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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
1AlabamaSEC3-0497.2
2OklahomaB123-05795.3
3Mississippi StateSEC3-01091.7
4Florida StateACC2-02791.1
5AuburnSEC2-0290.7
6Ohio StateB102-13487.6
7Notre DameInd3-0685.9
8NebraskaB103-07785.5
9ArizonaP123-02384.7
10MississippiSEC3-01884.6
11Texas A&MSEC3-0384.4
12PittsburghACC3-05380.9
13Virginia TechACC2-14980.8
14Brigham YoungInd3-08580.1
15OregonP123-05579.2
16FloridaSEC2-02579.2
17UCLAP123-01978.8
18GeorgiaSEC1-14778.8
19South CarolinaSEC2-11378.2
20MarshallUSA3-011277.2
21MichiganB102-13177.0
22East CarolinaAAC2-19276.9
23Oklahoma StateB122-12475.8
24ArkansasSEC2-1172.9
25Penn StateB103-06572.1
26Northern IllinoisMAC3-011571.1
27SyracuseACC2-02170.8
28WashingtonP123-07070.1
29MissouriSEC3-03769.7
30Louisiana StateSEC3-0569.3
31NavyInd2-18368.7
32Southern CaliforniaP122-11467.2
33Texas ChristianB122-06366.8
34Kansas StateB122-03966.5
35Oregon StateP122-06766.2
36West VirginiaB122-12865.5
37UtahP122-03065.3
38Michigan StateB101-15165.0
39Texas - San AntonioUSA1-27265.0
40LouisvilleACC2-13864.4
41Arizona StateP123-04164.0
42North Carolina StateACC3-06163.2
43CincinnatiAAC1-09962.0
44DukeACC3-07461.8
45North CarolinaACC2-0961.7
46Texas TechB122-14561.2
47Boston CollegeACC2-15459.7
48Boise State MW2-19059.6
49VirginiaACC2-1759.2
50Central MichiganMAC2-111958.9
51Nevada MW2-18157.2
52ClemsonACC1-14355.7
53Georgia TechACC3-02955.3
54MinnesotaB102-15055.3
55Florida AtlanticUSA1-24255.0
56South Alabama SB1-110554.7
57Alabama - BirminghamUSA2-17154.6
58Central FloridaAAC0-29454.4
59RiceUSA0-25654.1
60KentuckySEC2-13252.1
61MarylandB102-13551.8
62Miami (Florida)ACC2-1851.8
63StanfordP122-11751.5
64WisconsinB101-17951.2
65IowaB102-16649.2
66NorthwesternB100-22647.5
67CaliforniaP122-02247.3
68BaylorB123-06245.8
69TennesseeSEC2-11245.8
70MemphisAAC1-110245.8
71Louisiana TechUSA2-16045.4
72Middle Tennessee StateUSA2-16943.9
73PurdueB101-25843.7
74RutgersB102-13343.6
75San Jose State MW1-17542.9
76TexasB121-21142.5
77HoustonAAC1-210342.1
78ToledoMAC1-210741.3
79IndianaB101-14439.8
80Old DominionUSA2-18938.9
81Texas - El PasoUSA2-18238.6
82Wyoming MW2-18638.4
83San Diego State MW1-19138.4
84Texas State SB1-112437.9
85Fresno State MW0-36837.6
86Bowling GreenMAC2-112737.3
87Iowa StateB121-25236.4
88Nevada - Las Vegas MW1-27334.4
89TempleAAC1-18434.3
90Western KentuckyUSA1-25934.3
91Hawai'i MW1-29833.6
92IllinoisB102-14033.3
93Air Force MW2-111733.3
94Southern MississippiUSA1-24832.9
95Ball StateMAC1-212132.9
96Florida InternationalUSA1-27632.7
97Georgia Southern SB1-210832.6
98Louisiana - Monroe SB2-110431.4
99AkronMAC1-111631.2
100Colorado State MW2-110929.4
101Utah State MW2-110628.9
102Louisiana - Lafayette SB1-211328.6
103OhioMAC1-211028.0
104KansasB121-11527.3
105Western MichiganMAC1-110126.8
106Appalachian State SB1-112324.7
107South FloridaAAC1-29324.6
108Washington StateP121-21624.4
109Arkansas State SB1-212223.6
110North TexasUSA1-28723.0
111TulsaAAC1-28022.3
112ColoradoP121-22021.3
113Troy SB0-311121.2
114VanderbiltSEC1-23620.2
115Idaho SB0-212019.6
116New Mexico MW0-29719.5
117TulaneAAC1-27818.9
118Miami (Ohio)MAC0-38818.3
119ConnecticutAAC1-210017.8
120Kent StateMAC0-39516.5
121New Mexico State SB2-112516.2
122ArmyInd1-112615.6
123Eastern MichiganMAC1-29612.8
124BuffaloMAC1-212811.1
125Georgia State SB1-211410.7
126Wake ForestACC1-24610.2
127Southern MethodistAAC0-26410.0
128MassachusettsMAC0-31186.1

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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