Strength (SOS) & Power Gap (SPG) of Schedules
For the CFBMatrix, SOS is a very easy calculation. Each team has a talent value that is adjusted up or down for the field the game is played and the coaching values. This ‘ranking’ of talent, field and coaching is averaged for all games, OOCs and inter-conference games. Each team has an average ranking of teams played. The smaller the ranking ,the tougher the schedule. However, SOS has proven to be a worthless number for anything college football. Boise State, with an annual SOS that is not even close to the teams in the lowest conferences/divisions, has proven the rankings are all about wins. And most teams with equal win numbers are ranked by conference strength (real or perceived).
The Schedule Power Gap of SPG is a new CFBMatrix term. SOS is for schedule strength. SPG is to compare the SOS of a team to the CFBMatrix ability ranking of that same team. For example Alabama and Mississippi State may have very similar SOS numbers, but the SPG is very different as Alabama is a much more talent team to handle a similar SOS. The SPG can assist in looking at any team and it’s potential ease of schedule, or ability to win games in any given season. While certainly it is not set it stone, teams with negative SPG are commonly at or under .500 while the opposite is true for teams with positive SPG. While it is not a part of the CFBMatrix predictions, I look at the SPG for each team in a conference to see how the SPG matches wins and finish predicted.