Against Ranked teams Week 8


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.

I didn’t do that for this year’s football season because with some conferences opting out and then opting back in later in the seasons, the rankings were a mess. But everybody is playing basketball now, or trying to, so I’ve decided to keep track of performances against ranked teams in this sport. I’ve decided to add an extra wrinkle: I will keep track of the performances of the ranked teams themselves by totaling the points earned against them, with the +/- reversed. This will measure their performance “as a ranked team” We’ll see how that goes and I’ll decide whether to continue with that.

(First alteration: When ranked teams play each other, their only points will be under the first test. Otherwise the Gonzaga-Kansas game would look like this:
Gonzaga beat #6 Kansas 102-90: Gonzaga +32 Kansas -32
Kansas lost to #1 Gonzaga 90-102: Kansas +13 Gonzaga -13
That would give Gonzaga +19 points and Kansas -19 points. They should both get credit for playing each other in a competitive game. Giving Gonzaga +32 points and Kansas +13 makes more sense.)

WEEK EIGHT (1/12-18)
DePaul lost to #25 Connecticut 53-60 DePaul -6 Connecticut +6
Oklahoma State beat #6 Kansas 75-70 Oklahoma State +25 Kansas -25
Michigan beat #9 Wisconsin 77-54: Michigan +40 both ranked
Wisconsin lost to #7 Michigan 54-77: Wisconsin -4 both ranked
Virginia Tech beat #19 Duke 74-67: Virginia Tech +14 both ranked
Duke lost to #20 Virginia Tech 67-74: Duke -1 both ranked
Texas Tech beat #4 Texas 79-77: Texas Tech +24 both ranked
Texas lost to #15 Texas Tech 77-79: Texas +9 both ranked
Wake Forest lost to #16 Louisville 65-77: Wake Forest -2 Louisville +2
Notre Dame lost to #18 Virginia 68-80: Notre Dame -4 Virginia +4
Northwestern lost to #21 Ohio State 71-81: Northwestern -5 Ohio State +5
Pepperdine lost to #1 Gonzaga 70-95: Pepperdine 0 Gonzaga 0
Rutgers lost to #9 Wisconsin 54-60: Rutgers +11 Wisconsin -11
St. Mary’s lost to #1 Gonzaga 59-73: St. Mary’s +11 Gonzaga -11
Baylor beat #15 Texas Tech 68-60: Baylor +19 both ranked
Texas Tech lost to #2 Baylor 60-68: Texas Tech +16 both ranked
Kansas State lost to #4 Texas 67-82: Kansas State +7 Texas -7
Minnesota beat #7 Michigan 75-57: Minnesota +37 both ranked
Michigan lost to #23 Minnesota 57-75: Michigan -15 both ranked
Butler beat #8 Creighton 70-66: Butler +22 Creighton -22
Vanderbilt lost to #10 Tennessee 61-81: Vanderbilt -4 Tennessee +4
Virginia beat #12 Clemson 85-50: Virginia +49 both ranked
Clemson lost #18 Virginia 50-85: Clemson -27 both ranked
Ohio State beat #14 Illinois 87-81: Ohio State +18 both ranked
Illinois lost to #21 Ohio State 81-87: Illinois -1 both ranked
U of Miami beat #16 Louisville 78-72: U of Miami +16 Louisville -16
Texas A&M lost to #17 Missouri 52-68: Texas A&M -7 Missouri +7
Central Florida lost to #11 Houston 58-75: Central Florida -2 Houston +2
Wake Forest lost to #20 Virginia Tech 60-64: Wake Forest +2 Virginia Tech -2
Northwestern lost to #5 Iowa 73-96: Northwestern -2 Iowa +2

After recording these scores, I’m not sure how I feel about the new stat. it gives too much credit for blow-out wins over over-matched opponents. But everyone plays games like that and maybe teams that don’t blow-out over-matched opponents should be debited for that by not getting as much credit. I’m also worried that the points accumulated against unranked teams might be more prolific than the points against ranked teams because that would be more games. What I’ll do is to keep track of them separately and also add them together. That way, if I decide I don’t like the new stat, I can just report the points “against ranked teams”.

Gonzaga +109
Minnesota +103
Iowa +98
Texas +95
Michigan +86
Kansas +80
Wisconsin +80
West Virginia +72
Oklahoma State +64
Texas Tech +58

Texas Tech +137
Ohio State +110
Illinois +69
Iowa +65
Virginia +49
Baylor +43
Tennessee +37
Texas +32
Rutgers +32
North Carolina +28

Texas Tech +195
Iowa +163
Ohio State +141
Illinois +123
Gonzaga +120
Texas +120
Michigan +104
Minnesota +103
Virginia +96
Baylor +86

Syracuse has played one ranked opponent, Rutgers, who, although no longer ranked, was ranked #21 when we played them. We lost to them by 10 points and so, under this system, we’ve got -5 points. Our remaining scheduled opponents are:
U of Miami +16
Virginia Tech +39
Virginia +96
North Carolina State +7
Louisville -28
Clemson -24
North Carolina State +7
Boston College +10
Louisville -28
Notre Dame -21
Duke +19
Georgia Tech +21
North Carolina +45
To the extent that these numbers mean anything, we could be looking at a 4-9 finish, which wo0uld put us at 11-13. Hopefully they won’t mean that.

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