I can appreciate how formulas and computers and data analysis can tell you that Arkansas is still a Top 25 team, despite its home loss to Toledo.
I can also appreciate if we choose to eliminate a team’s actual accomplishments on the field, in terms of wins and losses, then we do a disservice to genuine evaluation. Coaches are judged on wins and losses. When your team goes 9-4, as a fan, you end up enjoying that (as a general rule) a great deal more than 6-7. Statistically, those teams might be equal on paper, but I know which team’s performance I value more as a fan.
That said, you can take this thought too far, as the traditional polls and the playoff committee tend to do. Wins against ranked teams? That’s an attempt to rank based on accomplishment … but without truly taking into account which teams are the most talented or efficient. It’s just a simple-minded way to do things. “Team X is ranked so it must be good.” Well, um, maybe?
So I’m going to take emotion out of the equation. Let’s do something fairly novel here, and use the advanced stats to provide a baseline, then evaluate our teams based on how they performed against their schedules. Do BOTH. (This shouldn’t be all that novel, but it is.)
I am tentatively calling this the Achievement Index.
Continue reading A reasonable ranking of college football teams after Week 2