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The KSR FBS Power Ratings (Week 6)

Week six of the college football season is officially history, and it was a weekend of shake-ups all around the nation.  Florida State did what they traditionally do best, losing to an un-ranked ACC foe on the road (They’re still really good, though).  Losing on the road was not only an ACC thing this weekend, Georgia and LSU also fell victim to defeat in hostile territory as well.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Kentucky and Auburn continued their trends of looking completely inept against all competition as both teams were blown out at home against Mississippi State and Arkansas respectively.  With so many other outcomes in college football it’s nearly impossible to rank all teams just by judging their games this weekend. So to fix that I created my own rating system in the model of Ken Pomeroy’s basketball site and Bill James Pythagorean Win Expectancy Rate to see which team was tops in college football.  Sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty simple.


Some of the concepts may be foreign to you so here are critical things to know when making your personal evaluations.

1. This system rates teams based upon tempo free scoring margin, meaning teams who play up-tempo styles aren’t rewarded for inflated scoring margins. (Think Oregon and Oklahoma State, naturally they would have larger margins of victory than would a slow paced team of equal skill).  The numbers in the first two columns are simply points scored/allowed divided by possessions, putting every team on the same scale.


2. This system does not measure actual margin of victory, it measures the ratio between offense and defense.  By doing so actual margin is de-emphasized slightly.


3. Defense is more valued than offense.  This also combats inflated offensive numbers.  Think of it this way, a team that outscores opponents 100-10 would be predicted to win 99% of their games while a team that outscores their opponents 190-100 would only be predicted to win 78% of their games.  Equal scoring margins, but the first team is better because opposing teams can’t score, meaning greater chance of victory. There’s too much evidence in CFB that suggests defense wins more often than offense.


4. Games against FCS opponents are de-emphasized to prevent inflated margins.


5.  Strength of schedule and location of game are accounted for.  Using last year as an example, UCF’s 41-0 win over Memphis compared to Alabama’s 38-14 win over Arkansas.  Without strength of schedule UCF’s win over a pitiful Memphis squad would look better than Alabama’s win over a very good Razorback squad.  Once SOS was accounted for UCF v. Memphis came to an adjusted score of 38-7 while Alabama’s win over Petrino’s Hogs came to an adjusted score of 43-6.  So it’s better to beat good teams by a smaller margin than bad teams by a greater margin.  Location of game is accounted for by giving extra credit for winning on the road and taking away credit for losing at home.


***(I’m tempted to bold this entire paragraph as it’s the most important part)***

Keep in mind that since I cannot accurately account for strength of schedule just yet due to small sample size the rankings are still pretty “out there.”  Take LSU being ranked ahead of Florida despite losing to the Gators as an example; since LSU has played a much weaker slate of opponents thus far, they’re still ranked higher.  This problem is not limited to teams who have played each other either.  Cincinnati, Arizona State, and BYU are examples of the weak schedule issue.  I’d predict that these teams will be seeing their ranking fall in the next two weeks as they will be required to face much more difficult competition (If you remember Texas Tech was ranked highly last week but was crushed by Oklahoma this week).  So if you see a team ranked highly that shouldn’t be, know that it’s due to an awful schedule.  But, I’ll say again that this “cupcake feasting” issue will be erased come week 8 when I can finally account for schedule played.


Without further ado, here are College Football’s Week 6 Power Rankings.


If you have any further questions Tweet me @SchuetteKSR for a more timely response.

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

10 Comments for The KSR FBS Power Ratings (Week 6)

  1. Jasonmatchop
    8:24 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone have a link for the davis vs mkg matchup tonight?

  2. KidCody
    8:25 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Well done, I’m sure this took quite a bit of work to put together.

  3. Adam
    8:33 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone read this?

  4. why
    8:34 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Really, another football post? Didn’t click the link, let me guess, UK is dead last.

    So which is it ksr? Is mitch bringing joker back or not? We know that you know. Quit front’n. I would love to see SOME reporter, columnist, or blogger write that mitch should be let go himself if he brings joker back. Put the pressure on mitch – force his had – and see how important self preservation is to him.

  5. Roger
    9:03 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    N igger please.

  6. Dayyum
    9:42 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    IPhone 5 needs 47″ screen so I don’t have to scroll down for 10 minutes to see UKs pisspoor ranking. Shoulda thought of that Tim Cook. Joker might cost u ur job too.

  7. Scott
    10:30 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Good job on the stat system I hope you keep it going to see if it pans out

  8. thenamerobdigity
    11:08 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    Lets stick with the Florida theme. Florida has beaten both Texas A&M (away) and LSU which are both ranked higher. Florida beat Tennessee (away) and Tennessee beat NC State who beat Florida State.

    This formula proves why the BCS is good in being 2/3 reliant on computers. Any person could easily see that Florida beat 2 schools ranked ahead of them, one of them on the road.

    This also shows that teams are punished for playing FCS opponents. While strength of schedule will get better as the season goes on… the truth is that there has to be a human element that this system fails to show.

  9. JRupp
    11:15 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    This is very good stuff, and not just because it rises above the regular rambling, freshman pot smoker philosophizing Xanga entries -as applied to UK athletics- like most KSR fare (nonsense for page views).

    This is legitimately good and informative.

    Matt, part of your contributor screening process should be the creation of a complex statistical algorithm. This guy obviously has a brain.

  10. Nice try
    11:17 pm October 9, 2012 Permalink

    I’mj sure you put together a lot of work on this…I got down to #3…saw Florida State and quit reading.