Week 4 power ratings are listed below, and yes, some of them are startling!
Alabama at #1 seems like absolute madness, right?
There are a few reasons for power ratings that seem to defy common sense early in the year:
- These ratings are predictive, not retrodictive, so preseason ratings have about 50% weight for most teams (teams that have played three games). That boosts some teams like Alabama that have seemingly underperformed so far.
- Other teams, like AP #1 Georgia, are hurt by underperforming against a poor schedule. The full network is not well connected yet, so some team ratings will be biased to some degree. That can explain some of the seeming disparity of treatment between teams like Alabama and Georgia, and why some teams are much more highly rated than most people would expect or deem reasonable.
- Lastly, these ratings will fluctuate a lot in the coming weeks.
Those caveats aside, for most teams, these ratings can be be interpreted as an objective outlook for the next few weeks.
Often when objective, mathematical ratings defy common sense, there is a good reason for it, picking up on signals that might be missed by the conventional wisdom.
Or…in Bama’s case, we simply gave them too much credit in the preseason. That might prove to be true.
To create a net score prediction between two teams, compute the difference between their power ratings, and add 2.2 for home-field advantage, where applicable.