FanPost

Another look at OOC scheduling and its impact on conference strength

We’ve seen a number of subjective conference rankings all over the CFB media. Any kind of attempt to rank conferences will consist of perception (subjective) and facts (objective). Let’s ask ourselves – what makes some conferences appear "stronger" and "tougher"? Is it a number of bowl eligible teams? Is it league’s overall W-L record? Since rankings play important role in determination of BCS and other bowl participants, perhaps some conferences (intentionally or unintentionally) game the system by favorable scheduling, both within conference and OOC. On the opposite hand, some conferences try to create more interesting schedule and end up hurting their members (ahem… Pac-10… ahem)…

 With addition of 12th regular season game, only 1 BCS conference (Pac-10) decided to add an extra conference game (Big East technically couldn't do it) instead of an extra OOC game. Why does that matter? Because an addition of extra conference game will guarantee an additional loss for 50% of the conference members. Consequently, the worse overall records will affect voters and chances of reaching a BCS bowl game.

 We all know that voters (both media and coaches) are not very sophisticated in terms of looking at the large picture and analyzing the entire body of work throughout the season. They usually look at overall win-loss record and probably W-L record of the conference to determine which of 9-3 teams should be ranked higher. Simply put, they don't have time to go through more sophisticated analysis.

 Teams and conferences can cheat on the system and pad up the conference and individual records (Kansas last year, LSU and Texas Tech this year). Instead of adding another conference game, conferences that play 8 or less conference games will allow their members to schedule another "patsy".  By playing 4 patsies, all you need is to win 2 out of 8 conference games to get bowl eligible (see Alabama in 2006).

 I looked up 2008 OOC schedules to determine if some conferences were "cheating" the system. The following is the expected winning percentage for all BCS conferences record and average team record.

 

SEC: 58.5% (winning percentage) - 7.02-4.98 (average team record)
Big Ten: 58.5% or 7.02 - 4.98
Big-12: 58.2% or 6.98 - 5.02
Big East: 57.0% or 6.84 - 5.16
ACC: 55.3% or 6.65 - 5.35
Pac-10: 53.1% or 6.43 – 5.67

 

Methodology:

Give each team +0.5 wins for every conference game (every conference game means one loss and one win for the conference)  PLUS

For OOC allocate following points:

* Patsy +1 (Div-1aa (home or away) or weak mid-major (home))
* Weak mid-major (away) +0.75
* Quality mid-major with recent bowl game or ranked in top-25 (home) +0.75
* Quality mid-major with recent bowl game or ranked in top-25 (away) +0.50
* BCS team (home) +0.5
* BCS (away) +0.25

Few things jump out:

- Pac-10's additional game really hurts the overall winning percentage and average W-L record. Since other BCS conferences aren't likely adding another conference game, it may benefit the conference to drop the 9th game and allow teams to pad-up their schedule

- ACC plays the toughest OOC schedule of all 11-12 member conferences (Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big Ten)

- SEC, Big Ten and Big-12 have too many patsies on their schedule and their record (and number of bowl eligibile teams) is inflated by the weak OOC schedule

- USC (toughest OOC in the country) has the lowest score as expected. LSU and Indiana have the highest

Here is complete breakdown of every team and conference:

SEC (add +4 for 8 conference games)

SEC East:
Tennessee 7.25: @UCLA (+0.25), UAB (+1), NORTHERN ILLINOIS (+1), WYOMING (+1)
Kentucky 7.25: @Louisville (+0.25), NORFOLK STATE (+1), MIDDLE TENNESSEE (+1), WESTERN KENTUCKY (+1)
South Carolina 6.75: NC STATE (+0.5), WOFFORD (+1), UAB (+1), @Clemson (+0.25)
Florida 6.5: HAWAII (+0.75), MIAMI (+0.5), THE CITADEL (+1), @Florida State (+0.25)
Vandebilt 6.5: @Miami OH (+0.75), RICE (+1), DUKE (+0.5), @Wake Forest (+0.25)
Georgia 6.5: GA SOUTHERN (+1), CMU (+0.75), @Arizona State(+0.25), GEORGIA TECH (+0.5)

SEC West:
Alabama 7.5: CLEMSON (+0.5), TULANE (+1), WESTERN KENTUCKY (+1), ARKANSAS STATE(+1)
Arkansas 7: WESTERN ILLINOIS (+1), LA MONROE (+1), @Texas (+0.25), TULSA (+0.75)
Auburn 7: LA MONROE (+1), SOUTHERN MISS (+0.75), @West Virginia (+0.25), TENNESSEE-MARTIN (+1)
LSU 7.75: APP STATE (+1), TROY (+0.75), NORTH TEXAS (+1), TULANE (+1)
Ole Miss 7.25: MEMPHIS (+1), @Wake Forest (+0.25), SAMFORD (+1), LA-MONROE (+1)
MSU 7: @LA Tech (+0.75), SE LOUISIANA (+1), @GA Tech (+0.25), MIDDLE TENNESSEE (+1)

Total expected SEC record is: 84.25-59.75 (0.585), or 7.02-4.98 on average

Pac-10 (add +4.5 for 9 conference games)

Arizona 7.25: IDAHO (+1), TOLEDO (+1), @New Mexico (+0.75)
ASU 7: NAU (+1), UNLV (+1), GEORGIA (+0.5)
California 6.25: MSU (+0.5), at Maryland (+0.25), COLORADO STATE (+1)
Oregon 6.5: UTAH STATE (+1), at Purdue (+0.25), BOISE STATE (+0.75)
Oregon State 6: @Penn State (+0.25), HAWAII (+0.75), @Utah (+0.5)
USC 5.75: @Virginia (+0.25), OHIO STATE(+0.5), NOTRE DAME (+0.5)
Stanford 6.25: @TCU (+0.5), SAN JOSE STATE (+1), @Notre Dame (+0.25)
UCLA 6.25: TENNESSEE (+0.5), at BYU (+0.5), FRESNO STATE (+0.75)
Washington 6.25: BYU (+0.75), OKLAHOMA (+0.5), NOTRE DAME (+0.5)
WSU 6.75 (13 games): OKLAHOMA STATE (+0.5), @Baylor (+0.25), PORTLAND STATE (+1), @Hawaii (+0.5)

Total expected Pac-10 record is: 64.25 - 56.75 (0.531) or 6.43 - 5.68 on average

Big Ten (add +4 for 8 conference games)

Illinois 7.25: MISSOURI (+0.5), EASTERN ILLINOIS (+1), LA LAFAYETEE(+1), @Western Michigan (+0.75)
Indiana 7.75: WESTERN KENTUCKY (+1), MURRAY STATE (+1), BALL STATE(+1), CENTRAL MICHIGAN (+0.75)
Iowa 6.75: MAIN (+1), FIU (+1), IOWA STATE (+0.5), @Pitt (+0.25)
Michigan 7: UTAH (+0.75), MIAMI OH (+1), @Notre Dame (+0.25), TOLEDO (+1)
Michigan State 6.5: @California (+0.25), EASTERN MICHIGAN (+1), FAU (+0.75), NOTRE DAME (+0.5)
Minnesota 7.5: NORTHERN ILLINOIS (+1), MONTANA STATE (+1), @Bowling Green (+0.75), FAU (+0.75)
Northwestern 6.75: SYRACUSE (+0.5), @Duke (+0.25), SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (+1), OHIO (+1)
Ohio State 7: YOUNGSTOWN STATE (+1), OHIO (+1), at USC (+0.25), TROY (+0.75)
Penn State 6.75: COASTAL CAROLINA (+1), OREGON STATE (+0.5), @Syracuse (+0.25), TEMPLE (+1)
Purdue 6.5: NORTHERN COLORADO (+1), OREGON (+0.5), CENTRAL MICHIGAN (+0.75), @Notre Dame (+0.25)
Wisconsin 7.5: AKRON (+1), MARSHALL (+1), @Fresno Sate (+0.5), CAL POLY (+1)

Total expected Big-10 record is: 77.25-54.75 (0.585) or 7.02 – 4.98 record on average

ACC (add +4 for 8 conference games)

Atlantic
Boston College 7: @Kent State (+0.75), UCF (+0.75), RHODE ISLAND (+1), NOTRE DAME (+0.5)
Clemson 7: ALABAMA (+0.5), THE CITADEL (+1), SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (+1), SOUTH CAROLINA (+0.5)
Florida State 7: WESTERN CAROLINA (+1), TENN-CHATTANOOGA (+1), COLORADO (+0.5), FLORIDA (+0.5)
Maryland 7.25: DELAWARE (+1), at MTSU (+0.75), CAL (+0.5), EASTERN MICHIGAN (+1)
NC State 6.5: @South Carolina (+0.25), WILLIAM & MARY (+1), EAST CAROLINA (+0.75), SOUTH FLORIDA (+0.5)
Wake Forest 6: @Baylor (+0.25), MISSISSIPPI (+0.5), NAVY (+0.75), VANDERBILT (+0.5)

Coastal
Duke 6.5: JAMES MADISON (+1), NORTHWESTERN (+0.5), NAVY (+0.75), @Vanderbilt (+0.25)
Georgia Tech 6.75: JAX STATE(+1), MISS STATE (+0.5), GARDNER-WEBB (+1), @Georgia (+0.25)
Miami 6.25: CHARL.SOUTHERN (+1), @Florida (+0.25), @Texas A&M (+0.25), UCF (+0.75)
North Carolina 6.25: MCNEESE STATE (+1), at Rutgers (+0.25), UCONN (+0.5), NOTRE DAME (+0.5)
Virginia 6.5: USC (+0.5), RICHMOND (+1), @UConn (+0.25), EAST CAROLINA (+0.75)
Virginia Tech 6.75: @East Carolina (+0.5), FURMAN (+1), @Nebraska (+0.25), WESTERN KENTUCKY (+1)

Total expected ACC record is: 79.75-64.25 (0.554) or 6.65 – 5.35 record on average

Big-12 (add +4 for 8 conference games)

North
Colorado 6.5: COLORADO STATE (+0.75), EASTERN WASHINGTON (+1), WEST VIRGINIA (+0.5), @Florida State (+0.25)
Iowa State 7: SOUTH DAKOTA SU (+1), KENT STATE (+1), @Iowa (+0.25), @UNLV (+0.75)
Kansas 7.25: FIU (+1), LA TECH (+1), @USF(+0.25), SAM HOUSTON (+1)
KSU 7.25: NORTH TEXAS (+1), MONTANA STATE (+1), @Louisville (+0.25), LA LAFAYETTE (+1)
Missouri 7.25: ILLINOIS (+0.5), SE MISSOURI (+1), NEVADA (+0.75), BUFFALO (+1)
Nebraska 7.5: WESTERN MICHIGAN (+1), SJSU (+1), NMSU (+1), VA TECH (+0.5)

South
Baylor 6.25: WAKE FOREST (+0.5), NW STATE (+1), WASHINGTON STATE (+0.5), @UCONN (+0.25)
Oklahoma 6.5: TENN-CHATTANOOGA (+1), CINCINNATI (+0.5), @UW (+0.25), TCU (+0.75)
Ok State 6.75: @WSU(+0.25), HOUSTON (+0.75), MISSOURI STATE (+1), TROY (+0.75)
Texas 7: FAU (+0.75), @UTEP (+0.75), ARKANSAS (+0.5), RICE (+1)
Texas A&M 7: ARKANSAS STATE (+1), @New Mexico (+0.5), MIAMI (+0.5), ARMY (+1)
Texas Tech 7.5: EAST WASHINGTON (+1), @Nevada (+0.5), SMU (+1), UMASS (+1)

Total expected Big-12 record is: 83.75-60.25 (0.582) or 6.98 – 5.02 record on average 

Big East (add +3.5 for 7 conference games)

Cincinnati 7.25: E.KENTUCKY (+1), @Oklahoma (+0.25), MIAMI OH (+1), @Akron (+0.75), @Marshall (+0.75)
UConn 6.5: HOFSTRA (+1), @Temple (+0.75), VIRGINIA (+0.5), BAYLOR (+0.5), @UNC (+0.25)
Louisville 7.25: KENTUCKY (+0.5), TENN TECH (+1), KSU (+0.5), @Memphis (+0.75), MTSU (+1)
Pittsburgh 6.75: BOWLING GREEN (+1), BUFFALO (+1), IOWA (+0.5), @Navy (+0.5), @Notre Dame (+0.25)
Rutgers 7.25: FRESNO STATE (+0.75), UNC (+0.5), @Navy (+0.5), MORGAN STATE (+1), ARMY (+1)
USF 6.5: TENN MARTIN (+1), @UFC(+0.5), KANSAS(+0.5), @FIU (+0.75), @NCSU (+0.25)
Syracuse 6.5: @Northwestern (+0.25), AKRON (+1), PENN STATE (+0.5), NORTHEASTERN (+1), @Notre Dame (+0.25)
WVU 6.75: VILLANOVA (+1), @East Carolina(+0.5), @Colorado (+0.25), MARSHALL (+1), AUBURN (+0.5)

Total expected Big East record is: 54.75 - 41.25 (0.570) or 6.84 - 5.16 on average 

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Conquest Chronicles' writers or editors.

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