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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Week 15 Rankings

Complete Week 14 Ratings Table Here

According to the Matrix, the national championship game already took place, in San Antonio, on Saturday, and Oklahoma won.

I mentioned yesterday how Stoops was trying to manipulate the national championship game with his vote. Well, this is how that kind of manipulation occurs statistically. It is a bootstrap technique. Missouri's rating is dependent on OU's rating because both of Missouri's losses came at the hands of the Sooners. Oklahoma's rating, likewise, depends on Missouri's, because Oklahoma's two biggest wins came against Missouri. When Missouri loses to Oklahoma, Oklahoma's stock is boosted, which lessens the penalty levied on Missouri for losing twice to them, which, again, boosts Oklahoma's stock for having beaten them, etc.

That, of course, does not mean the system is flawed. If you look at the way these two teams have performed, with the exception of Oklahoma's games against Colorado and Tech, you will not find a more impressive record in the country.

Missouri, though still #1, took a hit. Last week, it was consensus number 1 (in all three polls the Matrix generates) with huge leads over everyone but West Virginia. If West Virginia had not managed to choke as no other team has ever choked before or ever will again (Pitt is now the nation's second hottest team according to the Recent rating), Missouri would have dropped to 2 and, in fact, could have potentially dropped below Oklahoma in the Hybrid poll as well.

USC and Ohio State still sit comfortably at #1 and #2 with the nation's best defenses. Florida still has the highest performing offense, but Navy (from the wishbone, no less) is now nipping at the heels of the Gators.

The Vandals have made a strong move to the bottom of the list as the nation's worse team, claiming a title Florida International had been coveting all season. The Gophers are the worst team from a BCS conference - Brewster's really taking things a whole new direction. The amazing thing about the 1-11 season is that it should never happen. Minnesota actually has a history of success in the game, a massive student body (=fans in the stadium and revenue for financing facilities), and is in the Big 10. Ironically, Minnesota payed Brewster more per win than any other team in the country.

That is not the case with football failures SMU and Rice. They were almost competitive for years in the SWC but, like Baylor, cannot compete with the larger schools in Texas - especially since SMU can't get away with putting together the best team money can buy anymore. Despite all the talent in that fine state, Texas has three of the nation's six worst teams (with the Mean Green joining the others at 118). At the other end, Texas has no teams in the top 25 according to the Matrix.

Before moving on, I would like to congratulate Washington for scoring this season's most difficult schedule. Unfortunately, the strength of that schedule is very visible in their record this season.

I thought I would end this with a brief discussion of the rating measures you can find on the table.

Performance - A rating based only on margin of victory and opponent strength.
Potential - Based on the performance rating, but tries to take into account match-ups and "luck" that might have distorted a teams performance rating.
Elo - A rating based on wins and losses and opponent strength.
Hybrid-2 - A combined rating that takes into account the first three rating approaches.
Strength of Schedule (SOS) - this is the mean of a team's opponents' ratings. I have included it as an additional piece of information - it is not used in the calculations of any ratings.
Recent - A rating of a team's recent performance relative to its average performance - a Recent rating does not mean that a team is good, only that it is playing better than before.
Consistent - the consistency rating is read like a golf score - a low number means the team has been relatively predictable.
Efficiencies - These are relatively self-explanatory. A higher number means that a team has demonstrated a higher level of efficiency in that area.

Complete Week 14 Ratings Table Here

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