NCAA Football Rankings: October 22, 2017

Here are this week’s composite rankings. This ranking combines several of the Markov chain based rankings I’ve worked on over the years. I post my full rankings on the NCAAF rankings tab every week.

1 Alabama
2 Penn St
3 Georgia
4 Wisconsin
5 TCU
6 UCF
7 Notre Dame
8 Clemson
9 Miami FL
10 Michigan St
11 Ohio St
12 South Florida
13 Boise St
14 Oklahoma
15 Washington St
16 USC
17 NC State
18 Oklahoma St
19 Virginia Tech
20 Washington
21 Stanford
22 Memphis
23 Michigan
24 Auburn
25 South Carolina

Here are the B1G teams, ranked.

2 Penn St
4 Wisconsin
10 Michigan St
11 Ohio St
23 Michigan
28 Iowa
47 Northwestern
58 Minnesota
64 Purdue
66 Nebraska
71 Indiana
74 Maryland
90 Rutgers
106 Illinois

 

NCAA Football rankings: October 15, 2017

Here are this week’s composite rankings. This ranking combines several of the Markov chain based rankings I’ve worked on over the years. I post my full rankings on the NCAAF rankings tab every week.

1 Alabama
2 Penn St
3 Georgia
4 TCU
5 Clemson
6 USC
7 UCF
8 Wisconsin
9 Ohio St
10 Michigan St
11 Notre Dame
12 NC State
13 Michigan
14 Miami FL
15 Stanford
16 San Diego St
17 Washington St
18 Oklahoma
19 Washington
20 Iowa
21 South Carolina
22 South Florida
23 Oklahoma St
24 Texas A&M
25 Boise St

Here are the B1G teams, ranked.

2 Penn St
8 Wisconsin
9 Ohio St
10 Michigan St
13 Michigan
20 Iowa
50 Purdue
51 Indiana
57 Nebraska
60 Northwestern
67 Minnesota
69 Maryland
95 Illinois
105 Rutgers

NCAA Football rankings: October 9, 2017

This year I am posting composite rankings that combine several of the Markov chain based rankings I’ve worked on over the years. I do so by wrapping a Markov chain around the rankings to identify how to order teams when different ranking models disagree about rank. I’ll post my full rankings on the NCAAF rankings tab every week. These are how I rank the teams at present. I will post playoff forecasts starting next week.

October 9, 2017 NCAA Football rankings:

1 Clemson
2 Georgia
3 Alabama
4 Penn State
5 Washington State
6 Texas Christian
7 San Diego State
8 U-C-F
9 Southern Cal
10 Michigan State
11 Notre Dame
12 Wisconsin
13 Miami-Florida
14 Washington
15 Ohio State
16 Navy
17 Michigan
18 No Carolina State
19 Kentucky
20 South Florida
21 Auburn
22 Iowa
23 Stanford
24 Virginia Tech
25 Houston

Here are the B1G teams, ranked.

4 Penn St
10 Michigan St
12 Wisconsin
15 Ohio St
17 Michigan
22 Iowa
37 Maryland
43 Purdue
45 Indiana
52 Minnesota
60 Nebraska
73 Northwestern
92 Illinois
112 Rutgers

 

NCAA men’s Division I basketball rankings: Final 2017 rankings

Here are my final men’s college basketball rankings.  These are final after all games have been finished. I posted the full ranking under the “NCAA BB rankings” tab. I’m happy to say that Wisconsin has re-entered the top 25!

1 North Carolina
2 Gonzaga
3 Kentucky
4 Kansas
5 Villanova
6 Duke
7 Oregon
8 West Virginia
9 Florida
10 Arizona
11 UCLA
12 Wisconsin
13 Michigan
14 Purdue
15 Iowa St
16 Baylor
17 Cincinnati
18 Louisville
19 Notre Dame
20 Florida St
21 Xavier
22 Virginia
23 South Carolina
24 Butler
25 TCU

Here are the B1G teams, ranked. On Wisconsin!

12 Wisconsin
13 Michigan
14 Purdue
32 Northwestern
35 Minnesota
36 Michigan St
48 Indiana
49 Maryland
54 Illinois
61 Iowa
81 Ohio St
87 Penn St
113 Nebraska
115 Rutgers

 

Tips for picking a winning bracket from Badger Bracketology

These tips for winning your March Madness bracket pool is reblogged from Punk Rock Operations Research.

1 Ignore RPI, use math based rankings instead to take strength of schedule into account.

Ken Massey has a rankings clearinghouse here: http://www.masseyratings.com/cb/compare.htm. I’m happy to say that I’m the only women contributor to this list :) My rankings are posted there and can be found here.

https://twitter.com/masseyratings/status/839626182169604096

2 Pay attention to the seeds

The seeds matter because they determine a team’s path to the Final Four. Some seeds generate more upsets than others, such as 7-10 seeds and 5-12 seeds. Historically, 6-11 seeds go the longest before facing a 1 or 2 seed. Teams with an 8 seed face a tough Round-of-64 opponent and have to face a 1 seed next (sorry Badgers).

However, there are plenty of upsets. The Final Four has been composed of all 1 seeds only once. See BracketOdds at Illinois for more information on how the seeds have fared.

Having said that, the committee doesn’t always get it right. There are Some teams like SMU, Wichita State, and Xavier are underseeded and are poised to upset. Also, Villanova is the overall #1 seed and has a 15% chance of winning the entire tournament, which is low, meaning that there isn’t a strong favorite this year.

3 Don’t pick Kansas to win it all

Be strategic. The point is NOT to maximize your points, it’s to get more points than your opponents. I’ve been getting in the habit of picking my Final Four first and filling in the rest later.  You can pick the eventual winner (say, Villanova) and still lose your pool if everyone else picks Villanova. FiveThirtyEight estimates that Villanova has a 15% chance of winning the tournament, meaning that another team is probably going to win.

One way to be strategic is to pick an undervalued top team to win the tournament. For example, last year Kansas was selected as the overall winner in 27% of brackets on ESPN and in 62% of Final Fours) despite having an overall 19% chance of winning (538). On the other hand, UNC was selected as the overall winner in 8% of brackets (with a 15% win probability). Getting UNC right last year helped vault past those who picked Kansas.

4 It’s random

The way brackets are scored means that randomness rules. It’s easy to forget that a good process does not guarantee the best outcome in any give year. A good process yields better outcomes on average but your mileage may vary any given year (at least that what I tell myself when I don’t win my pool!)

Small pools are better if you have a good process. The more people in a pool, the higher chance that someone will accidentally make a good bracket with a bad process. It’s like stormtroopers shooting at a target. They’re terrible, but if they take enough shots they’ll hit the target once. 

For more reading:

NCAA men’s Division I basketball rankings on Selection Sunday, March 12, 2017

Here are my Selection Sunday rankings.  These are final after all games have been finished. I posted the full ranking under the “NCAA BB rankings” tab. I’m happy to say that Wisconsin has re-entered the top 25!

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Villanova
  3. Kentucky
  4. SMU
  5. Wichita St
  6. Arizona
  7. UCLA
  8. Duke
  9. Cincinnati
  10. Oregon
  11. MTSU
  12. North Carolina
  13. St Marys CA
  14. West Virginia
  15. Kansas
  16. Nevada
  17. Purdue
  18. Vermont
  19. UNC Wilmington
  20. Michigan
  21. Florida St
  22. VA Commonwealth
  23. Notre Dame
  24. Bucknell
  25. Wisconsin

Here are the final B1G rankings:

17 Purdue
20 Michigan
25 Wisconsin
41 Northwestern
43 Minnesota
54 Maryland
78 Indiana
87 Michigan St
121 Iowa
130 Illinois
141 Ohio St
176 Penn St
187 Rutgers
242 Nebraska

 

 

NCAA men’s Division I basketball rankings, March 6, 2017

Here are this week’s rankings.  The full ranking is under the “NCAA BB rankings” tab.

1 Gonzaga
2 Villanova
3 UCLA
4 Wichita St
5 Kansas
6 Kentucky
7 SMU
8 Cincinnati
9 Purdue
10 North Carolina
11 Oregon
12 Arizona
13 St Marys CA
14 West Virginia
15 Florida
16 MTSU
17 Baylor
18 Florida St
19 Louisville
20 Monmouth NJ
21 Duke
22 UNC Wilmington
23 VA Commonwealth
24 Butler
25 Vermont

Here are the B1G teams, ranked.

9 Purdue
30 Wisconsin
37 Maryland
39 Minnesota
43 Michigan
45 Northwestern
85 Indiana
93 Iowa
94 Michigan St
106 Illinois
114 Ohio St
182 Penn St
202 Rutgers
230 Nebraska

NCAA men’s Division I basketball rankings, February 27, 2017

Here are this week’s rankings.  The full ranking is under the “NCAA BB rankings” tab.

1 Gonzaga
2 Villanova
3 UCLA
4 Kansas
5 North Carolina
6 Oregon
7 Wichita St
8 Kentucky
9 Arizona
10 St Marys CA
11 SMU
12 Cincinnati
13 Purdue
14 West Virginia
15 Florida
16 Butler
17 Florida St
18 Louisville
19 MTSU
20 Duke
21 Monmouth NJ
22 Baylor
23 Vermont
24 VA Commonwealth
25 UNC Wilmington
26 Notre Dame
27 Wisconsin

Here are the B1G teams, ranked.

13 Purdue
27 Wisconsin
34 Minnesota
41 Maryland
44 Northwestern
46 Michigan
80 Michigan St
88 Indiana
101 Illinois
109 Iowa
112 Ohio St
164 Penn St
203 Rutgers
216 Nebraska