Power Rankings from Around the Web: Week 14

I've been following this here blog since about the time training camp started.  It's been my one go-to source for the latest Chargers news and insights and I have learned a lot about the Chargers, and football in general, by reading the stories and comments on here.

Why do I bring up this little back story?  Well, one of my favorite features done on here this season was the "Power Rankings from Around the Web" series that Steve (Grey Suit) was doing off–and–on.  It was an easy way to take the pulse of the rest of the league and see just what the consensus was across the board and see just where each team stood.

Over time, I've learned I'm a bit of a stat junkie and I enjoy looking at and analyze numbers from all different sources.  Being shown the wonder that is Football Outsider's website by this community here and all the various statistics and numbers available is like porn to a numbers-lover like myself.

Okay, it's gotten weird now.  Before I get too far off course, let's get to the meat of this post.

I noticed that the Power Rankings from Around the Web posts were were a bit spotty at times, and now I realized why: it's a bit of work to cull all those lists and write them down.  But I've taken a shot at it myself and added some further numbers breakdown and analysis and I think some of the results are a little interesting.

Check out the list and further analysis after the break.

Those familiar with Steve's posts know he listed the teams by name in the various columns.  I've decided to do things a little differently this time and I think it's a bit easier to follow.  The biggest change you'll notice is that the chart lists the source across each column, and each row is the team.  Then in each row, I list the position the team ranks on each source.

Average Ranking

This first chart is the ranking of each team based on their average ranking from the various sources.

Week 14 Power Rankings Average
(Click image for larger view)

This week, it looks like the Chargers are a solid 3-5 ranking, with a couple exceptions (more on those later). I guess a 7-game winning streak will certainly help the football analysts to like you. Other than that though, this chart should be pretty straight forward.

Now, I haven't been following the Power Rankings very closely the last few weeks so I can't compare it to last week or the week before yet, but as I do this more, I will be able to add in historical analysis as well

Standard Deviation

This second chart is one of the new additions: standard deviation. For those unfamiliar with the concept of standard deviation, it just basically is an indicator of how consistent the numbers are. The smaller the deviation, the closer to the average (mean) the data points are; inversely, the higher the deviation, the higher the variation of numbers. It's a way to measure how wildly the numbers fluctuate

Week 14 Power Rankings Standard Deviation
(Click image for larger view)

So this chart is the same chart, but now the teams are ordered by the standard deviation of their rankings. The teams at the top of the list have the most consistent rankings, meaning that everyone across the board is basically in agreement.

What does this tell us? Well, for starters, it tells us the Saints are the most consistent in their rankings, and that the consensus is they are the number one–ranked team. Surprisingly, the second most agreed–upon ranking? The Chiefs are a number twenty–eight ranking. The Giants, with the exception of one site, are a number-12 ranking, and the Browns are still generally agreed–upon to be the worst team in football.

The three teams that are most difficult to rank? The Bengals, Chargers and Jaguars (in that order), and all for the same reasons. This is because, if you look at the chart, the Football Outsider's rankings are drastically different from the other rankings. This is because FO's numbers use DVOA to rank the teams, so this shows that the Chargers and Bengals are grossly outperforming expectations based on their DVOA.

Conversely, the Eagles and Texans are grossly under–performing based on their DVOA ratings.

It's because of these wild fluctuations thanks to Football Outsiders that I drafted up the third chart.

Standard Deviation (Excluding Football Outsiders)

As pointed out above, Football Outsiders' numbers can be used in conjunction with the other Power Rankings to see which teams are and are not performing to their expectations based on DVOA. But what if we wanted to see where the more subjective rankings are in agreement.

Week 14 Power Rankings Standard Deviation (excluding Football Outsiders)
(Click image for larger view)

Things change quite a bit now. The absolute most-agreed-upon team now? The Chiefs at a 28th–place ranking. Across the board, everyone is in most agreement that the Chiefs are the 5th–worst team in football.

The Saints and Colts are next in their confidence numbers that the Saints are number 1, and the Colts are number 2. But (no surprise here), just as many people feel the Colts are a number 1 team as the Saints are a number 2 team. This just means the Saints and Colts are battling for the top spot with each other, but the consensus still is the Saints are the number 1. Again the Giants are a solid number 12, followed by the Browns being a solid last.

Once we take out the DVOA influence and go with purely subjective numbers, we can see the Chargers are actually more consistent and a solid number 4-5 ranking.

The team the pundits are having the hardest time pinning down: the Jaguars. They just don't know where to place them or what to think of them. They are have almost as hard a time placing the Raiders and Steelers too. Many are afraid to give the Raiders too much credit, while others have basically given up on the Steelers at this point


I realize this has been a rather lengthy analysis and wordy post, but since this is my first Fanpost, and first in what I hope is a series of Power Ranking analysis, I wanted to make sure I covered all my bases. Future posts won't have to explain nearly as much, nor give as much of an introduction.

On to You Guys

With that all said, I would love to get some feedback from all of you in the comments!

  • Most importantly what do you guys think? Do you like the extra analysis and break down? Or is it all a bunch of numbers you don't really care about?
  • How might you want me to change things in the future?
  • Is there something I missed or you'd like to know more about?

Comment away!

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.

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