Welcome to the 11th annual NCAA PT Awards. The purpose of these awards is to help raise the publicity for those systems that have been superior in various qualities of interest. Most awards will be based entirely on the numbers I've monitored with my prediction tracker web pages. For the 2011 season I followed the weekly performance of 68 computer rating systems. This is the same number of last year although the systems are not entirely the same. MOST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season) Winner: Covers.com Winner: Tempo Free Gridiron.com This year I collected predictions on 715 games involving two 1A teams. (I don't care what they are now, I am still going to call them 1A.) This year we had a tie for predicting the most correct game winners. Covers.com and Tempo Free Gridiron both went 528-187,or 73.846%. This is down about 3 percent from last year's winner, or about 16.6 wins. So not a great winning number although last year was one of the better ones. But even still, the winner is generally around 75-76%. From my records, only 2005 had a lower winning percentage. This year only seven systems, counting the opening line and the system average got more games correct than the Vegas line. 2011 Winner: Covers.com, Tempo Free Gridiron 2010 Winner: Dokter Entropy 2009 Winner: Pigskin Index 2008 Winner: System Average, System Median 2007 Winner: StatFox 2006 Winner: Thompson SPRS, system average, Sagarin predictive, & Sagarin overall 2005 Winner: Pigskin Index 2004 Winner: Jeff Sagarin's Overall Rating 2003 Winner: Edward Kambour & Jeff Sagarin's Overall Rating 2002 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings (record 76.48%) 2001 Winner: Massey Ratings 2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings 1999 Winner: Vegas line SMALLEST DEVIATION FROM ACTUAL GAME SCORES (Entire Season) Winner: Computer Adjusted Line Deviation from the game score is the difference between the game prediction and the actual result. A value of zero would mean the score difference is predicted exactly. One property of a good system would be to minimize the system's average game deviation. The Computer Adjusted Line had the smallest absolute error for the 3rd year in a row. The computer adjusted line works similarly to the way the sportsbooks adjust line. It starts off equal to the line but fractions are added or taken away from the line depending on what proportion of the computer systems are on one side of the line. Where one side means being at least 1.5 points away from the line. I think the fact that this 'system' is beating the line in this category is showing that the computers taken as a whole, can add useful information. The winning mark this year was 12.0133. Also just like last year the updated line was second and the opening line was 3rd, and the system average and system median were 4th and 5th. You have to look all the way down to 6th place to find the first independent ratings system. That was Pigskin Index, which was a little more than a quarter point behind the leader. 2011 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2010 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2009 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line (record 11.26) 2008 Winner: Vegas Line 2007 Winner: Vegas Line 2006 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2005 Winner: Vegas Line 2004 Winner: Vegas Line 2003 Winner: Vegas Line 2002 Winner: Vegas Line 2001 Winner: Vegas Line 2000 Winner: Vegas Line 1999 Winner: Vegas Line SMALLEST AVERAGE GAME BIAS (Entire Season) Winner: Pi-Rate Ratings Bias is a little different from deviation. Deviation measures the distance between a prediction and the actual result. Bias combines distance and location of the prediction. Bias measures whether the predictions are too high or too low. So if a system has an average bias of +0.25 that means that on average the system gives 0.25 points too many to the home team. But I want to add that some people are making this out to be nothing more than a measure of how good a systems measures home field advantage. But that is not the whole story. The closer the bias is to zero the more accurate the system is on average, regardless of home field advantage. Over the full season the biases were not that low this season. The smallest was The Pi-Rate Ratings with an average of -0.0388. College Football by the Numbers was actually a little bit lower but I had it for over a hundred fewer games. Only 9 systems had a value above zero, all the rest were negative. 2011 Winner: The Pi-Rate Ratings 2010 Winner: Sagarin Predictor 2009 Winner: CPA Retro Rankings 2008 Winner; Opening Line 2007 Winner: Thompson SPRS 2006 Winner: Congrove Computer Rankings 2005 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2004 Winner: CPA Rankings 2003 Winner: Edward Kambour 2002 Winner: Gupta Power Ratings 2001 Winner: Flyman 2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings 1999 Winner: Jeff Sagarin BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Entire Season) Winner: Dunkel Index Beating the spread is not the number one goal for most computer rating systems. But it is something that the average person likes to look at and probably the most popular subject that I get emails about. I know that looking at all the games is probably not the most meaningful of measurements but it is what I have been reporting. This year about half of the rating systems did better than 50% against the spread. The best this season was The Dunkel Index, 392-314, (55.524%). This is a pretty good winning mark. It was .02 percentage points ahead of the next closest competitor, Dave Congrove at collegefootballpoll.com. I always find it fun to also look at who do poorly against the spread. So in that direction, Stephen Kerns was only 44.5%. So as is often the case you could have done better betting against the worst system that betting with the best system. 2011 Winner: Dunkel Index 2010 Winner: Catherwood Ratings 2009 Winner: Covers.com 2008 Winner: Stephen Kerns 2007 Winner: Nutshell Sports 2006 Winner: Harmon Forecast (record 56.4%) 2005 Winner: Keeper's College Football Ratings 2004 Winner: Edward Kambour 2003 Winner: Edward Kambour 2002 Winner: Dunkel Index 2001 Winner: BMC Picks 2000 Winner: Dunkel Index 1999 Winner: Average across all systems MOST ACCURATE PREDICTOR (Entire Season) Winner: Computer Adjusted Line This award is based on mean square error. Mean square error takes into account both deviation and bias and is perhaps the most commonly used measure of evaluating estimators. Perhaps the reign of the Vegas line has come to an end. The Computer Adjusted line takes this category for the second year in a row, with a MSE of 226.512. But the line was only a quarter point behind. After that the difference is pretty big. Like with absolute error the leaders here are the lines and composite variables. So again you have to drop down to #6 to find the top independent system, Ashby AccuRatings. 2011 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2010 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2009 Winner: The Vegas Line (record 206.152) 2008 Winner: The Vegas Line 2007 Winner: The Vegas Line 2006 Winner: The Vegas Line 2005 Winner: The Vegas Line 2004 Winner: The Vegas Line 2003 Winner: The Vegas Line 2002 Winner: The Vegas Line 2001 Winner: The Vegas Line 2000 Winner: The Vegas Line 1999 Winner: The Vegas Line ------------------------ It is debatable how meaningful rating systems are in the early parts of the season. How can you rate the teams in the first week of the season when no teams have played a game yet? The BCS waits until mid October before releasing it's first ranking of teams. Some systems choose to wait until around this time before being made public. Looking at only the second half of the season also gives an estimate of how well a system does based only(or mostly) on data from the current year. MOST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Second Half of Season) Winner: Tempo Free Gridiron.com The second half data started with week 9 and consisted of 380 games between two division 1A teams. Tempo-Free Gridiron had the best record over the second half, 281-99,73.947%. This was a 4 game lead over Dunkel. TFG also won the full season, so they were consistently good across the season. Even though the full season numbers were lower, the second half numbers were better than the winner last year. In all, five systems did better than the line. TFG, Dunkel, Ashby, Laffaye, and Dwiggins. 2011 Winner: Tempo Free Gridiron. 2010 Winner: Brent Craig 2009 Winner: Massey Ratings (record 77.688%) 2008 Winner: Nutshell Sports 2007 Winner: Edward Kambour 2006 Winner: Ed Bemiss 2005 Winner: Dunkel Index 2004 Winner: Jeff Sagain, Wesley Colley 2003 Winner: Born Power Index & Edward Kambour 2002 Winner: Born Power Index 2001 Winner: Chris Montgomery 2000 Winner: Geoff Freeze SMALLEST DEVIATION FROM ACTUAL GAME SCORES (Second Half of Season) Winner: Vegas Line The Vegas line had the smallest mean absolute error over the second half 12.2421. Although this was over half a point better than last season's winner it is still a full point off the all time record. This marks the line's first win here since 2005. Like with the full season the top 5 are all composites, updated line, computer adjusted line, system median, opening line, and system average. The top independent rater was Bihl in 6th place. 2011 Winner: Vegas Line 2010 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2009 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line (record 11.2917) 2008 Winner: StatFox 2007 Winner: Edward Kambour 2006 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2005 Winner: Vegas Line 2004 Winner: Ken Ashby AccuRatings 2003 Winner: Vegas Line (opening) 2002 Winner: Vegas Line 2001 Winner: Vegas Line 2000 Winner: Vegas Line SMALLEST AVERAGE GAME BIAS (Second Half of Season) Winner: Stat Fox Interestingly all but one system had a negative bias over the second half. Marsee was the only one shooting high. For the past two seasons the numbers leaned towards being positive. The smallest bias was Stat Fox, at -0.2313 points per game. Bassett was a very close second place. 2011 Winner: Stat Fox 2010 Winner: Sonny Moore 2009 Winner: Nutshell Girl 2008 Winner: Dunkel Index 2007 Winner: CPA Rankings 2006 Winner: Vegas Line 2005 Winner: Brent Moore 2004 Winner: Least Squares Regression 2003 Winner: Darrly Marsee 2002 Winner: Massey BCS 2001 Winner: PerformanZ Ratings 2000 Winner: Darryl Marsee's Rankings BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Second Half of Season) Winner: Dunkel Index Another category where one system was consistently good for the entire season. The Dunkel Index wins against the spread for both full and second half with a second half record of 206-169, 54.933% The numbers were rather average this year, averaging close to 50% and nobody having a great season. Betgrinders.com was on the way to winning but stopped reported with too few games to compare to the final leaders. On the low side, Stat Fox was only 44.35%. 2011 Winner: Dunkel Index 2010 Winner: Least squares regression 2009 Winner: Sonny Moore 2008 Winner: StatFox 2007 Winner: Nutshell Sports 2006 Winner: Ed Bemiss 2005 Winner: The Sports Report 2004 Winner: StatFox (record 58.94%) 2003 Winner: Edward Kambour 2002 Winner: The Sports Report 2001 Winner: BMC Picks 2000 Winner: The Buck System MOST ACCURATE PREDICTOR (Second Half of Season) Winner: Computer Adjusted Line The computer adjusted line (234.164) wins this category for the third year in a row with a number a little bit better than last year but around 25 points behind a record. NationalSportsRankings popped in at #4, to be the only independent rater to be in the top 5. 2010 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2010 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2009 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line (record 208.618) 2008 Winner: Born Power Index 2007 Winner: Atomic Football 2006 Winner: Vegas Line 2005 Winner: Vegas Line 2004 Winner: Ashby Accuratings 2003 Winner: Vegas Line 2002 Winner: Vegas Line 2001 Winner: Vegas Line 2000 Winner: Vegas Line BEST PREDICTIVE SYSTEM Winner: Dunkel Index To come up with the best overall predictive system I give each system points for how well they do in all of the above categories. I then sum up the points and the system with the highest total is dubbed predictive system of the year. So this award goes to the system that is the most well rounded One flaw can totally take a system out of the running. This season the best overall predictive system was The Dunkel Index. And it really wasn't even that close. According to my scoring system Dunkel led by a wide margin. The Vegas line was the closest. You have to drop down to 7th place to find the next independent system with Covers.com. But I have Dunkel grading out as number 1 in both the full season and second half. So a very strong season by Dunkel. Dunkel also was the best predictive system in 2005. 2011 Winner: Dunkel Index 2010 Winner: Catherwood Ratings 2009 Winner: Ed Kambour 2008 Winenr: StatFox 2007 Winner: Harmon Forecast 2006 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line 2005 Winner: Dunkel Index 2004 Winner: Ken Ashby AccuRatings 2003 Winner: Ed Kambour 2002 Winner: Ed Kambour 2001 Winner: Kenneth Massey (non-BCS) 2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings RETRODICTION AWARDS I will no longer be giving retro awards.