NDtex25: Week 4

With week 4 now in the books, it’s time to take a look at how my little ranking experiment is going.  As always, if you need a refresher on how this works, check out the original post for all formulas.

This week, it appears that everything is starting to stabilize a bit.  There are still some interesting appearances in the NDtex25 this week, but now with many teams having a few games in the books things are starting to look “normal” if you will.  For example, this week, the NDtex25 only has seven teams that are unranked in the AP Poll and eight unranked teams from the Coaches’ Poll.  Only one team from the AP Poll’s top 10 doesn’t appear as well.

My guess would be that next week, my rankings will include nearly all of the teams from the two polls, but in different order.  By the time the first BCS poll comes out, this should definitely be the case.  One thing is for sure though, slowly but surely, the NDtex25 is becoming a bit less of “wtf how did that team make it” and now will be more of a comparison on how my top teams differ from the order that they appear in the polls.

This week’s rankings are below with their AP and Coaches’ Poll ranks also in the table for comparison.

RankTeamFinal ScorePrevious RankAP RankCoaches' Rank
1Oklahoma State114.5156
3Georgia Tech10552121
12Boise State95.251045
15South Carolina90.2530109
16Ohio State89.7582NRNR
17Arizona State89.53925NR
19Michigan State84.7567NRNR
23Mississippi State82.544NRNR
25Virginia Tech81.25131110

Knocked Out (Previous Rank): Ohio (2), Illinois (11), Utah (12), Texas A&M (15), Kansas State (17), San Diego State (18), Texas Tech (20), Wyoming (22), USC (24)

Just Missing the Cut: Illinos, Rutgers, Bowling Green, Kansas State, Missouri

Much like last week, any team that raises eyebrows are still benefiting from blowout wins over middle of the road teams.  Ohio State and Auburn are the best examples.  Michigan State as well rebounded from a multiple possession beating by ND to claw their way back into the top 25.  I believe that much of this is due to the small amount of games that have been played as the blowout wins easily cancel out the majority of the losses and then some.

Once again, the Big XII is king, having five teams in the NDtex25, three of which are in the top five.  The SEC though has the numbers with seven teams appearing the top 25 with LSU cracking the top 5.  The Big Ten also checks in this week with five teams thanks to the crazy additions of Michigan State and Michigan and one team in the top 5.

The worst team in the nation this week: Akron. You’ve made LeBron James proud!

As always, to close things out, it’s time to look at the rankings as they concern Notre Dame:

  • Notre Dame’s Rank: 42 (Previous Rank: 32)
  • Opponent Rankings
    • USF: 5
    • Michigan: 15
    • Michigan State: 20
    • Pitt: 63
    • Purdue: 47
    • Air Force: 84
    • USC: 54
    • Navy: 33
    • Wake Forest: 71
    • Maryland: 98
    • Boston College: 109
    • Stanford: 10

NDtex25: Week 3

Yes, yes, I know a game has already been played in Week 4 and I’m horribly behind.  I apologize, but the job that actually pays the bills got quite a bit hectic this week.  On top of that, I attempted to write a conference realignment post which became worthless twice, so that was a fantastic idea.

Ideally my rankings will be up Tuesday or Wednesday before any football is played.  Some weeks it may not happen, but I’ll do my best to stick to it.

Anyways, the experiment that is the NDtex25 continues to be crazier than expected.  I thought I’d see a lot more stabilization this week. In some ways, I did.  In others, I had some more wtf results.

As of right now, I fear that I am too generous with my three plus possession multiplier in margin of victory (if you are lost, you should probably read the original post for this craziness).  I’m still hoping this will level out by season’s end; however, it is definitely clear that teams that beat some middle-of-the-road-opponents in such a manner (and I’m talking ranked around 50-80 or so) seem to be seriously reaping the benefits.  It’s taking a lot of willpower on my end to let this experiment ride out, but I definitely feel that this is an area that will need to see some serious tweaks down the road if this doesn’t level out in a few more weeks.

Having a preseason NDtex25 would probably help as well, but I decided not to do that…oh well.

Anyways, here is your NDtex25 for Week 3:

RankTeamFinal ScorePrevious RankAP RankCoaches' Rank
1Oklahoma State110.251576
5Georgia Tech105.2522524
8Boise State100.252144
13Virginia Tech93.75371311
15Texas A&M89.253888
17Kansas State88.584NRNR
18San Diego State87.553NRNR
20Texas Tech87.2585NRNR

Knocked Out (Previous Rank): Bowling Green (1), Navy (4), UCF (6), Mississippi State (10), Kentucky (12), Houston (13), Michigan State (19), South Carolina (20), Arkansas (24), Missouri (25)

Just Missing the Cut: Michigan, Wisconsin, Houston, Louisville, South Carolina

Despite the Big XII completely falling apart at the seams and the fake Dan Bebee going on a Twitter rant of epic proportions, they are completely dominating the NDtex25.  There are six Big XII teams in the NDtex25, three of which are in the top five.  Believe me, this isn’t some kind of southern bias as all three of the teams in my own top five are vomit inducing.  All these teams have benefited, in the most part, from big wins.  Texas, however, benefits from holding on against teams that had a decently high ranking from last week, so I would expect them to start to plummet at their current rate, despite the blowout win against UCLA.

The conference with the second most (five teams)? The SEC (commence S-E-C chant for coming in second place to THE FREAKING BIG XII).

Everyone’s favorite BCS buster, Boise State, has finally cracked my top 10, but were leapfrogged by Ohio whose blowout wins against an overrated New Mexico State and Marshall, helped them jump from 22.  If any Ohio fan is reading this blog (highly doubtful), enjoy it while it lasts because your two blowout wins are about to be seriously devalued next week.  New Mexico State checks in at 85 and Marshall sits at 114.  So yes, the balancing out will continue for these MAC team that continue to be overrated.

The previous MAC-daddy on top of the NDtex25, Bowling Green, suffered a loss to the powerhouse that is Wyoming (hilariously ranked 22 this week for beating the “number one team”), which dropped them down to 35 this week.  My crazy formulas giveth and taketh away quite equally.

The worst team in the nation according to me: UAB.  Being blown out by Florida is forgivable, but being blown out by freaking Tulane is a joke.  Hang your head in shame.

And to close, it’s time to focus on how these rankings treat Notre Dame and their opponents:

  • ND’s Rank: 32 (YAY victory against an overrated Michigan State!)
  • Opponent Ranks
    • USF: 14 (Man we make people look good)
    • Michigan: 26 (Michigan falling out of my own top 25 makes that loss that much harder to swallow)
    • Michigan State: 67 (Like I said, losses severely punished, previous rank was 19!)
    • Pitt: 61 (Playing a FCS team and blowing a 17 point lead does you no favors)
    • Purdue: 40 (Shockingly high rating in my opinion)
    • Air Force: 100 (Sucks to be them)
    • USC: 24 (Vomit…)
    • Navy: 41 (beating South Carolina would’ve helped)
    • Wake Forest: 54 (Again, surprisingly high)
    • Maryland: 65 (They can thank Miami for winning)
    • Boston College: 116 (losing to Duke hurts, also lolBC)
    • Stanford: 14 (Still holding on strong to their top 25 slot)

NDtex25: Week 2 (And Week 1 Corrections!)

Well, thank God I decided that I should back up results every week because after I entered in data for Week 2, I noticed that my code had some serious errors.  Taking a look back at Week 1, I noticed that some of these errors appeared there as well so I started over.

I knew there would be some crazy results, so things didn’t look so bad.  Glad I paid more attention this time around!

Although even my best intentions about blew up in my face when I managed to delete my entire database while trying to restore it (I swear only I could do that), I managed to do a lot of database rebuilding through a few files.  Thankfully didn’t have to re-enter everything manually and was able to piece everything back together.

Anyways, me being me and finding hilarious ways to screw up my own programming aside, I have got everything in order.  This should be the last speed bump and hopefully I can now start thinking of ways to input this faster to save myself a ton of time.

With all that being said, here are your corrected NDtex25 rankings for Week 1:

1Bowling Green111.5
4Mississippi State105.25
9Northern Illinois98
10South Carolina96.5
11Texas A&M96.5
16Oklahoma State90
18Colorado State87.75
22Boise State85.25

Just missing the cut: Ohio State, Michigan, USF, Auburn, West Virginia

Bowling Green bumps up from a #2 to #1 and previous #1 Mississippi State falls to #5 in the corrected rankings.  Boise State was another winning from the corrections, heading into the top 25, ready to bust up the BCS.

Notre Dame also benefited slightly with a one spot jump from 49 to 48 in the rankings as well.

Using these corrected rankings, we now move on to week 2:

RankTeamScorePrevious Rank
1Bowling Green1131
2Georgia Tech111.2576
10Mississippi State99.54
15Oklahoma State9016
19Michigan State86.7582
20South Carolina84.7510
21Boise State8222

Fell out of NDtex25 (Previous Ranking in parenthesis):  Northern Illinois (9), Texas A&M (11), BYU (13), Cal (15), Colorado State (18), Hawaii (20), Maryland (23), Pittsburgh (24), Florida (25)

Just missing the cut: Tulsa, Florida, Arkansas State, Cal, BYU

Where Is ND Ranked? 87 (I guess we can take solace that USF is ranked 7 now?)

There is quite a bit of movement this week.  This is mostly due to the fact so many teams had BYE weeks or played FCS teams which aren’t counted in the rankings.  It was interesting to note though, that many of the teams that stayed idle or played a FCS team, paid for it.

One exception though, is top ranked Bowling Green who hilariously holds on to their top spot despite facing a FCS team to stay basically idle.  However, the other shoe should drop next week as Idaho continues to fall in the rankings (now 79), which will make that victory’s W/L point total continue to fall.

The other interesting case are teams that fell in the NDtex25 while still winning their games: Kentucky and South Carolina.  It’s hard to feel sorry for Kentucky falling based on their absolutely horrid opening game and they very well could’ve lost to UCF last week.  I would definitely expect their ranking to continue to drop at this rank.  South Carolina has pretty much victimized themselves as well by letting opponents hang around, leading to low victory margins and ANTY.

Next week, I think we will start to see the first signs of stabilization.  Just about everyone has a game in against a FBS team with a couple of low ranked exceptions, and the initial blowouts against bad teams will continue to be exposed as the season moves on.  Plus, since we are taking averages for the other two metrics (ANTY and TO Margin), those too will level out as the season progresses.

I do have some concerns about the margin and ranking multipliers, but in all honesty that really won’t expose itself until late in the season as well.  As much as I want to tinker around with my formula on occasion, I will let this experiment ride out to the season’s conclusion, even if the rankings start going off the rails.

NDtex25: Week 1

After much coding, debugging, several headaches, and far too much data entry, the first ever NDtex25 is ready.

For those that are confused or need a refresher on my crazy attempt at a formula, I suggest you check out my post on the matter.  There is one addition though from that post: I have added tie breakers.  If two or more teams happen to have the same score after everything is said and done, tie breakers will be done according to the following rankings: W/L points, ANTY, and then Avg TO Margin.

If teams are still tied by then, hurray alphabetical order!

Anyways, as expected, week 1 did have some rather hilarious outcomes, but for the most part, it isn’t too outrageous.  If you remember, this week is a little strange since I had to do an “initial ranking” based solely on ANTY and Avg TO Margin which created some of the insanity that you will see below.  I would assume that if I came up with a preseason rating, things would be a little more balanced out, but overall, I’m happy with the results and some rather big name teams do make an appearance.

So without further ado, here are the NDtex25 for week 1:

Rank Team Score
1 Mississippi State 112.75
2 Bowling Green 112.5
3 Stanford 110.25
4 Oklahoma 109.5
5 Texas 108.5
6 Illinois 108.5
7 Clemson 105.25
8 Texas A&M 102
9 Northern Illinois 100.5
10 BYU 97.75
11 Missouri 96.75
12 LSU 96.5
13 Maryland 95
14 Ohio State 94.75
15 Kentucky 94.5
16 South Carolina 92.5
17 Florida State 91.5
18 Colorado State 90.25
19 Wisconsin 90
20 Oklahoma State 87
21 Auburn 85.5
22 Hawaii 83.25
23 Pittsburgh 80.25
24 Michigan 80.25
25 West Virginia 79.25

Just missing the cut: Boise State, Cal, Ohio, Syracuse, Alabama.

Your leader in the clubhouse is Mississippi State with the MAC powerhouse that is Bowling Green nibbling oh so close behind.

Other crazy notables in this initial ranking are Auburn despite damn near falling on their face.  Michigan somehow manages to squeeze their way in despite not playing a full game.  Even though Kentucky played something that really didn’t resemble football, they appear as well.

Stanford and Oklahoma though grab a rather expected high ranking, with Texas rounding out the top 25 to my surprise.  Texas A&M has also held on to their preseason hype by finding themselves in the top 10 as well.  LSU probably wins for most hosed after beating Oregon soundly.

The worst team in the nation? Congrats to San Jose State, who managed to mimick Terrelle Pryor’s wonderlic score of 7, creates plenty of distance between them and team number 119: Akron (final score: 14.5).

Where does ND fall in this ranking?  Well, despite the 5th best ANTY in the nation, the worst Avg TO Margin and an awful loss smacked the Irish down to 49.  You will find such powerhouses like FIU, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, and Kent State above them.

Four of ND’s future opponents, Stanford, Maryland, Pittsburgh and Michigan are in the top 25.  The rest of ND’s opponents rank as follows:

  • Michigan State – 81
  • Purdue – 40
  • Air Force – 66
  • USC – 32
  • Navy – 82
  • Wake Forest – 55
  • Boston College –  47

Like I said, overall, I’m pleased with the results.  I do expect things to move around quite a bit once the wins and losses start piling up and some of the “big wins” end up being laughable before it’s all said and done.  The main goal of the rankings worked fairly well though: teams that won rose well above teams that didn’t for the most part.  For those teams that played FCS games, they got punished worse than I thought.  Sparty and Navy for instance are ranked over 80, landing only above teams that got absolutely destroyed last week.  I guess that punishment is working quite well so far.

I can’t wait to see next week’s results.  Remember, the W/L opponent rank will be determined by the previous week so we will likely have some more hilarity as teams with some clearly lopsided rankings benefit their opponents should they beat them.

Experiment for the Season: The NDtex25

For this season, I thought it would be a little fun to do a bit of an experiment with college football rankings.  I make absolutely zero promises on this working out to make any sense at all, but I figure it’s worth a shot anyways.  Yes, I know, it’s another crazy formula in a sport that has too many already, but I’m a sports nerd, deal with it.

My goal here was to make the formula as simple as possible, but also try to find good metrics to separate teams.  I want to keep conference biases out of the equation and I don’t want preseason rankings to matter either.  Also, despite them being removed from BCS rankings, I firmly believe that margin of victory matters.  Finally I want to make sure wins are valued dynamically, that is, if you beat presesaon #1 in OU and OU finishes in the middle of the pack, that victory isn’t nearly as impressive.

So here’s what I’ve come up with.


Simply put, wins and losses matter; however, not every win or loss is created equal.  We often here analysts talk about “style points” regarding the margin of victory, even though they have long since been removed from BCS equations.  Of course, running up the score is something no ranking should encourage, but I think I’ve found a happy middle ground here.  In my mind, there are really three types of victories in a football game: a close win, a comfortable win, and a complete blowout.  My ranking will put all wins and losses into these three categories, defining each as follows:

  • Close Win: Single possession victory (1-8 points)
  • Comfortable Win: Two possession victory (9-16 points)
  • Blowout Win: Three possession victory and above (17+ points)

The above will define some separation for the teams as far as “style points” are concerned, plus there will be little bonus for running up the score.  In my mind, once you are up by three possessions, everything else is just stat padding at that point.

The other major metric to add is the rank of the team you beat or lost to.  Victories against top ranked opponents should be rewarded as opposed to destroying a bottom feeder.  On the loss side, losing to an opponent that is clearly better than you shouldn’t drop you as much as losing to a team that is one of the worst in college football.

With all this in mind, I’ve come up with the following over-simplified formula:

  • W/L [1/-1] * Margin [1/2/3] * Opponent Rank [1-120] = Total W/L Points

The opponent rank multiplier will be initially based on their ranking for that current week and will change dynamically for the remainder of the season.  For wins, beating #1 means a 120 multiplier, but losing to #1 will result in a 1 multiplier.

Oh, and if a team schedules a FCS team, I will not be rewarding it, period.  I’m going to treat FCS games like a BYE.  Bowl games don’t count FCS wins, so I surely won’t.  I’ve thought about being extremely vindictive and penalizing heavily for pulling a Michigan and losing to a FCS team, but for simplicity of programming I won’t this year.

Other Metrics

While measuring wins and losses will be the bulk of my rankings, I wanted to add in something to provide a bit of extra separation between the teams (also, I need to have a way to initially rank teams for week 1).  I wanted to find some kind of stat to measure a teams overall effectiveness on both sides of the ball and try to find a way to incorporate special teams as well.  For this area, I will be adding in Average Total Net Yardage along with Average Turnover Margin.  The forumlas for each are as follows:

  • Average Total Net Yardage = [(Offensive Yards Gained + Punt Return Yards + Kick Return Yards) – (Yards Allowed + Punt Return Yards Allowed + Kick Return Yards Allowed + Penalty Yardage)]/Games Played
  • Average Turnover Margin = (Turnovers Forced-Turnovers Allowed)/Games Played

The Average Total Net Yardage (good God, I need to come up with a different name for now, I’ll use ATNY for this), will measure the performance of a team in every area of the game, including shooting yourself in the foot with penalties.  Turnover Margin is rather self-explanatory: good teams hold onto the ball, bad teams cough it up.

Now, you will notice that I’m taking the averages for both.  This should help give a better ranking as the season progresses so the rare explosions or complete brain-farts will even out by season’s end.

I won’t be throwing out the high & lows for either stat this season; however, much like the wins category, if there is a game against a FCS team, I won’t be counting the stats regardless of the outcome.  There should be zero reward at all for scheduling the cupcakes and that goes for the stats as well.

Putting It All Together

Ok, so with all these crazy numbers, each team will be ranked for each category 1-120 separately, with 120 points going to the top rank, descending appropriately.  Keeping in mind that wins and losses should be the big player here, I have come up with the following:

  • (W/L Points Rank + (ANTY Rank + TO Margin Rank)/2)/2 = Final Score

All teams will then be ranked based on their final score.  As I said before, week 1 will be a little bit goofy as I will have to do an “initial ranking” based on ANTY and TO Margin before the week 1 wins and losses can come into play.

Overall, I expect some seriously crazy and hilarious rankings early on in the season.  Once the season rolls on, and the losses start piling up, I am hoping that the ranking seems at least halfway feasible.

This should be a good bit of fun and hopefully this formula can be a good starting point for some slight tweaks in future seasons.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some programming to do.

Edit: Since this has been posted, I have added a tie breaker to my final rankings. The order of which is:

  • W/L Points Rank
  • ANTY Rank
  • TO Margin Rank
  • Alphabetical Order (because I’m lazy like that)