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Understanding the Statistics

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Logical Approach’s College & Pro Football Spreadsheet – A Handicapping Tool

The Spreadsheet should be viewed not as a substitute for the selections in the Newsletter, but rather as a supplement. By looking at how teams match up in various fundamental and technical areas you’ll be able to better see the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of football. Let’s look at the data which is the same for both the colleges and the pros.

The first data is very basic, with the straight up (W-L) and pointspread (C-N-P) records shown followed by the average points scored and allowed plus margin of victory/defeat. Then comes rush, pass and total yardage per game averages, (against all foes, including non I-A college teams). Offensive data is given first, then defensive data. Also shown are net total yards per game gained/allowed and net turnover margin for the season (not per game average). We then show several sets of Power Ratings, which we discuss below.

AVE PWR RTG is a team's Average Power Rating and is based on a team's results, measured totally by final scores. These are 'raw' Ratings that are the basis for more detailed Ratings. These are evaluated on a weekly basis and adjusted based upon comparing expected victory margin vs. actual margin, as predicted by current Power Rating and take into account, in the case of the colleges, a team’s Conference Rating.

AVE OPP PWR RTG is the Average Opponents' Power Rating and is based upon the same concepts as a team's own Power Ratings. It is derived simply by taking an average of all opponents' Power Ratings at the time the game was played. This gives us a basic measure of a team's level of competition. For the colleges Opponents’ Power Ratings are also influenced by the strength of a team’s Conference Rating.

NET CHG is the pure change in a team's Power Rating from the season's start and measure whether a team has improved or worsened during the season.

LINE POWR is the Line Power rating and is an attempt to measure a team’s strength based on both how the public perceives the team (in terms of the Average Line Played Against, or their average pointspread) and how the team actually performs on the field (in terms of Average Result Vs. the Line). A higher number is better and we use a weighting formula that places somewhat more of an emphasis on how the team performs as opposed to how the team is expected to perform. We weight Reality heavier than Perception.

GAME PLAY POWR is Game Play Power Rating and is an attempt to evaluate the result of each games in a numerical fashion by looking at other factors in addition to the final score. In particular we look at rushing yardage, passing yardage and turnovers in addition to the final score and develop a single measure to indicate which team played the better game regardless of the outcome. Sometimes the better team doesn’t win. But that’s not the way to wager. We want to be able to use this measure as a means of finding attractive underdogs who might not have a good win-loss record but have played much more competitively than final scores might indicate. Conversely, this measure helps us find overvalued and false favorites.

COMP POWR represents Composite Power Rating and is a combination of the two Ratings just described plus the team’s Average Power Rating and their Opponents’ Average Power Rating. It is the one number that attempts to take into account all of the important factors in analyzing a game and does so without bias. It’s based on a formula that we’ve used for years. And as the season progresses it represents a pretty good measure of the actual difference between teams.

Finally, ‘X FACTOR’ is a measure of correlation between a team’s ability to gain or allow yards and their ability to score or prevent points. A positive number is indicative of an efficient team while a negative number indicates an inefficient team. We’ll have more on this interesting and revealing statistic in our next article.

  
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