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Compu-Picks Analysis, Post Week Thirteen: League Ratings


source: http://cfn.scout.com/2/1244032.html


As noted in the primary Compu-Picks article for this week, the system has rated each 1-A league as follows:

League Rating OOC Schedule Rating Home/Away/Neutral Splits OOC vs Top 5 OOC vs 6-15 OOC vs 16-35 OOC vs 36-62 OOC vs 63-89 OOC vs 90-109 OOC vs 110-119 OOC vs Bottom 5
SEC 0.37 -0.08 28 / 10 / 3 0 - 0 2 - 1 2 - 1 8 - 5 8 - 1 6 - 0 3 - 0 4 - 0
Big 12 0.34 -0.10 13 / 8 / 0 0 - 0 0 - 1 1 - 1 3 - 1 5 - 1 8 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0
Pac-12 0.25 0.11 15 / 11 / 1 0 - 0 1 - 3 6 - 4 4 - 1 2 - 1 1 - 1 3 - 0 0 - 0
Indep 0.10 -0.06 21 / 18 / 0 0 - 0 2 - 1 3 - 3 4 - 6 6 - 2 6 - 2 1 - 1 2 - 0
Big Ten 0.06 -0.13 27 / 12 / 1 0 - 1 0 - 4 3 - 2 5 - 2 3 - 3 7 - 2 5 - 0 3 - 0
Big East -0.01 -0.13 13 / 17 / 0 0 - 0 0 - 2 0 - 1 2 - 5 5 - 4 4 - 1 4 - 0 2 - 0
ACC -0.02 0.05 19 / 14 / 2 0 - 2 0 - 6 0 - 3 1 - 8 7 - 1 3 - 0 2 - 1 1 - 0
Sun Belt -0.09 0.05 8 / 22 / 0 0 - 5 0 - 3 0 - 4 1 - 3 2 - 3 3 - 1 3 - 0 2 - 0
WAC -0.15 -0.09 10 / 16 / 0 0 - 1 0 - 2 1 - 4 2 - 1 2 - 3 4 - 3 3 - 0 0 - 0
Mountain West -0.18 -0.04 12 / 19 / 1 0 - 1 0 - 0 1 - 10 0 - 4 1 - 5 2 - 0 4 - 1 3 - 0
MAC -0.26 -0.07 12 / 25 / 0 0 - 1 0 - 2 0 - 3 3 - 6 5 - 6 2 - 2 4 - 1 2 - 0
C-USA -0.33 0.06 21 / 21 / 0 0 - 1 0 - 3 1 - 11 0 - 12 1 - 7 3 - 1 0 - 0 2 - 0
League Rating Bowl Record OOC vs AQ's OOC vs Non-AQ's OOC vs Big 12 / SEC OOC vs Pac-12 OOC vs ACC / Big East / Big Ten OOC vs Sun Belt / MWC / WAC OOC vs CUSA / MAC
SEC 0.37 0 - 0 8 - 6 25 - 2 0 - 1 2 - 0 6 - 5 13 - 2 12 - 0
Big 12 0.34 0 - 0 5 - 2 12 - 2 1 - 0 0 - 1 4 - 0 7 - 0 5 - 2
Pac-12 0.25 0 - 0 6 - 5 11 - 5 1 - 2 0 - 0 5 - 1 6 - 4 3 - 0
Indep 0.10 0 - 0 14 - 6 10 - 9 1 - 0 3 - 2 10 - 4 8 - 5 2 - 4
Big Ten 0.06 0 - 0 6 - 9 20 - 5 1 - 2 1 - 3 4 - 1 5 - 1 14 - 3
Big East -0.01 0 - 0 7 - 9 10 - 4 3 - 0 0 - 1 4 - 7 2 - 0 6 - 4
ACC -0.02 0 - 0 6 - 17 8 - 4 1 - 8 0 - 1 5 - 5 3 - 2 4 - 0
Sun Belt -0.09 0 - 0 3 - 16 8 - 3 2 - 12 0 - 1 1 - 3 0 - 0 7 - 2
WAC -0.15 0 - 0 3 - 6 9 - 8 0 - 3 1 - 1 2 - 2 5 - 2 2 - 3
Mountain West -0.18 0 - 0 3 - 11 8 - 10 0 - 3 3 - 4 0 - 4 4 - 5 2 - 2
MAC -0.26 0 - 0 8 - 17 8 - 4 1 - 4 0 - 1 7 - 12 3 - 2 1 - 1
C-USA -0.33 0 - 0 1 - 23 6 - 12 1 - 12 0 - 2 0 - 9 5 - 10 1 - 1
Additional analysis after the jump

While I do think that table provides a lot of useful data, it doesn't tell the whole story (among other things, it entirely ignores margin). So I thought that this week I'd take some time to show a bit more detail behind what Compu-Picks is seeing. Let's start with the top 30 OOC performances. This is more than just simple W/L and opponent strength; it also takes into account actual scores, home-field advantage etc.

In fact, this list even has a loss on it (a very close loss to a very good team, of course). This is, I think, telling. At least until bowl season has happened, there aren't a full 30 OOC wins that rate better than Louisiana Tech's very close defeat to Texas A&M. And while it's true that this was a pretty solid performance, I think the fact that it made the top 30 list is really more telling about the quality of non-conference schedules these days than anything else. Quite simply, there weren't enough good non-conference games for teams to rack up really strong non-conference performances, and that's true even though Notre Dame and BYU are Independents.

Rank Team Conference Opp Name Loc Score
1 Notre Dame Indep Oklahoma AWAY 30 - 13
2 Texas Big 12 Mississippi AWAY 66 - 31
3 Louisiana State SEC Washington HOME 41 - 3
4 Alabama SEC Western Kentucky HOME 35 - 0
5 Alabama SEC Michigan NEUTRAL 41 - 14
6 Florida SEC Florida State AWAY 37 - 26
7 Notre Dame Indep Southern California AWAY 22 - 13
8 Arizona Pac-12 Oklahoma State HOME 59 - 38
9 Oregon State Pac-12 Brigham Young AWAY 42 - 24
10 Texas A&M SEC Southern Methodist AWAY 48 - 3
11 Oregon Pac-12 Fresno State HOME 42 - 25
12 Notre Dame Indep Miami (Florida) HOME 41 - 3
13 Mississippi State SEC Middle Tennessee State HOME 45 - 3
14 South Carolina SEC Clemson AWAY 27 - 17
15 Brigham Young Indep Georgia Tech AWAY 41 - 17
16 Notre Dame Indep Michigan State AWAY 20 - 3
17 Oklahoma State Big 12 Louisiana-Lafayette HOME 65 - 24
18 Kansas State Big 12 Miami (Florida) HOME 52 - 13
19 Oregon Pac-12 Arkansas State HOME 57 - 34
20 Nebraska Big Ten Arkansas State HOME 42 - 13
21 Georgia SEC Georgia Tech HOME 42 - 10
22 Kentucky SEC Kent HOME 47 - 14
23 Notre Dame Indep Stanford HOME 20 - 13 (OT)
24 Alabama SEC Florida Atlantic HOME 40 - 7
25 Texas Big 12 New Mexico HOME 45 - 0
26 San Jose State WAC Navy AWAY 12 - 0
27 Ohio MAC Penn State AWAY 24 - 14
28 Kent MAC Rutgers AWAY 35 - 23
29 Louisiana Tech WAC Texas A&M HOME 57 - 59
30 Notre Dame Indep Wake Forest HOME 38 - 0

Another interesting way to look at league strength (since for this calculation every team counts equally) is to focus not on the best performances, but on the worst. This year, there have so far been 204 non-conference games by AQ teams against 1-A opponents. Below is the 30 worst-rated of these (and in the reverse of the top 30 performances list, this actually has a couple of really close wins against really bad teams):

175 Illinois Big Ten Arizona State AWAY 14 - 45
176 Minnesota Big Ten Nevada-Las Vegas AWAY 30 - 27 (OT)
177 Virginia ACC Texas Christian AWAY 7 - 27
178 Penn State Big Ten Virginia AWAY 16 - 17
179 Minnesota Big Ten Western Michigan HOME 28 - 23
180 Washington State Pac-12 Brigham Young AWAY 6 - 30
181 Louisville Big East Southern Mississippi AWAY 21 - 17
182 Connecticut Big East North Carolina State HOME 7 - 10
183 Wake Forest ACC Notre Dame AWAY 0 - 38
184 Rutgers Big East Kent HOME 23 - 35
185 North Carolina State ACC Tennessee NEUTRAL 21 - 35
186 Syracuse Big East Minnesota AWAY 10 - 17
187 Mississippi SEC Texas HOME 31 - 66
188 California Pac-12 Nevada HOME 24 - 31
189 Kansas Big 12 Rice HOME 24 - 25
190 Kentucky SEC Louisville AWAY 14 - 32
191 Virginia Tech ACC Pittsburgh AWAY 17 - 35
192 Colorado Pac-12 Fresno State AWAY 14 - 69
193 Maryland ACC Connecticut HOME 21 - 24
194 Georgia Tech ACC Middle Tennessee State HOME 28 - 49
195 Georgia Tech ACC Brigham Young HOME 17 - 41
196 Boston College ACC Army AWAY 31 - 34
197 Iowa Big Ten Central Michigan HOME 31 - 32
198 Connecticut Big East Western Michigan AWAY 24 - 30
199 Wake Forest ACC Vanderbilt HOME 21 - 55
200 Colorado Pac-12 Colorado State NEUTRAL 17 - 22
201 Temple Big East Maryland HOME 27 - 36
202 Illinois Big Ten Louisiana Tech HOME 24 - 52
203 South Florida Big East Miami (Florida) AWAY 9 - 40
204 Penn State Big Ten Ohio HOME 14 - 24

And finally, in an effort to focus a bit on some of the non-AQ leagues (and answer the somewhat obvious question of why CUSA rates as the worst league even though the numbers don't look THAT much worse than a couple other leagues), I'm listing the top 30 OOC performances by non-AQ teams. And since CUSA has only one game among that list, and #25 at that, I think it becomes fairly clear why CUSA rates lower. At the lower end, they don't have all that much more dragging them down compared to other non-AQ leagues, but they also really don't have the sort of OOC showings that help push a league up in the ratings either.

1 Brigham Young Indep Georgia Tech AWAY 41 - 17
2 San Jose State WAC Navy AWAY 12 - 0
3 Ohio MAC Penn State AWAY 24 - 14
4 Kent MAC Rutgers AWAY 35 - 23
5 Louisiana Tech WAC Texas A&M HOME 57 - 59
6 Middle Tennessee State Sun Belt Georgia Tech AWAY 49 - 28
7 San Jose State WAC Brigham Young HOME 20 - 14
8 Louisiana-Monroe Sun Belt Tulane AWAY 63 - 10
9 Navy Indep East Carolina AWAY 56 - 28
10 Brigham Young Indep Utah State HOME 6 - 3
11 Toledo MAC Cincinnati HOME 29 - 23
12 San Jose State WAC Stanford AWAY 17 - 20
13 San Jose State WAC San Diego State AWAY 38 - 34
14 Brigham Young Indep Washington State HOME 30 - 6
15 Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt Florida AWAY 20 - 27
16 Fresno State Mountain West Colorado HOME 69 - 14
17 Brigham Young Indep Hawaii HOME 47 - 0
18 Brigham Young Indep New Mexico State AWAY 50 - 14
19 Toledo MAC Arizona AWAY 17 - 24 (OT)
20 Nevada Mountain West California AWAY 31 - 24
21 Brigham Young Indep Idaho HOME 52 - 13
22 Brigham Young Indep Boise State AWAY 6 - 7
23 Boise State Mountain West Brigham Young HOME 7 - 6
24 San Diego State Mountain West Army HOME 42 - 7
25 Tulsa C-USA Fresno State HOME 27 - 26
26 Louisiana Tech WAC Illinois AWAY 52 - 24
27 Fresno State Mountain West Oregon AWAY 25 - 42
28 Bowling Green State MAC Florida AWAY 14 - 27
29 Louisiana Tech WAC Rice HOME 56 - 37
30 Utah State WAC Wisconsin AWAY 14 - 16

Technical notes about the lists:

1) Conference ratings are straight averages of all of the teams in the league. There is no "central averaging" (like Sagarin does), or over-weighting the top teams, or anything like that. Such approaches would yield different numbers, and could potentially change the order of some of the leagues.

2) Games against AA teams are not counted. There are many good arguments both for and against counting such games (see this link for an interesting analysis of the issue). I have elected not to count these results in the Compu-Picks model. As is the case almost every year, this means that one or two especially surprising AA upsets don't make it into the numbers, skewing the results to a fair degree for a couple of teams. I believe that this is a more than acceptable tradeoff given the substantial issues that counting AA games would create, but you are certainly welcome to disagree with my decision on this matter.

3) As mentioned here, the purpose of this system is to make picks, not to create a list used for rankings. As such, I evaluate the system solely on the basis of how good a job it does making picks. I do not evaluate the system on the basis of whether or not it agreed with AP polls, BCS rankings, the BCS computers, or any other such list out there. In fact, the system has a long and established history of being substantially different than those sources. I am fine with these differences. To be honest, I publish these lists because I find them interesting and thought-provoking, and because I believe it is a good thing to introduce an approach that doesn't simply regurgitate the same avenues of thinking as you can find in most places.

4) The system is noisy, especially earlier in the year. This is why I start with only the top and bottom few, and slowly expand the list. While I believe that the numbers are reasonable, I certainly accept that they're not perfect. If you believe that a specific team is over- or under-ranked, you may well be right. I bring this up because if you're going to criticize the system for being wrong about a team, I'd appreciate it if you explain why you think the system is substantially wrong, rather than just marginally so (if it's just one or two slots off, especially well before the end of the year, I'd consider that well within a reasonable error range).

There are a few important notes and caveats I need to make about this model:

1) Compu-Picks does not endorse implicitly or explicitly any form of illegal gambling. Compu-Picks is intended to be used for entertainment purposes only.

2) No guarantee or warranty is offered or implied by Compu-Picks for any information provided and/or predictions made.

2012 Compu-Picks Blog

Questions, comments or suggestions? Email me at cfn_ms@hotmail.com

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