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SCOAR: 2015 Initial Rankings and Week 1 Predictions

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Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to another year of SCOAR!

While I waited for a few weeks to build sample size before posting initial rankings last season, I decided to use the end of the 2014 season to speed up SCOAR’s resurgence. My plan for the offseason was to experiment with the end of the 2013 season/start of 2014 season to see how I could best lead into the actual results. I wanted to play around with weighting, number of games, etc. Unfortunately, while the offseason was long, my self-motivation was short so we’ll be stuck with the 11th hour version. This method takes weeks 13-17 of 2014, treats them equally, and will eliminate the oldest game each week until we are left with just this season’s results come week 6.

While I didn’t get around to trying different methods for the early weeks, I run the numbers for the 2014 season (using the end of 2013 for weeks 1-5) and the results were surprisingly good. This process was able to go 41-35 (53.9%) against the spread while going 50-26 (65.8%) straight up. Week 6 through the Super Bowl used only the 2014 data and went 110-81 (57.6%) against the spread and 124-66 (65.3%) straight up. I’m still going to claim beginner’s luck and fully expect this year’s results to be about as accurate as a Tim Tebow pass, thus making me regret ever posting the predictions.

For those of you who still aren’t familiar with SCOAR..

SCOAR (SCaled Opponent-Adjusted point Ratio) is explained in detail here, but I’ll provide a quick recap. Opponent-adjusted point ratio is the ratio of a team’s points to the average points of that team’s opponents, normalized with a logarithm. This value is calculated for a team’s points for and points allowed then combined for a total rating. These results are then scaled using the average points scored across the league in order to give a result that corresponds directly to points.

On to the Numbers!

I’ll lead with the final numbers for 2014 which, unfortunately, had the Patriots take the top spot after the Super Bowl. The Seahawks fell to 2nd, with the Packers, Broncos, and Ravens rounding out the top five.

2014 Final Results

Team W L O-SCOAR O Rank D-SCOAR D Rank SCOAR Last Week Change
1 New England Patriots 15 4 7.35 1 -3.19 6 10.54 2 1
2 Seattle Seahawks 14 5 2.65 9 -7.06 1 9.70 1 (1)
3 Green Bay Packers 13 5 6.42 3 -0.72 13 7.15 3 -
4 Denver Broncos 12 5 6.67 2 0.32 18 6.35 4 -
5 Baltimore Ravens 11 7 2.67 8 -3.12 7 5.79 5 -
6 Kansas City Chiefs 9 7 -0.50 15 -5.18 4 4.68 8 2
7 Dallas Cowboys 13 5 4.34 5 -0.34 15 4.68 7 -
8 Buffalo Bills 9 7 -0.79 17 -5.29 3 4.50 9 1
9 Indianapolis Colts 13 6 3.37 7 -0.38 14 3.75 6 (3)
10 Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 5.65 4 1.94 23 3.71 10 -
11 Detroit Lions 11 6 -3.39 24 -5.61 2 2.22 12 1
12 Houston Texans 9 7 -0.68 16 -2.80 8 2.13 11 (1)
13 Pittsburgh Steelers 11 6 3.73 6 1.76 22 1.97 13 -
14 Miami Dolphins 8 8 2.26 10 0.84 20 1.42 14 -
15 Cincinnati Bengals 10.5 6.5 -0.88 18 -1.63 9 0.75 15 -
16 Arizona Cardinals 11 6 -3.26 23 -3.66 5 0.41 16 -
17 San Diego Chargers 9 7 0.07 14 -0.32 16 0.38 17 -
18 New York Giants 6 10 0.81 12 2.22 24 -1.40 18 -
19 St. Louis Rams 6 10 -1.76 20 0.02 17 -1.79 19 -
20 Carolina Panthers 8.5 9.5 -1.47 19 0.34 19 -1.81 20 -
21 Minnesota Vikings 7 9 -3.10 22 -1.06 12 -2.04 23 2
22 New Orleans Saints 7 9 1.90 11 3.96 28 -2.06 22 (1)
23 San Francisco 49ers 8 8 -3.62 25 -1.52 10 -2.10 21 (1)
24 Atlanta Falcons 6 10 0.66 13 3.73 27 -3.08 24 -
25 Cleveland Browns 7 9 -5.00 28 -1.22 11 -3.78 25 -
26 Chicago Bears 5 11 -2.35 21 4.09 30 -6.45 26 -
27 New York Jets 4 12 -4.93 27 1.63 21 -6.56 27 -
28 Washington Redskins 4 12 -4.34 26 4.05 29 -8.39 28 -
29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2 14 -6.94 30 2.76 26 -9.70 29 -
30 Oakland Raiders 3 13 -5.92 29 4.84 32 -10.76 30 -
31 Jacksonville Jaguars 3 13 -8.89 32 2.35 25 -11.24 31 -
32 Tennessee Titans 2 14 -8.10 31 4.14 31 -12.23 32 -

2015 Week 1

Week 1 sees the Seahawks back on top, due to an absolutely dominant closing to the 2014 season, which saw the team go 5-0 with an average score of 23-7 (reminder: this is only weeks 13-17, no playoffs). What may come as a surprise is our week 1 opponent, the Rams, coming in at 2nd. They are buoyed by their back-to-back shutouts in weeks 13 and 14 before the inevitable fall back to earth to close the season. I fully expect them to plummet down the rankings as we wean off the 2014 results. The top five is completed with the Eagles, Broncos, and Steelers.

Team W L O-SCOAR O Rank D-SCOAR D Rank SCOAR
1 Seattle Seahawks 0 0 1.86 11 -21.10 1 22.95
2 St. Louis Rams 0 0 -0.11 18 -7.80 2 7.69
3 Philadelphia Eagles 0 0 4.74 5 -2.36 8 7.10
4 Denver Broncos 0 0 5.72 3 -1.18 14 6.90
5 Pittsburgh Steelers 0 0 5.33 4 -1.48 12 6.81
6 Green Bay Packers 0 0 5.81 2 -0.81 16 6.62
7 Houston Texans 0 0 3.01 7 -3.58 7 6.59
8 Carolina Panthers 0 0 0.68 15 -5.77 3 6.44
9 Dallas Cowboys 0 0 5.92 1 0.15 21 5.77
10 New England Patriots 0 0 -0.50 19 -5.33 5 4.83
11 Minnesota Vikings 0 0 2.16 10 -1.90 10 4.06
12 Buffalo Bills 0 0 -1.68 21 -5.48 4 3.80
13 Cincinnati Bengals 0 0 2.45 9 -0.90 15 3.34
14 Detroit Lions 0 0 1.11 14 -1.42 13 2.53
15 New York Giants 0 0 4.04 6 2.12 23 1.92
16 Baltimore Ravens 0 0 -0.83 20 -0.50 18 -0.33
17 Atlanta Falcons 0 0 2.82 8 3.21 25 -0.39
18 Kansas City Chiefs 0 0 -5.87 29 -5.28 6 -0.59
19 Jacksonville Jaguars 0 0 -3.10 22 -1.88 11 -1.22
20 Indianapolis Colts 0 0 0.13 16 2.31 24 -2.18
21 San Diego Chargers 0 0 1.77 12 4.17 28 -2.40
22 New York Jets 0 0 -4.04 24 -0.52 17 -3.52
23 Arizona Cardinals 0 0 -5.09 27 0.04 19 -5.13
24 New Orleans Saints 0 0 0.04 17 5.20 30 -5.15
25 Miami Dolphins 0 0 1.77 13 6.94 31 -5.18
26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0 0 -8.47 30 -2.34 9 -6.14
27 Chicago Bears 0 0 -5.46 28 1.16 22 -6.62
28 San Francisco 49ers 0 0 -4.30 25 3.95 27 -8.25
29 Washington Redskins 0 0 -4.87 26 3.78 26 -8.65
30 Cleveland Browns 0 0 -11.07 32 0.11 20 -11.18
31 Oakland Raiders 0 0 -3.21 23 9.52 32 -12.73
32 Tennessee Titans 0 0 -10.66 31 4.28 29 -14.94

Week 1 SCOAR predictions

Now the fun potentially embarrassing part. As noted in the intro, the initial predictions turned out pretty well last year, but remain unreliable due to there being literally nothing from this season to work with. I do not recommend using these for betting purposes (although you’re more than welcome to send me money if they help you).

A reminder that SCOAR doesn’t know what a normal football score looks like, so it’s bound to put up some very unlikely point totals. Also, watch the game tonight to apparently see the first tie of the season!

I knew this was a bad idea…

Pittsburgh Steelers 22 - New England Patriots 22

Green Bay Packers 29 - Chicago Bears 17

Kansas City Chiefs 11 - Houston Texans 22

Cleveland Browns 8 - New York Jets 22

Indianapolis Colts 17 - Buffalo Bills 24

Miami Dolphins 28 - Washington Redskins 26

Carolina Panthers 21 - Jacksonville Jaguars 13

Seattle Seahawks 14 - St. Louis Rams 6

New Orleans Saints 20 - Arizona Cardinals 22

Detroit Lions 27 - San Diego Chargers 21

Tennessee Titans 9 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21

Cincinnati Bengals 33 - Oakland Raiders 18

Baltimore Ravens 18 - Denver Broncos 29

New York Giants 26 - Dallas Cowboys 34

Philadelphia Eagles 29 - Atlanta Falcons 26

Minnesota Vikings 25 - San Francisco 49ers 16