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Hoegher's Rankings and Picks: WEEK EIGHT (picks update!)

I'm trying a new thing now. Rather than put this off until the end of the week when y'all have relatively little time to criticize me, I'm going to try putting out my set of rankings on Sunday. Everything's up-to-date as of late Saturday as it is, I've just been waiting until the Vegas lines come out to post my ramblings.

I'll update this later in the week when the lines are out for my wrong picks, but for anyone that is wondering what my game predictions would be: take the difference in rating between the two teams, multiple by 28.1 to get the estimated margin of victory (or defeat).

THE RANKINGS

rk LW NCAA Team Conf Record Rating Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
1 1 Oregon Pac-12 6-0 1.479 2.141 2 0.467 8
2 3 FloridaState ACC 5-0 1.342 1.862 6 0.429 5
3 2 Baylor B12 5-0 1.258 2.267 1 0.754 40
4 6 Alabama SEC 6-0 1.220 1.479 16 0.323 1
5 5 Louisville Amer 6-0 1.080 1.309 32 0.334 2
6 4 Washington Pac-12 4-2 1.073 1.517 13 0.452 6
7 10 LSU SEC 6-1 1.030 1.835 8 0.686 30
8 7 Miami ACC 5-0 1.027 1.833 9 0.687 31
9 9 Clemson ACC 6-0 0.994 1.582 11 0.555 11
10 11 ArizonaState Pac-12 4-2 0.961 1.923 4 0.813 47
11 14 Wisconsin B10 4-2 0.960 1.243 38 0.383 4
12 13 OhioState B10 6-0 0.951 1.690 10 0.662 25
13 12 Georgia SEC 4-2 0.894 1.889 5 0.855 55
14 8 Stanford Pac-12 5-1 0.850 1.520 12 0.638 21
15 19 UCLA Pac-12 5-0 0.809 1.440 18 0.620 18
16 20 Utah Pac-12 4-2 0.800 1.477 17 0.652 24
17 30 BYU Ind. 4-2 0.754 1.224 39 0.521 9
18 28 Auburn SEC 5-1 0.744 1.257 37 0.550 10
19 21 Missouri SEC 6-0 0.731 1.489 14 0.721 36
20 23 CentralFlorida Amer 4-1 0.689 1.284 35 0.613 17
21 15 Florida SEC 4-2 0.689 0.892 83 0.361 3
22 34 SouthCarolina SEC 5-1 0.678 1.354 24 0.672 26
23 16 GeorgiaTech ACC 3-3 0.671 1.310 31 0.647 22
24 27 TexasAM SEC 5-1 0.651 2.088 3 1.272 100
25 35 USC Pac-12 4-2 0.626 1.198 42 0.605 16

And the Big Ten in particular...

rk LW NCAA Team Conf Record Rating Adj Off rk Adj Def rk
11 14 Wisconsin B10 4-2 0.960 1.243 38 0.383 4
12 13 OhioState B10 6-0 0.951 1.690 10 0.662 25
30 29 PennState B10 4-2 0.585 1.181 44 0.626 19
36 26 Indiana B10 3-3 0.465 1.858 7 1.290 107
40 46 Nebraska B10 5-1 0.413 1.326 28 0.891 63
41 44 Michigan B10 5-1 0.413 1.392 22 0.947 73
47 56 MichiganState B10 5-1 0.334 0.984 71 0.680 28
49 52 Iowa B10 4-2 0.292 0.901 82 0.647 23
66 53 Northwestern B10 4-2 0.119 1.170 47 1.045 80
71 62 Illinois B10 3-2 0.065 1.344 25 1.270 99
86 88 Minnesota B10 4-2 -0.150 0.865 90 1.010 78
113 110 Purdue B10 1-5 -0.688 0.578 118 1.232 97

A primer on what goes into these rankings can be found here. Some thoughts...

We need to talk about Michigan State's defense. Specifically, why my Excel sheets refuse to recognize its awesome-itude. Inherent flaws in methodology and data input aside, my set of ratings here tend to align pretty closely with what other systems have. A comparison of Top-5 teams against S&P+ (as of Oct 4th, so the comparison isn't perfect):

OVERALL

Oregon (#1 Hoegh, #4 S&P+)

Florida State (#2 Hoegh, #2 S&P+)

Baylor (#3 Hoegh, #1 S&P+)

Alabama (#4 Hoegh, #5 S&P+)

Louisville (#5 Hoegh, #6 S&P+)

OFFENSE

Baylor (#1 Hoegh, #1 S&P+)

Oregon (#2 Hoegh, #2 S&P+)

Texas A&M (#3 Hoegh, #3 S&P+)

Arizona State (#4 Hoegh, #7 S&P+)

Georgia (#5 Hoegh, #12 S&P+)

DEFENSE

Alabama (#1 Hoegh, #12 S&P+)

Louisville (#2 Hoegh, #5 S&P+)

Florida (#3 Hoegh, #1 S&P+)

Wisconsin (#4 Hoegh, #20 S&P+)

Florida State (#5 Hoegh, #8 S&P+)

And yet, the #2 defense by S&P+ comes in all the way down at #28 in the Hoegher System. (given the discrepancy for Wisconsin as well, maybe it's a Big Ten thing). Eff Michigan State and all that jazz, but this makes me unhappy. So here's an attempt to explain why that is. First, a graph:

Michigan State Weekly Performance

Since this is defense, the lower, the better. What's immediately apparent is that the defense is just fine - except for Week 1 (vs Western Michigan) and Week 3 (vs Notre Dame Youngstown State (EDIT: my bad!) ). Take out those weeks, and Sparty's defense would rate ~8th in my metrics, a far more reasonable assessment.

So what's the deal with Weeks 1 & 3? Well, Sparty only gave up 13 pts to Western Michigan, but Western Michigan is atrocious on offense. They only score 12.9 pts/gm, and just got shut-out by Buffalo. 13 pts given up is mediocre in that context. As far as the 17 pts given up to Youngstown State, well that's an FCS team and garbage time points are one of the flaws in my formula. It happens.

The Western Michigan and FCS games are never going to be looked upon favorably this season (barring inexplicable improvement from PJ Fleck's team, which I'm not holding my breath for), but more quality performances in Big Ten play will help.

Hey, Wisconsin's back on top! I wasn't expecting this, especially as Ohio State's past opponents have started to look not-quite-as-crappy. Probably helps when your quarterback isn't throwing picks every five seconds (San Diego State) and you aren't playing Baylor (Buffalo). But then Wisconsin went out and stomped on Northwestern. Quibble about being on the road vs home, atmosphere, etc. but 35-6 is still pretty solid compared to the 40-30 win Ohio State gained.

And let's be clear: the difference between Wisconsin and Ohio State here is meaningless. Converting that to points, it's a quarter of a point on a neutral field. For comparison, Sagarin has Ohio State 11th, Wisconsin 13th, with the Buckeyes favored by a half-point on a neutral field. The exact ordering of the teams here really doesn't matter.

That said: U-RAH-RAH WISCONSIN, WOO. (Wait, we're still behind Ohio State in the division. Dammit.)

Somehow, South Florida is tied for first in the Big AmericEast. They play Louisville in two weeks, so this absurdity will not last. Still, incredible. This list is slowly morphing into a copy of the bottom of that conference (and Purdue)

#115 - Connecticut

#113 - Purdue

#112 - South Florida

#111 - Temple

#98 - SMU

THE PICKINGS

Lines are taken from 5Dimes.eu here, as of 2012-10-15. Home teams highlighted in blue.

Overcat Underdog Proj Winner Conf Line Hoegh Pick vs Spd
Miami NorthCarolina Miami 99% 8.5 28.5 Miami
Louisville CentralFlorida Louisville 79% 12.0 11.0 CentralFlorida
TexasAM Auburn Auburn 58% 13.0 -2.6 Auburn
SouthCarolina Tennessee SouthCarolina 58% 7.5 2.6 Tennessee
TexasTech WestVirginia TexasTech 86% 5.5 14.6 TexasTech
Florida Missouri Missouri 54% 3.5 -1.2 Missouri
NorthernIllinois CentralMichigan NorthernIllinois 77% 16.5 10.1 CentralMichigan
Stanford UCLA Stanford 54% 6.0 1.2 UCLA
TexasAM Auburn Auburn 58% 13.0 -2.6 Auburn
ArizonaState Washington Washington 60% 3.0 -3.2 Washington

And the Big Ten games...

Overcat Underdog Proj Winner Conf Line Hoegh Pick vs Spd
Wisconsin Illinois Wisconsin 99% 12.5 25.2 Wisconsin
OhioState Iowa OhioState 92% 17.0 18.6 OhioState
Michigan Indiana Indiana 55% 7.5 -1.5 Indiana
MichiganState Purdue MichiganState 99% 26.5 28.8 MichiganState
Northwestern Minnesota Northwestern 71% 12.5 7.6 Minnesota

Akron is also favored by a touchdown (!) against Miami (OH). Wonders never cease.

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