Sunday, September 30, 2012

College Football Week 5 Projections - And then there we none projected undefeated

The projected records for the regular season using results through week 3 are now available.

And there are now no teams projected to be undefeated.  Alabama's drop in the ratings make it slightly more likely (42%) that they lose one game than lose none (39%).  Similarly, Ohio U. had a narrow win over a bad Massachusetts team and is projected with one loss.

The team now with the best chance of finishing with one loss is FSU at just over 50%.  They also have a decent (24%) chance of finishing undefeated.  Interestingly, Rutgers is projected to have the best shot at undefeated (39%) and still has a 44% chance of a one loss season.

The teams with 2 or fewer losses below, full list on the site.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
Florida St11-150.223.522.1
Ohio U.11-144.034.618.4
Boise St10-249.721.225.2
Louisiana Tech10-247.317.128.6
Western Kentucky10-244.723.226.1
San Jose St10-241.939.116.1
South Carolina10-239.322.626.7
Texas A&M10-236.610.734.1
Notre Dame10-236.433.416.2
Northern Illinois10-234.812.234.7
Kansas St10-232.624.123.5
Ohio State10-232.319.827.1
Texas Tech10-230.817.728.0

Analyzing the 9/30/12 AP College Football Poll

Here is week 5 of analyzing the AP poll.  Thanks as always to the AP publishing their voting.

All 5 charts are displayed below to make it easy to see the changes.

There isn't a lot of change at the top other than LSU dropping from #3 to #4 and Alabama picking up their first place vote to become unanimous.  Interestingly though, LSU received a 10th place vote last week but now the worst is a 9th place.  FSU who moves to #3 is now receiving 2nd place to 8th place votes.

Stanford falls all the way to #18, interestingly behind USC who they beat at #13.  This is a common occurrence with the polls, they over-rotate on the most recent result and forget earlier results.  My computer has Stanford #20 and USC #21.

College Football Week 5 Ratings and Rankings - New #1 in Florida

This week's ratings and rankings are now posted.

And for the 2nd week in a row, we have a new #1, this week in Florida.  They were helped by Alabama dropping slightly, but more by Florida improving due to previous opponents doing well; Texas A&M thumping Arkansas 58-10 and Tennessee playing within 7 points of Georgia on the road.  Oregon's somewhat lackluster performance against a bad Washington State team is what drops them to #3 and Georgia was hurt by letting the game with Tennessee be so close.

LSU falters a bit more after beating Towson by only 16 and Stanford falls 10 spots to #20.

The top-25 is below, full ratings on the site.

1Florida91.2824-071.966+4, +2.091
2Alabama90.9025-064.979+0, -1.058
3Oregon87.6105-057.765-2, -4.773
4Georgia87.0915-063.098-1, -4.356
5Texas A&M86.8883-167.028+4, +3.107
6Texas85.4334-068.748+0, +0.212
7Kansas St85.3294-061.593-3, -4.684
8South Carolina84.5725-066.488+0, +0.182
9Texas Tech84.5364-064.097+8, +5.816
10Florida St84.5355-054.589-3, -0.180
11Notre Dame80.0864-068.764+3, -0.285
12Arizona St79.8754-166.064+0, -1.279
13West Virginia79.7674-064.716+7, +2.082
14LSU79.4485-059.005-1, -1.128
15Baylor79.1173-169.211+0, -0.687
16Oklahoma78.7492-162.843-5, -2.752
17Tennessee78.5213-265.352+7, +2.008
18TCU77.9694-055.946+0, -0.100
19Clemson77.8844-167.599+4, +1.320
20Stanford77.6213-170.740-10, -3.961
21Southern Cal77.5403-165.583-5, -1.659
22Purdue77.2893-164.342-1, +0.254
23Rutgers76.9984-058.705+6, +1.587
24Mississippi St76.4484-054.167+10, +2.486
25Oregon St75.8793-074.433+17, +3.285

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Estimated NTRP Ratings for the Denver Metro Area are available

I've been calculating Estimated NTRP ratings for Northwest Washington for a bit, and doing so garnered some interest from players in the Denver area, enough that I am now set up to calculate ratings for women that played in Adult, Senior, Super Senior, Summer Daytime, Daytime Doubles, and Trio leagues.

I have not posted the full ratings, but instead am creating a summary report for individuals for a small fee that shows the following information:
Jane Doe
Current NTRP 3.5 (dynamic range 3.01-3.5)
Estimated Rating: 3.65
Match Record: 10-1
Sets Won/Lost: 21/3
Games Won/Lost: 125/40
Best Result: 5/15/12, 6-1,6-1 had 3.88 match rating
Worst Result: 2/18/12, 3-6,1-6 had 3.20 match rating
Highest Rating: 3.65 on 7/15/12 after 6-1,6-2 match

Based on your estimated rating being well into the dynamic range for a NTRP 4.0 player, I would expect you would be bumped up when the year end ratings come out.

Note: The estimated rating is based on the regular season league matches available and and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that this estimated rating will match the actual year end rating published by the USTA.
If you played in any of the women's leagues listed above and are interested in getting the above report for yourself, please contact me at

NFL Week 3 "What If" Ratings, Rankings, and Projections - What if Green Bay had won?

There are always games that occur during a season where you can say "what if" and it might be interesting to recalculate ratings as if a different result occurred.  But rarely if ever has there ever been such a clear cut case of a call on the last play of the game that changed the result than we had last Monday in the Green Bay at Seattle game.

With that in mind, below you will find my computer's ratings, rankings, and projections calculated using the Green Bay at Seattle game as a 12-7 win by Green Bay.

For the ratings and rankings, the change column is the difference from the actual week 3 ratings.  You'll see that the teams would basically swap positions 4 and 8, but a few other teams move slightly as well.

1Houston93.0523-083.054+0, +0.021
2Atlanta91.1883-082.373+0, +0.014
3Arizona90.4083-084.673+0, -0.377
4Baltimore88.4942-182.426+1, -0.041
5Green Bay87.5432-184.980+4, +1.715
6New England87.5261-285.506+0, -0.107
7San Francisco87.3952-183.426+0, +0.428
8Seattle86.8271-285.950-4, -1.882
9Denver86.7601-288.019-1, +0.001
10San Diego84.1382-179.274+0, -0.020
11Chicago83.7172-178.575+1, +0.479
12NY Jets83.1862-182.106+1, +0.015
13Dallas82.8982-182.914-2, -0.507
14Pittsburgh82.8171-282.655+0, -0.011
15Philadelphia82.6672-185.455+0, -0.096
16NY Giants81.2362-177.239+0, -0.150
17Miami81.1361-282.752+0, -0.013
18Minnesota80.2212-178.784+1, +0.136
19Cincinnati80.0852-181.533-1, -0.006
20Detroit79.5131-280.834+0, +0.086
21Buffalo79.3652-177.956+0, -0.008
22Washington78.6421-277.316+0, +0.016
23Jacksonville78.2661-283.321+0, +0.060
24Tampa Bay77.6791-280.425+0, -0.147
25St Louis77.4911-281.624+0, +0.134
26Oakland75.0181-281.697+0, +0.022
27Tennessee74.6161-282.726+0, +0.020
28Cleveland74.4630-379.706+0, -0.019
29Carolina74.1411-275.762+0, -0.070
30Indianapolis73.6911-279.735+0, +0.134
31Kansas City73.2201-281.642+0, -0.009
32New Orleans71.3720-374.334+0, -0.005

And in the projected records, the change would not change Green Bay winning their division, although they'd be 12-4 rather than 10-6, but Seattle's record would change from 12-4 to 10-6 and that would tie them with Philadelphia and San Francisco but they'd be the least likely to be at that record or better so could change the wildcard position.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
Green Bay12-427.717.525.8
New England10-625.422.819.1
San Francisco10-624.023.716.7
San Diego10-623.722.018.1
NY Jets9-722.416.222.2
NY Giants8-823.421.418.1
Tampa Bay7-928.926.418.2
Kansas City4-1227.924.719.1
St Louis3-1327.826.316.8
New Orleans1-1539.328.519.1

I'll continue to calculate these each week so we can see how things would be different.

Some Interesting College Football Week 5 Previews

We are now entering into the middle of the season where we begin to get more competitive games on a regular basis.  That means we can take a look at some of the interesting games each week.

Baylor visits West Virginia in a battle of ranked and undefeated teams.  Vegas likes West Virginia by a bunch, around 11.5 or 12, but the computer picks them by just a point predicting a close game.

Alabama hosts a 1-loss Ole Miss and you'd think that would mean a competitive game, but Vegas has the line as high as 32.  The computer agrees it won't be close, but has it not as big a spread at just over 22.

Also in the SEC, Georgia would appear to have a bit of a test hosting 1-loss Tennessee but this too has a pretty big line (13-14) but the computer says it isn't big enough picking them by nearly 18.

Moving to the B1G, Ohio State visits Michigan State as a 2-2.5 point underdog.  The computer says this is just about spot-on picking the Spartans by just under 2.

Also in the B1G, Wisconsin visits Nebraska as a big 12 point underdog and the computer says that is too much picking the Cornhuskers but by just under 4 points.

And in the Pac-12, Oregon State visits Arizona as the ranked team but the underdog by 2.5 points.  The computer says that is not nearly enough picking Arizona by over 8.

Enjoy the games!

Monday, September 24, 2012

NFL Week 3 Projected Records - NFC West dominates

The projected records after week 3 are now posted and listed below as well.

Houston and Atlanta lead the way at 15-1 and 14-2 respectively, and then the NFC West comes through with Arizona at 13-3 and Seattle at 12-4.  San Francisco would still get a wildcard at 10-6.

I am also tracking the projected playoff teams by week so take a look at that to see how things change from week to week.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
Green Bay10-627.823.220.9
New England10-625.822.919.3
San Francisco10-625.022.019.4
San Diego10-623.722.018.1
NY Giants8-823.221.817.5
NY Jets8-822.722.316.5
Tampa Bay7-928.426.917.4
Kansas City4-1227.924.719.0
St Louis3-1329.025.818.5
New Orleans1-1539.728.219.6

NFL Week 3 Ratings and Rankings - Houston to #1

The ratings after week 3 are now posted and listed below as well.

There are a lot of moves as the ratings from last year are no longer a factor for the most part and teams are represented by their performance this year.  Houston moves up a spot to #1 with the 49ers loss, and Atlanta and Arizona both also move up as does Seattle after their controversial win.

Even with the 49ers losing, the NFC West now has 3 of the top-7 teams and as I wrote last week, are they for real?

The computer did not have a good week going just 7-8-1 against the spread, but did pick the Seattle upset and did go one game better than Vegas picking winners, 6-10 vs 5-11.

1Houston93.0313-083.038+1, +3.287
2Atlanta91.1743-082.382+3, +4.229
3Arizona90.7853-085.368+3, +4.742
4Seattle88.7092-185.673+5, +2.829
5Baltimore88.5352-182.496-2, -0.207
6New England87.6331-285.639-2, +0.025
7San Francisco86.9672-182.780-6, -4.689
8Denver86.7591-288.011+2, +1.173
9Green Bay85.8281-285.305-1, -0.175
10San Diego84.1582-179.255-3, -1.848
11Dallas83.4052-183.640+2, -0.167
12Chicago83.2382-177.914+5, +1.146
13NY Jets83.1712-182.117+2, +0.612
14Pittsburgh82.8281-282.642-2, -0.831
15Philadelphia82.7632-185.601-4, -1.671
16NY Giants81.3862-177.481+3, +1.089
17Miami81.1491-282.732+1, +0.328
18Cincinnati80.0912-181.548+3, +2.009
19Minnesota80.0852-178.577+8, +4.316
20Detroit79.4271-280.640-4, -3.123
21Buffalo79.3732-177.961+4, +2.619
22Washington78.6261-277.275-8, -4.687
23Jacksonville78.2061-283.224+5, +2.564
24Tampa Bay77.8261-280.667+0, +0.264
25St Louis77.3571-281.431-5, -1.931
26Oakland74.9961-281.712+4, +0.837
27Tennessee74.5961-282.739+2, -0.321
28Cleveland74.4820-379.742-2, -2.261
29Carolina74.2111-275.863-7, -3.808
30Indianapolis73.5571-279.510+1, +0.678
31Kansas City73.2291-281.641+1, +1.291
32New Orleans71.3770-374.355-9, -6.497

Sunday, September 23, 2012

College Football Week 4 Ratings and Rankings - Oregon the new #1

This week's ratings and rankings are now posted.

And we have a new #1 in Oregon.  They made a huge leap in the ratings after their throttling of Arizona, while Alabama lost a few points not such much to do playing Florida Atlanta, but more due to Michigan and Arkansas not doing as well as expected.  Georgia stays #3 and K-State stays at #4 even with a +6 in the ratings as the computer had their game with Oklahoma being a virtual tie.

What happened to LSU?  They dropped to #14 after a 2 point win over a struggling Auburn.  Clemson and Mississippi State handled Auburn more convincingly and Clemson lost to FSU so that puts LSU's performance in perspective.

The top-25 is below, full ratings on the site.

2Alabama91.9604-062.900-1, -1.810
3Georgia91.4474-058.739+0, +4.565
4Kansas St90.0134-061.320+0, +6.165
5Florida89.1914-070.640+1, +6.816
6Texas85.2213-064.166-1, +2.002
7Florida St84.7154-052.051+5, +4.282
8South Carolina84.3904-064.851+0, +2.341
9Texas A&M83.7812-165.282+4, +3.628
10Stanford81.5823-070.508+1, +1.034
11Oklahoma81.5012-167.523-1, +0.619
12Arizona St81.1543-167.137+8, +3.226
14Notre Dame80.3714-068.873-5, -1.159
15Baylor79.8043-064.477-8, -2.383
16Southern Cal79.1993-167.312+1, +0.143
17Texas Tech78.7203-057.279+9, +3.145
18TCU78.0693-052.745+3, +1.186
19Arizona77.9823-167.998-5, -2.159
20West Virginia77.6853-061.174-4, -1.918
21Purdue77.0352-164.638+4, +0.886
22Cincinnati76.9292-052.188-4, -2.105
23Clemson76.5643-167.174+7, +1.851
24Tennessee76.5133-158.573+17, +4.096
25Louisiana Tech76.4743-062.933+21, +4.572

Analyzing the 9/23/12 AP Poll

Here is week 4 of analyzing the AP poll.  Thanks as always to the AP publishing their voting.

All 4 charts are displayed below to make it easy to see the changes.  And comparing the charts, one can visually see that there is a bit more consensus as the ranges on many of the teams have dropped.

At the very top, Alabama is receiving only 1st and 2nd place votes while Oregon is receiving only 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place votes.  The first team where there is a lack of consensus is LSU, with votes from 1st to 10th and this causes them to drop to #3 overall.  The FSU doubters are fewer now as they are receiving 2nd to 9th place votes.

The largest range goes to Ohio State voted from 5th to 23rd.  Notre Dame also has quite a range from 5th to 21st.

The Alabama, Oregon, LSU (and Georgia and Kansas State?) Debate

The teams that are going to be vying to get into the BCS championship game are becoming a bit clearer.  And it may not be the what was thought to be safe Alabama/LSU winner vs potentially Alabama/LSU loser.

The full week 4 ratings will be posted tomorrow, but with some scores still being tallied, there are some shakeups in the top-10.  Here is what it looks like as of right now:

2Alabama91.9604-062.900-1, -1.810
3Georgia91.4474-058.739+0, +4.565
4Kansas St90.0134-061.320+0, +6.165
5Florida89.1914-070.640+1, +6.816
6Texas85.2213-064.166-1, +2.002
7Florida St84.7154-052.051+5, +4.282
8South Carolina84.3904-064.851+0, +2.341
9Texas A&M83.7812-165.282+4, +3.628
10Stanford81.5823-070.508+1, +1.034

Yes folks, my computer has Oregon moving to #1.  Of course, the 49-0 win over Arizona is the key reason and that score was a bit inflated by some interceptions returned for TDs, but even without those, Oregon would be very close to Alabama.  And Georgia and K-State are not far behind.

And what happened to LSU?  They presently would fall to #13.  How can that be?  They won after all?  Yes, but by only 2 against a struggling Auburn team that lost to Clemson by 7 (who lost to FSU by 12) and Mississippi State by 18.  Plus Auburn barely beat a 1-2 Lousiana-Monroe.  Any non-SEC team that squeaks out a 2 point win over a team like that would get hammered and LSU should.

And if you look at the profiles of the top-4 teams above, they are very similar.  Here are the performance charts:

Oregon has played 2 meaningful games, the Fresno State and Arizona games results more or less being averaged to get to their current 92.383 rating.

Alabama has played 3 meaningful games and each one has rated near identically making one think they are rated where they should be.

Georgia has also played 2 meaningful games like Oregon, and has performed very similarly in each.

In a common theme, 2 meaningful games and two similar results for K-State.

So, who can separate from this group of 4 teams?  Georgia has the best shot playing the highest rated team next week (Tennessee, 76.5) while Alabama plays Ole Miss (72.7).  Oregon could be in trouble having to play Washington State (59.3) while K-State has a week off.  So look for Alabama or Georgia to move to the top if they can perform well against their next quality opponent.

For those interested, here is LSU's chart.  Two meaningful games and the close win over Auburn drags them down.

Thoughts?  Will the polls drop LSU?  Should they?  Was the Auburn win representative of this years LSU team or an aberration?

Monday, September 17, 2012

NFL Week 2 Ratings and Rankings - San Francisco to #1, Houston to #2

The ratings after week 2 are now posted and listed below as well.

San Francisco moves to #1 after they had a nice win and last week's #1 New England lost and dropped to #4.  Also moving up is Houston to #2 while Baltimore stays at #3.

Some teams made big moves, Arizona leaping 12 spots to #6 and Seattle up 10 spots to #9.

It is still early, but it is interesting to see how things are shaping up.  For example, the NFC West appears to no longer be the worst division with three teams in the top-9.  Are they for real?

The computer had a good week predicting games going 10-5-1 against the spread and 9-7 picking winners.  That is an improvement over 7-9 against the spread last week.

1San Francisco91.6562-084.277+1, +1.446
2Houston89.7442-078.232+2, +3.140
3Baltimore88.7421-181.258+0, +0.095
4New England87.6081-180.480-3, -3.045
5Atlanta86.9452-078.762+1, +1.293
6Arizona86.0432-086.744+12, +4.864
7San Diego86.0062-074.538+2, +1.594
8Green Bay86.0031-183.874-3, +0.317
9Seattle85.8801-184.807+10, +4.723
10Denver85.5861-185.302+4, +2.247
11Philadelphia84.4342-082.743-1, +0.539
12Pittsburgh83.6591-184.073+5, +2.192
13Dallas83.5721-186.088-6, -1.898
14Washington83.3131-181.581-3, -0.169
15NY Jets82.5591-180.206-7, -2.396
16Detroit82.5501-185.472+0, +0.746
17Chicago82.0921-179.441-5, -1.293
18Miami80.8211-181.952+2, +1.872
19NY Giants80.2971-177.567-4, -2.499
20St Louis79.2881-182.932+11, +3.332
21Cincinnati78.0821-182.743+1, -0.132
22Carolina78.0191-177.718+4, +0.731
23New Orleans77.8740-280.666-10, -5.508
24Tampa Bay77.5621-179.158+5, +1.199
25Buffalo76.7541-177.248+3, +0.279
26Cleveland76.7430-281.258-1, -0.548
27Minnesota75.7691-174.261-3, -1.634
28Jacksonville75.6420-282.756-1, -1.155
29Tennessee74.9170-286.807-8, -3.951
30Oakland74.1590-283.413-7, -3.352
31Indianapolis72.8791-178.930+1, +0.469
32Kansas City71.9380-281.850-2, -4.216

Interest in Weekly Football Prediction Newsletter?

In past years, I've sold subscriptions to a weekly newsletter, one for each of NCAA and NFL football.  If there is sufficient interest this year, I'll do it again.

What is included in the weekly newsletter are the picks for the week, winners and against the spread, with picks confidence values.  Other statistics including teams records against the spread and how connected teams are may also be included.

For the NFL playoffs and college bowls, included are individual previews for all the games that include all of the above and performance charts to aid in comparing the teams.

If you are interested, please leave a comment or e-mail me at

An early look at the divisions - Is the NFC West for real?

Teams have only played two games and Denver and Atlanta are still to play tonight, but that doesn't stop us from looking at numbers and trying to see what trends there are.  We'll stop short of leaping to conclusions, but readers of this blog may choose to :)

To start, the NFC West is presently the only division with two 2-0 teams (San Francisco and Atlanta, but the AFC West could join them if Denver wins tonight), but even if Denver wins tonight the NFC West would be the only division with two undefeated teams and no teams with losing records.  After several years of being in the doldrums, has the NFC West really recovered and are they actually among the tougher divisions in the league?

Since there are only two games played, this could be an aberration and normalcy may resume shortly, but the division does have wins over Green Bay (on the road), New England (on the road), Dallas (by 20), Washington, and Detroit, so not exactly the easiest road.  And one of the losses was within the division so there has been only one unavoidable loss which was actually a close one to Detroit.  The result is what will likely be the #1, #6, and #9 teams in the week 2 rankings (posted after game tonight).

Record-wise, the NFC East is closest with a combined 5-3 record but they have two losses to the NFC West already.  They should have the #11, #13, #14, and #19 teams or thereabouts.

The NFC North?  All 1-1 with Green Bay at #8 the highest ranked.  And the NFC South doesn't have anyone in the top-10 (could change tonight).

The AFC South has Houston ranked high (#2), but has some of the worst teams too.  The AFC North has Baltimore at #3, but then #12, #21, and #26.  The AFC East has New England at #4 despite their loss, but then #15, #18, and #25.  The AFC West has Denver (#5) and San Diego (#7), but also has Oakland (#30) and Kansas City (#32).

So, is the NFC West for real?  Vote in the poll to the right on how many teams will make the playoffs from the NFC West.

Interesting Week 3 College Football Game Review

I wrote a post on some interesting games in week 3, let's see how the computer fared.

First up, the computer gave ASU credit for their big win over Illinois, so much as to pick them to upset Missouri on the road.  The upset didn't happen, but ASU did cover, so a good pick there.

Next, Florida State had played nobody and so was hard to rate, and this proved to be true as they beat up on Wake Forest by far more than expected.  Missed that one.

The computer liked Boise State to cover despite the big line, and they did.  Good pick there.

In the Alabama/Arkansas game, the computer tried to give Arkansas the benefit of the doubt picking them to lose by just 17, but they are clearly a different team from last year with their QB missing and they lost big.  Missed there.

Last, the computer picked Stanford to pull the upset and indeed they did.  Great pick here.

So all in all, the computer went 3-2 against the spread in these games and only missed picking the winner in one, missing on the ASU upset in what turned out to be a close game, and did pick the Stanford upset.  And the two games missed against the spread were due to FSU playing meaningless games the first few weeks and Arkansas also being difficult to rate given their situation.  Not too bad!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Analyzing the 9/16/12 AP Poll

Here is week 3 of analyzing the AP poll.  Thanks as always to the AP publishing their voting.

All 3 charts are displayed below to make it easy to see the changes.

There is a little more consensus, but still a lot of varying opinions on FSU (as low as #13 while Georgia ranked behind them is only as low as #11) and Oklahoma (as low as #17 while South Carolina behind them is only as low as #14) and a very big range on Notre Dame (#5 to #24).

It is interesting to see how teams changes from week to week and why.  Boise State lost to Michigan State and had 79 votes and were #26 in week 1.  On an idle week, they actually gained votes to 106 but stayed #26.  This week, after the team they lost to lost 20-3 which might diminish the value of their loss (my computer dropped them over 3 points and 12 spots), they did lost votes to 95, but now are #24 in the poll.

College Football Week 3 Projections - Only Ohio U. projected to be undefeated

The projected records for the regular season using results through week 3 are now available.

Only Ohio U. is now projected to be undefeated at 71%.  LSU was last week, but just barely, and they dropped just enough, and some future opponents improved, that a 1-loss season is now more likely, but still at 25% chance of no losses.

What about Alabama?  They, like last week are projected to have 1 loss mainly due to having to play LSU on the road.  But they have a 31% chance of no losses.  Georgia also is projected at 1 loss but has a 31% chance of none.  Of course, any team that may make it through the regular season undefeated in the SEC will have to also win the championship game to go to a bowl undefeated.

There is a big group of teams projected at 2 losses, among the most interesting candidates, the Oregon/Stanford winner may have a decent shot at scaring an undefeated year, and if Notre Dame can continue to impress and get past Oklahoma and USC they could do so too.  Florida State will likely be favored in every game and get Clemson and Florida at home, but has to go to Miami too.

The teams with 2 or fewer losses below, full list on the site.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
Ohio U.12-
Boise St11-
Western Kentucky10-237.215.631.9
Notre Dame10-235.427.121.7
San Jose St10-235.115.631.0
Florida St10-232.025.721.8

College Football Week 3 Ratings and Rankings - Alabama and LSU remain 1 and 2

This week's ratings and rankings are now posted.

Alabama  and LSU remain in the top 2 spots without much significant change, but there is a new #2 in Georgia after they won and had prior opponent Missouri get a win over ASU who had thumped Illinois.  K-State stays in the top-4 and Texas makes a move into the top-5 with Florida also making a big move to #6.

Other big moves are by Notre dame to #9, Florida State to #12, Texas A&M to #13, and Arizona to #14.

With 3 games played by most teams, the impact of the pre-season (last years end of year rating) rating is  diminishing and we are getting a clearer picture of this years teams.  Clearly, the SEC is strong, with the  teams ranked 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 13, nearly half of the top-13 teams, but it helps having 14 teams in conference as well.  The Big-12 is holding their own with the teams ranked 4, 5, 7, and 10.  The spoilers to the SEC/Big-12 party are Notre Dame at #9, Stanford at #11, and FSU at #12.  In addition to Stanford, the Pac-12 fills out the 2nd 10 with Arizona, Oregon, USC, and ASU at 14, 15, 17, and 20.

This early in the year, the computer hasn't hit its stride picking games yet, but did go 26-20-1 against the spread and did pick Stanford to upset USC.

The top-25 is below, full ratings on the site.

1Alabama93.7703-070.338+0, -0.009
2LSU91.6523-061.755+0, -1.342
3Georgia86.8823-057.996+2, +4.475
4Kansas St83.8483-059.337-1, -0.058
5Texas83.2193-061.147+12, +5.590
6Florida82.3753-072.958+12, +5.957
7Baylor82.1872-062.025-3, -1.483
8South Carolina82.0493-061.845+0, +0.755
9Notre Dame81.5303-069.556+17, +5.806
10Oklahoma80.8822-057.893+3, +2.012
11Stanford80.5483-068.882+3, +1.775
12Florida St80.4333-046.720+23, +7.358
13Texas A&M80.1531-173.802+19, +5.376
14Arizona80.1413-061.822+14, +5.163
15Oregon80.0493-055.062-9, -1.829
16West Virginia79.6032-061.123+0, +1.464
17Southern Cal79.0562-169.600-6, -0.891
18Cincinnati79.0342-048.583+5, +3.100
19Boise St78.2241-166.819-12, -3.143
20Arizona St77.9282-165.862-11, -2.640
21TCU76.8832-048.880+17, +4.832
22Nebraska76.4942-164.883-3, +0.102
23Oklahoma St76.4622-160.028+29, +6.366
24UCLA76.4603-064.191+6, +1.555
25Purdue76.1492-162.643+18, +4.762

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Playing one non-FBS school is a bad idea, playing two should be illegal - Hello Florida State and Texas A&M

With conference schedules, most FBS schools are left with 3, sometimes 4, non-conference games to schedule each year.  How this opportunity is handled varies wildly though.

Some schools that need to beef up their schedule strength will schedule tougher opponents and go on the road (see Boise State) to do so (@Michigan State and @Southern Miss plus hosting BYU), and certainly don't water down their schedule with a non-FBS opponent.

What is more common is that schools that (perhaps) rightly (SEC teams) or wrongly (B1G teams) feel their conference schedule is so strong that they don't need a tough out of conference schedule will go ahead and include a non-FBS team on their schedule, but usually will schedule at least one good/name team as well (Alabama played Michigan, LSU played Washington, Ohio State plays Cal, USC plays Notre Dame, etc.).  These teams usually fit the model of using their 3 non-conference games to play a gimme, a middle of the road team, and a good team.

There are two wildcards in this model though.  First, schedules are made several years in advance and some teams are not as consistently strong as others.  So what may have looked like a tough game can sometimes turn out to be not so tough.  But second, and more importantly, while scheduling a non-FBS school might be considered no different than scheduling a weak FBS school, and if this is the "gimme" game what difference does it make, not all non-FBS schools are created equal and some of these games just should not be played.

Yes, I know the small team usually makes money off it and that is important to their program, but with just 12 games to evaluate a team in the polls and by the computers, these meaningless games are at best a lost opportunity to accurately evaluate a team and at worst, give a bad data point that throws ratings off.  Now, my algorithm treats these games as essentially meaningless unless there are upsets or unexpectedly close games, but not all computers do this as well.

Given the problems it causes, I think we'd all agree that playing these non-FBS teams isn't desirable and we'd prefer to see more meaningful games played.  What is particularly sad is when you see an FBS team, and not any FBS team but one from a major conference with title aspirations schedule 2 (yes two, that is a full 1/6th of the schedule) non-FBS games!  Who falls into this category this year?

  • Florida State's has scheduled non-FBS teams Murray State and Savannah State.
  • Cincinnati (ok, is the Big East really a major conference? :O) has scheduled non-FBS teams Delaware State and Fordham.
  • Pittsburgh (ummm, Big East too) has scheduled non-FBS teams Youngstown State and Gardner-Webb.
  • Texas A&M has scheduled non-FBS South Carolina State and Sam Houston State.
Florida State doesn't even leave the state of Florida for a non-conference game hosting Florida and going to South Florida.  Can they really be considered tried and tested at the end of the year having played an ACC schedule (not the toughest) and 2 non-FBS teams and no non-conference game outside their own state?

Texas A&M is perhaps worse, as while they make the short trip outside of Texas to Louisiana Tech, that will likely be their toughest non-conference opponent.  But they aren't in the national title discussion and they have a tougher SEC schedule, so perhaps they get a pass.

Similarly, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh play in the irrelevant Big East so we'll ignore their transgressions.

Now, as noted above, my computer will account for these games appropriately and still give an accurate rating of the teams, but I'd think the BCS should have a rule that to be considered, 11 games must be played against FBS opponents.


Interesting Week 3 College Football Game Lines and Picks - ASU, FSU, Boise St, Arkansas, USC/Stanford

In writing this blog entry, I stress that it is still early in the season and while my algorithm attempts to converge quickly on the proper rating for a team in as few games as possible, just 1 or 2 games as well as games between teams of wildly varying ability makes this imprecise at best.  That said, we can still look at some games/lines and see what stands out.

First, there are several games where the computer is picking pretty substantial upsets or has a pretty big deviation from the spread.

ASU handily beat Illinois last week after easily thumping Northern Arizona, while Missouri had an easy win over SE Louisiana but lost pretty soundly at home to Georgia.  With the game in Missouri, Vegas is picking Missouri by 8.5 but my computer, perhaps overreacting to ASU's good start is picking them by 8.  In the end, this game will be a good measure of the SEC vs Pac-12 later in the year.

Florida State has played two absolutely nobody's and should be punished for having not 1 but 2 non-FBS teams on their schedule, and the computer is doing so ranking them just #35 because of it.  The result is that while the computer picks them to win, it is just by 12.6, not anywhere close to the 22.5 line.

Then in what is a first in a long time, my computer is picking Boise St to cover in a game where they are favored big (19) picking them by 25.  My computer didn't ding them that much for a close road loss to Michigan State, but is it giving them too much credit?

Interestingly, with Arkansas' loss you'd think the computer would have a hard time rating them correctly, but the computer's pick in their game with Alabama (Alabama by 17) is pretty close to the 19 point line.  Do Vegas and my computer have it right and Arkansas is only a #30 to #40 team?

Last, in a game that will go a long ways to determining USC's national title hopes, they visit Stanford after a lackluster showing, albeit in some trying circumstances with the weather, against Syracuse.  My computer has dinged them for that and with the game in Palo Alto is picking Stanford to win despite the 9.5 point line.  Will the real USC show up or did we actually see them last week?

The good news is that while some of the games against non-FBS opponents with huge margins wreak havoc with my algorithm and move teams around a bit, when the more meaningful games are played these "meaningless" games will carry very little weight and not help/hurt the teams in question that much.

Enjoy the games.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Analyzing the 9/9/12 AP Poll - Just a little bit clearer

Here is week 2 of analyzing the AP poll.  Thanks to the AP publishing their voting, we get to do this, see last week's post for how things looked then.

There is a little more consensus this week as can be seen by comparing the charts below.  But Florida State and Oklahoma still have some varying opinions as do others like Ohio State.

NFL Week 1 Projected Records - 49ers and Patriots 13-3

The projected records after week 1 are now posted and listed below as well.

The 49ers and Patriots are both projected to finish 13-3 but Baltimore is close behind at 12-4.

As of right now, 10 of the 12 playoff teams would be at 10-6 or better and Denver would be the last in the AFC at 9-7, but two teams would be at 9-7 in the NFC, Chicago presently getting the nod over the Eagles.

I am also tracking the projected playoff teams by week so take a look at that to see how things change from week to week.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
San Francisco13-326.119.822.4
New England13-324.417.223.1
Green Bay10-622.419.119.3
NY Jets10-621.618.019.5
San Diego10-621.520.117.3
New Orleans8-821.218.118.8
NY Giants7-921.320.416.7
Tampa Bay6-1021.919.718.0
Kansas City6-1021.318.318.8
St Louis4-1223.021.217.7

NFL Week 1 Ratings and Rankings - New England #1

The ratings after week 1 are now posted and listed below as well.

New England moves to #1 replacing Green Bay who drops to #5 after their loss.  San Francisco is right behind the Patriots and Baltimore is not a whole lot farther behind.

Dallas and Washington make the biggest leaps forward while their opponents, the Saints and Giants lost the most.

It is very early obviously, so things could change dramatically as the computer has more data to work with.

1New England90.6531-081.868+1, +2.009
2San Francisco90.2101-088.686+2, +3.040
3Baltimore88.6471-075.214+3, +2.829
4Houston86.6041-075.949+6, +3.075
5Green Bay85.6860-187.210-4, -3.040
6Atlanta85.6521-079.154+5, +2.553
7Dallas85.4701-085.796+10, +3.666
8NY Jets84.9551-073.475+5, +2.663
9San Diego84.4121-080.511+3, +1.850
10Philadelphia83.8951-080.291-2, -0.802
11Washington83.4821-086.382+15, +5.254
12Chicago83.3851-069.410+4, +1.413
13New Orleans83.3820-180.482-10, -5.254
14Denver83.3391-078.467+8, +3.667
15NY Giants82.7960-182.470-10, -3.666
16Detroit81.8041-072.956-7, -1.925
17Pittsburgh81.4670-186.339-10, -3.667
18Arizona81.1791-078.157+2, +0.989
19Seattle81.1570-184.179-5, -0.989
20Miami78.9490-189.604-5, -3.075
21Tennessee78.8680-187.653-2, -2.009
22Cincinnati78.2140-191.647-4, -2.829
23Oakland77.5110-181.412+0, -1.850
24Minnesota77.4031-073.797+3, +0.198
25Cleveland77.2910-180.895+4, +0.802
26Carolina77.2880-179.363-5, -2.465
27Jacksonville76.7970-180.403+1, -0.198
28Buffalo76.4750-187.955-4, -2.663
29Tampa Bay76.3631-074.288+2, +2.465
30Kansas City76.1540-182.652-5, -2.553
31St Louis75.9560-184.804-1, +1.925
32Indianapolis72.4100-186.385+0, -1.413

Sunday, September 9, 2012

College Football Week 2 Projections - LSU and Ohio U. now undefeated

The projected records for the regular season using results through week 2 are now available.

There are still two teams projected to finish the regular season undefeated, but they are now Ohio U. and LSU, Ohio U. at a healthy 70% chance.  LSU is just above 50% with a 1-loss season a 41% chance.

The teams with the best chance to join/replace those two include Alabama (35% chance), Georgia (15%), and Louisville (22%).  The projected result of the Alabama/LSU game is what changed to move LSU up and Alabama down, and was because while Alabama remained #1, LSU closed the gap and their game is at LSU giving them the edge.

What about a Pac-12 or B1G team?  Oregon has won easily, but has given up a fair number of points which the computer factors in and is projected to have 2 losses with a 28% chance of 1 loss and an 8% chance of no losses.  USC has not impressed the computer thus far and is projected to have 3 losses, but a 22% chance of just 2, a 9% chance of 1, and a 2% chance of none.

Michigan State is projected to have 2 losses, but a health 30% chance at 1 and 11% chance of none.  Ohio State is also projected to have 2 losses, but not as good a shot at better with a 14% chance of 1 and 2% chance of none.

With 2 games played by most teams, there is more data, but this is still awfully early and things can change, and with games this upcoming week such as USC at Stanford, Notre Dame at Michigan State, Alabama at Arkansas, and others, we could know quite a bit more in a week.

The teams with 2 or fewer losses below, full list on the site.

TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
TeamRecord% chance% +1% -1
Ohio U.12-
Boise St11-
Northern Illinois10-236.417.330.2
Michigan St10-232.730.018.7
Arizona St10-231.619.926.4
Ohio State10-231.414.231.0
Kansas St10-231.218.627.3