Friday, October 10, 2008

Teams Ranked by the Rankings

The Best Offenses and Defenses So Far

One of the things I consider in my own BlogPoll rankings is the quality of wins, and of even more importance, the quality of losses. For the first couple of weeks this is based on little more than hunches, as we don’t really know early on which teams are very good. A perfect example of this would be now 3-loss Clemson, who was among topped ranked teams to start the year. (Correspondingly Alabama’s then “shocking” win over the Tigers looks less impressive every week)

I try to look at a number of statistics as they become available, and regularly try to assess the relative merit of these statistics. Not surprisingly, scoring offense and scoring defense are highly correlated to success (defense more so).

What follows is a simple exercise, but with interesting results. I averaged the national ranking of each team’s scoring offense and defense to come up with an overall ranking. I used the qualifier “so far” in my subtitle as many of these teams (Big 12 in particular) have not played a difficult slate thus far. As an example of how this works: Texas is currently the 6th ranked offense, and 4th ranked defense, for an average of 5th, good enough for number 1 in our rankings.

The Average of Offensive and Defensive Scoring Ranks (with average after teams) –

1 Texas 5
2 Penn St. 8
3 BYU 9
4 Oklahoma 9.5
5 Arizona 12.5
6 Florida 12.5
7 Southern California 13
8 TCU 14.5
9 Boise St. 16.5
10 Florida St. 16.5
11 Texas Tech 19
12 Ball St. 19.5
13 Alabama 21.5
14 LSU 21.5
15 California 22
16 Missouri 23
17 Boston College 24
18 Kentucky 27
19 Georgia Tech 27.5
20 Oklahoma St. 28.5
21 South Fla. 30
22 Northern Ill. 31
23 Clemson 31.5
24 Kansas 31.5
25 Tulsa 31.5
26 Arkansas St. 32
27 Iowa 32.5
28 Utah 33
29 Georgia 35
30 Michigan St. 36
31 North Carolina 36.5
32 Minnesota 39
33 Wisconsin 39
34 Cincinnati 40
35 Northwestern 41
36 Oregon 41
37 Vanderbilt 42
38 Ohio St. 43.5
39 Connecticut 44
40 Western Mich. 45
41 Air Force 46.5
42 Troy 47.5
43 Wake Forest 48.5
44 South Carolina 49
45 Miami (Fla.) 50.5
46 Nebraska 51
47 Kansas St. 51.5
48 Houston 52
49 Notre Dame 52
50 Auburn 52.5
51 West Virginia 52.5
52 Duke 53.5
53 Louisville 53.5
54 Mississippi 53.5
55 Iowa St. 54
56 Virginia Tech 54
57 Navy 57
58 Illinois 58
59 Indiana 59
60 Pittsburgh 59.5
61 Fresno St. 60
62 Nevada 61.5
63 East Carolina 63
64 Memphis 63
65 Arizona St. 64
66 Rice 64
67 Baylor 64.5
68 Purdue 64.5
69 Southern Miss. 65.5
70 Tennessee 66
71 Oregon St. 67
72 Maryland 68
73 Akron 68.5
74 Bowling Green 68.5
75 La.-Lafayette 70
76 UTEP 71
77 Temple 71.5
78 Buffalo 72
79 New Mexico St. 73
80 San Jose St. 73
81 Colorado 76
82 Rutgers 77
83 Stanford 78.5
84 Central Mich. 79
85 Ohio 79.5
86 Florida Int'l 80.5
87 New Mexico 81
88 Middle Tenn. St. 81.5
89 Mississippi St. 81.5
90 UNLV 82.5
91 Tulane 83
92 Michigan 85.5
93 Army 86
94 Colorado St. 88
95 Toledo 88
96 La.-Monroe 89
97 UAB 90
98 Marshall 90.5
99 San Diego St. 91
100 Texas A&M 91.5
101 Virginia 92
102 Louisiana Tech 94
103 UCF 94
104 Kent St. 96
105 Eastern Mich. 97
106 UCLA 97
107 Hawaii 100.5
108 North Carolina St. 101
109 SMU 101
110 Syracuse 101
111 Utah St. 101.5
112 Miami (Ohio) 102
113 Wyoming 102
114 Fla. Atlantic 107.5
115 Idaho 107.5
116 Arkansas 110.5
117 Washington 110.5
118 Washington St. 114.5
119 North Texas 118.5


Teams that surprised me to the upside

Arizona – How exactly did they lose to New Mexico?

Florida – Yeah, I have been one of the complainers too. Maybe Bianchi is right.

Florida State – Watch out for the Noles?

Ball State – A nice ranking, but to what opposition?

Northern Illinois – In the top 25?


Teams that surprised me to the downside –

Missouri – a great offense with a lousy defense lands these Tigers 16th overall.

Georgia – 29th overall because of a defense that is 43rd in scoring.

Vanderbilt – at 37th overall, maybe living on borrowed time.

Ohio State – 38th overall, even worse than Vandy.

Notre Dame – at 49th they Irish don’t appear to be “back”.

Auburn – at 50th, where a totally miserable offense will get you. How are they ranked so high by pollsters?

Virginia Tech – 56th overall, as a result of 73rd offense and 35th defense.


Other rankings of note –

Florida’s loss to number 54 Mississippi was bad, but USC’s loss to number 71 Oregon State a shocker.

Tennessee is 70th. Ugh.

Michigan is 92nd. Ugh,Ugh.

Remember USC’s big win against Virginia? Me neither, as UVA is an embarrassing 101st.

Arkansas is 116th, worst in the SEC by a large margin.

The Pac Ten has a plethora of plus 100 teams in UCLA (106), Washington (117) and Washington State (118).

We will take a look at these ratings a few weeks on when we have more big game data.

Finally, I’m not sure what to make of Florida at this point. 6th overall, but look at the rankings of who we have played –

107th Hawaii
45th Miami
70th Tennessee
54th Mississippi
116th Arkansas

I have taken some heat for not ranking Florida from the BlogPoll, but in light of this, I think I am totally justified.

6 comments:

PhilipVU94 said...

In a sense I agree that Vanderbilt is "living on borrowed time," in that I expect our W-L to regress to closer to our stats. I don't really think we're the 12th-best team in the SEC or whatever, though. The YPP stats, while not exactly impressive, are a fairer representation of where we stand than YPG stats.

****
Also, is your blogroll based on merit or comprehensive? I write a Vanderbilt-oriented blog with some stats-heavy posts. I'm trying to get better at doing analytical posts like you have here, but perhaps you have some standard for blogroll inclusion that isn't obvious.

jj gator said...

Illinoise may be at 58 according to your poll, but let's see how far they drop when they get into the realy nitty-gritty of their Big Ten schedule. According to a reliable source they're near or at the bottom of the Big Ten in many aspects.

Amos said...

One thing to perhaps keep in mind is that with the number of games that have been played so far, each and every game can strongly affect the rankings.

The problem with looking at the rankings of those people we've played is that by us doing well against them, we hurt their rankings and make them look worse than they might actually be. This becomes less of an issue once everyone has more games, and by no means affects only Florida, but it is something that should be considered when looking at rankings like this.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

PhilipVU94,

I have added you to the blogroll. No problem. Maybe you sent us an email and I didn't see it. But there's no requirement to be on the blogroll. We just have to know you exist.

Mergz said...

Totally agree the evidence is limited thus far (and I stated so).

However you don't get to 116th by one bad game...

DolFan 316 said...

Wow. After today, those rankings sure seem to be more accurate than any others I've seen. Except for FSU at #10, what's up with that? But seriously, GREAT job.