Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Week 3 Power Ranker Results

Methodology: Same as last week.

Discussion: We are three weeks into the season. 48 games have been played. None of the Power Rankers seem to be all that effective in predicting the winners. Some would call it parity in the league. Others would say that the "Experts" don't know what they are talking about. Only 9 of 38 Rankers did better than a coin flip.

In the middle of the pack, There is NFL.com Fans and r/NFL which are both done by taking many different opinions and averaging them together. The general consensus is beating out many of the Experts.

Congratulations to Nowhere Plans for the second straight week at being at the top. CBS jumps from a 3-way tie of third place into 2nd. McGinest is the only one at NFL.com who is holding his weight at 3rd. 

Wyche, Brooks, Jeremiah (who are all at NFL.com) are all near the bottom. Perhaps some group-think is going on. The Examiner comes in down there too. At the moment, the best strategy for picking winners for next week is to take what The Examiner or Jeremiah says and do the exact opposite. 

But wait... I have one better....


I pulled down numbers from Mr. NFL to see how past performance would predict future outcomes. 

Each team was ranked on the following offensive stats:

PA - Passing Attempts
PC - Pass Completions
PY - Passing Yards
TURN - Number of Turnovers (lowest number ranked highest, alphabetical order was tie breaker)
RA - Rushing Attempts
RY - Rushing Yards

The cumulative statistics for each team in Week 1 was used to rank and then predict outcomes in Week 2. Weeks 1 & 2 were used to rank and then predict outcomes in Week 3. For example, going into Week 3: the Carolina Panthers were 15th in the league in Rushing Attempts, 11th in the league in Rushing Yards, and 30th in the league in Passing Attempts. The New York Giants were 27th in the league in Rushing Attempts, 24th in the Rushing Yards, and 5th in Passing Yards. New York ended up winning the game, therefore RA and RY got a loss whereas PA got a win. So on and so forth.

I also ranked the teams by alphabetical order of city name (ALPHA) for shits and giggles. Arizona #1, Atlanta #2, Baltimore #3, etc...


Guess what? The alphabetical order of city name has so far correctly predicted the winner more often than ANY of the Power Rankers.

Only Passing Attempts (PA) seems to have any predictive power so far, which would tie in second place with the Power Rankers with a correct predictive percentage of .563.

Rushing Yards and Rushing Attempts seem to be terrible predictors of who wins each game. Worse than The Examiner even. If you chose the team with less Running Yards each week to win the game, you would be blowing everyone else out of the water right now (.687). So far there is no evidence that having a good running game will win football games. 

I would be interested to see how these numbers change over the season. Would they have more predictive power as the sample size gets larger?

Tomorrow I will be back with Power Rankings for Week 4. 

Good day and Good luck.

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