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2012 Inter-Conference SOS and SPG Rankings

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2012 Inter-Conference SOS and SPG Rankings

Just like the OoC and total SOS/SPG rankings, the number associated with each team is the average strength of each college football game in the team’s conference schedule.  The strength of schedule rankings are based on the average difficulty for each game.

I know your first reaction to the list is how come the SEC dominates the toughest inter-conference rankings?  Because they have the toughest two divisions in football.  I know, for you PAC12 and Big12 fans, that they only have 8 conference games.  Those stats are balanced out in the total SOS/SPG rankings for 2012.

You can argue these calculations, but they are the only rankings that are subjective and level for all teams.  No crazy formulas and when the Matrix gets nearly 80% of all SEC games played picked correctly, you cannot argue that a weak conference is equal to one like the SEC.

Florida has the toughest conference schedule in the SEC and the country.  Leaders of conference SOS in other conferences include Nebraska #15, Cal #16, Duke #19, Kansas State #24 and Northwestern #26.  It makes me giggle a tiny bit that a team like Duke, which would struggle in Conference USA, has the toughest ACC schedule in 2012.

While it is a effort in futility to measure non-AQ conference schedules with AQ schools, I tossed in the average game strength of Boise State for comparison.  Their average game is about equal to Mississippi State’s OoC SOS.  Most AQ would project to go undefeated with Boise’s schedule which would get them into the top 20 or better.

It’s really just a ‘fun’ Matrix for me as SOS has no bearing on rankings, bowls, etc.  Even with the new playoff system, it will only be used if there are team tied with equal wins.  I am going to do some work on correlating the SPG with win totals for a season.

- Dave Bartoo, The CFBMatrix & your Anti-Homer

SOS Calculations: This is the talent rank of all OoC games with The College Football Matrix field strength adjustment for each OoC game divided by total OoC games played.   The lower the number, the tougher the schedule.

SPG Calculations: While a SOS rank may be similar, teams playing those schedules are not.  The Strength Power Gap (SPG) is the difference in the average game number (SOS) minus the strength number of the team.


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  1. Charlie

    October 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    This is bogus. How does Iowa have a tougher schedule than Michigan, who has Alabama/ND/AF/NE/OSU on their schedule? Notre Dame EASILY has the hardest schedule, followed by Michigan. Also, the SEC is definitely NOT the toughest conference, it is just the highest ranked. When Georgia is ranked #12 but isn’t top-25 in any major offensive or defensive categories you know something is up. Florida is #2 but only has one top-10 stat (rushing yds/gm, at #9 in the country). South Carolina is, well, South Carolina and never going to win big games. Georgia has Aaron Murray and Ogletree but nothing else. What the SEC does have is one great team every year. Since that great team has rotated between Auburn, Florida, LSU, and Bama everyone assumes those are great teams every year. This is obviously not true. When a conference has so many bad teams (Vandy, UK, Tenn., Ole Miss, MSU (undefeated because of easy schedule), Auburn, Missouri) I don’t know how it can be called the best conference. Yes, Bama is far and away the best team. But the rest of the conference is softer than my pillow. Having the top 14 spots to SEC teams as best SOS is all the evidence I need that nobody on this site actually follows NCAAF.

    • Robyn

      November 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      Charlie – If you’re playing tougher teams, you aren’t going to have super high stats. Stats don’t tell the whole story just as the number of wins doesn’t tell the whole story. Notre Dame was supposed to have the toughest schedule this year but that’s why trying to “guess” anything before the season starts is a waste of time. Their schedule is not as tough as predicted and they’ve struggled to win quite a few of those games.

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