Student creates algorithm to rank college football teams


Tyler Perez

This rating system is relatively simple compared to other complex college football computer algorithms. It is imperfect, and with any rating system it is no doubt going to have some head scratchers.

However, the beauty of this system is that it ranks teams based on their cumulative performances thus far throughout the season. It is meant to be a number to measure a team’s overall performance thus far. It is based on three factors W-L percent, (Strength of Schedule) and (Schedule/Outlier Adjusted Margin of Victory).

Factor 1: Win Loss percent

This one is the most simple of the three, as there are no adjustments made. It is simply a team’s Wins divided by their total games played.

Factor 2: Strength of Schedule

Strength of schedule metrics come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on which metric you use, a team like Oklahoma could have one of the 10 toughest schedules in the country or one that is ranked in the hundreds. Mine is simple; however I am planning on making adjustments to it in order to make it so a 7-5 Iowa State team is not worth the same in one’s SOS as an 7-5 Wyoming Team.

There are adjustments that currently exist in my model to deal with this facet, however they do not seem to fully adjust for it.

The SOS Metric is determined by ⅔ of a team’s opponents W-L percent + ⅓ of their opponent’s opponent’s W-L percent.  The number attained after this is weighted by a factor of 1.6 in order to give more emphasis on a team’s SOS.

Factor 3: Schedule/Outlier Adjusted Margin of Victory:

The Margin of Victory is no doubt the most controversial metric in terms of advanced algorithms. Some metrics such as Colley do not factor it in at all and other models are entirely based on MOV like SRS. My formula takes it into account by weighting it in order to not give it too much of an impact. The catalyst for this being that at the end of the day, football is about winning no matter the final score.

There is no doubt that if two teams beat a common opponent but one team blows them out of the water by 35 points, while the other wins by three; the blowout is a much better indicator of relative strength.

My model averages the mean scoring margin vs. FBS teams with the median MOV in order to adjust for outlier performances. This is averaged with the average median and mean MOV of their opponents to adjust for strength of opponents. However, the SOS aspect of the metric is weighted greater than the team’s own MOV.national title in program history.

Week 14 Top 40 According to Algorithm:

1. Georgia Bulldogs 11-1  SEC  Rating: 67.01

2. Wisconsin Badgers 12-0 Big 10 Rating: 66.39

3. Auburn Tigers 10-2 SEC Rating: 66.19

4. Alabama Crimson Tide 11-1 SEC Rating: 65.05

5. Ohio State Buckeyes 10-2 Big 10 Rating: 64.81

6. UCF Knights 11-0 AAC Rating: 64.64

7. Clemson Tigers 11-1 ACC Rating: 64.59

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 9-3 Ind Rating: 63.96

9. Penn State Nittany Lions 10-2 Big 10 Rating: 63.87

10. Oklahoma Sooners 11-1 Big 12 Rating: 62.12

11. Washington Huskies 10-2 PAC 12 Rating: 60.24

12. Miami Hurricanes 10-1 ACC Rating: 60.00

13. USC Trojans 10-2 PAC 12 Rating: 59.86

14. TCU Horned Frogs 10-2 Big 12 Rating: 58.45

15. Memphis Tigers 10-1 AAC Rating: 58.36

16. Stanford Cardinal 9-3 PAC 12 Rating: 58.04

17. Michigan State Spartans 9-3 Big 10 Rating: 57.65

18. FAU Owls 9-3 C-USA Rating: 55.34

19. Iowa Hawkeyes 7-5 Big 10 Rating: 55.10

20. Boise State Broncos 9-3 MWC Rating: 55.03

21. Northwestern Wildcats 9-3 Big 10 Rating: 54.93

22. Washington State Cougars 9-3 PAC 12 Rating: 54.82

23. Michigan Wolverines 8-4 Big 10 Rating: 54.19

24. Toledo Rockets 10-2 MAC Rating: 54.64

25. Miss State Bulldogs 8-4 SEC Rating: 54.19

26. LSU Tigers 9-3 SEC Rating: 53.78

27. San Diego State Aztecs 10-2 MWC Rating: 53.67

28. Virginia Tech Hokies ACC 9-3 Rating: 53.65

29. NC State Wolfpack ACC 8-4 Rating: 52.99

30. Oklahoma State Cowboys Big 12 9-3 Rating: 52.98

31. Boston College Eagles ACC 7-5 Rating: 51.60

32. South Carolina Gamecocks SEC 8-4 Rating: 51.04

33. Fresno State Bulldogs MWC 9-3 Rating: 50.81

34. Arizona State Sun Devils PAC 12 7-5 Rating: 50.19

35. North Texas Mean Green C-USA 9-3 Rating: 49.99

36. Wake Forest Demon Deacons ACC 7-5 Rating: 49.96

37. Louisville Cardinals ACC 8-4 Rating: 49.39

38.Iowa State Cyclones Big 12 7-5 Rating: 49.37

39. Navy Midshipmen AAC 6-5 Rating: 48.69

40. USF Bulls AAC 9-2 Rating: 48.54