Friday, September 3, 2010

Bowl Win Effect

In the pre-season rankings column I slyly slipped in that winning a bowl actually indicated a likely drop off in the next season. It has been however challenged by the ever astute observer Andy Meisner, and to be honest it seemed a little ridiculous to me too. Using the top 50 teams in each season over the last 5 seasons, I have now re-examined the data. Here are the rough changes in Power Rankings (technically ln(Power Rankings). To adjust, a score of .1 means that the average team was about 1.1 times as good the next season).

Winners Losers
2004-05 -0.0153 -0.1812
2005-06 0.1258 -0.2386
2006-07 0.0434 -0.0602
2007-08 0.1577 -0.1085
2008-09 -0.1417 0.1158
Average 0.0339 -0.0945

So it appears the 2008-09 season was just a strange aberration. While it's true that winners got worse in 08-09, it was the other way for other seasons, and on average momentum from the bowl carries over.
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