Hale Hates Strength of Schedule

I really enjoyed this read. Hale made a bunch of solid observations and points: https://davidmhale.com/2019/06/18/strength-of-schedule-is-the-friggin-wo....

Strength of schedule is not a metric to determine how good a team is. It is simply a measure of our confidence in the quality of those teams.

So, what's all this mean? Should we just abandon strength of schedule as a metric?

Of course not. A win against Alabama is more impressive than a win against Alabama State. No one should argue this. But what needs to be remembered is that if Team A beats Alabama, and Team B beats Alabama State, we cannot then use that information to definitively say that Team A is better than Team B. All we can say is that, all other information being equal, we're more certain that Team A is legitimately good than we are about Team B.

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We can't say it definitively, but we have to say it out of necessity due to how short the seasons are.

Recruit Prosim

I disagree that it is a necessity. It's an option, and we could use other metrics instead. That doesn't mean we should, only that we could. When we're talking qualitative judgements, necessity rarely comes into play.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes.

If you see these characters, they represent specific people (as of Oct. 2):

Palpatine (Fuente) || Vader (Hooker) (probationary)

I mean that it's necessary to consider along with other metrics. To turn a blind eye to strength of schedule to use something like just efficiencies is crazy. SOS gives you a frame of reference for all other metrics

Recruit Prosim

David Hale has grown increasingly annoying to me as he is essentially running an ACC propaganda account.

This what I said on Reddit when this article was posted there a few days ago:

This explains why I was immediately frustrated when I hop on the sub and see a post about David Hale calling out SOS, because David Hale himself tends to select metrics with favorable methodologies to pump up the ACC. He wouldn't dare use an elite team methodology SOS for Clemson last year. Why? Because Clemson had the worst (or a bottom 5) schedule in the P5 by most elite team SOS methodologies last year. He would use a methodology that uses a top 25, top 50, etc team as a baseline to make their schedule look tougher (I can't remember the exact ones, and there are so many different ones).

I find his twitter presence has evolved into what is functionally ACC propaganda over the last few years. I can't blame him though, it's his job to be the ACC guy, and he's quite good at it. The result though is that his oddly nit picked stats and narrative building leads him to conclusions about ACC teams that are often quite different than analysts who I trust much more like Bill Connelly.

Essentially, he is right that there are an unbelievable number of different SOS metrics now. Not all of them release how they function, but the most commonly referenced ones essential go by an expected record for a baseline team. Bill Connelly's and FEI's elite team methodology SOS essentially asses the difficulty or a schedule for an "average top 5 team."

Many commonly referenced SOS metrics use top 25, top 30, or top 50 benchmarks. These are more useful for assessing schedule difficulty for that kind of team. A team trying to see if they will make a bowl or not is probably going to get the most realistic SOS rating from one using a top 50 benchmark. You're just trying to see how likely it is you'll win 6+ games. However, this would be ridiculous to use for Alabama or Clemson because all those teams in the 30-80 range have damn near no chance of beating them. Their schedule must be assessed using an elite team methodology that assumes essentially whether your schedule has any realistic threats to an elite team on it.

This is why David Hale himself has historically used average team metrics or even worse "X+ win teams beaten" to try and pump up Clemson's joke path to the playoff every year. They face no teams on their level all year until they are playoff bound. However the ACC has lots of those mediocre but not awful 30-60 teams so that can make their schedule look better if using an average team methodology.

Anyway, SOS has a place in conversation when assessing resumes if we are using the proper metrics to assess those teams. Overall though, I prefer something like Bill's Resume S&P+ to determine the quality of a team's resume.

Yes, yes. I get what you're saying. We need somebody bringing the Virginia Tech propaganda on a nationwide scale.

21st century QBs Undefeated vs UVA:
MV7, MV5, LT3, Josh Jackson, Jerod Evans, Michael Brewer, Tyrod Taylor, Sean Glennon, and Grant Noel. That's right, UVA. You couldn't beat Grant Noel.

Still Clemson deserves to be in the playoff every year. 100% believing Sos metrics that are usually slanted towards the SEC is part of the thinking that led people to heavily favor Alabama in the championship game. Then when they actually met Clemson beat them like a drum.

Even the NC that's alabama beat Clemson in, I felt like Clemson was the better team watching them play.

Recruit Prosim

This was an excellent read. I mostly agree but at some point who did you beat and who did you lose to has to be a consideration. Call it strength of schedule if you want but what it really is (when it matters) is a resume comparison to determine rankings. The Clemson/Syracuse thought experiment was a good one, but would only matter if the two teams were being compared side by side for playoff selection or similar. At some point, human eye is going to have to make a decision. And, the human factor, full of bias and preconception, is probably more worthy of complaining about than a strength of schedule metric.

The concern of things staying the same is only exceeded by the fear of change

Agree as well on it being an excellent read. I get Chris's point about Hale pumping up the ACC, but I think that's better than the 153 other writers pumping up the SEC. Right now that leads to fawning over Clemson, which is annoying, but his premise about SOS I agree with.

There are too many complex factors that he mentioned like injuries, bye weeks, personnel matchups. SOS is always gonna be skewed with the historically strong teams considered a "tough" team even if they have a down year.

The problem with strength of schedule is that it's rare that top teams play a hard schedule. Most teams in the SEC that make the championship game have the weakest schedules. Who has Oklahoma played regular season in the past 5 years? OSU maybe has MSU on the years they've been good. But how many of the teams get to the end of the year with multiple wins against double digit teams? How many get 3 wins?

Last year KY had a great year, but they only beat teams in the SEC that beat other teams in the SEC that then beat KY so how good were any of them? That just means they were better than a 7-5 Miami team (LSU beat Miami). Until we get better games interconnecting the P5 conferences it's all just a gamble.

In the last five years, Oklahoma has played home-and-homes with both Tennessee (14-15) and Ohio State (16-17). They start a home-and-home with UCLA this year.

The problem with basing it on 10+ win teams is that there's only a few of them every year and it's not like schedules are hashed out in July the year prior. Oklahoma can't just simply schedule OSU, Clemson, Bama, and Georgia every year just to try to provide prove something.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

I agree, which is why SoS in football is hard. If the good teams only play a bunch of 8-4 or 7-5 teams how good can we compare them at the upper echelons levels. There are too few games and not enough high profile games to make SoS that worthwhile. Which is why I really dont care who some one beats, only who they lose too. You cant predict your schedule so could be a down year for everyone that was scheduled 8 years ago.

OU playing Tennessee isn't that meaningful unless it was scheduled in 1998. I mean more respect for leaving the state since UF cant even do that. But it's not like UT has been good lately.

OU playing Tennessee isn't that meaningful unless it was scheduled in 1998. I mean more respect for leaving the state since UF cant even do that. But it's not like UT has been good lately.

Even so, it's still way more meaningful than playing Middle Tennessee State

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

From an appearance view point sure, but MTSU and UT both lost to Vandy and UGA, they both Beat UTEP. The only difference is UT caught KY looking ahead to .... that's right MTSU.

/ S

Joe, that is some newspaper-headline-quality alliteration in the thread title. Magnificent.

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-Stan Lee

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"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

My biggest problem with SOS is needs to recalculated during the year. For example VT beats a FSU in an opening game. A few weeks later, we see what FSU is really like this year. So did VT actually beat a top team or was that top team actually overrated. We all know the answer. ND beats a #15 VT team. At one point that was their best victory. Now we know that is not really accurate. So SOS is can be used as a metric, only if early season victories are adjusted as the teams true colors really come out.

This is the line of thought that has me (personally, at least) advocating leaving SOS out of all of it until the end of the [regular] season. Once we see how things have shaken out over the course of the season, we actually have a somewhat decent idea how strong teams are so that we can get a pretty decent SOS metric from that.

While it's fun to prognosticate (and I get that a lot of this drives viewership and [insert network here]'s hype machine), is that SOS metric even useful until we need to start making decisions for bowl games, playoff scenarios, and the like?

I attended "...and State University". This is all so confusing.

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JP