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  1. #16

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    My takeaway is that we can waltz to 7-5 without needing to do anything harder than beating #54, and get to 8-4 by tacking on number #39.


  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PitinoFan View Post
    I couldnít help but notice the direct correlation between the average opponent ranking and the record. I hope the numbers are wrong this year.

    Average Sagarin Rankings:
    2019: 54.5
    2018: 64.2 (7-6)
    2017: 55.7 (5-7)
    2016: 75.3 (9-4)
    2015: 58.2 (6-7)
    2014: 66.5 (8-5)

    The bottom line is the West has improved a lot since 2016. There are no weak sisters, except for maybe Illinois, and they destroyed us last season.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I agree the west overall seems to have improved over the last few years; however, as PE brilliantly pointed out you canít compare year end numbers in which the rankings are directly reflective of the results of that year to what the effectively predicted rankings are at the start of the year. If the Gophs sh!t the bed and lose to Fresno and go 2-7 in conference, while the rest of the west destroys their non-conf schedule as well as crossover games the year end Sagarin will show the ďaverageĒ Sagarin ranking to be low. If we on the other hand perform the way we hope/expect and go 8-4 for instance while the rest of the west shows some weaknesses the year end average ranking will not be as fierce as FTF is showing currently.

    More importantly though is that you canít average rankings and make anything of them from year to year. To do that it would have to assume the difference between 2 successively ranked teams is the same throughout the College game. In other words the drop off in quality of an opponent ranked 5th to the opponent ranked 6th is exactly the same drop off as the difference between the 131st and 132nd ranked teams. These rankings are ordinal numbers, not cardinal numbers, and in MOST situations computing the mean of them is statistically useless.


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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gophers_4life View Post
    Why are those five teams in rebuilding mode?

    And why does them being in rebuilding mode give us a huge opportunity?? We're still in rebuilding mode.


    Depending how you define it, every team is in rebuilding mode, every year.
    Have you bothered to look at returning players? For someone that argues against subjective expectations the best computer models, as objective as something can possibly be, has us at 8 wins. That’s before adding in human gut intuition regarding things like coaching changes, weighting of things like QB changes, recruit potential , and other unknowns, etc etc etc.

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Livingat45north View Post
    Interesting data -- thanks for putting it together.
    Happy to do it. Like to report facts to keep things in perspective.
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  5. #20

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    I will remind everyone, these are pre-season numbers, but they are better than what we have had.
    I think most notably is the fact there aren't any teams ranked below 110.

    Now, sure, maybe Rutgers sucks all year and drop to 165.
    But it's probably unlikely that GSU, SDSU, and Fresno all fall very far.

    I know averaging isn't the best method to compare, but it is eye opening to see that there is no cakewalk in these games as it stands right now.
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedsmaroonandgold View Post
    My takeaway is that we can waltz to 7-5 without needing to do anything harder than beating #54, and get to 8-4 by tacking on number #39.
    In the past we won 7 by beating nothing higher than a 72, and added on a 34 and 35 for 9 wins. Average Sagarin ranking of our wins that year was 96.7!!
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  7. #22

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    Here are the average Sagarin rankings of the teams we beat for the last few years.
    This really shows how impressive our wins last year were.


    Year: Opponent Sag Rating in Gopher Wins
    2013: 92.9
    2014: 86.5
    2015: 101.2
    2016: 96.8
    2017: 113.6
    2018: 64.3

    Fleck already reached heights we hadn't hit in years.
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face The Facts View Post
    Based on current Sagarin rankings compared to other seasons end of season Sagarin rankings:

    Don't you think that methodology is problematic? The end-of-season rankings were formed from actual experiences of performance. The pre-season rankings are at best educated guesses. A few other points:

    1) We have the same Western Division opponents every year so they shouldn't be considered in evaluating our schedule. The strengths and weaknesses of those teams have nothing to do with selection of opponents.

    2) If you're going to do a quantitative analysis, then get your numbers right! The average strength of the 2018 schedule is 55.54. That's an average of 13 teams instead of 12. I'm not sure how you got an average of 64.2. Even mistakenly dividing the total by 12 teams doesn't get a number that high. I only checked the figures for 2018 and 2019, but, given that I already found an error, I don't have complete confidence in your computed averages for other years.

    3) As you can see, the "average" strength of last year's schedule was weakened considerably by one very large outlier - New Mexico State. Replace NMST with a team ranked 100 and that average strength improves by around 5 points by that change alone and this year's "average" strength is weaker than last year's by about four points. Either way, 100 or 167, is a very likely win.

    4) Sagarin seems to have caught the Nebraska hype and raised them 34 places from last year's season ending ranking. Maybe they're that good but maybe not. There are also reasons to believe that this year's Penn State team won't be as good as last year's but Sagarin drops them only 3 places from their end-of-season 2018 rank.

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompous Elitist View Post
    All that really matters for determining record is the probability of winning each individual contest. Averaging them all together doesnít really make much sense. Not to mention youíre comparing year end vs preseason rankings which are...less accurate.
    Spot on.
    --------------

    "7 National Titles...

    ... But Let's Not Get Carried Away".

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjbfbp View Post
    Don't you think that methodology is problematic? The end-of-season rankings were formed from actual experiences of performance. The pre-season rankings are at best educated guesses. A few other points:

    1) We have the same Western Division opponents every year so they shouldn't be considered in evaluating our schedule. The strengths and weaknesses of those teams have nothing to do with selection of opponents.

    2) If you're going to do a quantitative analysis, then get your numbers right! The average strength of the 2018 schedule is 55.54. That's an average of 13 teams instead of 12. I'm not sure how you got an average of 64.2. Even mistakenly dividing the total by 12 teams doesn't get a number that high. I only checked the figures for 2018 and 2019, but, given that I already found an error, I don't have complete confidence in your computed averages for other years.

    3) As you can see, the "average" strength of last year's schedule was weakened considerably by one very large outlier - New Mexico State. Replace NMST with a team ranked 100 and that average strength improves by around 5 points by that change alone and this year's "average" strength is weaker than last year's by about four points. Either way, 100 or 167, is a very likely win.

    4) Sagarin seems to have caught the Nebraska hype and raised them 34 places from last year's season ending ranking. Maybe they're that good but maybe not. There are also reasons to believe that this year's Penn State team won't be as good as last year's but Sagarin drops them only 3 places from their end-of-season 2018 rank.

    The numbers will change as the season goes obviously, but this is the best I have right now.

    1) The west teams are part of our schedule every year as has Maryland. Some years they are better and some years worse. If Wisconsin is ranked #3 and the other 5 teams are all 80 and below, it's a weaker schedule than if Wisconsin is #15 and the other 5 are all in the top 50.

    2) Thanks for pointing out the error. I corrected it. I was missing the two toughest games. I believe the other numbers are right after double checking.

    3) Sure, but it's early and this year it appears there are no gimmies yet.

    4) A couple teams could greatly move during the season. We'll see, but right now it looks tough.
    "Do Not Be Afraid to Be A Legend"

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face The Facts View Post
    Here are the average Sagarin rankings of the teams we beat for the last few years.
    This really shows how impressive our wins last year were.


    Year: Opponent Sag Rating in Gopher Wins
    2013: 92.9
    2014: 86.5
    2015: 101.2
    2016: 96.8
    2017: 113.6
    2018: 64.3

    Fleck already reached heights we hadn't hit in years.
    This is a silly methodology. It makes last year look better because we lost to 109 Illinois, instead of having won that game and having it drag down our average. Under this methodology, the best possible season would be a year where we go 1-11 with the 1 win coming against our strongest opponent.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedsmaroonandgold View Post
    This is a silly methodology. It makes last year look better because we lost to 109 Illinois, instead of having won that game and having it drag down our average. Under this methodology, the best possible season would be a year where we go 1-11 with the 1 win coming against our strongest opponent.
    It’s absolutely not a silly methodology. It is a literal piece of data.
    It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Knock the analysis not the statistic.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Some guy View Post
    It’s absolutely not a silly methodology. It is a literal piece of data.
    It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Knock the analysis not the statistic.
    You are right, the data is neutral, the analysis is the problem. The statement made was "this really shows how impressive our wins last year were." I dont accept that last year's wins would have been less impressive had we also beaten Illinois.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face The Facts View Post
    Here are the average Sagarin rankings of the teams we beat for the last few years.
    This really shows how impressive our wins last year were.


    Year: Opponent Sag Rating in Gopher Wins
    2013: 92.9
    2014: 86.5
    2015: 101.2
    2016: 96.8
    2017: 113.6
    2018: 64.3

    Fleck already reached heights we hadn't hit in years.
    Why don’t you post the average preseason Sagarin ratings of teams we’ve defeated going back to 2013 so we’re at least comparing apples to apples, and even then the average doesn’t mean much for obvious reasons. Maybe the median sagarin would be helpful to tamp expectations. Also, looks like you’ve unintentionally raised expectations by showing PJ is capable of beating teams with above average sagarin. Oh man.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedsmaroonandgold View Post
    You are right, the data is neutral, the analysis is the problem. The statement made was "this really shows how impressive our wins last year were." I dont accept that last year's wins would have been less impressive had we also beaten Illinois.
    You are correct. They’d have been more impressive had we beaten Illinois.
    If we had beaten 2/3 of Nebraska, Illinois, and Maryland last year we would’ve been preseason top 15

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