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More Fun With Victory Chain Linking

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With the games in the can, it’s time again, fans, for SMQ’s favorite offseason time-waster, courtesy the wonderful Victory Chain Linker. For all those blowhards who start down the path of "A > B and B > C so clearly A > C," you could point them to Florida, Tennessee and Georgia or Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin, or you could point them to Division III Grinnell (1-9), last place finisher in the Midwest Conference, ranked No. 693 by Peter Wolfe, outscored by 238 points on the season, and your new mythical national champion:

Grinnell over LSU (29 steps)
Grinnell > Lawrence > Knox > Eureka > Concordia IL v
v Kalamazoo <</b> Wisc.-Lutheran <</b> Concordia WI <</b> Greenville <</b> Benedictine IL
Bluffton > Defiance > Anderson > Taylor > William Penn v
v Dayton <</b> Morehead St. <</b> Jacksonville FL <</b> Valparaiso <</b> Trinity Int'l
Fordham > Colgate > Towson > Richmond > Wofford v
LSU <</b> Kentucky <</b> Florida <</b> Michigan <</b> App. State
Or the Division III SUNY-Maritime Privateers of Throggs Neck, NY, which finished 2-9 in their second year of varsity football, were outscored by 208 points and finished 684th in Wolfe’s rankings, against the other half of the mythical championship game:
SUNY-Maritime over Ohio State (20 steps)
SUNY-Maritime > Salve Regina > West. New England > Hartwick > Ithaca v
v Marist <</b> Wagner <</b> Iona <</b> West. Conn. State <</b> Cortland State
G'town D.C. > Bucknell > Fordham > Colgate > Towson v
v Illinois <</b> Michigan <</b> Appalachian State <</b> Wofford <</b> Richmond
Ohio State
Or Division III Gallaudet, the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students, which finished 2-9, 682nd in Wolfe’s rankings and was outscored by 144 points, over Pac Ten and Rose Bowl champion Southern Cal:
Gallaudet University over Southern Cal (21 steps)
Gallaudet > SUNY-Maritime > Salve Regina > West. New England > Hartwick v
v Wagner <</b> Iona <</b> West. Conn. State <</b> Cortland State <</b> Ithaca
Marist > G'town D.C. > Bucknell > Fordham > Rhode Island v
v Notre Dame <</b> Navy <</b> Delaware <</b> Villanova <</b> UMass
Stanford > Southern Cal
This is not quite as esoteric in the ranking of different teams as it seems. Notice all three chains from DIII flow through the same, or very similar, patterns, and two require the same "jump" from Division I-AA to I-A, Appalachian State over Michigan. There were six I-AA victories over I-A this season, meaning there is a very limited number of "victory chains" from any lower division team to any top division team. Almost any team with a win can be linked to any team with a loss, but as frequent commenter and stat guru Paul Kislanko pointed out last year, the fewer chains from Team A to Team B, and the longer the chain, the weaker Team A’s claim of superiority; the team with the shortest and most numerous chains is the stronger team.

For example, here’s USC’s chain over Gallaudet:

Southern Cal over Gallaudet University (7 steps)
Southern Cal > Idaho > Cal Poly SLO > Iona > Delaware Valley v
Gallaudet <</b> Juniata
USC gets there a little faster, mostly because it has so many divisions to jump. Because of its schedule, aside from the two teams that beat the Tigers head to head, LSU will likely have a shorter chain to almost any team in the country than the same team has to LSU.

One more, for fun:

Michigan over Appalachian State (5 steps)
Michigan > Florida > West. Kentucky > Chattanooga > Georgia Southern v
Appalachain State
They can dream, can’t they?