JP College Football Rankings: How did we do?

by   |  01.11.17  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Research

by guest bloggers Dr. Ryan Jessup and Dr. Don Pope

Well, the dust has settled on another bowl season and it is time to evaluate the success (or, lack thereof) of the JP ranking system.

You might remember from last season that we concluded that a blind squirrel would be about as equally effective as our ranking system.  Well, this season that blind squirrel (technically, he is blindfolded) made us look silly.

 

Figure 1. How well did we do? If last season we did about as well as a blind squirrel flipping a coin then this season that blind squirrel took our money.

 

You see, out of 42 bowl games we correctly predicted the winner approximately 54% of the time, and, in the 6 games in which we predicted a different winner compared to the college football playoff (CFP) selection committee, we were correct half the time and they were correct the other half.  However, we correctly predicted against Vegas 48% of the time.  So, this year the squirrel beat us.

What went wrong?  This is always a useful question.  One issue is that the Big 10 was a Big Letdown, finishing a miserable 3-7 in their bowl games, performing overwhelmingly worse than expected.  Likewise, Clemson outperformed expectations as they upset both Ohio State and Alabama, two teams that both we – and Vegas – thought would win.  Why these things occurred is rather difficult to determine: did the Big 10 perform well against non-conference games – which usually take place early in the season – and then fall off later on?  It is hard to know for sure.

Regarding Vegas, last bowl season the Vegas favorite covered the line approximately 60% of the time.  Interestingly, they only covered the line a mere 35% of the time this season meaning even they had a hard time predicting the outcomes.  But in the end, you can’t fight city hall, and, really, you probably shouldn’t mess with Vegas either as the house is truly playing with a stacked deck.

One thing that does give us hope is that, even though hundreds of millions of dollars are on the line for the college football playoff and a prestigious 13 member selection committee generates the rankings, our simple ranking system fares about as well, getting the same number of correct predictions.  So, maybe next year the CFP should drop their committee-based ranking system and just hire that squirrel.

 

 

JP 2016 NCAA Football Final Rankings and Bowl Predictions

by   |  12.16.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

Below is our final ranking dotplot for the season.  Note how Alabama ends the season way beyond the other teams, teams 2-4 are grouped together, followed by another large break after the 11th team, LSU.

bowl predictions

Although Navy’s loss to Army for the first time in more than a decade was a surprise, our rankings did not see them as a top 40 team anyway, so the surprise was rather mild.

The final network graph (below) demonstrates the inter- and intra-conference play (the lines connecting the dots) as well as the relative strengths of the teams within their conferences via the dot size.

ncaa football diagram

Lastly, below are our predicted winners and win margins for 40 of the 41 bowl games.  All of these bowls are assumed to be at neutral sites, so, for example, the Hawaii Bowl win margin does not adjust for Hawaii’s homefield advantage (a 5.25 point adjustment).  After the two national semi-finals have been played we will return to predict by how much Alabama will win.

 

Date Team One Team Two Bowl Game JP Favorite Win Margin
2016-12-17 UTSA New Mexico GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL New Mexico 0.75
2016-12-17 San Diego State Houston LAS VEGAS BOWL PRESENTED BY GEICO Houston 18.75
2016-12-17 Toledo Appalachian State RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELLIA BOWL Toledo 2.25
2016-12-17 Arkansas State UCF AUTONATION CURE BOWL UCF 0.75
2016-12-18 Louisiana Lafayette Southern Miss R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL Southern Miss 2.25
2016-12-19 Tulsa Central Michigan MIAMI BEACH BOWL Tulsa 11.75
2016-12-21 Western Kentucky Memphis BOCA RATON BOWL Western Kentucky 7.75
2016-12-22 Wyoming BYU SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA BOWL BYU 7.75
2016-12-23 Colorado State Idaho FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL Colorado State 18.75
2016-12-23 Old Dominion Eastern Michigan POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL Eastern Michigan 3.75
2016-12-23 Navy Louisiana Tech LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL Navy 8.25
2016-12-24 Troy Ohio DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL Troy 0.75
2016-12-25 Middle Tennessee Hawaii HAWAII BOWL Middle Tennessee 8.25
2016-12-26 Mississippi State Miami (OH) ST. PETERSBURG BOWL Mississippi State 15.75
2016-12-26 Boston College Maryland QUICK LANE BOWL Maryland 3.75
2016-12-26 Vanderbilt NC State CAMPING WORLD INDEPENDENCE BOWL Vanderbilt 7.75
2016-12-27 North Texas Army ZAXBY’S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL Army 10
2016-12-27 Wake Forest Temple MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN Temple 23.75
2016-12-28 Washington State Minnesota NATIONAL FUNDING HOLIDAY BOWL Washington State 5.75
2016-12-28 Baylor Boise State MOTEL 6 CACTUS BOWL Boise State 18.75
2016-12-28 Northwestern Pittsburgh NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL Northwestern 3.75
2016-12-28 Miami West Virginia RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL Miami 18.75
2016-12-29 Utah Indiana FOSTER FARMS BOWL Utah 10
2016-12-29 Kansas State Texas A&M ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL Texas A&M 18.75
2016-12-29 South Carolina South Florida BIRMINGHAM BOWL South Florida 14.75
2016-12-29 Virginia Tech Arkansas BELK BOWL Virginia Tech 18.75
2016-12-30 Colorado Oklahoma State VALERO ALAMO BOWL Colorado 27.25
2016-12-30 TCU Georgia AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL Georgia 8.25
2016-12-30 North Carolina Stanford HYUNDAI SUN BOWL Stanford 8.25
2016-12-30 Tennessee Nebraska FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL Tennessee 3.75
2016-12-30 Air Force South Alabama NOVA HOME LOANS ARIZONA BOWL Air Force 11.75
2016-12-31 Florida State Michigan CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL Michigan 34.25
2016-12-31 Louisville LSU BUFFALO WILD WINGS CITRUS BOWL LSU 11.75
2016-12-31 Kentucky Georgia Tech TAXSLAYER BOWL Georgia Tech 1.75
2016-12-31 Alabama Washington CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL – CFP SEMIFINAL Alabama 39.25
2017-01-01 Clemson Ohio State PLAYSTATION FIESTA BOWL – CFP SEMIFINAL Ohio State 23.75
2017-01-02 Iowa Florida OUTBACK BOWL Iowa 1.75
2017-01-02 Wisconsin Western Michigan GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC Wisconsin 20.75
2017-01-02 Penn State USC ROSE BOWL GAME PRES. BY NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL Penn State 0.75
2017-01-03 Oklahoma Auburn ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL Auburn 11.75
2017-01-10 TBD TBD CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME TBD

 

Jessup Pope College Football 2016 Rankings: After Week 14

by   |  12.07.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

The bowls are all set as 14 weeks of the NCAA football season have passed with only one game remaining: Army vs. Navy, to be held this upcoming Saturday.

 

JP Rankings after week 14

 

Our model ends with the same team on top that we had all season, Alabama, who ESPN and 538 acknowledge as the best college football team of all time.  Ohio State and Michigan remain 2nd and 3rd, respectively, but, thanks in part to Wisconsin’s loss and Washington’s crushing of Colorado, the Huskies move into our 4th spot.  Clemson is our 8th ranked team, behind Wisconsin, Penn State, and USC, respectively.  No. 12 Western Michigan is our highest ranked team from the Group of 5 conferences and Oklahoma is our highest ranked Big 12 team, at #18.  As Don Pope pointed out last week, the Big 12 looks more like a Group of 5 conference than a Power 5 conference this year.

Next week, after the Army-Navy game, we will give our projections for all 40+ bowl games.  My grad school alma mater, Indiana, will play in the Foster Farms Bowl.  That’s how you know you’ve hit the big time, why mess around with crummy bowls like the Rose or Sugar when you can throw a pigskin sponsored by a chicken.

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 28, 2016

by   |  11.28.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Don Pope

Well, sports fans, it was another exciting weekend of college football.  Several traditional big rivalry match-ups were played, the most notable being Michigan versus “The Ohio State University”.  The two schools up in Okie-land delayed their annual “Bedlam” rivalry game until this coming weekend so they could focus on the turkey and dressing last week.

The first of the following figures shows our adjusted rankings after week 13.

 

week of nov. 28 graph

 

Note that, as before, Alabama stands out way above the rest, followed by Ohio State and Michigan after their close game, then another Big 10 team, Wisconsin, and the remainder of the top 50 teams.

 

week of nov. 28 graph 2

 

The second of the figures is a network representation of college football this season, with the dots representing the teams in the various conferences, or independents.  The lines represent games played, both within conference and between conferences.  The size of the dots reflects their rankings in our system.  The large red dot in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) is Alabama, and 3 the large red dots in the Big 10 are Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The sad tale of these figures is the demise of the Big 12.   They seem to have forgotten that, after your team scores, you are supposed to put 11 other guys out on the field whose objective is to stop the other team from scoring.  Our rankings place many schools from many conferences above any school in the Big 12.  Thus, we do not predict the Big 12 teams this year to perform very well in bowl games, assuming that they get invited to any bowl game more significant than the Captain Crunch Breakfast Cereal Bowl.

Stay tuned for next week!

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 21, 2016

by   |  11.22.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research

by guest blogger, Noah Bastable

The most notable game this week happened on Thursday when the Houston Cougars beat Louisville in a tumbling loss for the Cardinals as they fell down from #5 to #14, even though both teams have a 9-2 record. This is, in part, how the Jessup-Pope College Football Rankings (much like life) works. If you notice the bottom 6 teams on the chart, their PageRank scores do not differ as much as the top 4 teams. Even the difference between Alabama and Ohio State is huge. This just goes to show it’s easy to get to the top, but it is hard to stay on top (even though Alabama may say otherwise).

 

jp rankings 11.22.16

 

The University of Houston Cougars were previously ranked #46 and are now ranked #17 on the Jessup Pope College Football Ranking system.

We hope that everybody has a great week off of school and work and enjoys their Thanksgiving meals, perhaps while watching the 9-1 Cowboys face the Redskins on Thanksgiving day.

COBA Meet the Dean Tour stops in Texas and Silicon Valley

by   |  11.18.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, College Decisions, Current Students, Distinguished Speakers Series, Entrepreneurship, Faith Infusion, Griggs Center, Internships, MAcc, MBA, School of Information Technology and Computing, Uncategorized

Dr. Brad Crisp officially began his tenure as the Dean of the College of Business Administration in June and has been building an agenda since for his new role. One of the items on that agenda has been to reach out to and connect with alumni from the College of Business and the School of Information Technology and Computing, giving alumni and friends an opportunity to meet or reacquaint themselves with Dr. Crisp as well as learning more about the state of our college and what our plans are for the future. Thus, the idea for the “Meet the Dean Tour” was born and implemented in partnership with the Alumni Relations Office.

Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration

Dr. Brad Crisp, Dean of the College of Business Administration

The tour began in Abilene with 56 alumni and friends and at each stop, Dr. Crisp illustrated ACU’s long standing success in business education and our recent path of progress with our School of IT and Computing.  Along with our first event in Abilene, alumni and friends gathered in Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Silicon Valley at networking breakfasts and lunches. Alumni who graduated within the past 10 years were invited to join Dr. Crisp for a “Beat the Dean” event at Top Golf in several of these cities, as they attempted to best the new Dean. It was a fun time of networking and Dr. Crisp was able to withstand the challenge brought by our young alums.

Young Alums in Dallas

Young Alums in Dallas

Dr. Crisp aims to win

Dr. Crisp aims to win

COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas

COBA Beat the Dean at Top Golf in Dallas

Not only were we able to reconnect with alumni, but we also met with parents of current students as well as prospective students and their families as they sought to learn more about the College and our programs and opportunities. Recent graduates were hard at work at these events, helping us connect students to internships and job opportunities in their organization. Alumni who have risen to leadership roles in their companies expressed their desire to create and sustain pipelines of ACU talent to their organizations. Many of our alums shared stories of the encouragement and strengthening they received both professionally and personally while attending ACU. They were encouraged by Dr. Crisp’s consistent reference to our heritage of business excellence, rooted in our personal commitment to living out the mission of Christ and bringing this mission to the workplace.

Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin

Meet the Dean lunch stop in Austin

Today, Dr. Crisp leads a College offering 5 business degrees and 4 technology degrees at our Abilene campus, the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy which is leading the nation in student engagement for entrepreneurship programs, and the new Lytle Center for Leadership and Faith Development which is continuing our Distinguished Speaker Series and Leadership Summit course.  The reach of ACU’s mission to educate Christian servants and leaders has expanded with the on-line MBA program, offered through the ACU Dallas campus in addition to our residential Master of Accountancy program and additional on-line graduate programs are in the discussion phase. The College of Business enjoyed an enrollment of exactly 1,000 total students this fall and is positioned for additional growth.  Our Master of Accountancy and Computer Science programs supply a steady stream of employers coming to campus to interview for talent as the changing landscape of business is driven by technology and entrepreneurship, demanding ethical leaders in this rapidly transforming environment.

alums top golf

Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio

Young alums at Beat the Dean in San Antonio

The opportunity to begin Dr. Crisp’s tenure by connecting with alumni was emphasized by an intentional effort to listen to and involve alumni and friends in our efforts to develop the next generation of business and technology servant leaders. All in attendance were encouraged to give us feedback via an on-line survey. If you were unable to attend one of the stops but would like to give feedback as we continue to shape the direction and future of ACU’s College of Business and School of Information Technology and Computing, please fill out the survey by clicking on this link.

Your support of our work to educate business and technology professionals for Christian service and leadership throughout the world is a great encouragement to us and we cannot achieve our goals without support from alumni and friends. Thank you!

 

 

The Lytle Center hosts Brett Biggs at COBA’s annual Distinguished Speaker Series Luncheon

by   |  11.17.16  |  Academics, Accounting, COBA Alumni, COBA Events, COBA Faculty, COBA Staff, Careers In..., College Decisions, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Special Speakers, Uncategorized

The Lytle Center for Faith and Leadership Development hosted Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on October 25th, as the speaker at COBA’s annual Distinguished Speaker Series luncheon.

brett-biggs (2)

Brett Biggs, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Biggs is responsible for accounting and control, corporate strategy and development, business planning and analysis, internal auditing, treasury, tax, global shared services and several other key areas of the company. Before being appointed to his current role, Biggs was executive vice president and chief financial officer for Walmart International, where he was responsible for all global finance activities, including accounting and controls, business planning and analysis, financial services, and support for real estate, M&A and Strategy. Prior to that, Brett served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Walmart U.S., where he was responsible for U.S. finance functions including strategy, merchandising, logistics, financial services, real estate, operations, and financial planning and analysis.

Biggs began his visit to ACU with a Q&A meeting with approximately 30 COBA students. The students had unfettered access to ask Biggs questions about his career path, how Walmart works and his best advice on how to jump start their own careers. After the private gathering with students, he then addressed the luncheon crowd of about 200 guests, talking to them about Walmart’s corporate philosophy as well as his own beliefs on what it means to be a Christian leader in the workplace.

students with Brett Biggs

Mr. Biggs meeting with COBA students

Biggs stated that the “Joy of working at Walmart is that it is a company that stands for things: take care of your people, do your best, and take care of the people that come through your door.” Biggs also said that he believes, “The world needs places that stand for something. I love ACU’s mission. If you can combine your passion and your vocation with your mission, that’s where it’s at. Sometimes being a person of faith is tough. You have to stand your ground when others around you aren’t. Rosa Parks said it well when she said, ‘Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.’ Matt 5:14 says, ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.’ I know that’s what this university is about and I appreciate that.”

COBADistSpkBiggs-036

Biggs also gave a personal anecdote when he told a story about meeting Sam Walton, who he described as a once in a lifetime kind of man and the greatest entrepreneur of all time. Biggs said that he met Walton on a field trip in college. Biggs happened to be carrying around a very big notebook while studying for the CPA exam. Sam Walton asked what the book was for and Biggs explained to him that he was intensely studying for the exam. Walton then told him that, “If you study hard and work hard you never know what you’ll be able to achieve.” Biggs said that today, his office is next door to Sam Walton’s former office. 

Biggs encouraged students to find a company that fits your values, to be intentional about your faith and to stay grounded and focused on your faith. He also exhorted the audience to know who you are before you are faced with big decisions. He stated, “You have to know what you would do and make a choice ahead of time. You have to really know who you are. Students, take advantage of your time here and form that person now. Take advantage of all the spiritual opportunities you have here.”

faculty visit (1 of 1)

Mr. Biggs meeting with COBA Faculty

Biggs wrapped his trip to ACU up with a private meeting with some of COBA’s faculty, where they discussed current markets and opportunities for students. COBA would like to thank Brett Biggs for so graciously giving of his time and energy to our students, faculty, staff and community.

For pictures from the event, please click on this link for COBA’s FaceBook page.

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning Nov. 14, 2016

by   |  11.15.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Don Pope

Well sports fans, it was one of those weeks.  3 of the top 4 CFP ranked teams went down in flames to defeat, as well as my dear old Texas Aggies. Since the top 4 CFP ranked teams end up in the most significant bowl games and play each other for the unofficial (not recognized by the NCAA) national championship, then we are going to see a scramble for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ranked teams at the end of the regular season.  That assumes, of course, that Alabama remains in their overwhelming number 1 ranked position, which is surely to occur unless their team bus blows an engine and they fail to show at their remaining games.  Our rankings did not change a great deal from the previous week (week 10) to week 11 (shown below).

JP_top50_rankings_2016_wk11_phat136 (2)

This is due to several factors:  first, our algorithm is not bothered by a “defeat” as much as other rankings, as in the case of Michigan only losing by 1 point on the road against Iowa.  Secondly, our rankings were never as excited about Clemson and Washington as other rankings had been.  Our rankings, after the 800 pound monster Alabama, are very impressed with the body of work of several Big 10 conference teams.  Among these is Northwestern, which is still flying below the radar on many rankings, but our rankings feel that they are a strong contender.

Stay tuned for this coming weekend’s games.  The only certainty is more surprises.

 

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning November 7, 2016

by   |  11.08.16  |  Academics, COBA Alumni, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research

by guest blogger and marketing major from Japan, Noah Bastable

Hello wildcats and welcome back to our weekly blog post on the Jessup Pope College Football Rankings!

This week is the tenth week of college football and we’d like to talk you through some noticeable changes since last week.

JP_top50_rankings_2016_wk10_phat136

Our top four teams – Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin – remain the same but their order has switched.

LSU lost to Alabama but they went up in the rankings from 16th to 11th. The score was close until Alabama broke the scoreless game in the last quarter by scoring 10 points.

Ole Miss shot up through the rankings from 28th to 17th after a 37-27 win against the Georgia Southern Eagles.

Nebraska went down from 12th to 20th after their staggering 62-3 loss to Ohio State.

The most interesting turnout, however, was one between two of our home state teams, Baylor and TCU.  TCU “clobbered”, as Ryan Jessup put it, the Bears 62-22 defeating them so badly that their running back was sidelined for attitude issues. Perhaps there is a silver lining in the Bears-Frogs game, the lesson learned that no matter how rough a game may get, one must always maintain a right attitude.

That is it for this week. Come back and check us out again next week for more of the new and improved Jessup Pope College Football rankings! Go Wildcats!!

Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings: Week Beginning 30 October 2016

by   |  11.01.16  |  Academics, COBA Faculty, Current Students, Research, Uncategorized

by guest blogger, Dr. Ryan Jessup

I present to you the first edition of the second season of the new and improved Jessup Pope (JP) College Football Rankings in which we rank all 128 college football teams in the bowl subdivision based on their performances through the first 9 weeks of the current season.

A very brief history

Last season, Don Pope and I introduced our ranking system which uses a modified version of the Google PageRank algorithm – the algorithm that jump-started the search engine giant and still underlies their current approach today – to allow it to rank teams instead of webpages.  We also enabled it to account for home field advantage and temporal decay of performances (this is where games early in the season weigh less in the rankings than more recent games), among other things.

New and improved

You might recall that last season we ended with the same final 4 as the college football playoff (CFP) rankings and predicted that Alabama would defeat Clemson in the Championship by 5.7 points, a game Alabama won by 5 points.  Our model (a) beat Las Vegas and (b) correctly predicted the winner of the bowl games 51.2% of the time.  For us, that is not good enough.  So, in the offseason we grabbed more seasons of college football data to help our system better learn and made a few additional modifications to supercharge the system.  When we finally got around to running our new version on last season’s data, we found that it beat Vegas 61% of the time and correctly predicted the bowl game winner 56% of the time.

About our rankings

Before we get into the rankings here are a few quick reminders:

  • We do not care about predicting the CFP rankings. We care about good predictions of game outcomes and correctly predicting the CFP rankings may lead us in the wrong direction.
  • Our model does not care about win-loss records. A team with a losing record who lost multiple away games against tough teams by narrow margins will likely end up higher in our rankings than an undefeated team that has played a creampuff schedule.
  • Our model is not biased by name recognition, what conference a team plays in, or start of the season rankings – three potential weaknesses of human ranking systems.
  • Our model is forward-looking so as to predict future outcomes whereas traditional polls and ranking systems are backwards-looking and hence merely describe prior performance.

The rankings

As with last season, we are presenting the rankings using a dotplot which preserves the relative difference in JP values.  For example, this image demonstrates that the difference in quality between teams 1 and 2 is larger than the difference between teams 15 and 50!

 

JP Football rankings week 9

 

No one should be surprised that Alabama and Michigan are ranked at the top.  Our high ranking of Wisconsin is consistent with their strong performances against quality teams, despite their two losses, both against teams that we rank higher (Michigan followed by Ohio State at #3).

My guess is that undefeated Clemson and Washington will round out the CFP’s top 4 in the first ranking of the season which will be released on Tuesday; though, our model suggests that they are currently on the outside looking in.  Baylor and West Virginia’s losses this past weekend simplified the problem that would have otherwise arisen – people wondering why those two undefeated teams were ranked so low.