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Hoegher's Rankings and Picks: WEEK SEVEN

Guys, I have exciting news. Well, maybe just exciting for me. STILL. So I've been making these rankings for the past two years, but I've felt somewhat hollow in doing so. See, the real treasure lays not in pts/game data, but play-by-play data. Football Outsiders (and the local Bill Connelly) formulate their rankings and analysis based on this, and it's much more informative than just straight up TD's and FG's.

The issue with this, however, is the time investment. I can find all the week's final scores on ESPN and type them up in about 10-20 minutes. For dates extending into the past, I can look up and grab scores from wonderful sites such as this one (apparently made by a guy as Wisconsin, so awesome). Fairly easy. Play-by-play data, though? 120+ plays/game takes me roughly and hour to manually put in, and that's not even considering the many errors I would make. It's been a pipe dream and completely unrealistic for me to hope to achieve. UNTIL NOW.

I finally realized that I could put my prodigious (NOTE: more like semi-adequate) MATLAB skill to use, and I've been able to write a script to pull play-by-play data from each game for my use. My time investment has been cut by a factor of roughly 1000. I'm so proud of me.

Like I said, not really exciting for anyone but me, but that's how it is. To the rankings!

Rank LW NCAA Team Conf Record Adj Marg Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
1 2 Alabama SEC 5-0 1.401 1.674 9 0.273 1
2 1 OklahomaState B12 2-2 1.230 2.000 1 0.770 46
3 5 TexasAM SEC 4-1 1.133 1.711 5 0.578 15
4 9 SouthCarolina SEC 6-0 1.111 1.493 16 0.382 4
5 10 Oregon Pac-12 6-0 1.037 1.890 3 0.852 55
6 4 FloridaState ACC 5-1 1.025 1.429 22 0.404 5
7 7 Texas B12 4-1 1.000 1.651 11 0.651 22
8 21 Oklahoma B12 3-1 0.987 1.589 12 0.602 19
9 3 Georgia SEC 5-1 0.960 1.799 4 0.839 52
10 11 NotreDame Ind. 5-0 0.951 1.236 34 0.285 2
11 8 Florida SEC 5-0 0.912 1.262 31 0.350 3
12 6 TexasTech B12 4-1 0.901 1.467 19 0.566 14
13 13 KansasState B12 5-0 0.864 1.515 14 0.652 23
14 12 ArizonaState Pac-12 4-1 0.847 1.374 26 0.527 12
15 15 NorthCarolina ACC 4-2 0.847 1.513 15 0.667 27
16 22 OhioState B10 6-0 0.807 1.449 20 0.643 21
17 29 Michigan B10 3-2 0.762 1.442 21 0.681 30
18 17 Tennessee SEC 3-2 0.732 1.662 10 0.930 66
19 33 IowaState B12 4-1 0.704 1.174 43 0.470 7
20 14 Clemson ACC 5-1 0.697 1.690 7 0.994 73
21 35 WestVirginia B12 5-0 0.665 1.678 8 1.013 76
22 25 Utah Pac-12 2-3 0.635 1.384 25 0.749 38
23 16 Nebraska B10 4-2 0.627 1.581 13 0.954 70
24 31 Arizona Pac-12 3-3 0.626 1.492 17 0.866 57
25 24 Stanford Pac-12 4-1 0.618 1.272 29 0.654 24

And the rest of the Big Ten:

Rank LW NCAA Team Conf Record Adj Marg Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
34 19 Purdue B10 3-2 0.489 1.393 24 0.904 62
36 42 PennState B10 4-2 0.444 1.022 68 0.578 16
44 44 Northwestern B10 5-1 0.348 1.290 27 0.941 67
52 51 MichiganState B10 4-2 0.259 0.775 100 0.516 10
65 67 Wisconsin B10 4-2 0.074 0.965 76 0.891 61
66 69 Iowa B10 3-2 0.058 0.820 90 0.762 44
71 77 Indiana B10 2-3 0.016 1.161 46 1.145 94
75 76 Minnesota B10 4-1 -0.016 0.740 110 0.756 42
82 72 Illinois B10 2-4 -0.059 0.756 105 0.815 50

Some thoughts:

Alabama finally moves into the #1 slot. I was getting worried and more than a little embarrassed. Especially when my #1 in place of them was a 2-2 Oklahoma State. Notre Dame I could at least live with. But thankfully, it's falling into place now.

Which is good, and is what we expect to see. For all the chaos in the first few weeks (the delicious, delicious chaos) there probably won't be too many surprises the next few weeks. Most of the teams are about where they were the previous week, indicating a settling down of the even the big movers like Oklahoma were still in the Top 25 previously. As the season goes on, big jumps get more and more rare, so don't expect to see much reaction even after shocking upsets. Remember that when I have a 2-6 Oklahoma State team still ranked in the Top 5 in a few weeks [/really hope I'm joking there]

West Virginia, you make me wan to tear my hair out. I'm explained this in past posts, but my rankings tend to favor a strong offense over a strong defense. One of the best rated teams in my historical numbers is 1996 Florida for this reason (and also because Steve Spurrier was a dick who ran up the score). So when a team with an awesome offense STILL barely cracks my Top 25, it should mean that team is going to come crashing down to earth soon.

Yet there West Virginia stands. Ranked 5th in the AP Poll and 21st in my numbers (5th in F/+ Rankings, though, so maybe I'm doing something wrong) because of their not very good defense (76th here, 56th S&P+, 112th FEI, so at least I'm more in agreement there). And it's not like they been allowing a lot of garbage time scores, which can throw my numbers off. No, I watched the Baylor-West Virginia game, and there was ZERO defense being played. They have had no garbage time because they've need every bit of Holgo magic to get them wins. And they get them.

I really thought they would lose against Texas last week, and the Longhorns let me down. Now, since the rest of the Big 12 doesn't play defense (though MAYBE Texas Tech will put up a fight), I think I have to resign myself to a possible BCS Championship participant being ranked in the high teens in my Excel sheets. Sigh...

On the subject of the Big Ten, we're less bad than we thought! Maybe! This is a very optimistic view to take, because unless something drastically changes, none of the Big Ten teams are going to rank even close to my Top 10. However, we do have a lack of absolutely rotten teams (Illinois is making a strong fight, though). The SEC is the best league here, blah, blah, blah. But every other BCS league (the Big East doesn't count) has at least one team ranked worse than 100th (so, 101st and on down). The Big 12: Kansas. The Pac-12: Washington State and Colorado. The ACC: Boston College? Wake Forest (I actually have to look this one up. Boston College is 85th.). But the Big Ten stands proud with only Illinois ranking worse than 80th (82nd). So... yay? It's best to just accept our position and move on (this is my preferred phrase during foreplay).

Weekly Crap-i-ness Update. Your bottom five schools:

125 - Massachusetts

124 - Colorado

123 - Eastern Michigan

122 - Generic FCS

121 - Idaho

PICKS TIME

Last week: 12-9 overall, 3-2 Big Ten.

Team Opponent Winner Confidence
#1 Alabama Missouri Alabama 96%
#3 SouthCarolina #9 LSU SouthCarolina 89%
#4 Florida Vanderbilt Florida 85%
#5 WestVirginia TexasTech TexasTech 67%
#6 KansasState IowaState KansasState 62%
#7 NotreDame #17 Stanford NotreDame 73%
#8 OhioState Indiana OhioState 94%
#10 OregonState BYU OregonState 51%
#11 USC Washington USC 79%
#12 FloridaState BostonCollege FloridaState 99%
#13 Oklahoma #15 Texas Texas 51%
#18 Louisville Pittsburgh Louisville 83%
#19 MississippiState Tennessee Tennessee 60%
#20 Rutgers Syracuse Rutgers 68%
#21 Cincinnati FCS Cincinnati 99%
#22 TexasAM #23 LouisianaTech TexasAM 98%
#24 BoiseState FresnoState FresnoState 57%
#25 Michigan Illinois Michigan 95%

And the rest of the Big Ten:

Team Opponent Winner Confidence
Iowa MichiganState MichiganState 65%
Minnesota Northwestern Northwestern 75%
Purdue Wisconsin Purdue 78%

My Stupid Upset Pick of the week is: Utah over UCLA (-7.5) . I started off the season so well, and I haven't hit on a single one since. I eventually have to turn this around, right?

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