (+4)

  11. Mississippi State (-1)

  12. Florida (-4)

  13. Oklahoma (+3)

  14. Auburn (+5)

  15. Ohio State (+2)

  16. Texas A&M (-4)

  17. West Virginia (+13)

  18. Buffalo (nc)

  19. NC State (+1)

  20. Ole Miss (+3)

  21. Penn State (+1)

  22. Washington State (+3)

  23. Vanderbilt (-8)

  24. Cincinnati (+13)

  25. Michigan State (+10)

Week 9 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

There are 14 teams in the SEC. 12 are in the Top 25. That is all.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Clemson (nc)

  3. Alabama (nc)

  4. LSU (+1)

  5. Michigan (-1)

  6. Georgia (+3)

  7. Kentucky (nc)

  8. Florida (-2)

  9. UCF (+2)

  10. Mississippi State (+2)

  11. South Carolina (+3)

  12. Texas A&M (-2)

  13. Georgia Southern (+3)

  14. Missouri (+1)

  15. Vanderbilt (+9)

  16. Oklahoma (+1)

  17. Ohio State (+8)

  18. Buffalo (+5)

  19. Auburn (+7)

  20. NC state (-12)

  21. Iowa (-2)

  22. Penn State (+26)

  23. Ole Miss (+8)

  24. Stanford (-4)

  25. Washington State (+3)

Week 8 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Farewell, Ohio State. As we move deeper into conference play, things begin to stabilize, though the top 10 suggests the SEC will be having to sort itself out in the coming weeks. Two items of note - LSU falls despite beating Mississippi State. This is because not as much new information was generated for LSU’s win network as for some of the others, with Mississippi’s State’s biggest win being Auburn, whom LSU already defeated. Likewise, NC state and Mississippi State don’t drop, as the costs of those losses to good teams are not severe. However, losses suffered to more mediocre teams, like Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Ole Miss, cause significant falls in the ranking.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Clemson (+4)

  3. Alabama (+1)

  4. Michigan (+1)

  5. LSU (-2)

  6. Florida (+1)

  7. Kentucky (+1)

  8. North Carolina State (+1)

  9. Georgia (+1)

  10. Texas A&M (+1)

  11. UCF (+2)

  12. Mississippi State (+2)

  13. South Florida (+2)

  14. South Carolina (+3)

  15. Missouri (+6)

  16. Georgia Southern (+4)

  17. Oklahoma (+1)

  18. San Diego State (+4)

  19. Iowa (+4)

  20. Stanford (+5)

  21. Texas (-2)

  22. Washington (+2)

  23. Buffalo (+4)

  24. Vanderbilt (+4)

  25. Ohio State (-23)

Week 7 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Quite a few big changes, mostly as a result of LSU’s defeat of Georgia. Iowa makes big jump thanks to Iowa State’s defeat of West Virginia, while Ole Miss gains from Texas Tech defeating TCU.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Ohio State (+5)

  3. LSU (+3)

  4. Alabama (-1)

  5. Michigan (nc)

  6. Clemson (-4)

  7. Florida (+2)

  8. Kentucky (-4)

  9. NC State (+1)

  10. Georgia (-2)

  11. Texas A&M (nc)

  12. Cincinnati (+1)

  13. UCF (+1)

  14. Mississippi State (+8)

  15. South Florida (nc)

  16. Ole Miss (+12)

  17. South Carolina (+1)

  18. Oklahoma (+5)

  19. Texas (+8)

  20. Georgia Southern (+5)

  21. Missouri (+5)

  22. San Diego State (+9)

  23. Iowa (+13)

  24. Washington (-12)

  25. Stanford (+8)

Week 6 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Big movements with the fall of Oklahoma and LSU - most of all the continued rise of Kentucky despite losing. The loss to A&M hurts Kentucky, but given the Aggies have only lost to undefeated #2 Clemson and undefeated #3 Alabama, it doesn’t hurt much. On the other side, teams that Kentucky had previously beat (Mississippi State, Florida, and South Carolina in particular) had good wins this week, driving Kentucky upward well in excess of the cost of losing to the Aggies. At present, Kentucky has better wins than any team except Notre Dame and Clemson. The Aggies likewise benefit, rising a full 40 spots from last week. It cannot be understated how dramatic an effect the Auburn, LSU, and Oklahoma losses had on the ranking.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (nc)

  2. Clemson (+5)

  3. Alabama (+5)

  4. Kentucky (+5)

  5. Michigan (+8)

  6. LSU (-4)

  7. Ohio State (-2)

  8. Georgia (-1)

  9. Florida (+40)

  10. North Carolina State (+7)

  11. Texas A&M (+40)

  12. Washington (-2)

  13. Cincinnati (+11)

  14. UCF (+37)

  15. South Florida (nc)

  16. Colorado (+37)

  17. West Virginia (-3)

  18. South Carolina (+10)

  19. Miami (-3)

  20. Penn State (-2)

  21. Auburn (-10)

  22. Mississippi State (+37)

  23. Oklahoma (-20)

  24. Texas Tech (+9)

  25. Georgia Southern (+9)

Week 5 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Notre Dame dethrones number 1 and moves into the top spot. Buffalo’s strong start also came to an end Saturday, with a devastating loss to Army. The top 10 or so is getting a bit more stable, but further down still a lot of movement and noise. Among the FBS teams that lost to FCS teams, Temple has fallen out of the top 25, but unfortunately East Carolina has clawed into the top 25 due to a win over ODU, who beat Virginia Tech, who just beat Duke.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking)

  1. Notre Dame (+7)

  2. LSU (+1)

  3. Oklahoma (+3)

  4. Stanford (-3)

  5. Ohio State (+13)

  6. Clemson (+15)

  7. Georgia (nc)

  8. Alabama (-4)

  9. Kentucky (+6)

  10. Washington (+6)

  11. Auburn (+2)

  12. San Diego State (-1)

  13. Michigan (+19)

  14. West Virginia (+22)

  15. South Florida (+11)

  16. Miami (+15)

  17. NC State (+22)

  18. Penn State (-1)

  19. Syracuse (+7)

  20. East Carolina (+35)

  21. Indiana (+12)

  22. North Texas (-4)

  23. Missouri (+6)

  24. Cincinnati (+11)

  25. Michigan State (nc)

Week 4 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

Still a few ties this early, as well as a few teams that lost to FCS opponents but have not yet lost to an FBS opponent (Temple). Stanford rises to the top after defeating Oregon while Duke lags for playing an FCS team. After a rough start with their loss to Auburn, Washington climbs back into the top 25 as they remain undefeated in conference play, and an opportunity for redemption against BYU on Friday.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking):

1. Stanford (+5)
2. Buffalo (+2)
3. LSU (+9)
4. Alabama (-2)
5. Duke (-4)
6. Oklahoma (+7)
7. Georgia (+9)
8. Notre Dame (-6)
9. California (nc)
10. Maryland (+19)
11. San Diego State (+23)
12. Temple (+16)
13. Auburn (+29)
14. Brigham Young (+13)
15. Kentucky (+2)
16. Washington (+41)
17. Penn State (-10)
18. Ohio State (-10)
18. North Texas (+12)
20. Wisconsin (+23)
21. Clemson (-6)
22. Texas (+21)
23. Ole Miss (+18)
24. Texas Tech (+29)
25. Michigan State (+50)

Week 3 Network Ranking

by Patrick Rhamey

The network ranking is ready a week early this year (all teams have played at least one other FBS team). Duke comes out on top, mostly because they’ve played three games all against FBS opponents. With an FCS team on their schedule this next week, expect them to lag behind others in next week’s ranking, as well as some progress to be made by teams that had cancellations this past week due to Hurricane Florence (notably, Virginia Tech and West Virginia). As a reminder, the ranking is an assessment of the full body of work so far in the season, and FCS wins do not count toward a team’s value. Likewise, neither do the occasional FCS loss (Kansas), but those exceptions tend to take care of themselves as the season progresses. With very few win-loss connections so far, there are lots of ties in the ranking for now.

But, hell of a job so far, Blue Devils.

Top 25 (Explanation; Full Ranking):

1. Duke
2. Alabama
2. Notre Dame
4. Buffalo
5. Indiana
6. Stanford
7. Penn State
8. Ohio State
9. Army
9. California
11. Oklahoma State
12. LSU
13. Minnesota
13. Oklahoma
15. Clemson
16. Georgia
17, Hawaii
17. Kentucky
19. Boston College
19. Colorado
19. Iowa
19. Kansas
19. Missouri
19. Mississippi State
19. South Florida
19. Washington State

2018 State of World Liberty Index

by Patrick Rhamey

The State of World Liberty Index was a combination of indices compiled originally in 2006 by Nick Wilson.  Since then, I've periodically updated the index.  My methodology is similar to the original with the following exceptions: I use only the civil liberties portion of Freedom House, economic liberty (Fraser/Heritage) is weighted evenly with social liberty, and the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Scores are of equal weight to each of the Freedom House Civil Liberties sub-components.  All changes are done with the purpose of creating the most accurate relative ranking of countries by the degree of liberty (economic and social) enjoyed by the average individual within the state or territory.  Note, the ranking is not reflective of, nor does it include, political or electoral rights.  Where data is available, territories or colonies (e.g. Hong Kong) are included.

Finally, added this year is a ranking of the Conservative-Progressive spectrum, where conservative would be very high economic liberty but low social liberty, and progressive would be very high social liberty but low economic liberty.  This added dimension allows for grouping states by both freedoms and ideology, such as Moderate Free (New Zealand) and Moderate Tyranny (North Korea), Progressive Free (Norway) and Progressive Tyranny (Venezuela), and Conservative Free (Hong Kong) and Conservative Tyranny (Syria).

Also please note, rankings used to create the below are typically delayed by one to two years.  So, they do not reflect any recent events that may have occurred within the past 6-12 months.

Full rankings are here.

2018 Liberty by Quintile.  Colors represent countries grouped by quintiles in order of blue (top 20%), green (20-40%), yellow (40-60%), orange (60-80%), and red (80-100%).

2018 Most Free Countries:
1. New Zealand
2. Switzerland
3. Ireland
3. Australia
5. Sweden
5. Norway
5. Netherlands
5. Luxembourg
5. Canada
5. Finland

2018 Most Oppressive Countries:
1. North Korea
2. Syria
3. Venezuela
3. Eritrea
5. Libya
6. Equatorial Guinea
7. Turkmenistan
8. Central African Republic
9. Sudan
10. Ethiopia
10. Iran
10. Uzbekistan

2018 Five Year change in Liberty.  Blue is an increase in rank by >20 and green >10 since 2014.  Orange is a fall in rank of >10 and red >20 since 2014.

2018 Greatest 5 Year Increases:
1. Sri Lanka
1. Cote d'Ivoire
3. Nepal
4. Latvia
4. Myanmar
4. Zimbabwe
7. Vanuatu
7. Jamaica
7. The Gambia
10. Madagascar

2018 Greatest 5 Year Decreases:
1. Afghanistan
2. Turkey
3. Maldives
4. Libya
5. Lebanon
5. Zambia
7. Djibouti
8. Brunei
9. Thailand
9. Hungary
9. Bahamas

2018 Conservative-Progressive Ranking. Grouped by quintile, red is very conservative, pink is conservative, yellow is neutral, light blue is progressive, and blue is very progressive.

Below image graphs the amount of liberty enjoyed by the average citizen in a state (x-axis) by the balance on whether the state more heavily regulates economic or social behaviors (y-axis).  

2018 Most Conservative:
1. Bahrain
2. United Arab Emirates
3. Rwanda
4. Singapore
5. Saudi Arabia
6. Azerbaijan
7. Turkmenistan
7. Qatar
7. Laos
7. Kazakhstan

2018 Most Progressive:
1. Kiribati
1. Argentina
3. Micronesia
4. Barbados
5. Benin
5. Brazil
7. Cabo Verde
8. Dominica
8. Portugal
8. Sao Tome y Principe