Simple Rating System: The Oklahoma State Cowboys rise to top the rankings, with a caveat

By now, you understand how the Simple Rating System works. Last week, Stanford and Boise State were top six teams with BCS aspirations. Following home losses, both teams can still take pride in how far they’ve come: a second straight 12-1 season will be viewed as a disappointment.

As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the game scores. Here are the SRS results through week 10. The SRS places equal weight on each game and cares more about margin of victory than records (which is why it’s a predictive system). As a result, Stanford (5th last week) and Boise State (7th last week) are still top 10 teams, as is 5-5 Texas A&M. All three of those teams are 16+ favorites this week.

Rk   Team                 Conf   G   MOV      SOS      SRS      Rec
1.   Oklahoma St          B12   10   22.7     44.7     67.3    10-0
2.   Alabama              SEC   10   23.2     43.0     66.2     9-1
3.   LSU                  SEC   10   23.0     43.0     66.0    10-0
4.   Oklahoma             B12    9   20.6     45.5     66.0     8-1
5.   Oregon               P12   10   21.1     43.2     64.2     9-1
6.   Stanford             P12   10   22.0     40.0     62.0     9-1
7.   Wisconsin            B10   10   23.3     36.6     59.9     8-2
8.   Boise St             MWC    9   19.9     38.9     58.8     8-1
9.   Michigan             B10   10   15.2     41.0     56.2     8-2
10.  Texas A&M            B12   10    6.6     47.9     54.5     5-5
11.  Notre Dame           IND   10   10.7     43.0     53.7     7-3
12.  Texas                B12    9    8.7     44.7     53.4     6-3
13.  Georgia              SEC   10   13.7     39.7     53.3     8-2
14.  Missouri             B12   10    5.5     47.5     53.0     5-5
15.  Houston              CUS   10   26.0     26.8     52.8    10-0
16.  Arkansas             SEC   10   14.3     38.4     52.7     9-1
17.  Southern Cal         P12   10    9.0     43.5     52.5     8-2
18.  TCU                  MWC   10   15.1     36.7     51.8     8-2
19.  Nebraska             B10   10    9.9     41.8     51.7     8-2
20.  Arizona St           P12   10    9.8     41.8     51.6     6-4
21.  Michigan St          B10   10    9.9     41.5     51.4     8-2
22.  South Carolina       SEC   10    8.5     42.3     50.8     8-2
23.  Florida St           ACC   10   14.9     35.6     50.5     7-3
24.  Kansas St            B12   10    4.5     45.9     50.3     8-2
25.  Virginia Tech        ACC   10   12.1     36.9     49.0     9-1
26.  Clemson              ACC   10   10.9     38.0     48.9     9-1
27.  Penn State           B10   10    6.9     41.3     48.2     8-2
28.  Baylor               B12    9    3.5     44.3     47.8     6-3
29.  Southern Miss        CUS   10   14.9     32.1     47.0     9-1
30.  Cincinnati           BgE    9   13.6     33.1     46.7     7-2
31.  Ohio State           B10   10    5.8     40.9     46.7     6-4
32.  Miami FL             ACC   10    6.1     40.4     46.5     5-5
33.  Utah                 P12   10    4.7     41.6     46.3     6-4
34.  Tulsa                CUS   10    7.4     38.5     45.9     7-3
35.  Florida              SEC   10    3.1     42.8     45.9     5-5
36.  South Florida        BgE    9    8.8     36.6     45.4     5-4
37.  West Virginia        BgE   10    8.0     37.3     45.3     7-3
38.  Georgia Tech         ACC   10   10.1     34.9     45.0     7-3
39.  Toledo               MAC   10    7.1     37.7     44.8     6-4
40.  Mississippi St       SEC   10    4.8     40.0     44.7     5-5
41.  Iowa                 B10   10    6.2     38.5     44.7     6-4
42.  Illinois             B10   10    3.6     40.8     44.4     6-4
43.  Vanderbilt           SEC   10    2.7     41.2     43.9     5-5
44.  Washington           P12   10   -1.6     45.0     43.4     6-4
45.  California           P12   10    4.1     39.0     43.0     6-4
46.  Tennessee            SEC   10   -3.0     45.8     42.8     4-6
47.  Rutgers              BgE   10    7.4     35.0     42.3     7-3
48.  Northern Illinois    MAC   10    8.8     33.4     42.1     7-3
49.  North Carolina       ACC   10    3.8     38.4     42.1     6-4
50.  Temple               MAC   10   11.3     30.6     41.8     6-4
51.  Pittsburgh           BgE   10    1.2     40.4     41.6     5-5
52.  Auburn               SEC   10   -3.3     44.7     41.4     6-4
53.  Nevada               WAC    9    5.6     35.7     41.3     6-3
54.  Brigham Young        IND   10    5.7     35.5     41.1     7-3
55.  Louisiana Tech       WAC   10    5.1     36.0     41.1     6-4
56.  Northwestern         B10   10    3.0     37.5     40.5     5-5
57.  San Diego St         MWC    9    6.0     34.4     40.4     6-3
58.  Arkansas St          Sun   10   10.5     29.7     40.2     8-2
59.  Texas Tech           B12   10   -3.1     43.2     40.1     5-5
60.  Arizona              P12   10   -7.3     45.9     38.6     2-8
61.  Virginia             ACC   10    4.0     34.5     38.5     7-3
62.  SMU                  CUS   10    3.2     35.3     38.5     6-4
63.  Ohio U.              MAC   10   11.2     26.9     38.1     7-3
64.  Iowa St              B12    9   -6.1     44.1     38.1     5-4
65.  Navy                 IND   10    0.8     37.2     38.0     4-6
66.  Wake Forest          ACC   10    0.1     37.8     37.9     5-5
67.  Purdue               B10   10   -1.5     39.4     37.9     5-5
68.  Utah St              WAC    9    4.2     33.6     37.8     4-5
69.  Air Force            MWC   10    1.5     36.4     37.8     5-5
70.  Western Michigan     MAC   10    3.7     33.9     37.6     5-5
71.  Washington St        P12   10   -1.6     39.1     37.5     4-6
72.  UCLA                 P12   10   -7.7     45.1     37.4     5-5
73.  Louisville           BgE   10   -0.1     37.1     37.0     5-5
74.  Central Florida      CUS   10    6.2     29.6     35.8     4-6
75.  Hawai`i              WAC   10    4.0     31.5     35.5     5-5
76.  North Carolina St    ACC   10   -0.4     35.6     35.2     5-5
77.  Connecticut          BgE    9    0.5     34.7     35.2     4-5
78.  Wyoming              MWC    9    0.6     34.1     34.7     6-3
79.  Syracuse             BgE   10   -2.5     37.1     34.6     5-5
80.  Oregon St            P12   10   -9.7     43.8     34.1     2-8
81.  Miami OH             MAC   10   -1.0     34.4     33.4     4-6
82.  Florida Int'l        Sun   10    5.0     28.3     33.3     6-4
83.  UTEP                 CUS   10   -0.5     33.2     32.7     5-5
84.  Louisiana-Lafayette  Sun   11    3.6     28.9     32.6     8-3
85.  Maryland             ACC   10  -11.1     42.8     31.7     2-8
86.  San José St          WAC   10   -5.9     37.3     31.4     3-7
87.  Marshall             CUS   10   -8.3     39.7     31.4     4-6
88.  Ball St              MAC   10   -5.4     36.5     31.1     6-4
89.  Fresno St            WAC   10   -6.4     37.5     31.1     3-7
90.  Boston College       ACC   10   -6.8     37.8     31.0     3-7
91.  Mississippi          SEC   10  -11.2     42.2     31.0     2-8
92.  Colorado             P12   11  -14.5     45.4     30.9     2-9
93.  Minnesota            B10   10  -14.5     45.4     30.9     2-8
94.  Kentucky             SEC   10   -8.7     39.2     30.6     4-6
95.  Kansas               B12   10  -16.2     46.6     30.4     2-8
96.  Louisiana-Monroe     Sun   10   -2.3     32.5     30.3     3-7
97.  Army                 IND   10   -2.5     32.7     30.2     3-7
98.  Duke                 ACC   10   -7.9     37.8     30.0     3-7
99.  Bowling Green        MAC   10   -3.9     33.6     29.7     4-6
100. East Carolina        CUS   10   -6.1     35.7     29.6     4-6
101. Western Kentucky     Sun   10   -4.6     33.8     29.2     5-5
102. Rice                 CUS   10  -11.6     40.2     28.6     3-7
103. Eastern Michigan     MAC   10   -1.8     30.1     28.3     6-4
104. Kent St              MAC   10   -6.7     34.9     28.2     4-6
105. Indiana              B10   10  -12.3     40.0     27.7     1-9
106. North Texas          Sun   10   -9.7     36.7     27.0     4-6
107. New Mexico St        WAC   10   -6.4     33.3     26.9     4-6
108. Buffalo              MAC   10  -10.4     35.8     25.5     2-8
109. Idaho                WAC   10   -9.7     34.8     25.2     2-8
110. Central Michigan     MAC   11   -7.8     32.3     24.5     3-8
111. Colorado St          MWC    9   -5.6     30.0     24.4     3-6
112. Troy                 Sun    9  -11.0     33.5     22.5     2-7
113. Middle Tennessee St  Sun    9   -8.2     29.8     21.6     2-7
114. UNLV                 MWC    9  -17.8     37.2     19.4     2-7
115. Alabama-Birmingham   CUS   10  -16.4     33.5     17.1     2-8
116. Florida Atlantic     Sun    9  -20.3     35.8     15.5     0-9
117. Tulane               CUS   11  -15.2     30.1     14.9     2-9
118. New Mexico           MWC   10  -23.3     37.1     13.9     1-9
119. Akron                MAC   10  -18.0     31.7     13.7     1-9
120. Memphis              CUS   10  -15.3     27.4     12.1     2-8

And by conference:

Rk   Team                 Conf   G   MOV      SOS      SRS      Rec
23.  Florida St           ACC   10   14.9     35.6     50.5     7-3
25.  Virginia Tech        ACC   10   12.1     36.9     49.0     9-1
26.  Clemson              ACC   10   10.9     38.0     48.9     9-1
32.  Miami FL             ACC   10    6.1     40.4     46.5     5-5
38.  Georgia Tech         ACC   10   10.1     34.9     45.0     7-3
49.  North Carolina       ACC   10    3.8     38.4     42.1     6-4
61.  Virginia             ACC   10    4.0     34.5     38.5     7-3
66.  Wake Forest          ACC   10    0.1     37.8     37.9     5-5
76.  North Carolina St    ACC   10   -0.4     35.6     35.2     5-5
85.  Maryland             ACC   10  -11.1     42.8     31.7     2-8
90.  Boston College       ACC   10   -6.8     37.8     31.0     3-7
98.  Duke                 ACC   10   -7.9     37.8     30.0     3-7
7.   Wisconsin            B10   10   23.3     36.6     59.9     8-2
9.   Michigan             B10   10   15.2     41.0     56.2     8-2
19.  Nebraska             B10   10    9.9     41.8     51.7     8-2
21.  Michigan St          B10   10    9.9     41.5     51.4     8-2
27.  Penn State           B10   10    6.9     41.3     48.2     8-2
31.  Ohio State           B10   10    5.8     40.9     46.7     6-4
41.  Iowa                 B10   10    6.2     38.5     44.7     6-4
42.  Illinois             B10   10    3.6     40.8     44.4     6-4
56.  Northwestern         B10   10    3.0     37.5     40.5     5-5
67.  Purdue               B10   10   -1.5     39.4     37.9     5-5
93.  Minnesota            B10   10  -14.5     45.4     30.9     2-8
105. Indiana              B10   10  -12.3     40.0     27.7     1-9
1.   Oklahoma St          B12   10   22.7     44.7     67.3    10-0
4.   Oklahoma             B12    9   20.6     45.5     66.0     8-1
10.  Texas A&M            B12   10    6.6     47.9     54.5     5-5
12.  Texas                B12    9    8.7     44.7     53.4     6-3
14.  Missouri             B12   10    5.5     47.5     53.0     5-5
24.  Kansas St            B12   10    4.5     45.9     50.3     8-2
28.  Baylor               B12    9    3.5     44.3     47.8     6-3
59.  Texas Tech           B12   10   -3.1     43.2     40.1     5-5
64.  Iowa St              B12    9   -6.1     44.1     38.1     5-4
95.  Kansas               B12   10  -16.2     46.6     30.4     2-8
30.  Cincinnati           BgE    9   13.6     33.1     46.7     7-2
36.  South Florida        BgE    9    8.8     36.6     45.4     5-4
37.  West Virginia        BgE   10    8.0     37.3     45.3     7-3
47.  Rutgers              BgE   10    7.4     35.0     42.3     7-3
51.  Pittsburgh           BgE   10    1.2     40.4     41.6     5-5
73.  Louisville           BgE   10   -0.1     37.1     37.0     5-5
77.  Connecticut          BgE    9    0.5     34.7     35.2     4-5
79.  Syracuse             BgE   10   -2.5     37.1     34.6     5-5
15.  Houston              CUS   10   26.0     26.8     52.8    10-0
29.  Southern Miss        CUS   10   14.9     32.1     47.0     9-1
34.  Tulsa                CUS   10    7.4     38.5     45.9     7-3
62.  SMU                  CUS   10    3.2     35.3     38.5     6-4
74.  Central Florida      CUS   10    6.2     29.6     35.8     4-6
83.  UTEP                 CUS   10   -0.5     33.2     32.7     5-5
87.  Marshall             CUS   10   -8.3     39.7     31.4     4-6
100. East Carolina        CUS   10   -6.1     35.7     29.6     4-6
102. Rice                 CUS   10  -11.6     40.2     28.6     3-7
115. Alabama-Birmingham   CUS   10  -16.4     33.5     17.1     2-8
117. Tulane               CUS   11  -15.2     30.1     14.9     2-9
120. Memphis              CUS   10  -15.3     27.4     12.1     2-8
11.  Notre Dame           IND   10   10.7     43.0     53.7     7-3
54.  Brigham Young        IND   10    5.7     35.5     41.1     7-3
65.  Navy                 IND   10    0.8     37.2     38.0     4-6
97.  Army                 IND   10   -2.5     32.7     30.2     3-7
39.  Toledo               MAC   10    7.1     37.7     44.8     6-4
48.  Northern Illinois    MAC   10    8.8     33.4     42.1     7-3
50.  Temple               MAC   10   11.3     30.6     41.8     6-4
63.  Ohio U.              MAC   10   11.2     26.9     38.1     7-3
70.  Western Michigan     MAC   10    3.7     33.9     37.6     5-5
81.  Miami OH             MAC   10   -1.0     34.4     33.4     4-6
88.  Ball St              MAC   10   -5.4     36.5     31.1     6-4
99.  Bowling Green        MAC   10   -3.9     33.6     29.7     4-6
103. Eastern Michigan     MAC   10   -1.8     30.1     28.3     6-4
104. Kent St              MAC   10   -6.7     34.9     28.2     4-6
108. Buffalo              MAC   10  -10.4     35.8     25.5     2-8
110. Central Michigan     MAC   11   -7.8     32.3     24.5     3-8
119. Akron                MAC   10  -18.0     31.7     13.7     1-9
8.   Boise St             MWC    9   19.9     38.9     58.8     8-1
18.  TCU                  MWC   10   15.1     36.7     51.8     8-2
57.  San Diego St         MWC    9    6.0     34.4     40.4     6-3
69.  Air Force            MWC   10    1.5     36.4     37.8     5-5
78.  Wyoming              MWC    9    0.6     34.1     34.7     6-3
111. Colorado St          MWC    9   -5.6     30.0     24.4     3-6
114. UNLV                 MWC    9  -17.8     37.2     19.4     2-7
118. New Mexico           MWC   10  -23.3     37.1     13.9     1-9
5.   Oregon               P12   10   21.1     43.2     64.2     9-1
6.   Stanford             P12   10   22.0     40.0     62.0     9-1
17.  Southern Cal         P12   10    9.0     43.5     52.5     8-2
20.  Arizona St           P12   10    9.8     41.8     51.6     6-4
33.  Utah                 P12   10    4.7     41.6     46.3     6-4
44.  Washington           P12   10   -1.6     45.0     43.4     6-4
45.  California           P12   10    4.1     39.0     43.0     6-4
60.  Arizona              P12   10   -7.3     45.9     38.6     2-8
71.  Washington St        P12   10   -1.6     39.1     37.5     4-6
72.  UCLA                 P12   10   -7.7     45.1     37.4     5-5
80.  Oregon St            P12   10   -9.7     43.8     34.1     2-8
92.  Colorado             P12   11  -14.5     45.4     30.9     2-9
2.   Alabama              SEC   10   23.2     43.0     66.2     9-1
3.   LSU                  SEC   10   23.0     43.0     66.0    10-0
13.  Georgia              SEC   10   13.7     39.7     53.3     8-2
16.  Arkansas             SEC   10   14.3     38.4     52.7     9-1
22.  South Carolina       SEC   10    8.5     42.3     50.8     8-2
35.  Florida              SEC   10    3.1     42.8     45.9     5-5
40.  Mississippi St       SEC   10    4.8     40.0     44.7     5-5
43.  Vanderbilt           SEC   10    2.7     41.2     43.9     5-5
46.  Tennessee            SEC   10   -3.0     45.8     42.8     4-6
52.  Auburn               SEC   10   -3.3     44.7     41.4     6-4
91.  Mississippi          SEC   10  -11.2     42.2     31.0     2-8
94.  Kentucky             SEC   10   -8.7     39.2     30.6     4-6
58.  Arkansas St          Sun   10   10.5     29.7     40.2     8-2
82.  Florida Int'l        Sun   10    5.0     28.3     33.3     6-4
84.  Louisiana-Lafayette  Sun   11    3.6     28.9     32.6     8-3
96.  Louisiana-Monroe     Sun   10   -2.3     32.5     30.3     3-7
101. Western Kentucky     Sun   10   -4.6     33.8     29.2     5-5
106. North Texas          Sun   10   -9.7     36.7     27.0     4-6
112. Troy                 Sun    9  -11.0     33.5     22.5     2-7
113. Middle Tennessee St  Sun    9   -8.2     29.8     21.6     2-7
116. Florida Atlantic     Sun    9  -20.3     35.8     15.5     0-9
53.  Nevada               WAC    9    5.6     35.7     41.3     6-3
55.  Louisiana Tech       WAC   10    5.1     36.0     41.1     6-4
68.  Utah St              WAC    9    4.2     33.6     37.8     4-5
75.  Hawai`i              WAC   10    4.0     31.5     35.5     5-5
86.  San José St          WAC   10   -5.9     37.3     31.4     3-7
89.  Fresno St            WAC   10   -6.4     37.5     31.1     3-7
107. New Mexico St        WAC   10   -6.4     33.3     26.9     4-6
109. Idaho                WAC   10   -9.7     34.8     25.2     2-8

Best games of the week: Not surprisingly, Oregon and Oklahoma State both posted SRS grades of over 80 this weekend. Oregon won by 23 on the road (adjusted MOV of 25) against a team with an SRS of 62.0, giving the Ducks a SRS score of 87.0. Oklahoma State won by 60 (43.5) in Lubbock (40.1) for an SRS score of 83.6, in a game that was 49-0 at halftime. Arkansas (31.5, 42.8) picked up a grade of 74.3 against Tennessee, the third highest game of the week.

Wait, we won?: Baylor lost by 35 to Oklahoma State (in another game where OSU’s defense allowed a bunch of garbage yards and points), but that still gave Baylor an SRS grade of 39.3. Baylor’s 1-point win over Kansas (generously upgraded to an adjMOV of 7) gave the Bears only 37.4 points. In fact, this weekend’s win over the Jayhawks was the second worst SRS game of the season for the Bears, placing slightly ahead of a blowout loss against Texas A&M.

Surprising games of the week: We can use the SRS to figure out which teams over- and under-achieved the most – relative to their average performance – this past weekend. By definition, the biggest overachievers (which would be AjdMOV – oppSRS – avgSRS) would simply be the opposite of the biggest underachievers, as the avgSRS and oppSRS for one team are the oppSRS and avgSRS for the other. Oregon and Arkansas were fantastic, as both scored SRS grades of over 20 points above average (and therefore both Stanford and Tennessee were more than 20 points below their average). A surprising outcome that fell under the radar, because of the late kickoff: Arizona State lost by 10 to Washington State. Arizona State (SRS of 51.6) gets an SRS grade of 30.5 in that game, because the Cougars have an SRS of only 37.5. (That Arizona State loss could be doubly painful for Oregon, as it stands to devalue — by the end of the year — two of their four best wins: Arizona State and either ASU or UCLA in the championship game). But it was the other team in the Copper State that produced the biggest dud of the week. Colorado was the big overachiever this weekend (SRS of 30.9) after defeating Arizona by 19 points at home (16, 38.6) for an SRS grade of 54.6. It was also the Buffaloes’ first Pac-12 win since joining the conference.

On the season: How good was Oregon’s win? The SRS grade of 87.0 was the highest mark this season, topping Oklahoma’s 84.4 against Texas. Oklahoma also had the third highest SRS game of the season, posting an 84.3 against Kansas State.

Oklahoma is certainly responsible for the biggest dud this season by any elite team. Somehow, the Sooners lost at home to Texas Tech (SRS of 40.1), for an SRS grade of 33.1, a full 32.9 points below their average. That comes in as the 4th biggest shock of the season, trailing Hawaii losing by 20 to UNLV, West Virginia losing by 26 to Syracuse and Alabama-Birmingham getting blown out 49-10 by Tulane.

Last week, SEC fans probably liked the fact that the top two teams in the conference were LSU and Alabama. But this week, the Cowboys are now on top. Let’s compare the Tigers and the Cowboys:

Date       Team  PF   Opp         PA   H/R  MOV    SOS    SRS
12-Nov-11  OSU   66   Texas Tech   6   R    43.5   40.1   83.6
22-Oct-11  OSU   45   Missouri    24   R    24.0   53.0   77.0
29-Oct-11  OSU   59   Baylor      24   H    28.0   47.8   75.8
17-Sep-11  OSU   59   Tulsa       33   R    26.5   45.9   72.4
15-Oct-11  OSU   38   Texas       26   R    15.0   53.4   68.4
8-Oct-11   OSU   70   Kansas      28   H    31.5   30.4   61.9
24-Sep-11  OSU   30   Texas A&M   29   R     7.0   54.5   61.5
8-Sep-11   OSU   37   Arizona     14   H    20.0   38.6   58.6
5-Nov-11   OSU   52   Kansas St   45   H     7.0   50.3   57.3
3-Sep-11   OSU   61   Lo-Lafa.    34   H    24.0   32.6   56.6
Average                                     22.7   44.7   67.3

3-Sep-11   LSU   40   Oregon      27   N    13.0   64.2   77.2
5-Nov-11   LSU    9   Alabama      6   R     7.0   66.2   73.2
15-Oct-11  LSU   38   Tennessee    7   R    29.0   42.8   71.8
24-Sep-11  LSU   47   West Virg.  21   R    26.5   45.3   71.8
8-Oct-11   LSU   41   Florida     11   H    25.5   45.9   71.4
22-Oct-11  LSU   45   Auburn      10   H    28.0   41.4   69.4
15-Sep-11  LSU   19   Miss. St     6   R    16.0   44.7   60.7
12-Nov-11  LSU   42   W. Kentucky  9   H    27.0   29.2   56.2
1-Oct-11   LSU   35   Kentucky     7   H    24.5   30.6   55.1
10-Sep-11  LSU   49   N'west. St   3   H    33.5   20.0   53.5
Average                                     23.0   43.0   66.0

If we’re comparing LSU and Oklahoma State, we can probably get rid of the FCS and Sun Belt games (although Louisiana-Lafayette actually has a higher SRS grade than either Kentucky or Kansas). After eliminating those games, LSU rises to 68.8, just ahead of Oklahoma State’s 68.5. But there’s no denying that OSU is an elite team. The Cowboys obliterated Texas Tech, Baylor and Tulsa, while handling Missouri and Texas with ease. LSU and OSU appear on a collision course to a fantastic national championship game. The biggest hurdle there, of course, is the Bedlam battle on Dec. 3. At this point, Oklahoma State would be a 4.5 point favorite against the Sooners, according to the SRS. The second biggest hurdle comes in the form of Arkansas. While the gap between the Tigers and the Razorbacks narrowed this week, the SRS still pegs LSU as a 16.5 point favorite. In fact, the SEC Championship Game against Georgia would likely be a closer battle. That game is scheduled for a 4:00 kickoff, and I suspect Bedlam will begin at 8:00. That should be a fantastic cap to the regular season.

  • Yngvai

    Arizona State played Washington State, not Washington.  Washington played USC.

  • Chase Stuart

    Thanks, Yngvai.  We’ve updated the post.

  • Mrvp

    Really informative as ever and a good read (and somewhat inspiring). I know the adjusted MOV gives the Home Team an advantage of 3, but have you considered possibly varying it dependent on team (and hence crowd) e.g. taking the PAC12 less than 40,000 at Washington State, but around 90,000 at USC (e.g. 50,000 fans has to be worth a point extra at home). As you have an SRS, would it be possible to work the homefield advantage out using Solver in Excel perhaps? (I know this would be loads of extra sheets if you did it per team and a nightmare to work out). Also would there be any value in applying weightings to games by adding a coefficient to the adjusted MOV (e.g. is a week 1 win by 14, worth more than week 9 win by 14)? Really great work.

  • Chase Stuart

    Thanks Mrvp.  I think sample size becomes an issue when dealing with HFA for specific teams.  Additionally, a lot of HFA effects are based on more than just the stadium. For example, the time and distance traveled, along with the similarities between the home climate and the stadium climate, can play a big role.  The Bruins probably don’t have much of a home field disadvantage as USC, but Syracuse and Minnesota probably did (even if you wouldn’t have known it based on the results, especially for the Gophers).  And it should go without saying that it would also be a lot of work!

    As for early/late: I’m not as well-versed in the collegiate game, but I can tell you that at the NFL level, I’ve yet to see any proof that more recent games should be weighed more heavily. To be sure, changes in personnel would seem to dictate this, but overall, I don’t know of anyone who has used such weights to improve predictive models. I’d be eager to read any study that claimed to do so.

  • Mrvp

    Chase, thanks for the post. I’d dug out the video by Neil on the other post, knocked something up in Excel this week that looks about right (couldn’t get any football stats so made do with NHL) and then thought what else can you throw at this to improve accuracy and just wanted to throw ideas out there. I was just super keen to get working model together (as then it’s just a case of how you apply it)

    Re: the teams mentioned above; picking one of the pre-season guide ratings, +4 (UCLA), +4.75 (USC), +3.25 (Syracuse) and +3.0 (Minnesota). I have no idea how these were calculated or the depth of the sample size (the guide in question had been going for 13 years so it may have some credence).

    Checked the Wayne Winston blog, and noted he was applying weightings to NFL ratings based on early/late for last year at least (e.g. would you have backed the Packers early last year) and wondered about possibilities. As you say though I think it’s very dependent on personnel (e.g. not having tape on new QB’s, players getting injured, people learning how to defend schemes etc.). 

  • Smarterfootball

    I would love to see this applied to the D2 level.

  • It’s decided on the field

    Y a ya ya. Great mathematics. But LSU beat Alabama. So Alabama ranked higher than LSU makes a lot of sense

  • Clark

    True, but given that the two are essentially equal on this chart, and their score was about as even as you can get (9-6 in overtime!) there’s not a lot of fault to find in that ranking. 

  • Already decided

    It’s starting to sound like – “we were up by 20 most of the game and lost by 1 on the last play of the game cuz the ref called a penalty…….and my cleats weren’t the right cleats……i lost the ball in the lights……but if i made the tackle…..coach was calling the wrong plays……”

    This rating system would be great for explaining North Carolina ahead of Temple.  (No one cares except  homers.)  T A&M in the top 10.  (Chase Stuart is Mike Sherman’s cousin.  Haha.)  Oklahoma ahead of Oregon?! (Well Oregon lost to LSU on a neutral site.  Oklahoma lost to TTech at home.  But Oklahoma plays in a stronger conference & their head HC wears a better visor…….)  Only one way to 100% accurately rank Oklahoma and Oregon is to have them meet on a neutral site.  Winner is ranked higher.  

    And that is what happened on November 5, 2011.  LSU beat Alabama. IN TUSCALOOSA.  

    So if this SRS is going to be credible, (Texas A&M in the top 10, ROTFLMAO and ignoring the dropping of Wolfman), when #1 defeats #2, the ranking needs to show it.  Predictively using retrodictive data.  So far it is not credible on a very credible website.  

    Of course when things get hairy for us mathematics, scientists & intellectuals, we refer to Occam’s razor.  Decide it on the field.  The result makes a lot of sense.

  • Chase Stuart

    The SRS is no more than it claims to be, and it certainly doesn’t claim to be a useful way to determine which teams should be ranked the highest.

    Keep in mind that a 10-point win over the course of a 10-game season is worth just one point in the SRS. A game that is 9-6 one way instead of 9-6 the other is simply not going to change the SRS ratings much.  Nor should it, since the point of this is to predict the future, not explain the past.  By your logic, Already decided, there was no reason for Oklahoma to be a two touchdown favorite against Kansas State.

  • Mrvp

    I think the SRS is reasonably valid mathematically in principle. Taking a look at the line for the Alabama vs LSU game it never went lower than Alabama -4 (peaking at Alabama -6), the SRS suggests that the line should have been LSU -0.3 (looking at the data from two weeks ago, and they were -1.5 reflecting the win in last weeks post), so if someone said you could have LSU plus the points you’d take it. If Alabama had a QB with more game experience they would have won that game is the bottom line. Going into the season LSU had marginally the tougher schedule (95/58 – 62.1%) compared to Alabama (88/65 57.5%) but once the season is in play maybe it hasn’t quite worked out like that.