Tuesday, October 23, 2007

2007 Pythagenmelt Rankings

The four or five avid readers of this blog may have wondered what happened to this week's edition of 'In Case You Missed It'. Well here's your answer. Back over the summer I debuted my Pythagenmelt Rankings--a power ranking system that adjusts each team's winning percentage based on their scoring and opponents. I have meticulously compiled the data and am proud to give to you the 2007 Pythagenmelt rankings. Below teams are grouped together by conference then by power ranking. After each conference listing I will offer some explanation for some of the more surprising rankings and make a few predictions about how the rest of the conference season will play out. Finally, after each conference is reviewed, I will list the teams in descending order from best to worst (1-119). And before we dive in, here's some basic info on the Pythagenmelt Rankings. A team's Pythagorean Winning Percentage for each game is adjusted upward or downward based on opponent. Beat a good team by the slimmest of margin and you have a good rating. Beat a bad team by the slimmest of margins and you have a bad rating. Get the idea? The rating system does not take into account yardage or turnovers, only the final score. Only games against Division IA opponents are included (sorry Appalachian)

Not a lot of surprises in the ACC, at least at the top, as Boston College and Virginia Tech are widely regarded as the cream of the conference. Why is Virginia rated so low? Narrow wins (5 of their 7 wins are by a combined 11 points) and the 20 point drubbing at the hands of Wyoming still counts. Before you quibble with Florida State's rating, remember, they still have wins over Alabama and Colorado. Look out for Georgia Tech. They finish with 3 of their final 4 at home. Don't be surprised if they win out and upset Virginia Tech and Georgia in the process. For the first time since 2000, the Jackets will finish the season with less than 5 losses.

South Florida still rates as the best in the conference despite their loss on Thursday. How is Cincinnati still rated so high after consecutive losses? The margins were narrow, and they are getting a lot of life out of their 34-3 thrashing of Oregon State. Connecticut looks like the real deal. Even with their soft schedule, it is still impressive that they have not allowed more than 17 points in a game thus far. Don't be surprised if they shake up the landscape with a home win over South Florida. When all the smoke has cleared, West Virginia will take home the Big East championship.

The good news for Michigan is that their first game is not included in these ratings. The Wolverines have won 6 in a row since the 0-2 start (and the Oregon loss is looking at least only marginally bad instead of program-killing bad) and stand a real chance of heading into the Ohio State game on a 9 game streak. Northwestern may well be the worst bowl participant from a BCS conference this season. They have beaten (Pythagenmelt rankings in parentheses) Northeastern (IAA school), Nevada (83), Michigan State (30), Minnesota (81), and Eastern Michigan (115). They also lost to Duke (79). The only legit win they have thus far is against the Spartans. If they can win one of their last 4 (@Purdue, Iowa, Indiana, and @Illinois) they will be bowl-eligible.

Why is Missouri first? Their schedule has been tougher than the Jayhawks and they have a 'better' loss than the Sooners. Look out for Kansas State in the second half. Their three losses have come to teams rated 10th (Kansas), 8th (Auburn) and 37th (Oklahoma State) by a combined 18 points (with two coming on the road). Speaking of Oklahoma State, they are a much different team at home (wins over Kansas State and Texas Tech). They get Texas in Stillwater on November 3rd and Kansas there on November 10th.

Oregon is a legit dark horse national title contender. They have bludgeoned teams all season and will get a stiff test against the Trojans on Saturday. UCLA is undefeated in conference play and they get two of the remaining three conference threats (Arizona State and Oregon) at home. The team of the second half will be the Washington Huskies. Their 5 game losing streak has dropped them off the national radar, but they have played 4 of the top 5 teams in the conference to go along with Ohio State in a non-conference match up. They get to feast on the bottom tier on the league (with the exception of a home date with Cal) from here on out. Don't be surprised if they win at least 4 of their last 6.

Auburn third best in the conference, really? Their losses have all been close with two of them coming to very good teams (LSU--1st and South Florida--4th). Plus they own wins over Florida (7th), Kansas State (15th), and Arkansas (19th). Speaking og the Hogs, how are they rated so high? Relatively close losses (3, 13, and 2 point margins) to good teams (Alabama--24th, Kentucky--14th, and Auburn--8th).

To say the conference is down this year would be an accurate assessment. Half the league is rated 102nd or lower. Golden Eagle fans, don't worry about your teams low rating. The win over Marshall is not included (played on Sunday) and the major anchor is the team's upset loss to Rice. Southern Miss will still win the East.

Behind the phenom that is Nate Davis, Ball State has a real chance to go bowling for only the 4th time in school history. However they won't be able to play in the MAC Championship Game. Central Michigan is undefeated in conference play (3-0) and owns the tie-breaker by beating the Cardinals head-to-head. Traditional MAC West powers (Toledo and Northern Illinois) have fallen on hard times, while perennial cellar dwellers (Buffalo and Temple) have risen (relatively).

Once again BYU owns the title of best mid-major. Believe it or not, they were also the best last season. Unfortunately, some ill-timed turnovers did them in against UCLA and a some defensive indifference cost them against Tulsa. After a 4-year drought, Air Force is already bowl-eligible and is in good position to win the Mountain West's silver medal.

The Sun Belt is Troy's world and everyone else is paying rent. I haven't calculated historical data past last season, but with three teams rated 71st or better this has to be the best Sun Belt conference ever. Middle Tennessee (very impressive since starting the alliterative Dwight Dasher at quarterback) and Florida Atlantic look to give Troy a run for their money.

Mark it down. Hawaii will not play in a BCS bowl or finish undefeated. Their wins are thus far are over Louisiana Tech (109th), UNLV (90th), Idaho (119th), Utah State (111th) and San Jose State (105th). Boise State won't be making a return trip to the BCS either. Don't be surprised if Fresno knocks them off on Friday. At the bottom of the WAC, keep an eye on Louisiana Tech. They have already played the top 3 teams in the conference and now with the exception of Nevada (and LSU in non-conference play) they get to play teams much closer to themselves in terms of talent.

Is this the year it finally happens?

Ratings 1-119
2 Ohio State
3 Oregon
4 South Florida
5 Missouri
6 Arizona State
7 Florida
8 Auburn
9 West Virginia
10 Kansas
11 Oklahoma
12 Boston College
13 Michigan
14 Kentucky
15 Kansas State
16 Virginia Tech
17 Cincinnati
18 Penn State
19 Arkansas
20 Connecticut
21 So Cal
22 Rutgers
23 Georgia Tech
24 Alabama
25 Texas
26 California
27 Georgia
28 Texas Tech
29 South Carolina
30 Michigan State
32 Purdue
33 Illinois
34 Florida State
35 Clemson
36 BYU
37 Oklahoma State
38 Virginia
39 Miami (Fla)
40 Wake Forest
41 Tennessee
42 Maryland
43 Troy
44 Texas A&M
45 Boise State
46 Vanderbilt
47 Washington
48 Air Force
49 Louisville
50 Wisconsin
51 Indiana
52 Fresno State
53 Colorado
54 Houston
55 TCU
56 Utah
57 Oregon State
58 UCF
59 Mississippi State
60 New Mexico
61 Navy
62 Middle Tennessee
63 Ball State
64 North Carolina
65 Hawaii
66 Pittsburgh
67 nebraska
68 Stanford
69 Tulsa
70 Ole Miss
71 FAU
72 Wyoming
73 Iowa
74 Central Michigan
75 Northwestern
76 Arizona
77 East Carolina
79 Duke
80 Colorado State
81 Minnesota
82 Western Michigan
83 Nebada
84 NC State
85 S Miss
86 Washington State
87 Akron
88 Notre Dame
89 Miami (Ohio)
91 Baylor
92 Syracuse
93 Bowling Green
94 New Mexico State
95 Buffalo
96 Kent State
97 Arkansas State
98 Army
99 Iowa State
100 La-Monroe
101 Toledo
102 Rice
103 Memphis
104 San Diego State
105 San Jose State
106 Temple
107 Marshall
108 UAB
109 Louisiana Tech
110 Ohio
111 Utah State
112 Tulane
113 La-Lafayette
114 North Texas
115 Eastern Michigan
116 SMU
117 FIU
118 Northern Illinois
119 Idaho

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no west virginia anywhere?