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The Bulldogs pushed aside the Tigers in week 7; just not in the SRS

MSU pushed aside Auburn in week 7; (but not in the SRS).

In last week’s rankings, Auburn stood head and shoulders above the rest of college football. As a result, even a 15-point loss on the road against Mississippi State wasn’t enough to nudge the Tigers from the top spot. Is this a problem? Not really. The SRS ratings are predictive; they are not designed to tell you which teams are the most deserving or which schools have accomplished the most. Instead, they are intended to give you an idea of what might happen in a future game between any two teams.

Auburn’s rating is amplified by a 41-7 victory against LSU, which stands out as the most dominant performance of the year. The Tigers also crushed Arkansas by 24, a margin that looks more impressive every week. Other than yesterday’s loss, Auburn’s “worst” performance of the year by SRS standards was a 6-point win on the road against Kansas State (#14 in the SRS), which would be the best game of the year for all but a handful of teams.

The Mississippi schools check in at #2 and #3 in the SRS this week; Alabama and Texas A&M are #8 and #9, giving the SEC West five teams in the top ten yet again. Auburn, with the double-edged sword of a brutal schedule, will have no problem getting back into the playoff discussion if the Tigers can win out. Georgia, fresh off a 34-0 thumping of Missouri, is now 7th in the SRS. But I want to focus on schools 4, 5, and 6 in the ratings. All are from the Big 12, a conference doesn’t appear to be getting much respect nationally.

The ten-team conference plays a round robin schedule, meaning each team gets nine division games. That leaves only 3 nonconference games for each school, and the class of the conference — Baylor, Oklahoma, and TCU — are already done with that part of their schedule. It makes sense to analyze these teams as a group, because for SRS purposes (and based on the two head-to-head games), these three teams are all about equal. In their nine nonconference games, they went 9-0 with an average margin of victory of 41 points, and all wins came by at least 23. Of course, that schedule was loaded with cupcakes: other than Tennessee (currently 12th in the SRS), the only semi-respectable opponents were Minnesota (#38) and Louisiana Tech (#50). And the Vols game is certainly helping: Tennessee is 3-3, but the losses were by 1 point to Florida, 4 to Georgia, and 24 to Oklahoma. [click to continue…]

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Ole Miss pulled off the big upset

Ole Miss pulled off the big upset.

Early in the day, Mississippi State blew out Texas A&M in Starkville, 48-31. That was the first half in the most incredible football day in Magnolia State history. What happened next was much more dramatic.

Ole Miss had lost 10 straight games to Alabama, with 9 of those games coming by at least 22 points. The last three years, the Crimson Tide had won by an average of 36.7 points. Last year, a 3-0 Ole Miss team — fresh off of a blowout win in Texas — lost in Tuscaloosa, 25-0. So while the Rebels entered Saturday with a 4-0 record and a top-15 ranking, it would be fair to wonder how they would handle an Alabama team that was still Alabama.

Early on, the Tide looked like the better team. Amari Cooper was not dominating, but T.J. Yeldon looked great, en route to a 100-yard day. Quarterback Blake Sims looked smart and efficient, while Ole Miss couldn’t seem to get much going on offense like just about every opponent ever against Alabama. Still, the Rebels defense had played well enough to keep the Tide to just seven first half points, and the game looked to be 7-3 at the end of the half. That is, until what appeared to be the turning point of the game.

In the final seconds of the half, a screen pass to I’Tavius Mathers looked to be uneventful, until Cyrus Jones pulled off the trifecta — strip, fumble recovery, return for a touchdown. Replays showed that Jones committed a blatant facemask penalty, which likely lead to the fumble, but the refs didn’t see it. So after a great first half, a bad call meant Ole Miss was suddenly down 14-3. This seemed like a recipe for yet another Alabama win over the Upstart Of the Week.

But the weirdest thing happened in the second half. Ole Miss didn’t just outscore Alabama, it outplayed them. And not by an insignificant margin. Bo Wallace, Laquon Treadwell, and Evan Engram (other than a huge drop) were dominant in the second half, while the Ole Miss defense continued its excellent play. A gorgeous touchdown to Jaylen Walton gave Ole Miss a touchdown lead, but in typical Ole Miss fashion, the team botched the extra point not once, but twice.1

With Ole Miss now clinging to only a 6-point lead, you could hardly blame anyone for expecting Alabama to win the game with a last second touchdown. A 30-yard catch and run by Cooper on the final drive put the Tide in inside the Ole Miss 30. But an incredible interception by Senquez Golson sealed the victory, and the day was complete: Mississippi not only beat, but outplayed Alabama, in a crucial game in a battle for SEC West supremacy. The game (and the aftermath) was everything that was great about college football.

Which almost makes it seem silly to transition to college football ratings, since we are still too early in the year for these ratings to hold significant meaning. Last week, I unveiled the initial SRS ratings. In perhaps two weeks, the ratings will start to really hold up, but for now, these are mostly a gut check. As always thanks to Dr. Peter R. Wolfe for providing the weekly game logs. As a reminder, these ratings are intended to be predictive only, and not intended as a way to rank college football teams for any other purpose. [click to continue…]

  1. First, the kick clanked off the upright. A roughing the kicker penalty gave the Rebels another chance, but the second extra point attempt was blocked. []
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The past couple of weeks, I was using a quasi-Elo style rating system to produce college football team ratings. And while after five weeks it is still far too early to put much faith in any computer ratings, we can at least begin framing the discussion of which are the most impressive teams in college football. So, as we did last year, the first edition of the college football SRS ratings are coming out at the end of September. As a reminder, here is the methodology:

1) For each game not played at a neutral site, 3 points are given to the road team. After that adjustment, all wins and losses of between 7 and 24 points are recorded exactly as such. This means that a 24-10 road win goes down as +17 for the road team, -17 for the home team.

2) With one exception, wins of 7 or fewer points are scored as 7-point wins and losses of 7 or fewer points are scored as 7 point losses. So a 4-point home win goes down as +7 (and not a 1) and a 1-point home loss is a -7 (and not a -4). The one exception is that road losses of 3 or fewer (and home wins of 3 or fewer) are graded as ties. So a 21-20 home victory goes down as a 0 for both teams.

3) Wins/Losses of more than 24 points are scored as the average between the actual number and 24. This is to avoid giving undue credit to teams that run up the score. So a 75-point home win goes down as a 48-point win.

Once we have a rating for each team in each game, we then adjust each result for strength of schedule. This is an iterative process, where we adjust the ratings hundreds of times (to adjust for SOS, you have to adjust for the SOS of each opponent, and the SOS of each opponent’s opponent, and so on.) in Excel. Then we produce final ratings, where the SRS rating is the sum of the Margin of Victory and Strength of Schedule in every week.

After five weeks, what are the results? As usual, the table is fully searchable (type “-0″, for example, to see a list of undefeated teams, or SEC to see all SEC teams.) Right now, the number one team is Oklahoma, with an average (adjusted) Margin of Victory of 24.6 points per game against an average opponent that is 43.3 points better than average (average includes all football teams at all levels, so all FBS teams will have a positive grade). Among undefeated teams, the only teams with tougher to-date schedules than Oklahoma are Auburn and UCLA. Below shows the ratings for all 128 FBS teams.

As always thanks to Dr. Peter R. Wolfe for providing the weekly game logs. [click to continue…]

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Analyzing NFL SRS Ratings Through 3.0625 Weeks

I thought it would be fun to create NFL SRS ratings through three weeks and one Thursday Night football game. After just 3.0625 weeks, all data are heavily influenced by events that are unlikely to be repeated.  Remember Neil’s old post that showed how for teams with any record, to determine their “true winning percentage”, we need to add 5.5 wins and 5.5 losses. That means through three weeks, a team’s actual record should still be regressed to league average by nearly 80%; in other words, take all these ratings with a big grain of salt.  But there’s no reason not to run the numbers, so here are the customary parameters:

  • Home wins of less than 3 points are treated as ties;
  • For all other games, give the road team 3 points.  From there, wins of fewer than 7 points are treated as 7-point wins;
  • Wins of between 7 and 24 points (after adjusting for home field) are treated as they are.  So a 14-point home win is a 11-point MOV, and a 17-point road win is a 20-point MOV;
  • Wins of greater than 24 points convert to a Margin of Victory that is the average of 24 and the HFA-adjusted MOV.  So the Falcons get a 31.5 for beating Tampa Bay by 42 at home, while the Giants get a MOV of 29 for winning in Washington by 31.

From there, we simple use the typical SRS iteration process to produce a set a season ratings. Those are presented below: [click to continue…]

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The top passing game of 2013

The top passing game of 2013.

Yesterday, I analyzed the 2013 passing numbers for strength of schedule. Today, we look at the best and worst games of the year, from the perspectives of both the quarterbacks and the defenses.

Let’s start with the top 100 passing games from 2014. The top spot belongs to Philadelphia’s Nick Foles, for his monstrous performance against Oakland. Foles threw for 406 yards and 7 touchdowns on just 28 pass attempts. Even including his one one-yard sack, Foles averaged a whopping 18.79 ANY/A in that game. The league-average last season was 5.86 ANY/A, which means Foles was 12.93 ANY/A above average. Now since the game came against the Raiders, we have to reduce that by -1.29, which was how many ANY/A the Raiders defense was below average. So that puts Foles at +11.64; multiply that by his 29 dropbacks, and he produced 337 adjusted net yards of value above average after adjusting for strength of schedule. That narrowly edges out the other seven-touchdown game of 2013, which came at the hands of Peyton Manning against Baltimore on opening night.

The third spot goes to Drew Brees in a week 17 performance against Tampa Bay. The 4th best game of 2013 was a bit more memorable: Tony Romo takes that prize in a losing effort, the insane week five shootout against Manning and the Broncos (Peyton’s performance checks in at #32). The table below shows the top 100 games of 2013, although for viewing purposes, it displays only the top 10 by default (all tables, as usual, are fully searchable, expandable, and sortable). [click to continue…]

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Adjusting for strength of schedule is important

Adjusting for strength of schedule is important.

Every year at Footballguys.com, I publish an article called Rearview QB, which adjusts the fantasy football statistics for quarterbacks (and defenses) for strength of schedule. I’ve also done the same thing for years (including last season) using ANY/A instead of fantasy points, which helps us fully understand the best and worst real life performances each year. Today I deliver the results from 2013.

Let’s start with the basics. Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt is defined as (Passing Yards + 20 * Passing Touchdowns – 45 * Interceptions – Sack Yards Lost) divided by (Pass Attempts plus Sacks). ANY/A is my favorite explanatory passing statistic — it is very good at telling you the amount of value provided (or not provided) by a passer in a given game, season, or career.

Let’s start with some basic information. The league average ANY/A in 2013 was 5.86, a slight downgrade from 2012 (5.93). Nick Foles led the way with a 9.18 ANY/A average last year, the highest rate in the league among the 45 passers with at least 100 dropbacks. Since the Eagles quarterback had 317 pass attempts and 28 sacks in 2013, that means he was producing 3.32 ANY/A (i.e., his Relative ANY/A) over league average on 345 dropbacks. That means Foles is credited with 1,145 Adjusted Net Yards above average, a metric labeled “VALUE” in the table below. Of course, Peyton Manning led the league in that category last year, with a whopping 2,037 Adjusted Net Yards over Average.

Rk
Name
Tm
Cmp
Att
Pyd
TD
INT
Sk
SkYd
DB
ANY/A
VALUE
1Peyton ManningDEN45065954775510181206778.872037
2Nick FolesPHI2033172891272281733459.181145
3Drew BreesNOR44665051623912372446877.511130
4Philip RiversSDG37854444783211301505747.791107
5Aaron RodgersGNB1932902536176211173118665
6Josh McCownCHI149224182913111372358.54629
7Russell WilsonSEA2574073357269442724517.1555
8Tony RomoDAL34253538283110352725706.54384
9Colin KaepernickSFO2434163197218392314556.65358
10Matthew StaffordDET37163446502919231686576.4355
11Andy DaltonCIN36358642933320291826156.29265
12Ben RoethlisbergerPIT37558442612814422826266.24238
13Tom BradyNWE38062843432511402566686.13175
14Michael VickPHI7714112155315991566.93166
15Jay CutlerCHI22435526211912191323746.23136
16Andrew LuckIND3435703822239322276026.06120
17Sam BradfordSTL159262168714415972776.166
18Alex SmithKAN3085083313237392105475.9441
19Matt McGloinOAK1182111547886532175.9622
20Jake LockerTEN111183125684161051995.68-36
21Matt CasselMIN153254180711916852705.69-46
22Brian HoyerCLE5796615536481025.22-66
23Cam NewtonCAR29247333792413433365165.69-88
24Thaddeus LewisBUF93157109243181001755.35-89
25Ryan FitzpatrickTEN21735024541412211093715.62-90
26Matt RyanATL43965145152617442986955.72-103
27Carson PalmerARI36257242742422412896135.67-119
28Matt FlynnGNB124200139285241352245.32-121
29Case KeenumHOU137253176096192012725.4-126
30Kellen ClemensSTL142242167387211382635.25-162
31Jason CampbellCLE1803172015118161043335.32-182
32Robert GriffinWAS27445632031612382744945.48-188
33Christian PonderMIN152239164879271192664.75-296
34EJ ManuelBUF1803061972119281593344.87-330
35Josh FreemanTAM63147761248611553.61-349
36Kirk CousinsWAS81155854475321603.67-351
37Brandon WeedenCLE141267173199271802944.51-398
38Mike GlennonTAM2474162608199403144564.98-405
39Matt SchaubHOU21935823101014211623794.53-504
40Terrelle PryorOAK1562721798711312033034.09-537
41Chad HenneJAX30550332411314382435414.86-544
42Ryan TannehillMIA35558839132417583996465-559
43Eli ManningNYG31755138181827392815904.53-788
44Geno SmithNYJ24744330461221433154864.17-824
45Joe FlaccoBAL36261439121922483246624.5-904

Manning paces in the field in Value over average, of course: that’s not surprising when the future Hall of Famer set the single-season record for passing yards and passing touchdowns. Foles, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers formed the next tier of quarterbacks, far behind Manning but well ahead of the rest of the league.

And at the bottom of the list was the defending Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco. With a 4.50 ANY/A average, Flacco only edged out four other quarterbacks in that statistic, and none of the other passers came close to accumulating as many dropbacks as Flacco. After him comes the two New York quraterbacks, Geno Smith and Eli Manning.

But the point of today’s post is to adjust those numbers for strength of schedule. The solution is this post — a methodology I’ve labeled Rearview adjusted net yards per attempt, which adjusts those numbers for strength of schedule. The system is essentially the same as the one used in the Simple Rating System. Let’s look at Matt Ryan, who averaged 5.72 ANY/A last season, on 695 dropbacks. If we want to find Ryan’s SOS-adjusted rating, we need an equation that looks something like this: [click to continue…]

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FSU is a heavy favorite to wind up in the national title game again

FSU is a heavy favorite to wind up in the national title game again.

The Simple Rating System is a set of computer rankings that is focused on only two variables: strength of schedule and margin of victory. I publish weekly college football SRS ratings each season, and you can read more about the SRS there. Last year, I took the Las Vegas point spreads for over 200 college football games to come up with a set of power rankings. By taking every data point, and using Excel to iterate the ratings hundreds of times, I was able to generate a set of implied team ratings.

Well on Friday, the Golden Nugget released the point spreads for 200 games (h/t to RJ Bell). You might not think we can do much with just a couple hundred games, but by using an SRS-style process, those point spreads can help us determine the implied ratings that Las Vegas has assigned to each team.

We don’t have a full slate of games, but we do have at least 1 game for 77 different teams. Theoretically, this is different than using actual game results: one game can be enough to come up with Vegas’ implied rating for the team. Purdue may only have a spread for one game, but that’s enough. Why? Because Purdue is a 21-point underdog at a neutral field (Lucas Oil) against Notre Dame, and we have point spreads for the Fighting Irish in ten other games. Since we can be reasonably confident in Notre Dame’s rating, that makes us able to be pretty confident about Purdue’s rating, too.

The system is pretty simple: I took the point spread for each game and turned it into a marvin of victory, after assigning 3 points to the road team in each game. For example, Alabama is a 6-point home favorite against Auburn. So for that game, we assume Vegas believes the Tide are three points better than the Tigers; if we do this for each of the other 199 games, and then iterate the results hundreds of times, we can come up with a set of power ratings. [click to continue…]

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Vegas Has The Seahawks As the Best Team in 2014

Last year, I derived implied SRS Ratings for each NFL team based on the initial Vegas point spreads. Well, lines have been set for the first 240 games of the year — i.e., every week but week 17 — which means we can re-run the exercise for 2014.

So how do we use point spread data to derive SRS ratings? The point spread in each game provides an implied strength margin (“ISM”) between the two teams: When the Raiders are 10-point home underdogs to Denver, that implies that Denver is 13 points better than Oakland. If we treat each ISM like we would margin of victory, then we can use the SRS to come up with team ratings. For those who need a primer on what the SRS is, you can read about it here; the rest of you can skip to the ratings:

Rk
Team
MOV
SOS
SRS
1Seattle Seahawks5.10.926.02
2Denver Broncos5.530.155.68
3San Francisco 49ers4.30.815.11
4Green Bay Packers3.50.33.8
5New England Patriots3.6-0.393.21
6New Orleans Saints2.070.782.85
7Carolina Panthers1.330.822.15
8Chicago Bears0.570.781.35
9Philadelphia Eagles1.20.071.27
10Cincinnati Bengals1.3-0.171.13
11Indianapolis Colts1.97-0.891.08
12Detroit Lions0.93-0.030.9
13Kansas City Chiefs0.730.120.85
14Atlanta Falcons0.30.390.69
15Pittsburgh Steelers1.47-0.850.61
16Dallas Cowboys0.370.140.5
17Baltimore Ravens0.93-0.580.36
18Arizona Cardinals-1.271-0.27
19New York Giants-0.23-0.11-0.35
20San Diego Chargers-0.3-0.13-0.43
21Houston Texans0.4-1.46-1.06
22Miami Dolphins-1.1-0.44-1.54
23Washington Redskins-1.27-0.34-1.6
24Tampa Bay Buccaneers-2.370.48-1.88
25St. Louis Rams-2.70.72-1.98
26New York Jets-2.6-0.03-2.63
27Cleveland Browns-1.87-0.82-2.69
28Buffalo Bills-2.6-0.37-2.97
29Minnesota Vikings-3.60.47-3.13
30Tennessee Titans-1.97-1.31-3.27
31Oakland Raiders-6.270.52-5.75
32Jacksonville Jaguars-7.47-0.55-8.01

This time last year, the top five teams were…. well, the exact same five teams, albeit in a slightly different order. And the bottom three teams were… Jacksonville, Oakland, and Tennessee, in that exact order. The Broncos have the largest average margin of victory1, but because the Seahawks face a tougher schedule, the Seahawks are implied by Vegas to be the strongest team in the NFL at six points better than average.

One interesting way to use the SRS is to see which teams have the hardest schedules. Pre-season strength of schedule is essentially meaningless when based on last year’s record, but the SOS ratings here are based on the implied strengths of each team. In my opinion, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better set of strength of schedule ratings in May than what we see here (other than the fact that they exclude week 17).

The toughest schedule this year belongs to Arizona: add in the oldest roster in the league in 2013, and it’s easy to see why Vegas is so bearish on the Cardinals in 2014. The Seahawks (+0.92) and 49ers (+0.81) have two of the next three toughest schedules (with the Panthers sandwiched between them). The Rams are a few spots down, but remember: this is only the strength of schedule for the first sixteen weeks of the season. St. Louis travels to Seattle in week 17, so the Rams schedule would be just as brutal if we included that game. The Bears having one of the five hardest schedules is a surprise after having such an easy slate in 2013.  It’s true that this analysis ignores that Chicago gets to play Minnesota in week 17, which would ease their schedule strength, but the Bears face the 49ers, Patriots, Saints, and Panthers this year, along with two games against Green Bay. That’s six games against top-7 teams.

Three AFC South teams have the easiest schedules; the Jaguars would probably join the rest of the division if they had two games against Jacksonville. The Texans are set up nicely for a rebound season under Jadeveon Clowney, Bill O’Brien, and, uh, Ryan Fitzpatrick/Case Keenum/Tom Savage. What’s really incredible about Houston’s schedule: not only do the Texans have the easiest schedule through 16 weeks, the Texans host the Jaguars in week 17! Including that game would bring Houston’s schedule down to 1.9 points easier than average.

If you include that game, 8 of the Texans’ 16 games are against teams that are 1.5 points weaker than average. Playing six games against the AFC South, the NFC East and the AFC North, and the Bills and Raiders makes for about as easy a schedule as one could create. Assuming the Texans would be favored in week 17, that means Houston — which went 2-14 last year — is favored in 8 of 16 games and a pick’em in three others (Philadelphia and Cincinnati at home, Tennessee on the road). That’s pretty incredible, and explains why Vegas was so bullish on Houston.

The table below shows each game in the first sixteen weeks of the 2014 season.  Here’s how to read the Seahawks/Raiders line: In week 9, Seattle hosts Oakland. The line is -14.5, which means the Seahawks are 14.5-point favorites. Seattle’s SRS is 6.0 while Oakland has an SRS of -5.8. Therefore, the line predicted by the SRS would be Seattle -14.8 (since the Raiders are 11.8 points worse than the Seahawks and on the road). The difference between the actual line and the SRS line is -0.3 points. By definition, the sum of all the differences between the actual lines and SRS lines must be 0, since the SRS lines were generated from the actual lines. The table below contains 480 rows, showing each game from the perspective of both teams (although the only searchable column is the first team column):

Wk
Team 1
Team 2
H/R
Line
Tm SRS
Opp SRS
Proj SRS Line
Diff
9Seattle SeahawksOakland RaidersHome-14.56-5.8-14.8-0.3
3New England PatriotsOakland RaidersHome-133.2-5.8-121
12Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsHome-121.1-8-12.1-0.1
14Denver BroncosBuffalo BillsHome-11.55.7-3-11.7-0.2
1Philadelphia EaglesJacksonville JaguarsHome-111.3-8-12.3-1.3
9Cincinnati BengalsJacksonville JaguarsHome-111.1-8-12.1-1.1
9San Francisco 49ersSt. Louis RamsHome-115.1-2-10.10.9
15Baltimore RavensJacksonville JaguarsHome-10.50.4-8-11.4-0.9
12Seattle SeahawksArizona CardinalsHome-10.56-0.3-9.31.2
4San Diego ChargersJacksonville JaguarsHome-10-0.4-8-10.6-0.6
12Denver BroncosMiami DolphinsHome-105.7-1.5-10.2-0.2
5Green Bay PackersMinnesota VikingsHome-103.8-3.1-9.90.1
10Seattle SeahawksNew York GiantsHome-106-0.3-9.30.7
3New Orleans SaintsMinnesota VikingsHome-102.8-3.1-8.91.1
10Dallas CowboysJacksonville JaguarsLond-100.5-8-8.51.5
10Denver BroncosOakland RaidersRoad-105.7-5.8-8.51.5
2Washington RedskinsJacksonville JaguarsHome-9-1.6-8-9.4-0.4
5Denver BroncosArizona CardinalsHome-95.7-0.3-90
12San Francisco 49ersWashington RedskinsHome-8.55.1-1.6-9.7-1.2
15Kansas City ChiefsOakland RaidersHome-8.50.8-5.8-9.6-1.1
2Green Bay PackersNew York JetsHome-8.53.8-2.6-9.4-0.9
8Denver BroncosSan Diego ChargersHome-8.55.7-0.4-9.1-0.6
11San Diego ChargersOakland RaidersHome-8-0.4-5.8-8.4-0.4
7New England PatriotsNew York JetsHome-7.53.2-2.6-8.8-1.3
6Seattle SeahawksDallas CowboysHome-7.560.5-8.5-1
16Carolina PanthersCleveland BrownsHome-7.52.1-2.7-7.8-0.3
5New Orleans SaintsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-7.52.8-1.9-7.7-0.2
4Indianapolis ColtsTennessee TitansHome-7.51.1-3.3-7.40.1
5Detroit LionsBuffalo BillsHome-7.50.9-3-6.90.6
16San Francisco 49ersSan Diego ChargersHome-75.1-0.4-8.5-1.5
14San Francisco 49ersOakland RaidersRoad-75.1-5.8-7.9-0.9
2Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsHome-75.70.8-7.9-0.9
6Tennessee TitansJacksonville JaguarsHome-7-3.3-8-7.7-0.7
1Denver BroncosIndianapolis ColtsHome-75.71.1-7.6-0.6
12Philadelphia EaglesTennessee TitansHome-71.3-3.3-7.6-0.6
11Chicago BearsMinnesota VikingsHome-71.4-3.1-7.5-0.5
3Cincinnati BengalsTennessee TitansHome-71.1-3.3-7.4-0.4
5San Francisco 49ersKansas City ChiefsHome-75.10.8-7.3-0.3
15Detroit LionsMinnesota VikingsHome-70.9-3.1-70
2San Francisco 49ersChicago BearsHome-75.11.4-6.70.3
12Atlanta FalconsCleveland BrownsHome-70.7-2.7-6.40.6
15New England PatriotsMiami DolphinsHome-6.53.2-1.5-7.7-1.2
1Chicago BearsBuffalo BillsHome-6.51.4-3-7.4-0.9
15Carolina PanthersTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-6.52.1-1.9-7-0.5
10Cincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsHome-6.51.1-2.7-6.8-0.3
14Green Bay PackersAtlanta FalconsHome-6.53.80.7-6.10.4
8Kansas City ChiefsSt. Louis RamsHome-6.50.8-2-5.80.7
5Pittsburgh SteelersJacksonville JaguarsRoad-6.50.6-8-5.60.9
12New Orleans SaintsBaltimore RavensHome-6.52.80.4-5.41.1
16New Orleans SaintsAtlanta FalconsHome-6.52.80.7-5.11.4
4San Francisco 49ersPhiladelphia EaglesHome-65.11.3-6.8-0.8
10Baltimore RavensTennessee TitansHome-60.4-3.3-6.7-0.7
9Kansas City ChiefsNew York JetsHome-60.8-2.6-6.4-0.4
12Chicago BearsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-61.4-1.9-6.3-0.3
5Philadelphia EaglesSt. Louis RamsHome-61.3-2-6.3-0.3
3Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-61.1-8-6.1-0.1
7Chicago BearsMiami DolphinsHome-61.4-1.5-5.90.1
14Detroit LionsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-60.9-1.9-5.80.2
13Indianapolis ColtsWashington RedskinsHome-61.1-1.6-5.70.3
10Green Bay PackersChicago BearsHome-63.81.4-5.40.6
6Denver BroncosNew York JetsRoad-65.7-2.6-5.30.7
12New England PatriotsDetroit LionsHome-63.20.9-5.30.7
7Seattle SeahawksSt. Louis RamsRoad-66-2-51
13St. Louis RamsOakland RaidersHome-5.5-2-5.8-6.8-1.3
3Atlanta FalconsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-5.50.7-1.9-5.6-0.1
13New York GiantsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-5.5-0.3-8-4.70.8
1Kansas City ChiefsTennessee TitansHome-50.8-3.3-7.1-2.1
1Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland BrownsHome-50.6-2.7-6.3-1.3
10Detroit LionsMiami DolphinsHome-50.9-1.5-5.4-0.4
1Seattle SeahawksGreen Bay PackersHome-563.8-5.2-0.2
13Houston TexansTennessee TitansHome-5-1.1-3.3-5.2-0.2
4Houston TexansBuffalo BillsHome-5-1.1-3-4.90.1
4Miami DolphinsOakland RaidersLond-5-1.5-5.8-4.30.7
1New York JetsOakland RaidersHome-4.5-2.6-5.8-6.2-1.7
8Cleveland BrownsOakland RaidersHome-4.5-2.7-5.8-6.1-1.6
3Philadelphia EaglesWashington RedskinsHome-4.51.3-1.6-5.9-1.4
11Green Bay PackersPhiladelphia EaglesHome-4.53.81.3-5.5-1
15Indianapolis ColtsHouston TexansHome-4.51.1-1.1-5.2-0.7
8Dallas CowboysWashington RedskinsHome-4.50.5-1.6-5.1-0.6
8New England PatriotsChicago BearsHome-4.53.21.4-4.8-0.3
11Denver BroncosSt. Louis RamsRoad-4.55.7-2-4.7-0.2
6Philadelphia EaglesNew York GiantsHome-4.51.3-0.3-4.6-0.1
5Seattle SeahawksWashington RedskinsRoad-4.56-1.6-4.6-0.1
5Dallas CowboysHouston TexansHome-4.50.5-1.1-4.6-0.1
1St. Louis RamsMinnesota VikingsHome-4.5-2-3.1-4.10.4
6San Francisco 49ersSt. Louis RamsRoad-4.55.1-2-4.10.4
12Green Bay PackersMinnesota VikingsRoad-4.53.8-3.1-3.90.6
14Chicago BearsDallas CowboysHome-4.51.40.5-3.90.6
15Green Bay PackersBuffalo BillsRoad-4.53.8-3-3.80.7
5San Diego ChargersNew York JetsHome-4-0.4-2.6-5.2-1.2
5New England PatriotsCincinnati BengalsHome-43.21.1-5.1-1.1
10Arizona CardinalsSt. Louis RamsHome-4-0.3-2-4.7-0.7
11New Orleans SaintsCincinnati BengalsHome-42.81.1-4.7-0.7
7Green Bay PackersCarolina PanthersHome-43.82.1-4.7-0.7
16Miami DolphinsMinnesota VikingsHome-4-1.5-3.1-4.6-0.6
12San Diego ChargersSt. Louis RamsHome-4-0.4-2-4.6-0.6
11Carolina PanthersAtlanta FalconsHome-42.10.7-4.4-0.4
6Arizona CardinalsWashington RedskinsHome-4-0.3-1.6-4.3-0.3
1Detroit LionsNew York GiantsHome-40.9-0.3-4.2-0.2
13Atlanta FalconsArizona CardinalsHome-40.7-0.3-40
14Houston TexansJacksonville JaguarsRoad-4-1.1-8-3.90.1
3New York GiantsHouston TexansHome-4-0.3-1.1-3.80.2
12Kansas City ChiefsOakland RaidersRoad-40.8-5.8-3.60.4
8Miami DolphinsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-4-1.5-8-3.50.5
16Chicago BearsDetroit LionsHome-41.40.9-3.50.5
4Pittsburgh SteelersTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-3.50.6-1.9-5.5-2
7Washington RedskinsTennessee TitansHome-3.5-1.6-3.3-4.7-1.2
7Pittsburgh SteelersHouston TexansHome-3.50.6-1.1-4.7-1.2
3Carolina PanthersPittsburgh SteelersHome-3.52.10.6-4.5-1
11Miami DolphinsBuffalo BillsHome-3.5-1.5-3-4.5-1
15New York GiantsWashington RedskinsHome-3.5-0.3-1.6-4.3-0.8
2Carolina PanthersDetroit LionsHome-3.52.10.9-4.2-0.7
15Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ersHome-3.565.1-3.9-0.4
7Dallas CowboysNew York GiantsHome-3.50.5-0.3-3.8-0.3
9Dallas CowboysArizona CardinalsHome-3.50.5-0.3-3.8-0.3
5Carolina PanthersChicago BearsHome-3.52.11.4-3.7-0.2
14New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersHome-3.52.82.1-3.7-0.2
13Green Bay PackersNew England PatriotsHome-3.53.83.2-3.6-0.1
3Seattle SeahawksDenver BroncosHome-3.565.7-3.30.2
16Seattle SeahawksArizona CardinalsRoad-3.56-0.3-3.30.2
6New England PatriotsBuffalo BillsRoad-3.53.2-3-3.20.3
15Denver BroncosSan Diego ChargersRoad-3.55.7-0.4-3.10.4
15Atlanta FalconsPittsburgh SteelersHome-3.50.70.6-3.10.4
7Arizona CardinalsOakland RaidersRoad-3.5-0.3-5.8-2.51
1New England PatriotsMiami DolphinsRoad-3.53.2-1.5-1.71.8
1San Francisco 49ersDallas CowboysRoad-3.55.10.5-1.61.9
8Tampa Bay BuccaneersMinnesota VikingsHome-3-1.9-3.1-4.2-1.2
13Baltimore RavensSan Diego ChargersHome-30.4-0.4-3.8-0.8
15Philadelphia EaglesDallas CowboysHome-31.30.5-3.8-0.8
8Cincinnati BengalsBaltimore RavensHome-31.10.4-3.7-0.7
5Indianapolis ColtsBaltimore RavensHome-31.10.4-3.7-0.7
7Denver BroncosSan Francisco 49ersHome-35.75.1-3.6-0.6
14Cincinnati BengalsPittsburgh SteelersHome-31.10.6-3.5-0.5
2Cincinnati BengalsAtlanta FalconsHome-31.10.7-3.4-0.4
2New England PatriotsMinnesota VikingsRoad-33.2-3.1-3.3-0.3
1Arizona CardinalsSan Diego ChargersHome-3-0.3-0.4-3.1-0.1
2New York GiantsArizona CardinalsHome-3-0.3-0.3-30
16New England PatriotsNew York JetsRoad-33.2-2.6-2.80.2
7Baltimore RavensAtlanta FalconsHome-30.40.7-2.70.3
16Green Bay PackersTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad-33.8-1.9-2.70.3
13Detroit LionsChicago BearsHome-30.91.4-2.50.5
11San Francisco 49ersNew York GiantsRoad-35.1-0.3-2.40.6
6Atlanta FalconsChicago BearsHome-30.71.4-2.30.7
13Carolina PanthersMinnesota VikingsRoad-32.1-3.1-2.20.8
13Denver BroncosKansas City ChiefsRoad-35.70.8-1.91.1
16Tennessee TitansJacksonville JaguarsRoad-3-3.3-8-1.71.3
15Chicago BearsNew Orleans SaintsHome-31.42.8-1.61.4
16St. Louis RamsNew York GiantsHome-3-2-0.3-1.31.7
1Houston TexansWashington RedskinsHome-2.5-1.1-1.6-3.5-1
2Seattle SeahawksSan Diego ChargersRoad-2.56-0.4-3.4-0.9
14Washington RedskinsSt. Louis RamsHome-2.5-1.6-2-3.4-0.9
8New York JetsBuffalo BillsHome-2.5-2.6-3-3.4-0.9
11Washington RedskinsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-2.5-1.6-1.9-3.3-0.8
9Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore RavensHome-2.50.60.4-3.2-0.7
7Buffalo BillsMinnesota VikingsHome-2.5-3-3.1-3.1-0.6
2Tampa Bay BuccaneersSt. Louis RamsHome-2.5-1.9-2-3.1-0.6
7Indianapolis ColtsCincinnati BengalsHome-2.51.11.1-3-0.5
2Indianapolis ColtsPhiladelphia EaglesHome-2.51.11.3-2.8-0.3
13Buffalo BillsCleveland BrownsHome-2.5-3-2.7-2.7-0.2
12Buffalo BillsNew York JetsHome-2.5-3-2.6-2.6-0.1
2New Orleans SaintsCleveland BrownsRoad-2.52.8-2.7-2.50
16Dallas CowboysIndianapolis ColtsHome-2.50.51.1-2.40.1
5Tennessee TitansCleveland BrownsHome-2.5-3.3-2.7-2.40.1
3San Francisco 49ersArizona CardinalsRoad-2.55.1-0.3-2.40.1
6San Diego ChargersOakland RaidersRoad-2.5-0.4-5.8-2.40.1
6Green Bay PackersMiami DolphinsRoad-2.53.8-1.5-2.30.2
7Cleveland BrownsJacksonville JaguarsRoad-2.5-2.7-8-2.30.2
1Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsHome-2.50.41.1-2.30.2
9Carolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsHome-2.52.12.8-2.30.2
12New York GiantsDallas CowboysHome-2.5-0.30.5-2.20.3
9Cleveland BrownsTampa Bay BuccaneersHome-2.5-2.7-1.9-2.20.3
11Seattle SeahawksKansas City ChiefsRoad-2.560.8-2.20.3
13San Francisco 49ersSeattle SeahawksHome-2.55.16-2.10.4
5New York GiantsAtlanta FalconsHome-2.5-0.30.7-20.5
8New Orleans SaintsGreen Bay PackersHome-2.52.83.8-20.5
9Miami DolphinsSan Diego ChargersHome-2.5-1.5-0.4-1.90.6
11Arizona CardinalsDetroit LionsHome-2.5-0.30.9-1.80.7
2Houston TexansOakland RaidersRoad-2.5-1.1-5.8-1.70.8
2Dallas CowboysTennessee TitansRoad-2.50.5-3.3-0.81.7
13Pittsburgh SteelersNew Orleans SaintsHome-2.50.62.8-0.81.7
2Baltimore RavensPittsburgh SteelersHome-20.40.6-2.8-0.8
14Minnesota VikingsNew York JetsHome-2-3.1-2.6-2.5-0.5
8Pittsburgh SteelersIndianapolis ColtsHome-20.61.1-2.5-0.5
6Cincinnati BengalsCarolina PanthersHome-21.12.1-20
14Arizona CardinalsKansas City ChiefsHome-2-0.30.8-1.90.1
7San Diego ChargersKansas City ChiefsHome-2-0.40.8-1.80.2
8Arizona CardinalsPhiladelphia EaglesHome-2-0.31.3-1.40.6
1Carolina PanthersTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad-22.1-1.9-11
11Pittsburgh SteelersTennessee TitansRoad-20.6-3.3-0.91.1
10Kansas City ChiefsBuffalo BillsRoad-20.8-3-0.81.2
10Pittsburgh SteelersNew York JetsRoad-20.6-2.6-0.21.8
16Pittsburgh SteelersKansas City ChiefsHome-1.50.60.8-2.8-1.3
15Tennessee TitansNew York JetsHome-1.5-3.3-2.6-2.3-0.8
13Dallas CowboysPhiladelphia EaglesHome-1.50.51.3-2.2-0.7
4Washington RedskinsNew York GiantsHome-1.5-1.6-0.3-1.7-0.2
16Denver BroncosCincinnati BengalsRoad-1.55.71.1-1.6-0.1
9Minnesota VikingsWashington RedskinsHome-1.5-3.1-1.6-1.50
11Cleveland BrownsHouston TexansHome-1.5-2.7-1.1-1.40.1
7Detroit LionsNew Orleans SaintsHome-1.50.92.8-1.10.4
8Seattle SeahawksCarolina PanthersRoad-1.562.1-0.90.6
15Cincinnati BengalsCleveland BrownsRoad-1.51.1-2.7-0.80.7
10New Orleans SaintsSan Francisco 49ersHome-1.52.85.1-0.70.8
4Chicago BearsGreen Bay PackersHome-1.51.43.8-0.60.9
16Philadelphia EaglesWashington RedskinsRoad-1.51.3-1.60.11.6
10Philadelphia EaglesCarolina PanthersHome-11.32.1-2.2-1.2
13New York JetsMiami DolphinsHome-1-2.6-1.5-1.9-0.9
14Seattle SeahawksPhiladelphia EaglesRoad-161.3-1.7-0.7
9New York GiantsIndianapolis ColtsHome-1-0.31.1-1.6-0.6
16Houston TexansBaltimore RavensHome-1-1.10.4-1.5-0.5
2Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsHome-1-3-1.5-1.5-0.5
15St. Louis RamsArizona CardinalsHome-1-2-0.3-1.3-0.3
4Baltimore RavensCarolina PanthersHome-10.42.1-1.3-0.3
6Detroit LionsMinnesota VikingsRoad-10.9-3.1-10
11Indianapolis ColtsNew England PatriotsHome-11.13.2-0.90.1
1Atlanta FalconsNew Orleans SaintsHome-10.72.8-0.90.1
4Atlanta FalconsMinnesota VikingsRoad-10.7-3.1-0.80.2
6Houston TexansIndianapolis ColtsHome-1-1.11.1-0.80.2
14Indianapolis ColtsCleveland BrownsRoad-11.1-2.7-0.80.2
6Tampa Bay BuccaneersBaltimore RavensHome-1-1.90.4-0.70.3
14New England PatriotsSan Diego ChargersRoad-13.2-0.4-0.60.4
4Kansas City ChiefsNew England PatriotsHome-10.83.2-0.60.4
4Detroit LionsNew York JetsRoad-10.9-2.6-0.50.5
9New England PatriotsDenver BroncosHome-13.25.7-0.50.5
3Buffalo BillsSan Diego ChargersHome-1-3-0.4-0.40.6
8Detroit LionsAtlanta FalconsLond-10.90.7-0.20.8
14New York GiantsTennessee TitansRoad-1-0.3-3.301
3Green Bay PackersDetroit LionsRoad-13.80.90.11.1
16Buffalo BillsOakland RaidersRoad-1-3-5.80.21.2
14Miami DolphinsBaltimore RavensHome0-1.50.4-1.1-1.1
3Chicago BearsNew York JetsRoad01.4-2.6-1-1
12Houston TexansCincinnati BengalsHome0-1.11.1-0.8-0.8
8Tennessee TitansHouston TexansHome0-3.3-1.1-0.8-0.8
4Dallas CowboysNew Orleans SaintsHome00.52.8-0.7-0.7
3Miami DolphinsKansas City ChiefsHome0-1.50.8-0.7-0.7
9Houston TexansPhiladelphia EaglesHome0-1.11.3-0.6-0.6
3St. Louis RamsDallas CowboysHome0-20.5-0.5-0.5
10Tampa Bay BuccaneersAtlanta FalconsHome0-1.90.7-0.4-0.4
6Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland BrownsRoad00.6-2.7-0.3-0.3
3Baltimore RavensCleveland BrownsRoad00.4-2.7-0.1-0.1
13Cincinnati BengalsTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad01.1-1.900
13Tampa Bay BuccaneersCincinnati BengalsHome0-1.91.100
3Cleveland BrownsBaltimore RavensHome0-2.70.40.10.1
6Cleveland BrownsPittsburgh SteelersHome0-2.70.60.30.3
10Atlanta FalconsTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad00.7-1.90.40.4
3Dallas CowboysSt. Louis RamsRoad00.5-20.50.5
9Philadelphia EaglesHouston TexansRoad01.3-1.10.60.6
3Kansas City ChiefsMiami DolphinsRoad00.8-1.50.70.7
4New Orleans SaintsDallas CowboysRoad02.80.50.70.7
8Houston TexansTennessee TitansRoad0-1.1-3.30.80.8
12Cincinnati BengalsHouston TexansRoad01.1-1.10.80.8
3New York JetsChicago BearsHome0-2.61.411
14Baltimore RavensMiami DolphinsRoad00.4-1.51.11.1
16Oakland RaidersBuffalo BillsHome1-5.8-3-0.2-1.2
3Detroit LionsGreen Bay PackersHome10.93.8-0.1-1.1
14Tennessee TitansNew York GiantsHome1-3.3-0.30-1
8Atlanta FalconsDetroit LionsLond10.70.90.2-0.8
3San Diego ChargersBuffalo BillsRoad1-0.4-30.4-0.6
4New York JetsDetroit LionsHome1-2.60.90.5-0.5
9Denver BroncosNew England PatriotsRoad15.73.20.5-0.5
14San Diego ChargersNew England PatriotsHome1-0.43.20.6-0.4
4New England PatriotsKansas City ChiefsRoad13.20.80.6-0.4
6Baltimore RavensTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad10.4-1.90.7-0.3
14Cleveland BrownsIndianapolis ColtsHome1-2.71.10.8-0.2
4Minnesota VikingsAtlanta FalconsHome1-3.10.70.8-0.2
6Indianapolis ColtsHouston TexansRoad11.1-1.10.8-0.2
11New England PatriotsIndianapolis ColtsRoad13.21.10.9-0.1
1New Orleans SaintsAtlanta FalconsRoad12.80.70.9-0.1
6Minnesota VikingsDetroit LionsHome1-3.10.910
4Carolina PanthersBaltimore RavensRoad12.10.41.30.3
15Arizona CardinalsSt. Louis RamsRoad1-0.3-21.30.3
2Miami DolphinsBuffalo BillsRoad1-1.5-31.50.5
16Baltimore RavensHouston TexansRoad10.4-1.11.50.5
9Indianapolis ColtsNew York GiantsRoad11.1-0.31.60.6
14Philadelphia EaglesSeattle SeahawksHome11.361.70.7
13Miami DolphinsNew York JetsRoad1-1.5-2.61.90.9
10Carolina PanthersPhiladelphia EaglesRoad12.11.32.21.2
16Washington RedskinsPhiladelphia EaglesHome1.5-1.61.3-0.1-1.6
4Green Bay PackersChicago BearsRoad1.53.81.40.6-0.9
10San Francisco 49ersNew Orleans SaintsRoad1.55.12.80.7-0.8
15Cleveland BrownsCincinnati BengalsHome1.5-2.71.10.8-0.7
8Carolina PanthersSeattle SeahawksHome1.52.160.9-0.6
7New Orleans SaintsDetroit LionsRoad1.52.80.91.1-0.4
11Houston TexansCleveland BrownsRoad1.5-1.1-2.71.4-0.1
9Washington RedskinsMinnesota VikingsRoad1.5-1.6-3.11.50
16Cincinnati BengalsDenver BroncosHome1.51.15.71.60.1
4New York GiantsWashington RedskinsRoad1.5-0.3-1.61.70.2
13Philadelphia EaglesDallas CowboysRoad1.51.30.52.20.7
15New York JetsTennessee TitansRoad1.5-2.6-3.32.30.8
16Kansas City ChiefsPittsburgh SteelersRoad1.50.80.62.81.3
10New York JetsPittsburgh SteelersHome2-2.60.60.2-1.8
10Buffalo BillsKansas City ChiefsHome2-30.80.8-1.2
11Tennessee TitansPittsburgh SteelersHome2-3.30.60.9-1.1
1Tampa Bay BuccaneersCarolina PanthersHome2-1.92.11-1
8Philadelphia EaglesArizona CardinalsRoad21.3-0.31.4-0.6
7Kansas City ChiefsSan Diego ChargersRoad20.8-0.41.8-0.2
14Kansas City ChiefsArizona CardinalsRoad20.8-0.31.9-0.1
6Carolina PanthersCincinnati BengalsRoad22.11.120
14New York JetsMinnesota VikingsRoad2-2.6-3.12.50.5
8Indianapolis ColtsPittsburgh SteelersRoad21.10.62.50.5
2Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore RavensRoad20.60.42.80.8
2Tennessee TitansDallas CowboysHome2.5-3.30.50.8-1.7
13New Orleans SaintsPittsburgh SteelersRoad2.52.80.60.8-1.7
2Oakland RaidersHouston TexansHome2.5-5.8-1.11.7-0.8
11Detroit LionsArizona CardinalsRoad2.50.9-0.31.8-0.7
9San Diego ChargersMiami DolphinsRoad2.5-0.4-1.51.9-0.6
5Atlanta FalconsNew York GiantsRoad2.50.7-0.32-0.5
8Green Bay PackersNew Orleans SaintsRoad2.53.82.82-0.5
13Seattle SeahawksSan Francisco 49ersRoad2.565.12.1-0.4
12Dallas CowboysNew York GiantsRoad2.50.5-0.32.2-0.3
9Tampa Bay BuccaneersCleveland BrownsRoad2.5-1.9-2.72.2-0.3
11Kansas City ChiefsSeattle SeahawksHome2.50.862.2-0.3
1Cincinnati BengalsBaltimore RavensRoad2.51.10.42.3-0.2
6Miami DolphinsGreen Bay PackersHome2.5-1.53.82.3-0.2
7Jacksonville JaguarsCleveland BrownsHome2.5-8-2.72.3-0.2
9New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersRoad2.52.82.12.3-0.2
6Oakland RaidersSan Diego ChargersHome2.5-5.8-0.42.4-0.1
16Indianapolis ColtsDallas CowboysRoad2.51.10.52.4-0.1
3Arizona CardinalsSan Francisco 49ersHome2.5-0.35.12.4-0.1
5Cleveland BrownsTennessee TitansRoad2.5-2.7-3.32.4-0.1
2Cleveland BrownsNew Orleans SaintsHome2.5-2.72.82.50
12New York JetsBuffalo BillsRoad2.5-2.6-32.60.1
13Cleveland BrownsBuffalo BillsRoad2.5-2.7-32.70.2
2Philadelphia EaglesIndianapolis ColtsRoad2.51.31.12.80.3
7Cincinnati BengalsIndianapolis ColtsRoad2.51.11.130.5
2St. Louis RamsTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad2.5-2-1.93.10.6
7Minnesota VikingsBuffalo BillsRoad2.5-3.1-33.10.6
9Baltimore RavensPittsburgh SteelersRoad2.50.40.63.20.7
11Tampa Bay BuccaneersWashington RedskinsRoad2.5-1.9-1.63.30.8
8Buffalo BillsNew York JetsRoad2.5-3-2.63.40.9
14St. Louis RamsWashington RedskinsRoad2.5-2-1.63.40.9
2San Diego ChargersSeattle SeahawksHome2.5-0.463.40.9
1Washington RedskinsHouston TexansRoad2.5-1.6-1.13.51
16New York GiantsSt. Louis RamsRoad3-0.3-21.3-1.7
15New Orleans SaintsChicago BearsRoad32.81.41.6-1.4
16Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee TitansHome3-8-3.31.7-1.3
13Kansas City ChiefsDenver BroncosHome30.85.71.9-1.1
13Minnesota VikingsCarolina PanthersHome3-3.12.12.2-0.8
6Chicago BearsAtlanta FalconsRoad31.40.72.3-0.7
11New York GiantsSan Francisco 49ersHome3-0.35.12.4-0.6
13Chicago BearsDetroit LionsRoad31.40.92.5-0.5
7Atlanta FalconsBaltimore RavensRoad30.70.42.7-0.3
16Tampa Bay BuccaneersGreen Bay PackersHome3-1.93.82.7-0.3
16New York JetsNew England PatriotsHome3-2.63.22.8-0.2
2Arizona CardinalsNew York GiantsRoad3-0.3-0.330
1San Diego ChargersArizona CardinalsRoad3-0.4-0.33.10.1
2Minnesota VikingsNew England PatriotsHome3-3.13.23.30.3
2Atlanta FalconsCincinnati BengalsRoad30.71.13.40.4
14Pittsburgh SteelersCincinnati BengalsRoad30.61.13.50.5
7San Francisco 49ersDenver BroncosRoad35.15.73.60.6
5Baltimore RavensIndianapolis ColtsRoad30.41.13.70.7
8Baltimore RavensCincinnati BengalsRoad30.41.13.70.7
13San Diego ChargersBaltimore RavensRoad3-0.40.43.80.8
15Dallas CowboysPhiladelphia EaglesRoad30.51.33.80.8
8Minnesota VikingsTampa Bay BuccaneersRoad3-3.1-1.94.21.2
1Dallas CowboysSan Francisco 49ersHome3.50.55.11.6-1.9
1Miami DolphinsNew England PatriotsHome3.5-1.53.21.7-1.8
7Oakland RaidersArizona CardinalsHome3.5-5.8-0.32.5-1
15San Diego ChargersDenver BroncosHome3.5-0.45.73.1-0.4
15Pittsburgh SteelersAtlanta FalconsRoad3.50.60.73.1-0.4
6Buffalo BillsNew England PatriotsHome3.5-33.23.2-0.3
3Denver BroncosSeattle SeahawksRoad3.55.763.3-0.2
16Arizona CardinalsSeattle SeahawksHome3.5-0.363.3-0.2
13New England PatriotsGreen Bay PackersRoad3.53.23.83.60.1
14Carolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsRoad3.52.12.83.70.2
5Chicago BearsCarolina PanthersRoad3.51.42.13.70.2
9Arizona CardinalsDallas CowboysRoad3.5-0.30.53.80.3
7New York GiantsDallas CowboysRoad3.5-0.30.53.80.3
15San Francisco 49ersSeattle SeahawksRoad3.55.163.90.4
2Detroit LionsCarolina PanthersRoad3.50.92.14.20.7
15Washington RedskinsNew York GiantsRoad3.5-1.6-0.34.30.8
11Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsRoad3.5-3-1.54.51
3Pittsburgh SteelersCarolina PanthersRoad3.50.62.14.51
7Tennessee TitansWashington RedskinsRoad3.5-3.3-1.64.71.2
7Houston TexansPittsburgh SteelersRoad3.5-1.10.64.71.2
4Tampa Bay BuccaneersPittsburgh SteelersRoad3.5-1.90.65.52
16Detroit LionsChicago BearsRoad40.91.43.5-0.5
8Jacksonville JaguarsMiami DolphinsHome4-8-1.53.5-0.5
12Oakland RaidersKansas City ChiefsHome4-5.80.83.6-0.4
3Houston TexansNew York GiantsRoad4-1.1-0.33.8-0.2
14Jacksonville JaguarsHouston TexansHome4-8-1.13.9-0.1
13Arizona CardinalsAtlanta FalconsRoad4-0.30.740
1New York GiantsDetroit LionsRoad4-0.30.94.20.2
6Washington RedskinsArizona CardinalsRoad4-1.6-0.34.30.3
11Atlanta FalconsCarolina PanthersRoad40.72.14.40.4
16Minnesota VikingsMiami DolphinsRoad4-3.1-1.54.60.6
12St. Louis RamsSan Diego ChargersRoad4-2-0.44.60.6
7Carolina PanthersGreen Bay PackersRoad42.13.84.70.7
10St. Louis RamsArizona CardinalsRoad4-2-0.34.70.7
11Cincinnati BengalsNew Orleans SaintsRoad41.12.84.70.7
5Cincinnati BengalsNew England PatriotsRoad41.13.25.11.1
5New York JetsSan Diego ChargersRoad4-2.6-0.45.21.2
15Buffalo BillsGreen Bay PackersHome4.5-33.83.8-0.7
14Dallas CowboysChicago BearsRoad4.50.51.43.9-0.6
12Minnesota VikingsGreen Bay PackersHome4.5-3.13.83.9-0.6
6St. Louis RamsSan Francisco 49ersHome4.5-25.14.1-0.4
1Minnesota VikingsSt. Louis RamsRoad4.5-3.1-24.1-0.4
6New York GiantsPhiladelphia EaglesRoad4.5-0.31.34.60.1
5Houston TexansDallas CowboysRoad4.5-1.10.54.60.1
5Washington RedskinsSeattle SeahawksHome4.5-1.664.60.1
11St. Louis RamsDenver BroncosHome4.5-25.74.70.2
8Chicago BearsNew England PatriotsRoad4.51.43.24.80.3
8Washington RedskinsDallas CowboysRoad4.5-1.60.55.10.6
15Houston TexansIndianapolis ColtsRoad4.5-1.11.15.20.7
11Philadelphia EaglesGreen Bay PackersRoad4.51.33.85.51
3Washington RedskinsPhiladelphia EaglesRoad4.5-1.61.35.91.4
8Oakland RaidersCleveland BrownsRoad4.5-5.8-2.76.11.6
1Oakland RaidersNew York JetsRoad4.5-5.8-2.66.21.7
4Oakland RaidersMiami DolphinsLond5-5.8-1.54.3-0.7
4Buffalo BillsHouston TexansRoad5-3-1.14.9-0.1
1Green Bay PackersSeattle SeahawksRoad53.865.20.2
13Tennessee TitansHouston TexansRoad5-3.3-1.15.20.2
10Miami DolphinsDetroit LionsRoad5-1.50.95.40.4
1Cleveland BrownsPittsburgh SteelersRoad5-2.70.66.31.3
1Tennessee TitansKansas City ChiefsRoad5-3.30.87.12.1
13Jacksonville JaguarsNew York GiantsHome5.5-8-0.34.7-0.8
3Tampa Bay BuccaneersAtlanta FalconsRoad5.5-1.90.75.60.1
13Oakland RaidersSt. Louis RamsRoad5.5-5.8-26.81.3
7St. Louis RamsSeattle SeahawksHome6-265-1
6New York JetsDenver BroncosHome6-2.65.75.3-0.7
12Detroit LionsNew England PatriotsRoad60.93.25.3-0.7
10Chicago BearsGreen Bay PackersRoad61.43.85.4-0.6
13Washington RedskinsIndianapolis ColtsRoad6-1.61.15.7-0.3
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersDetroit LionsRoad6-1.90.95.8-0.2
7Miami DolphinsChicago BearsRoad6-1.51.45.9-0.1
3Jacksonville JaguarsIndianapolis ColtsHome6-81.16.10.1
12Tampa Bay BuccaneersChicago BearsRoad6-1.91.46.30.3
5St. Louis RamsPhiladelphia EaglesRoad6-21.36.30.3
9New York JetsKansas City ChiefsRoad6-2.60.86.40.4
10Tennessee TitansBaltimore RavensRoad6-3.30.46.70.7
4Philadelphia EaglesSan Francisco 49ersRoad61.35.16.80.8
16Atlanta FalconsNew Orleans SaintsRoad6.50.72.85.1-1.4
12Baltimore RavensNew Orleans SaintsRoad6.50.42.85.4-1.1
5Jacksonville JaguarsPittsburgh SteelersHome6.5-80.65.6-0.9
8St. Louis RamsKansas City ChiefsRoad6.5-20.85.8-0.7
14Atlanta FalconsGreen Bay PackersRoad6.50.73.86.1-0.4
10Cleveland BrownsCincinnati BengalsRoad6.5-2.71.16.80.3
15Tampa Bay BuccaneersCarolina PanthersRoad6.5-1.92.170.5
1Buffalo BillsChicago BearsRoad6.5-31.47.40.9
15Miami DolphinsNew England PatriotsRoad6.5-1.53.27.71.2
12Cleveland BrownsAtlanta FalconsRoad7-2.70.76.4-0.6
2Chicago BearsSan Francisco 49ersRoad71.45.16.7-0.3
15Minnesota VikingsDetroit LionsRoad7-3.10.970
5Kansas City ChiefsSan Francisco 49ersRoad70.85.17.30.3
3Tennessee TitansCincinnati BengalsRoad7-3.31.17.40.4
11Minnesota VikingsChicago BearsRoad7-3.11.47.50.5
12Tennessee TitansPhiladelphia EaglesRoad7-3.31.37.60.6
1Indianapolis ColtsDenver BroncosRoad71.15.77.60.6
6Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee TitansRoad7-8-3.37.70.7
2Kansas City ChiefsDenver BroncosRoad70.85.77.90.9
14Oakland RaidersSan Francisco 49ersHome7-5.85.17.90.9
16San Diego ChargersSan Francisco 49ersRoad7-0.45.18.51.5
5Buffalo BillsDetroit LionsRoad7.5-30.96.9-0.6
4Tennessee TitansIndianapolis ColtsRoad7.5-3.31.17.4-0.1
5Tampa Bay BuccaneersNew Orleans SaintsRoad7.5-1.92.87.70.2
16Cleveland BrownsCarolina PanthersRoad7.5-2.72.17.80.3
6Dallas CowboysSeattle SeahawksRoad7.50.568.51
7New York JetsNew England PatriotsRoad7.5-2.63.28.81.3
11Oakland RaidersSan Diego ChargersRoad8-5.8-0.48.40.4
8San Diego ChargersDenver BroncosRoad8.5-0.45.79.10.6
2New York JetsGreen Bay PackersRoad8.5-2.63.89.40.9
15Oakland RaidersKansas City ChiefsRoad8.5-5.80.89.61.1
12Washington RedskinsSan Francisco 49ersRoad8.5-1.65.19.71.2
5Arizona CardinalsDenver BroncosRoad9-0.35.790
2Jacksonville JaguarsWashington RedskinsRoad9-8-1.69.40.4
10Oakland RaidersDenver BroncosHome10-5.85.78.5-1.5
10Jacksonville JaguarsDallas CowboysLond10-80.58.5-1.5
3Minnesota VikingsNew Orleans SaintsRoad10-3.12.88.9-1.1
10New York GiantsSeattle SeahawksRoad10-0.369.3-0.7
5Minnesota VikingsGreen Bay PackersRoad10-3.13.89.9-0.1
12Miami DolphinsDenver BroncosRoad10-1.55.710.20.2
4Jacksonville JaguarsSan Diego ChargersRoad10-8-0.410.60.6
12Arizona CardinalsSeattle SeahawksRoad10.5-0.369.3-1.2
15Jacksonville JaguarsBaltimore RavensRoad10.5-80.411.40.9
9St. Louis RamsSan Francisco 49ersRoad11-25.110.1-0.9
9Jacksonville JaguarsCincinnati BengalsRoad11-81.112.11.1
1Jacksonville JaguarsPhiladelphia EaglesRoad11-81.312.31.3
14Buffalo BillsDenver BroncosRoad11.5-35.711.70.2
12Jacksonville JaguarsIndianapolis ColtsRoad12-81.112.10.1
3Oakland RaidersNew England PatriotsRoad13-5.83.212-1
9Oakland RaidersSeattle SeahawksRoad14.5-5.8614.80.3

Some thoughts:

  • The biggest outlier games are again in week 1; as Jason Lisk noted when he ran a similar study last year, the lines build in some risk of injury (or simply risk of not knowing what’s going to happen in the future): if Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning miss time with an injury, it’s more likely to be later in the season than in week one. Additionally, if Vegas feels more confident in the early games than the late games, that will lead to some games appearing as outliers in week 1.
  • The weirdest line of the season is Tennessee/Kansas City in week 1.  The Chiefs are only 5-point home favorites: that’s 2.1 points lower than we would expect given the location of the game and the ratings of Kansas City (+0.8) and Tennessee (-3.3).
  • As a reminder, here’s a link to the 2014 schedule grid I created; I did not assign 3 points to the home team in the three London games this year.
  • For the second straight year, the Seahawks are underdogs just once: the game in San Francisco. Denver is an underdog when it travels to Seattle and Foxboro, and every other team is a dog in at least three games.
  • Oakland and Jacksonville are underdogs in each of their 15 games. Considering Oakland travels to Denver in week 17, we can safely say the Raiders and Jags are projected underdogs in every game this year.
  1. Just to be clear, this analysis includes 3 points for each home team except in the London games, so these are more accurately thought of as location-adjusted expected margins of victory. []
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Okay, that title could be the opener to any number of jokes. But I mean “strange season” in the way Football Perspective has used the phrase before. Take a look at Cleveland’s schedule and results from 2013:

Score
Week Day Date Rec Opp Tm Opp
1 Sun September 8 boxscore L 0-1 Miami Dolphins 10 23
2 Sun September 15 boxscore L 0-2 @ Baltimore Ravens 6 14
3 Sun September 22 boxscore W 1-2 @ Minnesota Vikings 31 27
4 Sun September 29 boxscore W 2-2 Cincinnati Bengals 17 6
5 Thu October 3 boxscore W 3-2 Buffalo Bills 37 24
6 Sun October 13 boxscore L 3-3 Detroit Lions 17 31
7 Sun October 20 boxscore L 3-4 @ Green Bay Packers 13 31
8 Sun October 27 boxscore L 3-5 @ Kansas City Chiefs 17 23
9 Sun November 3 boxscore W 4-5 Baltimore Ravens 24 18
10 Bye Week
11 Sun November 17 boxscore L 4-6 @ Cincinnati Bengals 20 41
12 Sun November 24 boxscore L 4-7 Pittsburgh Steelers 11 27
13 Sun December 1 boxscore L 4-8 Jacksonville Jaguars 28 32
14 Sun December 8 boxscore L 4-9 @ New England Patriots 26 27
15 Sun December 15 boxscore L 4-10 Chicago Bears 31 38
16 Sun December 22 boxscore L 4-11 @ New York Jets 13 24
17 Sun December 29 boxscore L 4-12 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 7 20

[click to continue…]

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Austin and the Rams blew out the Colts

Austin and the Rams were nonconformists.

In week 10 of the 2013 season, the Rams traveled to Indianapolis. By the end of the season, St. Louis had an SRS grade of +2.2, meaning they were 2.2 points better than average. The Colts finished 2013 with an SRS grade of +4.1; if you award three points for home field, we would expect Indianapolis to have defeated St. Louis by 4.8 points (the Colts, in fact, were 9-point favorites). What happened? You probably remember: Tavon Austin had a record-setting day, the Rams jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead, and Andrew Luck wasn’t able to mount one of his patented comebacks. St. Louis posted a Game Script of 23.2, the second largest result of the season, en route to a 38-8 victory.

Instead of a 4.8-point loss, the Rams won by 30 points. That difference of 34.8 points made it the least-conforming game of the 2013 season. What was the most? In week 6, the Chiefs (SRS of +6.1) hosted the Raiders (SRS of -8.0) and won, 24-7.

The table below shows every regular season game in 2013.  The “Boxscore” cell is linked to the boxscore for that game on PFR, the “Exp” column shows the expected result, and the “Diff” column — by which the table is sorted — shows the difference between the expected result and the actual result. [click to continue…]

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The Best Scoring Offenses Since 1932

Denver had one of the greatest offenses ever

Denver had one of the greatest offenses ever.

On Monday, I looked at the greatest defenses — measured simply by points allowed and adjusted for strength of schedule — in NFL history. Today, I want to look at which offenses were the greatest in regular season history, and see where the 2013 Broncos stack up.

As noted in the post on defenses, during Super Bowl week, Bill Barnwell’s article ranked Denver’s 2013 offense as the greatest scoring machine ever. He used the statistical measurement known as the Z-Score to show that Denver’s offense was 3.3 standard deviations above average, and no offense had ever been 3.3 standard deviations above average before.

Where does that 3.3 number come from? Denver averaged 37.9 points per game during the regular season. The league average was 23.4 points, which means that Denver’s offense was 14.5 PPG better than average. The standard deviation of points per game among the 32 NFL offenses in 2013 was 4.36 points; therefore, Denver gets a Z-score of 3.32, because the Broncos scored points at a rate that was 3.32 standard deviations better than the mean. [click to continue…]

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The Best Scoring Defenses In NFL History

Head of the LOB

Head of the LOB.

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and their fans on winning Super Bowl XLVIII. With the win, Seattle has confirmed its status as one of the greatest defenses in NFL history. The Seahawks defense produced a game for the ages on Sunday: facing Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, and one of the greatest offenses ever, Seattle’s defense outscored Denver’s offense, 9-8. Led by Malcolm Smith, Cliff Avril, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, the Seahawks stamped their claim with the ’85 Bears, ’00 Ravens, and ’02 Bucs as one of the greatest defenses of the last 30 years.

But today, I want to look at which defenses were the best in regular season history, and see where Seattle stacks up. Bill Barnwell had an interesting post during Super Bowl week. He used the statistical measurement known as the Z-Score to show that Seattle was the tenth best defensive scoring team in NFL history. Don’t be too confused by the idea of a Z-score: in English, this just means that Seattle’s defense — and yes, I am going to conflate the concepts of defense and points allowed throughout this post — was 2.2 standard deviations above average in points allowed, one of just ten teams to ever produce such a result.

So how do we get there? Well, Seattle allowed 14.4 points per game during the regular season. The league average was 23.4 points, which means that Seattle’s defense was 9.0 PPG better than average. The standard deviation of points per game among the 32 NFL defenses in 2013 was 4.08 points per game; therefore, Seattle has a Z-score of 2.20, because the Seahawks allowed points at a rate that was 2.20 standard deviations better than the mean.

Today, I wanted to do the same analysis but adjust for strength of schedule, by deriving offensive and defensive SRS grades. Of course, Pro-Football-Reference has published offensive and defensive SRS grades for awhile, but I decided to crunch the numbers on my own and see if they matched up with what Neil and Mike did (they did). For the uninitiated, SRS stands for Simple Rating System, which is simple to understand but a bit complicated to derive. The SRS is simply margin of victory (or, in the case of offenses and defenses, margin of production above league average) adjusted for strength of schedule. The key is using an iterative process, where, in Excel, we adjust the ratings hundreds of times; after all, to adjust for SOS, you have to adjust for the SOS of each opponent, and the SOS of each opponent’s opponent, and so on.

The table below shows the top 200 scoring defenses since 1932. Here’s how to read the 2002 Bucs line. That season, Tampa Bay allowed 9.4 points per game less than league average. The average defense the Bucs faced — using the iterative method to derive SOS grades — was 0.4 points above average. Therefore, Tampa Bay is credited with an adjusted rating of 9.8 PPG better average. The standard deviation of defensive ratings in the NFL in 2002 was 3.45, giving the Buccaneers a Z-score of 2.83, the highest ever. The table below is fully sortable and searchable, and shows the top 200 defenses. [click to continue…]

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Love the Bowl Championship Series or (more likely) hate it, tonight marks the end of college football’s 16-year BCS experiment. Designed to bring some measure of order to the chaotic state college football had been in under the Bowl Alliance/Coalition, the BCS did streamline the process of determining a national champion — though it was obviously not without its share of controversies either.

If various opinion polls conducted over the years are any indication, the public is ready to move on from the BCS to next season’s “plus-one”-style playoff system. But before it bids farewell forever, how does the BCS grade out relative to other playoff systems in terms of selecting the best team as a champion?

Back in 2008, I concluded that it didn’t really do much worse of a job than a plus-one system would have. But that was more of an unscientific survey of the 1992-2007 seasons than a truly rigorous study. Today, I plan to take a page from Doug’s book and use the power of Monte Carlo simulation to determine which playoff system sees the true best team win the national title most often.

(Note: If you just want the results and don’t want to get bogged down in the details, feel free to skip the next section.) [click to continue…]

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The Simple Rating System is a many-splendored thing, but a known bug of the process is that huge outlier scoring margins can have undue influence on the rankings. Take the 2009 NFL season, for instance, during which the Patriots led the NFL in SRS in no small part because they annihilated the Titans 59-0 in a snowy October game that tied for the second-most lopsided margin of victory in NFL history. Outside of that single game, the Patriots’ PPG margin was +5.2, which wouldn’t have even ranked among the league’s top ten teams, but the SRS (particularly because it minimizes squared prediction errors between actual outcomes and those expected from team ratings) gave the 59-0 win a lot of weight, enough to propel New England to the #1 ranking. (A placement that looked downright laughable, I might add, when the Pats were crushed at home by Baltimore on Wild Card Weekend.)

One solution that is commonly proposed for this problem is to cap the margin of victory in a given game at a certain fixed number. This is especially popular in college football (in fact, Chase sort of uses a cap in his college SRS variant) because nonconference schedules will often see matchups between teams of incredibly disparate talent levels, games in which the powerhouse team can essentially choose the margin by which they want to steamroll their opponent. Within that context, it doesn’t really matter whether Florida State beats Idaho by 46 or by 66, because there’s a 0% chance Idaho is a better team than FSU — no new information is conveyed when they pile more and more points onto the game’s margin.

But what’s the right number to cap margin of victory at in the NFL? These are all professional teams, after all, so there’s plenty of evidence that in the NFL, blowing opponents out — even when they’re bad teams — says a lot about how good you are. Where do we draw the line, then, to find the point at which a team has clearly proven they’re better than the opponent, beyond which any extra MOV stops giving us information?

[click to continue…]

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Let’s just assume that Auburn defeats Missouri this afternoon and Ohio State defeats Michigan State tonight. Which team would have pulled off the more impressive feat: Ohio State, going undefeated against a relatively easy schedule, or Auburn going 12-1 against a harder schedule? That’s a tricky question to answer, but here is one way to think about it.

To make the math easier for everyone — and the answer won’t be practically different otherwise — let’s eliminate the eight easiest games on each team’s schedule. For Ohio State, that means elminating wins over Florida A&M, Purdue, San Diego State, California, Buffalo, Illinois, Penn State, and Indiana. For Auburn, we remove wins over Western Carolina, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Washington State, Tennessee, and Mississippi. A team arguing that it should be the #2 team in the country is going to win those games over 95% of the time. Granted, this slightly disadvantages the Tigers as they had a slightly harder bottom eight, but you can include those games if you want to do more heavy lifting. For now, let’s just focus on each team’s toughest five games.

Ohio State will have gone undefeated against Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern. Is that more or less impressive than going 4-1 against Alabama, Missouri, LSU, Texas A&M, and Georgia? One way to can answer this question is by looking at a team’s win probability in each game.

Let’s assume that Ohio State has an SRS rating of 62.1. Why that number? You’ll see why in a minute. When the Buckeyes hosted the Badgers (SRS of 53.8), how likely was Ohio State to win? If we give three points for home field, that would make the Buckeyes 11.3-point favorites. And we can use the following formula to determine how likely an 11.3-point favorite is to win a given game:

(1-NORMDIST(0.5,-(home_fav),13.86,TRUE)) + 0.5*(NORMDIST(0.5,-(home_fav),13.86,TRUE) – NORMDIST(-0.5,-(home_fav),13.86,TRUE))

Based on this formula, an 11.3-point favorite would win 79.2% of the time. Against Michigan State (48.8), Ohio State would be a 13.3 point favorite if the Buckeyes had an SRS rating of 62.1, which translates into an 83.1% win probability. For Michigan, Iowa, and Northwestern, the spreads and win probabilities would be 15.4/86.7%, 20.3/92.8%, and 22.6/94.8%, respectively.

Now, what are the odds that Ohio State would win all five of those games? That is simply the product of 79.2%, 83.1%, 86.7%, 92.8%, and 94.8% — which is 50%. That’s not a coincidence, of course: the reason I picked 62.1 is because that’s what rating Ohio State would need to have in order to have a 50% chance of going undefeated against those five teams. In reality, the Buckeyes have a rating of 56.1, which indicates that — like just about every undefeated team — they were a little bit lucky to go undefeated (assuming, of course, that they beat Michigan State).

Now, let’s use that same 62.1 rating number to go through Auburn’s schedule. At home against Alabama (rating of 56.4), a team with an SRS rating of 62.1 would be a 5.7-point favorite, and have a 65.9% chance of winning. In Atlanta against Missouri (55.7), the team would be a 6.4-point favorite, and have a 67.8% chance of success. The team would be 8 point favorites in Baton Rouge — the game Auburn lost — against LSU (51.1), and have a 71.8% chance of winning. The games at Texas A&M (48.9) and at home against Georgia (48.5) would have 76.9% and 88.4% chances of victory.

Now, the odds of winning all five of those games is just 21.8%, which is a very long-winded, mathematical way of saying what we all know: Auburn faced a harder schedule. But what are the odds of going 5-0 or 4-1 against that schedule? Well, the odds of going 4-1 is just a bit more complicated.

    • The probability of beating Missouri, LSU, A&M, and Georgia, but losing to Alabama, is 11.3%;
    • The probability of beating Alabama, LSU, A&M, and Georgia, but losing to Missouri, is 10.4%;
    • The probability of beating Alabama, Missouri, A&M, and Georgia, but losing to LSU, is 8.6%;
    • The probability of beating Alabama, Missouri, LSU, and Georgia, but losing to A&M, is 6.6%; and
    • The probability of beating Alabama, Missouri, LSU, and A&M, but losing to Georgia, is 2.9%.

Therefore, the likelihood of going 4-1 is 39.6%; that means the likelihood of a team with an SRS rating of 62.1 going 4-1 or 5-0 against those five teams is 61.4%. While there are many assumptions implicit in this post, the conclusion is that it is harder to do what Ohio State will do if it wins tonight than what Auburn will do.  Adding in the bottom 8 opponents for each team won’t change the numbers much (you can run the numbers using the above formula).

What would change the numbers is changing the ratings of some of the team’s opponents.  If, for example, Alabama had a rating of 69 instead of 56.4, then a team of a a quality equal to 62.1 would win that game only 38.9% of the time, and the odds of going 4-1 or 5-0 against that schedule would be 50/50. But that’s a pretty significant increase to Alabama’s grade, of course.

For a team to have a 50% chance of winning at least four out of five games against Alabama, Missouri, LSU, A&M, and Georgia, they would need a rating of 59.8. But a team with a rating of 59.8 would only have a 40.5% chance of not dropping a game to Wisconsin, Michigan State, Michigan, Iowa, or Northwestern.

Of course, I’ve followed college football long enough to not wait until Sunday to make this post. That’s because there is only a 30% chance of both Ohio State and Auburn winning today. We could perform the same analysis for Missouri, but the results would only look worse for the SEC crowd, as those Tigers have had an easier schedule than Auburn.  Assuming a rating of 62.1, a team would have a 36.8% chance of beating Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, A&M, and Ole Miss, and a 78.0% chance of winning at least four of those games. In fact, a team would only need a rating of 56.0 to have even odds of going 5-0 against those teams.

The more interesting case, however, is Florida State. Assuming a rating of 62.1, the Seminoles would have a 69.8% chance of winning in Clemson, and then over a 90% chance of winning every other game (Duke will be the second toughest game of the year for FSU). That means a 62.1 SRS team would have a 53.0% chance of going 5-0 against Clemson, Duke, Florida, Pittsburgh, and Boston College; a team that had only a 50% chance would need a rating of 61.4, slightly lower than what Ohio State has produced.

That doesn’t mean Ohio State is more deserving of a spot than Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game, as FSU’s dominance is an element that can’t be overlooked. But I wouldn’t argue with you if you said that it was easier for FSU to go undefeated than it is for Ohio State.

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Week 14 College Football SRS Ratings & The Iron Bowl

We are out of words. You should be dead, Auburn, because we saw you die. And here you are, breathing in the flesh, able to say this: you made the Alabama Crimson Tide kick the winning touchdown for you.

It’s hard to top that recap from EDSBS of one of the greatest games in college football history. Two weeks after pulling off the ending of the season — the Prayer at Jordan-Hare — Auburn gave us the ending of our lives. Entering week 14, Alabama had fielded the best special teams in the nation; on Saturday, all of the Tide’s goals were ripped from them following three missed field goals and a game-winning field goal return touchdown.

Toomer's Corner.

In a second, Alabama lost to its most bitter rival. With that, the Tide lost the SEC West division title, which means the team won’t have a chance to win the SEC Championship or the BCS Championship (barring the unthinkable). In an odd twist, the most dominant team of our era has now won just one division title in the last four years.

Of course, the SRS is not so sensitive to missed field goals that are returned for touchdowns. The Crimson Tide ranked third in last week’s SRS, a ranking which felt one spot too low. Following the Iron Bowl loss, Alabama’s rating dropped from 61.1 to 59.4, moving Nick Saban’s team down to… third. The beauty of a predictive system is that it need not change due to a close road loss to a top team, and that’s what happens here. Auburn jumps from 14 to 11 but no higher, as a 14-point road loss to LSU, a 4-point home win against MSU, and a 7-point home win against Washington State still count.

Ohio State, in fact, actually drops one slot, as the close win in Ann Arbor dropped the Buckeyes behind idle Oklahoma State. Does that mean the Buckeyes don’t deserve to be in the BCS National Championship Game if they defeat Michigan State? Of course not. Last year, Notre Dame was ranked 6th on December 9th in the SRS, but the Fighting Irish surely deserved a spot in the BCSNCG by virtue of being the lone undefeated (and eligible) team in college football. Ohio State deserves the same treatment this year.
[click to continue…]

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Oklahoma State won one for the Drinen

Oklahoma State won one for Drinen.

Every year, a few mind-blowing upsets occur this time of year, and every year, we are shocked when it happens. Three of the top five single game performances of the season occurred on Saturday, including the best individual game rating of the year. Oklahoma State’s blowout win against Baylor produced an SRS score of 88.5, topping Florida State’s win at Clemson by three points. Meanwhile, Arizona shocked Oregon, giving the Wildcats (82.9 score) just the third 80+ point SRS rating in a game in 2013. And in less exciting but still noteworthy news: Washington crushed Oregon State (#27 in last week’s SRS ratings) in Corvalis, 69-27.

It looks like we’re headed for a Florida State-Alabama showdown in the BCS National Championship Game. FSU’s last two games should not pose any issues: the Seminoles are rated 27 points higher than Florida, and will be a three-touchdown favorite in the ACC Championship Game. In fact, the difference between the ratings of Florida and Georgia Southern is smaller than the difference between Florida and Florida State (you can view the ratings of FCS teams here). And we’ll get to that Georgia Southern game in a minute.

For Alabama, the schedule is a little more challenging. The Tide are “only” 9 points ahead of Auburn in the SRS, but that’s a little misleading. If we remove Alabama’s games against Colorado State, Georgia State, Chattanooga, Kentucky, and Tennessee — all games the Tide won by over 21 points — their rating would jump to 64.4. For Auburn, the only team they beat by more than three touchdowns that lowered their rating was Western Carolina; do that, and the Tigers are at 52.9. That puts Alabama 11.5 points better than Auburn. The Iron Bowl is in Auburn this year, and the Tigers are 10.5 point underdogs, so perhaps the SRS is still underrating the Tide by a point or two. An SEC Championship Game against Missouri would be another tough test, but first, those Tigers must defeat Johnny Manziel and the Aggies to earn a trip to Atlanta.

Below are the SRS ratings through 13 weeks. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game. [click to continue…]

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Non-FBS College Football Ratings Through 13 Weeks

Every week, I publish my college football ratings for FBS teams. To generate those ratings – using this methodology — my program also generates ratings for teams at all other levels.  This week, I will separate out the non-FBS teams based on their levels of play (instead of just lumping all non-FBS teams together). As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game.

Let’s start with the FCS schools:
[click to continue…]

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Week 12 College Football SRS Ratings: Auburn Stays Alive

Entering week 12, there were 7 teams with legitimate paths to the national championship. The four undefeated teams came in with cupcake games, while two of the three one-loss teams had tough challenges. So what happened?

  • Alabama was a 23-point favorite at Mississippi State (53rd in the week 11 SRS ratings). It wasn’t pretty, but the Crimson Tide left Starkville with a 20-7 win.
  • Florida State also simply needs to win out, and the Seminoles hosted Syracuse (69). FSU was a 37.5-point favorite, and the game wasn’t even that close. After one quarter, Jameis Winston was 10 for 10 for 170-yards, and the Seminoles were up 28-0, en route to a 59-3 win. That was the largest win of the week, and gives FSU four of the top nine single-game SRS scores of the season.
  • Behind the undefeated behemoths of the SEC and ACC are undefeated teams in two other major conferences: the Big 10 and Big 12. Ohio State was a 33.5-point favorite in Illinois (#74), while Baylor was a 27.5 point favorite against Texas Tech (#41) in Arlington. Ohio State jumped out to a 28-0 lead against Illinois, and won 60-35, but the game got a little close in the middle. It was only 35-21 in the third quarter, and 44-28 in the 4th, but Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller (combined 40 carries for 430 yards and 5 touchdowns) were too much for the Illini to handle.
  • Baylor fell behind 14-0 early, but still managed to cover the spread after winning 63-34. After the hot start from the Red Raiders, the Bears scored 8 touchdowns in the next 36 minutes of game time. Quarterback Bryce Petty “struggled” in this game, which means he only completed 17 of 31 passes, but still picked up 335 yards and three touchdowns (to go along with two rushing scores). So far, the Bears have been up to the challenge as the meat of the schedule arrived in November, although the toughest test comes next week in Stillwater. The crazy part is that if it wasn’t for West Virginia, this Oklahoma State-Baylor game would be as hyped as any Big 12 game in recent memory: two explosive offenses, two undefeated teams, a B12 title and a possible BCSNCG berth on the line.
  • Three one loss teams were also knocking on the door. Stanford had the hardest SOS through 11 weeks of any team with no more than one loss, and the Cardinal owned the best win (as measured purely by SOS) of any team in the country. Stanford traveled to Los Angeles to face a USC team (#20) that had gone 4-1 since interim head coach Ed Orgeron took over for Lane Kiffin. Stanford was a 3.5-point favorite over the Trojans, but a strong fourth quarter gave USC the win. Kevin Hogan threw two late interceptions, and kicker Andre Heidari hit a 47-yarder in the final minute, completing the upset for Coach O and the Trojans. We can officially rule Stanford out of the BCS race, and absent any upsets, pencil in Oregon-Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.
  • Two one-loss SEC teams entered week 12 with quasi control-their-own-destiny fates. Missouri and Auburn know that winning out means an SEC championship and a win over Alabama. No one really knows if that would be enough to vault them into the BCS National Championship Game, but for idle MIZZOU, the debate will have to wait another week (the bye week comes at an opportune time, with Ole Miss and Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M coming up the next two weeks).
  • Auburn was a three-point home favorite against Georgia (#25), and got off to a hot start, outgaining Georgia 149 to 4 and grabbing a 10-0 lead after the first quarter. With 10 minutes left, the Tigers led 37-20, but three touchdowns in eight minutes — the last on a run by Aaron Murray on 4th-and-goal that just barely (if at all) got in — gave Georgia a 38-37 lead. All looked lost, until on 4th and 18, Nick Marshall threw a 73-yard touchdown to Ricardo Louis on the play of the year.

It didn’t take the straightest route, but after week 12, the national picture barely changed. The Iron Bowl in two weeks will be the de facto SEC West Championship Game, but more importantly it could be a quarterfinal matchup for the national title. The winner of Alabama/Auburn goes to the SEC Championship Game, which — if Missouri wins out — may be a de facto semifinal game. Whether a one-loss Auburn/Missouri gets in over an undefeated Baylor or Ohio State is tough to say, of course, although both of those teams could have a loss by then. And don’t worry: if either set of Tigers can upset Alabama, we will surely hear about how dominant the SEC is, which is very hard to argue.
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Non-FBS College Football Ratings Through 12 Weeks

Every week, I publish my college football ratings for FBS teams. To generate those ratings – using this methodology — my program also generates ratings for non-FBS team.  So let’s take a look at the ratings through twelve weeks for all non-FBS teams. After posting the ratings, I’m going to dip my toe into the Butler/Marist debate. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game. [click to continue…]

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Last week, the top five was Florida State, Baylor, Oregon, Alabama, and Arizona State. Florida State won big (by 56), while Baylor and Alabama won big games (against Oklahoma and LSU) by comfortable margins. Arizona State won by a point at Utah, an underrated team (despite the record, Utah ranks 24th in the SRS). Of course, the big story of the week was Stanford (who lost to Utah earlier in the year) upsetting Oregon. Oregon understandably will drop in the rankings, but this late in the season, one game doesn’t swing the SRS nearly as much. After all, each game is given the same weight. Oregon gets credited with a 50.7 SRS score for losing in Palo Alto, which essentially says for one game, the Ducks were about the 20th best team in the country. Alabama gets 69.9 points for defeating LSU at home by 21. But while the Crimson Tide move up, and moves the Ducks down, Alabama did not pass Oregon in the SRS.

Say what? Yes, the SRS still has FSU, Baylor, and Oregon ahead of Alabama. I’ll explain more in a minute, but first, the SRS ratings through eleven weeks. As a reminder, you can read about the methodology here. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game.
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Non-FBS College Football Ratings Through 11 Weeks

Every week, I publish my college football ratings for FBS teams. To generate those ratings – using this methodology — my program also generates ratings for non-FBS team.  So let’s take a look at the ratings through eleven weeks for all non-FBS teams. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game. [click to continue…]

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Let’s start with the SRS ratings through nine weeks, excluding the Green Bay/Chicago Monday Night Football game:

Rk
Team
G
MOV
SOS
SRS
Record
1Denver Broncos814.9-3.211.77-1
2Carolina Panthers812.3-2.89.45-3
3Green Bay Packers78.10.995-2
4Seattle Seahawks99.6-18.68-1
5San Francisco 49ers88.8-0.38.46-2
6Indianapolis Colts87.4-0.56.96-2
7Kansas City Chiefs911.2-4.36.99-0
8New Orleans Saints88.8-2.36.56-2
9Cincinnati Bengals96-0.55.56-3
10Dallas Cowboys95-0.14.95-4
11Detroit Lions82.513.55-3
12New England Patriots96.2-2.83.47-2
13Arizona Cardinals8-1.82.60.84-4
14Tennessee Titans80.8-0.20.54-4
15Baltimore Ravens80.30.20.43-5
16Miami Dolphins8-1.61.70.14-4
17San Diego Chargers83-3.1-0.14-4
18Chicago Bears70.6-1.4-0.84-3
19Philadelphia Eagles9-0.3-0.9-1.34-5
20Cleveland Browns9-3.11.8-1.34-5
21Buffalo Bills9-5.62.6-33-6
22Washington Redskins8-6.32.3-3.93-5
23St. Louis Rams9-4.80.4-4.43-6
24Atlanta Falcons8-5.30.2-52-6
25Houston Texans8-9.43.4-62-6
26Tampa Bay Buccaneers8-8.31.9-6.40-8
27Minnesota Vikings8-7.91.3-6.61-7
28New York Giants8-9.52.9-6.62-6
29New York Jets9-7.2-0.3-7.55-4
30Pittsburgh Steelers8-6.1-1.6-7.82-6
31Oakland Raiders8-7.4-0.7-8.13-5
32Jacksonville Jaguars8-21.93.7-18.10-8

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Shaw helped USC win the Battle of The Columbias Trophy. Yes, that is a real thing.

Shaw helped USC win the Battle of The Columbias Trophy. Yes, that is a real thing.

Last week, five teams emerged as the upper crust of college football. That number has dropped to four, after Missouri lost to South Carolina in typical heartbreaking style. The Tigers led 17-0 entering the fourth quarter, but that was before USC starting quarterback Connor Shaw — who had been held out due to injury — was inserted into the game. Shaw led the Gamecocks on a furious comeback to force overtime. After MIZZOU scored a touchdown on the first possession, Shaw threw his third touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal from the 16 yard line. On the second possession, USC was up first and kicked a field goal. Missouri looked to match South Carolina, but a 24-yard field goal bounced off the left upright, giving Tigers fans the gut punch loss of the season.

Elsewhere, most things went according to plan. Johnny Manziel played like a Heisman Trophy winner (25/35, 305 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT), while Teddy Bridgewater (25/29, 344, 3, 0), Bryce Petty (20/32, 430, 3/0), and Jameis Winston (16/26, 292, 3/1) continued their dominant seasons. A couple of embattled schools pulled off impressive wins over conference rivals: Michigan State won 42-3 against Illinois, while Texas continued to put September in the rear-view mirror by stomping TCU, 30-7.

Below are the SRS ratings through nine weeks. As a reminder, you can read about the methodology here. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game.
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Famous Jameis

Famous Jameis.

Last week, Florida State topped the SRS ratings. And that was before the Seminoles posted the single best performance of the season, winning at Clemson 51-14 on Saturday Night. They scored an 85.5 in the SRS against the Tigers, so FSU now has the top two games of the season (the team’s 63-0 shutout against Maryland had been the previous SRS leader). Freshman phenom Jameis Winston threw for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 34 passes, and is vaulting to the front of Heisman leaderboards. How impressive was the win? Even if you ignore margin of victory, simply winning at Clemson stands as the most impressive road win of the season. The Tigers have an SRS of 53.5, and no team with a higher SRS score has lost at home this season. And it would be a surprise if the Seminoles didn’t finish the season undefeated.

Four of FSU’s final six regular season games come against teams outside of the top 75 in the SRS. FSU is a 29-point favorite this weekend against NC State, and should be similar favorites against Wake Forest, Syracuse, and Idaho (well, that game should be off the board). The only real challenges the rest of the way come from in-state rivals Miami and Florida, but for now, FSU seems like the best team not just in Florida, but in the country.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed in college football, a reality several teams were painfully reminded of this weekend. Louisville and Heisman/2014 No. 1 overall draft pick favorite Teddy Bridgewater lost, at home, to a sneaky good Central Florida team. If UCF can beat Houston in two weeks, the American Athletic Conference is likely theirs, along with an automatic BCS berth. Through eight weeks, the AAC has just three teams in the top half of the 125 FBS teams, so Central Florida’s path to a BCS Bowl won’t feature too many road blocks.

The one loss for the Knights was out of conference to South Carolina, a team who fell on SEC Upset Weekend. Despite a good game (and one monster hit) out of Jadeveon Clowney, the Gamecocks lost on a last-second field goal at Tennessee, 23-21.

That was one of five intraconference upsets in the SEC this weekend. Georgia lost on the road against Vanderbilt 31-27, despite the Bulldogs entering the game as 6.5-point favorites. Missouri had a higher SRS rating than Florida, but was a three-point underdog in Columbia against the Gators. The Tigers outgained Florida 500-151, and Henry Josey led the way with 18 carries for 136 yards and a score. LSU was a 9.5-point favorite in Oxford, but Zach Mettenberger threw three interceptions and Ole Miss jumped out to a 17-0 lead. The Tigers came back to tie the game, but the Rebels hit a 41-yard field goal as time expired to steal the win.

Johnny Manziel went down with an injury against Auburn, but you wouldn’t know it from his stat line: 28/38 for 454 yards, 4 TDs, 18 carries for 48 yards, 1 TD. Manziel also threw two interceptions, and missed one series with an injury, which might have made the difference in a shootout. Aggie wideout Mike Evans, who is a Vincent Jackson clone, caught 11 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns. But Auburn, which entered College Station as 12.5-point underdogs, ultimately scored last, pulling out a 45-41 win. Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall had a great game, too, throwing for 236 passing yards and two touchdowns on 23 pass attempts, while adding 100 yards and two scores on the ground.

Only one game went according to script in the SEC, which is a pretty good way of describing just about every Alabama game ever. The Crimson Tide defeated Arkansas 52-0, in typical ruthless fashion. A.J. McCarron was 15/21 for 180 yards and 3 touchdowns, Kenyan Drake had 104 yards and two scores on 8 carries, and T.J. Yeldon had 88 yards and a score on 12 carries. Backup Derrick Henry even ran for an 80-yard touchdown in the final minutes, just because.
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Mariota and the Ducks continue to roll

Mariota and the Ducks continue to roll.

After seven weeks, the idle Seminoles remain atop the SRS Ratings. New readers can read the background about the Simple Rating System here, but the SRS simply takes margin of victory for each team (with some minor tweaks to minimize running up the score and to give credit for close wins) and adjusts that differential for strength of schedule. The top three comprises the same teams as last week, but following a big win in Washington, Oregon leapfrogged Baylor into the number two spot. Quarterback Marcus Mariota now has 17 passing touchdowns, eight rushing touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Among players with at least 150 pass attempts, he leads college football in Adjusted Yards per Attempt, with presumptive number one pick in the 2014 Draft — Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater — three tenths of a yard behind him. (If you lower the threshold to 100 attempts, both Bryce Petty (Baylor) and Jameis Winston (Florida State) would vault Mariota.)

The 4-5-6 spots are occupied by SEC teams, with newcomer Missouri sandwiched next to SEC stalwarts Alabama and LSU. Missouri was identified as a sleeper in last week’s ratings — the Tigers actually ranked ahead of Georgia entering that game — and then pulled off one of the weekend’s big upsets by winning in Athens. But with Mizzou, the other shoe never waits very long to drop: quarterback James Franklin was injured against Georgia, and is out at least six weeks with a separated shoulder. The Tigers have averaged 45.7 points per game this year, so Missouri is very much a team built around its dynamic offense. It’s hard to imagine Missouri beating both Florida and South Carolina the next two weeks, even with both games coming at home. On the other hand, if the Tigers can do that, there’s a good chance they’ll enter the final game of the regular season with an undefeated record. That game comes against Johnny Manziel and former Big XII rival Texas A&M. If they get to that game, we’re going to just have to assume that this 2013 is Jason Lisk’s year and we’re all just living in it. His Chiefs and Tigers are a combined 12-0 right now, and none of that makes any sense.

There were two other “big upsets” this week among ranked teams. Number five Stanford lost in Utah, in a game that wasn’t as surprising as you might think. Last week, Stanford was “only” 11th and Utah was 30th in the SRS; in fact, the Cardinal only drop to #13 in the SRS this week, while the Utes jump up to #21. The other big upset was in the Red River Shootout, in a game that was hard to see coming. Texas lost to #36 (in the SRS) Ole Miss by 21 points at home earlier this year, so who saw them winning in Dallas against Oklahoma on Saturday? Right now, Baylor is the only team in the top 20 in the SRS from the Big 12, although the Bears had their own struggles against #40 KSU in week seven.

The #7 team in the SRS is Clemson, and the Tigers host Florida State next week in a matchup of two teams ranked in the top five (albeit not in the SRS). That looks to be one of the best games of the year, and is where College Gameday will be in week eight. That’s an 8PM kickoff, so plan accordingly. And now, the week seven SRS ratings. As always, this is an ever-evolving picture, but after seven weeks, you can begin to feel pretty confident in these ratings. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game.
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Jacksonville at Denver: A “Preview”

Through five weeks, the Jaguars have been the worst team in the league and the Broncos have been the best. One could also argue that these two teams are even more extreme than the typical worst/best teams in the league, and that Denver has a larger home field advantage than your typical team. In other words, this is as large of a mismatch as we could possibly create, which jives with the historically large points spread of 28 points.

The situation is only getting uglier in Jacksonville. Blaine Gabbert continues to look like one of the worst quarterbacks to ever start 25 games in NFL history, so perhaps it’s good news that a hamstring injury will force Chad Henne into the starting lineup. And a few days after trading left tackle Eugene Monroe, 2nd overall pick Luke Joeckel went down with fractured ankle and is now lost for the season. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense look unstoppable.

I thought it would be fun to look at other times where the best and worst teams played each other. I’m going to define “best” and “worst” as the first- and last-placed teams according to the Simple Rating System, which means we’re actually going to have the benefit of hindsight here (i.e., we’ll be looking at the best/worst teams from the entire season, not as of the time when those two teams played). Since 1970, the best and worst teams have faced each other a total of 21 times, with the best team owning a perfect record.

Year
Team
Opp
Boxscore
QB
Opp QB
H/R
spread
PF
PA
Marg
2011NORIND10/23/2011Drew BreesCurtis PainterHome-1462755
2005INDSFO10/09/2005Peyton ManningAlex SmithRoad-1428325
2004NWESFO01/02/2005Tom BradyKen DorseyHome-1321714
1999STLCLE10/24/1999Kurt WarnerTim CouchHome-18.534331
1997DENSDG12/21/1997John ElwayCraig WhelihanHome-1338335
1997DENSDG11/30/1997John ElwayCraig WhelihanRoad-8.5382810
1992SFONWE10/11/1992Steve YoungHugh MillenRoad-17.5241212
1990BUFNWE11/18/1990Jim KellyMarc WilsonHome-1514014
1990BUFNWE10/28/1990Jim KellySteve GroganRoad-6271017
1989SFODAL10/15/1989Steve YoungSteve WalshRoad-14.5311417
1987SFOATL10/11/1987Joe MontanaJeff Van RaaphorstRoad-2325178
1987SFOATL12/20/1987Steve YoungChris MillerHome-1635728
1981PHIBAL11/15/1981Ron JaworskiBert JonesHome-14381325
1980PHINOR11/09/1980Ron JaworskiArchie ManningRoad-9342113
1976PITTAM12/05/1976Mike KruczekTerry HanrattyHome-2642042
1973RAMHOU10/07/1973John HadlDan PastoriniRoad031265
1972MIANWE11/12/1972Earl MorrallJim PlunkettHome052052
1972MIANWE12/03/1972Earl MorrallJim PlunkettRoad0372116
1971BALBUF10/10/1971Earl MorrallDennis ShawRoad043043
1971BALBUF12/05/1971Johnny UnitasDennis ShawHome024024
1970MINBOS12/13/1970Bob LeeJoe KappRoad0351421

In the ten times the best team in the league hosted the worst team in the league, the average score was 36-4. In the eight of those games where we have a points spread, the best team was favored by an average of 16.2 points. Let’s walk down memory lane.

2011: Saints 62, Colts 7 – Boxscore

True to form, this game featured the highest Game Script of any game from the 2011 season. The Saints held an average lead of 29.5 points in a game unfortunately placed in prime time. NBC was hoping for stories about Peyton Manning going home to New Orleans; instead, we watched Curtis Painter’s Colts fall behind 28-0 in the game’s first 20 minutes. The loss dropped the Colts to 0-7, and Indianapolis would start 0-13 before finishing 2-14. After being forced to deal with a full season of non-elite quarterback play, the football gods provided Andrew Luck to the city of Indianapolis a few months later. The Saints went 13-3 in 2011, and Drew Brees set the record for passing yards in a season, en route to winning the AP Offensive Player of the Year award.
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Last week, the Baylor Bears came in at number one in the first edition of the 2013 SRS Ratings. But the Bears ranked #1 on the strength of blowouts against bad teams; how would Baylor fare against West Virginia, who upset Oklahoma State just one week ago?

Art Briles’ squad raced out to a 56-14 lead, eventually won 73-42, and have cemented themselves as the new cool kids in town. But that doesn’t mean Baylor remained atop the SRS ratings. No, after Florida State and Jameis Winston dismantled Maryland, the Seminoles now rank number one:
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Five weeks in, the first edition of NCAA SRS ratings

Petty and Seastrunk have yet to break a sweat

Petty and Seastrunk have yet to break a sweat.

It’s still too early to put much faith in any computer ratings, but we can at least begin framing the discussion of which are the most impressive teams in college football. As always, thanks to Dr. Peter Wolfe for providing the final scores for every college football game. As a reminder, here’s the system for producing SRS ratings.

1) For each game not played at a neutral site, 3 points are given to the road team. After that adjustment, all wins and losses of between 7 and 24 points are recorded exactly as such. This means that a 24-10 road win goes down as +17 for the road team, -17 for the home team.

2) With one exception, wins of 7 or fewer points are scored as 7-point wins and losses of 7 or fewer points are scored as 7 point losses. So a 4-point home win goes down as +7 (and not a 1) and a 1-point home loss is a -7 (and not a -4). The one exception is that road losses of 3 or fewer (and home wins of 3 or fewer) are graded as ties. So a 21-20 home victory goes down as a 0 for both teams.

3) Wins/Losses of more than 24 points are scored as the average between the actual number and 24. This is to avoid giving undue credit to teams that run up the score. So a 75-point home win goes down as a 48-point win.

Once we have a rating for each team in each game, we then adjust each result for strength of schedule. This is an iterative process, where we adjust the ratings hundreds of times (to adjust for SOS, you have to adjust for the SOS of each opponent, and the SOS of each opponent’s opponent, and so on.) in Excel. Then we produce final ratings, where the SRS rating is the sum of the Margin of Victory and Strength of Schedule in every week.

After five weeks, what are the results? As usual, the table is fully searchable (type “-0″, for example, to see a list of undefeated teams, or SEC to see all SEC teams.) Right now, the number one team is Baylor, with an average (adjusted) Margin of Victory of 41.5 points per game against an average opponent that is 27.7 points better than average (average includes all football teams at all levels, so all FBS will have a positive grade). Among undefeated teams, no opponent has faced a tougher SOS than Alabama. Below shows all 125 FBS teams.
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Post-Week 3 College Football Ratings: Part I

With three weeks in the books, it’s time to unveil some college football ratings. This is part one — I plan to post Part II on Sunday afternoon.

It’s still too early to create meaningful SRS ratings, but there’s a workaround solution. You may recall that back in the summer, I created implied college football SRS ratings based on the Las Vegas spreads for 247 games. Those spreads were stale, but thanks to RJ Bell, founder of Pregame.com, I was able to get the final pre-game lines for those 247 games. I used those lines to build implied pre-season SRS ratings for 83 FBS teams, shown below:

Rk
Tm
G
MOV
SOS
SRS
Conf
1Alabama1022.5-2.420.1SEC
2Oregon1121.7-5.416.3P12
3Georgia10110.311.2SEC
4Texas A&M78.62.611.2SEC
5Ohio State1016.7-5.611B10
6LSU94.14.88.8SEC
7South Carolina109.6-18.6SEC
8Texas1110-1.68.4B12
9Florida St913.2-5.18.1ACC
10Florida96.61.58.1SEC
11Stanford108.1-0.47.7P12
12Oklahoma St99.3-2.17.2B12
13Oklahoma107.3-0.17.2B12
14Clemson98.4-2.55.9ACC
15Southern Cal1110-4.55.5P12
16Notre Dame128.3-2.85.5IND
17Michigan95.9-0.95B10
18Mississippi6-2.87.14.3SEC
19Nebraska54.3-0.34B10
20Wisconsin63.50.43.9B10
21TCU91.91.53.4B12
22Arizona St103.7-12.7P12
23Virginia Tech620.42.4ACC
24Michigan St73.9-21.9B10
25Oregon St104.9-3.21.7P12
26Miami FL83.1-1.61.6ACC
27Louisville913.7-12.21.5AAC
28Kansas St82.4-1.11.3B12
29Northwestern94.1-3.40.7B10
30UCLA111.9-1.90P12
31Arizona105-5.1-0.1P12
32North Carolina5-10.7-0.3ACC
33Penn State81.6-2.2-0.6B10
34Washington100.9-1.5-0.6P12
35Baylor6-4.83.7-1.1B12
36Boise St36.2-7.5-1.3MWC
37Georgia Tech6-4.63.1-1.4ACC
38Vanderbilt5-8.16.3-1.8SEC
39Missouri4-11.89.8-2SEC
40Brigham Young80.1-2.2-2IND
41Tennessee7-8.54.9-3.6SEC
42Cincinnati24.3-8.4-4.1AAC
43Mississippi St6-11.37.2-4.1SEC
44Texas Tech3-10.56.3-4.2B12
45West Virginia8-6.31.3-5B12
46Arkansas7-11.46.1-5.3SEC
47Auburn8-8.93.1-5.8SEC
48Maryland1-2-5-7ACC
49Syracuse4-10.63.6-7.1ACC
50Central Florida2-12.55-7.5AAC
51North Carolina St3-12.24.6-7.6ACC
52Pittsburgh4-124.4-7.6ACC
53Tulsa1-157.2-7.8CUSA
54Utah7-12.14.2-7.9P12
55Iowa6-10.32.2-8B10
56San Diego St2-14.56.4-8.1MWC
57Rutgers2-6.3-1.9-8.2AAC
58Iowa St7-11.22.1-9.2B12
59Minnesota6-7.8-1.4-9.2B10
60Virginia5-14.54.8-9.7ACC
61Purdue3-15.55.3-10.2B10
62Indiana1-2211-11B10
63Boston College3-18.56.5-12ACC
64South Florida3-13.81.6-12.2AAC
65Wake Forest2-19.57-12.5ACC
66Navy2-4.5-8-12.5IND
67Air Force1-185.5-12.5MWC
68Houston1-14.51.5-13AAC
69California9-17.84.7-13.1P12
70Connecticut2-16.83.2-13.5AAC
71Washington St8-17.33.4-13.9P12
72Kentucky6-21.67.7-13.9SEC
73Nevada3-16.82-14.8MWC
74Illinois4-17.52.6-14.9B10
75Colorado St2-180-18MWC
76Temple3-19.21-18.2AAC
77UNLV3-9.5-9.9-19.4MWC
78Memphis1-211.5-19.5AAC
79Southern Miss1-18.5-1.3-19.8CUSA
80Kansas3-25.55.6-19.9B12
81Colorado7-21.31.2-20.1P12
82Central Michigan1-1-19.4-20.4MAC
83Army1-9-12.5-21.5IND

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