About CFB Matrix

CFBMatrix Definitions

FARR – Field Adjusted Recruiting Rank©: Our 4 year national Composite Team Recruiting Ranking (#RR on Twitter) is the first part of the FARR calculations.  We know that our composite is a much better ranking system than any individual public record as we reduce player, team and regional biases that could be in each ranking system.  In following the trends, I have also established that most teams have a ‘home field advantage’.  This home field advantage varies based on each team but for the majority of the teams is it relatively the same factor.  There are teams that have shown a pattern to have no Field Adjustment (FA) like the Cal Bears.  Other teams, like LSU, Alabama and Virginia Tech play better on the road than at home.  The FARR is the ranking combination of a team’s 4 year composite recruiting ranking and adjusted up or down for home or away.  The team with the best FARR in March within their schedule is going to be the team that wins that game up to 79% (Big East Percentage in 2011) and on average 74% of the time. 

Composite Team Recruiting Rankings©:  Since our entire site and analytics is rooted in team recruiting ranking, we have developed a system that uses all available sources for team ranking.  Every year since 2002, every public ranking available was tested to determine if any one of them was a superior system.  It was determined that none have an overall superior result and therefore the Composite Recruiting Ranking was developed.  It uses all available information to create a team rank that is less biased and strengthens our recruiting based modeling while throwing out some rankings that have proven to have bias or unproven in results to date.

‘Elite Level’ In our modeling of the teams that have all been in the BCS title game since 2002 (winners and losers), they have one line in common for overall recruiting.  It is what I have termed the “elite line”.   Only one team in the last 11 years has broken the line and made it to the BCS NCG.  That’s 21 of 22 folks and big odds against any team not above the elite level line.   Some one will break through that is on the fringe of the ‘elite line’ but even so, it puts the odds under 5% of it happening year over year.

S.P.G. – Schedule Power Gap© This is a term to express the difference in the calculated S.O.S. (strength of schedule) and the strength of a particular team.  So two team with similar SOS may have very different SPG, depending on their ability and total 4 year recruiting ranking.  This is another number to try and see the difference that teams with like SOS numbers and winning expectations for the coming season.

#Hindsmack  The CFBMatrix is about telling stories with numbers and looking forward.  Many fans love to talk in ‘I told you so’ smack without stepping up and calling their shot BEFORE kickoff.  The Matrix does not respect nor acknowledge 20/20 hindsmack.  It is reserved for the meek, spineless, wannabe trolls that do not deserve and will not get attention.

Coaching Effect© Another one of our factor calculations.   This is the difference in our predicted baseline result versus the actual results of a team.  A team can finish at a higher level than predicted (positive coaching diff.) or under what we predicted (negative coaching diff.).  These numbers carry forward and are used to predict the mostly ‘likely’ scenario for season wins/losses and individual games. 


Best and Worse Case Scenarios—For many fans it is always a nice debate as to the merits of any team’s “potential”.  In each team profile, you will see a predicted, a likely, a best and worse case scenario.  The Best Case is what we see as the maximum wins a team will have in a year.  The worse case is what we see as the bottom the their record for the upcoming season.  Less than 5% of all teams fall outside the scenarios each year.

The Boise State Syndrome – This is the emotional effect caused by having seen, read or heard about a non-BCS team beating a top BCS team, especially a national power.  It does happen and will continue to happen at the rate of about 1 time out of 100 times a non-BCS team plays a top 10 program.  For example, take a step back and look at the scenario in which BSU won the Fiesta Bowl.  1) Oklahoma just lost out on their top goal to start the year…the BCS title game.  2)Their reward was going to a BSC bowl with a guaranteed payout win or loss and 3) they got to play a team that they had no reason to excited about playing.  On the same note, everyone, especially the computers ranking these teams, seemed to think that a Hawaii team that went  undefeated in 2007 was better than a Florida team that lost 4 games.  A wonderful season for the Warriors to the sure, but does anyone think they would have been closer to 4-4 or 0-8 in a top conference in college football.  The BSS theory always shows up in the bowl season when BCS teams are playing non-BCS teams in what amounts to a weak OOC game.

Range Bound Recruiting© I already know that win totals or lack thereof do not significantly effect recruiting.  Neither does a particular coach if he does not bring a new strategy nor does a BCS bowl appearance.  It is rare that a program starts to significantly trend up (ie Stanford) or down (Pitt) from their program averages.  For most schools, history, location, facilities and strategy remain largely unchanged year after year or stuck in ‘Range Bound Recruiting’.

A great example is Arkansas.  Wins, BCS bowl, being in the SEC, a great game coach and huge fan support and one would expect Hogs recruiting to flourish.  Nope.  It doesn’t matter who has been in Fayetteville for the last decade all but one season has seen a national composite ranking between #19 and #30.  Every school is going to be different, but most are stuck in a talent range unless they make changes to their system.  Is your team stuck in a range bound situation? 

Reach Around Cover Commonly called the back door cover but in my opinion it is rarely that nice of a situation.  For some reason, and it is likely human nature remembering fear better than joy, but I seem to recall being on the losing end of last minute covers and those are not pleasant.  Plus it sounds funnier.