Wednesday, January 12, 2011

AP Top 25 Scheduling Update

YearTeamsIndFBS
Games
FCS
Games
Bowl
Games
T25
Games
Pct of
Games
T25
Bowls
T25
Conf
CG
T25
Conf
T25
Non
Conf
T25
vs FCS
1989106255825018528.9%10019232
1990107265796719498.5%100211810
1991107195865318467.8%90162110
1992107165884918447.5%912597
1993106115854719467.9%7127115
1994107125934319457.6%812797
1995108135974318447.4%8025117
1996111116144818467.5%9324105
199711296283820467.3%822971
199811286274722487.7%9126124
199911476335323558.7%923686
200011586415525457.0%822786
200111776525725487.4%1012894
200211767076528486.8%71251511
200311746997228446.3%932489
200411726515628365.5%912068
200511946645428446.6%922769
200611947147832446.2%8127815
200711937128032456.3%9329418
200812047178734466.4%9227822
200912037149434395.5%7323617
201012037189035446.1%7329521

Ind - Independent teams; T25 Games - Games played between teams that finished the year ranked in the final AP top-25 poll; T25 Conf CG - Conference championship games played between final AP top-25 teams. Though these games are scheduled before the season, the participants are not known until the end of the regular season; T25 Conf - Conference games between final AP top-25 teams; T25 Non Conf - Non-conference regular season games between AP top-25 teams, including independents.

*** *** *** *** ***

This data was first collected and published in March along with a companion infographic, and has been updated to include the final Associated Press top-25 rankings data for the 2010 college football season. Only five regular season non-conference games were played this year between teams that were ranked in the final AP top-25 poll:
  • September 6:  No. 9 Boise State vs. No. 16 Virginia Tech
  • September 11: No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 17 Florida State
  • September 11: No. 21 Central Florida vs. No. 25 North Carolina State
  • September 18: No. 13 Oklahoma State vs. No. 24 Tulsa
  • October 9: No. 12 Arkansas vs. No. 19 Texas A&M
Adding seven bowl games, a grand total of 12 non-conference games were played between Associated Press final top-25 teams in 2010.

6 comments:

Bert said...

One thing that strikes me as missing from consideration is that the number of top 25 teams as a percentage of the universe of teams has decreased as teams are added to FBS. If you consider the probability of two teams selected at random to play each other resulting in a top 25 matchup (call it expected Pct of T25), you will see that, each year, the Pct of T25 games is higher than the expected. Furthermore, if you consider how much higher the actual percentage is that the expected percentage, you will notice that the BCS era (1998-present) is consistently higher on average than the Bowl Alliance/Coalition era before it (1992-1997). Sure teams are less interconnected now than they were in the past, but that is a natural function of increasing the number of teams.

Brian Fremeau said...

Good feedback, thanks. It's not suprising that the the Pct of T25 games is higher than the probability of two teams selected at random resulting in at top-25 matchup. The good teams are clustered in the good conferences and play one another far more often than they do against the field at large. I would imagine that if non-conference scheduling were randomized, the frequency of top-25 matchups would improve, however. I think teams actively schedule weak opposition (for financial reasons more than competitive ones).

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