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2011 Compu-Picks Ratings - College

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Apr 30, 2012


The Compu-Picks model rates the top and bottom teams in college football after the end of the bowl season

One of the things that I like to do with this model is come up with interesting bits of information about the season. Rankings, schedule strength, which teams got better and which got worse, which teams had an especially strong home-field edge and which did relatively better on the road (yes there WERE a few, as there usually are), and more. I hope you enjoy the list and commentary, and if you have some ideas for things you'd like to see in future versions of this, please let me know. I'm always on the lookout for good new ideas, either to incorporate into the model itself or into the exhibits I provide based on the model.

Detailed commentary on the ratings may be posted in a future column.

Team Rankings - 1 to 120

1 Alabama 31 Louisiana Tech 61 Ohio 91 Miami (Ohio)
2 Louisiana State 32 Rutgers 62 Wake Forest 92 Hawaii
3 Oklahoma State 33 Vanderbilt 63 North Carolina State 93 Bowling Green State
4 Oregon 34 Mississippi State 64 Illinois 94 Fresno State
5 Oklahoma 35 Tulsa 65 San Diego State 95 Ball State
6 Stanford 36 Arizona State 66 Navy 96 Rice
7 Boise State 37 Penn State 67 Arizona 97 Mississippi
8 Wisconsin 38 Auburn 68 UCLA 98 Kansas
9 Arkansas 39 California 69 Western Michigan 99 Colorado
10 Southern California 40 Utah 70 Louisiana-Lafayette 100 Eastern Michigan
11 Houston 41 Brigham Young 71 Air Force 101 Kent
12 Michigan 42 Toledo 72 Oregon State 102 Louisiana-Monroe
13 South Carolina 43 Temple 73 Purdue 103 North Texas
14 Kansas State 44 Washington 74 Virginia 104 Maryland
15 Georgia 45 Miami (Florida) 75 Connecticut 105 Army
16 Texas A&M 46 Iowa 76 Utah State 106 New Mexico State
17 Texas Christian 47 Ohio State 77 Washington State 107 Troy State
18 Baylor 48 Georgia Tech 78 Central Florida 108 Central Michigan
19 Michigan State 49 Northwestern 79 Western Kentucky 109 Idaho
20 Texas 50 South Florida 80 Wyoming 110 Indiana
21 Missouri 51 Northern Illinois 81 Kentucky 111 Colorado State
22 Florida State 52 North Carolina 82 Marshall 112 Buffalo
23 Southern Mississippi 53 Iowa State 83 Florida International 113 Alabama-Birmingham
24 Nebraska 54 Nevada 84 Syracuse 114 Nevada-Las Vegas
25 Notre Dame 55 Arkansas State 85 East Carolina 115 Middle Tennessee State
26 West Virginia 56 Louisville 86 San Jose State 116 Tulane
27 Clemson 57 Pittsburgh 87 Minnesota 117 Memphis
28 Virginia Tech 58 Texas Tech 88 Boston College 118 New Mexico
29 Florida 59 Tennessee 89 Texas-El Paso 119 Florida Atlantic
30 Cincinnati 60 Southern Methodist 90 Duke 120 Akron

Detailed Top 30 Team Ratings

Rank AP Rank Team League Score Schedule Rank * Result Rank
1 1 Alabama SEC 1.04 3 1
2 2 Louisiana State SEC 0.96 1 3
3 3 Oklahoma State Big 12 0.84 2 5
4 4 Oregon Pac-12 0.75 6 8
5 16 Oklahoma Big 12 0.71 5 11
6 7 Stanford Pac-12 0.70 20 7
7 8 Boise State Mountain West 0.67 50 2
8 10 Wisconsin Big Ten 0.60 36 6
9 5 Arkansas SEC 0.54 15 17
10 6 Southern California Pac-12 0.53 31 14
11 18 Houston C-USA 0.50 70 4
12 12 Michigan Big Ten 0.50 37 10
13 9 South Carolina SEC 0.49 30 16
14 15 Kansas State Big 12 0.45 4 40
15 19 Georgia SEC 0.44 14 23
16 NR Texas A&M Big 12 0.42 23 20
17 14 Texas Christian Mountain West 0.40 74 9
18 13 Baylor Big 12 0.40 7 31
19 11 Michigan State Big Ten 0.40 35 18
20 NR Texas Big 12 0.37 9 38
21 NR Missouri Big 12 0.37 12 39
22 23 Florida State ACC 0.36 57 15
23 20 Southern Mississippi C-USA 0.32 82 12
24 24 Nebraska Big Ten 0.30 26 36
25 NR Notre Dame Indep 0.30 29 32
26 17 West Virginia Big East 0.28 45 26
27 22 Clemson ACC 0.28 33 35
28 21 Virginia Tech ACC 0.26 58 22
29 NR Florida SEC 0.25 21 50
30 25 Cincinnati Big East 0.23 64 21

Schedule Strength - Top and Bottom 30

Team Sagarin SOS Ranking NCAA SOS Ranking FEI SOS Ranking Team
1 Louisiana State 7 1 1 91 Idaho
2 Oklahoma State 3 4 26 92 Bowling Green State
3 Alabama 15 5 16 93 Air Force
4 Kansas State 8 8 9 94 Western Michigan
5 Oklahoma 6 7 7 95 Louisiana-Lafayette
6 Oregon 35 27 20 96 Eastern Michigan
7 Baylor 10 9 10 97 New Mexico
8 Iowa State 2 13 6 98 New Mexico State
9 Texas 5 18 13 99 Central Michigan
10 Kansas 1 2 8 100 Utah State
11 Mississippi 9 11 25 101 North Texas
12 Missouri 13 28 11 102 Miami (Ohio)
13 Auburn 14 3 2 103 Northern Illinois
14 Georgia 23 15 22 104 Central Florida
15 Arkansas 20 25 3 105 Western Kentucky
16 Texas Tech 11 34 15 106 Alabama-Birmingham
17 Arizona 18 14 17 107 Buffalo
18 Washington 24 33 35 108 Ohio
19 Oregon State 19 29 33 109 Colorado State
20 Stanford 36 42 29 110 Troy State
21 Florida 22 30 4 111 Akron
22 Arizona State 34 47 43 112 Hawaii
23 Texas A&M 4 18 14 113 Temple
24 California 29 57 37 114 Louisiana-Monroe
25 Tennessee 12 6 5 115 Florida Atlantic
26 Nebraska 26 9 31 116 Arkansas State
27 Mississippi State 28 25 12 117 Tulane
28 Vanderbilt 27 41 19 118 Memphis
29 Notre Dame 25 32 27 119 Middle Tennessee State
30 South Carolina 32 22 67 120 Florida International

League Ratings

League Rating OOC Schedule Rating Home/Away/Neutral Splits OOC vs Top 10 OOC vs 11-20 OOC vs 21-40 OOC vs 41-60 OOC vs 61-80 OOC vs 81-100 OOC vs Bottom 20
Big 12 0.33 0.05 15 / 8 / 9 1 - 2 1 - 0 4 - 2 10 - 1 4 - 0 4 - 0 3 - 0
SEC 0.32 -0.09 24 / 8 / 11 1 - 1 2 - 1 6 - 4 2 - 2 8 - 0 2 - 0 14 - 0
Pac-12 0.17 0.15 13 / 12 / 9 1 - 5 0 - 4 3 - 1 4 - 2 1 - 3 7 - 1 2 - 0
Big Ten 0.11 -0.04 26 / 10 / 12 0 - 4 1 - 3 3 - 3 6 - 2 7 - 1 7 - 2 7 - 2
Big East 0.06 -0.05 19 / 12 / 6 0 - 2 0 - 0 3 - 3 2 - 7 4 - 2 6 - 2 6 - 0
ACC 0.01 0.04 22 / 13 / 8 0 - 2 0 - 4 5 - 11 5 - 2 0 - 1 5 - 1 7 - 0
Indep 0.00 0.00 18 / 22 / 3 0 - 2 1 - 4 1 - 6 2 - 4 6 - 4 4 - 4 5 - 0
Mountain West -0.15 0.02 13 / 17 / 6 0 - 2 1 - 2 3 - 2 3 - 6 3 - 3 4 - 3 3 - 1
C-USA -0.18 0.04 14 / 27 / 6 0 - 3 1 - 4 3 - 6 3 - 6 5 - 2 2 - 4 4 - 4
WAC -0.20 0.01 14 / 24 / 3 0 - 4 0 - 4 0 - 6 0 - 7 2 - 5 3 - 3 5 - 2
MAC -0.24 0.03 12 / 26 / 7 0 - 4 0 - 4 0 - 7 1 - 5 4 - 6 1 - 5 8 - 0
Sun Belt -0.34 0.01 10 / 21 / 4 0 - 4 0 - 3 0 - 6 1 - 4 2 - 5 0 - 3 7 - 0
League Rating Bowl Record OOC vs AQ's OOC vs Non-AQ's OOC vs Big 12 / SEC OOC vs Pac-12 / Big Ten OOC vs ACC / Big East OOC vs MWC / WAC OOC vs CUSA OOC vs MAC / Sun Belt
Big 12 0.33 6 - 2 12 - 5 15 - 0 0 - 2 8 - 1 4 - 2 4 - 0 5 - 0 5 - 0
SEC 0.32 6 - 3 14 - 5 21 - 3 2 - 0 4 - 1 8 - 4 5 - 2 4 - 0 10 - 0
Pac-12 0.17 2 - 5 9 - 11 9 - 5 1 - 6 2 - 5 4 - 0 7 - 3 0 - 1 1 - 0
Big Ten 0.11 4 - 6 10 - 12 21 - 5 1 - 6 5 - 2 3 - 2 4 - 1 1 - 2 15 - 2
Big East 0.06 3 - 2 8 - 12 13 - 4 3 - 4 0 - 3 4 - 4 0 - 0 3 - 2 8 - 2
ACC 0.01 2 - 6 11 - 18 11 - 3 3 - 8 2 - 4 4 - 4 1 - 0 4 - 2 6 - 1
Indep 0.00 1 - 1 7 - 13 12 - 11 1 - 3 3 - 5 3 - 5 6 - 5 4 - 2 2 - 4
Mountain West -0.15 2 - 3 3 - 9 14 - 10 1 - 3 2 - 5 0 - 0 6 - 5 1 - 2 3 - 3
C-USA -0.18 4 - 1 7 - 17 11 - 12 0 - 9 3 - 1 4 - 7 6 - 2 0 - 0 3 - 6
WAC -0.20 0 - 3 3 - 13 7 - 18 1 - 6 2 - 6 0 - 1 5 - 6 1 - 4 0 - 3
MAC -0.24 4 - 1 3 - 27 11 - 4 0 - 7 1 - 11 2 - 9 5 - 2 1 - 0 1 - 2
Sun Belt -0.34 1 - 2 2 - 18 8 - 7 0 - 8 1 - 5 1 - 5 1 - 1 5 - 3 2 - 1

Division Ratings (I only compiled ratings for AQ divisions)

Division Rating League Rating Inter-Div Record Bowl Record
SEC West 0.43 SEC 0.32 13 - 6 4 - 1
Pac-12 North 0.26 Pac-12 0.17 17 - 9 1 - 3
SEC East 0.20 SEC 0.32 6 - 13 2 - 2
Big Ten Legends 0.19 Big Ten 0.11 12 - 7 2 - 3
Pac-12 South 0.08 Pac-12 0.17 9 - 17 1 - 2
Big Ten Leaders 0.04 Big Ten 0.11 7 - 12 2 - 3
ACC Coastal 0.03 ACC 0.01 9 - 10 0 - 4
ACC Atlantic 0.00 ACC 0.01 10 - 9 2 - 2

Top and Bottom 25 Home-Road Splits

This describes how much better a team played at home vs on the road. It's well worth noting that it's neither good nor bad to be high or low on this list; it's good to have an especially strong home-field edge, with a loud crowd and possibly a weather edge, but it's also good to be able to play well on the road. Consequently, you will tend to see most really good teams around the middle of the list, because they do have a strong home-field edge but also are very capable of playing well on the road.

1 Central Florida 96 Northwestern
2 Nevada-Las Vegas 97 Kansas State
3 Syracuse 98 Miami (Ohio)
4 Arkansas State 99 Troy State
5 Army 100 Oregon
6 Baylor 101 Stanford
7 Washington 102 Virginia Tech
8 North Carolina 103 Boston College
9 Marshall 104 Texas Christian
10 UCLA 105 Ball State
11 Tennessee 106 Alabama
12 Western Michigan 107 Temple
13 Buffalo 108 Navy
14 Rutgers 109 Boise State
15 California 110 Fresno State
16 Mississippi State 111 Louisiana Tech
17 North Carolina State 112 Southern California
18 Pittsburgh 113 Brigham Young
19 Nevada 114 Florida Atlantic
20 Wisconsin 115 Tulane
21 Arizona State 116 Texas Tech
22 Iowa 117 Virginia
23 North Texas 118 Air Force
24 Clemson 119 Louisville
25 Mississippi 120 Utah

Top and Bottom 25 Most / Least Improved

This describes how much better a team played at the end of the year compared to how they played early on. Since the system is rating how good a team is now, it's better to be higher than lower on this list, though of course the best result is to play at a really high level the whole year long.

1 Western Kentucky 96 Oklahoma
2 Boston College 97 Nebraska
3 Southern California 98 Fresno State
4 Alabama 99 Washington State
5 North Carolina State 100 North Carolina
6 Southern Mississippi 101 Pittsburgh
7 Arkansas 102 San Diego State
8 Louisville 103 Florida Atlantic
9 Louisiana Tech 104 Tulane
10 Northern Illinois 105 Duke
11 Memphis 106 Clemson
12 Alabama-Birmingham 107 Texas Tech
13 Brigham Young 108 Georgia Tech
14 Houston 109 Arizona
15 North Texas 110 Hawaii
16 Air Force 111 Akron
17 Texas Christian 112 Nevada-Las Vegas
18 Eastern Michigan 113 Illinois
19 Miami (Ohio) 114 Boise State
20 Baylor 115 South Florida
21 Northwestern 116 Syracuse
22 Michigan State 117 Tennessee
23 South Carolina 118 Middle Tennessee State
24 Kent 119 Maryland
25 Marshall 120 Arizona State

Top Forty wins of the Year

Game Rank Team Opponent Location Score
1 Alabama Louisiana State NEUTRAL 21 - 0
2 Oklahoma State Oklahoma HOME 44 - 10
3 Oregon Stanford AWAY 53 - 30
4 Oklahoma Kansas State AWAY 58 - 17
5 Louisiana State Georgia NEUTRAL 42 - 10
6 Louisiana State Oregon NEUTRAL 40 - 27
7 Oklahoma Texas NEUTRAL 55 - 17
8 Oklahoma State Missouri AWAY 45 - 24
9 Oklahoma State Texas Tech AWAY 66 - 6
10 Oklahoma State Baylor HOME 59 - 24
11 Louisiana State Alabama AWAY 9 - 6
12 Alabama Vanderbilt HOME 34 - 0
13 Louisiana State Mississippi AWAY 52 - 3
14 Houston Tulsa AWAY 48 - 16
15 Alabama Arkansas HOME 38 - 14
16 Utah Brigham Young AWAY 54 - 10
17 Louisiana State Arkansas HOME 41 - 17
18 Louisiana State Tennessee AWAY 38 - 7
19 Alabama Auburn AWAY 42 - 14
20 Southern Mississippi Houston NEUTRAL 49 - 28
21 Clemson Virginia Tech NEUTRAL 38 - 10
22 Clemson Virginia Tech AWAY 23 - 3
23 Alabama Florida AWAY 38 - 10
24 Wisconsin Penn State HOME 45 - 7
25 Alabama Mississippi State AWAY 24 - 7
26 Oregon Colorado AWAY 45 - 2
27 Arizona State Southern California HOME 43 - 22
28 Louisiana State West Virginia AWAY 47 - 21
29 Louisiana State Auburn HOME 45 - 10
30 Southern California California AWAY 30 - 9
31 Michigan Nebraska HOME 45 - 17
32 Boise State Georgia AWAY 33 - 21
33 Oklahoma Tulsa HOME 47 - 14
34 Alabama Mississippi AWAY 52 - 7
35 West Virginia Clemson NEUTRAL 70 - 33
36 Oklahoma Texas A&M HOME 41 - 25
37 Alabama Tennessee HOME 37 - 6
38 Louisiana State Florida HOME 41 - 11
39 Boise State Arizona State NEUTRAL 56 - 24
40 Georgia Auburn HOME 38 - 7

Bottom Forty losses of the Year

Game Rank Team Opponent Location Score
1391 Memphis Mississippi State HOME 14 - 59
1392 Tulane East Carolina AWAY 13 - 34
1393 Idaho Bowling Green State HOME 15 - 32
1394 Middle Tennessee State Louisiana-Lafayette HOME 20 - 45
1395 New Mexico San Diego State AWAY 7 - 35
1396 Memphis Rice AWAY 6 - 28
1397 Buffalo Miami (Ohio) AWAY 13 - 41
1398 Middle Tennessee State Arkansas State HOME 19 - 45
1399 New Mexico Texas Tech HOME 13 - 59
1400 Army Ball State AWAY 21 - 48
1401 Ball State Temple HOME 0 - 42
1402 New Mexico Nevada AWAY 7 - 49
1403 Alabama-Birmingham Marshall AWAY 14 - 59
1404 Alabama-Birmingham Florida Atlantic AWAY 35 - 38
1405 Memphis Middle Tennessee State AWAY 31 - 38
1406 Idaho Fresno State HOME 24 - 48
1407 Nevada-Las Vegas New Mexico AWAY 14 - 21
1408 Akron Western Michigan AWAY 19 - 68
1409 Nevada-Las Vegas Washington State AWAY 7 - 59
1410 Florida Atlantic Florida International AWAY 7 - 41
1411 Memphis Central Florida AWAY 0 - 41
1412 Middle Tennessee State Louisiana-Monroe AWAY 14 - 42
1413 Memphis Alabama-Birmingham HOME 35 - 41
1414 Hawaii Nevada-Las Vegas AWAY 20 - 40
1415 New Mexico New Mexico State HOME 28 - 42
1416 Memphis Southern Methodist HOME 0 - 42
1417 Akron Miami (Ohio) AWAY 3 - 35
1418 Florida Atlantic Western Kentucky HOME 0 - 20
1419 Troy State Louisiana-Monroe HOME 10 - 38
1420 Tulane Army AWAY 6 - 45
1421 Florida Atlantic Troy State AWAY 7 - 34
1422 Middle Tennessee State North Texas AWAY 7 - 59
1423 Tulane Texas-El Paso HOME 7 - 44
1424 New Mexico Air Force HOME 0 - 42
1425 Florida Atlantic Louisiana-Monroe HOME 0 - 26
1426 Akron Buffalo AWAY 10 - 51
1427 Akron Kent HOME 3 - 35
1428 Florida Atlantic Middle Tennessee State HOME 14 - 38
1429 Tulane Memphis HOME 17 - 33
1430 Alabama-Birmingham Tulane HOME 10 - 49

25 Biggest Head-Scratchers

These were the games that, after all of the games have been played, stick out as especially weird. For instance, if a 20-point underdog wins by 10 early in the year, but then they go 8-4 and the team they upset goes 4-8, well, that's not really so weird. But if a 14-point favorite wins by 35, then ends up 4-8 while the team they beat goes 8-4, then that would stick out as a weird result despite it making sense at the time.

Game Rank Team Opponent Location Score
1 Tulane Alabama-Birmingham AWAY 49 - 10
2 Hawaii Louisiana Tech AWAY 44 - 26
3 Syracuse West Virginia HOME 49 - 23
4 Utah Brigham Young AWAY 54 - 10
5 Clemson Virginia Tech NEUTRAL 38 - 10
6 Texas Tech Oklahoma AWAY 41 - 38
7 Clemson Virginia Tech AWAY 23 - 3
8 Iowa State Texas Tech AWAY 41 - 7
9 Southern Mississippi Houston NEUTRAL 49 - 28
10 Alabama-Birmingham Southern Mississippi HOME 34 - 31
11 Nevada-Las Vegas Hawaii HOME 40 - 20
12 Oregon State Washington State AWAY 44 - 21
13 Arizona State Southern California HOME 43 - 22
14 Maryland Miami (Florida) HOME 32 - 24
15 West Virginia Clemson NEUTRAL 70 - 33
16 Central Michigan Northern Illinois HOME 48 - 41
17 Alabama Louisiana State NEUTRAL 21 - 0
18 Vanderbilt Wake Forest AWAY 41 - 7
19 Washington Utah AWAY 31 - 14
20 Troy State Arkansas AWAY 28 - 38
21 Colorado Utah AWAY 17 - 14
22 Boston College Miami (Florida) AWAY 24 - 17
23 Arizona State Utah AWAY 35 - 14
24 Navy Western Kentucky AWAY 40 - 14
25 Southern Methodist Pittsburgh NEUTRAL 28 - 6

Technical notes about the lists:

1) Conference ratings are straight averages of all of the teams in the league. There is no "central averaging" (like Sagarin does), or over-weighting the top teams, or anything like that. Such approaches would yield different numbers, and could potentially change the order of some of the leagues.

2) Games against AA teams are not counted. There are many good arguments both for and against counting such games (see this link for an interesting analysis of the issue). I have elected not to count these results in the Compu-Picks model. As is the case almost every year, this means that one or two especially surprising AA upsets don't make it into the numbers, skewing the results to a fair degree for a couple of teams. I believe that this is a more than acceptable tradeoff given the substantial issues that counting AA games would create, but you are certainly welcome to disagree with my decision on this matter.

3) As mentioned here, the purpose of this system is to make picks, not to create a list used for rankings. As such, I evaluate the system solely on the basis of how good a job it does making picks. I do not evaluate the system on the basis of whether or not it agreed with AP polls, BCS rankings, the BCS computers, or any other such list out there. In fact, the system has a long and established history of being substantially different than those sources. I am fine with these differences. To be honest, I publish these lists because I find them interesting and thought-provoking, and because I believe it is a good thing to introduce an approach that doesn't simply regurgitate the same avenues of thinking as you can find in most places.

4) The system is noisy, especially earlier in the year. This is why I start with only a top 10 / bottom 10 list, and slowly expand it. While I believe that the numbers are reasonable, I certainly accept that they're not perfect. If you believe that a specific team is over- or under-ranked, you may well be right. I bring this up because if you're going to criticize the system for being wrong about a team, I'd appreciate it if you explain why you think the system is substantially wrong, rather than just marginally so (if it's just one or two slots off, especially well before the end of the year, I'd consider that well within a reasonable error range).

5) Some people have expressed curiosity about compu-picks' schedule ratings. Essentially, it's the average difficulty of all 1-A games that a team has played to date, which basically means the average rating of all of a team's 1-A opponents, then adjusted for things like home-field advantage. This, of course, varies enormously from the NCAA's official schedule ratings, which simply look at the opponents' winning percentages and that's it. Needless to say, the NCAA's approach is silly and deeply flawed; it's better than picking numbers out of a hat, but no serious analyst should rely on it at all when trying to evaluate how difficult a team's schedule actually was.

There are a few important notes and caveats I need to make about this model:

1) Compu-Picks does not endorse implicitly or explicitly any form of illegal gambling. Compu-Picks is intended to be used for entertainment purposes only.

2) No guarantee or warranty is offered or implied by Compu-Picks for any information provided and/or predictions made.

2011 Compu-Picks Blog

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