BoW Merit Index: Week 7

Last week I said I wouldn’t make any changes to the formula mid-season. Well, I’ve decided to¬†eliminate the bias given for just beating a team from a Power 5 conference (which was causing wins over Vanderbilt to look better than they really were) and capped the margin of victory component at 30 points; beating a team by 30 now gets just as many MOV points as beating a team by 50, 70, whatever. Once a winning margin is above 30, it really doesn’t prove a team is marginally any better. I don’t think beating SMU by 56 is any more impressive than beating them by 42, for example. Having said that, here’s the newest top 10, with Week 7 reflecting the changes. The changes are applied to every game this season, but I’m not going to retroactively change the top 10 from previous weeks. It has helped some teams, but didn’t really hurt anyone that much. Marshall is interesting; I think they will slip down as other teams rack up more impressive wins (I do still account for the strength of the opponent, and beating a good Power 5 team is worth a lot more than beating a good mid-major).

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Week1 Temple Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas State Nebraska Memphis Pittsburgh Arizona Baylor Middle Tennessee
Week2 Brigham Young Texas A&M Oklahoma Mississippi Baylor Auburn Notre Dame Arizona State Pittsburgh Temple
Week3 Texas A&M Baylor Mississippi Oklahoma Brigham Young Pittsburgh Alabama Notre Dame Mississippi State Arizona State
Week4 Texas A&M Oklahoma Alabama Baylor Brigham Young Mississippi State Arkansas Mississippi Duke Auburn
Week5 Texas A&M Baylor Nebraska Oklahoma UCLA Brigham Young Alabama Mississippi Auburn Texas Christian
Week6 Baylor Texas A&M Auburn UCLA Ohio State Mississippi State Mississippi Marshall Oklahoma Florida State
Week7 Mississippi State Mississippi Marshall Baylor Auburn Oklahoma Florida State Texas A&M Oregon Georgia
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BoW Merit Index: Week 6

A weekend filled with upsets caused a huge shakeup, as teams in slots 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 all lost. Strangely, UCLA was able to move up a spot despite losing due to increased value in prior victories, and TCU moves out of the top 10 despite a nice victory over Oklahoma (TCU has only played 4 games, so the smaller sample size is hurting them. They only fell to number 12, though). I have considered some formula changes to the margin of victory component of the index, but I don’t want to implement any change mid-season. I will re-evaluate at the end and apply revisions for 2015.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Week1 Temple Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas State Nebraska Memphis Pittsburgh Arizona Baylor Middle Tennessee
Week2 Brigham Young Texas A&M Oklahoma Mississippi Baylor Auburn Notre Dame Arizona State Pittsburgh Temple
Week3 Texas A&M Baylor Mississippi Oklahoma Brigham Young Pittsburgh Alabama Notre Dame Mississippi State Arizona State
Week4 Texas A&M Oklahoma Alabama Baylor Brigham Young Mississippi State Arkansas Mississippi Duke Auburn
Week5 Texas A&M Baylor Nebraska Oklahoma UCLA Brigham Young Alabama Mississippi Auburn Texas Christian
Week6 Baylor Texas A&M Auburn UCLA Ohio State Mississippi State Mississippi Marshall Oklahoma Florida State

BoW Merit Index: Week 5

Texas A&M retains the top spot, followed by 3 more former Big Twelve schools. UCLA earned the most valuable win of the season to date when they won by 35 at Arizona State this week. BYU is running out of opportunities to score big points on the index this season, and will slowly fade from the top 10 even if they continue to win. Nebraska climbs all the way to #3 as they join A&M as the only 2 teams with 5 wins thus far. TCU is the lone team in the top 10 with less than 4 wins, but they’ve made each one count enough so far to warrant their high index placement.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Week1 Temple Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas State Nebraska Memphis Pittsburgh Arizona Baylor Middle Tennessee
Week2 Brigham Young Texas A&M Oklahoma Mississippi Baylor Auburn Notre Dame Arizona State Pittsburgh Temple
Week3 Texas A&M Baylor Mississippi Oklahoma Brigham Young Pittsburgh Alabama Notre Dame Mississippi State Arizona State
Week4 Texas A&M Oklahoma Alabama Baylor Brigham Young Mississippi State Arkansas Mississippi Duke Auburn
Week5 Texas A&M Baylor Nebraska Oklahoma UCLA Brigham Young Alabama Mississippi Auburn Texas Christian

BoW Merit Index: Week 4

The SEC is really starting to show their dominance over the rest of the country, as 6 (six!) SEC teams are now in the BoW top 10. Keep in mind this index has no bias; it is using a purely data-driven algorithm to determine which teams have had the most impressive results to this point in the season. Texas A&M remains in the top spot, and has widened their margin over 2nd place after a blowout win on the road against (albeit winless) mid-major SMU. Not reflected in the list below but still worth mentioning is the top-ranked mid-major (aside from Independent BYU) is Marshall, coming in at number 11 this week.

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Week1 Temple Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas State Nebraska Memphis Pittsburgh Arizona Baylor Middle Tennessee
Week2 Brigham Young Texas A&M Oklahoma Mississippi Baylor Auburn Notre Dame Arizona State Pittsburgh Temple
Week3 Texas A&M Baylor Mississippi Oklahoma Brigham Young Pittsburgh Alabama Notre Dame Mississippi State Arizona State
Week4 Texas A&M Oklahoma Alabama Baylor Brigham Young Mississippi State Arkansas Mississippi Duke Auburn

BoW Merit Index: Week 3

The noise in the merit index is starting to fade as more data comes in. Teams that are passing the eyeball test are rising to the top, and mid-majors are quickly fading as their schedules begin to shift towards conference play. The only non-Power 5 team remaining in the top 10 is BYU, who has had multiple impressive wins. Their merit index score will fall as their schedule strength fades, but perhaps keeping the winning streak alive will be enough to stay in the top 10 a few more weeks.

 

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Week1 Temple Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas State Nebraska Memphis Pittsburgh Arizona Baylor Middle Tennessee
Week2 Brigham Young Texas A&M Oklahoma Mississippi Baylor Auburn Notre Dame Arizona State Pittsburgh Temple
Week3 Texas A&M Baylor Mississippi Oklahoma Brigham Young Pittsburgh Alabama Notre Dame Mississippi State Arizona State

New method: BoW Merit Index

After yesterday’s atrocious display across the entire Big Ten, it is obvious that a reverse preconception bias won’t be enough to convince anyone the Big Ten is the strongest conference. I’m scrapping that idea altogether and will henceforth publish my work-in-progress ranking system. I was really hoping to test this for a year before publishing anything, in case the results came out too ridiculous. However, I want to remain involved in the process, and I do like what I’m seeing with it so far. Therefore, I will publish the top 10 each week of my newly minted college football Merit Index. This method uses only results on the field this season, and rewards teams that have wins over successful teams. All losses are considered equal, but all wins are given a value that will grow as the season progresses. Some wins may start off as valuable, such as a blowout win at home over a mid-major program. Others may start small but will grow to have immense value, such as LSU’s win over Wisconsin. I won’t reveal my formula here; only the weekly results. I may from time to time mention a particular game’s value, and at the end of the season will list off the 10 most valuable wins of the year.

The top 10 in the BoW Merit Index will have a lot of noise early in the season, but this will quickly resolve itself as more games are played. Week 1 looks a bit ridiculous, but already in week 2 I am seeing signs that this will produce a legitimate measure of which teams have performed the best to that point. Here are the top 10 lists from week 1 and week 2:

 

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10
Week1 Temple Texas A&M Mississippi State Texas State Nebraska Memphis Pittsburgh Arizona Baylor Middle Tennessee
Week2 Brigham Young Texas A&M Oklahoma Mississippi Baylor Auburn Notre Dame Arizona State Pittsburgh Temple

 

BoW Week 1 Poll

Carrying forward the Big Ten preconception bias, the BoW Top 25 for Week 1:

Rank Team Record Result
1 Florida State 1-0 Beat unranked Oklahoma St
2 Ohio State 1-0 Beat unranked Navy
3 Oregon 1-0 Beat unranked South Dakota
4 Oklahoma 1-0 Beat unranked La Tech
5 Alabama 1-0 Beat unranked West Virginia
6 Michigan State 1-0 Beat unranked Jacksonville St
7 UCLA 1-0 Beat unranked Virginia
8 Auburn 1-0 Beat unranked Arkansas
9 Baylor 1-0 Beat unranked SMU
10 Stanford 1-0 Beat unranked UC Davis
11 Nebraska 1-0 Beat unranked Florida Atlantic
12 Iowa 1-0 Beat unranked N Iowa
13 USC 1-0 Beat unranked Fresno St
14 LSU 1-0 Beat previously 9 Wisconsin
15 Georgia 1-0 Beat previously 16 Clemson
16 Notre Dame 1-0 Beat unranked Rice
17 Michigan 1-0 Beat unranked App St
18 Arizona State 1-0 Beat unranked Weber St
19 Kansas State 1-0 Beat unranked SF Austin
20 North Carolina 1-0 Beat unranked Liberty
21 Penn State 1-0 Beat unranked UCF
21 Minnesota 1-0 Beat unranked E Illinois
23 Texas 1-0 Beat unranked N Texas
24 Duke 1-0 Beat unranked Elon
25 Louisville 1-0 Beat unranked Miami FL