SSOS Power Poll

Rather than do a normal poll this week, I decided to do a power poll based on the figures I used for my Statistical Strength of Schedule study from yesterday. I took the four basic measures of a team – total and scoring offense and defense – and averaged that with the SSOS score. It evenly balances what you do with who your foes are. Since it goes by relative rank versus the other I-A teams, the scoring is like golf where the lower the score, the better. This is how the top 25 ended up:

  1. LSU, 37.85 points
  2. Oklahoma, 37.88
  3. Rutgers, 42.90
  4. Florida, 44.75
  5. West Virginia, 44.98
  6. Kansas, 45.13
  7. Auburn, 45.21
  8. BYU, 45.38
  9. Boise State, 45.93
  10. Kansas State, 46.90
  11. Arizona State, 47.19
  12. Texas, 47.29
  13. Oregon, 47.48
  14. Cincinnati, 47.56
  15. Ohio State, 49.08
  16. Kentucky, 49.19
  17. USC, 49.68
  18. Penn State, 49.75
  19. New Mexico, 49.96
  20. Colorado, 50.44
  21. Alabama, 50.69
  22. Arkansas, 50.70
  23. Boston College, 51.02
  24. Oregon State, 51.73
  25. Georgia Tech, 52.19

Notables: South Carolina (26), USF (28), Cal (30), Missouri (34), UConn (40), Hawaii (47)

The full, color-coded listing for all 119 teams is here: power-poll.pdf

What we see here is that stats alone don’t predict success on the football field. I think everyone probably knew that, although who knows what will happen as the season rolls along. I may have just picked a very fluky year to be doing this kind of work.

If you think that either the team’s performance or the schedule should count for more, then click the read more link and find out what happens when one is weighted over the other.

When SSOS is weighted double versus own performance:

  1. Auburn
  2. LSU
  3. Oklahoma
  4. BYU
  5. Texas
  6. Kansas State
  7. Florida
  8. Rutgers
  9. Oregon
  10. Colorado
  11. Oregon State
  12. Alabama
  13. Kentucky
  14. Tennessee
  15. Boise State
  16. Nebraska
  17. Washington
  18. New Mexico
  19. Notre Dame
  20. Arizona State
  21. South Carolina
  22. Illinois
  23. West Virginia
  24. Georgia Tech
  25. Cincinnati

Notables: USF (27), Cal (29), Ohio State (31), Kansas (33), BC (34), USC (36), Missouri (52), UConn (82), Hawaii (101)

I find it fascinating that when you place the emphasis on schedule, most of the unbeaten teams fall away. Then again, we saw yesterday that the undefeated teams by and large have played weaker schedules than the nation as a whole.

When own performance is weighted double versus SSOS:

  1. Oklahoma
  2. LSU
  3. Kansas
  4. West Virginia
  5. Rutgers
  6. Boise State
  7. Cincinnati
  8. Florida
  9. Arizona State
  10. Ohio State
  11. USC
  12. Penn State
  13. Texas Tech
  14. BC
  15. BYU
  16. Kansas State
  17. Oregon
  18. Arkansas
  19. Kentucky
  20. Auburn
  21. Texas
  22. New Mexico
  23. UConn
  24. Hawaii
  25. Indiana

Notables: Missouri (27), USF (30), Cal (36)

As we can see here, when you weight it more on own performance, the soft schedulers start to come out of the woodwork. Their feasting on cupcakes has dramatically enhanced their rankings to way over what they should be (I’m looking at you, Kansas and Rutgers). That effect can still be felt halfway through, when 2/3 of a team’s games can consist of weak nonconference foes (ahem, Kansas again).

While all of these rankings are a little ragged now, they should sort themselves out as more games are played. Everyone regresses to their natural mean and the cream rises to the top. For the most part.

Note: If for some reason anyone has an interest in seeing the rest of these last two polls (I have no idea why you would), leave a comment or send an email and I’ll post them.

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