Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: Colorado

In the last 25 years, Colorado has emerged as a national title winner and a steady, strong winner ... and has bottomed out to the point where they're falling right between Baylor and Minnesota on the Summer Vacation profiles countdown.  As we've said plenty of times before, the best predictor of future success in college football is past success, so what Colorado has accomplished recently is relatively rare ... or is it?

Turns out, over the course of 25 years, teams do oscillate a decent amount.  Few pull off the level of consistent winning (or even losing) of a Penn State, Florida or Florida State (or UL-Monroe, Kent State or New Mexico State).  Below is a look at teams with the biggest difference between their maximum percentile performance (according to Est. S&P+) from 1986-2010 and their minimum performance.  Colorado's rise and fall don't even come close.

Biggest Difference Between Best and Worst Single-Season Performance, 1986-2010
1. Boise State (0.973 difference -- 1.000 max, 0.027 min)
2. Kansas State (0.972 -- 0.991 max, 0.019 min)
3. Louisville (0.946 -- 0.975 max, 0.029 min)
4. Washington State (0.936 -- 0.944 max, 0.008 min)
5. Houston (0.925 -- 0.943 max, 0.019 min)
6. TCU (0.921 -- 0.983 max, 0.063 min)
7. Washington (0.907 -- 0.991 max, 0.083 min)
8. Rutgers (0.907 -- 0.924 max, 0.017 min)
9. North Carolina (0.888 -- 0.964 max, 0.075 min)
10. Miami-Ohio (0.869 -- 0.897 max, 0.028 min)
66. Colorado (0.639 -- 0.972 max, 0.333 min)

So basically, Colorado's fall hasn't been nearly precipitous enough to make this list.

And while we're at it ... here's a much more entertaining list...

Smallest Difference Between Best and Worst Single-Season Performances, 1986-2010*
1. UL-Monroe (0.241 -- 0.250 max, 0.009 min)
2. Florida (0.311 -- 1.000 max, 0.689 min)
3. Buffalo (0.317 -- 0.328 max, 0.008 min)
4. Kent State (0.348 -- 0.357 max, 0.009 min)
5. New Mexico State (0.367 -- 0.375 max, 0.008 min)
6. Penn State (0.395 -- 0.981 max, 0.586 min)
7. Florida State (0.400 -- 1.000 max, 0.600 min)
8. Tennessee (0.407 -- 0.982 max, 0.575 min)
9. UL-Lafayette (0.425 -- 0.434 max, 0.009 min)
10. Akron (0.425 -- 0.453 max, 0.028 min)

So ... I guess this means UL-Monroe is the Florida of losing?  Or is Florida the UL-Monroe of winning?

* Western Kentucky (0.075), Florida Atlantic (0.266) and Florida International (0.383) all would have made the top ten, but they haven't been around even ten years yet, so I kept them off.

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