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Slipping and Sliding College Football

2 Year Net Win Differential Success Rates

W
L
T
%
W
L
T
%
+7.5 or higher
1
0
0
100%
or higher
1
0
0
100%
+7
2
0
0
100%
or higher
3
0
0
100%
+6.5
4
0
0
100%
or higher
7
0
0
100%
+6
7
0
0
100%
or higher
14
0
0
100%
+5.5
10
2
2
86%
or higher
24
2
2
93%
+5
22
4
1
81%
or higher
46
6
3
89%
+4.5
24
10
3
73%
or higher
70
16
6
83%
+4
34
8
4
83%
or higher
104
24
10
83%
+3.5
38
14
8
77%
or higher
142
38
18
81%
+3
57
19
2
76%
or higher
199
57
20
79%
+2.5
44
22
2
68%
or higher
243
79
22
77%
+2
60
21
11
77%
or higher
303
100
33
75%
+1.5
75
46
13
66%
or higher
378
146
46
74%

Slipping and Sliding – College Football

The past couple of years in my NFL magazine I have produced an article called Slipping and Sliding. That article details how NFL teams do after a marked 1 year difference in their wins and losses from the previous year. My research now shows that over the last 8 years in the NFL (2002-2010) there have been 66 teams that have improved their record by 3 wins or more from the previous season. Heading into last year 84% of those teams had a weaker record. Four teams met that classification last year with Cincinnati improving by 5.5 wins in 2009 from their 2008 record and New Orleans, San Diego and Green Bay each improving by 5 wins over their 2008 records. My system forecasted all 4 to have weaker records last year than they did in 2009 and that came to fruition even with the Packers winning the Super Bowl!

Cincinnati’s record dropped from 10-6 in ‘09 to 4-12 in 2010, New Orleans went from 13-3 in ‘09 to 11-5 in 2010, San Diego went from 13-3 in ‘09 to 9-7 in 2010 and even Green Bay, despite winning the Super Bowl went from 11-5 in ‘09 to 10-6 last year. The four teams that improved by 3 net wins or more from the previous season have their record get weaker 85% of the time in the NFL!

Naturally on the flip-side of the coin the teams that have their record get weaker by 3 games or more the previous season, tend to trend up the next year. Since 2002, there have been 56 teams who had 4 or more net losses from the previous year, improved their record 78% of the time heading into last season. Of teams that had 6 more losses than the previous year in that span, an amazing 18 of 19 (95%) managed to improve their record. Last year only one team fit that 6 loss category and that was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and true to form, they improved from 3-13 to an amazing 10-6. Of the teams that had their record drop by 6 games or more from the previous year, 19 of 20 times improved their record.

When I tried to plus this system in for college football, it did not have the same results as in college ball, teams’ records fluctuate more and there is not as much parity. The college system I devised 4 years ago was built on a longer term. What I did was took a 2 year result record vs the previous year’s win total and it got me to the NFL-type percentages.

For example, last year Ball St was #1 on my Net Win Indicator. In 2007 and 2008 Ball St combined for a 19-8 record, or 9.5 wins per season. In 2009 they had just 2 wins. Therefore, they were +7.5 in my Net Win Indicator meaning the prior year’s record was far below normal standards. As expected, Ball St improved their record to 4-8. The second highest team last year was Tulsa at +5.5 wins. Tulsa was my Most Improved Team in the country and improved dramatically. The Hurricane made this list by going 21-7 in 2007 and 2008 or an average of 10.5 wins then winning just 5 games in 2009. They had a +5.5 net win indicator and as expected, moved up to 10-3 and could have easily been 12-1 last year. Last season there were 18 teams that had a +3 net win indicator or more and of those 18 teams, 13 improved their record, four had a weaker record and one remained the same. That 14 out of 18 success rate translates into 78% last year.

I had only been doing the totals over the last couple of years but this year developed a formula to help me go back to 1990 and check the results. I was quite surprised. Since 1990 there have been a total of 14 teams that had a +6 net win indicator meaning that the prior year’s win total was 6 wins less than the average of the 2 years prior. Of those 14 teams, all 14 improved their record and it was dramatic going from a combined 39-120 (24.5%) to a combined 73-90 (44.8%). I had expected to see a drastic drop off in the numbers at the next few levels but surprisingly did not. Teams in the +5.5 category improved their record to a 10-2-2 clip. There were 27 instances of teams being +5 in the net win indicator category since 1990 and those teams were an amazing 22-4-1 (85%). The totals did drop to 73% for +4.5 with it going 24-10-3 and when the total got to the +4 net win indicator, it surprisingly went back up to 34-8-4 (83%) which was the same 83% level that it had been for +4.5 or higher but superior to the individual +4.5 range. The numbers did drop to 77% for a +3.5 net wins, 76% for +3 and down to 68 for +2.5. Just when you thought the trend would get lower, surprisingly +2.0 had a 77% success rate. Even teams that had a +1.5 net win indicator from the prior two years, went up 66% of the time.

Summing it all up, I will put it into 3 categories. Teams with a +6.0 net win indicator or higher were a perfect 14-0 100%. Teams in the +4 to +5.5 range were 90-24-10 81%. Teams in the +1.5 to +3.5 two-year net win indicator range were 274-124-36 71.4%. The team that had a +1.5 net win indicator or higher had 378 improved their record, 146 have a weaker record and 46 have the same record meaning 74.4% of the time, teams in that category improved or had the same record.

This year there are three teams that fall into the 100% bracket of +6 on the two-year net win indicator. Cincinnati had a record of 23-4 in 2008 and 2009 for an average of 11.5 wins per season and last year had just 4. That ties them for the top mark ever since 1990 with a +7.5 net win indicator. Texas also reached that mark as they were 25-2 in 2008 and 2009 for an average of 12.5 wins, last year had just 5 wins or 7.5 in the two-year net win indicator. At the 7-win total was Central Michigan which in 2008 and 2009 was a combined 20-7 (10 win avg) and had just 3 wins last year for a +7.0. Below is a list of all teams that the two-year net win + indicator would have an “upward” arrow for including 8 teams that fit into the 81% level in Mississippi, Florida, Bowling Green, Rutgers, Buffalo, Houston, Penn St and Georgia.

2 Yr Diff
Team
2 Yr Diff
Team
7.5
CINCINNATI
3
BALL ST
7.5
TEXAS
3
UNLV
7
CENTRAL MICHIGAN
3
ALABAMA
5
MISSISSIPPI
3
MEMPHIS
5
FLORIDA
2.5
WYOMING
4.5
BOWLING GREEN
2.5
VANDERBILT
4.5
RUTGERS
2.5
USC
4.5
BUFFALO
2
COLORADO ST
4
HOUSTON
2
CLEMSON
4
PENN ST
2
RICE
4
GEORGIA TECH
2
FLORIDA ATL
3.5
BYU
2
TEXAS TECH
3.5
CALIFORNIA
2
IOWA
3.5
MINNESOTA
1.5
NEW MEXICO
3.5
KANSAS
1.5
UCLA
3.5
WAKE FOREST
1.5
DUKE
3.5
OREGON ST
1.5
PITTSBURGH
3
GEORGIA
1.5
MIDDLE TENNESSEE
3
SAN JOSE ST
1.5
NORTHWESTERN
3
AKRON
1.5
BOSTON COLLEGE
3
EAST CAROLINA
1.5
UTAH
3
LOUISIANA

In the next couple of days I will blog for you how teams do with a negative net win percentage. So check back for that future blog.

Only 70 DAYS LEFT UNTIL THE FIRST COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME!!!

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