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The biggest game this week is the Iron Bowl, where the playoff hopes of Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia hang in the balance.

27 Nov 2015

FEI Week 12

by Brian Fremeau

Last Saturday night, the TCU Horned Frogs trailed the Oklahoma Sooners at halftime by 16 points, a deficit that grew to 17 points with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. The accumulation of injuries to key starters on both sides of the line of scrimmage over the course of the season for TCU appeared to be too much to overcome. Oklahoma was also playing shorthanded, having lost their starting quarterback to injury in the first half, but the Sooners were comfortably in charge in another November statement game.

And then, TCU mounted a furious comeback. The Horned Frogs connected on an 86-yard touchdown pass to pull within 10 points. Then they picked off Oklahoma on the next possession to set up a short field and a five-play, 20-yard field goal drive. With the score now 30-23 in favor of Oklahoma, the TCU defense forced a three-and-out, and then drove 76 yards in 12 plays for a potential game-tying or game-winning touchdown. TCU elected to go for the win, but its two-point conversion pass was batted away and Oklahoma survived to win 30-29 and keep their playoff pursuit on track.

As long as the drives occur before garbage time kicks in, the FEI ratings aren't concerned with the point of the game in which successful possessions are executed. If TCU had taken a 29-0 lead and allowed Oklahoma to come back and win 30-29, the FEI ratings would be the same in both instances if the possessions as a whole were otherwise equal. Oklahoma and TCU played a relatively even game last weekend, even though the first half of the game was very different than the second.

We can evaluate the success of teams over the first half and second half of games by plugging the possession data from each segment into the FEI formula. TCU has eight wins and two losses against FBS opponents on the season so far, but their performances in the first half of games have been worse overall than their performances in the second half of games. Back on October 11, TCU trailed Kansas State by a score of 35-17 at halftime before rallying for a 52-45 victory in the second half. They were tied with lowly Kansas at halftime 10-10 before pulling away in the second half to win 23-17.

If every game ended at halftime, TCU would have a 6-3-1 record rather than an 8-2 record against FBS opponents, and their FEI rating would be 41st in the nation instead of 15th overall as it is this week. Their second-half performances are much stronger, however. TCU ranks third overall in second-half FEI. The Horned Frogs are one of 18 teams that are at least 30 ranking spots better in second-half FEI than first-half FEI. Another team among that group is Oklahoma's opponent this weekend, Oklahoma State. The Cowboys rank 38th in first-half FEI and eighth in second-half FEI for an overall ranking this week of 22nd.

A few teams are the opposite of TCU and Oklahoma State and have significantly worse second-half ratings than first-half ratings. The Tennessee Volunteers have a 7-1-2 record in the first half of games this season and rank fifth in first-half FEI, but rank all the way down at 36th in second-half FEI and 13th overall. Arkansas ranks sixth in first half FEI and 41st in second half FEI, 19th overall. Both of those teams are "better than their record" due to the fact that they have often been efficient in games against strong opponents but haven't always ended up on the right side of the ledger.

And of course there are other teams that have been pretty consistent in first-half and second-half play. Alabama ranks No. 1 in first-half FEI, second-half FEI, and overall FEI. Oklahoma is ninth, fifth, and fourth overall. Stanford is seventh, sixth, and fifth overall. Clemson is second, fourth, and second overall. Aside from general observations about teams and their first-half, second-half, and overall FEI ratings, I haven't looked into yet whether this data has more predictive value -- i.e., are teams that have consistent performances in the first half and second half of games more reliable in overall game projections? I may need to take a look at this in the off-season to find out.

See the table below for the full list of first-half and second-half FEI ratings for all FBS teams through week 12.

Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
1 Alabama .293 .283 1 .303 1
2 Clemson .256 .267 2 .244 4
3 Notre Dame .231 .172 19 .291 2
4 Oklahoma .230 .220 9 .241 5
5 Stanford .225 .224 7 .226 6
6 Michigan State .223 .247 4 .199 10
7 Navy .204 .261 3 .148 24
8 Baylor .195 .223 8 .167 15
9 Ohio State .193 .184 13 .202 9
10 Michigan .191 .215 11 .167 14
11 Mississippi State .171 .179 16 .164 17
12 North Carolina .167 .155 24 .180 11
13 Tennessee .166 .236 5 .096 36
14 Florida .164 .158 21 .169 13
15 TCU .159 .068 41 .249 3
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
16 Mississippi .158 .168 20 .148 23
17 USC .156 .146 25 .166 16
18 Utah .156 .133 27 .178 12
19 Arkansas .154 .226 6 .081 41
20 Oregon .151 .199 12 .103 30
21 Toledo .149 .175 18 .123 27
22 Oklahoma State .148 .083 38 .213 8
23 LSU .144 .217 10 .072 44
24 Iowa .140 .180 15 .100 34
25 Florida State .127 .157 23 .097 35
26 Texas A&M .124 .107 32 .141 25
27 Memphis .120 .140 26 .100 33
28 Washington .114 .004 65 .224 7
29 Washington State .113 .176 17 .050 55
30 Houston .113 .073 39 .152 22
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
31 Bowling Green .109 .117 29 .101 32
32 UCLA .108 .122 28 .095 38
33 Western Kentucky .106 .157 22 .055 52
34 Nebraska .099 .092 36 .106 28
35 South Florida .096 .183 14 .010 71
36 Georgia .094 .025 56 .163 18
37 Temple .088 .018 59 .159 19
38 Northwestern .083 .112 30 .054 53
39 West Virginia .083 .065 43 .101 31
40 Pittsburgh .081 .008 63 .154 21
41 BYU .073 .057 47 .088 40
42 Wisconsin .069 .034 52 .105 29
43 Northern Illinois .068 .112 31 .024 62
44 California .067 -.003 67 .136 26
45 Arizona State .064 .034 53 .095 37
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
46 Marshall .062 .062 44 .063 50
47 Appalachian State .062 .072 40 .052 54
48 Auburn .054 .093 35 .015 67
49 Texas Tech .054 .087 37 .020 63
50 North Carolina State .053 .049 49 .057 51
51 Penn State .052 .066 42 .037 59
52 San Diego State .051 .104 33 -.003 77
53 Boise State .050 .026 55 .074 42
54 Central Michigan .047 -.064 90 .158 20
55 Virginia Tech .046 .060 45 .033 60
56 Utah State .041 -.011 71 .094 39
57 Missouri .038 .004 64 .073 43
58 Louisiana Tech .035 .057 46 .013 69
59 Louisville .033 .024 57 .041 58
60 Georgia Southern .027 .042 50 .013 70
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
61 Indiana .024 .031 54 .018 66
62 Western Michigan .022 -.022 73 .065 48
63 Cincinnati .021 .037 51 .005 74
64 Air Force .020 -.029 79 .070 45
65 Connecticut .014 .010 62 .019 65
66 Georgia Tech .013 .018 58 .007 73
67 East Carolina .010 .053 48 -.034 82
68 Southern Mississippi .006 -.056 85 .069 46
69 Arkansas State .003 -.058 88 .064 49
70 Minnesota -.009 -.026 77 .009 72
71 Boston College -.012 -.074 92 .050 56
72 Vanderbilt -.013 -.024 76 -.001 75
73 Kansas State -.023 -.043 80 -.003 76
74 Miami -.023 .011 60 -.057 85
75 Duke -.024 -.008 69 -.040 83
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
76 Illinois -.024 -.023 75 -.025 79
77 Kentucky -.033 -.079 93 .013 68
78 Iowa State -.034 .097 34 -.165 106
79 Texas -.041 -.052 84 -.030 80
80 Arizona -.041 -.131 99 .049 57
81 South Carolina -.043 -.152 105 .067 47
82 Maryland -.047 .001 66 -.096 91
83 Colorado State -.048 .010 61 -.107 96
84 Middle Tennessee -.048 -.044 81 -.053 84
85 Virginia -.048 -.004 68 -.092 90
86 Ohio -.058 -.012 72 -.104 93
87 Akron -.063 -.059 89 -.066 88
88 Syracuse -.064 -.023 74 -.106 94
89 Wake Forest -.073 -.113 96 -.034 81
90 Colorado -.075 -.068 91 -.082 89
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
91 Purdue -.077 -.047 82 -.107 95
92 Buffalo -.086 -.192 115 .020 64
93 Tulsa -.090 -.049 83 -.132 101
94 Nevada -.092 -.173 110 -.011 78
95 San Jose State -.094 -.008 70 -.179 108
96 Florida Atlantic -.094 -.026 78 -.162 105
97 Georgia State -.095 -.130 98 -.060 86
98 Troy -.096 -.131 100 -.061 87
99 New Mexico -.106 -.100 95 -.113 97
100 SMU -.122 -.057 86 -.186 111
101 Louisiana Lafayette -.124 -.271 126 .024 61
102 Rutgers -.126 -.135 102 -.116 98
103 UTSA -.139 -.143 104 -.136 103
104 Army -.143 -.183 114 -.103 92
105 Kent State -.144 -.162 107 -.127 100
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
106 Massachusetts -.146 -.057 87 -.234 119
107 South Alabama -.146 -.155 106 -.137 104
108 UNLV -.148 -.114 97 -.182 109
109 Ball State -.163 -.202 116 -.124 99
110 Miami (OH) -.173 -.210 117 -.136 102
111 Louisiana Monroe -.191 -.174 111 -.209 113
112 Fresno State -.197 -.134 101 -.261 124
113 Florida International -.201 -.179 112 -.223 117
114 Tulane -.202 -.167 108 -.237 120
115 Idaho -.204 -.087 94 -.321 128
116 Charlotte -.207 -.182 113 -.233 118
117 Wyoming -.208 -.232 121 -.185 110
118 Oregon State -.210 -.225 119 -.195 112
119 New Mexico State -.216 -.258 124 -.174 107
120 Hawaii -.225 -.238 122 -.211 115
Rk Team FEI 1HFEI Rk 2HFEI Rk
121 Texas State -.226 -.137 103 -.315 126
122 Kansas -.237 -.226 120 -.248 121
123 Eastern Michigan -.239 -.213 118 -.266 125
124 Central Florida -.244 -.171 109 -.316 127
125 Old Dominion -.249 -.288 128 -.210 114
126 UTEP -.251 -.281 127 -.222 116
127 Rice -.251 -.252 123 -.251 122
128 North Texas -.258 -.260 125 -.256 123

FEI Degree of Difficulty through Week 12

FEI Degree of Difficulty (DOD) ratings are based on FEI ratings, but instead of measuring efficiency against schedule, DOD measures record against schedule. How difficult would it be for an elite team (two standard deviations better than average) to play a given team's schedule to date and achieve that team's record? This question is closely aligned with the post-season selection priorities for the College Football Playoff committee.

The table below includes ratings for each team's schedule strength to date (PSOS), the average number of wins an elite team would have against the given team's schedule to date (EMW), and the given team's record against FEI top 15 (v15) and FEI top 30 (v30) opponents. Remaining schedule strength (RSOS) and overall schedule strength (SOS) are also provided. Only the top 30 DOD ratings to date are ranked. All other FBS teams are listed alphabetically. DOD ratings for all teams can be found here.

FEI Degree of Difficulty through Week 12
Rk Team W-L DOD PSOS Rk EMW v15 v30 SOS Rk
1 Clemson 10-0 .455 .455 89 9.3 1-0 2-0 .445 91
2 Notre Dame 10-1 .585 .187 17 9.7 1-1 2-1 .100 6
3 Alabama 9-1 .601 .215 25 8.6 2-0 5-1 .193 26
4 Iowa 10-0 .610 .610 109 9.5 0-0 0-0 .509 101
5 Michigan State 10-1 .643 .241 33 9.8 2-0 3-0 .233 44
6 Oklahoma 10-1 .736 .306 52 10.0 3-0 3-0 .227 37
7 Florida 10-1 .795 .371 71 10.1 1-0 2-1 .330 69
8 Oklahoma State 9-1 .803 .426 79 9.2 1-1 1-1 .300 61
9 Navy 8-1 .806 .335 61 8.1 0-1 1-1 .269 53
10 Baylor 8-1 .842 .423 78 8.2 0-1 1-1 .300 62

FEI Week 12 Ratings

The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) is a college football rating system based on opponent-adjusted drive efficiency. Approximately 20,000 possessions are contested annually in FBS vs. FBS games. First-half clock-kills and end-of-game garbage drives and scores are filtered out. Unadjusted game efficiency (GE) is a measure of net success on non-garbage possessions, and opponent adjustments are calculated with special emphasis placed on quality performances against good teams, win or lose. Other definitions:

  • SOS: Strength of Schedule, measured as the likelihood of an elite team going undefeated against the given team's regular season schedule. Schedule strength data based on FEI ratings and calculated across other dimensions can be explored in this interactive visualization.
  • FBS MW: Mean Wins, the average number of games a team with the given FEI rating would be expected to win against its regular season schedule of FBS opponents.
  • FBS RMW: Remaining Mean Wins, the average number of games a team with the given FEI rating would be expected to win against the remainder of its regular season schedule of FBS opponents.
  • OFEI: Opponent-adjusted Offensive Efficiency value generated per possession.
  • DFEI: Opponent-adjusted Defensive Efficiency value generated per opponent possession.
  • STE: Special Teams Efficiency value generated per game possession.
  • FVE: Field Value Efficiency value generated per game possession.

Preseason projection data receives no weight in this week's ratings. Ratings for all FBS teams can be found here.

Rk Team FBS
Rec
FEI LW GE Rk SOS Rk FBS
MW
FBS
RMW
OFEI Rk DFEI Rk STE Rk FVE Rk
1 Alabama 9-1 .293 1 .219 8 .193 26 9.9 .9 .42 31 1.10 2 -.02 89 .14 10
2 Clemson 10-0 .256 2 .226 6 .445 91 10.2 1.0 .70 15 .91 6 -.01 77 -.10 108
3 Notre Dame 10-1 .231 3 .180 12 .100 6 9.7 .4 1.10 6 .31 40 .09 13 .12 15
4 Oklahoma 10-1 .230 4 .218 9 .227 37 10.3 .7 .59 20 1.21 1 -.03 93 .05 41
5 Stanford 9-2 .225 5 .233 4 .230 40 10.1 .6 1.10 7 .14 58 .14 2 .18 5
6 Michigan State 10-1 .223 8 .127 25 .233 44 10.2 .9 .60 19 .52 23 -.08 116 .07 30
7 Navy 8-1 .204 7 .239 3 .269 53 9.2 1.7 1.19 5 .27 45 -.01 74 -.02 73
8 Baylor 8-1 .195 16 .259 2 .300 62 9.1 1.5 1.30 2 .22 50 -.01 81 .01 65
9 Ohio State 10-1 .193 6 .226 7 .323 65 10.0 .4 .33 38 .83 8 .04 40 .22 3
10 Michigan 9-2 .191 10 .216 10 .278 59 9.7 .6 .31 39 .79 11 .08 14 .07 27
11 Mississippi State 7-3 .171 18 .089 39 .161 19 7.8 .6 .72 13 .34 36 .00 67 .02 58
12 North Carolina 8-1 .167 11 .230 5 .622 117 8.7 .7 .70 14 .12 60 .09 12 .06 32
13 Tennessee 6-4 .166 17 .101 35 .093 5 7.5 .9 .52 26 .31 42 .12 4 .17 6
14 Florida 10-1 .164 13 .129 24 .330 69 9.4 .7 .08 51 .76 13 .01 60 .24 2
15 TCU 8-2 .159 20 .117 29 .221 33 8.1 .5 .56 22 .20 54 .06 26 .05 39
Rk Team FBS
Rec
FEI LW GE Rk SOS Rk FBS
MW
FBS
RMW
OFEI Rk DFEI Rk STE Rk FVE Rk
16 Mississippi 7-3 .158 24 .111 31 .071 2 7.0 .4 .69 17 .35 33 -.02 91 -.02 74
17 USC 7-4 .156 9 .125 27 .143 17 8.2 .7 .82 10 .35 35 -.02 87 .05 37
18 Utah 8-3 .156 12 .099 36 .259 48 8.9 1.0 -.04 64 .78 12 .11 7 .11 17
19 Arkansas 5-5 .154 22 .030 57 .068 1 6.6 .9 1.24 4 -.43 98 -.06 108 .04 43
20 Oregon 7-3 .151 27 .042 52 .126 10 7.2 1.0 .88 9 -.10 77 .04 42 .06 35
21 Toledo 9-1 .149 28 .176 13 .473 94 9.1 .9 .18 45 .80 10 .00 72 .03 49
22 Oklahoma State 9-1 .148 14 .127 26 .300 61 8.0 .3 .44 29 .55 22 .05 27 .12 16
23 LSU 7-3 .144 15 .074 44 .086 3 6.9 .7 .69 16 .32 38 -.01 78 -.03 84
24 Iowa 10-0 .140 19 .163 18 .509 101 8.8 .5 .53 24 .29 44 .04 33 .07 31
25 Florida State 8-2 .127 26 .168 17 .228 39 8.0 .3 .64 18 .42 29 .02 53 .01 60
26 Texas A&M 7-3 .124 31 .091 38 .136 15 6.7 .3 -.09 71 .67 15 .12 5 .10 20
27 Memphis 7-3 .120 21 .074 43 .288 60 7.3 1.0 .73 11 -.02 69 .10 10 .04 45
28 Washington 4-6 .114 29 .053 51 .186 24 6.6 .6 -.44 100 .92 4 .10 8 .03 50
29 Washington State 8-2 .113 30 .096 37 .276 55 7.3 .4 .35 36 .27 46 -.05 102 -.05 91
30 Houston 9-1 .113 23 .213 11 .548 107 8.8 .3 .31 40 .48 25 .05 29 .19 4

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 27 Nov 2015

2 comments, Last at 27 Nov 2015, 5:11pm by Brian Fremeau

Comments

1
by techvet :: Fri, 11/27/2015 - 4:47pm

How can Iowa have a DOD like that when their SOS is so low?

I wonder if the CFP committee has considered the following about Iowa's non-conference schedule:

- Two games against teams that fired their coach this fall (Iowa State, North Texas).
- One game against an FCS opponent (Illinois State)
- One game against an unranked opponent (Pitt) who they beat by a grand total of three (3) points.

Also, the Notre Dame 2nd-half FEI is a bit surprising because Pitt scored two late TDs in that game, BC scored some late points in their game, and Wake Forest was even with ND in the second half, 7-7.

2
by Brian Fremeau :: Fri, 11/27/2015 - 5:11pm

DOD is just an equation. An elite team would have a 61 percent chance of going undefeated against the Hawkeyes' schedule to date.

As for Notre Dame, I should have been more specific that the second half FEI data does not include garbage time. Some Irish second half games have been pedestrian, but they also outscored Clemson 19-10 in the second half, outscored Navy 17-3, and outscored USC 17-7.