Against Ranked teams - Football after Week 11 |

Against Ranked teams - Football after Week 11


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 11 (11/11-13/21)
Ohio State beat #19 Purdue 59-31 Ohio State +35 both ranked
Baylor beat #8 Oklahoma 27-14 Baylor +31 both ranked
Mississippi beat #11 Texas A&M 29-19 Mississippi +25 both ranked
Washington State lost to #3 Oregon 24-38 Washington State +9 Oregon -9
Mississippi State beat #17 Auburn 43-34 Mississippi State +18 Auburn -18
Penn State lost to #5 Michigan 17-21 Penn State +17 Michigan -17
Wake Forest beat #16 North Carolina State 45-42 Wake Forest +13 both ranked
North Carolina State lost to #12 Wake Forest 42-45 NC State +11 both ranked
Nevada-Reno lost to #20 San Diego State 21-23 Nevada-Reno +4 San Diego State -4
South Florida lost to #5 Cincinnati 28-45 South Florida +4 Cincinnati -4
Minnesota lost to #20 Iowa 22-27 Minnesota +1 Iowa -1
Tennessee lost to #1 Georgia 17-41 Tennessee +1 Georgia -1
Texas A&M lost to #15 Mississippi 19-29 Texas A&M +1 both ranked
Maryland lost to #7 Michigan State 21-40 Maryland 0 Michigan State 0
Oklahoma lost to #13 Baylor 14-27 Oklahoma 0 both ranked
Louisiana State lost to #25 Arkansas 13-16 Louisiana State -2 Arkansas +2
North Carolina lost to #21 Pittsburgh 23-30 North Carolina -2 Pittsburgh +2
Purdue lost to #4 Ohio State 31-59 Purdue -6 both ranked
Arizona lost to #24 Utah 29-38 Arizona -7 Utah +7
So Mississippi lost to #23 Texas-San Antonio 17-27 So. Mississippi -7 Texas-San Antonio +7
Virginia lost to #9 Notre Dame 3-28 Virginia -8 Notre Dame +8
Northwestern lost to #18 Wisconsin 7-35 Northwestern -20 Wisconsin +20
Texas Christian lost to #10 Oklahoma State 17-63 Texas Christian -30 Oklahoma State +30
New Mexico State lost to #2 Alabama 3-59 New Mexico State -32 Alabama +32

Comment: Connecticut returned the opening kick-off to take a 7-0 lead over Clemson, (they lost 7-44), and New Mexico State kicked a field goal for a 3-0 lead on Alabama. I hope their fans got to pose in front of the scoreboards. How did firing Gary Patterson work out TCU?

Top 10 Against Ranked Teams through Week 11
Georgia +149
Alabama +95
Iowa +89
Penn State +80
Purdue +69
Arkansas +66
Mississippi State +61
Texas A&M +59
Ohio State +57
Auburn +54
Boise State +54

Syracuse is at +4 after the Wake Forest game.
SU’s opponents: Ohio none Rutgers -71 Albany none Liberty -3 Florida State +7 Wake Forest +13 Clemson +7 Virginia Tech +32 Boston College -27 Louisville -1 North Carolina State +34 Pittsburgh none

The worst team on this list is Vanderbilt at -74

Top 10 as a Ranked Team Against Unranked Teams through Week 11
Coastal Carolina +140
Ohio State +100
Wisconsin +84
Georgia +79
Mississippi +57
Oklahoma State +56
Auburn +51
Alabama +44
Michigan +39
Texas San Antonio +34
Texas A&M +30
Cincinnati +30

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 +6 Clemson -6 Virginia Tech -3 Boston College none Louisville none North Carolina State +24 Pittsburgh +28

The worst team on this list is Iowa at -71

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