Résumé S&P - A Different Way of Ranking Strength of Schedule

Submitted by Never on October 16th, 2018 at 3:14 AM

Bill C. is at it again. He's attempting to determine which teams are most deserving of a spot in the CFP by combining SoS and S&P+. Of note:

2. OSU

3. Michigan

4. PSU

27. Wisconsin

Check it out.

Comments

ldevon1

October 16th, 2018 at 4:56 AM ^

Stats? Throw a bunch of numbers in a barrel, and my head starts hurting. Its college, teams not only change yearly, but based on injury, they change weekly. The strength of schedule argument changes weekly based on how each team does after you play them, and reputation and name recognition always factor in. How do you determine how much weight to put on that? There is no full proof formula, but football still does a damn good job of figuring out who the most deserving is. 

evenyoubrutus

October 16th, 2018 at 7:53 AM ^

That's the equivalent of saying recruiting rankings don't matter. Yes, stats mean something. These advanced states mean even more. Weird stuff can happen from week to week but these are just as predictive as anything else. It's not like the poll voters are known for impeccable analysis either.

Newton Gimmick

October 16th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

"The strength of schedule argument changes weekly based on how each team does after you play them"

He updates these weekly, based on the cumulative performance of each opponent.  

"and reputation and name recognition always factor in."

They shouldn't, and his formula doesn't factor them in.

"There is no full proof formula, but football still does a damn good job of figuring out who the most deserving is."

Fool-proof?  And no, it doesn't.  As top teams lose, others re-enter the picture.  At the end of the season we are usually left with a number of self-appointed 'deserving' teams that is not exactly equal to four.  That's why fans, players, media, and coaches tout the high points of their team's resume.  (Remember '06 when CBS and Urban Meyer went full-on campaigning for the SEC to get in over Michigan?) 

And inevitably, preseason "top" teams who ended up playing a terribly weak schedule (e.g. Clemson, ND) stay at the top by default. 

These are our biases in selecting the top four teams.  Pundits who go 8-14 against the spread every week telling me who is 'definitely the best team' based on 'the eyeball test'.  Bill Connelly is determined to get rid of that stuff.

MGlobules

October 16th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

Might want to read the article. He does a really nice job of breaking down some of the BS IN the various rankings.

MSU is way down at number 57 in his adjusted rankings, btw. And he notes that--where SOS is concerned--none of the unbeaten teams have had rough roads at all.

There are reasons this week to be very bullish on Michigan. I have no doubt that Bama is tough, but--get past the MSU hump--and we are looking forward to a very exciting wind-up of the season. 

 

joeyb

October 16th, 2018 at 9:17 AM ^

S&P+ is based on how well you played in each game. PSU lost to MSU, but they outplayed them significantly. PSU apparently had 16 passes defensed, 1 of 4 of which would typically turn into turnovers, and put the ball on the ground twice. That means that MSU had the luck of roughly 5 turnovers, which equates to roughly 20 points. Based only on the box score, MSU had a 26% chance to win the game. That means that if MSU played @ PSU 100 times, you'd expect the record to be 74-26 in favor of PSU.

That's S&P+. It notably is not meant to tell you who has the best resume. Looking at resume is a historical look at a team while S&P+ is trying to tell you what a team is likely to do going forward. Hence, the new Resume metric.

The article explains the methodology and reasoning in detail. He even criticizes the people like you who say "Watch the game, nerd!". The metric measures what a team would do against the average schedule of the top 5 teams. If you want to learn something, go read the article. If you don't (which seems to be the case), then stay here and bitch about something that you admittedly know nothing about.

bronxblue

October 16th, 2018 at 9:26 AM ^

So by this logic, why is OSU number 2?  They've played a bad PSU (as you noted) and a .500 TCU and nobody else.  Alabama hasn't played anyone beyond an okay A&M.  

I assume this is a bit or something, that you are trying to convey a general distrust for basic mathematics that permeates culture.  Becauee otherwise rejecting stats for personal faith is fine but doesn't seem to remotely mesh with this site's ethos.

bronxblue

October 16th, 2018 at 11:14 AM ^

No, I've read the article.  I'm arguing against the post that PSU can't be good because they've not beaten anyone, so then OSU and MSU can't be good because they haven't played anyone, blah blah blah.

The great thing about S&P+ is that it does a decent job at extracting value out of results that otherwise may feel useless, like how OSU took a bit of a tumble because they struggled a bit to beat Minnesota even though, on the ticker, it looks like a solid blowout.

JonnyHintz

October 16th, 2018 at 11:22 AM ^

Except S&P+ is based on how wel your team performed, not whether you won or lost. S&P+ is there to rank how good your team actually is.

Penn State May have lost to MSU, but they outplayed them... fairly significantly at that. Their S&P ranking isn’t hurt just by losing. Winning and losing is pretty irrelevant in their rankings, and rightfully so. I want a measurement of how good a team is, not a measurement of this team got lucky one week and they had some bad bounces that week. 

ldevon1

October 16th, 2018 at 8:57 AM ^

Good for App St. How can you tell? They play Southern Miss, South Ala, Georgia St, Charlotte, Gardner Webb, Ark St, Georgia Southern etc.......How would they be playing the Power 5 or even a MAC schedule? I'm not arguing with you about whether App St is good, I just don't know if you can assume it by them drubbing shitty teams.  

FreddieMercuryHayes

October 16th, 2018 at 9:20 AM ^

I don't assume anything about App State.  I look at the data that is in front of us for the past 7 weeks.  And it says App State destroys weak teams and took Penn State, also a good team on a down to down basis, to the last play.  You know what good teams usually always do?  They destroy weak teams and play other good teams close.  That's how I know App State is a good team.  I think you're the one assuming things about teams based on your feelings and very small sample sizes.

FreddieMercuryHayes

October 16th, 2018 at 9:21 AM ^

I don't assume anything about App State.  I look at the data that is in front of us for the past 7 weeks.  And it says App State destroys weak teams and took Penn State, also a good team on a down to down basis, to the last play.  You know what good teams usually always do?  They destroy weak teams and play other good teams close.  That's how I know App State is a good team.  I think you're the one assuming things about teams based on your feelings and very small sample sizes.

1VaBlue1

October 16th, 2018 at 9:41 AM ^

I'll assume the same thing for App St that I'll assume for UCF.  In a one-off game situation, ie: App St-PSU, UCF-Auburn, they are tough to beat and will hang close if nothing else.  But on a weekly basis playing the P5, those two teams will show plenty of cracks.  Injuries will mount up, and they won't have the depth to keep up.  Teams will be better prepared for their personnel and schemes.  They'll be taken more seriously as an opponent.

It wouldn't end well on a weekly basis.  But one game per year, I like they're chances...

FreddieMercuryHayes

October 16th, 2018 at 10:07 AM ^

Have you seen App State play a P5 schedule?  I'm guessing not.  So you don't know that they would show plenty of cracks.  You just feel they would without any data to justify it.  At least S&P+ takes actual data from things that actually happened and tries to figure out something about how good the teams are.  Is it perfect?  No because we can never know exactly what will happen.  But it's a hell of a lot better than using only our preconceived assumptions about a situation to determine our opinions or course of action.  I just don't get ignoring actual evidence when you have it.

Newton Gimmick

October 16th, 2018 at 9:50 AM ^

"He lost me with PSU at 4.  I can't reconcile that one."

This is a new formula, and could use some tweaking.  Penn St might benefit too much from running up the score on Pitt, and maybe he doesn't penalize a team enough for losing.  (A one-point loss to #2 OSU puts them right behind OSU.)

However, Penn St -- assuming they don't mentally collapse -- is still a Top 10 team at worst by advanced metrics, and you should bet on them accordingly.  

Michigan Arrogance

October 16th, 2018 at 7:17 AM ^

this is a good 1st step, but PSU being that high and ND being that low (LOL) don't pass the smell test.

Probably too much weighting on MoV - that metric should probably get binned into 1 score wins (7 or less), 2 score wins (8-15), 3 score wins (16-24), and blow outs.* 

* didn't get a chance to read in detail to see if he actually did this 

DavidP814

October 16th, 2018 at 11:02 AM ^

It ignores MoV entirely.  ESPN's strength of record assesses the quality of opponent using their own advanced analytics formula, but assesses the resume only using wins and losses.  Their strength of record Top Ten is:

1. Ohio State

2. Notre Dame

3. LSU

8. Michigan

33. Penn State

SMart WolveFan

October 16th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

See that screams of "pre-season" rankings still influencing how they view the difficulty of a schedule.

In strength of record, OSU is getting "difficulty" credit for wins against a week 2 #15 on a neutral site who is now unranked, and a week 5 #9 on the road who is now #18. (#33 in their own strength of record) Plus, ND is getting credit for a Stanford victory when they were #7, now unranked plus a victory over a #24 VTech, who had just lost to Old Dominon and is now unranked.

In S&P resume, Bama and OSU get credit for the impressive way they are winning in relation to the quality of teams they've played. That's why UofM is in the top4 since they "hung in" impressively in their road loss to a top team, and they have beat up the lessor teams. PSU's resume is high only because they have out played the teams they have lost to, I guess there's no metric in there for the "Franklin Factor".

 

jbrandimore

October 16th, 2018 at 7:44 AM ^

I realize data analytics are all the buzz now, but when you get this result - especially PSU at #4 - it’s time to junk the results and figure out what’s wrong with the math.

jbrandimore

October 16th, 2018 at 6:37 PM ^

Penn State has what I would chalk up as 2 1/2 losses (OSU, MSU and App St). All at home.

None of those three teams has another impressive win.

It is literally impossible that PSU could have accomplished enough in their 3 1/2 total wins to end up at #4.

It isn’t not liking the result.

It is telling you that if you have a small scale for weighing rabbits and a large one for weighing elephants and after doing each you tell me rabbits weigh more than elephants, I tell you your scales are fucked up.