30
Sep
2010

NCAA Football Rankings – Week 4

So there are several interesting things to point out in my rankings this week.

  • There are no FCS teams in the top 25 anymore. And other than the Sun Belt, all of the FBS conferences are ranked above the FCS conferences.
  • The rankings are liking Pac-10 schools right now. I find it esp weird that Cal is ranked so highly. However, remember that my rankings don’t actually use wins-losses, but score differential. Furthermore, it gives a 3 point advantage to the visiting team, so in the formulas, Cal beat Arizona by 2 points.
  • There are two new columns in the rankings: OAAD and DAAO.
    • OAAD: Offense against average defense. For each team calculate the average number of points scored against them per game. Now for team A, look at each team they’ve played and ask, how many more points did A score than the average number of points scored against the opponent. Average this over all opponents to get the OAAD for team A. The more positive the better. So for example, Cal’s OAAD is 14.57, meaning on average, Cal scores 14.57 points more than the opponents’ defenses allow on average.
    • DAAO: Defense against average offense. For each team calculate the average number of point scored per game. Now for team A, look at each team they’ve played and ask, how many points less were scored against A than the average number of points the opponent scores. Average this over all opponents to get the DAAO for team B. The more negative the better. So for example, Cal’s DAAO is -12.28, meaning on average, Cal holds their opponents to 12.28 points less than the opponents’ offenses score on average.
  • Using these OAAD and DAAO numbers, plus the average offensive and defensive numbers for each team, I can predict the outcome of any game. After all the rankings, I’ve listed the predicted final standings in the Pac-10. Note the difference between these and the current rankings in the Pac-10. Interesting.

Click “continue reading” to see the rankings.

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27
Sep
2010

Code

I’ve added a new “page.” In the top menu above, you’ll see a menu item that says “code.” I plan on filling that with little coding ideas and problems and resolutions I’ve come across. Since I want it to feel a little more permanent that this “post,” I made it a WordPress “page.”

Anyway, there’s a link now to a cool little magnifying glass effect using jQuery (a Javascript package). Even if you don’t understand the code, check out the demo.

25
Sep
2010

NCAA Football Rankings – Week 3

Hmmmm. I know my system really doesn’t work until at least half way through the season. However, it’s looking not bad. If you compare it to the official polls, you’ll see a good number of similarities (as well as good number of differences).

(For you bigger nerds out there who were following my ranking strategy, the games-played graph is still not connected; however there are only two disjoint groups (and one of them only has 3 teams). So it might not be that big of a deal.)

Also you may have notice an interesting comment on the week 2 rankings. Initially, I agreed with “judas_priest” regarding the point curving. But now I’m second-guessing that idea. Here’s the reason: say FBS team A pummels FCS team B 38-0 in week 1. Say B is actually pretty decent as far as FCS teams go, and continues on to have a decent run in their conference. Now it may appear that A did pretty well against an ok team. Based on judas_priest’s suggestion, I should actually view the score as 91.1-0 (=(38-21)^1.5+21). His reasoning (which is sound) is that when the score differential became greater than 21, Team A put their second team in, and didn’t score as much as they would have. My issue with this idea now, is that it would now look even better in regards to Team A, when realistically, they played an FCS team, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. I’m gonna keep playing around with this some more, and might suddenly decide to use it one random week. I’ll let you know if I do.

Anyway, click “continue reading” to see my rankings right now. (Note: these rankings don’t include the Miami-Pitt game from last night, or the TCU-SMU game going on right now).
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13
Sep
2010

NCAA Football Rankings – Week 2

I’m very curious to see if my ranking system starts weeding out the FCS teams naturally. Oddly enough, if I take out the FCS schools (other than games played against FBS schools) then Cal is ranked #1 overall! Go Bears! This is due to the 105 points the Golden Bears have amassed so far. But you will notice in the conference rankings that the FCS conferences are moving down in ranking.

There are some schools making it to the ranking that make sense (i.e. Ohio State for example). I’m also convinced that the system is “working” in some sense. Notice how both Cal and Oregon moved down in ranking a bit despite two blowout wins each. I think after this second week, the systems can see how week the teams they played are, and so those first wins don’t look quite as impressive. I also think eventually the system will start giving some love to TCU, and as a result, more love to Oregon State.

Oh also, I thought for kicks I’d show how the Pac-10 specifically was doing. Click the “continue reading” link.
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08
Sep
2010

NCAA Football Rankings – Week 1

FOOTBALL!!!!

So I’m very excited that football season is here. To celebrate, I’ve turned my ranking engine on, and I’m gonna start ranking teams right away! First off, you may recall long ago that I created a ranking engine for my March Madness brackets. I have updated my algorithm many times, and without going into too much detail, here’s some of the things it considers:

  1. Point differentials
  2. How much scoring offense you put up relative to the average of the scoring defense
  3. Visa versa of 2.
  4. And my new thing, I’m including all the FCS games.  Not just when a FBS team plays a FCS team, but all of the games.

Now since this is week one, these rankings will look HORRIBLE.  And I acknowledge that.  But give it a few weeks and it’ll start looking right.  I mean, right now the computer has no pre-conceived knowledge of how good anyone is.  All it has to go by are the games played.  Cal beat UC Davis very handily.  But is Cal very good? Or UC Davis really bad?  A human can quickly say both, but until both UCD and UCB play more games, my ranking system won’t know. Basically these top ranked teams are ranked (this week) purely on how badly they whipped the other team, regardless of who the other team was. Now as weeks go by, we’ll learn about those other teams, and then we can say more about the respective whippin.

So why put up these rankings now?  Just for kicks.

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13
Aug
2010

Hacked!

Ok so you may have noticed that Google has blacklisted my website for containing malware.  Turns out my wordpress site was hacked.  I just a large amount of time trying to get it right again.  Ugh.  I don’t know if I’ve succeeded or not.  We’ll see.  All I have to say is: Why are people so malicious?

In other news, looking way back to my last post: I lied.  I brought my camera but I did not take any pictures.

In positive news Sara and I went to Laguna with my family.  I did take some pictures there.  I’ll eventually post them on my Picasa account.  Sara and I also went to the Bite of Oregon.  This was AWESOME!  Basically a whole bunch of restaurants set up tents by the waterfront.  Sara got a coupon that got us both in for $10.  Then stuff was between $3 and $10 or so.  Lots of really great food.  I had:

  • 3 soft tortilla tacos with 3 Korean BBQ meats (one type each), bean sprouts, cilantro, lime juice.
  • Toasted sandwich with: marionberry jam, hazelnut butter, and bleu cheese
  • 100% Kobe beef “haute” dog with tons of grilled onions and bleu cheese
  • nitro whipped black cherry sorbet topped with balsamic vinegar and piece of a black pepper cone
  • beer

Everything was awesome.  Sara had oodles of good lookin stuff too (white bean and basil veggie burger, marionberry shortcake and something else?).  Oh and we saw Brian Boitano there doing a cooking demo.

23
Jul
2010

Oregon Brew Fest, Part 1

Went to the Oregon Brewers Festival last night for the first time.  I went with Sara to the North American Organic Brewers Festival earlier in the month.  But last night was my first time at the big event.  There was lot of brew to taste.  Since we didn’t go till after Sara got off work, we didn’t stay super long.  But plans are to take us back on Saturday.  Maybe I’ll have pictures!

So far I’ve tried:

  • Maui Brewing Company: CoCoNut Porter
  • Grand Teton Brewing Co: Bitch Creek ESB
  • Laurelwood Brewing Co: Organic Deranger Imperial Red
  • Terminal Gravity Brewing: Single Hop Double IPA
  • Rogue Ales: 21

I also had a sip of some of Sara’s tasters:

  • Marin Brewing Co: Blueberry Ale
  • Moylan’s Brewing Co: Pomegranate Wheat

So far I really liked the Double IPA (it was really smooth) and the Imperial Red (smelled very floral and herby).

17
Jul
2010

A foreboding feeling

A wonderful article by Pac-10 blogger Ted Miller on the hypothetical best/worst case outcomes for the 2010 Cal Football team:

http://espn.go.com/blog/pac10/post/_/id/10994/best-case-worst-case-california-3

08
Jul
2010

The sweepstakes is over!

So LeBron is going to Miami.  I would like to tell you that I don’t care.  Basketball is not my favorite sport.  I do like going to the occasional game.  But I don’t love it, like I love baseball and football.  That said, I do watch a lot of ESPN (especially in my current “occupationally challenged” lifestyle), and that means I watch of basketball highlights.  And that also means that I have been listening to the non-stop speculation about where LeBron James will be playing next year.  And so I couldn’t help myself and I watched the beginning of the “The Decision” on ESPN: the 1-hour special where LeBron announces where he’ll be playing.

I was promised that the announcement would be in the first 10 minutes.  It was in the first 10-minutes of the interview.  However the interview came after half hour of the program.  Ug.  I want that part of my life back.

03
Jul
2010

I got the boomerang!

So I downloaded the original “The Legend of Zelda” to Sara’s Wii using the the Wii Virtual Console.  I’ve never actually played this one before.  So I’m pretty excited, because I’m a big fan of the Zelda games that I have played.   So far it’s a lot tougher than you would expect, mostly because the controls aren’t as nuanced as the are in later games.  But with a little practice, this one is growing on me.  I can see why this whole series of games took off.  It is nothing like any other video game of its generation.

I also downloaded “Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” (cause I’ve never played it) and “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” (cause I never finished it).  But I probably won’t get to those for a little while.  There are other games for the various handheld devices that I never played.  I’m hoping to someday own a DS so I can play “Phantom Hourglass” and “Spirit Tracks.”

My favorite Zelda games (of the ones I’ve played through) in order are:

  1. A Link to the Past
  2. Wind Waker
  3. Ocarina of Time
  4. Twilight Princess
  5. Majora’s Mask

I’m pretty excited for the new game for Wii that is scheduled for next year:

Skyward Sword E3 Trailer

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