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Wisdom of Crowds: Team Power Rankings (Elo-Style)

Long-time commenter Richie has been kind enough to create an Elo Ranking System where users can rank each of the 32 teams in the NFL. He’s hosting it on his site, but has come up with a Football Perspective-sounding url for us:

http://footballperspective.tooshay.us/teamrate.php

You can read more about how Elo Rankings work here, but the beauty is in its simplicity. All you need to do is answer one question: is Team A or Team B going to be better in 2013?

Vote early and often. The more results, the better. And please share with your friends. It will be fun to see what the wisdom of crowds tells us about team strength as we gear up for the 2013 season.

And a big thanks again to Richie for doing all the legwork!

{ 16 comments… add one }

  • Topher Doll July 17, 2013, 8:04 pm

    Fantastic, though I do think the end result is going to be a mess haha.

    • Topher Doll July 17, 2013, 8:06 pm

      But then again, you never know, here’s hoping the Elo rater makes a good power ranking and it gets some credit.

  • Ben July 17, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Love it, great great idea

  • Scott Tanner July 17, 2013, 9:12 pm

    This is fun. I was actually going to do a comment on who I thought was too low/high, but the rankings (as they stand right now) seem pretty accurate to me. Only thing that seems really egregious to me is New Orleans at 7. That seems waaaaaaay too high. Colts possibly too high at 13 as well. Be curious to hear if anyone disagrees strongly.

    • Richie July 17, 2013, 11:16 pm

      New Orleans at 7 SOUNDS too high, but when I look at the teams below them, I don’t think it’s too far off.

      I’m surprised Denver is so solidly in 1st place.

      • Chase Stuart July 17, 2013, 11:38 pm

        You shouldn’t be — Football Perspective (thankfully) has a very large Denver following thanks to all the linking from Its All over Fatman. He has a post up specifically to the Elo ratings, and MHR (Topher’s place) also links to us quite a bit.

        • Andrew Carroll July 18, 2013, 1:45 pm

          Soon your place will be over-run with Niners and Chiefs fans! ;)

        • Ben August 5, 2013, 9:21 pm

          Since making sure diverse viewpoints are incorporated is important to making wisdom-of-crowds work, would it be difficult to weight votes according to geographic regions? If you get too many votes from Denver, weight them in such a way to make their contribution equal to other regions. Maybe even control for teams’ national popularity but that’s probably going too far.

  • Kibbles July 17, 2013, 11:43 pm

    Carolina is currently the best team with a losing record. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • Richie July 18, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Looks like some Cardinals fans are stuffing the ballot boxes. This is good, because I didn’t know the Cardinals had fans.

  • Danish July 18, 2013, 7:21 pm

    Would be interesting to see how well this preseason powerranking corrolates with actual results, and how it’ll stack up against DVOA and other traditional powwer rankings. You could run simulations and everything. You could also reset the ballot every week of the season and see how public oppinion changes from week to week. I’d be casting 100 votes first think tuesday morning – that’s for sure.

    Migh also be interesting, with regards to gambling. Reminds me: I don’t know how much you are into that sort of thing, Chase, but some gambling stuff may be a source of inspiration for more numbers-heavy posts – just a suggestion.

    • Richie July 19, 2013, 1:56 pm

      Yes, I’ll be curious to see how the rankings change as the season progresses (if people continue to vote regularly).

  • Scott Tanner July 19, 2013, 1:01 pm

    To submit a possibly homer-ism tinged complaint, the team that now seems way too low is actually the Bears, who are at 19 right now. I think they should be around 10. There are some teams ahead of them that seem pretty comparable and you could make good cases for or against (New Orelans, Cincinnatti, Pittsburgh, etc.). But there are some teams ahead of the Bears that seem pretty clearly inferior to me: Detroit, Miami, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dallas.

    I don’t know why people seem to be really down on the Bears; could be a coaching staff change issue, which I think could actually end up being a positive. But otherwise, it’s a team that seems improved on paper this year and that won 10 games last year despite dealing with a raft of injuries. They will play what looks like a tougher schedule this year, but that’s not really a reflection of the quality of the team.

  • Matt July 21, 2013, 7:13 pm

    I think something is wrong with the code that is forcing the Ravens to be last. When they came up as an option to vote for me there was an error and only the Ravens were a possibility, and it wouldn’t let you vote. I’ll try and see if it happens again.

    Why else would they be LAST?

    • Matt July 21, 2013, 7:21 pm

      I get this error “Notice: Undefined variable: id3 in /homepages/43/d250426148/htdocs/footballperspective/teamrate.php on line 84
      ” Whenever the Broncos or Ravens come up. Those teams are first and last right now.

      • Richie July 22, 2013, 12:00 pm

        I setup my code to only match teams who are within 250 points of each other. I didn’t design a nice way to handle things if the randomizer couldn’t find another team within 250 points. I guess I’ll have to fix that.

        Now, the Ravens and Broncos are both more than 250 points away from the next closest team. I didn’t think it would be possible for teams to get voted that far apart. But it looks like Bronco fans must have been trying hard to vote down the Ravens? I’m going to look at my voting log to see if I can figure out how the Ravens (and Seahawks) got voted down so far.

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