WAB 2/15: Strength of Schedule

Jerry Palm wrote an interesting column about the committee’s top 16 release.:

“One of the most important things that came out of that is that strength of schedule matters. A lot. That has always been true, but it seemed to get emphasized on Saturday.”

I agree that in terms of judging resumes strength of schedule matters a great deal. In fact, it’s exactly half of the input. The other half is how you do against it. However, the relationship is not additive. I cannot stress this enough. Playing a tough opponent is not a virtue in and of itself. It does mean that a loss shouldn’t drop you very much, while a win should raise your status a great deal. Let me give a simple example:

Team A faces 10 tough teams. They go 4-6 in those games. By my estimate a bubble team should win an average of 4.5 games. I would give them -0.5 WAB for that stretch.

I am not giving them any bonus points for facing a tough schedule. The tougher the schedule, the fewer wins a team would expect against it. The risk and reward scales. If you make strength of schedule a value in and of itself, you are giving a boon to the power conferences and the teams that have scheduling power. It really is that simple.

The full WAB’s are available here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hof8DT8OCt_9A-f93NnXnSfMdp97B1qvmQ8Hw_X3X8Y/edit#gid=0

WAB Rank School WAB-AVG Pythag Pythag Rank
1 Kansas 8.41 0.9481 8
2 Villanova 8.26 0.9620 4
3 Baylor 7.15 0.9426 11
4 Gonzaga 6.79 0.9724 1
5 Louisville 6.12 0.9607 5
6 Florida 5.32 0.9596 6
7 Arizona 5.16 0.9163 20
8 North Carolina 5.02 0.9479 9
9 Wisconsin 4.99 0.9339 14
10 Florida St. 4.89 0.9318 16
11 Kentucky 4.71 0.9526 7
12 UCLA 4.68 0.9270 18
13 Duke 4.36 0.9394 12
14 Creighton 4.34 0.9128 21
15 Virginia 4.32 0.9634 2
16 Butler 4.31 0.9038 26
17 Oregon 4.16 0.9364 13
18 Notre Dame 4.11 0.9109 22
19 Cincinnati 4.10 0.9218 19
20 Purdue 3.91 0.9450 10
21 Maryland 3.88 0.8574 37
22 West Virginia 3.76 0.9625 3
23 Xavier 3.26 0.8870 28
24 South Carolina 3.10 0.8914 27
25 SMU 3.06 0.9328 15
26 Saint Mary’s 2.55 0.9108 23
27 Virginia Tech 2.52 0.8223 52
28 Northwestern 2.49 0.8768 31
29 USC 2.21 0.8017 56
30 Wichita St. 1.99 0.9309 17
31 Oklahoma St. 1.93 0.9087 24
32 Dayton 1.33 0.8690 32
33 Minnesota 1.33 0.8558 38
34 TCU 1.27 0.8464 41
35 VCU 1.20 0.8356 46
36 Iowa St. 1.13 0.9058 25
37 Kansas St. 0.79 0.8840 29
38 Arkansas 0.75 0.7973 57
39 Miami FL 0.74 0.8675 33
40 Middle Tennessee 0.67 0.8051 55
41 Akron 0.66 0.6833 96
42 Illinois St. 0.56 0.8276 50
43 Michigan St. 0.48 0.8264 51
44 California 0.45 0.8380 44
45 Monmouth 0.18 0.6984 89
46 Vermont 0.04 0.7369 76
47 Seton Hall 0.03 0.8068 54
48 Clemson 0.02 0.8624 34
49 Texas Tech -0.05 0.8613 36
50 UNC Wilmington -0.14 0.7773 62
51 Wake Forest -0.16 0.8614 35
52 Michigan -0.25 0.8836 30
53 Valparaiso -0.30 0.6828 97
54 Belmont -0.40 0.7289 80
55 Georgia Tech -0.48 0.7248 82
56 Marquette -0.65 0.8402 43
57 Nevada -0.77 0.7491 68
58 Auburn -0.78 0.7324 77
59 Syracuse -0.84 0.8435 42
60 Georgia -0.85 0.8182 53
61 New Mexico St. -0.91 0.6600 105
62 Tennessee -0.93 0.8301 48
63 UT Arlington -1.01 0.7401 72
64 Houston -1.05 0.8524 39
65 Rhode Island -1.14 0.8362 45
66 Providence -1.14 0.7926 59
67 Mississippi -1.26 0.7659 65
68 Indiana -1.42 0.8469 40
69 East Tennessee St. -1.50 0.7434 71
70 Pittsburgh -1.51 0.7677 64
71 Utah -1.65 0.8283 49
72 Georgetown -1.65 0.8323 47
73 Princeton -1.77 0.7107 85
74 Alabama -1.81 0.7940 58
75 Memphis -1.92 0.7093 86
76 Winthrop -1.95 0.5914 122
77 UNC Asheville -1.98 0.6358 109
78 Chattanooga -1.99 0.6855 95
79 Ohio St. -2.05 0.7834 61
80 Florida Gulf Coast -2.10 0.6214 113
81 Boise St. -2.28 0.6951 90
82 Bucknell -2.31 0.6799 98
83 Illinois -2.37 0.7447 70
84 Arkansas St. -2.53 0.6268 111
85 College of Charleston -2.62 0.6628 102
86 Texas A&M -2.63 0.7682 63
87 Yale -2.70 0.6012 117
88 Iowa -2.71 0.7390 73
89 Temple -2.92 0.6858 94
90 North Carolina St. -2.94 0.6894 92
91 George Mason -2.96 0.6479 107
92 Cal St. Bakersfield -2.98 0.5699 134
93 UCF -3.14 0.7379 75
94 Penn St. -3.14 0.7297 79
95 Furman -3.16 0.6858 93
96 UNC Greensboro -3.21 0.4970 166
97 Vanderbilt -3.28 0.7887 60
98 San Francisco -3.40 0.6418 108
99 Harvard -3.41 0.6213 114
100 Colorado -3.43 0.7518 67
101 BYU -3.43 0.7381 74
102 Oakland -3.47 0.5885 123
103 New Mexico -3.53 0.6331 110
104 Richmond -3.58 0.6668 101
105 Stanford -3.61 0.6627 103
106 Colorado St. -3.63 0.6737 99
107 North Carolina Central -3.65 0.4997 165
108 Louisiana Tech -3.66 0.6710 100
109 Nebraska -3.67 0.7288 81
110 La Salle -3.79 0.6224 112
111 St. Bonaventure -3.88 0.6899 91
112 North Dakota St. -3.89 0.5726 130
113 Mississippi St. -3.90 0.7004 88
114 Ohio -4.11 0.6565 106
115 Georgia St. -4.26 0.5632 139
116 Rice -4.37 0.5831 126
117 Eastern Washington -4.41 0.4795 176
118 Connecticut -4.44 0.7206 83
119 Grand Canyon -4.47 0.4421 192
120 Sam Houston St. -4.52 0.4016 207
121 St. John’s -4.53 0.7173 84
122 Old Dominion -4.54 0.5864 125
123 Oklahoma -4.55 0.7467 69
124 Texas Southern -4.60 0.3814 217
125 Fort Wayne -4.62 0.5811 127
126 Davidson -4.66 0.7021 87
127 San Diego St. -4.71 0.7318 78
128 Texas -4.78 0.7607 66
129 Rutgers -4.84 0.5782 129
130 Northern Kentucky -4.90 0.5112 161
131 Weber St. -4.92 0.5480 143
132 Wright St. -5.01 0.4844 174
133 William & Mary -5.03 0.5808 128
134 George Washington -5.09 0.5637 138
135 Northern Iowa -5.09 0.5701 133
136 Iona -5.12 0.5965 119
137 South Dakota -5.15 0.5231 155
138 Towson -5.17 0.5531 141
139 Arizona St. -5.18 0.5948 121
140 New Orleans -5.21 0.3946 211
141 North Dakota -5.28 0.4691 186
142 Tennessee Martin -5.29 0.4399 193
143 San Jose St. -5.39 0.4483 190
144 Tulsa -5.51 0.5723 131
145 Georgia Southern -5.59 0.5066 162
146 Fresno St. -5.61 0.5867 124
147 Texas A&M Corpus Chris -5.66 0.3290 240
148 UMBC -5.69 0.4372 194
149 Marshall -5.78 0.5236 153
150 Loyola Chicago -5.78 0.6622 104
151 Elon -5.80 0.5615 140
152 UAB -5.81 0.5179 158
153 UC Davis -5.88 0.4013 209
154 Denver -6.00 0.5317 151
155 Central Michigan -6.01 0.4750 180
156 Wyoming -6.04 0.5207 157
157 Massachusetts -6.12 0.6105 116
158 Tennessee St. -6.13 0.4882 172
159 Liberty -6.15 0.4363 195
160 Texas St. -6.20 0.4104 205
161 Canisius -6.21 0.4962 167
162 Samford -6.24 0.4692 185
163 Washington St. -6.24 0.4180 200
164 Buffalo -6.28 0.6171 115
165 Ball St. -6.31 0.4917 169
166 Green Bay -6.31 0.4756 178
167 Lipscomb -6.36 0.5403 146
168 Lehigh -6.38 0.5715 132
169 Albany -6.41 0.5481 142
170 New Hampshire -6.47 0.4705 183
171 Santa Clara -6.47 0.5682 135
172 Stony Brook -6.51 0.4116 203
173 UC Irvine -6.57 0.5344 150
174 Louisiana Lafayette -6.65 0.5398 147
175 LSU -6.77 0.5014 164
176 Mount St. Mary’s -6.87 0.3837 215
177 Boston University -6.89 0.4879 173
178 Northeastern -6.93 0.5426 144
179 Missouri St. -6.94 0.5951 120
180 USC Upstate -6.95 0.3814 216
181 Southern Illinois -7.02 0.4936 168
182 Jacksonville St. -7.03 0.4295 197
183 Loyola Marymount -7.05 0.4892 171
184 Penn -7.18 0.4723 181
185 Nebraska Omaha -7.21 0.4297 196
186 Morehead St. -7.40 0.4838 175
187 East Carolina -7.44 0.3873 213
188 Utah St. -7.47 0.5252 152
189 Columbia -7.48 0.3987 210
190 Saint Peter’s -7.51 0.6004 118
191 Houston Baptist -7.52 0.3263 242
192 Stephen F. Austin -7.56 0.2984 258
193 Alcorn St. -7.59 0.2112 296
194 Saint Joseph’s -7.60 0.5412 145
195 Loyola MD -7.62 0.3197 245
196 Coastal Carolina -7.63 0.4267 198
197 Fairfield -7.69 0.4204 199
198 Eastern Michigan -7.72 0.5358 149
199 Navy -7.76 0.4755 179
200 Washington -7.76 0.5235 154
201 Charlotte -7.77 0.3481 228
202 Evansville -7.81 0.5380 148
203 UMKC -7.84 0.3468 229
204 Lamar -7.90 0.3331 237
205 Troy -7.93 0.5030 163
206 Toledo -7.97 0.5664 136
207 Gardner Webb -7.99 0.4126 201
208 Idaho -8.19 0.3649 220
209 LIU Brooklyn -8.24 0.2653 274
210 Kent St. -8.25 0.4790 177
211 Boston College -8.32 0.5638 137
212 Wofford -8.35 0.5116 160
213 Western Kentucky -8.41 0.3596 222
214 Portland St. -8.42 0.3412 231
215 Northern Illinois -8.43 0.4108 204
216 Long Beach St. -8.59 0.3353 235
217 Montana -8.60 0.4709 182
218 Holy Cross -8.63 0.3762 218
219 Seattle -8.66 0.2685 270
220 Utah Valley -8.72 0.3857 214
221 Norfolk St. -8.73 0.1950 306
222 Hawaii -8.81 0.3222 244
223 Brown -8.89 0.3053 250
224 High Point -9.02 0.3035 251
225 Murray St. -9.09 0.4912 170
226 San Diego -9.12 0.3002 255
227 Rider -9.14 0.3612 221
228 DePaul -9.17 0.4701 184
229 Mercer -9.18 0.5230 156
230 Cal St. Northridge -9.18 0.3231 243
231 Little Rock -9.20 0.3494 227
232 Wagner -9.21 0.3286 241
233 South Alabama -9.22 0.3517 225
234 Hofstra -9.23 0.4531 188
235 Western Michigan -9.27 0.4459 191
236 Indiana St. -9.31 0.4578 187
237 Siena -9.39 0.4518 189
238 Fordham -9.41 0.4014 208
239 Radford -9.41 0.2453 282
240 Jacksonville -9.48 0.2595 276
241 IUPUI -9.53 0.4120 202
242 Missouri -9.64 0.5173 159
243 Savannah St. -9.68 0.1462 321
244 Nicholls St. -9.70 0.1398 325
245 UNLV -9.84 0.3512 226
246 Portland -9.89 0.2899 263
247 Southeastern Louisiana -9.91 0.3191 246
248 Illinois Chicago -9.92 0.3404 233
249 Fairleigh Dickinson -9.93 0.2934 261
250 Campbell -9.98 0.2179 293
251 Cal St. Fullerton -10.00 0.3032 252
252 Eastern Illinois -10.04 0.3744 219
253 Duquesne -10.05 0.3547 224
254 Hampton -10.12 0.1748 314
255 UTSA -10.40 0.2379 285
256 Abilene Christian -10.44 0.1944 308
257 Bowling Green -10.51 0.3168 247
258 Saint Louis -10.56 0.2453 283
259 Pepperdine -10.61 0.2711 268
260 Air Force -10.67 0.4036 206
261 South Carolina St. -10.72 0.0960 336
262 Montana St. -10.72 0.3324 238
263 St. Francis PA -10.77 0.2719 267
264 Incarnate Word -10.80 0.1796 312
265 Appalachian St. -10.82 0.3321 239
266 Southern -10.82 0.1708 315
267 South Dakota St. -10.86 0.3897 212
268 Sacramento St. -10.87 0.2114 295
269 Kennesaw St. -10.92 0.2873 264
270 Northwestern St. -10.97 0.1934 309
271 South Florida -11.01 0.2316 289
272 Bradley -11.08 0.3111 248
273 Quinnipiac -11.17 0.2985 257
274 UTEP -11.25 0.3339 236
275 Delaware -11.26 0.2143 294
276 Morgan St. -11.37 0.1232 330
277 UC Riverside -11.42 0.2245 291
278 Northern Colorado -11.47 0.2264 290
279 Pacific -11.50 0.2996 256
280 Florida Atlantic -11.51 0.2957 259
281 North Florida -11.53 0.2954 260
282 Jackson St. -11.70 0.1524 320
283 Southeast Missouri St. -11.78 0.3097 249
284 Western Illinois -11.89 0.2085 299
285 Maryland Eastern Shore -11.92 0.1763 313
286 Sacred Heart -11.97 0.1975 303
287 Grambling St. -12.05 0.0924 340
288 Binghamton -12.07 0.2096 298
289 Eastern Kentucky -12.15 0.2323 288
290 Cleveland St. -12.16 0.3408 232
291 Cornell -12.20 0.2706 269
292 Dartmouth -12.21 0.2237 292
293 Robert Morris -12.30 0.2570 278
294 Tennessee Tech -12.33 0.3018 253
295 Miami OH -12.37 0.2533 279
296 Prairie View A&M -12.41 0.1537 319
297 Western Carolina -12.50 0.1359 328
298 Central Arkansas -12.57 0.2019 302
299 VMI -12.59 0.1620 316
300 Oral Roberts -12.66 0.3467 230
301 The Citadel -12.69 0.1829 311
302 Charleston Southern -12.70 0.2045 300
303 Youngstown St. -12.80 0.2098 297
304 Manhattan -12.82 0.2351 287
305 McNeese St. -12.95 0.1378 326
306 Alabama St. -12.95 0.0935 339
307 Tulane -12.96 0.2749 265
308 Army -13.07 0.2724 266
309 Cal Poly -13.11 0.1893 310
310 Drexel -13.22 0.3562 223
311 NJIT -13.24 0.2666 272
312 North Texas -13.25 0.1946 307
313 UT Rio Grande Valley -13.26 0.1974 304
314 Bryant -13.28 0.2484 281
315 UMass Lowell -13.29 0.2525 280
316 Austin Peay -13.30 0.2033 301
317 Colgate -13.47 0.2654 273
318 Southern Miss -13.85 0.1177 332
319 Drake -13.97 0.3017 254
320 Detroit -13.99 0.2352 286
321 Idaho St. -14.08 0.1550 318
322 Louisiana Monroe -14.12 0.2594 277
323 Lafayette -14.15 0.1250 329
324 Milwaukee -14.30 0.2597 275
325 American -14.33 0.1973 305
326 Oregon St. -14.37 0.2679 271
327 Niagara -14.38 0.2901 262
328 Stetson -14.62 0.1432 324
329 Delaware St. -14.66 0.1069 335
330 Howard -14.78 0.0774 342
331 Longwood -15.07 0.0609 348
332 James Madison -15.16 0.3390 234
333 UC Santa Barbara -15.16 0.1231 331
334 Coppin St. -15.18 0.0662 347
335 Hartford -15.29 0.1362 327
336 Chicago St. -15.33 0.0947 337
337 FIU -15.52 0.2406 284
338 Florida A&M -15.61 0.0772 343
339 Marist -15.86 0.1617 317
340 Mississippi Valley St. -15.86 0.0751 344
341 Northern Arizona -16.01 0.1443 322
342 Presbyterian -16.44 0.0488 350
343 Arkansas Pine Bluff -16.54 0.0746 345
344 Maine -16.96 0.1154 334
345 Central Connecticut -17.05 0.0941 338
346 Bethune Cookman -17.47 0.0738 346
347 SIU Edwardsville -17.66 0.1438 323
348 Southern Utah -18.68 0.1173 333
349 St. Francis NY -19.17 0.0797 341
350 Alabama A&M -19.45 0.0289 351
351 North Carolina A&T -20.77 0.0489 349
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