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This year’s grades come with an asterisk because I am missing some data I would normally have. To be fair, NFL GM’s are also going to be missing a lot of data they normally have.

Some notes:

  1. Joe Burrow is far and away the best quarterback in this class. The gap between him and Tua is larger than it appears here due to Tua’s major injury red flags.
  2. I can’t state this enough: Tua, even if cleared by the team doctors, has a history of lower body injuries. Also, there’s the issue that it’s tough to evaluate players medically right now. This puts both Tua and NFL GM’s in a tough spot.
  3. Star cornerbacks are generally more prized than star defensive tackles. That bumps Okudah above Brown in the value column (not listed).
  4. Isaiah Simmons does a ton of things really well. Even so, I think I’d get the willies drafting him in the top five.
  5. Most of my projections for Chase Young have him him as a somewhat stronger prospect Nick Bosa. However, I want to note that one of my projections for him is as the best player I’ve ever scouted. His ceiling is Lawrence Taylor/Reggie White.
  6. For those of you concerned that the Clemson game exposed Young: Clemson’s offensive protection scheme was entirely geared around shutting down Young, which created opportunities for the rest of the front-seven.
  7. I’m on team Jeudy, but I can see others preferring Lamb or Ruggs as the top WR in the class.
  8. I’m certain I’ve never had a smaller delta between my top OT and my fourth OT.
  9. I should probably institute a positional penalty for running backs like I do for kickers and punters. I wouldn’t take any running back in the first round.
  10. I should probably institute a positional penalty for defenders that don’t influence opposing passing games after instituting a positional penalty for running backs.
  11. If Tua has injury red flags, Herbert has film red flags. Whoa boy. This is a tricky draft to find quarterbacks, after Burrow of course.
Rank Name Position School Grade
1 Chase Young DE Ohio State 96.60
2 Derrick Brown DT Auburn 92.48
3 Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State 92.39
4 Joe Burrow QB LSU 91.77
5 Isaiah Simmons OLB Clemson 91.75
6 Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama 89.23
7 Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama 87.86
8 CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma 87.02
9 Jedrick Wills Jr. OT Alabama 86.90
10 Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina 86.27
11 Andrew Thomas OT Georgia 86.21
12 Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa 85.89
13 D’Andre Swift RB Georgia 85.68
14 Mekhi Becton OT Louisville 85.42
15 Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama 85.18
16 C.J. Henderson CB Florida 84.09
17 Grant Delpit S LSU 82.92
18 K’Lavon Chaisson DE LSU 82.39
19 Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin 81.79
20 Kenneth Murray ILB Oklahoma 81.78
21 J.K. Dobbins RB Ohio State 81.58
22 A.J. Epenesa DE Iowa 81.43
23 Yetur Gross-Matos DE Penn State 81.31
24 Justin Jefferson WR LSU 81.07
25 Xavier McKinney S Alabama 80.70
26 Trevon Diggs CB Alabama 80.06
27 Austin Jackson OT USC 80.01
28 Justin Herbert QB Oregon 79.98
29 Tee Higgins WR Clemson 79.81
30 Patrick Queen ILB LSU 79.20
31 Antoine Winfield Jr. S Minnesota 78.63
32 Terrell Lewis OLB Alabama 77.66
33 Laviska Shenault Jr. WR Colorado 77.57
34 Ross Blacklock DT TCU 77.09
35 Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU 76.88
36 Zack Baun OLB Wisconsin 76.67
37 Raekwon Davis DT Alabama 76.46
38 Kristian Fulton CB LSU 76.33
39 Jordan Love QB Utah State 76.09
40 A.J. Terrell CB Clemson 75.57
41 Jaylon Johnson CB Utah 75.19
42 Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame 75.05
43 Jalen Reagor WR TCU 75.00
44 Jeff Gladney CB TCU 74.70
45 Cesar Ruiz C Michigan 74.46
46 Damon Arnette CB Ohio State 73.91
47 Josh Jones OT Houston 73.83
48 Jacob Eason QB Washington 73.79
49 Julian Okwara DE Notre Dame 73.79
50 Kyle Dugger S Lenoir-Rhyne 73.63
51 Tyler Biadasz C Wisconsin 73.42
52 K.J. Hamler WR Penn State 73.36
53 Prince Tega Wanogho OT Auburn 72.82
54 Neville Gallimore DT Oklahoma 72.76
55 Cam Akers RB Florida State 72.57
56 Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State 72.29
57 Michael Pittman Jr. WR USC 72.28
58 Ashtyn Davis S California 71.60
59 Bradlee Anae DE Utah 70.77
60 Josh Uche OLB Michigan 70.65
61 Ezra Cleveland OT Boise State 70.50
62 Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M 70.05
63 Albert Okwuegbunam TE Missouri 69.88
64 Curtis Weaver DE Boise State 69.51
65 Noah Igbinoghene CB Auburn 69.33
66 Jeremy Chinn S Southern Illinois 68.84
67 Adam Trautman TE Dayton 68.79
68 Jake Fromm QB Georgia 68.72
69 Zack Moss RB Utah 68.67
70 Jabari Zuniga DE Florida 68.63
71 Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia 68.62
72 Cameron Dantzler CB Mississippi State 68.37
73 Jason Strowbridge DT North Carolina 68.24
74 Harrison Bryant TE Florida Atlantic 67.73
75 Lucas Niang OT TCU 67.68
76 Matt Hennessy C Temple 67.53
77 Bryce Hall CB Virginia 66.81
78 Marlon Davidson DE Auburn 66.78
79 A.J. Dillon RB Boston College 66.40
80 Akeem Davis-Gaither OLB Appalachian State 66.40
81 Denzel Mims WR Baylor 66.16
82 Hunter Bryant TE Washington 66.06
83 Collin Johnson WR Texas 65.80
84 John Simpson OG Clemson 65.50
85 Jordan Elliott DT Missouri 65.06
86 A.J. Green CB Oklahoma State 65.01
87 Amik Robertson CB Louisiana Tech 64.86
88 Ben Bredeson OG Michigan 64.77
89 Jonathan Greenard DE Florida 64.05
90 Darrell Taylor DE Tennessee 64.02
91 Jordyn Brooks ILB Texas Tech 63.84
92 Leki Fotu DT Utah 63.50
93 Saahdiq Charles OT LSU 62.87
94 Colby Parkinson TE Stanford 62.85
95 Logan Wilson ILB Wyoming 62.73
96 James Lynch DT Baylor 62.42
97 Logan Stenberg OG Kentucky 62.34
98 Brandon Jones S Texas 62.24
99 Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina 62.21
100 Lloyd Cushenberry III C LSU 62.03
101 Trey Adams OT Washington 61.57
102 Jalen Hurts QB Oklahoma 61.30
103 Anthony McFarland Jr. RB Maryland 61.29
104 Netane Muti OG Fresno State 61.28
105 Troy Pride Jr. CB Notre Dame 61.22
106 Jared Pinkney TE Vanderbilt 60.97
107 Anfernee Jennings OLB Alabama 60.54
108 Malik Harrison ILB Ohio State 60.44
109 Devin Duvernay WR Texas 60.32
110 K.J. Hill WR Ohio State 60.06
111 Devin Asiasi TE UCLA 59.98
112 Nick Harris C Washington 59.75
113 Eno Benjamin RB Arizona State 59.52
114 Antonio Gandy-Golden WR Liberty 59.26
115 Troy Dye OLB Oregon 59.08
116 Markus Bailey ILB Purdue 59.03
117 Van Jefferson WR Florida 58.98
118 Donovan Peoples-Jones WR Michigan 58.93
119 Keith Ismael C San Diego State 58.66
120 Rashard Lawrence DT LSU 58.65
121 Thaddeus Moss TE LSU 58.58
122 Gabriel Davis WR UCF 58.11
123 Khalid Kareem DE Notre Dame 58.09
124 Matt Peart OT UConn 57.70
125 Davon Hamilton DT Ohio State 57.13
126 Kenny Willekes DE Michigan State 56.87
127 Davion Taylor OLB Colorado 56.75
128 Nick Coe DE Auburn 56.73
129 Chase Claypool WR Notre Dame 56.61
130 Brycen Hopkins TE Purdue 56.30
131 Darnay Holmes CB UCLA 56.08
132 Shane Lemieux OG Oregon 55.89
133 Jonah Jackson OG Ohio State 55.42
134 Lavert Hill CB Michigan 55.37
135 Alton Robinson DE Syracuse 55.07
136 Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB Vanderbilt 55.01
137 Josiah Scott CB Michigan State 54.41
138 Robert Hunt OG Louisiana 54.33
139 Evan Weaver ILB California 53.46
140 Dane Jackson CB Pittsburgh 53.43
141 La’Mical Perine RB Florida 53.30
142 D.J. Wonnum DE South Carolina 53.08
143 Jordan Fuller S Ohio State 53.03
144 Josh Metellus S Michigan 52.79
145 Quintez Cephus WR Wisconsin 52.79
146 K’Von Wallace S Clemson 52.61
147 Terence Steele OT Texas Tech 52.55
148 Ben Bartch OG St. John’s (MN) 52.33
149 James Proche WR SMU 52.19
150 Jack Driscoll OT Auburn 52.04
151 Antoine Brooks Jr. S Maryland 51.96
152 Tremayne Anchrum OG Clemson 51.91
153 Hakeem Adeniji OT Kansas 51.65
154 Damien Lewis OG LSU 51.61
155 Kalija Lipscomb WR Vanderbilt 51.53
156 Solomon Kindley OG Georgia 51.53
157 Colton McKivitz OT West Virginia 51.35
158 Tanner Muse S Clemson 51.18
159 Joseph Charlton P South Carolina 51.14
160 DeeJay Dallas RB Miami 51.04
161 Benito Jones DT Ole Miss 51.04
162 J.R. Reed S Georgia 50.75
163 Raequan Williams DT Michigan State 50.53
164 Jacob Phillips ILB LSU 50.36
165 Kindle Vildor CB Georgia Southern 50.31
166 Tyler Johnson WR Minnesota 50.09
167 Lamar Jackson CB Nebraska 50.08
168 Robert Windsor DT Penn State 50.07
169 Cam Brown OLB Penn State 50.07
170 Larrell Murchison DT NC State 49.82
171 Lynn Bowden Jr. WR Kentucky 49.63
172 Carter Coughlin OLB Minnesota 49.08
173 Stephen Sullivan TE LSU 48.91
174 Khaleke Hudson OLB Michigan 48.86
175 Alohi Gilman S Notre Dame 48.72
176 Harrison Hand CB Temple 48.60
177 Anthony Gordon QB Washington State 48.40
178 Isaiah Hodgins WR Oregon State 48.25
179 Nate Stanley QB Iowa 47.83
180 Michael Warren II RB Cincinnati 47.71
181 Stanford Samuels III CB Florida State 47.70
182 Darrion Daniels DT Nebraska 47.65
183 Quartney Davis WR Texas A&M 47.49
184 Brian Cole II S Mississippi State 46.98
185 Rodrigo Blankenship K Georgia 46.92
186 Trystan Colon-Castillo C Missouri 46.40
187 Steven Montez QB Colorado 46.28
188 Geno Stone S Iowa 46.27
189 Javaris Davis CB Auburn 45.94
190 Julian Blackmon S Utah 45.69
191 Antonio Gibson RB Memphis 45.60
192 Calvin Throckmorton OT Oregon 45.25
193 Kamal Martin OLB Minnesota 45.24
194 Josiah Coatney DT Ole Miss 45.08
195 Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa 44.66
196 Essang Bassey CB Wake Forest 44.64
197 Terrell Burgess S Utah 44.41
198 Jeff Thomas WR Miami 44.27
199 Jon Runyan OT Michigan 44.23
200 Charlie Taumoepeau TE Portland State 44.15
201 Jalen Elliott S Notre Dame 44.09
202 Levante Bellamy RB Western Michigan 44.06
203 Mitchell Wilcox TE South Florida 44.05
204 Justin Strnad OLB Wake Forest 43.87
205 Tyler Bass K Georgia Southern 43.86
206 Myles Bryant CB Washington 43.58
207 James Robinson RB Illinois State 43.07
208 Mykal Walker OLB Fresno State 42.97
209 Shaquille Quarterman ILB Miami 42.58
210 Yasir Durant OT Missouri 42.37
211 Joe Reed WR Virginia 42.36
212 Trevon Hill DE Miami 42.32
213 Alex Taylor OT South Carolina State 42.24
214 Zach Shackelford C Texas 42.18
215 Darrynton Evans RB Appalachian State 42.18
216 John Hightower WR Boise State 41.91
217 David Woodward ILB Utah State 41.90
218 Dalton Keene TE Virginia Tech 41.78
219 Willie Gay Jr. OLB Mississippi State 41.53
220 Shyheim Carter S Alabama 41.25
221 Jonathan Garvin DE Miami 41.14
222 Quez Watkins WR Southern Mississippi 41.12
223 Broderick Washington Jr. DT Texas Tech 41.01
224 Juwan Johnson WR Oregon 41.00
225 Austin Mack WR Ohio State 40.81
226 Casey Toohill OLB Stanford 40.75
227 Cole McDonald QB Hawai’i 40.64
228 Michael Pinckney ILB Miami 40.61
229 McTelvin Agim DT Arkansas 40.55
230 Salvon Ahmed RB Washington 40.30
231 Tipa Galeai DE Utah State 40.19
232 Joshua Kelley RB UCLA 40.18
233 Cohl Cabral C Arizona State 40.06
234 Javon Leake RB Maryland 39.87
235 Sean McKeon TE Michigan 39.82
236 Cheyenne O’Grady TE Arkansas 39.74
237 Carlos Davis DT Nebraska 39.65
238 Trevis Gipson DE Tulsa 39.54
239 Joe Bachie ILB Michigan State 39.45
240 Jeremiah Dinson S Auburn 39.19
241 Dominic Eberle K Utah State 39.15
242 Darryl Williams C Mississippi State 39.11
243 Marquez Callaway WR Tennessee 38.79
244 Trishton Jackson WR Syracuse 38.72
245 Jacob Breeland TE Oregon 38.27
246 Brian Lewerke QB Michigan State 38.24
247 Dezmon Patmon WR Washington State 37.88
248 Josiah Deguara TE Cincinnati 37.84
249 Clay Johnson ILB Baylor 37.65
250 Binjimen Victor WR Ohio State 37.50
251 Jauan Jennings WR Tennessee 37.49
252 J.J. Taylor RB Arizona 37.47
253 Brian Herrien RB Georgia 37.45
254 Rico Dowdle RB South Carolina 37.44
255 JaMycal Hasty RB Baylor 37.36
256 Oluwole Betiku DE Illinois 37.29
257 Trajan Bandy CB Miami 37.27
258 James Morgan QB Florida International 37.17
259 Simon Stepaniak OT Indiana 37.06
260 Jaylinn Hawkins S California 36.92
261 Qaadir Sheppard DE Ole Miss 36.87
262 Michael Divinity Jr. OLB LSU 36.77
263 Rodney Clemons S SMU 36.76
264 Alex Highsmith DE Charlotte 36.51
265 John Penisini DT Utah 36.45
266 Christian Rector DT USC 36.29
267 Dante Olson ILB Montana 36.25
268 Darius Anderson RB TCU 36.22
269 Tyre Phillips OT Mississippi State 36.19
270 Kyle Murphy OG Rhode Island 36.04
271 Reggie Robinson II CB Tulsa 35.87
272 Jake Hanson C Ohio State 35.84
273 Kendrick Rogers WR Texas A&M 35.80
274 Cale Garrett ILB Missouri 35.64
275 DeMarkus Acy CB Missouri 35.58
276 Daniel Thomas S Auburn 35.48
277 Scottie Phillips RB Ole Miss 35.47
278 James Smith-Williams DE NC State 35.46
279 Braden Mann P Texas A&M 35.43
280 Francis Bernard ILB Utah 35.30
281 Justin Herron OG Wake Forest 35.29
282 LaDarius Hamilton DE North Texas 35.20
283 Jared Mayden S Alabama 35.20
284 Cameron Clark OT Charlotte 35.14
285 Chapelle Russell OLB Temple 35.12
286 Javelin Guidry CB Utah 35.07
287 Tony Jones Jr. RB Notre Dame 34.94
288 David Dowell S Michigan State 34.91
289 Lawrence Cager WR Georgia 34.74
290 Shea Patterson QB Michigan 34.73
291 Chauncey Rivers DT Mississippi State 34.66
292 Kelly Bryant QB Missouri 34.58
293 Aaron Fuller WR Washington 34.34
294 Grayland Arnold CB Baylor 34.03
295 Nigel Warrior S Tennessee 33.86
296 James Pierre CB Florida Atlantic 33.83
297 L’Jarius Sneed CB Louisiana Tech 33.68
298 Dominick Wood-Anderson TE Tennessee 33.65
299 Daishawn Dixon OG San Diego State 33.63
300 Mike Danna DE Michigan 33.57

I posted my seed list, as well as the seed lists of Jerry Palm and Joe Lunardi:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12PrlCud6Ult_0bQTkctbWNJXO4vua59TR4WnZt4_3zU/edit#gid=802037872

There aren’t any differences at the top where we all have the same four #1 seeds. Lunardi and I have the same #2 seeds, while Palm has Villanova ahead of Duke. That’s an entirely reasonable position as Villanova has a better resume than Duke:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12PrlCud6Ult_0bQTkctbWNJXO4vua59TR4WnZt4_3zU/edit#gid=1968222848

I have Louisville on the #3 line while both Palm and Lunardi have Seton Hall. Louisville has both a better power rating (Pythag) than Seton Hall, and a better resume (Parcells). I suspect this is a case where the Big East is a huge beneficiary of the Quadrants system the committee will be using on the team sheets. More on this in a bit.

Apart from that switch, we agree on the #4 seed line. From here on out I’ll just cover the difference that I find interesting/important.

I have Ohio State on the #5 seed line where both Palm and Lunardi have them on the #6 seed line. They don’t agree who should be there instead.

I have Colorado on the #7 seed line while Lunardi has them on the #6 seed line and Palm has them on the #5 seed line. Like the Big East, the Pac 12 is getting hooked up by the NET and the Quadrant system. I have Arizona as a #9 seed, while Lunardi and Palm have them as a #6 and #7 seed respectively.

I have East Tennessee State as a #8 seed. Lunardi has them as a #10. Palm has them as a #12. Historically, mid-majors with strong resumes from 1-bid leagues have been underseeded by the NCAA, so both Lunardi and Palm have good reason to ding ETSU. I’m not trying to predict the committee though. I just want to produce the fairest bracket I can.

I have Florida as a #11 seed, while both Lunardi and Palm have them safely in as a #8 and #9 seed respectively.

My last four teams in are Rutgers, Texas, Richmond, and Furman. Neither Lunardi or Palm have Furman in. In fact, neither have them in the next eight teams to be considered. Neither have Texas in, although Lunardi has them as the eighth team out. Woof.

Lunardi has Rutgers as a #10 seed, while Palm has them among the top four out.

Palm has Richmond in Dayton, while Lunardi has them as the second team out of the field.

Palm has Arkansas and Stanford in the field, while Lunardi has Cincinnati and NC State. Interestingly, both of them have Providence in.

Texas vs. Providence strikes me as the key issue here. Texas has 0.54 WAB and they are found wanting. Providence has -0.74 WAB and they’re (barely) in.

In golf terms:

Texas has played a par 11.54 schedule. The only have 11 losses.

Providence has played a par 11.26 schedule. They have 12 losses.

Texas should be in. Providence should be out. Ultimately, it comes down to the committee making it clear that the strength of your record is what merits inclusion in the dance.

 

 

 

 

 

Texas got people talking last night after their win over West Virginia:

The presumption is that Texas hasn’t had a very good season. That seems odd to me. More on this in a bit.

Matt Norlander suggested a win on Saturday at Texas Tech would give Texas an intriguing résumé:

I must confess some astonishment at those proclamations, but the truth is Bracket Matrix backs them up. Texas is currently listed on zero brackets.

That seems unfortunate given they have a solid résumé:

Date Team Opponent-Location for Opp Bubble EW% Result WAB
11/05/19 Texas Northern Colorado-Away 0.8134 1 0.1866
11/09/19 Texas Purdue-Home 0.2695 1 0.7305
11/12/19 Texas Cal Baptist-Away 0.9101 1 0.0899
11/15/19 Texas Prairie View A&M-Away 0.93 1 0.07
11/21/19 Texas Georgetown-Neutral 0.5488 0 -0.5488
11/22/19 Texas California-Neutral 0.8297 1 0.1703
11/30/19 Texas McNeese St.-Away 0.9656 1 0.0344
12/03/19 Texas UAB-Away 0.9158 1 0.0842
12/08/19 Texas Texas A&M-Neutral 0.7663 1 0.2337
12/14/19 Texas Central Michigan-Away 0.9182 1 0.0818
12/21/19 Texas Providence-Home 0.3515 0 -0.3515
12/30/19 Texas High Point-Away 0.9855 1 0.0145
01/04/20 Texas Baylor-Home 0.1113 0 -0.1113
01/08/20 Texas Oklahoma-Away 0.6493 0 -0.6493
01/11/20 Texas Kansas St.-Away 0.8027 1 0.1973
01/15/20 Texas Oklahoma St.-Home 0.4108 1 0.5892
01/18/20 Texas Kansas-Away 0.2105 0 -0.2105
01/20/20 Texas West Virginia-Home 0.1876 0 -0.1876
01/25/20 Texas LSU-Away 0.6105 0 -0.6105
01/29/20 Texas TCU-Home 0.4682 1 0.5318
02/01/20 Texas Iowa St.-Away 0.7453 1 0.2547
02/03/20 Texas Kansas-Home 0.0685 0 -0.0685
02/08/20 Texas Texas Tech-Away 0.4767 0 -0.4767
02/10/20 Texas Baylor-Away 0.3122 0 -0.3122
02/15/20 Texas Iowa St.-Home 0.4466 0 -0.4466
02/19/20 Texas TCU-Away 0.7615 1 0.2385
02/22/20 Texas Kansas St.-Home 0.5287 1 0.4713
02/24/20 Texas West Virginia-Away 0.4557 1 0.5443
Net WAB 0.5495

In a fair world 0.55 WAB would put you into the NCAA Tournament. Let’s compare Texas with Florida:

Date Team Opponent-Location for Opp Bubble EW% Result WAB
11/05/19 Florida North Florida-Away 0.8978 1 0.1022
11/10/19 Florida Florida St.-Away 0.4623 0 -0.4623
11/14/19 Florida Towson-Away 0.9036 1 0.0964
11/17/19 Florida Connecticut-Home 0.425 0 -0.425
11/21/19 Florida Saint Joseph’s-Neutral 0.9229 1 0.0771
11/22/19 Florida Miami FL-Neutral 0.6807 1 0.3193
11/24/19 Florida Xavier-Neutral 0.4765 1 0.5235
11/29/19 Florida Marshall-Away 0.8922 1 0.1078
12/07/19 Florida Butler-Home 0.2778 0 -0.2778
12/17/19 Florida Providence-Neutral 0.5079 1 0.4921
12/21/19 Florida Utah St.-Neutral 0.4709 0 -0.4709
12/28/19 Florida Long Beach St.-Away 0.968 1 0.032
01/04/20 Florida Alabama-Away 0.6559 1 0.3441
01/07/20 Florida South Carolina-Home 0.4182 1 0.5818
01/11/20 Florida Missouri-Home 0.5411 0 -0.5411
01/14/20 Florida Mississippi-Away 0.782 1 0.218
01/18/20 Florida Auburn-Away 0.6067 1 0.3933
01/21/20 Florida LSU-Home 0.3018 0 -0.3018
01/25/20 Florida Baylor-Away 0.3122 0 -0.3122
01/28/20 Florida Mississippi St.-Away 0.6889 0 -0.6889
02/01/20 Florida Vanderbilt-Home 0.704 1 0.296
02/05/20 Florida Georgia-Away 0.7988 1 0.2012
02/08/20 Florida Mississippi-Home 0.4973 0 -0.4973
02/12/20 Florida Texas A&M-Home 0.6326 1 0.3674
02/15/20 Florida Vanderbilt-Away 0.8961 1 0.1039
02/18/20 Florida Arkansas-Away 0.6596 1 0.3404
02/22/20 Florida Kentucky-Home 0.2295 0 -0.2295
Net WAB 0.3897

Frankly, there isn’t that much separating the two bodies of work. Mind you, Florida is on all 103 brackets over at Bracket Matrix. I can’t say I have any objection to that given I too would put them in the field. The awkward part is that Florida is currently safely in and Texas is on the outside despite Texas having the slightly stronger résumé. And then there’s Stanford:

Date Team Opponent-Location for Opp Bubble EW% Result WAB
11/06/19 Stanford Montana-Away 0.8772 1 0.1228
11/09/19 Stanford Cal St. Fullerton-Away 0.9608 1 0.0392
11/12/19 Stanford Long Beach St.-Away 0.968 1 0.032
11/16/19 Stanford Santa Clara-Away 0.8869 1 0.1131
11/19/19 Stanford Maryland Eastern Shore-Away 0.9938 1 0.0062
11/21/19 Stanford William & Mary-Away 0.9139 1 0.0861
11/25/19 Stanford Oklahoma-Neutral 0.493 1 0.507
11/26/19 Stanford Butler-Neutral 0.4227 0 -0.4227
12/01/19 Stanford UNC Wilmington-Away 0.9724 1 0.0276
12/14/19 Stanford San Jose St.-Home 0.8903 1 0.1097
12/17/19 Stanford San Francisco-Away 0.7964 1 0.2036
12/21/19 Stanford San Diego-Semi-Away 0.9138 1 0.0862
12/29/19 Stanford Kansas-Away 0.2105 0 -0.2105
01/02/20 Stanford California-Away 0.9027 1 0.0973
01/09/20 Stanford Washington-Away 0.7145 1 0.2855
01/11/20 Stanford Washington St.-Away 0.8795 1 0.1205
01/15/20 Stanford UCLA-Home 0.4708 1 0.5292
01/18/20 Stanford USC-Home 0.3917 0 -0.3917
01/26/20 Stanford California-Home 0.719 0 -0.719
01/30/20 Stanford Oregon St.-Away 0.7679 0 -0.7679
02/01/20 Stanford Oregon-Away 0.5287 1 0.4713
02/06/20 Stanford Utah-Home 0.5388 0 -0.5388
02/08/20 Stanford Colorado-Home 0.2441 0 -0.2441
02/13/20 Stanford Arizona St.-Away 0.6784 0 -0.6784
02/15/20 Stanford Arizona-Away 0.4613 0 -0.4613
02/20/20 Stanford Washington-Home 0.4084 1 0.5916
02/23/20 Stanford Washington St.-Home 0.6681 1 0.3319
Net WAB -0.6736

Stanford has rallied a bit lately, but their résumé is still well below the Mendoza line. They are currently in on 42 brackets, which puts them squarely on the bubble.

So, what exactly is going on here? My guess is that it’s an issue of power ratings. Both Florida and Stanford are among top 40 teams in the country. Texas is outside of the top 60. The thing is, both Matt and Brad were focusing specifically on Texas’s résumé. That’s as it should be. Résumé (your body of work) should be what gets you into the dance. To use the golf analogy of par:

Texas’s schedule is a par 11.55. They’ve shot an 11 on it.

Florida’s schedule is a par 10.39. They’ve shot a 10 on it.

Stanford’s schedule is a par 8.33. They’ve shot a 9 on it.

Texas and Florida should currently be in (albeit, via Dayton). Stanford should be out.

 

 

 

Today Ken Pomeroy had an article in The Athletic about Stephen F. Austin and their bubble case. In it, he referenced my work on WAB. For those unfamiliar with the process, WAB stands for Wins-Above-Bubble. From the article:

“It’s fairly easy to understand as it attempts to answer this question: How well did a team do against its schedule relative to what would be expected from an average bubble team? WAB is a great concept and puts us close to a completely objective system for making tournament selections.”

Ken goes on to review Stephen F. Austin’s schedule and their results. I felt it would be good to supplement that with a visual breakdown of the math here. I’ll break there schedule down into two parts here:

Opponent-Location for Opponent Bubble EW% Result WAB Result
Duke-Home 0.1125 1 0.8875
Rutgers-Home 0.2686 0 -0.2686
Alabama-Home 0.3801 0 -0.3801
Net Result 0.2388

Those are they tough road games for any bubble team to face. 1-2 is a good result for an average bubble team. That’s something bracketologists seem to be reasonably willing to concede. What they have a problem with is SFA’s loss at home to Texas A&M Corpus Christi. They argue that the loss cancels out the win over Duke, leaving their resume unworthy of inclusion. Let’s look at the “other” 22 games SFA has played so far this season:

Opponent-Location for Opponent Bubble EW% Result WAB Result
Sam Houston St.-Home 0.7544 1 0.2456
Arkansas St.-Home 0.7811 1 0.2189
McNeese St.-Home 0.8668 1 0.1332
Lamar-Home 0.8866 1 0.1134
Central Arkansas-Home 0.8894 1 0.1106
Northwestern St.-Home 0.9111 1 0.0889
Texas A&M Corpus Chris-Home 0.9136 1 0.0864
Abilene Christian-Away 0.9213 1 0.0787
Nicholls St.-Away 0.9276 1 0.0724
New Orleans-Home 0.9355 1 0.0645
Drexel-Away 0.9513 1 0.0487
Southeastern Louisiana-Home 0.9565 1 0.0435
Louisiana Monroe-Away 0.9689 1 0.0311
North Carolina Central-Away 0.9699 1 0.0301
Niagara-Away 0.9729 1 0.0271
Texas A&M Corpus Chris-Away 0.9746 0 -0.9746
New Orleans-Away 0.9813 1 0.0187
Houston Baptist-Away 0.988 1 0.012
Incarnate Word-Away 0.993 1 0.007
LeTourneau-Away 1 1 0
Arlington Baptist-Away 1 1 0
Paul Quinn-Away 1 1 0
    Net Result 0.4562

Yes, the loss to Texas A&M Corpus Christi really was that bad. It more than cancels out the Duke win. But… Stephen F. Austin went 21-0 in the rest of their schedule, and that counts too. In fact, altogether, even with the loss to TAM-CC, they have done well outside of their three major road games. Wins at Sam Houston State and Arkansas State aren’t a given for a bubble team.

The fact is, it’s hard to go 22-3 vs. SFA’s schedule. Bart Torvik agrees. ESPN agrees. Both have SFA in the top 50 in their resume metrics, at 44th, and 46th respective. That has nothing to do with how good they are. Bart has them 123rd, while ESPN has them 126th. Their resume is solid even if they’d be a clear underdog on a neutral court to the next team we’ll be looking at, Purdue.

First off, you can find a full review of Purdue’s schedule here. Before I break their schedule down, let me note that SFA got a net total of 2.32 WAB in their 22 wins and -1.62 WAB in their three losses. Purdue has faced a much tougher schedule. Let’s start by looking at their wins:

Date Team Opponent-Location for Opponent Bubble EW% Result WAB Result
02/08/20 Purdue Indiana-Home 0.3776 1 0.6224
01/12/20 Purdue Michigan St.-Away 0.4676 1 0.5324
11/29/19 Purdue VCU-Neutral 0.5528 1 0.4472
02/05/20 Purdue Iowa-Away 0.5664 1 0.4336
01/24/20 Purdue Wisconsin-Away 0.5728 1 0.4272
01/02/20 Purdue Minnesota-Away 0.6049 1 0.3951
02/01/20 Purdue Northwestern-Home 0.6512 1 0.3488
12/04/19 Purdue Virginia-Away 0.6738 1 0.3262
12/17/19 Purdue Ohio-Home 0.7896 1 0.2104
12/08/19 Purdue Northwestern-Away 0.8713 1 0.1287
12/28/19 Purdue Central Michigan-Away 0.9298 1 0.0702
11/06/19 Purdue Green Bay-Away 0.9523 1 0.0477
11/23/19 Purdue Jacksonville St.-Away 0.9659 1 0.0341
11/16/19 Purdue Chicago St.-Away 0.9976 1 0.0024
Net WAB: 4.0264

Purdue has generated 4.03 WAB in their 14 wins. That’s better than what SFA has generated in their 22 wins. Alas, the problem is we live in a world with credits and debits. Purdue’s 12 losses:

01/18/20 Purdue Maryland-Home 0.1682 0 -0.1682
02/15/20 Purdue Ohio St.-Home 0.1895 0 -0.1895
01/09/20 Purdue Michigan-Home 0.2212 0 -0.2212
11/13/19 Purdue Marquette-Home 0.2593 0 -0.2593
01/28/20 Purdue Rutgers-Home 0.2686 0 -0.2686
01/05/20 Purdue Illinois-Home 0.2988 0 -0.2988
11/30/19 Purdue Florida St.-Neutral 0.3778 0 -0.3778
12/21/19 Purdue Butler-Neutral 0.4289 0 -0.4289
02/11/20 Purdue Penn St.-Away 0.4715 0 -0.4715
01/21/20 Purdue Illinois-Away 0.6071 0 -0.6071
12/15/19 Purdue Nebraska-Home 0.6736 0 -0.6736
11/09/19 Purdue Texas-Away 0.777 0 -0.777
Net WAB: -4.7415

Losing at Maryland and Ohio State is understandable. The WAB penalty there isn’t too brutal. Alas, Purdue has also lost at home to Texas, Illinois, and Penn State. They also lost at Nebraska, which isn’t something a bubble team would do more than one-time-in-three. Purdue has some nice accomplishments, but on balance a bubble team would expect 14.72 wins against their schedule. Winning 14 isn’t great in that context.

Mind you, Purdue is a much better team than SFA. It’s not remotely close. But their resume is more than a full win worse.

In closing, what SFA has accomplished might not look impressive, but when you dig into the details, it’s a solid resume. Purdue might pass the eye-test with flying colors, but if you care about wins and losses, they don’t currently belong in the NCAA field. To use a golf analogy:

SFA’s schedule is a par 3.72. They’ve shot a 3 on it.

Purdue’s schedule is a par 11.28. They’ve shot a 12 on it.

That’s why SFA currently belongs and Purdue does not.

 

I never expected that one day I’d have North Carolina State’s back in a discussion out teams getting hosed on NCAA Tournament selection, but when you choose a life of data analysis, anything is possible.

It was suggested that the reason North Carolina State missed the 2019 NCAA Tournament was due to their non-conference slate. I decided to look at the eight teams that either missed the tournament with a positive WAB (per the KenPoms) or made the tournament as an at-large selection with a negative WAB.

School Seed EW% Win % Result WAB Pythag
UNC Greensboro 0 76.34% 82.35% 6.01% 2.04 0.7245
North Carolina St. 0 61.13% 66.67% 5.54% 1.83 0.8626
TCU 0 59.46% 60.61% 1.15% 0.38 0.8293
Clemson 0 58.94% 59.38% 0.44% 0.14 0.8881
Florida 10 56.06% 55.88% -0.18% -0.06 0.8898
Seton Hall 10 61.12% 60.61% -0.51% -0.17 0.8088
Arizona St. 11.1 69.80% 68.75% -1.05% -0.34 0.7749
St. John’s 11.1 66.73% 63.64% -3.09% -1.02 0.7219

UNC Greensboro got royally hosed, but it’s worth noting that North Carolina State had an almost equally good claim to selection. It’s certainly the case that North Carolina State had a stronger argument than either St. John’s or Arizona State in terms of resume, and in terms of team quality. North Carolina State would have been the clear favorite over either on a neutral court, strongly so in the case of a matchup against St. John’s. Let’s focus specifically on the non-conference slate.

School Seed NC EW% NC W% Result NC WAB Pythag
UNC Greensboro 0 76.97% 81.82% 4.85% 0.53 0.7245
North Carolina St. 0 82.53% 92.31% 9.78% 1.27 0.8626
TCU 0 81.04% 92.31% 11.27% 1.47 0.8293
Clemson 0 75.61% 76.92% 1.31% 0.17 0.8881
Florida 10 67.20% 61.54% -5.66% -0.74 0.8898
Seton Hall 10 67.03% 75.00% 7.97% 0.96 0.8088
Arizona St. 11.1 72.51% 75.00% 2.49% 0.3 0.7749
St. John’s 11.1 79.65% 92.31% 12.66% 1.65 0.7219

An average bubble team would expect to win 82.53% of their games against North Carolina State’s non-conference schedule. That’s the softest slate of the eight teams listed here (and 299th overall if you’re curious). TCU and St. John’s also had fairly easy non-conference schedules, followed by UNC Greensoro and Clemson. Seton Hall and Florida had very tough non-conference schedules. In Florida’s case, the result was poor as they went 8-5 while a bubble team would expect to go around 8.74-4.26. Not a great result. As for North Carolina State, they went 12-1 while a bubble team would have expected to go 10.73-2.27. Considering the difference in opposition, North Carolina State should have entered conference play roughly two wins ahead of Florida. A much easier schedule, yes, but not four wins easier. Also, please note that St. John’s crushed a soft schedule. It was their much tougher league schedule that tanked their WAB.

Let’s look back at the full season results:

School Seed EW% Win % Result WAB Pythag
UNC Greensboro 0 76.34% 82.35% 6.01% 2.04 0.7245
North Carolina St. 0 61.13% 66.67% 5.54% 1.83 0.8626
TCU 0 59.46% 60.61% 1.15% 0.38 0.8293
Clemson 0 58.94% 59.38% 0.44% 0.14 0.8881
Florida 10 56.06% 55.88% -0.18% -0.06 0.8898
Seton Hall 10 61.12% 60.61% -0.51% -0.17 0.8088
Arizona St. 11.1 69.80% 68.75% -1.05% -0.34 0.7749
St. John’s 11.1 66.73% 63.64% -3.09% -1.02 0.7219

UNC Greensboro had by far the easiest schedule overall. A bubble team would expect to win more than three-fourth’s of their games against it. UNC Greensboro bettered than, winning 82.35%. Did that matter to the committee? Not enough.

North Carolina State ended up facing a much tougher schedule than Arizona State or St. John’s. The ACC was brutal last season. They ended up winning two-thirds of their games when par for a bubble team would have been 61.13%. In short, their record was superb given who they faced and where they faced them.

Florida’s schedule was even harder, but they performed basically at a normal expectation for a bubble team. The same can be said for Clemson and TCU, although I’ll note that overall TCU’s results should be considered materally better than Florida’s last season.

Arizona State’s schedule was significantly weaker North Carolina State’s. More importantly, they perform particularly well against it.

St. John’s prayers were answered on selection Sunday, but they shouldn’t have been. They had middling results given the competition they faced. They were one full win below the Mendoza line.

I would not recommend selecting teams to the NCAA Tournament based on their power rankings, be they KenPom or otherwise, but if that was a consideration it’s not one that was favorable to St. John’s. (I should note that seeding is a different matter. Taking power rankings into account is helpful for balancing the bracket.)

I am left to conclude that the Wolfpack was left out of the dance due to who they faced in their non-conference games. That’s absurd. As Bart Torvik noted:

The problem for rewarding or punishing a team purely for SOS is that you are now rewarding losses to good teams and punishing wins against weak teams. That was also the cardinal sin of the RPI. Defeating a team should never be considered a negative. Losing to one should never be considered a positive. Considering SOS as a metric unto itself breaks that. That’s unconscionable, and as Bart noted, braindead.

SOS matters. WAB (and Parcells) takes that fully into account. Your strength of record, AKA, body of work should determine selection to the field. SOS should never be considered in and of itself to reward or punish teams.

Two notes:

  1. In terms of resume a loss is never good and a win is never bad. That doesn’t apply to power ratings, where playing almost even with Kansas will generally boost your rating. Power ratings and resume ratings are completely separate things.
  2. Treating SOS as a metric unto itself isn’t just awful, it’s biased. If it were to be codified as part of the selection process, power conference teams would have the power to dominate it and exclude mid-majors with less scheduling power from the process.

For more details:

https://www.heraldonline.com/sports/college/big-south/winthrop-university/article222906070.html

Key quotes:

(ETSU Head Coach Steve) Forbes said that almost no team from those seven leagues (P5 + Big East & AAC) will play non-conference road games against low/mid-majors. That’s hampering the other 25 leagues’ already slim chances of getting multiple teams into the NCAA Tournament, because their chances at quality wins is lowered.

And the NCAA’s new metric, called NET and developed to replace the RPI, isn’t helping low/mid-majors’ cause much either. It gives more weight to neutral court wins than road wins. There is almost no incentive for bigger schools to travel to smaller ones.

“We’re getting scheduled out of the tournament, because we’re not gonna have enough Quadrant 1 wins to even have a chance,” said Forbes.

The data bears this out:

Power 5 teams played 88 percent of their non-conference games in 2017-18 at home or on a neutral court.

So in short, using SOS is effectively a cudgel against schools like UNC Greensboro, East Tennessee State, Northern Iowa, and their ilk. It’s unfair and should be repudiated by the committee.

Remember, SOS matters. Stength of record takes it fully into account.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both touts lost money this season. PFF lost more money, but they also wagered on far more games as they also made college football predictions. Football Outsiders has a worse ROI. Let’s turn to Z-score to see who really had the worst season. First, PFF:

Final Tab -446367
Z-Score -0.77
ROI -2.20%

Not great Bob. After 500 NFL wagers and 1519 NCAAF wagers, they ended up solidly down. Taking the variance into account, the finished with a Z-Score of -0.77, which is to say they were a hair more than three-fourth’s of a standard deviation down.

As for Football Outsiders:

Final Tab -172518
Z-Score -0.50
ROI -4.16%

The ROI was unfortunate, as was the final tab, but given their variance, they only ended up one half standard deviation down. Does that make them the winner of this “competition”?

No. There are no winners here. Don’t buy picks from touts.

 

Let’s start with PFF. Remember this tweet from before the championship games?

If they really believed those numbers, they’d be heavily on the Chiefs today. Instead:

49ers 0 238 262 0
SF-KC U53.5 1466 1423 0

Oof. I’ll ignore the fact they are projecting a 0.8% chance of a tie. My major issue is that they believe they can use market data to beat the market via project Greenline. Last year they got destroyed. They changed their methodology, added NCAAF, and are down a net of $447,552. I’ll do a full review after the Super Bowl.

As for FO, they are merely down $177,114. They’ll be on the Chiefs, but again, not as strongly as their internals would suggest:

Team Conf App Conf Win SB Win
KC 100.0% 100.0% 57.4%
SF 100.0% 100.0% 42.6%

Alas, they are playing smallball:

Chiefs -1 5147 4596 0

Enjoy the game y’all!