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Football Frontier Pro Football 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 and has been expanded to NFL games. 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.

RankTeamRecordSchedule
Strength
Rating
1Dallas13-3.47095.5
2New England14-2.43995.0
3Pittsburgh11-5.49486.4
4Oakland12-4.50381.7
5Atlanta11-5.48079.0
6Kansas City12-4.50778.0
7New York Giants11-5.48672.5
8Denver9-7.54872.4
9Green Bay10-6.50770.9
10Tennessee9-7.46468.2
11Seattle10-5-1.44166.7
12Detroit9-7.47455.2
13Minnesota8-8.49254.8
14Arizona7-8-1.46251.9
15Carolina6-10.51749.1
16Miami10-6.45545.5
17New Orleans7-9.52343.9
18Philadelphia7-9.55842.1
19Indianapolis8-8.49241.5
20Tampa Bay9-7.49241.3
21Houston9-7.50140.6
22Baltimore8-8.49840.3
23Cincinnati6-9-1.52138.9
24Washington8-7-1.51536.2
25Buffalo7-9.48235.6
26San Diego5-11.54218.3
27New York Jets5-11.51715.4
28Los Angeles4-12.50310.6
29Chicago3-13.5218.5
30Cleveland1-15.5485.9
31Jacksonville3-13.5275.3
32San Francisco2-14.5031.3

Explanation of Football Frontier Ratings

The ratings system is based on an assessment of each game played between two 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 32 NFL 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 31 possible opponents, as well as a maximum score in the offense and defense ratings.

For the first four 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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