Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I calculate each team's performance in a given stat category on a scale from
0 to 1. The best team in the nation is rated 1.0 and the worst team is rated
0.0. Everyone else fits in somewhere in between. My method allows a team
that is exceptionally good or exceptional awful performances to be reflected
in the scores and, IMO, is more accurate than simply rating a team 1 to 120.
A score of .50 means that the team produced exactly half of what the best
team in the NCAA does.

When I compare PSU's scores to the match up average of its opponents (PSU
Scoring offense to Opp's Average Scoring Defense), I get a good picture of
the relative quality of PSU and its opponents in the contenxt of the entire

PSU Scoring Defense vs Opp Scoring Offense

PSU - .870
Opps - .417
- PSU's scoring defense is very good, but the average performance of its
opponents scoring offense highlights that they have played, over the course
of the season, a group of teams that are really bad at scoring points. If we
take away Alabama from this, PSU's opponents average is .379.

PSU Rush Defense vs Opp Rush Offense

PSU - .689
Opps - .439
- PSU is good at rush defense, but far from great. They are barely in the
top 1/3 of the country. Their opponents are lousy at running the ball. Bama
and Eastern Mich score .536 and .526 and Temple is .612, but four of the
other five opponents score less than .400.

PSU Pass Defense vs Opp Pass Offense

PSU - .774
Opps - .364

-I'm going to come out and say it. PSU's pass offense score is meaningless
when you consider that its opponents are statistically some of the worst in
the nation. Bama was the best passing team they faced with a score of .443.
They haven't faced a single team that is even average at passing the ball.

PSU Turnover Margin vs Opp Turnover Margin

PSU - .540
Opps - .442

Finally, a statistic where PSU's rank isn't skewed by the overall lousy
performance of its opponents. PSU is average, none of its opponents are much
better than average though.

PSU Scoring Offense vs Opp Scoring Defense

PSU - .248
Opps - .659

I don't think it's a big coincidence that Bama and Temple are #1 and #2 in
Scoring Defense in the country and both have PSU on their schedule. Still,
when you take them off the board, PSU's opps average a very mortal
.557...better than average but far from the best group in the country.
Anyway you slice it, PSU is lousy at scoring points.

PSU Rush Offense vs Opp Rush Defense

PSU - .315
Opps - .543

PSU faced the best rush defense in the country (Bama) and one of the worst
(Indiana). Take Bama away, and the remaining teams average .478...note even
average. And they have still managed to field and anemic rush offense.

PSU Pass Offense vs Opps Pass Defense

PSU - .358
Opps - .607

Same song, different stat. Take Bama away, and PSU's opps average a
pedestrian .558 and PSU couldn't pass on them.

What's it all mean? PSU's defense has been over-inflated by teams that are
awful on offense and their offense is arguably worse than their opponents.
PSU is ripe for three consecutive blowout losses.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

HuskerMath's Statistical Category Power Rankings

I've been working on this for some time, and it looks like I got it done just in time for the season.

This is an attempt to rank the 120 D1 teams based on their performance in different statistical categories.

The method I used was fairly straight-forward. Each team receives a score from 0-1 in each stat category. The score is calculated by (Value - Min / Max). Okay, maybe that's not particular straight forward, but here's an example:

In the category TD/game, the best team (Oregon) averaged 6.23 TD/game. In this category, Max=6.23. The worst was Memphis at 1.58 TD/game. In this category, Min=1.58. That means the span of values is 6.23-1.58, or 4.65. I subtract the category Min from each team's score to move the span to a start point of zero. This becomes each team's adjusted category value.

Then, to compute each team's points for that category I take the adjusted team value and divide it by the total span of that category. So, the computation for Oregon is (6.23-1.58)/4.65, or 4.65/4.65. This ensures that the #1 team in each category receives exactly 1 point. Memphis' computation is (1.58-1.58)/4.65, or 0/4.65. This sets the last place team in each category to 0 points. Each of the 118 other team's scores is calculated as a proportion of their values compared to the best in the category. While this looks much like a simple 1-120 ranking, it is slightly different, and allows for one team with an unusually high or low score to be rewarded or punished accordingly in a way that a simple 1-n ranking does not allow.

I perform those calculation on 73 categories and then sum the scores. The team with the highest total score is ranked #1 in my system.

Completely objective - it is based solely on the team's performance with no consideration given to strength of schedule

Does not consider W/L Record
Weights all statistical categories equally - scoring defense is the same weight as 3rd down conversions / game

Looking back at 2010, my top 25 is:

0TeamConferenceAdjusted Total Score
1TCUMountain West 50.79
2WisconsinBig Ten 50.33
3Boise StateWAC49.37
4Ohio StateBig Ten 49.04
5StanfordPac 1046.99
7Northern IllinoisMAC44.31
8OklahomaBig 12 43.67
9Virginia TechACC43.57
10IowaBig Ten 43.21
13UCF USA42.69
16Oklahoma StateBig 12 42.22
17OregonPac 1041.77
18Air ForceMountain West 41.65
19San Diego StateMountain West 41.57
20North Carolina StateACC41.56
23IllinoisBig Ten 40.74
24West VirginiaBig East 40.69
25MissouriBig 12 40.55

In care you're wondering, Nebraska ranked #47, with 38.26 points.

We were decidedly ordinary last year.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The following charts show the change from one year to the next in the final Sagarin rankings. Each data point represents the final score (not ordinal rank) according to Jeff Sagarin and posted at [url][/url].

Ohio State Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
The final data point is the initial Sagarin score of 2011. After some pretty large changes in the early 2000s, OSU has been a model of consistency, with its Sagarin score varying less than five points from one year to the next. The initial 2011 Sagarin poll of 2011 has OSU #3 in the country with a score of 90.55, a decrease of 2.2 points from its score in the final 2010 poll. I think that, given the turmoil at OSU this season, that ranking may be a bit high, but OSU has, again, been consistent in its Sagarin score and rankings. I believe there is a high degree of probability that OSU’s initial Sagarin Score will be within 3 points of its initial score.

Wisconsin Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
Wisconsin has exhibited a history of volatility in its rankings, with an apparent pattern of big drops followed by successive years of increases. The drops in ’99, ’00, and ’01 were followed by gains from ’02 to ’06. Two more years of drops were followed by gains in ’09 and ’10. Wisconsin’s initial ranking in 2011 of 82.76, #16 in the country, is probably about right, given the past trends. Wisconsin peaked in rankings in the late ‘90s, and has been unable to climb back above 90 points since then. I believe that there is a high probability that Wisconsin will finish within 5 points of its initial Sagarin Score of 82.76 and that its final Sagarin score of 2011 will not be above 90.

Nebraska Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
Since posting National Championship level Sagarin Scores in the late ‘90s, Nebraska has been remarkably consistent in the final rankings, with dips only in the notably bad years of ’04 and ’07. Overall the trend has been level to upward since 2005. I believe there is a moderate probability that Nebraska will finish the 2011 season with a final Sagarin Score more than 3 points greater than its initial 2011 score of 82.61 (#17 nationally) I believe there is a very low probability that Nebraska will finish the 2011 season with a Sagarin score less than its initial score.

Iowa Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
The trend that Iowa has shown is long periods of improvement, followed by long periods of decline. I believe there is a low probability that Iowa’s final 2011Sagarin score will be within 3 points of its initial score of 84.48 (#18 nationally). Iowa will either improve or decline, but it doesn’t remain unchanged. I believe that Iowa will decline this year.

Penn State Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
Penn State is the box of chocolates in the Big 10 – you never know what you’re going to get. The made significant gains in 2010 from 2009, though that only brought them back to 80 points, a number they had remained above since 2004. I believe there’s a high probability that Penn State will finish 2011 within 3 points of their initial score of 81.06 (#23 nationally). I believe that Penn State will gain slightly by the end of the year and finish above 80 points.

Michigan State Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
After one terrific year (1999), Michigan State has been up and down but almost always remaining the 70s. The initial 2011 ranking of 77.38 (#25 nationally) is only 1.9 points less than their 2010 final score, a year that they went 12-2 with a share of the Big 10 title. I believe there is a high degree of probability that Michigan State’s final 2011 Sagarin score will be at least 3 points less than their initial 2011 score.

Michigan Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.  Michigan’s rise from its nadir has been slow, but steady of the last two years.  The decline that Michigan experienced in 2008 and the slow return to relevancy in 2009 and 2010 is analogous to what happened with Nebraska in 2007 to 2010.  I believe that there is a high probability that Michigan’s final Sagarin score will be within 3 points of its initial 2011 score of 73.19 (#50 nationally).  And in much the same way that I am predicting that Nebraska’s final score will be higher than its initial score this year, I believe that Michigan’s 2012 Sagarin score will be much more congruous with its traditional scores.

Illinois Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
About the only thing you can say about Illinois that is that they are consistently inconsistent.  The only period of relative stability was when Illinois was consistently awful, from 2003-2006.  I believe there is a high probability that Illinois’ initital score of 73.09 (#52 nationally) will be withing 3 points of its initial score and that 2012 will mark another year of decline.

Northwestern Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
It’s impossible to tell from this graph what to expect from Northwestern in 2011.  Northwestern has a pattern of multi-year gains followed by a steep decline, so I believe that there a moderate probability that Northwestern’s final Sagarin score will be more than 3 points higher than its initial score of 70.32 (#60 nationally).

Purdue Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
The trend here is undeniable.  Purdue’s football program has been going the wrong direction for years.  They have a micro trend, though, of gaining slightly every other year, so their initial score of 68.26 (#71 nationally) is reasonable.  I believe it’s probable that Purdues final Sagarin score will be withing 3 points of its initial 2011 score.

 Minnesota Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
Much like Purdue, Minnesota’s overall trend has been downward, though the last few years have been marked by a period of relative stability, if not quality.  Minnesota’s trend is a few years of little variance followed by a marked decline.  I believe that Minnesota is due for another decline, and for that reason I believe there is a high probability that Minnesota’s final Sagarin score will be more than 3 points less than its initial score of 67.84 (#72 nationally).

Indiana Final Sagarin Score changes (year to year) 1999-2010
In the same way that Minnesota seems due for a decline, Indiana seems prepped for one as well.  I believe that there’s a high probability that Indiana’s final Sagarin score will be more than 3 points less than its initial score of 63.77 (#80 nationally).

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pre-season Margarine of Victory Big 10 Season Predictor

I'm working on the 2011 Margarine of Victory model based on Sagarin's ratings. I'm trying to fine tune inputs into the model based on statistical category ratings, but it isn't complete yet.

So, based on shaky pre-season data, here's my first prediction of regular season finishes.

Nebraska 111
Iowa 111
Michigan 75
Michigan State 75
Minnesota 39
Northwestern 66
Illinois 84
Indiana 49
Ohio State 120
Penn State 84
Purdue 57
Wisconsin 111

3.08Sagarin 8/9/11NU ScoreOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Chattanooga53.98  32.691.005.161.0000.000-32.69
Fresno State69.74  16.931.003.752.0000.000-16.93
Washington74.19  12.481.003.353.0000.000 
Wyoming62.85  20.741.004.093.9990.000 
Wisconsin84.61  -1.020.982.134.9830.000 
Ohio State85.55  1.120.992.335.9730.000 
Minnesota67.84  15.751.003.646.9730.000 
Michigan State77.38 
Northwestern70.32  16.351.003.698.9720.000 
Penn State81.06  2.530.992.459.9650.000 
Bowl Game#N/A  #N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A  
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11UI ScoreOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Tennessee Tech43.63  41.931.003.551.0000.000-41.93
Iowa State68.4  14.080.982.141.9840.000-14.08
Pittsburgh79.95  5.610.961.712.9400.000-5.61
Louisiana-Monroe57.67  27.891.002.843.9370.000-27.89
Penn State81.06  1.420.931.494.8700.000-1.42
Northwestern70.32  15.240.992.205.8560.000-15.24
Indiana63.77  21.790.992.536.8500.000-21.79
Minnesota67.84  14.640.982.177.8350.000-14.64
Michigan73.19  12.370.982.058.8150.000-12.37
Michigan State77.38  8.180.971.849.7820.000-8.18
Purdue68.26  14.220.982.1410.7660.000-14.22
Nebraska83.59  -1.110.982.1311.7490.0001.11
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11UMOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Western Michigan63.41  12.860.951.650.9510.000-12.86
Notre Dame78.82  -2.550.590.241.5450.0002.55
Eastern Michigan49.55  26.721.002.932.5440.000-26.72
San Diego State68.69  7.580.881.173.4220.000-7.58
Minnesota67.84  8.430.891.254.3160.000-8.43
Northwestern70.32  2.870.770.745.0850.000-2.87
Michigan State77.38  -4.190.540.095.6210.0004.19
Purdue68.26  8.010.891.216.5070.000-8.01
Iowa82.48  -9.290.35-0.386.8590.0009.29
Illinois73.09  0.10.690.487.5450.000-0.1
Nebraska83.59  -7.320.42-0.207.9660.0007.32
Ohio State85.55  -9.28     
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11MSUOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Michigan State77.38        
Youngstown State53.52  26.941.0020.461.0000.000-26.94
Florida Atlantic57.12  23.341.0019.042.0000.000-23.34
Notre Dame78.82  -1.441.009.313.0000.0001.44
Central Michigan65.48  14.981.0015.764.0000.000-14.98
Ohio State85.55  -
Michigan73.19  7.271.0012.736.0000.000-7.27
Wisconsin84.61  -
Nebraska83.59  -
Minnesota67.84  12.621.0014.839.0000.000-12.62
Iowa82.48  -
Indiana63.77  16.691.0016.4311.0000.000-16.69
Northwestern70.32  7.061.0012.6512.0000.000-7.06
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11UMOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Southern California87.15  -19.310.24-0.700.2410.00019.31
New Mexico State51.46  19.460.760.711.0030.000-19.46
Miami-Ohio59.88  11.040.660.411.6610.000-11.04
North Dakota State59.59  11.330.660.422.3220.000-11.33
Michigan73.19  -5.350.42-0.192.7460.0005.35
Purdue68.26  -0.420.49-0.013.2410.0000.42
Nebraska83.59  -12.670.32-0.463.5640.00012.67
Iowa82.48  -11.560.34-0.423.9010.00011.56
Michigan State77.38  -9.540.36-0.354.2660.0009.54
Wisconsin84.61  -13.690.31-0.504.5760.00013.69
Northwestern70.32  -2.480.47-0.095.0410.0002.48
Illinois73.09  -2.170.47-0.085.5110.0002.17
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11NUOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Boston College76.89  -6.570.560.160.5650.0006.57
Eastern Illinois45.82  27.580.941.581.5070.000-27.58
Army61.22  9.10.790.812.2990.000-9.1
Illinois73.09  -2.770.630.322.9250.0002.77
Michigan73.19  0.210.670.443.5960.000-0.21
Iowa82.48  -12.160.47-0.074.0690.00012.16
Penn State81.06  -7.660.550.124.6160.0007.66
Indiana63.77  6.550.760.715.3750.000-6.55
Nebraska83.59  -13.270.45-0.115.8300.00013.27
Rice59.08  14.320.851.036.6780.000-14.32
Minnesota67.84  5.560.750.677.4250.000-5.56
Michigan State77.38        
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11UIOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Arkansas State59.61  16.561.0065.261.0000.000-16.56
South Dakota State60.32  15.851.0063.852.0000.000-15.85
Arizona State78.79  -2.621.0027.063.0000.0002.62
Western Michigan63.41  12.761.0057.694.0000.000-12.76
Northwestern70.32  5.851.0043.935.0000.000-5.85
Indiana63.77  9.321.0050.846.0000.000-9.32
Ohio State85.55  -9.381.0013.597.0000.0009.38
Purdue68.26  4.831.0041.908.0000.000-4.83
Penn State81.06  -7.971.0016.409.0000.0007.97
Michigan73.19  2.981.0038.2110.0000.000-2.98
Wisconsin84.61  -8.441.0015.4711.0000.0008.44
Minnesota67.84  5.250.580.1911.5770.000-5.25
Bowl Game#N/A  #N/A#N/A#N/A#N/A0.000#N/A
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11INOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Ball State57.87  5.90.861.060.8550.000-5.9
Virginia70.4  -3.550.36-0.361.2160.0003.55
South Carolina State13.67
North Texas52.77  110.971.823.1820.000-11
Penn State81.06  -14.210.03-1.953.2080.00014.21
Illinois73.09  -6.240.22-0.763.4320.0006.24
Wisconsin84.61  -20.840.00-2.943.4330.00020.84
Iowa82.48  -18.710.00-2.623.4380.00018.71
Northwestern70.32  -3.470.37-0.343.8030.0003.47
Ohio State85.55  -21.780.00-3.083.8040.00021.78
Michigan State77.38  -13.610.03-1.863.8360.00013.61
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11OSUOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Ohio State85.55        
Akron52.06  36.571.009.821.0000.000-36.57
Toledo61.89  26.741.008.402.0000.000-26.74
Michigan State77.38
Nebraska83.59  1.961.004.846.0000.000-1.96
Illinois73.09  12.461.006.357.0000.000-12.46
Indiana63.77  24.861.008.139.0000.000-24.86
Penn State81.06  7.571.005.6411.0000.000-7.57
Michigan73.19  12.360.670.4511.6750.000-12.36
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11PSUOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Penn State81.06        
Indiana State41.73  42.410.951.650.9510.000-42.41
Alabama92.53  -8.390.590.241.5460.0008.39
Temple65.97  15.090.810.892.3600.000-15.09
Eastern Michigan49.55  34.590.921.443.2850.000-34.59
Indiana63.77  17.290.830.954.1150.000-17.29
Iowa82.48  1.660.700.524.8130.000-1.66
Purdue68.26  15.880.820.925.6330.000-15.88
Northwestern70.32  10.740.780.776.4130.000-10.74
Illinois73.09  7.970.760.707.1700.000-7.97
Nebraska83.59  -2.530.660.407.8260.0002.53
Ohio State85.55  -4.490.640.358.4630.0004.49
Wisconsin84.61  -3.550.45-0.138.9120.0003.55
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11PUOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
Middle Tennessee61.48  9.861.0040.311.0000.000-9.86
Rice59.08  9.180.700.521.6990.000-9.18
SE Missouri State44.62  26.720.841.012.5420.000-26.72
Notre Dame78.82  -7.480.520.063.0650.0007.48
Minnesota67.84  3.50.640.363.7060.000-3.5
Penn State81.06  -12.80.46-0.094.1700.00012.8
Illinois73.09  -1.750.590.224.7560.0001.75
Michigan73.19  -4.930.550.135.3060.0004.93
Wisconsin84.61  -16.350.42-0.195.7310.00016.35
Ohio State85.55  -14.210.45-0.136.1790.00014.21
Iowa82.48  -11.140.48-0.056.6610.00011.14
Indiana63.77  4.490.570.177.2270.000-4.49
3.08Sagarin 8/9/11UWOpp ScorePredicted Margin of VictoryProb of winningz-scoreexp winsAdj. Exp. Winsdelta of margin of victory
UNLV60.76  26.931.003.010.9990.000-26.93
Oregon State81.23  6.460.951.601.9440.000-6.46
Northern Illinois68.9  15.710.992.242.9310.000-15.71
South Dakota48.79
Nebraska83.59  4.10.921.444.8560.000-4.1
Indiana63.77  23.921.002.815.8530.000-23.92
Michigan State77.38  7.230.951.656.8040.000-7.23
Ohio State85.55  -0.940.861.097.6660.0000.94
Purdue68.26  19.430.992.508.6600.000-19.43
Minnesota67.84  16.770.992.319.6490.000-16.77
Illinois73.09  11.520.971.9510.6240.000-11.52
Penn State81.06  6.630.600.2411.2200.000-6.63

Monday, August 8, 2011

2010 Recap

Rush Offense

2010 Recap

Scoring Offense

Nebraska's offense, despite its problems in 2010, is not as bad as it appears at first blush, at least when viewed against the rest of the Big 10.  It also bears consideration that a large portion of Nebraska's offensive production occurred in the first half of the season.  Had TM not injured his ankle, Nebraska's offensive production would certainly have been further left on these charts.