via i38.tinypic.comActually, I need your opinions, my good people.
Despite having been happy with my old rating algorithm for some years, I'm not quite as happy these days. I've discovered that when you publish something for all to see, you have a lot less margin for error. As much as I like the simplicity of my spreadsheet, I think I can do a little better.
My main concern is that the existing method overly penalizes winning teams like the Saints, who are outstanding on one side of the ball but mediocre on the other. To rank them in 7th place is IMO something that should probably be addressed. Last year, for example, the Steelers won the Super Bowl with a subpar offense and a great defense. So far this year, 3 of the 4 winningest teams have a below average defense (or offense). If this trend is the new reality in the NFL, I'd rather change than stubbornly stick with something that's worked in the past, but not quite as well now.
At the risk of getting too cute with a simple process, I'm thinking of adding a couple of new variables to the formula. Winning percentage is one measure of a team's quality that is undeniably relevant, as is Point Differential. Rather than weighing offense and defense at 50% apiece, my new mix would be:
Offense (curved, as before), 25%
Defense (curved), 25%
Point Differential per Game (curved), 25%
Winning Percentage, 25%.
Here are what the Week 8 rankings would look like using the new algorithm:
(I omitted Win% from the table due to space and readabilty considerations, but it does figure into the final ratings.)
Though hardly perfect by any means, this version seems to "smell" somewhat better, at least to me.
Since I publish this for your amusement, kind readers, I would appreciate YOUR feedback on this momentous issue. Do the results seem more realistic this way? Does the added complexity strike anyone as a negative? If so, is that negative outweighed by better results?
Like Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin, I look forward to any constructive remarks youse guys have to offer. Thanks, everyone!