Sunday, November 29, 2009

Rankings through November 28th

With only one week left before the bowl bids, the teams at the very top just keep on winning. Meanwhile, losses among BCS bid hopefuls Oklahoma State and Pitt have helped to slightly clarify the at-large possibilities.

First, the obvious: the winner of the SEC Championship game next weekend between Florida and Alabama will appear in the National Championship game. The loser will get one of the three BCS at-large bids. Texas will be the other half of the National Championship game if they beat Nebraska for the Big 12 Championship. TCU will get a non-AQ-group automatic bid to a BCS bowl, leaving only two at-large bids left up for grabs.

If Texas loses next weekend, they will certainly get an at-large bid, and we're going to hear lots of controversy about who should play in the National Championship game: Texas, TCU, Cincinnati (if they beat Pitt in the de facto Big East title game), or Boise State (if they win their final regular season game).

Will Boise State get an at-large bid? Let's break it down very quickly by assuming for the present argument that no three-loss team is going to get a BCS bowl bid this year (though that assumption might not be safe). This way, we take Oregon, GT, and Pitt out of at-large contention: if they win, they win the automatic bids from their respective conferences. The remaining variables then are Texas, Cincinnati, the Big Ten at-large hopefuls, and of course, Boise State has to win their regular season finale (otherwise this discussion is moot).

Assuming Boise State wins next weekend and no three-loss team gets an at-large bid, the remaining scenarios are:

If Texas and Cincy both lose next weekend, they very likely take the two remaining at-large bids, though Boise State, Iowa & Penn State fans might not be too pleased with the Cincinnati selection. More importantly, the bowl games (who ultimately make the selections) might decide a different selection is more lucrative. In any case, this scenario is bad for Boise State.

If Cincy wins and Texas loses, Texas certainly takes an at-large bid, leaving one left to go to either Boise State, Iowa, or Penn State. If the split goes the other way (Texas wins and Cincy loses), then perhaps the Cincy selection isn't quite so certain, leaving two at-large bids to split among these teams. Does Boise State get one under this scenario? I have no idea. Note this might also end up depending on the other conference championship games, in that it might be hard to rationalize an Iowa/PennSt selection over a Boise State squad ranked, say, five spots higher in the BCS Standings; but if other teams fall, the rank-order gap might narrow significantly.

Finally, the good news for Boise State: if Texas and Cincy both win next weekend, they take their respective conferences' automatic bids, leaving two at-large bids remaining. In this scenario, an undefeated Boise State is all but certain to grab a BCS bid, since the Big Ten can only take one at-large bid (to either Iowa or Penn State). The only way to deny Boise State in this scenario is to give an at-large bid to a three-loss team. So the Broncos will be cheering for the Longhorns and Bearcats, and if all three win, it looks like we'll see two non-AQ group schools in the BCS games for the first time.

2009 Random Walker Rankings (RWFL, p=0.75)
Games through Saturday November 28th:
1. Alabama (12-0) [1.4900]
2. Florida (12-0) [1.4155]
3. Cincinnati (11-0) [1.1452]
4. Texas (12-0) [1.0918]
5. TCU (12-0) [1.0246]
6. Boise St (12-0) [0.9648]
7. Oregon (9-2) [0.9501]
8. Georgia Tech (10-2) [0.9121]
9. Ohio State (10-2) [0.7874]
10. Virginia Tech (9-3) [0.7827]
11. LSU (9-3) [0.7669]
12. Miami FL (9-3) [0.7656]
13. Southern Cal (8-3) [0.7645]
14. Iowa (10-2) [0.7552]
15. Pittsburgh (9-2) [0.6931]
16. Oregon St (8-3) [0.6788]
17. California (8-3) [0.6785]
18. Stanford (8-4) [0.6565]
19. Penn State (10-2) [0.6446]
20. West Virginia (8-3) [0.6358]
21. Brigham Young (10-2) [0.6218]
22. North Carolina (8-4) [0.6187]
23. Oklahoma St (9-3) [0.6181]
24. Georgia (7-5) [0.6170]
25. Clemson (8-4) [0.6148]
26. Houston (10-2) [0.5983]
27. Arizona (7-4) [0.5967]
28. South Carolina (7-5) [0.5749]
29. Mississippi (8-4) [0.5728]
30. Arkansas (7-5) [0.5678]
31. Auburn (7-5) [0.5456]
32. Tennessee (7-5) [0.5430]
33. Wisconsin (8-3) [0.5170]
34. Nebraska (9-3) [0.5057]
35. Utah (9-3) [0.4952]
36. Kentucky (7-5) [0.4924]
37. Florida St (6-6) [0.4890]
38. South Florida (7-4) [0.4845]
39. Boston College (8-4) [0.4844]
40. Texas Tech (8-4) [0.4635]
41. Rutgers (8-3) [0.4605]
42. Missouri (8-4) [0.4569]
43. East Carolina (8-4) [0.4418]
44. Northwestern (8-4) [0.4401]
45. Oklahoma (7-5) [0.4367]
46. Troy (9-3) [0.4295]
47. Mississippi St (5-7) [0.4284]
48. Central Florida (8-4) [0.4237]
49. Navy (8-4) [0.4199]
50. UCLA (6-6) [0.4165]
51. Central Michigan (10-2) [0.4135]
52. Connecticut (6-5) [0.4011]
53. Fresno St (7-4) [0.3965]
54. Nevada (8-4) [0.3957]
55. Notre Dame (6-6) [0.3933]
56. Minnesota (6-6) [0.3872]
57. Washington (4-7) [0.3808]
58. Temple (9-3) [0.3637]
59. Ohio U. (9-3) [0.3557]
60. Middle Tennessee St (9-3) [0.3467]
61. SMU (7-5) [0.3434]
62. Wake Forest (5-7) [0.3420]
63. Texas A&M (6-6) [0.3256]
64. Michigan St (6-6) [0.3248]
65. North Carolina St (5-7) [0.3189]
66. Air Force (7-5) [0.3135]
67. Purdue (5-7) [0.3067]
68. Marshall (6-6) [0.3017]
69. Bowling Green (7-5) [0.2987]
70. Southern Miss (7-5) [0.2975]
71. Wyoming (6-6) [0.2968]
72. Idaho (7-5) [0.2954]
73. Syracuse (4-8) [0.2801]
74. Iowa St (6-6) [0.2788]
75. Arizona St (4-8) [0.2766]
76. Kansas St (6-6) [0.2754]
77. Virginia (3-9) [0.2729]
78. Duke (5-7) [0.2676]
79. Kansas (5-7) [0.2584]
80. Hawai`i (6-6) [0.2518]
81. UNLV (5-7) [0.2469]
82. Baylor (4-8) [0.2397]
83. Louisville (4-8) [0.2378]
84. Michigan (5-7) [0.2292]
85. Illinois (3-8) [0.2262]
86. Alabama-Birmingham (5-7) [0.2129]
87. Louisiana-Monroe (6-6) [0.2109]
88. Colorado (3-9) [0.2088]
89. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6) [0.2051]
90. Northern Illinois (7-5) [0.2041]
91. UTEP (4-8) [0.1987]
92. Utah St (4-8) [0.1975]
93. Vanderbilt (2-10) [0.1936]
94. Indiana (4-8) [0.1921]
95. Tulsa (5-7) [0.1916]
96. Maryland (2-10) [0.1891]
97. Florida Int'l (3-8) [0.1875]
98. San Diego St (4-8) [0.1832]
99. Washington St (1-11) [0.1824]
100. Louisiana Tech (3-8) [0.1811]
101. Colorado St (3-9) [0.1793]
102. Buffalo (5-7) [0.1768]
103. Toledo (5-7) [0.1691]
104. San Jose St (2-9) [0.1567]
105. Tulane (3-9) [0.1565]
106. Florida Atlantic (4-7) [0.1515]
107. Kent St (5-7) [0.1509]
108. Army (5-6) [0.1361]
109. Rice (2-10) [0.1264]
110. Western Michigan (5-7) [0.1248]
111. New Mexico St (3-9) [0.1220]
112. Memphis (2-10) [0.1167]
113. Arkansas St (3-8) [0.1092]
114. Miami OH (1-11) [0.1084]
115. New Mexico (1-11) [0.1035]
116. Akron (3-9) [0.1004]
117. North Texas (2-10) [0.0790]
118. Ball St (2-10) [0.0631]
119. Western Kentucky (0-11) [0.0062]
120. Eastern Michigan (0-12) [-0.0022]
Conference Rankings (Average Per Team):
SEC 0.6840
Pac10 0.5581
BigEast 0.5423
ACC 0.5048
Big10 0.4373
Big12 0.4300
MWC 0.3850
WAC 0.3290
FBSInd 0.3164
CUSA 0.2841
MAC 0.1944
SunBelt 0.1917
Non-FBS -0.0825

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rankings through November 21st

Another week of wins at the top of last week's BCS Standings. The most prominent loss near the top of the Standings was LSU's confused clock management thriller at Ole Miss. Of course, other losses by Notre Dame, Kansas and Michigan make big news because coaching jobs might be on the line, but we're now most interested in the BCS Bowl bids here.

All signs continue to point to a probable Alabama/Florida v. Texas National Championship Game, though of course that might depend on teams continuing to win. That said, it's becoming conceivable that Texas could lose a game down the stretch and still appear in the National Championship (the earliest compelling argument I heard for this was on Slate's Hang Up and Listen podcast). So I continue to be most interested right now in whether Boise State will get a BCS at-large bid this year.

Without repeating yesterday's post, the LSU loss possibly hurts Boise State a little, simply because LSU wasn't going to get a BCS Bowl bid anyway (assuming Florida and Alabama get them, with only two allowed per conference). So LSU will fall from their current BCS#8 spot, and someone else who might be in the running for an at-large bid will be able to make a stronger case. Maybe I'm splitting hairs here worrying on Boise State's behalf about one loss by LSU. But there could be a lot of teams making a respectable case for an at-large bid if they don't win their conference championships: Texas plays Nebraska, GT faces Clemson, Cincy gets Pitt, and Oregon hosts Oregon State in the now de facto Pac-10 championship game. Again, we take it as a given that the loser of Florida/Alabama will get an at-large bid, and we assume that TCU will get the non-AQ-group automatic berth if they beat New Mexico next week. That leaves two at-large bids remaining, some of which could disappear to losers of the conference championship games, or even to the Big Ten.

2009 Random Walker Rankings (RWFL, p=0.75)
Games through Saturday November 21st:
1. Alabama (11-0) [1.3873]
2. Florida (11-0) [1.2604]
3. Cincinnati (10-0) [1.2062]
4. Georgia Tech (10-1) [1.1521]
5. TCU (11-0) [1.1169]
6. Texas (11-0) [1.0729]
7. Oregon (9-2) [0.9538]
8. Boise St (11-0) [0.9062]
9. Pittsburgh (9-1) [0.8839]
10. Ohio State (10-2) [0.8350]
11. Virginia Tech (8-3) [0.7996]
12. Miami FL (8-3) [0.7874]
13. Iowa (10-2) [0.7809]
14. North Carolina (8-3) [0.7454]
15. Southern Cal (7-3) [0.7449]
16. Clemson (8-3) [0.7240]
17. Penn State (10-2) [0.6923]
18. California (8-3) [0.6850]
19. Oklahoma St (9-2) [0.6742]
20. Oregon St (8-3) [0.6731]
21. LSU (8-3) [0.6490]
22. Stanford (7-4) [0.6206]
23. Mississippi (8-3) [0.6025]
24. Houston (9-2) [0.5948]
25. Arizona (6-4) [0.5763]
26. Arkansas (7-4) [0.5670]
27. West Virginia (7-3) [0.5627]
28. Utah (9-2) [0.5575]
29. South Florida (7-3) [0.5547]
30. Brigham Young (9-2) [0.5481]
31. Wisconsin (8-3) [0.5401]
32. Florida St (6-5) [0.5242]
33. Auburn (7-4) [0.5063]
34. Navy (8-3) [0.5059]
35. Kentucky (7-4) [0.5029]
36. Boston College (7-4) [0.4981]
37. South Carolina (6-5) [0.4919]
38. Georgia (6-5) [0.4811]
39. Nebraska (8-3) [0.4753]
40. Rutgers (7-3) [0.4727]
41. Northwestern (8-4) [0.4598]
42. Temple (9-2) [0.4448]
43. Tennessee (6-5) [0.4446]
44. Notre Dame (6-5) [0.4387]
45. Missouri (7-4) [0.4333]
46. UCLA (6-5) [0.4262]
47. Texas Tech (7-4) [0.4256]
48. East Carolina (7-4) [0.4150]
49. Central Florida (7-4) [0.4123]
50. Minnesota (6-6) [0.4084]
51. Central Michigan (9-2) [0.4007]
52. Troy (8-3) [0.3985]
53. Connecticut (5-5) [0.3958]
54. Nevada (8-3) [0.3955]
55. Fresno St (7-4) [0.3857]
56. Washington (3-7) [0.3645]
57. Mississippi St (4-7) [0.3637]
58. Oklahoma (6-5) [0.3586]
59. Michigan St (6-6) [0.3419]
60. Wake Forest (4-7) [0.3372]
61. Southern Miss (7-4) [0.3362]
62. Marshall (6-5) [0.3341]
63. Idaho (7-4) [0.3291]
64. SMU (6-5) [0.3276]
65. Middle Tennessee St (8-3) [0.3266]
66. Purdue (5-7) [0.3241]
67. Air Force (7-5) [0.3215]
68. Syracuse (4-7) [0.3196]
69. Virginia (3-8) [0.3158]
70. Duke (5-6) [0.3154]
71. Texas A&M (6-5) [0.3116]
72. Ohio U. (8-3) [0.3014]
73. North Carolina St (4-7) [0.2844]
74. Wyoming (5-6) [0.2841]
75. Iowa St (6-6) [0.2825]
76. Arizona St (4-7) [0.2815]
77. Kansas (5-6) [0.2761]
78. Bowling Green (6-5) [0.2736]
79. Louisville (4-7) [0.2728]
80. Kansas St (6-6) [0.2699]
81. Baylor (4-7) [0.2485]
82. Michigan (5-7) [0.2481]
83. Northern Illinois (7-4) [0.2280]
84. UNLV (4-7) [0.2276]
85. Alabama-Birmingham (5-6) [0.2244]
86. Louisiana-Monroe (6-5) [0.2230]
87. Illinois (3-7) [0.2219]
88. Colorado (3-8) [0.2155]
89. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-5) [0.2121]
90. Maryland (2-9) [0.2100]
91. San Diego St (4-7) [0.2051]
92. Indiana (4-8) [0.2047]
93. Colorado St (3-8) [0.1993]
94. Hawai`i (5-6) [0.1967]
95. Toledo (5-6) [0.1940]
96. Washington St (1-10) [0.1870]
97. Vanderbilt (2-10) [0.1809]
98. Florida Int'l (3-8) [0.1781]
99. Kent St (5-6) [0.1717]
100. Louisiana Tech (3-8) [0.1702]
101. Tulsa (4-7) [0.1675]
102. Buffalo (4-7) [0.1650]
103. UTEP (3-8) [0.1637]
104. Tulane (3-8) [0.1588]
105. Utah St (3-8) [0.1586]
106. Western Michigan (5-6) [0.1557]
107. Army (5-6) [0.1415]
108. Florida Atlantic (3-7) [0.1384]
109. San Jose St (1-9) [0.1352]
110. New Mexico St (3-8) [0.1303]
111. Memphis (2-9) [0.1249]
112. Rice (2-9) [0.1204]
113. Miami OH (1-11) [0.1152]
114. Akron (2-9) [0.0997]
115. Arkansas St (2-8) [0.0908]
116. North Texas (2-9) [0.0851]
117. New Mexico (1-10) [0.0814]
118. Ball St (1-10) [0.0415]
119. Western Kentucky (0-10) [0.0134]
120. Eastern Michigan (0-11) [0.0131]
Conference Rankings (Average Per Team):
SEC 0.6198
BigEast 0.5836
ACC 0.5578
Pac10 0.5513
Big10 0.4597
Big12 0.4203
MWC 0.3935
FBSInd 0.3620
WAC 0.3119
CUSA 0.2816
MAC 0.2003
SunBelt 0.1851
Non-FBS -0.0831

Labels: ,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Breaking Down the BCS Bowl Bids

Last year in this space, we watched anxiously throughout November as Boise State tried to make its case for a BCS Bowl bid on the field, and in the Standings, only to have the last at-large bowl bid go to a lesser-ranked Ohio State team. Anyone else getting a sense of deja vu here?

Wait, you say, Boise State is currently #6 in the BCS Standings, and there are 10 BCS Bowl bids (Fiesta, Orange, Rose, Sugar, and the National Championship Game). Ah, but how do teams qualify for BCS games? In the rules, Boise State is what the latest politically correct college football language deems a "non-AQ group" school (that is, they are not from a conference with an Automatic Qualifier). A non-AQ group school can earn an automatic BCS berth if they do well enough in the Standings; but the rules are also very explicit that "No more than one such team from the non-AQ group shall earn an automatic berth in any year." Last year, that berth went to Utah. This year, if both TCU and Boise State win out, it will almost certainly go to TCU.

So does Boise State have any shot at getting an at-large selection this year? First, it obviously depends on their winning out; if they lose, their BCS bid is finished. Second, it depends on who wins the AQ conferences, because those winners take 6 of the 10 spots. If TCU wins out, they'll almost certainly take a 7th automatic qualification (and if they don't, then the discussion simplifies because an undefeated Boise State would get it instead). So who will get the other three at-large spots? The SEC runner-up, definitely a given. If Texas doesn't win the Big 12, they would almost certainly still be in the running for a bid. So there may be either one or two more slots for Boise State to try to take.

Remembering that BCS at-large bids do not need to follow the BCS Standings beyond a top-14 requirement (as when Ohio State was selected over Boise State last year), it's perhaps still reasonable to look at the top teams in the Standings to see who else might legitimately get selected over a non-automatic Boise State. In the Big East, Cincinnati is currently #5 and Pitt is #9, and obviously only one of them will win that conference. At #7, Georgia Tech might be a candidate for an at-large bid if they fail to win the ACC. Luckily for Boise State, #8 LSU is not a worry right now because each conference can only get two bids, and we already counted two to the SEC. Meanwhile, #10 Ohio State has already wrapped up the Big Ten, which is also good for Boise State. In contrast, #11 Oregon is still fighting in the Pac-10, and #12 Oklahoma State won last night to increase their chances. And the financial incentives for the bowl games built into the at-large selections might cause one to look at a second Big Ten school, with Iowa at #13 and Penn State at #14.

That's a lot of teams fighting for at most two spots. While some of the confusion might clarify this weekend or next, much might remain unresolved until the conference championships.

----

Unsurprisingly, we aren't the only ones who have been talking about Boise State's BCS at-large chances. See also:
  • PR firm hired to make push for Boise St.
  • Boise State still in line for at-large
  • Boise State fans need to pull for Texas, root against Oklahoma State
  • Labels: ,

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    A backlog of Trent McCotter's columns

    Apparently Trent McCotter's brief stint writing thought-provoking articles about stats and sports for the News & Observer has come to an end. I'm disappointed by this, because I enjoyed each of his columns (not just the two we previously linked to from here). Indeed, I've been asking him every week for the past month whether a new one was coming or not. His columns were concise, and I know Trent well enough to know that he could have found a lot more to write about each topic. I'm certain it can't be an easy task to condense such thoughts into the strictly allotted newspaper space.

    Trent's stories that appeared are still online:

    How to fix the 'perfect game'

    Zimmerman best in state at hitting streaks

    'Tiger-proofing' golf courses yields surprises

    Time to monkey around with BCS?

    Ichiro a version of Wee Willie Keeler

    The 'hot hand' in basketball: Does it exist?

    Statistics gaffes highlight sports history

    When is a conversion worth the risk?

    Labels:

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Rankings through November 14th

    No big changes at the top of the RWFL rankings this week.

    TCU solidified their position across various p bias values---if you look at the plot below the list of ranks, their win against Utah definitely helps in general, but still leaves them in fourth-place at the selected p=0.75 value posted here. This might help solidify TCU's narrowly-held #4 position in the BCS Standings, since they were already ahead of Cincinnati in both polls and should now do better than before in the computer component. But of course TCU will still be behind Texas in the BCS Standings, since they were already ahead of Texas in the composite of the computers and were still well behind Texas in the Standings.

    That is, unless someone loses, we seem to be on course for a championship game between Texas and the winner of the Florida-Alabama "semifinal" SEC Championship game. TCU is on course for an automatic BCS bowl game berth; in contrast, Boise State's relatively weaker strength of schedule continues to leave them later in the discussion. Because of the wrinkles in the rules that only give one automatic BCS bid to the "non-AQ group", Boise State will possibly be hoping for one of the at-large bids, and those at-large bids do not have to follow the BCS Standings, as Boise State learned all too well last year when they watched a lower-rated Ohio State team take the last BCS bid.

    2009 Random Walker Rankings (RWFL, p=0.75)
    Games through Saturday November 14th:
    1. Alabama (10-0) [1.4580]
    2. Florida (10-0) [1.3715]
    3. Cincinnati (10-0) [1.1665]
    4. TCU (10-0) [1.1513]
    5. Georgia Tech (10-1) [1.1157]
    6. Texas (10-0) [1.0832]
    7. Boise St (10-0) [0.9626]
    8. Oregon (8-2) [0.9185]
    9. Pittsburgh (9-1) [0.8749]
    10. Ohio State (9-2) [0.8747]
    11. Iowa (9-2) [0.8048]
    12. LSU (8-2) [0.7904]
    13. Southern Cal (7-3) [0.7818]
    14. Virginia Tech (7-3) [0.7656]
    15. Miami FL (7-3) [0.7521]
    16. Stanford (7-3) [0.7219]
    17. Clemson (7-3) [0.7040]
    18. Oregon St (7-3) [0.6998]
    19. Oklahoma St (8-2) [0.6666]
    20. Penn State (9-2) [0.6635]
    21. Arizona (6-3) [0.6618]
    22. Wisconsin (8-2) [0.6567]
    23. North Carolina (7-3) [0.6480]
    24. California (7-3) [0.6326]
    25. Houston (8-2) [0.6094]
    26. Utah (8-2) [0.5507]
    27. Boston College (7-3) [0.5498]
    28. Georgia (6-4) [0.5491]
    29. Arkansas (6-4) [0.5351]
    30. Navy (8-3) [0.5326]
    31. Rutgers (7-2) [0.5299]
    32. Brigham Young (8-2) [0.5200]
    33. Mississippi (7-3) [0.5192]
    34. Notre Dame (6-4) [0.5182]
    35. West Virginia (7-3) [0.5174]
    36. South Florida (6-3) [0.5016]
    37. Auburn (7-4) [0.4948]
    38. Florida St (5-5) [0.4892]
    39. South Carolina (6-5) [0.4885]
    40. Kentucky (6-4) [0.4662]
    41. Nebraska (7-3) [0.4464]
    42. Tennessee (5-5) [0.4407]
    43. Temple (8-2) [0.4321]
    44. Minnesota (6-5) [0.4253]
    45. UCLA (5-5) [0.4175]
    46. Central Michigan (8-2) [0.4161]
    47. Northwestern (7-4) [0.4023]
    48. Nevada (7-3) [0.4020]
    49. Missouri (6-4) [0.4008]
    50. Mississippi St (4-6) [0.4004]
    51. Troy (7-3) [0.3978]
    52. Washington (3-7) [0.3974]
    53. Oklahoma (6-4) [0.3954]
    54. Fresno St (6-4) [0.3905]
    55. Central Florida (6-4) [0.3814]
    56. Texas Tech (6-4) [0.3731]
    57. SMU (6-4) [0.3699]
    58. Michigan St (6-5) [0.3674]
    59. Idaho (7-4) [0.3505]
    60. East Carolina (5-4) [0.3505]
    61. Air Force (7-4) [0.3443]
    62. Wake Forest (4-7) [0.3439]
    63. Connecticut (4-5) [0.3345]
    64. Purdue (4-7) [0.3231]
    65. Virginia (3-7) [0.3212]
    66. Arizona St (4-6) [0.3201]
    67. Middle Tennessee St (7-3) [0.3143]
    68. Duke (5-5) [0.3137]
    69. Southern Miss (6-4) [0.3070]
    70. Iowa St (6-5) [0.3040]
    71. North Carolina St (4-6) [0.2888]
    72. Marshall (5-5) [0.2861]
    73. Kansas St (6-5) [0.2809]
    74. Texas A&M (5-5) [0.2760]
    75. Baylor (4-6) [0.2692]
    76. Ohio U. (7-3) [0.2686]
    77. Northern Illinois (7-3) [0.2680]
    78. Louisville (4-6) [0.2678]
    79. Kansas (5-5) [0.2672]
    80. Wyoming (5-5) [0.2672]
    81. Michigan (5-6) [0.2657]
    82. Bowling Green (5-5) [0.2629]
    83. Syracuse (3-7) [0.2547]
    84. Louisiana-Monroe (6-4) [0.2545]
    85. Alabama-Birmingham (5-5) [0.2298]
    86. Colorado St (3-7) [0.2291]
    87. Indiana (4-7) [0.2266]
    88. UNLV (4-7) [0.2246]
    89. Illinois (3-7) [0.2220]
    90. Maryland (2-8) [0.2139]
    91. San Diego St (4-6) [0.2120]
    92. Colorado (3-7) [0.2109]
    93. Washington St (1-9) [0.1993]
    94. Tulsa (4-5) [0.1976]
    95. UTEP (3-7) [0.1941]
    96. Toledo (4-6) [0.1931]
    97. Vanderbilt (2-9) [0.1914]
    98. Louisiana-Lafayette (5-5) [0.1894]
    99. Hawai`i (4-6) [0.1863]
    100. Louisiana Tech (3-7) [0.1856]
    101. Kent St (5-5) [0.1831]
    102. Tulane (3-7) [0.1678]
    103. San Jose St (1-8) [0.1599]
    104. Western Michigan (5-6) [0.1574]
    105. Florida Int'l (3-7) [0.1571]
    106. Buffalo (3-7) [0.1481]
    107. Utah St (3-7) [0.1453]
    108. Florida Atlantic (3-6) [0.1425]
    109. New Mexico St (3-7) [0.1328]
    110. Army (4-6) [0.1321]
    111. Miami OH (1-10) [0.1248]
    112. Memphis (2-8) [0.1102]
    113. Akron (2-8) [0.1020]
    114. North Texas (2-8) [0.0981]
    115. Rice (1-9) [0.0951]
    116. Arkansas St (2-7) [0.0923]
    117. New Mexico (0-10) [0.0460]
    118. Ball St (1-9) [0.0344]
    119. Eastern Michigan (0-10) [0.0140]
    120. Western Kentucky (0-10) [0.0125]
    Conference Rankings (Average Per Team):
    SEC 0.6421
    Pac10 0.5751
    BigEast 0.5559
    ACC 0.5422
    Big10 0.4756
    Big12 0.4145
    FBSInd 0.3943
    MWC 0.3939
    WAC 0.3239
    CUSA 0.2749
    MAC 0.2004
    SunBelt 0.1843
    Non-FBS -0.0836

    Labels: , ,

    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Rankings through November 7th

    Two key losses this week effectively eliminate the title hopes of both Iowa and Oregon. Whatever our own rankings say below, it seems clear that the BCS is on a likely trajectory to a championship game between Texas and the winner of the Florida-Alabama "national semi-final" SEC Championship Game. Of course, if someone stumbles, Cincinnati, TCU & Boise State are all there waiting and hoping...

    2009 Random Walker Rankings (RWFL, p=0.75)
    Games through Saturday November 7th:
    1. Alabama (9-0) [1.4886]
    2. Florida (9-0) [1.3796]
    3. Cincinnati (9-0) [1.1104]
    4. TCU (9-0) [1.0754]
    5. Georgia Tech (9-1) [1.0749]
    6. Texas (9-0) [1.0623]
    7. Iowa (9-1) [0.9969]
    8. Boise St (9-0) [0.9968]
    9. Oregon (7-2) [0.9503]
    10. Southern Cal (7-2) [0.8936]
    11. Miami FL (7-2) [0.8435]
    12. LSU (7-2) [0.8376]
    13. Ohio State (8-2) [0.7920]
    14. Pittsburgh (8-1) [0.7876]
    15. Arizona (6-2) [0.7793]
    16. Virginia Tech (6-3) [0.7577]
    17. Houston (8-1) [0.7383]
    18. Penn State (8-2) [0.6932]
    19. Wisconsin (7-2) [0.6782]
    20. Clemson (6-3) [0.6766]
    21. Stanford (6-3) [0.6530]
    22. Oregon St (6-3) [0.6506]
    23. Oklahoma St (7-2) [0.5992]
    24. South Florida (6-2) [0.5860]
    25. Utah (8-1) [0.5841]
    26. Notre Dame (6-3) [0.5727]
    27. West Virginia (7-2) [0.5629]
    28. Auburn (7-3) [0.5611]
    29. California (6-3) [0.5426]
    30. Brigham Young (7-2) [0.5242]
    31. North Carolina (6-3) [0.5139]
    32. Arkansas (5-4) [0.5073]
    33. Navy (7-3) [0.5064]
    34. Boston College (6-3) [0.5047]
    35. Georgia (5-4) [0.4917]
    36. Tennessee (5-4) [0.4911]
    37. South Carolina (6-4) [0.4844]
    38. Kentucky (5-4) [0.4713]
    39. Mississippi (6-3) [0.4702]
    40. Washington (3-6) [0.4643]
    41. Troy (7-2) [0.4590]
    42. Fresno St (6-3) [0.4577]
    43. Temple (7-2) [0.4420]
    44. Florida St (4-5) [0.4358]
    45. UCLA (4-5) [0.4302]
    46. Northwestern (6-4) [0.4300]
    47. Texas Tech (6-3) [0.4225]
    48. Rutgers (6-2) [0.4216]
    49. Minnesota (5-5) [0.4131]
    50. Nebraska (6-3) [0.4129]
    51. Central Michigan (7-2) [0.4061]
    52. Mississippi St (4-5) [0.4012]
    53. Oklahoma (5-4) [0.3762]
    54. Idaho (7-3) [0.3761]
    55. Purdue (4-6) [0.3604]
    56. Wake Forest (4-6) [0.3598]
    57. Michigan St (5-5) [0.3564]
    58. Missouri (5-4) [0.3527]
    59. SMU (5-4) [0.3354]
    60. Kansas St (6-4) [0.3331]
    61. Nevada (5-3) [0.3309]
    62. Arizona St (4-5) [0.3285]
    63. Marshall (5-4) [0.3240]
    64. Virginia (3-6) [0.3201]
    65. East Carolina (5-4) [0.3191]
    66. Air Force (6-4) [0.3105]
    67. Connecticut (4-5) [0.3095]
    68. Michigan (5-5) [0.3061]
    69. Texas A&M (5-4) [0.3045]
    70. Duke (5-4) [0.2961]
    71. Middle Tennessee St (6-3) [0.2948]
    72. Kansas (5-4) [0.2913]
    73. Syracuse (3-6) [0.2911]
    74. Central Florida (5-4) [0.2905]
    75. Iowa St (5-5) [0.2848]
    76. North Carolina St (4-5) [0.2840]
    77. Northern Illinois (6-3) [0.2838]
    78. Ohio U. (6-3) [0.2678]
    79. Southern Miss (5-4) [0.2672]
    80. Louisiana-Monroe (5-4) [0.2636]
    81. Bowling Green (4-5) [0.2630]
    82. Indiana (4-6) [0.2499]
    83. Baylor (4-5) [0.2470]
    84. Illinois (3-6) [0.2449]
    85. Wyoming (4-5) [0.2381]
    86. Colorado (3-6) [0.2381]
    87. UTEP (3-6) [0.2364]
    88. San Diego St (4-5) [0.2363]
    89. Louisville (3-6) [0.2342]
    90. UNLV (4-6) [0.2334]
    91. Louisiana-Lafayette (5-4) [0.2290]
    92. Colorado St (3-7) [0.2200]
    93. San Jose St (1-6) [0.2162]
    94. Toledo (4-5) [0.2149]
    95. Alabama-Birmingham (4-5) [0.2137]
    96. Washington St (1-8) [0.2132]
    97. Tulane (3-6) [0.2061]
    98. Tulsa (4-5) [0.2033]
    99. Maryland (2-7) [0.1981]
    100. Vanderbilt (2-8) [0.1888]
    101. Kent St (5-5) [0.1836]
    102. Louisiana Tech (3-6) [0.1767]
    103. Hawai`i (3-6) [0.1746]
    104. Western Michigan (4-6) [0.1652]
    105. Buffalo (3-6) [0.1614]
    106. New Mexico St (3-6) [0.1511]
    107. Florida Int'l (2-7) [0.1494]
    108. Miami OH (1-9) [0.1402]
    109. Florida Atlantic (2-6) [0.1293]
    110. Utah St (2-7) [0.1288]
    111. Army (3-6) [0.1255]
    112. North Texas (2-7) [0.1241]
    113. Arkansas St (2-6) [0.1226]
    114. Memphis (2-7) [0.1217]
    115. Akron (2-7) [0.1106]
    116. Rice (0-9) [0.0540]
    117. Ball St (1-8) [0.0483]
    118. New Mexico (0-9) [0.0421]
    119. Western Kentucky (0-9) [0.0270]
    120. Eastern Michigan (0-9) [0.0251]
    Conference Rankings (Average Per Team):
    SEC 0.6477
    Pac10 0.5906
    BigEast 0.5379
    ACC 0.5221
    Big10 0.5019
    Big12 0.4104
    FBSInd 0.4016
    MWC 0.3849
    WAC 0.3343
    CUSA 0.2758
    MAC 0.2086
    SunBelt 0.1999
    Non-FBS -0.0842

    Labels:

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Rankings through October 31st

    The undefeated teams all won again, with Iowa adding to their catalog of close calls. That said, you have to give the Hawkeyes credit: wins are wins. We have a lot of football left to play this season, so virtually anything can happen. Certainly Iowa has some big games left on their schedule. However, if Iowa continues to win and there's any BCS controversy down the stretch, I'd expect the off-season BCS discussions to include reconsideration of the rules which prevent computer rankings from including margin of victory.

    In the meantime, I'd be surprised if Iowa falls much in this week's official BCS Standings, if at all, since they were already only #8 in both polls last week. Oregon, after their impressive victory over USC, is the obvious candidate to potentially pass Iowa. TCU, Boise State, and Cincinnati were each already ahead of Iowa in the polls, but behind Iowa in the total standings because of the computer ranking component, and it's hard for me to see how that will change.

    Speaking of the remaining BCS busters, we have double intrigue waiting for the official BCS Standings this week. First, I'm interested to see whether BCS#6 TCU stays ahead of BCS#7 Boise State in this week's Standings. Boise State, already ahead of TCU in both polls last week, is likely to get a small boost in the computer rankings from the follow-on effect of Oregon's victory over USC, given Boise State's season-opening win over Oregon. Will it be enough to pass TCU in the official Standings? Second, we eagerly wait to see the relative rankings between Oregon and Boise State. The Ducks will undoubtedly get a big boost across all the BCS components this week, but will it be enough to pass the Broncos, the only team to beat them on the field this season?

    Using the random walker rankings across various p values as an imperfect proxy for other rankings, the closeness of these questions regarding Boise State are evident in the figure presented here below the p=0.75 rankings. Boise State is ranked higher than TCU for p > 0.7 (approximately) and higher than Oregon for p > 0.8. In other words, very slight changes in the methodology (e.g., changing the p value) can reasonably have big effects in the rank ordering in this situation.

    2009 Random Walker Rankings (RWFL, p=0.75)
    Games through Saturday October 31st:
    1. Florida (8-0) [1.5226]
    2. Iowa (9-0) [1.3781]
    3. Alabama (8-0) [1.3288]
    4. Oregon (7-1) [1.2656]
    5. Boise St (8-0) [1.1549]
    6. Texas (8-0) [1.1480]
    7. TCU (8-0) [1.0819]
    8. Cincinnati (8-0) [1.0588]
    9. Georgia Tech (8-1) [1.0200]
    10. LSU (7-1) [0.9699]
    11. Southern Cal (6-2) [0.9276]
    12. Penn State (8-1) [0.8159]
    13. Miami FL (6-2) [0.7950]
    14. Arizona (5-2) [0.7487]
    15. Houston (7-1) [0.7412]
    16. Pittsburgh (7-1) [0.7346]
    17. Virginia Tech (5-3) [0.7173]
    18. Notre Dame (6-2) [0.7120]
    19. Wisconsin (6-2) [0.6726]
    20. Utah (7-1) [0.6687]
    21. California (6-2) [0.6666]
    22. Ohio State (7-2) [0.6604]
    23. Oklahoma St (6-2) [0.6069]
    24. Clemson (5-3) [0.5981]
    25. South Florida (6-2) [0.5667]
    26. Auburn (6-3) [0.5600]
    27. Washington (3-5) [0.5577]
    28. West Virginia (6-2) [0.5328]
    29. Oregon St (5-3) [0.5319]
    30. South Carolina (6-3) [0.5292]
    31. Brigham Young (6-2) [0.5189]
    32. Georgia (4-4) [0.5091]
    33. Boston College (6-3) [0.5045]
    34. Stanford (5-3) [0.5002]
    35. Tennessee (4-4) [0.4980]
    36. Troy (6-2) [0.4887]
    37. Kentucky (4-4) [0.4732]
    38. North Carolina (5-3) [0.4711]
    39. Florida St (4-4) [0.4556]
    40. Arkansas (4-4) [0.4500]
    41. Minnesota (5-4) [0.4463]
    42. Idaho (7-2) [0.4406]
    43. Oklahoma (5-3) [0.4341]
    44. Texas Tech (6-3) [0.4313]
    45. Mississippi (5-3) [0.4245]
    46. Fresno St (5-3) [0.4179]
    47. Central Michigan (7-2) [0.4109]
    48. Missouri (5-3) [0.4108]
    49. Rutgers (6-2) [0.4092]
    50. Temple (6-2) [0.4047]
    51. Mississippi St (4-5) [0.4026]
    52. Michigan (5-4) [0.4012]
    53. Navy (6-3) [0.3883]
    54. UCLA (3-5) [0.3765]
    55. Nebraska (5-3) [0.3680]
    56. Kansas (5-3) [0.3633]
    57. Texas A&M (5-3) [0.3633]
    58. Michigan St (4-5) [0.3583]
    59. Marshall (5-3) [0.3572]
    60. Nevada (5-3) [0.3554]
    61. Arizona St (4-4) [0.3493]
    62. Duke (5-3) [0.3388]
    63. SMU (4-4) [0.3271]
    64. Virginia (3-5) [0.3258]
    65. Iowa St (5-4) [0.3229]
    66. Wake Forest (4-5) [0.3193]
    67. Purdue (3-6) [0.3192]
    68. East Carolina (5-3) [0.3141]
    69. Kansas St (5-4) [0.3081]
    70. Air Force (5-4) [0.3060]
    71. Connecticut (4-4) [0.2868]
    72. UTEP (3-5) [0.2821]
    73. Northern Illinois (5-3) [0.2799]
    74. Syracuse (3-5) [0.2797]
    75. Northwestern (5-4) [0.2788]
    76. Ohio U. (6-3) [0.2776]
    77. Middle Tennessee St (5-3) [0.2723]
    78. Bowling Green (3-5) [0.2686]
    79. Louisiana-Monroe (4-4) [0.2655]
    80. Indiana (4-5) [0.2628]
    81. Wyoming (4-4) [0.2608]
    82. Colorado St (3-6) [0.2544]
    83. North Carolina St (3-5) [0.2542]
    84. Southern Miss (5-4) [0.2541]
    85. Louisville (3-5) [0.2489]
    86. San Jose St (1-6) [0.2317]
    87. Washington St (1-7) [0.2299]
    88. San Diego St (4-4) [0.2258]
    89. Kent St (5-4) [0.2189]
    90. Colorado (2-6) [0.2176]
    91. Maryland (2-6) [0.2113]
    92. Central Florida (4-3) [0.2107]
    93. Tulsa (4-4) [0.2093]
    94. Louisiana-Lafayette (4-4) [0.2077]
    95. UNLV (3-6) [0.2069]
    96. Illinois (2-6) [0.2042]
    97. Alabama-Birmingham (3-5) [0.2037]
    98. Toledo (4-5) [0.2018]
    99. Baylor (3-5) [0.1968]
    100. Western Michigan (4-5) [0.1901]
    101. Buffalo (3-5) [0.1798]
    102. Tulane (2-6) [0.1780]
    103. Hawai`i (2-6) [0.1666]
    104. Arkansas St (2-5) [0.1647]
    105. Vanderbilt (2-7) [0.1580]
    106. Utah St (2-6) [0.1555]
    107. Louisiana Tech (3-5) [0.1539]
    108. Florida Int'l (2-6) [0.1537]
    109. New Mexico St (3-6) [0.1476]
    110. Miami OH (1-8) [0.1444]
    111. Florida Atlantic (2-5) [0.1443]
    112. Army (3-5) [0.1292]
    113. North Texas (2-6) [0.1264]
    114. Memphis (2-6) [0.1161]
    115. Akron (1-7) [0.0875]
    116. Ball St (1-8) [0.0440]
    117. Rice (0-8) [0.0391]
    118. New Mexico (0-8) [0.0277]
    119. Eastern Michigan (0-8) [0.0183]
    120. Western Kentucky (0-8) [0.0063]
    Conference Rankings (Average Per Team):
    SEC 0.6522
    Pac10 0.6154
    Big10 0.5271
    BigEast 0.5147
    ACC 0.5009
    Big12 0.4309
    FBSInd 0.4098
    MWC 0.3946
    WAC 0.3582
    CUSA 0.2694
    MAC 0.2097
    SunBelt 0.2033
    Non-FBS -0.0854

    Labels:

    Concise Definition of RWFL Rankings

    The general mathematical description of the random walker (RW) ranking methodology is presented as a sidebar on p.889 of ''The Bowl Championship Series: A Mathematical Review,'' T. Callaghan, P. J. Mucha and M. A. Porter, Notices of the American Mathematical Society 51, 887-893 (2004). These RW rankings, which amount to an amalgamation of first-place votes, depend on a bias value p setting the extent to which random walkers respect each individual game outcome.

    The RWFL rankings at bias value p are calculated by the difference between first-place votes (following game winners) and last-place votes (following game losers). This is equivalent to subtracting RW at bias value (1-p) from RW at bias value p.

    Starting in November 2009, all of our rankings are calculated on the full connected network of teams connected by games played, of which the FBS teams are a relatively small subset (even when we only report the FBS results). Prior to November 2009, our weekly rankings treated all non-FBS teams as a single catch-all "team" (who played a lot of games). However, our bowl predictions have used the full connected network in previous seasons.

    Labels: