College Football Notebook 2017

College Football Notebook 2017, a preseason analytics and predictions e-guide produced by McIllece Sports, is now available! Since the file is a 288-page PDF, it is recommended to right click and select “save as” to download a copy to your hard drive.

Link: College Football Notebook 2017

Preseason Analytics

  • Historical power and recruiting ratings
  • Rankings, records, and conference projections
  • Score predictions and win probabilities for every game
  • 2016 unit ratings and 2017 player weights
  • Unique stats and schedule ranks

In-Season Notebook

  • Track scores and injuries
  • Update strength of schedule and power ratings
  • Create custom score predictions for regular season, conference championship, and bowl games
  • Evaluate team trends with plus/minus ratings

Don’t agree with the Notebook’s ratings or predictions? Adjust them to create your own power ratings and score predictions for your favorite teams and biggest rivals! College Football Notebook 2017 puts the power of the analyst in your hands. Download and print your free copy today!

Note about rosters

Rosters are always in flux. Significant roster changes and injury information can be tracked in the workbook space at the end of each conference section. The roster information included in the 2017 Notebook was based on official team sites as of mid to late May and reflects the information used to make all 2017 McIllece Sports predictions.

While not exactly a roster change, the one exception to this rule was the retirement of Bob Stoops at Oklahoma. The 2017 Notebook does show Lincoln Riley as the new head coach. All other figures and information about the Sooners, however, were based on the assumption of Coach Stoops leading them in 2017.

2017 modifications

The following modifications were implemented with the release of the 2017 Notebook:

  • Projected offense, defense, and power ratings listed in +/- workbook area, making calculations quicker and easier
  • Expected win totals already populated (based on preseason win probabilities), making +/- wins calculations quicker and easier
  • Team-specific SOS already populated in the optional formula for updating SOS
  • Setting G=12 as the maximum for power ratings updates is noted in the workbook space, correcting an error for games 13+ from last season
  • “Talent Reload” renamed “Skill Talent Reload” to emphasize that this metric is specific to offensive skill players
  • “Coaching / Transition” redefined and renamed “Program Foundation”, reflecting the strength and continuity of the program over the past two years (teams with new head coaches tend to get lower values in this category)
  • For national “Schedule Advantage” rankings, BYU is no longer grouped with the Power 5 teams, due to playing a schedule more comparable to Group of 5 teams in 2017
  • Coastal Carolina (transitioning from FCS) and UAB (returning after two years of no competition) added
  • Injury report page at the end of each page is no longer separated by team, making it easier to note significant roster changes in the conference
  • Special teams changed from equal weights per category to predictive weights (more emphasis on kickers than returners)

Note about calculating “Game +/- Ratings”

In the right-hand page workbook space, the column for “Game +/- Ratings” describes the required calculation as “Results – Predictions”. It is important to use the preseason predictions in this calculation. Using updated weekly predictions here will not fully account for the difference between the preseason ratings and the in-season results.

Email analytics@mcillecesports.com with any questions about filling out the Notebook pages.

Power, Offense, and Defense Ratings

These are the three primary ratings that measure the quality (or predicted quality) of a team, in terms of points scored and points allowed. They are all schedule-adjusted, meaning that the quality of opposition faced is factored into the calculations.

  • Offense = The points scored value of a team’s offense (high is good)
  • Defense = The points allowed value of a team’s defense (low is good)
  • Power = Offense – Defense. Conceptually, this is the expected margin of victory (or defeat, if negative) versus an average FBS opponent on a neutral field. An average FBS team has a power rating of zero.

Therefore, for a simple estimate of how many points Team1 would score against Team2, add the Offense rating of Team1 to the Defense rating of Team2. This would be equal to the expected Points Scored (PS) for Team1. Analogously, to estimate how many points Team2 would score in that same game against Team1, add Team2’s Offense to Team1’s Defense.

Example

In 2015 Week 1, Alabama played Wisconsin at a neutral site. The final 2015 Offense and Defense ratings for these teams were:

Alabama Offense = 26.8
Alabama Defense = -3.1

Wisconsin Offense = 14.2
Wisconsin Defense = -0.2

Alabama (Expected) Points Scored = 26.8 + (-0.2) = 26.6 ≈ 27
Wisconsin (Expected) Points Scored = 14.2 + (-3.1) = 11.1 ≈ 11
Alabama (Expected) Margin of Victory = 27 – 11 = 16

Since 11 is an unusual point total, a reasonable score expectation for this matchup might be Alabama 27, Wisconsin 10. The final score in that game was 35 – 17, an 18 point Alabama win. Both teams basically scored an extra TD over the expected score line.

The right-hand notebook page for each team includes formulas that refine this a bit (using 0.984 as a multiplier and factoring in home-field advantage to give the home team a boost), but the concept is the same.

Archived Notebooks
College Football Notebook 2016