Thursday, October 23, 2003

In the absence of anything more interesting to write about, I figured one of the problems with our previous football chart--you know, the one ranking the teams by the ratio of the points they score to the points they give up--is that it doesn't distinguish a big win or loss from a close game. See, a big win is proof you're a better team. You manhandled them, pushed them around, beat them up, and blew them out. A close game, on the other hand, could feasibly have gone the other way. If you beat the other guys by only one score, then if a break had gone to them instead of you, you might have lost.

So what I've done is award three points to each team for each big win (by ten points or more--ten points is two scores, a touchdown plus 1-point conversion and a field goal), two points for each close win, since you did win after all, one point for each close loss (by nine points or less--you were in the game, you had a chance to win) and zero points for each big loss. Then I divided that purely arbitrary number of points awarded by the number of games the team's played to come up with a ratio for each team of points awarded per game. Here's what it looks like:

1. Vikings 2.67 (have won four blowouts)
2. Chiefs 2.43 (four close wins)
3. Dolphins 2.33 (four wins, four blowouts; two losses, two close games)
4. Colts; Cowboys 2.17
6. Broncos; Titans 2.14 (Titans have four blowouts)
8. Rams; Seahawks 2.00 (Rams got blown out Week 1; Seahawks got blown out by wild-card rival Packers)
10. Bucs; Panthers 1.83
12. Packers 1.71 (three close losses)
13. Niners; Bills; Patriots 1.57 (Bills two losses by 10 points, Patriots blown out by Bills but Bills blown out by Jets)
16. Ravens; Browns 1.42
18. Saints 1.29 (wins vs. pathetic Hou, Chi, Atl)
19. Bengals 1.17
20. R******s, Raiders 1.14 (Raiders four close losses but no big wins)
22. Jets, Giants, Steelers 1.00 (Steelers blown out three times)
25. Eagles 0.85
26. Lions; Texans 0.83
28. Bears 0.80
29. Jaguars; Chargers 0.67
31. Falcons 0.57 (blown out five times)
32. Cardinals 0.50 (blown out four times)

I'm going to make minor changes in my playoff predictions based on considering these rankings and those I posted yesterday.

East Dolphins
West Chiefs
North Ravens or Browns
South Colts
Wild Cards Broncos; Titans

East Cowboys
West Rams
North Vikings
South Bucs
Wild Cards Seahawks; Panthers

I'm going to stick with the two teams I picked to bet on, the Rams over the Steelers and the Niners over the Cardinals; I'm putting an imaginary hundred bucks on each one. Since the Falcons and the Cardinals always get blown out, it's a pretty fair bet that they will again, at least if playing a decent team. I'd consider this when placing bets.

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