Welcome to Nemo’s Numbers. Each week the top ranked college football teams will be graded for how well they played in their games over the previous weekend. The grades are computed by the Relative Performance Grading System (RPG) which uses the eleven factors that determine the outcome of every game to produce a numerical grade to precisely represent how well they played (and not simply whether they won or lost). The grades are based upon facts and not opinions. The grades are based upon advanced analytics and not traditional box score statistics. The polls rank won/lost records; Nemo’s Numbers ranks playing performance.
Just like in school, the numerical grades differentiate one passing grade (win) from another and one failing grade (loss) from another. The winning team always receives a higher grade than the losing team but the winning team only gets credit for the quality of its play and the losing team gets credit as well for the lesser quality of its play. An in depth explanation of the RPG System can be found under the “About RPG” tab on the home screen.
Under the “About RPG” tab you will also find menu items for the weekly ranking tables, both for basketball and for football. Click on “Football Rankings” to see the final rankings for last (2016-2017) season. You may be surprised to see that, despite its championship game loss, Alabama played the best over the course of the entire season. This is the “full body of work” that experts tout but then don’t actually apply to their rankings.
2016 was a mediocre season with only one elite team-Alabama- and a handful of good teams. You’ll also be shocked to see that the CFP committee mistakenly chose Ohio State for the playoff when Michigan was the better team. The committee was swayed by Ohio State’s head-to-head victory over Michigan but when that game is averaged with all others, Michigan comes out ahead. This is due primarily to the fact that Michigan graded better against all common opponents. Michigan held onto the #3 position despite its bowl game loss because all its nearest rivals lost their bowl games and some played worse than Michigan.
Beginning with games on Labor Day weekend, weekly rankings for the 2017 season will be posted. The rankings will be based upon grades actually achieved and not on some baseless preseason opinions. Each team gets credit for what it has actually accomplished to-date in the season and not for potential. Teams earn their positions in the rankings. Along with the rankings, a blog post will explain how the teams achieved their impressive-or disappointing-grades.
Have fun with this. Write me to complain or argue.