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Let Me Check My Schedule


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http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2014/let-me-check-my-schedule

This is a really interesting, if lengthy, article about how strength of schedule has affected teams in the last 25 years or so. There are lots of surprising things that pop up but one of my favorite things said was: "Which goes back to the same point made earlier about the 2008 Cardinals: the most important thing you can do to win the Super Bowl is to get to the Super Bowl. However you can."

Anyway, take a gander at it if you've got some time to spend. I think I'm going to start posting articles I've read and liked here in Pure Football.

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What I found interesting is how universally brutal having a super tough schedule is.....those teams average ~5.5 wins per season.

And its important to note that this isn't something where SOS is assessed on win/loss record. If that were the case, you'd expect the teams with the toughest schedule to have the fewest wins most of the time. This is using SOS as computed by DVOA.....a number that doesnt always match up to W/L totals. I happen to think its a better indicator of overall team quality (and the correlation is pretty **** strong).

So basically, if you're playing that sort of schedule, you're probably having a rough run of it. Conversely, if you're playing the easiest schedule, things are much better. Like.....5 wins better.

In a parity driven league, this makes a lot of sense, right?

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Nice article. There were some interesting comments as well.

My biggest takeaway is that strength-of-schedule is descriptive, not predictive. It can tell you what happened in a regular season, but will not help you project what will happen in the playoffs.

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Nice article. There were some interesting comments as well.

My biggest takeaway is that strength-of-schedule is descriptive, not predictive. It can tell you what happened in a regular season, but will not help you project what will happen in the playoffs.

Hmm....decent point. I think this is especially true when discussing SoS based on last year's record. That type of analysis rarely holds up because the league is so difficult to predict year to year.

This SoS is based on team DVOA. I know FO does a projected SoS in the almanac every year. If I find some time in the next few weeks it might be worth looking at how the predicted SoS matched up with reality. I know for the Falcons the match was very strong.

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Hmm....decent point. I think this is especially true when discussing SoS based on last year's record. That type of analysis rarely holds up because the league is so difficult to predict year to year.

This SoS is based on team DVOA. I know FO does a projected SoS in the almanac every year. If I find some time in the next few weeks it might be worth looking at how the predicted SoS matched up with reality. I know for the Falcons the match was very strong.

It may indeed. I know there's a regression-to-the-mean component to FO's analysis; and as you point out, they were, much to my dismay, pretty accurate with the Falcons last year. It would be interesting to see how their predictions hold up for the league overall.

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