Catallarchy\'s College Football Top 25

It's back! Yes, from a year and a half hiatus, my version of an automated football poll is rested and ready for the new season. Here's the original poll, with some methodology, which I'll repost after the break. But for now, the Preaseason Top 25!

Rank - Team
1 Oklahoma
2 Texas
3 Louisville
4 VaTech
5 Auburn
8 Tennessee
9 Colorado
10 Iowa
11 Cal
12 Virginia
13 Georgia
14 Oklahoma St.
15 Wisconsin
16 Florida State
17 LSU
18 Miami
19 Texas Tech
20 U Conn
21 Utah
22 Az. State
23 Clemson
24 Purdue
25 Michigan

Other Catallarchy Teams (that I know of):

26 - Georgia Tech
114 - Western Michigan (sorry Doug!)

Some analysis later once the first round of games is played, and I get back from the beach. Just doing my part to promote nationalism and statism. ;)

Methodology below the break, the full rankings on Page 2.

From the original post:

A) The poll is based on rewarding teams that win, and emphasizing late-season over early-seaon victories. This means that on the flip side, losses early in the season aren’t as debilitating as a loss late in the season. Each win gives a team points based on when the win was- the first game in the season is 0.5 pts, the last game in the regular season is 1.5 pts, such that Game 2 > Game 1, Game 3 > Game 2, etc. The scale is divided evenly among the number of regular season games. If a team plays more than the regular season amount (11 or 12), such as having played in a pre-season game or a championship game, a team would get progressively more points (essentially 1/12th or 1/11th extra per game, additive). A team’s poll position derives mainly from the sum of all the “games won” points it has accumulated.

B) Each team has a conference, even the independents. The total number of wins of all the teams in a conference is divided to get Wins Per Team (WPT). The median WPT value is found among all 12 conferences, and a bonus or penalty determined based on how much above or below the median a conference’s WPT is. This biases the poll against Notre Dame, which is good. This value is added to/subtracted from the total “win points.”

C) A preseason ranking is used to give the top 50 teams bonus points that are added to their total. I used last year’s model results determine the initial ranks. This bonus is added to the total. [Update: this year I added a penalty to the bottom 51-119, to further reflect & codify writers' biases]

D) Each team’s record is compared to the average number of wins for all of Division 1-A. Teams doing better than average get bonus points, those below get a penalty.

So in summary, the model is: Total Points = (Win Points)+(Strength of Conference)+(Relative Wins)+(Preseason Bonus/Penalty), and rank by current highest point total.

A big quirk of this model is that teams that “Play Early, and Often", are favored over teams that play later and have open dates. Since “Strength of Conference” (SOC) can fluctuate wildly based on the play of a team’s conference mates, a team may win and still drop. A team that has an open date will probably drop, and teams who start their season later will be at a polling disadvantage during the season (catching up at the end). The model does not discriminate between wins over I-A foes or I-AA foes, or wins over quality teams vs. perennial losers- its “Just Win, Baby.” I’ve found that adding in the SOC component has eliminated most of the anomalous results (with a team from a weak conference getting into the Top 10 because it ran the table against poor competition). Still, it’s not impossible for say, Boise State, to pop into the Top 10 anyway, so long as they keep winning. By the end of the season, the driving variable will be wins, and anyone that wins out deserves recognition, poor conference or no. Since my model doesn’t pretend to be predictive (except in a broad sense of ‘those teams that win (and are thus highly ranked) are more likely to win over those that don’t'), that’s not really a problem.

Full Rankings:

26	Georgia Tech	
27	Ohio State	
28	Texas A&M	
29	Northwestern	
30	Nebraska	
31	Pitt	
32	Syracuse	
33	Toledo	
34	Boise St.	
35	Cincinnati	
36	Alabama	
37	UCLA	
38	South Carolina	
39	Michigan State	
40	UNC	
41	Minnesota	
42	Arkansas	
43	Boston College	
44	Iowa State	
45	Maryland	
46	Navy	
47	Missouri	
48	North Texas	
49	Northern Illinois	
50	NC State	
51	Miami (OH)	
52	Bowling Green	
53	Florida  	
54	Rutgers	
55	Fresno State	
56	New Mexico	
57	Memphis	
58	La Tech	
59	Oregon	
60	UTEP	
61	South Florida	
62	Hawaii	
63	Stanford	
64	Troy State	
65	UAB	
66	Ole Miss	
67	Wyoming	
68	Wake Forest	
69	Nevada	
70	Washington State	
71	Middle TN State	
72	Kansas  	
73	Oregon State	
74	Marshall	
75	Kansas State	
76	Akron	
77	Penn State	
78	SMU	
79	Southern Miss	
80	BYU	
81	Illinois	
82	Baylor	
83	Kent State	
84	Air Force	
85	New Mexico State	
86	La Monroe	
87	Duke	
88	Notre Dame	
89	TCU	
90	Indiana	
91	Arizona	
92	Colorado State	
93	Mississippi State	
94	Tulane	
95	Ohio  	
96	Tulsa	
97	San Diego State	
98	Kentucky	
99	Vanderbilt	
100	Central Michigan	
101	La Lafayette	
102	Eastern Michigan	
103	Utah State	
104	Washington  	
105	Idaho	
106	Rice	
107	UNLV	
108	Arkansas State	
109	Houston	
110	San Jose State	
111	Ball State	
112	Buffalo	
113	Army	
114	Western Michigan	
115	ECU	
116	Temple	
117	Fla Intl	
118	UCF	
119	Fla Atlantic	
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I like getting my

I like getting my nationalistic fix from pro sports though, just because those guys actually play for the love of the game. Well that and Alabama hasn't been good since 1992.

UTEP at #60? Someone's not

UTEP at #60? Someone's not paying attention. They'll probably be top twenty by mid season.

"Well that and Alabama

"Well that and Alabama hasn't been that good since 1992."

'96, '99 and '02 weren't good? I know they weren't national champs, but they were still pretty good.

it's total victory or

it's total victory or nothing, matt!

Yeah, I guess having the

Yeah, I guess having the greatest college football coach at the helm for a quarter century, followed a few years after by one of Bear's "junction boys" will do that to you.

true... My college gootball

true... My college gootball passions are now chanelled toward following the careers of people like George Teague (do you remember "the strip" on Lamar in the championship game against Miami? Most amazing thing I've evr seen.) I guess I got spoiled early on.


of course, by "gootball" I

of course, by "gootball" I meant "football." Perhaps we could have two screens of comment preview?

RE: the strip Perhaps the

RE: the strip

Perhaps the most amazing college football play I've ever seen (granted I'm only in my early 20's so I've missed a lot of them). All called back on an offsides call if I remember correctly. I think I used to have a poster of that somewhere...

I was raised on Bama football, actually. I remember watching that game back when I was 12. Good times.

Brian, Out of curiosity, how


Out of curiosity, how did last year's model possibly wind up with USC ranked just one spot over WVU? And wouldn't it be a problem that the team that, well, won the national championship pretty convincingly ended up at #7 on your poll? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean?

Alabama National

Alabama National Championship Coke....

Funny you should mention mother STILL has some of those stashed away somewhere.

Perhaps the most amazing

Perhaps the most amazing college football play I’ve ever seen (granted I’m only in my early 20’s so I’ve missed a lot of them). All called back on an offsides call if I remember correctly. I think I used to have a poster of that somewhere…

Yeah, I think it was the best play I've ever seen. Called back on an offsides, but it still really broke Miami's will. I remember that everyone was talking about how fast the Canes' recievers were, and how the Bama backs couldn't even cover them, to say nothing of running one down from behind, stripping the ball from him in midstride and then running in the other direction.

I was raised on Bama football, actually. I remember watching that game back when I was 12. Good times.
as was I- I lived in Ozark and around for half of my formative years, and I remember very clearly watching that game, and then drinking my ALabama Nat'l championship imprinted Coke the next day.

Joe, Looking through the


Looking through the wonkiness which is inherent in my poll in the first weeks, I see that the conference realignments of last year have overweighted some (like the Big East, which gained Louisville & all of their wins) and thus pushed others down (like the PAC-10, which is just above median in terms of wins per team).

The poll actually does give a great deal of emphasis to USC from previous ranking, its just the weakness of their conference brings them down. Also, the actual point difference that I calculate for all of them is exceedingly miniscule at the moment- Auburn edges out USC in the 'preseason' by 0.001 (a ratio of 1.0009). The diff between OU and USC is 0.1 (1.09). For comparison, the equivalent distance at the end of the year for 2004 from 1 to 6 was 3.2 points, or a ratio of 1.293. Once 5 games are played, the poll starts to match up better with reality as seen by the sports writers.

Because of the realignment factor giving the Big East an implausible "strongest conference" position in the calculations, WVU is much, much higher than they ought to be given their previous performance. OU and Texas benefit from the Big 12's legit high ranking (the B12 South compensates for the B12 North, and all of them did well OOC). VT finished well last year and is in the 3rd best conference (or 2nd best if you discount the BE). The SEC and Pac-10 have very low ratings among the BCS conferences and that drags all of their members down preseason.

I freely admit that I disagree with my poll's findings given the biases I put into it. :) Miami should be a lot higher than #18, for example. If the rest of the PAC-10 starts to win their OOC games, USC will shoot up like a rocket.

For the record, my

For the record, my subjective disagreements with the poll:

Rank - Team (My choice)
1 Oklahoma (2)
2 Texas (3)
3 Louisville (7)
4 VaTech (4)
5 Auburn (8)
6 USC (1)
7 WVU (16)
8 Tennessee (9)
9 Colorado (11)
10 Iowa (12)
11 Cal (15)
12 Virginia (13)
13 Georgia (14)
14 Oklahoma St. (17)
15 Wisconsin (18)
16 Florida State (19)
17 LSU (10)
18 Miami (5)
19 Texas Tech (20)
20 U Conn (21)
21 Utah (22)
22 Az. State (23)
23 Clemson (24)
24 Purdue (25)
25 Michigan (6)

Walter- My poll is


My poll is completely backwards looking, and so there is no doubt that there are obvious mismatches with the poll and reality the first few weeks. Nevertheless, if UTEP wins, they will vault into the upper echelons relatively quickly (assuming their conference mates don't drag them down terribly). My poll is all about win, win, win. Well, and win late and lose early if you must.