2008 Compu-Picks Regular Season Wrapup

Mr Pac Ten
Posted Dec 19, 2008

The Compu-Picks model details some interesting stats about the 2008 college football regular 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).

As usual, only 1-A games are counted, so it doesn't matter how badly you beat a AA foe (or if you actually struggled or lost to them), it simply counts as a bye. No boost to winning percentage, no drop to schedule strength. It's as if the game wasn't played. In some cases (cough, cough, Florida St), it entirely explains why the schedule is rated to highly; count AA games and it drops like a stone.

Also, please remember that these ratings are used for the sole purpose of predicting future results. There are no bonus points for being undefeated, or being from a top conference, or playing X number of top 25 teams, or beating a team with a similar ranking head to head, or any single other sort of adjustment that many people use when making their rankings. Schedule strength counts a lot, and margin counts a lot. A close loss against a great team gives a better rating than a close win against a lousy team. Many people object to this, but in terms of predictive value, I consider it the only way to go. These rankings look different than most human polls, and for that matter they look different from most computer polls. That's OK. It's supposed to look different, both because its goals are different, and because it operates differently from other models. The only standard I use to judge it is how accurate its picks are, and so far this year it's been pretty decent.

Team Rankings

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

Schedule Strength - Top 30 and Bottom 30

1 Florida State 91 Kent
2 Virginia 92 Western Michigan
3 Baylor 93 Ohio
4 Syracuse 94 Idaho
5 Miami (Florida) 95 Temple
6 Duke 96 Alabama-Birmingham
7 Oklahoma 97 New Mexico State
8 Clemson 98 Tulane
9 Arkansas 99 Akron
10 Georgia 100 Toledo
11 Georgia Tech 101 Houston
12 North Carolina State 102 East Carolina
13 Texas Tech 103 Bowling Green State
14 Washington 104 San Jose State
15 Virginia Tech 105 Rice
16 North Carolina 106 Southern Mississippi
17 South Carolina 107 Fresno State
18 Florida 108 Louisiana Tech
19 Maryland 109 North Texas
20 Missouri 110 Boise State
21 Wake Forest 111 Florida Atlantic
22 Washington State 112 Troy State
23 Kansas 113 Louisiana-Monroe
24 Oregon State 114 Arkansas State
25 Pittsburgh 115 Memphis
26 Illinois 116 Florida International
27 Boston College 117 Ball State
28 Colorado 118 Louisiana-Lafayette
29 Ohio State 119 Middle Tennessee State
30 Connecticut 120 Tulsa

Most vs Least Improved - Top 25 and Bottom 25

1 Rutgers 96 Ball State
2 North Carolina State 97 Louisiana-Lafayette
3 West Virginia 98 Toledo
4 Army 99 Vanderbilt
5 Clemson 100 Tulsa
6 Colorado State 101 New Mexico State
7 Cincinnati 102 Western Michigan
8 Wyoming 103 Iowa
9 Utah 104 Northwestern
10 Pittsburgh 105 Kansas State
11 Florida 106 Miami (Ohio)
12 Florida State 107 Western Kentucky
13 Texas Christian 108 Iowa State
14 Oregon 109 Michigan State
15 Syracuse 110 Akron
16 New Mexico 111 Northern Illinois
17 Brigham Young 112 Tulane
18 Baylor 113 Kentucky
19 San Diego State 114 San Jose State
20 Virginia 115 Penn State
21 Utah State 116 Missouri
22 Connecticut 117 Illinois
23 Air Force 118 Wisconsin
24 Mississippi 119 Indiana
25 Nevada-Las Vegas 120 Minnesota

Home Cooking vs Road Warriors - Top 25 and Bottom 25 Home-Field Factor
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 Tulsa 96 Arizona State
2 Maryland 97 Tulane
3 East Carolina 98 Florida
4 New Mexico 99 Ohio
5 Utah State 100 Alabama-Birmingham
6 Stanford 101 Louisiana State
7 Mississippi State 102 Army
8 Colorado State 103 Ohio State
9 Oklahoma 104 Miami (Ohio)
10 Central Michigan 105 North Carolina State
11 California 106 New Mexico State
12 South Carolina 107 Western Kentucky
13 Purdue 108 Oregon
14 San Diego State 109 Fresno State
15 Southern California 110 Texas A&M
16 Florida Atlantic 111 Mississippi
17 Wisconsin 112 Nebraska
18 Auburn 113 Navy
19 Connecticut 114 Central Florida
20 Houston 115 Eastern Michigan
21 Middle Tennessee State 116 Alabama
22 Arkansas State 117 Florida State
23 Western Michigan 118 Rutgers
24 Louisiana-Lafayette 119 Minnesota
25 Duke 120 Bowling Green State

Conference Rankings - Best to Worst
To be honest, I don't like these numbers. One of the components to the computer rankings is momentum, and it looks like that one became more of a factor than I wanted it to be. Next year I'll edit the formulas a bit to dampen the effect, but as usual I'm not going to make changes mid-stream.

2 Big East
3 Big 12
5 Pac-10
6 Mountain West
7 Big Ten
8 Indep
10 WAC
11 C-USA
12 Sun Belt

40 Best and 40 Worst Non-Conference Performances
All non-conference games matter when rating a league, but some games are especially good or especially bad. These are the most prominent examples. Quality of opposition, score, time of year, overtime, and location (home/away/neutral field) all count towards the rating. Of course, there's more to it than just these games; for instance, the Big East got a huge boost when Syracuse, their worst team by far, went into South Bend and won. By itself, a one point win over Notre Dame isn't a massive deal, but when your worst team does it, that says something (on the flip side, the Big Ten's last three OOC games were losses to mediocre MAC teams, which is why they're rated worst of the six BCS leagues). But these are the really note-worthy games, the ones that tend to make headlines, either for good or for bad.

40 Best Games

ACC Boston College vs Notre Dame HOME 17-0
ACC Clemson vs South Carolina HOME 31-14
ACC Maryland vs California HOME 35-23
ACC North Carolina vs Rutgers AWAY 44-12
ACC North Carolina vs Connecticut HOME 38-12
ACC Virginia Tech vs Nebraska AWAY 35-30
ACC Wake Forest vs Baylor AWAY 41-13
Big 12 Missouri vs Nevada HOME 69-17
Big 12 Oklahoma vs Cincinnati HOME 52-26
Big 12 Oklahoma vs Texas Christian HOME 35-10
Big 12 Oklahoma State vs Troy State HOME 55-24
Big 12 Texas vs Texas-El Paso AWAY 42-13
Big 12 Texas vs Rice HOME 52-10
Big 12 Texas vs Arkansas HOME 52-10
Big 12 Texas Tech vs Nevada AWAY 35-19
Big East Connecticut vs Virginia HOME 45-10
Big East Pittsburgh vs Navy AWAY 42-21
Big East South Florida vs North Carolina State AWAY 41-10
Big Ten Minnesota vs Bowling Green State AWAY 42-17
Big Ten Penn State vs Oregon State HOME 45-14
Big Ten Penn State vs Syracuse AWAY 55-13
Big Ten Penn State vs Temple HOME 45-3
C-USA East Carolina vs West Virginia HOME 24-3
Indep Navy vs Wake Forest AWAY 24-17
Indep Navy vs Northern Illinois AWAY 16-0
MAC Bowling Green State vs Pittsburgh AWAY 27-17
Mountain West Brigham Young vs UCLA HOME 59-0
Mountain West Utah vs Utah State AWAY 58-10
Pac-10 Southern California vs Virginia AWAY 52-7
Pac-10 Southern California vs Ohio State HOME 35-3
Pac-10 Southern California vs Notre Dame HOME 38-3
SEC Alabama vs Clemson NEUTRAL 34-10
SEC Florida vs Miami (Florida) HOME 26-3
SEC Florida vs Florida State AWAY 45-15
SEC Georgia vs Central Michigan HOME 56-17
SEC Georgia vs Arizona State AWAY 27-10
SEC Kentucky vs Louisville AWAY 27-2
SEC South Carolina vs North Carolina State HOME 34-0
WAC Boise State vs Southern Mississippi AWAY 24-7
WAC Fresno State vs Rutgers AWAY 24-7

40 Worst Games

ACC North Carolina State vs South Florida HOME 10-41
Big East Louisville vs Kentucky HOME 2-27
Big East Rutgers vs Fresno State HOME 7-24
Big East Syracuse vs Akron HOME 28-42
Big Ten Michigan vs Toledo HOME 10-13
C-USA Alabama-Birmingham vs Tennessee AWAY 3-35
C-USA Tulane vs Army HOME 13-44
Indep Army vs Akron HOME 3-22
Indep Western Kentucky vs Indiana AWAY 13-31
Indep Western Kentucky vs Kentucky AWAY 3-41
Indep Western Kentucky vs Florida Atlantic HOME 20-24
Indep Western Kentucky vs North Texas HOME 40-51
Indep Western Kentucky vs Middle Tennessee State HOME 10-21
Indep Western Kentucky vs Florida International AWAY 3-27
MAC Akron vs Temple AWAY 6-27
MAC Kent vs Iowa State AWAY 28-48
MAC Kent vs Louisiana-Lafayette AWAY 27-44
MAC Miami (Ohio) vs Temple HOME 10-28
MAC Northern Illinois vs Navy HOME 0-16
MAC Toledo vs Florida International HOME 16-35
Mountain West Colorado State vs Colorado NEUTRAL 17-38
Mountain West Nevada-Las Vegas vs Nevada HOME 27-49
Mountain West San Diego State vs San Jose State AWAY 10-35
Mountain West Wyoming vs Bowling Green State HOME 16-45
Pac-10 UCLA vs Brigham Young AWAY 0-59
Pac-10 Washington vs Notre Dame HOME 7-33
SEC Tennessee vs Wyoming HOME 7-13
Sun Belt Florida Atlantic vs Minnesota AWAY 3-37
Sun Belt Louisiana-Lafayette vs Southern Mississippi AWAY 21-51
Sun Belt Louisiana-Lafayette vs Texas-El Paso HOME 24-37
Sun Belt Louisiana-Monroe vs Auburn AWAY 0-34
Sun Belt Louisiana-Monroe vs Tulane AWAY 10-24
Sun Belt North Texas vs Kansas State AWAY 6-45
Sun Belt North Texas vs Tulsa HOME 26-56
Sun Belt North Texas vs Louisiana State AWAY 3-41
Sun Belt North Texas vs Rice AWAY 20-77
WAC Idaho vs Arizona AWAY 0-70
WAC Idaho vs Western Michigan HOME 28-51
WAC Idaho vs San Diego State AWAY 17-45
WAC New Mexico State vs New Mexico HOME 24-35
Mr Pac-10's 2008 Blog

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