FanPost

Selecting the FBS Playoff Teams: Stage #2 - Calculating Unadjusted Earned Wins

In the world of major college football, how much is a win worth? The obvious but general answer to this question is that it depends on what team the win was against. If a team beats a team with zero wins, the victory is not worth much; however, if a team beats a team with eleven wins, the victory is substantial since it was something eleven other teams failed to do.

My attempt to answer the question of precisely how much a win is worth led to the invention of a statistic I call Earned Wins. The basic premise of my invention is that a team cannot earn more wins than actual wins, but not every actual win is necessarily earned in comparison with the wins of other teams. In other words, one team may earn all of its wins by playing a difficult schedule, while another team will earn only part of its actual wins if its schedule is weak relative to the first team.

The following hypothetical example will serve to illustrate the rationale behind the statistic, Earned Wins, and the derivation of its rudimentary formula.

In an ideal league with a 12-game schedule, there would be 13 teams and every team would play each other exactly once. There would be no upsets, so the best team would win all of its games, the second best team would finish 11-1, the third-place team would go 10-2, and this pattern would continue and finally end with the worst team going 0-12. If a team gets 11 win points for beating an 11-win team and 10 win points for beating a 10-win team and so forth; and if a team gets 11 loss points for losing to an 11-loss team, 10 loss points for losing to a 10-loss team and so forth, then the table below summarizes the results.

Team

Wins

Losses

Win Points

Loss Points

Difference

#1

12

0

66

0

66

#2

11

1

55

0

55

#3

10

2

45

1

44

#4

9

3

36

3

33

#5

8

4

28

6

22

#6

7

5

21

10

11

#7

6

6

15

15

0

#8

5

7

10

21

-11

#9

4

8

6

28

-22

#10

3

9

3

36

-33

#11

2

10

1

45

-44

#12

1

11

0

55

-55

#13

0

12

0

66

-66

For every team in the table above, Actual Wins = Difference/11 + 6. This is the basic formula for earned wins for a 12-game season.

Unadjusted Earned Wins = (Win Points - Loss Points)/11 + 6

So, anyone with a 4-function calculator can calculate the unadjusted earned wins of any team.

I will use my favorite team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, as an example.

2013 Big Ten

Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4)

OPPONENT

Decision

OPP Wins

OPP Losses

Win Points

Loss Points

Wyoming

Win

5

7

5

Southern Miss

Win

1

11

1

UCLA

Loss

9

3

3

South Dakota St.

Win

9

5

9

Illinois

Win

4

8

4

Purdue

Win

1

11

1

Minnesota

Loss

8

4

4

Northwestern

Win

5

7

5

Michigan

Win

7

5

7

Michigan State

Loss

12

1

1

Penn State

Win

7

5

7

Iowa

Loss

8

4

4

Total

39

12

Nebraska's Unadjusted Earned Wins = (39-12)/11 + 6 = 8.455

As you can see from their schedule, the Huskers are getting a lot of credit for beating a 9-win FCS school. If we only count rated wins, the calculation is much different as seen in the table below.

2013 Big Ten

Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-4)

OPPONENT

Decision

OPP RW

OPP Losses

Win Points

Loss Points

Wyoming

Win

4

7

4

Southern Miss

Win

0

11

0

UCLA

Loss

9

3

3

South Dakota St.

Win

0

5

0

Illinois

Win

2

8

2

Purdue

Win

0

11

0

Minnesota

Loss

7

4

4

Northwestern

Win

3

7

3

Michigan

Win

7

5

7

Michigan State

Loss

10

1

1

Penn State

Win

7

5

7

Iowa

Loss

6

4

4

Total

23

12

Nebraska's Unadjusted Rated Earned Wins = (23-12)/11 + 6 = 7.000

The table below gives the Unadjusted Rated Earned Wins for all 120 rated teams.

TEAM

W

L

RW

WP

LP

UEW

Air Force (CO)

2

10

1

2

57

1.000

Akron (OH)

5

7

2

7

21

4.727

Alabama

11

1

9

43

1

9.818

Arizona

7

5

6

27

20

6.636

Arizona St.

10

3

9

55

8

10.273

Arkansas

3

9

1

6

36

3.273

Arkansas St.

7

5

5

16

20

5.636

Army (NY)

3

9

2

1

56

1.000

Auburn (AL)

12

1

11

62

3

11.364

Ball St. (IN)

10

2

7

14

5

6.818

Baylor (TX)

11

1

10

48

2

10.182

Boise St. (ID)

8

4

6

24

14

6.909

Boston College (MA)

7

5

6

21

18

6.273

Bowling Green (OH)

10

3

7

24

18

6.545

Brigham Young (UT)

8

4

7

40

24

7.455

Buffalo (NY)

8

4

4

8

10

5.818

California

1

11

0

0

48

1.636

Central Florida

11

1

10

43

2

9.727

Central Michigan

6

6

2

4

27

3.909

Cincinnati (OH)

9

3

7

23

19

6.364

Clemson (SC)

10

2

8

35

2

9.000

Colorado

4

8

2

6

34

3.455

Colorado St.

7

6

6

13

33

4.182

Connecticut

3

9

3

9

38

3.364

Duke (NC)

10

3

9

39

11

8.545

East Carolina (NC)

9

3

6

19

13

6.545

Eastern Michigan

2

10

0

0

46

1.818

Florida

4

8

4

11

22

5.000

Florida Atlantic

6

6

3

9

18

5.182

Florida St.

13

0

12

61

0

11.545

Fresno St. (CA)

11

1

10

43

6

9.364

Georgia

8

4

7

36

9

8.455

Georgia Tech

7

5

5

27

17

6.909

Hawaii

1

11

1

2

57

1.000

Houston (TX)

8

4

7

30

9

7.909

Idaho

1

11

1

2

49

1.727

Illinois

4

8

2

7

32

3.727

Indiana

5

7

4

16

20

5.636

Iowa

8

4

6

26

6

7.818

Iowa St.

3

9

3

7

36

3.364

Kansas

3

9

2

3

39

2.727

Kansas St.

7

5

6

22

9

7.182

Kent St. (OH)

4

8

1

4

31

3.545

Kentucky

2

10

0

0

39

2.455

Louisiana St.

9

3

7

32

10

8.000

Louisiana Tech

4

8

1

1

53

1.273

Louisiana-Lafayette

8

4

6

20

26

5.455

Louisiana-Monroe

6

6

4

15

23

5.273

Louisville (KY)

11

1

9

32

1

8.818

Marshall (WV)

9

4

4

18

16

6.182

Maryland

7

5

6

16

21

5.545

Memphis (TN)

3

9

2

7

42

2.818

Miami (FL)

9

3

8

30

7

8.091

Michigan

7

5

7

29

15

7.273

Michigan St.

12

1

10

48

4

10.000

Middle Tennessee St.

8

4

4

10

17

5.364

Minnesota

8

4

7

32

13

7.727

Mississippi

7

5

6

25

14

7.000

Mississippi St.

6

6

5

17

13

6.364

Missouri

11

2

10

48

3

10.091

Navy (MD)

8

4

7

24

16

6.727

Nebraska

8

4

6

23

12

7.000

Nevada

4

8

3

7

28

4.091

Nevada-Las Vegas

7

5

6

17

21

5.636

New Mexico

3

9

3

3

44

2.273

New Mexico St.

2

10

1

1

53

1.273

North Carolina

6

6

6

20

20

6.000

North Carolina St.

3

9

2

3

38

2.818

North Dakota State

13

0

1

6

0

6.545

North Texas

8

4

7

26

19

6.636

Northern Illinois

12

1

9

24

3

7.909

Northwestern (IL)

5

7

3

7

22

4.636

Notre Dame (IN)

8

4

8

45

15

8.727

Ohio

7

5

4

13

22

5.182

Ohio St.

12

1

11

47

1

10.182

Oklahoma

10

2

10

46

5

9.727

Oklahoma St.

10

2

9

49

10

9.545

Old Dominion (VA)

8

4

1

1

20

4.273

Oregon

10

2

9

38

7

8.818

Oregon St.

6

6

6

19

17

6.182

Penn St.

7

5

7

22

17

6.455

Pittsburgh (PA)

6

6

6

27

22

6.455

Purdue (IN)

1

11

0

0

41

2.273

Rice (TX)

10

3

9

27

12

7.364

Rutgers (NJ)

6

6

5

9

19

5.091

San Diego St. (CA)

7

5

7

20

15

6.455

San Jose St. (CA)

6

6

5

27

28

5.909

South Alabama

6

6

5

23

33

5.091

South Carolina

10

2

9

49

11

9.455

South Florida

2

10

2

10

41

3.182

Southern California

9

4

9

43

16

8.455

Southern Methodist (TX)

5

7

4

9

31

4.000

Stanford (CA)

11

2

11

69

11

11.273

Syracuse (NY)

6

6

5

23

25

5.818

Temple (PA)

2

10

2

4

48

2.000

Tennessee

5

7

4

20

22

5.818

Texas

8

4

8

33

12

7.909

Texas A&M

8

4

7

31

7

8.182

Texas Christian

4

8

3

9

30

4.091

Texas St.

6

6

3

10

30

4.182

Texas Tech

7

5

6

17

14

6.273

Texas-El Paso

2

10

1

1

57

0.909

Texas-San Antonio

7

5

6

21

18

6.273

Toledo (OH)

7

5

5

20

20

6.000

Troy (AL)

6

6

3

14

29

4.636

Tulane (LA)

7

5

6

22

26

5.636

Tulsa (OK)

3

9

3

8

38

3.273

UCLA

9

3

9

38

7

8.818

Utah

5

7

4

27

29

5.818

Utah St.

8

5

7

26

20

6.545

Vanderbilt (TN)

8

4

5

18

13

6.455

Virginia

2

10

1

7

38

3.182

Virginia Tech

8

4

7

36

14

8.000

Wake Forest (NC)

4

8

3

10

29

4.273

Washington

8

4

7

27

10

7.545

Washington St.

6

6

5

20

18

6.182

West Virginia

4

8

2

12

40

3.455

Western Kentucky

8

4

6

21

23

5.818

Wisconsin

9

3

7

29

9

7.818

Wyoming

5

7

4

6

32

3.636

As can be seen in the table above, some teams have more Earned Wins than actual wins. This will be corrected in the next stage.

Stage #2 is complete. Up next is Stage #3: Calculating Adjusted Earned Wiins.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Football Study Hall

You must be a member of Football Study Hall to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Football Study Hall. You should read them.

Join Football Study Hall

You must be a member of Football Study Hall to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Football Study Hall. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker