Measuring Wins

Published on 11 January 2012
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As a follow-up to Saturday's post and last night's BCS title game, I was asked about RPI rankings for this year. Strength of schedule and RPI are particularly important for NCAA football where, in this era of "buy games" and weak conferences, win-loss records must be taken with a grain of salt. It's not just about how you play, but also who you play.

So I gathered 2011 NCAA data and ran it though the RPI programs we coded as Friday Fragments this time last year; see: /files/fragments/rpi.html. The top 10 teams by RPI are:

RankNameRecordWin %RPI
3Oklahoma St.12-1-00.9230.670
4South Carolina11-2-00.8460.643
6Kansas St.10-3-00.7690.634

Teams like Stanford, Boise State, and Wisconsin aren't in this top ten. That's because, with their low strength of schedule ratings, the computer just doesn't like them.