Our methods for calculating the SOS and EOS of every team is very easy to understand. First, we don’t change it throughout the year like the rest of the “computer” models. Why? Because at the beginning of each season, every team has a certain level of talent and size and a fixed home/away schedule. These two factors will be used in predicting nearly 80% of all the AQ team football games in 2011.
Most everyone knows the term “SOS” for strength of schedule, but part of our observations in winning trends for any season involves the EOS or ‘ease of schedule’. This represents the team ‘power’ versus its total SOS. This allows you to see how the schedule stacks up relative to the ability of a team.
Example: Arkansas and Michigan – Both have identical OOC SOS averages of 77.5 (SOS is calculated by taking the total average recruiting rank of each team over the previous 4 years and adjusting it up or down based on the home/away game scheduling). Over the last 4 years Michigan has a 4 year recruiting rank of #10 nationally versus Arkansas at #25. This difference in SOS versus recruiting (77.5 -10 and 77.5 – 25) gives us the EOS numbers of 65.5 (#6) and 52.5 (#17). The bigger the EOS number, the easier the schedule relative to the team’s ability.
There are not a lot of surprises in the top 15 teams. You would expect the top recruiters to have the best EOS numbers. Alabama at #1 over the last 4 years plays 4 OOC games that, with Home/Away strength factored in has an 86.5 ranking difference over their average opponent. A lot of SEC teams on this list due to their high level of recruiting. Virginia Tech and Texas Tech got into the top 15 by having the two lowest SOS rankings for 2011. For most of the teams the OOC games are a time to get out to a good 4-0 or 3-1 start. However the ones at the bottom of the EOS ranks are in for a struggle. Colorado and Wake Forest in particular should be lucky for a 2-2 OOC record (we predict 0-4 for the Buffs)