SSOS For the Week

Still busy around these parts, and will continue to be as the semester goes on.

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The degree to which teams have backloaded their schedules is becoming apparent. Specifically, Ohio State is climbing, though I doubt the Buckeyes will reach the heights of where LSU and Oregon are right now by year’s end. LSU has some weak teams coming up, so this could be its last week in the top quintile. Anyway, read on for full details and a new chart. The top 25:

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

Full list:  11-03-07.pdf

SSOS by Losses

There appears to be a slight roller coaster  shape here, with a falling trend down to the 3 loss teams, rising up to the 5 loss teams, and then falling back down the rest of the way.

This result appears to be because there are a lot of 5-loss MAC teams at the moment, with Miami (OH), Toledo, Ball State, and Ohio all having 5 losses and bottom quintile schedules. You can also throw C-USA’s Memphis and the Sun Belt’s MTSU in there too.

The 3 loss teams are lower than they “should be” based on the shape, but that appears to be due to the amount of SEC teams with three losses. Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, and Florida all have 3 losses and top-30 schedules. You can also throw USF, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Cal in there too. The only significant drag on this bracket is Texas Tech with its 113th ranked schedule.

As for the undefeated teams? Well, there’s only 3 left, and only one is making progress. Ohio State has crawled up to the third quintile, but Kansas and Hawaii have the 116th and 119th-ranked schedules. The disparity here is noticeable in the above chart, but I don’t think it really drives home the point. That’s why I have a new chart:

Average SSOS Rank versus Losses

This time, we do the average SSOS rank for each loss category, rather than the average SSOS for the category. So, for the zero loss teams, you average together 70 (Ohio State), 116 (Kansas), and 119 (Hawaii) and get 101.67 for the average rank.

The roller coaster shape is even more dramatic here, and the gigantic scheduling gap between the undefeated teams and the rest is huge. It also appears that for teams with 5 or more losses, a very defined relationship exists tying SSOS rank and losses, but 0-4 losses is still pretty uneven.

Biggest Movers

The week’s top gainers:

  1. Wisconsin (+39), played Ohio State last week
  2. San Jose State (+31) Boise State
  3. New Mexico (+24) TCU
  4. Texas A&M (+22) Oklahoma
  5. Vanderbilt (+22) Florida
  6. Purdue (+21) Penn State
  7. Cincinnati (+20) USF
  8. UConn (+20) Rutgers
  9. SMU (+19) Houston
  10. Troy (+18) Georgia

Here we see a pretty standard situation of teams getting boosted by playing the top teams in their conferences. There are also some repeat booster teams, meaning that some of the opponents on the biggest movers list have also appeared as opponents on last week’s list, and they are Ohio State, Boise State, Florida, and Houston. This makes sense because Ohio State’s defense is the best statistically, Boise State is the one of the two best statistical teams in the otherwise weak WAC, and Florida and Houston have gaudy offensive stats.

The week’s top fallers:

  1. Kansas State (-39) played Iowa State last week
  2. Pittsburgh (-39) Syracuse
  3. Arkansas State (-31) FIU
  4. Miami (FL) (-27) NC State
  5. Air Force (-25) Army
  6. Fresno State (-23) Utah State
  7. Miami (OH) (-22) Buffalo
  8. UTEP (-22) Rice
  9. Maryland (-18) UNC
  10. UCF (-18) Marshall

The Wannstache avoids the top spot through the wonders of alphabetization, and we’ve also snared a pair of Miamis. There are three repeating schedule dead weights from last week: FIU, Marshall, and Iowa State. Sometimes, you just can’t avoid the dregs since they are already in your conference.

SSOS by Conference

Total Average SSOS for all 119 Teams: 64.23

Best Schedule: LSU, 14th overall, score of 54.11

Worst Schedule: Arkansas, 101st, 72.50

Average SOS Rank: 35.83

Average SOS Score: 59.10

Best Schedule: Washington, 4th overall, score of 47.53

Worst Schedule: USC, 100th, 72.22

Average SOS Rank: 37.30

Average SOS Score: 58.57

Best Schedule: Colorado, 2nd overall, score of 42.90

Worst Schedule: Kansas, 116th, 79.00

Average SOS Rank: 48.17

Average SOS Score: 60.56

Best Schedule: Penn State, 31st overall, score of 49.45

Worst Schedule: Ohio State, 70th, 66.33

Average SOS Rank: 49.45

Average SOS Score: 62.77

Best Schedule: USF, 9th overall, score of 51.81

Worst Schedule: UConn, 89th, 62.92

Average SOS Rank: 54.63

Average SOS Score: 62.95

Best Schedule: Duke, 6th overall, score of 56.08

Worst Schedule: Clemson, 105th, 73.58

Average SOS Rank: 56.08

Average SOS Score: 63.46

The ACC has fallen from 4th to last, and the SEC and Pac 10 are still splitting the lead in the same way as last week. The Big Ten pulled off quite the feat, having every team either in the second or third quintile, meaning no team is straining itself, but none is taking it completely easy either.

You can also look at the numbers and see that three tiers have emerged: the SEC and Pac 10 at the top, the Big 12 and Big Ten in the middle, and the Big East and ACC at the bottom. Based on what we’ve seen on the field, that’s about right.

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