Consistency, Thy Name Is Brutus (Fun Stat Nerd Tidbit: Ohio State)

COLUMBUS OH - NOVEMBER 27: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes hands off to running back Dan Herron #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Ohio Stadium on November 27 2010 in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

UPDATE: The Ohio State Buckeyes And The Unprojectables is now up at the mothership.

What do we know about the Ohio State Buckeyes at this point, just over a week (!!!) from the beginning of the college football season? They have a deep backfield that will become deeper when Boom Herron returns from suspension. They have a deep offensive line that will become deeper when Mike Adams returns from suspension. They have recruited circles around the rest of the Big Ten. They have two potentially outstanding defensive ends and an outstanding young batch of linemen. They have a host of former blue-chip options at linebacker. Barring an explosion in self-inflicted interceptions, they may have a rather maintainable turnover margin. They have played at a level higher than that of both Oklahoma and Alabama over the last four full years.

They have a lot, in other words, especially for a down Big Ten. They also have a black hole at quarterback, untested receivers (at least until Devier Posey returns from suspension), all-but-guaranteed regression in the secondary and an interim coach who is not that much older than I am. They have more talent, and more question marks, than anybody in the conference. With no suspensions and their old head coach, they would have ranked, at worst, third in the country in the Football Outsiders Almanac 2011 projections. With all the drama and headaches, they fall to 15th. And they're still potentially the best team in the conference.

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I've had a lot of fun figuring out different uses for the Adj. Score and Adj. Record measures I came up with at the end of last season. I think there is still some confusion as to what these measures are telling us, and that's my fault, so let's try one more time: for every game a team plays, Adj. Score tells us how they would have fared against a perfectly average team with a perfectly average number of breaks. It seems people get stuck on the idea that, for every game, there is one winner and one loser, even with Adj. Score. Not the case. If two good teams play well against each other, the odds are good that they will both come away with an Adj. Win. On the flip side, of course, if two poor teams play poorly against each other, the odds are good that neither would have beaten an 'average' team in said game, and they both end up with Adj. Losses.

With that out of the way, I want to look at what these measures can tell us about trends. Below is a list of FBS teams ranked in order of their cumulative Adj. Record from 2005-10. In theory, it tells us a couple of different things: 1) which teams have piled up wins against lesser opponents and 2) which good teams have been most consistently strong. Being that this is Ohio State Day, I assume you know where I'm going with this.

As we see, in the last six years, Ohio State has played poorly enough to lose to an "average" team just four times ... by far the best Adj. Record in the country. Tressel Ball serves its purpose, even if it is not the most lively, exciting brand of football the world has ever seen. We'll see if Fickell Ball fares as well.

FBS Teams Ranked by Cumulative Adj. Record (2005-10)
Rk Team Real W Real L % Adj. W Adj. L % Diff
1 Ohio State 66 11 85.7% 73 4 94.8% +7
2 Florida 65 15 81.3% 71 9 88.8% +6
3 Oklahoma 62 19 76.5% 70 11 86.4% +8
4 LSU 62 17 78.5% 68 11 86.1% +6
5 USC 63 15 80.8% 67 11 85.9% +4
6 TCU 66 11 85.7% 66 11 85.7% 0
7 Boise State 70 9 88.6% 67 12 84.8% -3
8 Texas 63 15 80.8% 65 13 83.3% +2
9 Oregon 58 19 75.3% 64 13 83.1% +6
10 Virginia Tech 63 18 77.8% 67 14 82.7% +4
11 BYU 56 21 72.7% 63 14 81.8% +7
12 West Virginia 60 17 77.9% 62 15 80.5% +2
13 Texas Tech 54 23 70.1% 61 16 79.2% +7
14 Alabama 59 20 74.7% 62 17 78.5% +3
15 Penn State 58 19 75.3% 60 17 77.9% +2
16 Georgia 54 24 69.2% 60 18 76.9% +6
17 Auburn 55 22 71.4% 58 19 75.3% +3
18 Arkansas 44 32 57.9% 57 19 75.0% +13
19 Iowa 47 29 61.8% 55 21 72.4% +8
20 Boston College 54 25 68.4% 57 22 72.2% +3
21 Utah 57 20 74.0% 54 23 70.1% -3
22 Michigan State 42 33 56.0% 52 23 69.3% +10
23 Clemson 47 31 60.3% 54 24 69.2% +7
24 Oklahoma State 47 29 61.8% 52 24 68.4% +5
25 Missouri 55 24 69.6% 54 25 68.4% -1

Full list after the jump. As we'll see, conference mates Wisconsin have gotten away with laying quite a few eggs over the years, particularly early in the season. By October, the Badgers have typically started to roll.

Rk Team Real W Real L % Adj. W Adj. L % Diff
26 Florida State 48 31 60.8% 54 25 68.4% +6
27 Wisconsin 59 19 75.6% 53 25 67.9% -6
28 Pittsburgh 43 31 58.1% 50 24 67.6% +7
29 South Carolina 44 33 57.1% 52 25 67.5% +8
30 California 47 29 61.8% 51 25 67.1% +4
31 Nebraska 51 28 64.6% 53 26 67.1% +2
32 Hawaii 51 29 63.8% 53 27 66.3% +2
33 Oregon State 46 30 60.5% 50 26 65.8% +4
34 Georgia Tech 49 30 62.0% 51 28 64.6% +2
35 Michigan 42 33 56.0% 48 27 64.0% +6
36 South Florida 48 29 62.3% 49 28 63.6% +1
37 Nevada 51 27 65.4% 49 29 62.8% -2
38 Louisville 43 31 58.1% 46 28 62.2% +3
39 Tennessee 42 34 55.3% 47 29 61.8% +5
40 Notre Dame 43 32 57.3% 46 29 61.3% +3
41 Miami 44 32 57.9% 46 30 60.5% +2
42 Tulsa 54 25 68.4% 47 32 59.5% -7
43 Cincinnati 49 27 64.5% 45 31 59.2% -4
44 Arizona State 39 35 52.7% 43 31 58.1% +4
45 Rutgers 48 28 63.2% 44 32 57.9% -4
46 Houston 47 31 60.3% 45 33 57.7% -2
47 Illinois 28 45 38.4% 42 31 57.5% +14
48 Texas A&M 40 35 53.3% 41 34 54.7% +1
49 Arizona 37 37 50.0% 40 34 54.1% +3
50 Connecticut 42 33 56.0% 40 35 53.3% -2
51 Kansas 41 33 55.4% 39 35 52.7% -2
52 Virginia 33 40 45.2% 37 36 50.7% +4
53 Maryland 39 36 52.0% 38 37 50.7% -1
54 UCLA 38 37 50.7% 38 37 50.7% 0
55 Southern Miss 45 33 57.7% 39 39 50.0% -6
56 Air Force 42 33 56.0% 37 38 49.3% -5
57 Purdue 34 40 45.9% 36 38 48.6% +2
58 Fresno State 43 34 55.8% 37 40 48.1% -6
59 Stanford 35 38 47.9% 35 38 47.9% 0
60 North Carolina 36 38 48.6% 35 39 47.3% -1
61 Troy 45 30 60.0% 35 40 46.7% -10
62 Kansas State 35 38 47.9% 34 39 46.6% -1
63 Navy 52 26 66.7% 36 42 46.2% -16
64 Central Florida 45 33 57.7% 36 42 46.2% -9
65 N.C. State 35 39 47.3% 34 40 45.9% -1
66 Central Michigan 47 31 60.3% 35 43 44.9% -12
67 Northern Illinois 40 37 51.9% 34 43 44.2% -6
68 Minnesota 30 45 40.0% 33 42 44.0% +3
69 Baylor 27 45 37.5% 29 43 40.3% +2
70 Wake Forest 40 35 53.3% 30 45 40.0% -10
71 East Carolina 44 34 56.4% 31 47 39.7% -13
72 Ohio 40 36 52.6% 30 46 39.5% -10
73 Kentucky 39 37 51.3% 30 46 39.5% -9
74 Colorado State 26 47 35.6% 28 45 38.4% +2
75 Northwestern 41 34 54.7% 28 47 37.3% -13
76 Mississippi State 32 41 43.8% 27 46 37.0% -5
77 Ole Miss 32 41 43.8% 27 46 37.0% -5
78 Washington 23 50 31.5% 26 47 35.6% +3
79 SMU 28 46 37.8% 26 48 35.1% -2
80 Western Michigan 40 33 54.8% 25 48 34.2% -15
81 Bowling Green 33 40 45.2% 25 48 34.2% -8
82 Ball State 34 40 45.9% 25 49 33.8% -9
83 UTEP 32 41 43.8% 23 50 31.5% -9
84 Colorado 28 46 37.8% 23 51 31.1% -5
85 Miami (Ohio)
28 46 37.8% 23 51 31.1% -5
86 Arkansas State 31 41 43.1% 22 50 30.6% -9
87 Vanderbilt 25 47 34.7% 22 50 30.6% -3
88 Toledo 35 38 47.9% 22 51 30.1% -13
89 Washington State 20 52 27.8% 21 51 29.2% +1
90 Middle Tennessee 37 37 50.0% 21 53 28.4% -16
91 Marshall 28 44 38.9% 20 52 27.8% -8
92 Louisiana Tech 32 41 43.8% 20 53 27.4% -12
93 San Diego State 28 45 38.4% 20 53 27.4% -8
94 Akron 25 48 34.2% 20 53 27.4% -5
95 Wyoming 29 43 40.3% 19 53 26.4% -10
96 Florida Atlantic 31 42 42.5% 19 54 26.0% -12
97 Iowa State 28 45 38.4% 19 54 26.0% -9
98 New Mexico 27 46 37.0% 19 54 26.0% -8
99 UAB 23 48 32.4% 18 53 25.4% -5
100 Indiana 28 44 38.9% 18 54 25.0% -10
101 Syracuse 22 50 30.6% 18 54 25.0% -4
102 Rice 27 46 37.0% 18 55 24.7% -9
103 Memphis 25 49 33.8% 17 57 23.0% -8
104 Kent State 24 47 33.8% 16 55 22.5% -8
105 Temple 27 45 37.5% 16 56 22.2% -11
106 UL-Monroe 30 41 42.3% 15 56 21.1% -15
107 Army 24 48 33.3% 15 57 20.8% -9
108 UL-Lafayette 30 41 42.3% 13 58 18.3% -17
109 Florida International 21 51 29.2% 13 59 18.1% -8
110 Buffalo 23 50 31.5% 13 60 17.8% -10
111 Tulane 19 52 26.8% 12 59 16.9% -7
112 Duke 14 57 19.7% 12 59 16.9% -2
113 North Texas 13 58 18.3% 12 59 16.9% -1
114 Western Kentucky 11 37 22.9% 8 40 16.7% -3
115 Idaho 22 51 30.1% 12 61 16.4% -10
116 UNLV 18 54 25.0% 11 61 15.3% -7
117 San Jose State 26 47 35.6% 11 62 15.1% -15
118 Utah State 17 54 23.9% 9 62 12.7% -8
119 New Mexico State 17 57 23.0% 9 65 12.2% -8
120 Eastern Michigan 15 56 21.1% 8 63 11.3% -7

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