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Football Frontier College Ratings

Since 1997, Solecismic Software has published a college football rating system. The system is designed to predict games, and has predicted the winner of Division I-A contests about 70% of the time.

The system received an overhaul for the 2007 season. As before, the system takes into account the final score of the game, but the law of diminishing returns applies. A couple of late touchdowns in a blowout have no effect on a team's ranking.

Starting in 2007, key statistics from each game are factored into the system. This should result in more dominant teams rising more quickly in the ratings, and will allow more precision in predicting scores.

RankTeamConf.RecordSchedule
Strength
Rating
1Ohio StateB1014-1998.4
2Texas ChristianB1212-16197.3
3OregonP1213-22696.7
4GeorgiaSEC10-31695.8
5Michigan StateB1011-25395.1
6AlabamaSEC12-2494.7
7ClemsonACC10-32991.5
8Boise State MW12-27089.0
9MarshallUSA13-110888.9
10MissouriSEC11-32188.8
11UCLAP1210-3588.4
12Georgia TechACC11-31588.2
13MississippiSEC9-4287.1
14BaylorB1211-26386.9
15WisconsinB1011-35786.1
16ArkansasSEC7-6385.8
17Mississippi StateSEC10-33485.2
18AuburnSEC8-5184.9
19Arizona StateP1210-34984.3
20Southern CaliforniaP129-41484.3
21Florida StateACC13-11183.5
22UtahP129-43182.1
23OklahomaB128-53381.4
24Louisiana StateSEC8-51081.2
25LouisvilleACC9-43880.3
26StanfordP128-52778.7
27Louisiana TechUSA9-56877.3
28Kansas StateB129-43075.5
29Air Force MW10-310374.0
30FloridaSEC7-52873.6
31North Carolina StateACC8-55273.4
32MemphisAAC10-39772.9
33ArizonaP1210-41972.8
34NebraskaB109-45870.6
35Notre DameInd8-51269.9
36Colorado State MW10-38267.6
37Utah State MW10-49067.6
38Boston CollegeACC7-64867.5
39Texas A&MSEC8-5666.5
40TennesseeSEC7-6866.2
41Virginia TechACC7-65166.2
42MinnesotaB108-54664.1
43Miami (Florida)ACC6-72464.1
44Brigham YoungInd8-57563.9
45South CarolinaSEC7-62363.3
46Penn StateB107-65963.1
47Northern IllinoisMAC11-311162.9
48West VirginiaB127-63761.4
49CincinnatiAAC9-48760.5
50RutgersB108-54559.7
51Oklahoma StateB127-64459.1
52Georgia Southern SB9-312159.0
53ToledoMAC9-411357.5
54DukeACC9-47956.0
55RiceUSA8-59155.9
56Central FloridaAAC9-49955.5
57MichiganB105-71753.8
58Louisiana - Lafayette SB9-410053.2
59Western KentuckyUSA8-58453.0
60WashingtonP128-66552.3
61VirginiaACC5-72551.8
62NavyInd7-56951.0
63MarylandB107-63550.0
64Nevada MW7-68850.0
65East CarolinaAAC8-510449.9
66HoustonAAC8-511849.9
67North CarolinaACC6-72249.8
68IowaB107-67448.2
69PittsburghACC6-76648.1
70Alabama - BirminghamUSA6-67746.1
71NorthwesternB105-75445.8
72KentuckySEC5-72044.3
73San Diego State MW7-610942.4
74IllinoisB106-74041.4
75TexasB126-71341.4
76CaliforniaP125-73941.3
77Texas - El PasoUSA7-68940.8
78Western MichiganMAC8-511640.0
79Oregon StateP125-75639.9
80IndianaB104-85039.5
81Texas TechB124-83238.8
82Arkansas State SB7-611238.1
83Middle Tennessee StateUSA6-67237.1
84Appalachian State SB7-512636.8
85Iowa StateB122-104734.6
86Old DominionUSA6-68633.8
87Texas State SB7-512733.7
88SyracuseACC3-94332.6
89TempleAAC6-69830.6
90OhioMAC6-611930.5
91Central MichiganMAC7-612330.4
92Bowling GreenMAC8-610630.2
93Washington StateP123-9727.6
94ColoradoP122-101826.1
95Wyoming MW4-86225.6
96VanderbiltSEC3-94225.3
97AkronMAC5-712424.7
98KansasB123-93624.4
99PurdueB103-95524.2
100New Mexico MW4-87623.8
101Wake ForestACC3-94123.4
102Florida InternationalUSA4-810723.2
103South Alabama SB6-710222.1
104Florida AtlanticUSA3-97320.5
105ArmyInd4-811520.0
106South FloridaAAC4-88519.7
107Texas - San AntonioUSA4-87818.2
108Louisiana - Monroe SB4-89318.0
109Fresno State MW6-86417.9
110BuffaloMAC5-612817.7
111Ball StateMAC5-712516.7
112TulaneAAC3-97114.8
113Southern MississippiUSA3-96014.3
114Miami (Ohio)MAC2-1010113.4
115North TexasUSA4-811413.3
116Troy SB3-911012.4
117Hawai'i MW4-910511.3
118San Jose State MW3-98011.1
119Kent StateMAC2-9959.1
120MassachusettsMAC3-91208.0
121TulsaAAC2-10837.9
122Nevada - Las Vegas MW2-11816.1
123ConnecticutAAC2-10965.4
124Southern MethodistAAC1-11673.6
125New Mexico State SB2-101223.1
126Eastern MichiganMAC2-10943.0
127Idaho SB1-101172.6
128Georgia State SB1-11922.0

Explanation of Football Frontier Ratings

The ratings system is based on an assessment of each game played between two Division I-A college football teams.

The final score matters, but since the game score is curved using a "normal" distribution and there's a limit to how high a game score a team can achieve, running up the score doesn't make much difference.

A home-field advantage is built into the system, and a team's ranking in several key offensive and defensive statistics is built into the system. To further mitigate the effects of luck in a final score, the team's strength of schedule is also factored in.

Once the game scores have been adjusted, I set up a grid of all 126 Division I-A teams and compare each team to every other team, passing through as many relevant game scores as possible. The algorithm will use as many as seven steps to make a comparison between two teams. Shorter links, with the shortest being an actual game between the two teams, are given precedence over longer links.

I then rate the teams based on the percentage of favorable comparisons between teams. A perfect score of 100 means that team has a positive game score in comparison to all 125 possible Division I-A opponents, as well as a maximum score in the offense and defense ratings.

For the first six weeks of the season, last year's rating, modified by the number of returning starters, is used as a diminishing portion of each team's rating.

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