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Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
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micahandme Offline
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Post: #1
Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
As a PSU fan who suffered a difficult scheduling gauntlet this season (UM, at OSU, at MSU in consecutive weeks), I wanted to analyze the role of scheduling on top 10 programs (using the final AP polls, post bowls) the past five years (the last BCS year, first 4 CFP years). Here's what I found.

Top 10 teams lost 41 of 242 true road games (16.94%), 5 of 18 regular season neutral site games (27.8%), and 23 of 339 home games (6.78%).

By conference...
ACC—10% loss rate on road, 9.3% loss rate at home
Pac-12—17.2 loss rate on road, 15% loss rate at home
Big 12—17.1% loss rate on road, 4.1% loss rate at home
Big Ten—19.1% loss rate on road, 5.5% loss rate at home
SEC—22.6% loss rate on road, 4.8% loss rate at home

Conclusions on losing percentages…
--Top 10 teams lose approximately one road game per year (17.69%)…and one home game every other year (6.78%).
--Teams from the Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12—conferences with traditionally larger and more rabid fan bases—tend to lose more on the road and less at home than those from the Pac-12 and ACC.
--Therefore, favorable scheduling is a key factor in being a top 10 team from SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 conferences. Scheduling plays a negligible role in the Pac-12 and ACC.
--Losing percentage in neutral site regular season games (27.8%) is higher than true road games (16.9%), largely because of the closer equality of opponents in these games.

Obviously, I've only addressed one aspect of elite teams, but I feel like I found strong confirmation of my theory that scheduling does matter (although I didn't expect there to be a discrepancy between the five conferences). The CFP committee should consider this factor more highly as they look at "strength of schedule" going forward.
(This post was last modified: 01-11-2018 11:59 AM by micahandme.)
01-11-2018 11:46 AM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.
01-11-2018 12:03 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.
01-11-2018 12:12 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
Lot of discussion about this among Pac-12 fans and media this season because USC, Washington, and Washington State each lost a Friday night game on the road. USC and Wazzu both played on the road on a Saturday and then the next week on the road on Friday night. The only "fix" promised by the league office is that from now on teams who play on the road on Friday night will play at home the week before. It's a weak fix at best.

The conference office is still much too careless with football scheduling and doesn't look out for its own teams. One example: Next season, USC plays a long-ago-scheduled game at Texas on September 15. The Pac-12 office then scheduled USC to play at Stanford the week before the Texas game and on Friday night vs. Washington State the week after the Texas game.

Conferences should pay more attention to how their schedules affect all of their football teams, and especially the teams that are contenders. There's no good reason to let carelessness in the conference office increase the chances of your best teams having 2 losses instead of 1, or 3 losses instead of 2.
01-11-2018 12:16 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.
01-11-2018 12:27 PM
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micahandme Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:27 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.

Nobody says "any" road game is tougher than a neutral site game. Playing at Kansas is not as hard as playing Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.

But Alabama playing at FSU, at Wisconsin, or at USC the past few years would have been tougher games than playing those teams always at neutral sites. That's fact.
01-11-2018 12:44 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:27 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.

That's mainly people complaining about some Southern teams who never play outside the South (including Texas) unless it's a Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

Which is a fairly stupid argument--if Florida and Alabama and Texas can get top 10 opponents in neutral site games in Atlanta and Tampa and JerryWorld, why *should* they go play @ Michigan or @ Oregon?
01-11-2018 12:48 PM
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Wedge Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:27 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.

A road game against a good team is tougher than a neutral site game against a good team. When Alabama plays Wisconsin at JerryWorld, that's a much different deal than playing the Badgers in Madison.
01-11-2018 12:49 PM
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stever20 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:49 PM)Wedge Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:27 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.

A road game against a good team is tougher than a neutral site game against a good team. When Alabama plays Wisconsin at JerryWorld, that's a much different deal than playing the Badgers in Madison.

Fine. But a neutral site vs a good team is tougher than a road game vs a mediocre team.
01-11-2018 01:05 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:44 PM)micahandme Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:27 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.

Nobody says "any" road game is tougher than a neutral site game. Playing at Kansas is not as hard as playing Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.

But Alabama playing at FSU, at Wisconsin, or at USC the past few years would have been tougher games than playing those teams always at neutral sites. That's fact.

It's also fact that playing neutral site vs those teams is tougher than playing just any P5 team on the road.
01-11-2018 01:06 PM
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Frog in the Kitchen Sink Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 11:46 AM)micahandme Wrote:  As a PSU fan who suffered a difficult scheduling gauntlet this season (UM, at OSU, at MSU in consecutive weeks), I wanted to analyze the role of scheduling on top 10 programs (using the final AP polls, post bowls) the past five years (the last BCS year, first 4 CFP years). Here's what I found.

Top 10 teams lost 41 of 242 true road games (16.94%), 5 of 18 regular season neutral site games (27.8%), and 23 of 339 home games (6.78%).

By conference...
ACC—10% loss rate on road, 9.3% loss rate at home
Pac-12—17.2 loss rate on road, 15% loss rate at home
Big 12—17.1% loss rate on road, 4.1% loss rate at home
Big Ten—19.1% loss rate on road, 5.5% loss rate at home
SEC—22.6% loss rate on road, 4.8% loss rate at home

Conclusions on losing percentages…
--Top 10 teams lose approximately one road game per year (17.69%)…and one home game every other year (6.78%).
--Teams from the Big Ten, SEC, and Big 12—conferences with traditionally larger and more rabid fan bases—tend to lose more on the road and less at home than those from the Pac-12 and ACC.
--Therefore, favorable scheduling is a key factor in being a top 10 team from SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 conferences. Scheduling plays a negligible role in the Pac-12 and ACC.
--Losing percentage in neutral site regular season games (27.8%) is higher than true road games (16.9%), largely because of the closer equality of opponents in these games.

Obviously, I've only addressed one aspect of elite teams, but I feel like I found strong confirmation of my theory that scheduling does matter (although I didn't expect there to be a discrepancy between the five conferences). The CFP committee should consider this factor more highly as they look at "strength of schedule" going forward.

It's interesting, but I wouldn't over-interpret it, either, especially the conference data. There are usually only 1-3 teams in the top 10, so you probably are only looking at 10 teams or so per conference (more for the SEC) over that time.
01-11-2018 01:16 PM
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Post: #12
RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-11-2018 12:48 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:27 PM)stever20 Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:12 PM)johnbragg Wrote:  
(01-11-2018 12:03 PM)stever20 Wrote:  so wait. Top 10 teams lost a higher percentage of neutral site games over true road games...... but I thought true road games were supposed to be so amazing????? Yeah, I din't think so.

True road games tend to be heavy on @ Maryland, @ Purdue, @ Kentucky. Neutral site games tend to be vs Clemson, vs Texas A&M, vs Notre Dame. So not that surprising.

but folks want to make it out like any road game is tougher than any neutral site game. and that's a load of crap.

That's mainly people complaining about some Southern teams who never play outside the South (including Texas) unless it's a Rose Bowl or Fiesta Bowl.

Which is a fairly stupid argument--if Florida and Alabama and Texas can get top 10 opponents in neutral site games in Atlanta and Tampa and JerryWorld, why *should* they go play @ Michigan or @ Oregon?

It is a REALLY stupid argument since Texas doesn't play neutral site games (because of OU in conference) and has played at USC, Notre Dame and Ohio St. in the last dozen years along with a number of other places.
01-11-2018 07:42 PM
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uakronkid Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
It would be easier to draw conclusions if teams weren't playing 7 or 8 home games in a 12-game season. It should be 6-6 for everyone, with an exception for Hawaii and opponents that travel to play them. True neutral site games can count as either a home or away game.
01-12-2018 10:13 AM
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Stugray2 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
This is where Alabama scheduling 3 pud OOC home games and one neutral site P5 OOC game comes into play. They dramatically reduce the chances of a loss.

This is also where the P12 has been shooting itself in the foot, forcing it's top teams to play a road game, then a road Friday night game (their 3 top teams went 0-3 in these, knocked them all out of playoff race).
01-12-2018 03:19 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-12-2018 03:19 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  This is where Alabama scheduling 3 pud OOC home games and one neutral site P5 OOC game comes into play. They dramatically reduce the chances of a loss.

This is also where the P12 has been shooting itself in the foot, forcing it's top teams to play a road game, then a road Friday night game (their 3 top teams went 0-3 in these, knocked them all out of playoff race).

oh boo hoo. It's tougher to play a GREAT neutral OOC game than to play a turd road OOC game. Folks here want to act like all road games are just incredible. They aren't. I mean, just how much did Wisconsin get challenged this year playing at BYU? Yeah, didn't think so.
01-12-2018 03:23 PM
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Stugray2 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
Alabama stacks the deck in their favor and the committee gave them a pass. Note: I was on record of favoring Alabama over my home town school Ohio State, because I thought they were better. But had the committee valued conference championships more and punished schools that did not play an OOC P5 road game, they would have been justified.

All I am saying is Alabama is taking advantage of a the SEC's minimal 9 P5 opponent rule and the committee's reluctance to punish them for it. Smart play by Saban, no reason to change it. But it does give them a huge advantage to get in.

My point is also valid on the P12. They basically sent Washington, Stanford, and USC into double traps, and each got snared. Had one of them survived, especially Washington, they might have gotten a bid. That was a self inflicted wound. The SEC by comparison let's schools take a bye or an FCS opponent the week before their rivalry game. Again smart, but not an even playing field with the other conferences.
01-12-2018 03:39 PM
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stever20 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-12-2018 03:39 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  Alabama stacks the deck in their favor and the committee gave them a pass. Note: I was on record of favoring Alabama over my home town school Ohio State, because I thought they were better. But had the committee valued conference championships more and punished schools that did not play an OOC P5 road game, they would have been justified.

All I am saying is Alabama is taking advantage of a the SEC's minimal 9 P5 opponent rule and the committee's reluctance to punish them for it. Smart play by Saban, no reason to change it. But it does give them a huge advantage to get in.

My point is also valid on the P12. They basically sent Washington, Stanford, and USC into double traps, and each got snared. Had one of them survived, especially Washington, they might have gotten a bid. That was a self inflicted wound. The SEC by comparison let's schools take a bye or an FCS opponent the week before their rivalry game. Again smart, but not an even playing field with the other conferences.

Well if you are punishing for not having a road OOC game, Ohio St didn't have one either. Neither did USC. Oops.

The metric that is used isn't the most deserving. It's who the committee feels are the best 4 teams. And it's tough to say Ohio St deserved it when they got blown out by 31 to a mediocre Iowa team.

Can't punish the SEC for being smart about scheduling with byes etc. It's just dumb to say that. Not a damn thing is stopping the Pac 12 or any other conference from scheduling like the SEC.
01-12-2018 03:54 PM
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Stugray2 Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
USC was at Notre Dame (oops), played 12 P5 schools compared to 9 for Alabama (no CCG), Ohio State played 11.

The 2018 schedules are instructive of the patterns:
Alabama
09/01 - Louisville (at Orlando, FL)
09/08 - Arkansas State
09/29 - UL Lafayette
11/17 - The Citadel // SEC allows a FCS before tough rivalry games
8 SEC games, 9 P5
USC
09/01 - UNLV
09/15 - at Texas
11/24 - Notre Dame
9 P12 games, 11 P5
Ohio State
09/01 - Oregon State
09/15 - TCU (at Arlington, TX)
09/22 - Tulane
9 B1G games, 11 P5

This is typical. Many of us call on the SEC to step it up, either go to 9 conference games or require a 10th P5 opponent. This will force a road game every couple years on even Alabama.
(This post was last modified: 01-12-2018 04:41 PM by Stugray2.)
01-12-2018 04:38 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-12-2018 03:54 PM)stever20 Wrote:  Can't punish the SEC for being smart about scheduling with byes etc. It's just dumb to say that. Not a damn thing is stopping the Pac 12 or any other conference from scheduling like the SEC.

I think he's mostly criticizing the PAC 12 for scheduling Friday-after-Saturday games. Especially if both are on the road. (Not re-reading the thread, but the fix is that one of those is now a home game. We'll see.)
01-12-2018 06:03 PM
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johnbragg Offline
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RE: Study of impact of schedule on CFB elite
(01-12-2018 04:38 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  This is typical. Many of us call on the SEC to step it up, either go to 9 conference games or require a 10th P5 opponent. This will force a road game every couple years on even Alabama.

Naah. Alabama will just sign one-and-done or two-for-ones with the likes of Kansas, MAryland, BC, Indiana, Iowa State, Wake Forest, etc.
01-12-2018 06:05 PM
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