Against Ranked Teams - Football - After Week 12 |

Against Ranked Teams - Football - After Week 12


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 12 (11/19-20)
Ohio State beat #7 Michigan State 56-7 Ohio State +68 both ranked
Utah beat #3 Oregon 38-7 Utah +54 both ranked
Clemson beat #10 Wake Forest 48-27 Clemson +37 Wake Forest -37
Arkansas lost to #2 Alabama 35-42 Arkansas +17 both ranked
Alabama beat #21 Arkansas 42-35 Alabama +12 both ranked
Iowa State lost to #13 Oklahoma 21-28 Iowa State +6 Oklahoma -6
Kansas State lost to #11 Baylor 10-20 Kansas State +5 Baylor -5
Nebraska lost to #15 Wisconsin 28-35 Nebraska +4 Wisconsin -4
Ala-Birmingham lost to #22 Texas-San Antonio 31-34 Ala-Birmingham +1 Texas-SA -1
Vanderbilt lost to #12 Mississippi 17-31 Vanderbilt 0 Mississippi 0
Illinois lost to #17 Iowa 23-33 Illinois -1 Iowa +1
Nevada-Las Vegas lost to #19 San Diego State 20-28 Nevada-Las Vegas -1 San Diego State +1
Virginia lost to #18 Pittsburgh 38-48 Virginia -2 Pittsburgh +2
Georgia Southern lost to #14 Brigham Young 17-34 Georgia Southern -5 Brigham Young +5
Texas Tech lost to #9 Oklahoma State 0-23 Texas Tech -6 Oklahoma State +6
Southern Methodist lost to #5 Cincinnati 14-48 Southern Methodist -13 Cincinnati +13
Memphis lost to #24 Houston 13-31 Memphis -16 Houston +16
Syracuse lost to #20 North Carolina State 17-41 Syracuse -18 N C State +18
Maryland lost to #6 Michigan 18-59 Maryland -21 Michigan +21
Charleston Southern lost to #1 Georgia 7-56 Charleston Southern-24 Georgia +24
Michigan State lost to #4 Ohio State 7-56 Michigan State -27 both ranked
Oregon lost to #23 Utah 7-38 Oregon -28 both ranked
Georgia Tech lost to #8 Notre Dame 0-55 Georgia Tech -37 Notre Dame +37
Prairie View A&M lost to #16 Texas A&M 3-52 Prairie View A&M-39 Texas A&M +39
Tennessee State lost to #25 Mississippi State 10-55 Tennessee State -44 Mississippi State +44

Comments: Ohio State’s win over Michigan State was easily the best performance against a ranked team this season and this was the second straight week they’ve ‘won’.

Top 10 Against Ranked Teams through Week 11
Georgia +149
Ohio State +125
Alabama +107
Iowa +89
Arkansas +83
Penn State +80
Utah +76
Purdue +69
Mississippi State +61
Texas A&M +59

Syracuse is at -14 after the North Carolina State game.
SU’s opponents: Ohio none Rutgers -71 Albany none Liberty -3 Florida State +7 Wake Forest +13 Clemson +37 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
Georgia +105
Ohio State +100
Wisconsin +79
Texas A&M +69
Oklahoma State +62
Mississippi +57
Auburn +51
Alabama +44
Cincinnati +43

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 -31 Clemson -6 Virginia Tech -3 Boston College none Louisville none North Carolina State +42 Pittsburgh +30

The worst team on this list is Iowa at -70

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