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Hoegher's Rankings and Picks: WEEK NINE

Since I'm home from work early - and because I plan on making pancakes for dinner tomorrow - this post is happening today. Aren't you all so excited? I know I am! I mean... pancakes. That's really all you need.

In other news, I'm beyond over-joyed that Wisconsin kept the Axe for the 1000th 9th straight year. Ideally they continue on this pace, and I can see Wisconsin finally pass Minnesota in the all-time standings in a few years. In the meantime, I'm going to be terrified of Michigan State for the next week, despite their incompetent offense.

TOP 25 AND BIG TEN

Rank LW NCAA Team Conf Record Adj Marg Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
1 1 Alabama SEC 7-0 1.410 1.686 5 0.276 1
2 2 Oklahoma B12 5-1 1.165 1.689 4 0.524 10
3 4 Oregon Pac-12 7-0 1.113 1.936 1 0.823 44
4 13 Florida SEC 7-0 1.106 1.513 16 0.407 3
5 3 FloridaState ACC 7-1 1.033 1.452 17 0.419 4
6 6 KansasState B12 7-0 1.028 1.642 10 0.615 19
7 5 TexasTech B12 6-1 1.003 1.614 11 0.611 18
8 10 OklahomaState B12 4-2 0.966 1.646 8 0.681 28
9 9 NotreDame Ind. 7-0 0.926 1.266 29 0.340 2
10 7 TexasAM SEC 5-2 0.907 1.545 13 0.637 21
11 23 Arizona Pac-12 4-3 0.907 1.751 3 0.844 51
12 8 SouthCarolina SEC 6-2 0.803 1.333 23 0.529 11
13 14 OregonState Pac-12 6-0 0.765 1.278 26 0.513 8
14 12 Texas B12 5-2 0.764 1.613 12 0.849 54
15 11 Michigan B10 5-2 0.747 1.349 22 0.602 16
16 19 Clemson ACC 6-1 0.717 1.647 7 0.929 62
17 22 Stanford Pac-12 5-2 0.682 1.199 37 0.517 9
18 25 TCU B12 5-2 0.672 1.240 33 0.568 13
19 24 Tennessee SEC 3-4 0.666 1.666 6 0.999 73
20 27 MississippiState SEC 7-0 0.645 1.232 35 0.586 15
21 17 ArizonaState Pac-12 5-2 0.638 1.307 24 0.669 25
22 15 Georgia SEC 6-1 0.625 1.538 14 0.913 58
23 18 NorthCarolina ACC 5-3 0.594 1.268 28 0.674 27
24 20 Nebraska B10 5-2 0.589 1.524 15 0.935 63
25 30 USC Pac-12 6-1 0.588 1.236 34 0.649 23

And the rest of the Big Ten:

Rank LW NCAA Team Conf Record Adj Marg Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
26 21 OhioState B10 8-0 0.574 1.369 20 0.794 38
27 31 PennState B10 5-2 0.553 1.180 42 0.627 20
37 42 Northwestern B10 6-2 0.348 1.169 43 0.821 43
38 50 Purdue B10 3-4 0.322 1.155 46 0.833 46
40 59 Wisconsin B10 6-2 0.316 1.130 52 0.815 41
54 53 MichiganState B10 4-4 0.245 0.719 106 0.474 6
64 57 Indiana B10 2-5 0.087 1.397 18 1.310 107
70 62 Iowa B10 4-3 0.003 0.842 89 0.839 49
83 74 Minnesota B10 4-3 -0.122 0.691 111 0.813 40
97 94 Illinois B10 2-5 -0.229 0.619 117 0.848 53

Some thoughts:

Alabama is terrifying. I don't think I've said much about the Crimson Tide, mostly because

a) everyone knows they're really good, and

b) Nick Saban's teams are super boring.

However, that changes now because their defensive rating is obscene. I mean, it was obscene before, but that was early in the season which is subject to outliers. It's Week Nine already, and Alabama is still sitting there with a AdjDef of under 0.28 (remember, lower is better). To give that context, I've got continuous rankings using this same formula going back to 1990. 2012 Alabama is better than every single one. And less you think that's just a quirk of my numbers, F/+ has them rated at +40% in Def F/+, which I'm pretty sure is enough on its own to rate out better than every team in their database. It's insane.

Now, my numbers on them are going to get a bit worse still, as the Tide still have two shutouts from Weeks 2 & 3 boosting them. But plenty of teams pitch shut-outs every season. None of them come close to matching this year's Tide.

So last week some people had been asking about considering recent trends when ranking teams. Wisconsin is obviously not the same team as started the season, and the same goes for Purdue (in a bad way).

To that end I did something up quick, weighting each game 10% more than the last. This was quick and dirty, so feel free to criticize my math. For your consideration:

Rank NCAA Team Conf Record Adj Marg
1 Alabama SEC 7-0 1.363
2 Oklahoma B12 5-1 1.240
3 Florida SEC 7-0 1.191
4 Oregon Pac-12 7-0 1.151
5 KansasState B12 7-0 1.057
6 TexasTech B12 6-1 1.007
7 FloridaState ACC 7-1 0.966
8 Arizona Pac-12 4-3 0.956
9 OklahomaState B12 4-2 0.938
10 NotreDame Ind. 7-0 0.883
11 TexasAM SEC 5-2 0.848
12 OregonState Pac-12 6-0 0.807
13 Michigan B10 5-2 0.776
14 SouthCarolina SEC 6-2 0.760
15 Clemson ACC 6-1 0.756
16 Texas B12 5-2 0.702
17 Stanford Pac-12 5-2 0.696
18 TCU B12 5-2 0.675
19 MississippiState SEC 7-0 0.670
20 Tennessee SEC 3-4 0.669
21 PennState B10 5-2 0.634
22 USC Pac-12 6-1 0.594
23 ArizonaState Pac-12 5-2 0.588
24 Nebraska B10 5-2 0.571
25 Georgia SEC 6-1 0.570

Big Ten teams follow

Rank NCAA Team Conf Record Adj Marg
27 OhioState B10 8-0 0.542
33 Wisconsin B10 6-2 0.428
38 Northwestern B10 6-2 0.347
50 Purdue B10 3-4 0.249
54 MichiganState B10 4-4 0.217
63 Indiana B10 2-5 0.117
70 Iowa B10 4-3 0.000
89 Minnesota B10 4-3 -0.165
99 Illinois B10 2-5 -0.313

SO MANY TABLES. Sorry about that... Anyway, it really doesn't make a huge difference, as there is still half the season to go. As far as Big Ten teams go, Wisconsin (+7) and Penn State (+6) get a big lift, while Purdue (-12) and Minnesota (-6) are regressing. In terms of visual media:

Wisconsin

Purdue

Colorado is LAWL-some. But just how bad are they? Unfortunately, not nearly as bad as I would like. For the purposes of this discussion, I'm just going to consider bad BCS (or equivalent) conference teams. Also, considering how the college football changes over time, I've been rating teams based on standard deviations above (or in this case, below) the mean (so Z-score). It helps reduce the difference between today's teams and those of the past. (Also, this is what Bill Connelly did for one of his Football Outsiders pieces, and so I'm shamelessly copying his method). Going back to 1990... SURPRISE! The Big East takes home the crown. Multiple times. We have:

1993 Temple (1-10), 2.59 deviations below the mean.

1997 Rutgers (0-11), 2.19 deviations below the mean.

2008 Washington State (2-11), 1.90 deviations below the mean

2012 Colorado (1-6), 1.89 deviations below the mean

Now, Colorado isn't catching the Big East teams (seriously, those teams were really bad), but I'd say they have a strong shot at passing up Washington State. Ironic that they may end up being the only team Colorado is victorious against.

Oh yeah, the Buffaloes are ranked 124th this year. Massachusetts is 125th.

PICKS TIME!

Team Opponent Winner Confidence
#1 Alabama #13 MississippiState Alabama 93%
#2 Oregon Colorado Oregon 99%
#3 Florida #12 Georgia Florida 81%
#4 KansasState #15 TexasTech KansasState 52%
#5 NotreDame #8 Oklahoma Oklahoma 67%
#7 OregonState Washington OregonState 93%
#9 OhioState PennState OhioState 52%
#10 USC Arizona Arizona 72%
#11 FloridaState Duke FloridaState 97%
#14 Clemson WakeForest Clemson 99%
#16 Louisville Cincinnati Cincinnati 50%
#17 SouthCarolina Tennessee SouthCarolina 60%
#18 Rutgers KentState Rutgers 88%
#19 Stanford WashingtonState Stanford 99%
#20 Michigan Nebraska Michigan 62%
#21 BoiseState Wyoming BoiseState 97%
#22 TexasAM Auburn TexasAM 98%
#23 Ohio MiamiOH Ohio 85%
#24 LouisianaTech NewMexicoState LouisianaTech 99%

And the rest of the Big Ten:

Team Opponent Winner Confidence
Illinois Indiana Indiana 72%
Iowa Northwestern Northwestern 74%
MichiganState Wisconsin Wisconsin 56%
Minnesota Purdue Purdue 79%

CURSES. We've reached that point in the season where my numbers are starting to align with Vegas. This means no big upsets for me to try :(

Seeing as I've gone 0-fer since Week One, though this may not be a bad thing. Fvck it. Tennessee over South Carolina is my Stupid Upset Pick

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