New SSOS

We have a change in the leader of the conference standings in this week’s Statistical Strength of Schedule rankings, and you can probably figure how who is #1 based on which conference had the biggest games this past weekend.

As in previous weeks, I calculate the aggregate total offense, scoring offense, total defense, and scoring defense for the opponents of each team, then average those four figures together to make the SSOS. The top 25 this week:

  1. Notre Dame (NC)
  2. Washington (NC)
  3. Auburn (+2)
  4. Stanford (-1)
  5. Colorado (+6)
  6. Ole Miss (+8)
  7. Washington State (+6)
  8. Nebraska (+4)
  9. FIU (-5)
  10. Tennessee (-4)
  11. Oregon State (-1)
  12. East Carolina (-4)
  13. Kentucky (+16)
  14. Utah State (-5)
  15. Duke (+2)
  16. Syracuse (-9)
  17. UNLV (-2)
  18. LSU (-3)
  19. Kansas State (+4)
  20. Marshall (+4)
  21. USF (+35)
  22. Cal (+14)
  23. Iowa State (+23)
  24. Oklahoma State (+21)
  25. Maryland (+8)

You can find the full list here: 10-20-07.pdf

Average SSOS By Losses

This week we don’t have as smooth of a curve, but the gap between the undefeated teams and the one loss teams actually widened thanks to USF, the only previously unbeaten team with a decent schedule, falling to the ranks of the once-beaten teams.

This time, we see the 5 loss teams and 6 loss teams being the trend-buckers, rather than the 2-loss teams, and I would guess that it’s because there’s a higher percentage of BCS schools in the 6-loss groups and the 5-loss group. Beyond that, you can look at the numbers yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Biggest Movers

This week’s top gainers:

  1. Michigan State (+38), played Ohio State last week
  2. USF (+35), Rutgers
  3. North Texas (+33), Troy
  4. Louisiana Tech (+31), Boise State
  5. Louisville (+27), Cincinnati
  6. Iowa State (+23), Oklahoma
  7. Mississippi State (+23), West Virginia
  8. Baylor (+23), Texas
  9. Oklahoma State (+21), Kansas State
  10. Missouri (+21), Texas Tech

As you can see here, playing highly ranked teams does wonders for your SOS. If you’re not playing a top-ranked team, then at least play one with an explosive offense, like Texas Tech, or one that is the class of a non-BCS league and therefore racking up good stats, like Boise State.

This week’s biggest losers:

  1. BYU (-44), Eastern Washington
  2. Wisconsin (-40), Northern Illinois
  3. Nevada (-34), Utah State
  4. Northwestern (-33), Eastern Michigan
  5. Buffalo (-33), Syracuse
  6. FAU (-31), UL-Lafayette
  7. SMU (-29), Tulane
  8. UL-Monroe (-27), FIU
  9. Oklahoma (-26), Iowa State
  10. Minnesota (-26), North Dakota State

As you can see, you can lose a lot of ground fast in just one week. In some cases, it’s an unavoidable game against a sorry in-conference team (Oklahoma, the Sun Belt teams). Or, you can schedule up from your position, like Buffalo, who plummeted after playing a Big East team (Syracuse). Or, you can schedule out of conference cupcakes, like Wisconsin and Northwestern. Or, you can schedule a I-AA team, like BYU and Minnesota, though you should probably make sure you win when you do play these kinds of games.

SSOS by Conference

Total Average SSOS for all 119 Teams: 65.19

Best Schedule: Auburn, 3rd overall, score of 43.09

Worst Schedule: Vanderbilt, 91st, 70.75

Average SOS Rank: 39.00

Average SOS Score: 59.09

Best Schedule: Washington, 2nd overall, score of 36.50

Worst Schedule: USC, 117th, 83.21

Average SOS Rank: 40.60

Average SOS Score: 59.23

Best Schedule: Colorado, 5th overall, score of 46.16

Worst Schedule: Kansas, 115th, 82.39

Average SOS Rank: 48.92

Average SOS Score: 62.67

Best Schedule: Duke, 15th overall, score of 54.39

Worst Schedule: Boston College, 109th, 78.93

Average SOS Rank: 57.67

Average SOS Score: 65.15

Best Schedule: Illinois, 33rd overall, score of 60.59

Worst Schedule: Ohio State, 96th, 72.16

Average SOS Rank: 64.55

Average SOS Score: 66.37

Best Schedule: Syracuse, 16th overall, score of 54.88

Worst Schedule: UConn, 111th, 79.11

Average SOS Rank: 68.25

Average SOS Score: 67.49

The SEC has overtaken the Pac 10 for the toughest schedule crown by ever the slightest margin. The Big Ten is seriously slipping, though, and is in danger of being passed by the Big East if those teams don’t get their acts together. It is the only conference where it doesn’t have a team in the top quintile in SSOS. It is, however,one of two conferences (along with the SEC) that doesn’t have a team in the bottom quintile either thanks to Ohio State pulling itself up to the final spot in the 4th quintile.

Overall, no real bombshells. The Pac 10 and SEC are still even in scheduling and no other conference is close. The Big East and Big Ten are the worst two, and the Big 12 and ACC are somewhere in the middle. Notre Dame widened its lead on the top spot, and Hawaii widened its lead on the bottom spot.

That is all.

 

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