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» Seventh Day Adventure: Week 13

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

02 Dec 2015

FEI Week 13: Take a Poll

by Brian Fremeau

The College Football Playoff has rendered the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls mostly inconsequential, but they're not going anywhere soon. The weekly release of top 25 rankings still draws significant interest from fans debating the merits of teams, even though the CFP selection committee rankings alone carry weight in identifying the postseason national championship contenders. College football polls can still be fun, even if they aren't particularly useful.

Ballots still serve a critical role in determining most individual postseason awards, of course. The Heisman Trophy voting process, for example, asks each of its 929 voters (media members and former Heisman trophy winners) to submit a ballot with the names of that voter's first-, second-, and third-place choice for the award. The first choice on a ballot receives three points, the second choice receives two points, and the third choice receives one point. The player with the most total points takes home the trophy.

What if we selected the best teams in the nation through a similar process? And what if, instead of 929 human voters, we let each of the 128 FBS teams submit a ballot for the first-, second-, and third-best teams they faced?

Let's poll the teams. For instance, let's ask each team on Alabama's schedule this year to submit a ballot of the first-, second-, and third-best teams they faced. How many of those teams would say that Alabama was the best team they played? All of them might say so if we surveyed the coaches and players involved, but what if we based our team poll instead on the game efficiency results of their games? Ole Miss would rank Alabama fourth on their ballot behind Florida, Memphis, and Arkansas --the Rebels lost to those teams, of course, and they beat the Crimson Tide.

In our poll, Alabama wouldn't get a full sweep of first-place votes, but they still would get more than any other team. Arkansas, Georgia, LSU, Middle Tennessee, Tennessee, and Wisconsin would each rank the Crimson Tide first on their respective ballots. Alabama would get second-place votes from Auburn and Mississippi State, and draw a third-place vote from Texas A&M. In total, Alabama would rack up 23 points through this team balloting process -- pretty strong, but not tops in the nation.

Oklahoma would rank first in our poll of teams, drawing four first-place votes (from Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State), six second-place votes (from Akron, Iowa State, TCU, Tennessee, Texas Tech, and Tulsa), and one third-place vote (from West Virginia). Of the Sooners' opponents, only Texas wouldn't have Oklahoma on its ballot. Oklahoma's 25 points would lead the nation through the results of last weekend.

The Iowa Hawkeyes aren't getting much love from our drive and play-by-play ratings this year, and they would fare even worse in this ballot process. Of all the teams ranked in the top 25 of the FEI ratings this week, Iowa is the only one that wouldn't receive a single first-place vote from its opponents in our game efficiency team poll. The Hawkeyes would pick up a pair of second-place votes from Nebraska and Northwestern, plus two third-place votes from Indiana and Wisconsin, for a total of only six points.

The table below re-ranks the FEI top 25 according to point totals in our game efficiency poll of teams. Unsurprisingly, the poll pecking order doesn't differ too dramatically from the FEI rankings themselves. Single-game efficiency ratings for all teams can be found here.

Let's Poll the Teams
Ballots cast by every FBS team for the three best teams each faced according to game efficiency data.
Points Team Record 1st
Place
Votes
2nd
Place
Votes
3rd
Place
Votes
FEI FEI
Rank
25 Oklahoma 11-1 4 6 1 .253 2
23 Alabama 10-1 6 2 1 .284 1
20 Stanford 10-2 5 2 1 .235 4
20 Ohio State 11-1 4 3 2 .230 5
18 Clemson 11-0 5 1 1 .252 3
18 Michigan State 11-1 5 0 3 .230 6
17 Notre Dame 10-2 2 5 1 .228 7
16 North Carolina 9-1 3 3 1 .184 10
15 Navy 8-2 3 3 0 .162 15
14 Tennessee 7-4 3 1 3 .165 12
14 USC 8-4 4 1 0 .165 13
14 Florida State 9-2 2 3 2 .161 17
13 Mississippi 8-3 2 3 1 .189 8
12 Baylor 8-2 1 4 1 .184 9
11 Houston 10-1 2 1 3 .164 14
10 TCU 9-2 2 2 0 .178 11
10 Arkansas 6-5 2 1 2 .161 16
10 LSU 8-3 2 2 0 .147 19
10 Michigan 9-3 2 1 2 .140 22
10 Florida 10-2 2 2 0 .135 23
10 Oregon 8-3 1 3 1 .130 25
8 Memphis 8-3 1 2 1 .144 20
8 Toledo 9-2 1 2 1 .142 21
7 Utah 9-3 1 2 0 .134 24
6 Iowa 11-0 0 2 2 .148 18

FEI Degree of Difficulty through Week 13

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. DOD ratings for all teams can be found here.

FEI Degree of Difficulty through Week 13
Rk Team W-L DOD PSOS Rk EMW v15 v30 SOS Rk
1 Clemson 11-0 .415 .415 83 10.2 1-0 2-0 .302 67
2 Iowa 11-0 .518 .518 98 10.4 0-0 0-0 .317 72
3 Alabama 10-1 .563 .214 36 9.6 1-1 4-1 .176 24
4 Michigan State 11-1 .653 .233 40 10.8 1-0 3-0 .187 27
5 Oklahoma 11-1 .661 .247 46 10.8 3-0 4-0 .247 49
6 Notre Dame 10-2 .784 .103 6 10.2 2-2 2-2 .103 8
7 Ohio State 11-1 .790 .375 77 11.1 0-1 1-1 .375 81
8 Stanford 10-2 .883 .253 48 10.8 2-0 3-1 .194 31
9 Houston 10-1 .906 .581 108 10.5 1-0 2-0 .536 107
10 TCU 9-2 .918 .210 34 9.8 1-1 1-2 .210 38

FEI Week 13 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 full schedule, including conference championship games. 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 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 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 10-1 .284 1 .211 8 .176 24 10.7 .9 .40 31 1.02 3 .00 69 .12 12
2 Oklahoma 11-1 .253 4 .228 4 .247 49 10.6 .0 .75 12 1.05 2 -.01 77 .08 29
3 Clemson 11-0 .252 2 .217 6 .302 67 10.8 .7 .71 15 .87 7 -.01 76 -.11 108
4 Stanford 10-2 .235 5 .216 7 .194 31 11.0 .7 1.25 5 .03 61 .12 6 .15 8
5 Ohio State 11-1 .230 9 .243 2 .375 81 10.7 .0 .52 28 .76 10 .04 40 .21 3
6 Michigan State 11-1 .230 6 .146 21 .187 27 11.0 .7 .64 21 .56 21 -.07 111 .09 20
7 Notre Dame 10-2 .228 3 .164 16 .103 8 9.6 .0 1.13 6 .22 51 .10 9 .13 11
8 Mississippi 8-3 .189 16 .129 26 .091 3 7.8 .0 .84 10 .41 32 -.04 100 .00 68
9 Baylor 8-2 .184 8 .211 9 .279 60 8.9 1.0 .87 9 .47 27 -.01 80 -.02 76
10 North Carolina 9-1 .184 12 .231 3 .348 79 9.2 .3 .73 14 .15 54 .09 12 .06 38
11 TCU 9-2 .178 15 .109 30 .210 38 8.6 .0 .29 37 .70 13 .06 24 .07 36
12 Tennessee 7-4 .165 13 .128 27 .102 7 7.6 .0 .65 20 .22 49 .15 1 .19 5
13 USC 8-4 .165 17 .132 23 .092 4 8.8 .3 .74 13 .46 29 .00 66 .08 31
14 Houston 10-1 .164 30 .223 5 .536 107 10.4 .8 .58 24 .42 31 .05 29 .19 6
15 Navy 8-2 .162 7 .186 12 .228 42 8.4 1.0 1.36 3 -.04 69 .00 70 -.03 78
Rk Team FBS
Rec
FEI LW GE Rk SOS Rk FBS
MW
FBS
RMW
OFEI Rk DFEI Rk STE Rk FVE Rk
16 Arkansas 6-5 .161 19 .059 47 .070 1 6.9 .0 1.28 4 -.42 99 -.05 104 .06 41
17 Florida State 9-2 .161 25 .172 14 .255 50 8.6 .0 .56 25 .53 23 .04 37 .02 60
18 Iowa 11-0 .148 24 .154 18 .317 72 9.3 .3 .46 30 .40 36 .03 41 .07 33
19 LSU 8-3 .147 23 .081 40 .097 5 7.1 .0 .68 18 .38 38 -.03 90 -.02 75
20 Memphis 8-3 .144 27 .127 28 .244 46 7.6 .0 .75 11 .20 52 .11 7 .08 26
21 Toledo 9-2 .142 21 .154 19 .457 96 8.9 .0 .24 43 .73 12 -.02 85 .04 53
22 Michigan 9-3 .140 10 .171 15 .263 53 8.6 .0 .34 35 .60 19 .07 16 .06 37
23 Florida 10-2 .135 14 .100 33 .142 17 8.8 .1 -.02 61 .87 8 -.02 86 .22 2
24 Utah 9-3 .134 18 .096 34 .292 64 8.6 .0 -.17 82 .82 9 .10 10 .10 17
25 Oregon 8-3 .130 20 .049 50 .116 11 6.8 .0 .90 8 -.22 86 .01 65 .05 45
26 Washington 5-6 .130 28 .079 42 .188 29 7.2 .0 -.45 103 1.16 1 .07 15 .08 28
27 Western Kentucky 10-2 .128 33 .262 1 .573 111 11.2 .8 1.42 1 -.07 75 .03 46 .09 22
28 Mississippi State 7-4 .127 11 .054 49 .164 22 6.7 .0 .64 22 .22 50 .02 56 -.01 69
29 Bowling Green 9-3 .118 31 .172 13 .439 94 10.0 .7 1.39 2 -.26 87 -.09 121 -.03 77
30 Oklahoma State 9-2 .114 22 .090 35 .274 58 7.2 .0 .55 26 .31 41 .05 30 .07 35

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 02 Dec 2015

1 comment, Last at 03 Dec 2015, 8:53pm by TFrankMac

Comments

1
by TFrankMac :: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 8:53pm

Brian,

For the OFEI and DFEI listings above, what do their corresponding values equate to? For example, Alabama is listed above with an OFEI of .40 and a DFEI of 1.02. Is this "points" generated per possession? In this example, would Alabama's defense be more "valuable" than their offense?

Help a noobie out... Thanks!