Against Ranked Teams - after week 9 |

Against Ranked Teams - after week 9


Bored Historian
Aug 26, 2011
The last few years I’ve attempted to quantify team’s performances against ranked teams, (historically a big factor in decisions made about getting into playoffs) with a system that gives points to teams for the ranking of their opponents and adds or subtracts the point differential in their games, (adds in a win, subtracts in a loss). The ‘ranking’ points are 25 for playing a #1 ranked team, 24 for playing a #2 ranked team, etc., down to 1 point for playing a 25th ranked team. These points are easily computed by subtracting the ranking number from 26, (26-1 = 25; 26-25 =1, etc.). Over the course of the season, I add the points earned by each team in their games against ranked teams as a sort of standings but have always maintained that this is just one thing to look at in evaluating the team, not a final overall ranking.

Last year I added a new wrinkle to the basketball version of this. I totaled the points each ranked team’s opponent earned against them, (positive or negative) to get a measure of how well the ranked teams performed in these games. I then added those points together with the points against ranked teams to make my NCAA picks and it worked out pretty well so I decided to try it for football. The numbers will gain meaning each week and should be very interesting by the end of the season.

One thing I’ve found is that when ranked teams play each other, it works better if I just keep track of “against ranked teams” Example:
#5 Georgia beat #3 Clemson 10-3 Georgia +30 Clemson -30
#3 Clemson lost to #5 Georgia 3-10 Clemson +14 Georgia -14
If you add them together Georgia gets +16 and Clemson -16 yet the game was decided by 7 points.
So the first figure is “against ranked teams and the second figure “as a ranked team against an unranked team”.

WEEK 9 (10/28-30)
Wisconsin beat #9 Iowa 27-7 Wisconsin +37 Iowa -37
Mississippi State beat #12 Kentucky 31-17 Mississippi State +28 Kentucky -28
Auburn beat #10 Mississippi 31-20 Auburn +27 both ranked
Michigan State beat #6 Michigan 37-33 Michigan State +24 both ranked
Ohio State beat #20 Penn State 33-24 Ohio State +15 both ranked
Fresno State beat #21 San Diego State 30-20 Fresno State +15 San Diego State -15
Houston beat #19 Southern Methodist 44-37 Houston +14 Southern Methodist -14
Michigan lost to #8 Michigan State 33-37 Michigan +14 both ranked
U of Miami beat #17 Pittsburgh 38-34 U of Miami +13 Pittsburgh -13
Penn State lost to #5 Ohio State 24-33 Penn State +12 both ranked
West Virginia beat #22 Iowa State 38-31 West Virginia +11 Iowa State -11
North Carolina lost to #11 Notre Dame 34-44 North Carolina +5 Notre Dame -5
Tulane lost to #2 Cincinnati 12-31 Tulane +5 Cincinnati -5
Texas lost to #16 Baylor 24-31 Texas +3 Baylor -3
Florida lost to #1 Georgia 7-34 Florida -2 Georgia +2
Mississippi lost to #18 Auburn 20-31 Mississippi -3 both ranked
Colorado lost to #7 Oregon 29-52 Colorado -4 Oregon +4
Troy lost to #24 Coastal Carolina 28-35 Troy -5 Coastal Carolina +5
Texas Tech lost to #4 Oklahoma 21-52 Texas Tech -9 Oklahoma +9
Virginia lost to #25 Brigham Young 49-66 Virginia -16 Brigham Young +16
Duke lost to #13 Wake Forest 7-45 Duke -25 Wake Forest +25
Kansas lost to #15 Oklahoma State 3-55 Kansas -41 Oklahoma State +41

Comment: Ranked teams were only 13-9 in week 9. There were three games between ranked teams and the lower ranked team won two of them. Seven ranked teams lost to unranked teams and three undefeated teams suffered their first loss.

Top 10 Against Ranked Teams through Week 2
Georgia +149
Alabama +95
Iowa +89
Penn State +66
Auburn +60
Arkansas +54
Stanford +51
Michigan State +48
West Virginia +47
Texas +45

Syracuse is at +4 after the Wake Forest game.
SU’s opponents: Ohio none Rutgers -27 Albany none Liberty none Florida State +14 Wake Forest none Clemson +7 Virginia Tech +32 Boston College -27 Louisville -1 North Carolina State +23 Pittsburgh none

The worst team on this list is Vanderbilt at -74

Top 10 as a Ranked Team Against Unranked Teams through Week 2
Coastal Carolina +140
Ohio State +112
Auburn +68
Georgia +66
Mississippi +54
Michigan +53
Cincinnati +51
Alabama +35
Nebraska +33
Texas A&M +32

Syracuse has not been ranked so they have had no opportunity to accumulate points on this list.
SU’s opponents: Ohio none Rutgers none Albany none Liberty none Florida State none Wake Forest +26 Clemson -6 Virginia Tech -3 Boston College none Louisville none North Carolina State +17 Pittsburgh -4

The worst team on this list is Notre Dame at -41

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