Welcome back for the 2015 season and The Book weekly polls and spreads. This year, to add a little spice to recipe, I have automated the process for creating the rankings and spreads, which will make it an easy chore to have a battle of pre-season magazines, in this case the Phil Steele College Football Preview taking on "The Book", the GamePlan Magazine College Football Annual.
Now I've bastardized both of these a bit over the years to add what I have found to be a bit more realism, but essentially it's magazine on magazine crime as we look to determine who is the King (or at least one of them) of the pre-season prognosticators!
Each magazine utilizes a power ranking system and then I've taken some liberties with how those ratings are updated on a weekly basis adding in maximum adjustments for change based on point margins along with a second adjustment for strength of schedule. The result is that it produces a weekly ranking of all 128 teams along with point spreads for all FBS vs FBS games. To make sure we aren't overlooking the FBS vs FCS games, we utilize the Jeff Sagarin ratings for the GamePlan magazine and Phil Steele actually does put out weekly FCS ratings to capture those results.
The changes I made to the GamePlan formula several years ago had worked like a charm, with The Book posting seven consecutive winning seasons until slumping last year to finish 2014 at a .493 winning percentage.
We even start with a bit of controversy as Ohio State is not only #1 unanimously with the AP poll, but also in Phil Steele's eye, while TCU is the pick by GamePlan. Interesting to note that OSU has been pre season #1 eight times previously in program history, but in the other seven seasons has never won a national championship.
BC enters 2015 at #66 in Phil Steele's magazine and #76 in the GamePlan magazine. The Massey composite rankings which I use to sanity check relative accuracy to more established computer polls opens with the Eagles at #57. The Massey poll combines close to 100 ratings and in many cases those weekly polls aren't released until after this article is posted, so each week I will let you know how many ratings this took into account. For week 1, it is 42 through 8 PM EDT on Tuesday, September 1.
So here we go, week 1's rankings and spreads. Both GamePlan (GP) (the Book) and Steele (PS) are listed for both ratings and spreads. One of the most noticeable differences is how close the GamePlan spreads are for week 1 in comparison to Phil Steele. The Steele metrics, like the Jeff Sagarin metrics, tend to start teams further apart in the power ratings, while GamePlan's variance is much smaller, therefore smaller initial spreads.
The spread for BC - Maine, an FBS vs FCS game shows the Eagles a 26.9 point favorite with GamePlan and 19.9 favorite with Phil Steele and that's another thing to note this year, spreads will be down to the 1/10th of a point.
|1||1||Florida State Seminoles||0-0||8|
|2||2||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||0-0||13|
|3||4||Virginia Tech Hokies||0-0||34|
|6||6||N.C. State Wolfpack||0-0||47|
|8||10||North Carolina Tar Heels||0-0||55|
|9||9||Duke Blue Devils||0-0||45|
|12||12||Boston College Eagles||0-0||57|
|14||13||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||0-0||96|
Note that most of BC's opponents play FCS teams in Week 1, therefore no official spreads. The first spread represents the Book (GamePlan/GP) and the second, Phil Steele (PS).
|South Carolina||1/1.2||North Carolina|
|at NC State||22.0/30.4||Troy|
|at Notre Dame||10.8/7.7||Texas|
|at No. Illinois||23.8/26.8||UNLV|
|at Florida St||26.0/38.3||Texas St|
|Ohio St||2.3/13.0||Virginia Tech|
|Michigan St||8.8/17.4||at W. Michigan|
|at Boise St||12.5/16.2||Washington|
|at Tennessee||10/22.7||Bowling Green|
|Arizona St||1/0.3||Texas A&M|
|at USC||19.8/33.9||Arkansas St|
|at Wake Forest||26.3/29.8||Elon|
|at Georgia Tech||46.7/39.5||Alcorn St|
|at Syracuse||36.6/31.1||Rhode Island|
|at Pittsburgh||17.5/13.9||Youngstown St|
|at Boston College||26.9/19.9||Maine|
|at Appalachian St||32.2/35.5||Howard|
|at Miami FL||37.8/34||Bethune-Cookman|
|at LSU||43.6/39.1||McNeese St|
|at Oregon||38/34.5||E. Washington|