Welcome to the 16th annual NCAA PT Awards. (How many more is an open question at this point)
The purpose of these awards is to help raise the publicity for those systems that have been
superior in various qualities of interest.  Awards are be based entirely on the numbers
I've monitored with my prediction tracker web pages. For the 2016 season I followed the
weekly performance of 64 computer rating  systems. This is down 4 from last year, and 8 over
the last two seasons.  This was the third year of the four team playoff system. And the
#1 team has never won.


  MOST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season)

Winner:  Time Travel Sports/Dokter Entropy
Winner:  Catherwood Rating System

straight up plot

  This year I collected the predictions of 761 games involving two FBS teams.
This year I am awarding both Time Travel Sports(Dokter Entropy) and Catherwood Rating system as
co-winners.  Dokter had a record of 555-206, 72.93%.  I had Catherwood with a record of 554-206.
I am not sure if Catherwood or I missed the missing game.  But it was a game that every system got
correct so I consider the two as being tied. Last year our two co-winners were over 78% so the
records were quite a bit lower this season.
 This season the Vegas line was a good but not great 13th place.  This finished 3 games better than
both the opening and midweek line.
 In the plots the category winner will be denoted with the dark black line. You can enlarge the plots
by right clicking and selecting view image. I think the current state of scheduling is very easy to
spot in these graphs.  We one has some competitive games. Then week 2 and 3 are full of nonconference
mismatches.  Then conferences generally kick in around week 4 and the overall winning percentages go down
as we get more competitive games.


2016 Winner: Dokter Entropy, Catherwood Rating System
2015 Winner: Ted Thompson Average record(78.361%), Pi-Rate Mean
2014 Winner: Ted Thompson CAL
2013 Winner: Ted Thompson SPRS
2012 Winner: Hank Trexler
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
2001 Winner: Massey Ratings
2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings
1999 Winner: Vegas line



  SMALLEST DEVIATION FROM ACTUAL GAME SCORES (Entire Season)

Winner:  Updated Line

absolute deviation

  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 updated line had the smallest average absolute error this year, 12.8984 points.
This is a record but not of the good kind.  This is the worst winning average ever.
It is slightly worse than the 12.88 we saw way back in 2003.
 The Computer Adjusted line was in second only 0.0185 points behind.   As is typical in this
category all of the best systems are systems that are either the line itself or a
derivative of the line.
  From the plot you can see that the line was pretty much the leader for the entire season.
There is a lower average but it was not available over the full season.
In general the errors were getting larger over the course of the season.


2016 Winner: Updated Vegas Line
2015 Winner: Updated Vegas Line
2014 Winner: Updated Vegas Line
2013 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line
2012 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line
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



  BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Entire Season)


Winner:  Updated Line
Winner:  Dave Congrove(collegefootballpoll.com)

ats

  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.
The line of record is taken midweek.  Usually Wednesday afternoon or
Thursday morning.
  The updated line had the best ATS record this year. This has turned into an
interesting phenomenon. This is the second season in a row where the updated
line was the best. But how can this be used? You can't actually use a current
line to bet against some past line. It is saying that late week line moves
away from the midweek line are generally in the right diretion.
Since the updated line isn't really actionable and doesn't differ from the
midweek line for every game I am also rewarding Dave Congrove, 399-343, 53.774%.
He finished in second by only 0.0007.  Actually the top 10 all finished between
53 and 54%.  The numbers as a whole were very tight around 50%


2016 Winner: Updated Line, Dave Congrove(collegefootballpoll.com)
2015 Winner: Updated Line, Computer Adjusted Line, The Sports Cruncher
2014 Winner: Laffaye RWP
2013 Winner: CPA Rankings (record 56.906%)
2012 Winner: Laz Index, Computer Adjusted Line
2011 Winner: Dunkel Index
2010 Winner: Catherwood Ratings
2009 Winner: Covers.com
2008 Winner: Stephen Kerns
2007 Winner: Nutshell Sports
2006 Winner: Harmon Forecast
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



  SMALLEST AVERAGE GAME BIAS (Entire Season)

Winner:  Pi-Rate Mean

Bias

  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.  It could be specified in different
terms but my numbers are relative to the home team.
  Pi-Rate Mean had the lowest average bias at -0.0233.  As you can see in the
plot the numbers finished fairly uniform around zero.
 mostly positive, or giving too many points to the home  But you can see the season
started off with big underestimates of the home team in week one.  Powder
puff scheduling perhaps?  We have seen this pattern three years in a row.


2016 Winner: Pi-Rate Mean
2015 Winner: SportsTrends
2014 Winner: Billingsley Report
2013 Winner: Ted Thompson Average
2012 Winner: College Football By the Numbers
2011 Winner: The Pi-Rate Ratings
2010 Winner: Sagarin Predictor (record 0.0010)
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



  MOST ACCURATE PREDICTOR (Entire Season)

Winner:  Updated Vegas Line.

Bias

  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.
  The updated line had the lowest mean square error, 276.082. The next three
were all line based, computer adjusted, updated midweek, followed by the
composite mean and median.


2016 Winner: Updated vegas line
2015 Winner: Updated vegas line
2014 Winner: Updated vegas line
2013 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line
2012 Winner: Computer Adjusted Line
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 playoff
committee waits until mid October before releasing its 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:  Dokter Entropy (timetravelsports.com)

Bias


  The second half data started with week 8 and consisted of 400 games
between two FBS teams. Dokter Entropy of Timetravelsports.com had the best record
 285-115, 71.250%.  This is the worst record to ever win this category.
Compare it to the 78% all time high we saw last year. A typical winner is around 75-76%.
Both the updated and opening line finished in 15th place at 69%.


2016 Winner:  Dokter Entropy
2015 Winner:  Thompson Average   (record 78.23%)
2014 Winner:  Dave Congrove
2013 Winner:  CPA Rankings
2012 Winner:  PerformanZ Ratings
2011 Winner:  Tempo Free Gridiron.
2010 Winner:  Brent Craig
2009 Winner:  Massey Ratings
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:  Updated Line

Bias

The usual suspects are all at the top again here.  The best for the second half was
the updated line with an average error of 13.6008. TheSportsCruncher had a good season but
missed a hard to pick week, removing that week the updated line is the winner.
This mark is over a point higher than the line won with last season and almost two and a
half points worse than the record. It is also the worst error to ever win this category.
Only the second time it has been worse than 13 points.  Think of the implications to this,
the best there was misses the difference by an average of almost two touchdowns per game.


2016 Winner:  Updated Line
2015 Winner:  Updated Line
2014 Winner:  Ashby Accuratings
2013 Winner:  CPA Rankings
2012 Winner:  Computer Adjusted Line
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



  BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD  (Second Half of Season)


Winner:  Lee Burdorf


Bias

  Lee Burdorf had the best ATS record over the second half, 218-171, 56.041%.  Looking at the
chart, Burdorf was very steady and led the way most of the half season by a fairly wide margin.


 Interestingly the computer average was
3rd to last at only 44.01%  The majority of the systems finished below 50% this year.  So the
plot looks very striking with the two lines performing so much better than the rest for the
duration of the second half.
It wasn't a great season overall.  The winning record is around typical but only eight systems
did better then 53%.  Interestingly, the system mean, which I use to make blog picks was 5th
best. But the blog picks tanked big time this year.


2016 Winner:  Lee Burdof
2015 Winner:  Updated Line, Computer Adjusted Line, SportsTrends.
2014 Winner:  Massey Consensus Rank
2013 Winner:  CPA Rankings (Record 59.322%)
2012 Winner:  Least Squares with team HFA
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% for updated line)
2003 Winner:  Edward Kambour
2002 Winner:  The Sports Report
2001 Winner:  BMC Picks
2000 Winner:  The Buck System




  SMALLEST AVERAGE GAME BIAS  (Second Half of Season)

Winner:  PerformanZ Ratings

Bias

  My own PerformanZ ratings had the lowest bias in the second half, -0.0015.
For the most part the numbers were centered around zero with a few more on
the negative side. The numbers started off low but rose towards zero as the
second half progressed

  CPA Retro had the lowest bias in the second half, -0.0599.  The majority of
the systems were on the positive side, the median being about +0.75 points. The
numbers started off very low for a few weeks before turning overwhelmingly positive.
CPA retro was one of only a few to finish below zero.

2016 Winner:  PerformanZ Ratings
2015 Winner:  CPA Retro
2014 Winner:  Laz Index
2013 Winner:  Colley matrix
2012 Winner:  College Football by the Numbers
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






  MOST ACCURATE PREDICTOR (Second Half of Season)

Winner: Updated Line

Bias


  The updated line had the smallest average mean square error over the second
half, 297.826.  This was another case of being the worst winning number ever.
The prevous highest winning number was ~275.  So this was a very innacurate
season.


2016 Winner:  Updated Line
2015 Winner:  Midweek Line
2014 Winner:  Thompson CAL
2013 Winner:  CPA Rankings
2012 Winner:  Computer Adjusted Line
2011 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:  Updated Line

  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 named predictive system
of the year.  So this award goes to the system that is the most well rounded
One flaw can be enough to pull a system out of the running.
  This season a lot of "ifs" lead me to giving the best overall award to the
line. I generally don't do this as long as there are competitive alternatives.
This season for the full season the line actually does come up with the best
numbers followed by the computer adjusted line.  The third and fourth place
finishers were SportsCruncher and Liam Bressler which both missed significant
weeks.  For the second half the best was Lee Burdorf.  That was due in large part
to wide lead in ATS.  But for the full season Burdorf was only 17th.  When you top
it off with this season being the most least accurate season we have had it doesn't
feel right giving it to anybody but the line.


2016 Winner:  Updated Line
2015 Winner:  Atomic Football
2014 Winner:  Billingsley+
2013 Winner:  CPA Rankings
2012 Winner:  System Average
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