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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
1AuburnSEC6-1197.7
2Mississippi StateSEC7-01696.3
3MississippiSEC7-1495.0
4GeorgiaSEC6-12994.9
5AlabamaSEC7-1393.9
6Texas ChristianB126-15793.3
7OregonP127-14992.3
8Kansas StateB126-12892.2
9Florida StateACC7-03091.7
10Louisiana StateSEC7-2891.1
11NebraskaB107-15890.4
12Michigan StateB107-16090.2
13ClemsonACC6-23888.2
14Notre DameInd6-12588.0
15Ohio StateB106-15587.5
16OklahomaB125-23786.4
17UtahP126-13585.3
18UCLAP126-2985.1
19MarshallUSA8-011783.8
20Miami (Florida)ACC5-31982.3
21Arizona StateP126-13981.6
22Boise State MW6-27280.8
23Georgia TechACC6-23180.3
24BaylorB126-16478.5
25ArkansasSEC4-4277.8
26MinnesotaB106-24677.6
27West VirginiaB126-23277.1
28LouisvilleACC6-22477.1
29ArizonaP126-13675.4
30Southern CaliforniaP125-31273.8
31Colorado State MW7-18973.2
32Louisiana TechUSA5-38373.2
33WisconsinB105-26372.9
34MissouriSEC6-24072.2
35Texas A&MSEC5-3671.7
36KentuckySEC5-32769.6
37Boston CollegeACC5-35269.4
38East CarolinaAAC6-111268.9
39DukeACC6-18267.9
40South CarolinaSEC4-41167.8
41StanfordP125-31466.7
42FloridaSEC3-31766.1
43IowaB105-26561.9
44MemphisAAC4-310361.9
45TennesseeSEC3-5560.9
46Oklahoma StateB125-32360.1
47Georgia Southern SB6-211659.8
48Virginia TechACC4-44359.8
49Utah State MW5-38759.2
50WashingtonP125-36258.5
51Nevada MW5-38857.8
52VirginiaACC4-42156.6
53Air Force MW5-210555.8
54Penn StateB104-36655.4
55PittsburghACC4-45155.3
56Oregon StateP124-35655.0
57North Carolina StateACC4-45354.9
58MarylandB105-35054.5
59RutgersB105-34854.1
60Brigham YoungInd4-47853.5
61North CarolinaACC4-4753.0
62CaliforniaP124-44452.2
63MichiganB103-52249.9
64Texas - El PasoUSA4-39248.9
65South Alabama SB5-210047.9
66Middle Tennessee StateUSA5-37447.9
67ToledoMAC5-311847.2
68Central FloridaAAC5-210746.7
69Arkansas State SB4-310846.3
70SyracuseACC3-52645.2
71NavyInd4-47544.0
72RiceUSA4-36743.8
73Louisiana - Lafayette SB4-39643.7
74HoustonAAC4-312343.7
75NorthwesternB103-44543.0
76Northern IllinoisMAC6-212041.6
77Texas TechB123-52041.2
78Central MichiganMAC5-412740.6
79TexasB123-51840.5
80CincinnatiAAC4-38640.4
81IndianaB103-45440.4
82Iowa StateB122-53337.9
83Alabama - BirminghamUSA4-47337.3
84PurdueB103-54136.8
85Western MichiganMAC5-312236.3
86San Diego State MW4-39735.5
87IllinoisB104-44733.4
88AkronMAC4-412632.2
89ColoradoP122-61331.9
90Western KentuckyUSA3-47931.7
91Florida AtlanticUSA3-56930.8
92Florida InternationalUSA3-510629.0
93San Jose State MW3-46827.4
94Washington StateP122-61027.3
95TempleAAC4-310225.0
96Texas State SB4-312524.7
97Old DominionUSA3-59024.6
98Wyoming MW3-56124.0
99Bowling GreenMAC5-311523.6
100Texas - San AntonioUSA2-68123.1
101VanderbiltSEC2-63423.0
102KansasB122-51522.5
103Southern MississippiUSA3-55922.3
104New Mexico MW2-58020.4
105Fresno State MW3-57019.9
106Ball StateMAC3-512119.7
107Louisiana - Monroe SB3-48419.5
108OhioMAC4-510919.0
109Appalachian State SB2-511917.2
110Wake ForestACC2-64217.2
111Hawai'i MW2-69416.3
112ArmyInd2-512415.8
113South FloridaAAC3-59315.3
114TulaneAAC2-57615.1
115North TexasUSA2-610412.7
116Miami (Ohio)MAC2-711012.7
117BuffaloMAC3-512810.4
118MassachusettsMAC2-71138.8
119ConnecticutAAC1-6988.6
120Southern MethodistAAC0-7717.8
121Troy SB1-7996.6
122Kent StateMAC1-71016.3
123Nevada - Las Vegas MW2-6856.2
124TulsaAAC1-6775.7
125Georgia State SB1-7915.5
126Idaho SB1-61144.0
127New Mexico State SB2-61113.6
128Eastern MichiganMAC2-6951.5

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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