Welcome to the 11th annual NFL Prediction Tracker 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. In 2010 the number of NFL systems went up by 1 to a total of 65 system, The NCAA basketball tournament starts today, baseball spring training is underway, so I need to get started on these awards. On the otherhand, the NFL owners have locked out the players and it is unknown if the 2011 season will go on as scheduled. Apologies for all typos and mistakes, BEST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season) Winner: LVSC Opening line This is kind of interesting, as consistantly good as the line is, it has only one this category once, that was back in 2005 when it set a record for most wins in a season. The line wins this season but it is not the updated line but the opening line that I use, which comes from LVSC. The opening line had a record of 175-91, 65.789%. Then updated line was second place, 3 wins behind. Last season 8 systems finished within 3 games of the winner. The winning number was 10 games worse than the winning number last season. So it was not a good year for predicting winners. The top computer system was Game Time Decision 4 games back in 3rd place. Winner 2010: LVSC opening line Winner 2009: JFM Power Ratings, Sportrends Winner 2008: Ken Ashby Winner 2007: Sonny Moore Winner 2006: Least Absolute Value Regression Winner 2005: Vegas Line (record 72.28%) Winner 2004: Least Absolute Value Regression Winner 2003: Beck Elo Winner 2002: Herman Matthews Winner 2001: JFM Power Ratings, ARGH Power Ratings Winner 2000: CPA Rankings Winner 1999: Kenneth Massey Ratings BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Entire Season) Winner: Jeff Sagarin Pridictor Some consider the true measure of a ranking system to be its record against the Vegas line. Although that record for every single game is probably not the best measurement but that is what I have. I just missed it by that much. My PerformanZ ratings got off to a great start against the spread and held the top spot until the week of the conference championship games when Sagarin's Predictor ratings passed me to claim the top spot for the full season. Sagarin's record against the spread was 144-116, 55.385%. This was 2.5 game worse than the winner last season. And a good deal behind the record of 59%. This is Sagarin Pridictor's 2 win in the last 4 seasons. Winner 2010: Sagarin Predictor Winner 2009: CPA Rankings. Winner 2008: Nutshell Retro, Entropy System Winner 2007: Sagarin Predictive Winner 2006: Brian Gabrielle (record 59.0%) Winner 2005: Least squares with team HFA Winner 2004: Least Absolute Value Regression Winner 2003: CPA Retro Rankings Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com Winner 2001: CPA Rankings Winner 2000: Yourlinx Winner 1999: PerformanZ Ratings SMALLEST MEAN ABSOLUTE ERROR (Entire Season) Winner: LVSC Opening line The line is no stranger to this award, but again it is the opening line and not the updated line that wins. The opening line had a mean average error of 10.8008 points. This is good enough to be half a point better than last season when we saw an all time worst winning average> But it is a full point worse than the all time record. Game Time Decison was very close behind at 10.81 Winner 2010: LVSC Opening line Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2008: Ken Ashby Winner 2007: Computer Adjusted Line Winner 2006: Brian Gabrielle Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated) (record 9.9513) Winner 2004: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2003: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com Winner 2001: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2000: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 1999: Vegas Line (updated) SMALLEST BIAS (Entire Season) Winner: Stephen Kerns The biases were in a tighter range than normal this eyar, ranging from -.70 to +1.38, But not closer to zero. Stephen Kerns had the closest to zero with -0.05170. In general they were slightly positive as a whole. Winner 2010: Stephen Kerns Winner 2009; System Median Winner 2008: ARGH Power Ratings Winner 2007: CPA Rankings Winner 2006: Tom Benson Winner 2005: Sagarin Elo (record 0.001) Winner 2004: System Average Winner 2003: CPA Rankings Winner 2002: Sagarin Pure Points Winner 2001: ARGH Power Ratings Winner 2000: Pigskin Index Winner 1999: Flyman Ratings MOST ACCURATE SYSTEM - SMALLEST MEAN SQUARE ERROR (Entire Season) Winner: Computer Adjusted Line The most accurate system for 2011, defined by having the smalled mean square error, was the computer adjusted line, with an MSE of 194.19100. This is a little bit better than we saw last year but then last year was the only time it had ever been over 200. Game Time Decision was again in second place. (second place in almost every category, I think it is safe to say Game Time Decision will be a leading candidate for predictive rating system of the year.) Winner 2010: Computer Adjusted Line Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2008: Computer Adjusted Line Winner 2007: Computer Adjusted Line Winner 2006: Computer Adjusted Line Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2004: Vegas Line (updated) (record 166.808) Winner 2003: Vegas Line (opening) Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com Winner 2001: Vegas Line Winner 2000: Pigskin Index SECOND HALF AWARDS Some systems donít begin publishing rankings until every team has played a couple of games, while the season-long systems often rely on preset starting values in the early part of the season. For those reasons, I like to look at the results over the second half of the season when these systems have had time to become 'burned in' to the season's data. Second half data consists of all games from week 10 through the Super Bowl. BEST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Second Half) Winner: LVSC Opening line Last season we saw a 6 way tie in this category and we tend to see a tie almost every season but the opening line won this season by a 2 game margin, 95-41, 69.853%. This is about the same record as the 6 systems that won last year. Game Time Decision and the updated line tied for second. So it seems that the opening line won the full season on the strength of it's second half. Winner 2010: LVSC opening line Winner 2009: The Vegas line, Computer adjusted line, Ashby AccuRatings, StatFox, Upset Report, CPA Rankings Winner 2008: Nutshell Girl Winner 2007: Computer Adjusted Line, Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2006: Least Absolute Value Regression Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated), Nutshell Sports (record 100-37, 72.99%) Winner 2004: Pigskin Index Winner 2003: JFM Power Ratings, Kasulis Enhanced Spread, Beck Elo Winner 2002: Least Absolute Value Regression, JFM Power Ratings, CPA Rankings Winner 2001: Pythagorean Ratings, Elo Ratings, Ken Massey Ratings Winner 2000: PerformanZ Ratings, Scoring Effeciency Winner 1999: Ken Massey, Ed Kambor, Pythagorean Ratings BEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Second Half) Winner: Jeff Sagarin Pridictor Winner: Edward Kambour There were two systems that were over 60% for the second half but but missed some weeks. Eric Hollobaugh started in week 12 and Austin Sports missed week 12. I ran the numbers separately restricting to the weeks each of these had data to see if that system would have won. It turned out that Sagarin Predictor would have been the winner in both cases. In fact, Sagarin was a phenomenal 64% starting in week 12. Over the full second half Sagarin and Ed Kambour were 81-55, 59.559% This is just shy of the 60% record. A funny story about kambour, I had someone email me sometime a little after the midway point of the season to point out to me how stupid Kambour's ratings were to have Green Bay ranked #1 even though they had several more losses at the time than some other top teams. About a month later the same person tried to point this out again. I looked at some other ratings and Green Bay was actually #1 in most all of them at the time. After the second playoff game I wrote back to point out that Green Bay was now looking like the team to beat. The guys resonse was he got lucky because Green Bay barely made it into the playoffs. And of course they went on to win the Super Bowl. And did you know that Green Bay never trailed by more than 7 points in a game the entire season? it wasn't luck that they won. Winner 2010: Sagarin Predictor, Edward Kambour Winner 2009: Grid Iron Gold Winner 2008: Ken Ashby Winner 2007: Least Squares with Team Specific HFA Winner 2006: CPA Rankings Winner 2005: Tom Benson Winner 2004: ARGH Power Ratings Winner 2003: Logistic Regression, Viacheslav Ugolnikov Winner 2002: Least Absolute Value Regression (record 78-52, 60.0%) Winner 2001: Stat Fox Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings Winner 1999: Least squares using team specific home field advantages SMALLEST MEAN ABSOLUTE ERROR (Second Half) Winner: Massey Ratings This was another situation where It looked like Hollobaugh might have deserved to win but when you restrict everyone else to the same non missing weeks he doesn't stay on top. So the second half winner goes to Kenneth Massey with a mean absolute error of 10.7824. Sagarin was right on his tail with 10.7945. Strange how the line wins this every odd numbered year but never in a even numbered year. In fact, the line was in 19th place this year. Last year the line won with 11.09. This year it finished at 11.12 and comes in 19th place. 16 systems did better than last year's winning number. Winner 2010: Massey Ratings Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2008: The Entropy System Winner 2007: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2006: Jeff Self Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated) (record 9.9489) Winner 2004: Least Squares Regression Winner 2003: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlays.com Winner 2001: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings SMALLEST BIAS (Second Half) Winner: CPA Retro Rankings All but 9 of the systems had a bias towards the home team over the second half. One of the 9 with negative values was the closest to zeror. CPA Retro ratings had a bias of -0.04230. CPA Retro also won this award back in 2006. This trend of the systems being almost all positive or all negative has flip flopped from year to year for 4 seasons now. Last season every single system was negative in the second half. Winner 2010: CPA Retro Rankings Winner 2009; Game Time Decision Winner 2008: CPA Rankings Winner 2007: Pigskin Index (record 0.0077) Winner 2006: CPA Retro Rankings Winner 2005: Kasulis Enhanced Spread Winner 2004: Tom Benson Gridmarks Winner 2003: CPA Rankings Winner 2002: StatFox.com Winner 2001: Monte Carlo Markov Chain Winner 2000: Flyman Performance Ratings Winner 1999: Flyman Performance Ratings MOST ACCURATE SYSTEM - SMALLEST MEAN SQUARE ERROR (Second Half) Winner: Jeff Sagarin The most accurate system for the second half, defined by having the smallest mean square error was Jeff Sagarin, with a 188.78200. Massey was less than a point behind in second place. The line wins every other year and again does rather badly in this even numbered year. Winner 2010: Jeff Sagarin Winner 2009: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2008: Hank Trexler Winner 2007: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2006: CPA Rankings Winner 2005: Vegas Line (updated) Winner 2004: Computer Adjusted Line Winner 2003: Viacheslav Ugolnikov Winner 2002: FreeSportsPlay.com Winner 2001: Hank's Power Ratings Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings (record 165.954) BEST PREDICTIVE SYSTEM (Entire Season) Winner: LVSC Opening 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 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. In General I don't like to give this award to the line. I did last year because it was a very bad year across the board for systems and none really deserved to be called the predictive system of the year. This year going through the awards I commented that Game Time Decision was looking like a good candidate, but GTD finished next to last in bias among all systems with full season data. That totally wiped out his chance of winning. The award for 2011 predictive system of the year goes to the opening line given by Las Vegas Sports Consultants. I think this being the opening line makes it a more interesting winner. It really wasn't that close. The other good all around systems were Cover81 (who just missed two many weeks to really be fairly considered) and Michael Robert Ratings. Winner 2010: LVSC opening line Winner 2009: Vegas Line Winner 2008: Ken Ashby Winner 2007: Jeff Sagarin Winner 2006: Brian Gabrielle Winner 2005: Vegas Line Winner 2004: Least Absolute Value Regression Winner 2003: Beck Elo Winner 2002: Matthews Grid Winner 2001: CPA Rankings Winner 2000: Ed Kambour BEST PREDICTIVE SYSTEM (Second Half) Winner: LVSC Opening line Again, I'd choose something other than the line, but the opening line had the highest numbers and the two main competitors, Eric Hollobaugh, and Austin Sports had some missing weeks. I could throw Cover81 in there, but it two had missing weeks. It looks like this is the first time one system has won best predictive for both the full season second half. I find that a little surprising. Winner 2010: LVSC opening line Winner 2009: Game Time Decision Winner 2008: Dokter Entropy System Winner 2007: Cover 81 Winner 2006: CPA Retro Winner 2005: Hank Trexler Winner 2004: ARGH Power Ratings Winner 2003: CPA Rankings Winner 2002: Kenneth Massey Winner 2001: Monte Carlo Markov Chain Winner 2000: Pythagorean Ratings RETRO AWARDS The retrodictive categories are based on each systems final standings and measure things by applying those final ratings to the entire season in retrospect.