Dissecting CFN.com's Strength of Schedule Feature

Discussion in 'The Tiger's Den' started by TejasTiger, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. TejasTiger

    TejasTiger Founding Member

    Sep 16, 2003
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    CFN.com's preseaon strength of schedule report

    Scratching my head big time over the fact that the SEC is severely penalized in this process.

    My initial guess is that, because they beat the crap out of one another for 8 games a year, most SEC teams go very soft in at least 1, if not more, of the remaining non-conference games (e.g., Ga. Southern, La. Monroe, W. Carolina, Middle Tenn. St, Eastern Kentucky).

    Add to this the fact that these games are played at home and, using CFN's scoring, the SoS soars---enough to offset the fact that the conference schedule is absolutely murderous.

    This theory seems to be borne out by the fact that the SEC ranks only fifth (!) in SoS. The SEC is not merely behind the Pac-10, they're three spots behind on the list.

    Yes, this is just a preseason list, based on preseason rankings, but does anybody *really* think that, top to bottom, SEC teams facing one another have an easier time than Pac-10 teams facing off?

  2. TejasTiger

    TejasTiger Founding Member

    Sep 16, 2003
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    By the way, I did the math and, if Vagina Tech had not backed out of the game this year, LSU's SoS in this report would be #44, not #64.

    Though difficult to say with total certainly, one could reasonably assume that, if Va. Tech sticks to its word and plays LSU to open this season, the Troy Boys would have faced a lower-caliber opponent in the kickoff game (read: worse SoS rating) , if they'd been able to find an opponent at all.

    (*Edit: Sorry, that's a little off. That should read Houston and not Va. Tech. Since I'm editing this anyways, LSU would still rank noticeably higher than the current #64 if you factor in Va. Tech and Houston instead of Oregon St. and Ark. St.)
  3. Maderan

    Maderan Founding Member

    Feb 4, 2004
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    Stupid system.

    The way it works gives you a huge advantage if you are playing weak teams for your away games.

    They cut the points they add in half for away games. So by facing Georgia, Florida, and Auburn on the road we are at a disadvantage because they are good teams. It works like this. Georgia is like a 4 on their scale so cut that in half and you get 2 points added to our SOS. Then we play Troy state at home and they add like 50 to our score. So we wind up with 52. Only a 2 point difference. If we played Georgia at home (4 points for us) and Troy State away (half their 50 is 25) we wind up with a total of 29.

    It is a stupid system that rewards you for playing in weaker conferences and keeping your easy games on the road.
  4. MarcusQuinn

    MarcusQuinn Founding Member

    Aug 3, 2004
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    Sent to the CFN Mailbag, fyi...

    "I usually laud CFN because I find it the most intelligent, entertaining college football coverage out there. But what the heck happened with the Strength of Schedule rankings? Are you just looking for some heated debate by putting out a clearly incorrect analysis of schedules? UAB at 39 and LSU at 64? LSU's three toughest games are against consensus Nos. 5, 13 and 15 on the road. UAB's three toughest games are against consensus Nos. 7, 43, and 80. How is that schedule tougher? Would LSU have a tougher schedule if they played Houston and USF at home instead of Troy State and Arkansas State? Maybe the margin of victory is closer to 21 than 35, but that doesn't make visits to Ga., Fla., or Auburn any easier. Give UAB the schedule LSU has and see how the Won/Loss record would change. They would do better with LSU's easier schedule, right? Doesn't make sense, does it?"

    CFN is usually pretty dead-on with analysis and predictions. Some of those guys have to step up and admit how god awful this analysis is.....
  5. DarkHornet

    DarkHornet Louisiana Sports Fan

    Sep 24, 2003
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    It's a very flawed system as TejasTiger and Maderan pointed out. I would point out that playing VT would have actually made our SOS even worse as they are a few spots behind Oregon State. Remember OSU replaced VT and Arkansas State replaced Houston.

    I think the system would have been a lot better if they would have subtracted a set value for away games instead of one half. As pointed out, You don't get nearly the reward deserved for playing a team like Georgia on the road and WAY to much of a reward for playing a team like Buffalo on the road.
  6. studentsect

    studentsect Founding Member

    Sep 21, 2003
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    But if we switch our hard games to home and our easy games to away.....

    I looked at the formula (really bored today) and there really is a huge flaw in the way the scores are calculated- teams playing high ranked teams on the road are penalized. For instance, by playing UGA away, LSU recieves 2 points, and would recieve 4 for playing them at home.
    By playing Troy St. at home, LSU recieves 50 points instead of 25 if it was at troy state. That means LSU gets 52 points for playing UGA away and Troy at home, and only recives 29 points for playing UGA at home and Troy away.

    SO..switching Troy from BR to troy lowers SOS by 47 points. Switching ARK. St. to away lowers it by 55. Miss State by 42. Vandy by 37.

    BUT..switching the Florida (13), auburn (14), and UGA (3) games to Death Valley only raises it by about 15 points. If we switch Troy, Ark st., Miss. St., and Vandy to away and move Fla, Aub, and Ga. to Tiger stadium, LSU SOS is lowered by 181 (47+55+42+37) and raised by 15 (6.5+1.5+7)

    LSU 47.32(AVGSOS)*11games=520.52 total points

    520.52-181+15=354.52 total points


    So by switching the 4 cupcakes to away and the 3 tough games to home, LSU finishes tied with Fla. State for the 7th toughest SOS.

    Great system.
  7. MarcusQuinn

    MarcusQuinn Founding Member

    Aug 3, 2004
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    And "Petey" of CFN responds:

    "You hit on the argument ... would you rather have a schedule with a few killer teams and some total cupcake games or play a schedule of consistently average teams? UAB doesn't have home dates with Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Troy and Vandy to bring the score down.

    Thanks for your thoughts.


    to which I wrote:

    "If you are a somewhat above average team, but not elite, you can schedule “consistently average teams” and go 11-0. If you schedule 3 top 15 teams and 3 “cupcakes”, you would do well to go 9-2 and likely would be 8-3. And you ask which I would rather have? How is there an argument over which is the harder schedule? "

  8. ramah

    ramah Founding Member

    Sep 13, 2001
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    USC has the 33rd toughest schedule, LSU 64th

    :dis: ... in their dreams ... USC has a cupcake schedule ... again

    11 Maryland 34.03
    12 Indiana 34.35
    13 Duke 34.54
    14 Arkansas 34.57
    15 UCLA 34.63
    16 Michigan 35.05
    17 Ohio State 35.32
    18 South Carolina 35.37
    19 Northwestern 35.54
    20 Georgia Tech 36.06
    21 Virginia 36.26
    T22 Stanford 36.31
    T22 NC State 36.31
    T24 Oklahoma 36.49
    T24 Iowa 36.49
    26 Notre Dame 36.50
    27 Michigan St 36.52
    28 Georgia 36.94
    29 Arizona St 36.96
    30 Washington 37.76
    31 Purdue 37.82
    32 Kentucky 38.33
    33 USC 38.42
    34 Baylor 38.46
    35 California 38.93
    36 Virginia Tech 39.02
    37 Cincinnati 39.16
    38 Penn State 39.30
    39 UAB 39.54
    40 Syracuse 39.64
    41 Vanderbilt 39.65
    42 Wake Forest 39.77
    43 Tennessee 39.81
    44 Washington St 40.57
    45 Temple 40.78
    46 Iowa State 41.34
    47 Ole Miss 41.65
    48 Houston 41.76
    49 Texas 42.64
    50 New Mexico 42.82
    51 Florida 43.31
    52 Southern Miss 43.37
    53 BYU 43.43
    54 Minnesota 43.48
    55 Wisconsin 43.69
    56 Oklahoma St 43.92
    57 Illinois 44.07
    58 Nebraska 44.63
    59 Oregon 45.32
    60 Miss State 45.49
    61 Kansas St 46.76
    62 Alabama 47.04
    63 East Carolina 47.11
    64 LSU 47.32
    65 Missouri 48.70
    66 Pittsburgh 49.03
    67 Louisville 49.47
    68 Louisiana Tech 49.48
    69 Army 49.84
    70 Auburn 49.94
  9. cajdav1

    cajdav1 Soldiers are real hero's

    Dec 26, 2003
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    There system is way off, it doesn't take hardly anything real into account. For instance, playing 3 damn good teams on the road should count for a lot more than playing an easy team on the road. Bookies have shown over the years that home filed is worth approx. 3 points and then they want to cut it in half. Ludicrous system, they didn't put much thought into it.
  10. LSUdude

    LSUdude Founding Member

    Aug 11, 2002
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    Quote from CFN that I agree with,

    On the SEC - The SEC is, of course, strong, but it isn't quite the murderous top-to-bottom league of years past. Even so, the schedules are so brutal for the top teams that it will make a repeat national champion from the league almost impossible. Stick LSU or Georgia in the Pac 10 and give them USC's schedule and they go unbeaten without so much as a scratch. If USC had LSU's road slate playing at Georgia, Auburn, Florida and Arkansas (along with a possible rematch against Georgia in the SEC title game) you could kiss all Trojan Orange Bowl dreams bu-bye. It's easy to forget that LSU, as dominant as it was last year, and Georgia in 2002 each had an SEC loss. If two other BCS teams from other leagues go unbeaten then the SEC is hosed. If you're an SEC fan you should be rioting in the streets over the loss of strength-of-schedule in the BCS formula.


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