The RTT computer BlogPoll ballot: raw numbers, week seven

Halfway through the season, and we're still aiming the RTT Ready, Fire, Aim BlogPoll computer ballot, but it is beginning to require fewer and more minute tweaks. For a complete refresher on what we're doing, go here, here, here, and here.

Prior tweaks to the system: (1) added experience ratings; (2) adjusted the weighting with a "square root of the sum of the squares." Why? I'll you why: I don't know. (3) revised the way tied teams were ranked; and (4) began sorting the win/loss category based on losing percentage to hopefully alleviate the penalty to teams with early byes.

Tweaks for this week:

  • Adjusted the weighting of the win/loss category in light of the fact that the computer still liked Oklahoma over Texas despite the Longhorns having beat them by ten this weekend. The weighting used to be 30. It's now 100.
  • Being still less than thrilled with the strength of schedule numbers from the NCAA, I considered trying to work up some sort of strength of schedule formula of our own. Intensive research (ten minutes on the internet) seemed to indicate that most formulas take into account the winning percentages of opponents and the winning percentages of opponents' opponents. Because I didn't really have time to design something like that myself, I thought about it some more and then remembered Occam's Razor and decided that even winning percentages of opponents' opponents doesn't really get to the heart of the matter, which is the conference in which a team primarily plays. Consider Boise State, for example. The Broncos' opponents to date are Idaho State, Bowling Green, Oregon, Louisiana Tech, and Southern Miss. With the exception of Oregon, that's not really on par with the schedules of most teams in BCS conferences. Looking at the opponents' opponents doesn't help much, either. For instance, Idaho State's opponents to date are Boise State, Idaho, North Dakota, Eastern Washington, Montana State, and Northern Colorado. Going .500 against these guys isn't the same as going .500 in one of the BCS conferences. The problem really isn't so much a matter of looking further up the tree than it is simply taking note of a team's conference affiliation. So what I did was grab the NCAA past opposition winning percentages, discount that figure for anyone not in a BCS conference (I arbitrarily chose 50%), and then sorted the teams according to adjusted past opposition winning percentage. What do y'all think?
  • The categories again: Win/Loss, Strength of Schedule, Pass Efficiency Defense, Rush Defense, 3rd Down Offense, Total Defense, Pass Efficiency Offense, Experience, Opponents Points Per Game, Total Offense, and 3rd Down Defense. The AVG R column is Average Ranking, and the last column is Weighted Average.
  • The current weighting of the categories: 100, 15, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Then tweaked by the square root of the sum of the squares manuever.
  • Current spreadsheet here.

All right, then. The Top 34 (so you can see where some of the teams in the traditional polls ended up in the computer rankings), according to the computer:

Rank
Team
WL
SOS
PED
RD
3DO
TD
PEO
EXP
OPPG
TO
3DD
AVG R
W AVG
1
Alabama
1
42
19
2
26
10
55
95
12
52
7
29.18
76.35
2
Texas
1
30
61
3
9
40
3
116
18
11
38
30.00
81.13
3
Penn St.
1
59
7
11
6
8
15
38
6
9
5
15.00
83.24
4
Oklahoma St.
1
51
38
52
11
62
4
45
55
8
8
30.45
94.91
5
Texas Tech
1
56
50
24
8
64
10
68
43
2
4
30.00
99.53
6
Boise St.
1
71
17
62
27
36
7
114
7
22
10
34.00
118.80
7
Ohio St.
11
27
13
23
69
12
51
59
13
94
63
39.55
122.70
8
Utah
1
94
57
8
41
7
25
14
37
43
15
31.09
140.49
9
Michigan St.
11
38
24
60
80
68
62
68
25
62
75
52.09
143.42
10
Oklahoma
16
4
15
25
16
23
2
59
37
6
17
20.00
149.99
11
South Fla.
16
28
26
6
23
11
31
66
31
25
20
25.73
155.58
12
Minnesota
11
46
68
46
79
83
29
112
36
66
38
55.82
157.52
13
Georgia Tech
16
16
3
32
58
6
23
109
4
53
58
34.36
159.24
14
Kansas
16
44
20
12
3
34
11
32
27
14
40
23.00
160.26
15
Georgia
16
12
64
4
19
15
27
90
31
23
29
30.00
160.33
16
BYU
1
114
29
38
1
31
8
49
2
16
76
33.18
162.02
17
Florida
16
43
23
17
28
18
20
116
10
37
29
32.45
165.64
18
North Carolina
16
20
33
61
47
74
32
72
41
91
76
51.18
168.72
19
TCU
11
93
14
1
10
1
100
26
9
39
3
27.91
168.72
20
Missouri
16
24
71
33
14
82
6
32
46
3
80
37.00
169.15
21
Ball St.
1
111
21
87
4
55
9
53
20
15
65
40.09
169.29
22
Northwestern
16
48
46
37
20
37
96
59
23
51
23
41.45
175.06
23
Connecticut
16
41
31
52
52
33
112
109
29
42
60
52.45
179.13
24
Virginia Tech
16
29
83
54
66
35
81
105
34
107
42
59.27
185.19
25
Vanderbilt
16
53
22
51
92
39
106
90
22
117
71
61.73
189.43
26
Cincinnati
16
61
77
13
85
47
19
59
37
40
57
46.45
190.88
27
Tulsa
1
118
104
75
2
101
1
49
71
1
103
56.91
200.02
28
Western Mich.
11
113
62
59
51
60
21
14
54
27
83
50.45
201.74
29
Southern California
29
19
4
10
29
4
12
72
1
19
16
19.55
267.05
30
Florida St.
29
26
12
5
7
2
83
53
21
28
1
24.27
269.71
31
Wake Forest
29
40
1
48
77
17
52
49
16
86
45
41.82
278.10
32
California
29
47
9
14
92
25
43
90
27
33
21
39.09
280.95
33
LSU
29
54
44
28
57
32
47
77
52
36
35
44.64
282.40
34
Pittsburgh
29
49
53
40
44
27
85
77
48
70
44
51.45
283.41

 

So what human overrides are called for this week? Candidates (those that are off more than five spots from the major polls):

Possibly too high

  • Boise State. The Broncos are 15th and 16th respectively in the AP and Coaches polls. They really haven't beaten anyone but Oregon, but that's looking like a fairly decent win. I can't really see placing them below any other unbeaten teams, so the only real question is how far behind any one loss teams they should be. I'd probably be for putting them below any of the underranked teams in green that are tied for 16th in losing percentage and below Southern Cal, who is still behind primarily due do having played fewer games than most other teams.
  • Michigan State. 20th and 17th in the major polls, so 9th would seem too high. Still, they're 6-1 halfway through the season with only a respectable loss to Cal in the first game of the season. Yeah, no marquee wins yet, really, but their pass efficiency defense and opponent points per game stats are respectable. I wonder if the computer might be more reliable here than the human polls. After all, the computer doesn't know that THIS IS MICHIGAN STATE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
  • South Florida. Off by eight or nine positions with regard to the major polls. I don't know. They beat Kansas, so there's that. They also lost to Pitt, so there's that, too.
  • Minnesota. See, now this makes me think that the Big 10 should be docked on strength of schedule like the non-BCS conferences. Hey, wait. Wasn't that the problem I was struggling with regarding South Florida? Perhaps there should be more categories for strength of schedule conferences instead of just BCS and non-BCS? Hmm.
  • Georgia Tech. ACC.
  • Northwestern. Big 10.
  • Connecticut. Big East. Uh-huh.

Possibly too low

  • Moving some of that red down will have the effect of moving some of that green up.
  • BYU. 9th and 8th in the polls. Docked for strength of schedule, so consider the competition, but having the nation's best third down offense and the nation's second best points per game for opponents is pretty good. Or maybe not. They've played no one: Northern Iowa, Washington, UCLA, Wyoming, Utah State, New Mexico. I think the computer may be right.
  • Florida. 5th and 7th in the majors. Solid, but not extraordinary numbers. What the computer doesn't know is that they seem to have fixed whatever ills they had early in the season. Expect the numbers to improve.
  • Missouri. 11th and 12th in the AP and Coaches. Fell a lot this week because the stats we use here (because they correlate most closely to winning) are primarily defensive statistics. They still look good numbers-wise on offense, but Texas Tech did some major damage to their defensive numbers. Still, they could probably be bumped up a bit.
  • Virginia Tech. 17th and 18th. They've beaten some good, but not great, opponents in North Carolina and Nebraska. I don't know.
  • Southern Cal. Suffering from a low win/loss ranking due to already having had two weeks off this season. Expect them to gain ground as more teams enjoy their bye weeks. The Trojans are 6th and 4th in the big boy polls. They look good, and we're probably just going to have to guess on them for awhile.
  • Wake Forest. 21st and 19th. One loss, to Navy. Beaten Baylor, Mississippi, Florida State, and Clemson. Meh.
  • California. 25th and 22nd. Meh again.
  • LSU. 13th and 14th. We'll see in a couple of weeks, but here's the thing. They've beaten Appy State, North Texas, Auburn, and Mississippi State, and they got manhandled by one-loss Florida. Even against that competition, their numbers aren't all that impressive. The computer neither knows nor cares that THEY ARE THE DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS HAVE A GREAT DAY!
  • Pittsburgh. Meh for the third time. They did beat South Florida, so you know.

Current draft ballot, without any interventions yet:

 

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama 1
2 Texas 2
3 Penn State 2
4 Oklahoma State 21
5 Texas Tech 9
6 Boise State 7
7 Ohio State 1
8 Utah 1
9 Michigan State 15
10 Oklahoma 9
11 South Florida 7
12 Minnesota 14
13 Georgia Tech 10
14 Kansas 6
15 Georgia 6
16 Brigham Young 6
17 Florida 9
18 North Carolina 1
19 TCU 2
20 Missouri 17
21 Ball State 1
22 Northwestern 4
23 Connecticut 3
24 Virginia Tech 2
25 Vanderbilt 14

Dropped Out: LSU (#12), Southern Cal (#15), Florida State (#16), Kentucky (#19), California (#22).

Up to seven vetoes of the computer rankings. Go.

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