2016 Projected Wins: NCAA FBS Edition

Another friend sent me a message this past week in response to my last article. He noted that the same regressions could possibly be deciphered for college athletics if there were only a way to monetize a salary. Since “students don’t receive payment to attend a particular university”, I had to find another salary. This led me to research head coach salaries for FBS schools.

Luckily, I was able to find data for this year and the last three years’—thanks mostly to USA Today’s Coaches Salary Database—worth of data. I then took that data and arranged it alongside the wins, winning percentages and SRS numbers for each team. (SRS data supplied by www.sports-reference.com/cfb)

Once I had everything sorted out and aligned, I was then able to run some correlation tests on each of the sets of data and found some interesting things.

  1. SRS data—because football-reference.com is so amazing—has an 87.4 percent correlation with win percentage.
  2. Head Coach Compensation only has about a 41.5 percent correlation with winning percentage. It is also more negatively correlated to points allowed than it is to points scored. Maybe this means that money can only buy good defense, on average?
  3. Compensation has a 68 percent correlation with SRS. This was significant, and seeing as SRS had a high correlation with WPCT, I decided that I could use this route Compensation–>SRS Rating–>Win Percentage. That made the computations much simpler.
  4. Seeing that the correlation with compensation was still lower than, say, a more acceptable rate of 85 percent, I decided to add in a trend factor. When running a regression for trend on WPCT and Wins I didn’t feel that either correlation rated high enough from year to year. So, I went back to SRS and found that it had an 86.7 correlation rate from year to year SRS.
  5. Once I arrived at projected data for wins and SRS (from both the Compensation and Trend data) I was able to then give a weighted (2:1 Trend) average of each university.
  6. These numbers are based off of current head coach salaries as well as five year trend data for SRS statistics. Not all schools had reported HC salary—mostly the private universities—and for them I took simply the weighted average of the two projected win trends.
  7. The below chart details a “Top 25” of projected wins based on the noted data pools.

 

Rank School Conf. Weighted

Average

Wins

Projected

Wins

(HC Salary)

Projected

Wins

(Trend)

Projected

SRS

(HC Salary)

Projected

SRS

(Trend)

1 Ohio State Big Ten 12 9 14 10.93 26.69
2 Alabama SEC 12 10 12 14.25 20.93
3 Mississippi SEC 11 9 13 7.71 23.86
4 Stanford Pac 12 11 11 16.38
5 Clemson ACC 11 9 12 7.96 19.82
6 Michigan State Big Ten 11 9 12 8.86 18.63
7 Baylor Big 12 10 10 14.67
8 Florida State ACC 10 9 11 9.48 16.94
9 Texas Christian Big 12 10 10 14.36
10 Mississippi State SEC 10 9 11 7.71 17.27
11 UCLA Pac 12 10 9 11 7.84 17.15
12 Auburn SEC 10 9 11 9.48 15.55
13 Southern California Pac 12 10 10 12.45
14 Oklahoma Big 12 10 9 10 10.85 12.68
15 Tennessee SEC 10 9 10 7.71 13.96
16 Notre Dame Ind. 10 10 11.52
17 Georgia SEC 10 9 10 8.19 13.11
18 Washington Pac 12 10 9 10 8.19 12.86
19 Utah Pac 12 9 8 10 5.75 13.91
20 Oregon Pac 12 9 8 10 3.98 14.34
21 Duke ACC 9 9 10.21
22 Louisville ACC 9 9 9 8.42 11.07
23 Arkansas SEC 9 8 10 7.20 11.64
24 Memphis AAC 9 6 11 -1.72 15.75
25 Louisiana State SEC 9 9 9 10.42 9.14

 

The below chart is a look at how the SEC would fare this year according to this compiled data.

EAST Weighted

Average

Wins W’s

Projected

Wins

(HC Salary)

Projected

Wins

(Trend)

Projected

SRS

(HC Salary)

Projected

SRS

(Trend)

Tennessee 10 9 10 7.71 13.96
Georgia 10 9 10 8.19 13.11
Florida 9 9 9 8.42 8.58
Missouri 8 9 8 7.84 5.18
South Carolina 7 9 6 9.48 -2.20
Kentucky 7 8 6 4.92 -2.02
Vanderbilt 4 4 -7.52
WEST Weighted

Average

Wins W’s

Projected

Wins

(HC Salary)

Projected

Wins

(Trend)

Projected

SRS

(HC Salary)

Projected

SRS

(Trend)

Alabama 12 10 12 14.25 20.93
Mississippi 11 9 13 7.71 23.86
Mississippi State 10 9 11 7.71 17.27
Auburn 10 9 11 9.48 15.55
Arkansas 9 8 10 7.20 11.64
Louisiana State 9 9 9 10.42 9.14
Texas A&M 9 10 9 11.25 7.83

 

Professional Sports Salaries and Fan Expectations

The other day a good friend sent me a link for an article about the LA Dodgers, Moneyball and how the tactful art of underspending may not be the most effective way of building a title contender.

While the points espoused in the article fall short of becoming gospel, it was successful in getting my statistical juices flowing. The article’s main theme, crudely stated, was essentially: more average money = more average wins. In baseball which has no hard salary cap, the potential exists for large pocketed clubs to overspend and create “stacked” programs, as do teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. In other sports, such as football and basketball, there are more concrete caps on spending.

Continue reading “Professional Sports Salaries and Fan Expectations”

LSU v. Coastal Carolina: 10 Stats that Matter Most

LSU meets Coastal Carolina for the first time ever in baseball this weekend as the Chanticleers–that scary-looking rooster adorning the top of this page–will be visiting Alex Box Stadium to start a three-game set this weekend in the Baton Rouge Super Regional. The winner heads to Omaha for the College World Series, the loser heads home for summer ball. Here are 10 of the most important statistics heading into this SEC v. Big South matchup.

Continue reading “LSU v. Coastal Carolina: 10 Stats that Matter Most”

Win with Valek! – A Passionate Request to Start the “embattled” pitcher

Surprisingly, LSU is in the hole after going up 2-0 in the Baton Rouge Regional. In one game, the Tigers went from wielder-of-the-big-stick to fighting for their lives on their own home turf. The Tigers lost to Rice 10-6 Monday night as the Owls finished off their Monday with 25 runs scored in two games securing a winner-take-all game seven on foreign soil Tuesday afternoon.

The question that remains after three games in the Baton Rouge Regional for the Tigers is, who will start game 7?

There’s two guys I can think of: One, a “known quantity” guy. An established pitcher. And another, a newcomer who has decent numbers from a surmised lesser baseball market. One is Jared Poche and the other is John Valek.

Continue reading “Win with Valek! – A Passionate Request to Start the “embattled” pitcher”

ESPN (still) hates College Baseball.

Not too long ago, I wrote on this exact same topic. Today we revisit ESPN’s progress in projecting the college baseball tournament as a feature event.

Starting at noon tomorrow, there will be 96 total hours of college baseball on display–from 12 noon to 12 midnight–featuring teams from all across this great sporting country of ours. Of those 96 hours (32 games) would you like to know how many hours ESPN will dedicate to delivering college baseball’s premiere postseason tournament to your television? 15.  That’s right, FIF-TEEN!

Continue reading “ESPN (still) hates College Baseball.”