Welcome to the 3rd 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 2002 season I followed the weekly performance of 42 computer rating systems. This is up from 34 last season.MOST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Entire Season)Winner: ARGH Power Ratings, Stewart Huckaby The simplest and possibly most important way of measuring the predictive ability of a system is to count the number of games where the winner is correctly predicted. I collected predictions on the 706 games in 2001 involving two 1A teams. The system that correctly predicted the most winners over the course of the 2002 season was Stewart Huckaby's ARGH Power Ratings. ARGH correctly predicted the winner in 75.78 percent of the games (535-171). A couple of special honorable mentions have to be given to Brent Craig and Ed Kambour. Kambour actually had the highest winning percentage 76.48 (517-159), but he does not make predictions for bowl games. Craig likely would have tied with ARGH if he had made picks on just four more games. But since ARGH had the most winners he takes the award for the second time in the last three seasons. Kambour's percentage of 76.48% is the highest of all time. (where all time means in the four years I have kept track). This eclipses Kenneth Massey's mark of 76.38% last season. As of last year only two systems had ever outperformed the Vegas line, Kenneth Massey in 2001 and ARGH in 2000, but this year eight different systems picked more winners than the line. Is this a sign that the ratings are getting better or does it just mean Vegas had an off season? Hopefully it is a sign of rating improvements. 2002 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings, Stewart Huckaby 2001 Winner: Massey Ratings. Kenneth Massey 2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings, Stewart Huckaby 1999 Winner: Vegas lineSMALLEST DEVIATION FROM ACTUAL GAME SCORES (Entire Season)Winner: The Vegas line Deviation from actual game results is another way of measuring the predictive ability of a computer system. 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. So one property of a good system would be to minimize the system's average game deviation. This season the lowest average game deviation was found in the Vegas line. So for the fourth year in a row this award goes to the vegas oddsmakers. This year the Vegas line's average deviation from the actual score was 12.86 points. That is half a point worse than last year's 12.25. Honorable mention here goes to the runner up, the system average. The system average is the average prediction of all the computer system predictions. In fact, the system average's mean error of of 12.88 was only 0.0284 points behind the line. By far the closest anything has ever come to catching the Vegas line. The best mark by an individual this season was Sonny Moore who was also very close behind the line at 12.90. I have been asked why I don't give this award to the highest individual rather than to the line every year. I believe that if we can't beat the line then we don't deserve any credit. We need to find ways of improving this aspect of predicting game outcomes. 2002 Winner: Vegas Line 2001 Winner: Vegas Line 2000 Winner: Vegas Line 1999 Winner: Vegas LineSMALLEST AVERAGE GAME BIAS (Entire Season)Winner: Gupta Power Ratings, Bapi Gupta 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 sytem has an average bias of +0.25 that means that on average the system gives 0.25 points too many to the home team. This statistic can be used to help guage home field advantage. For the entire season the lowest bias was observed in the Gupta Power Ratings. Gupta had an average bias of 0.00691. This was actually a very good year for low bias. Last year Flyman ratings had the lowest bias at 0.06. This season, eight systems counting Gupta, were lower than 0.05. Another sign of possible improvement in the rating systems. 2002 Winner: Gupta Power Ratings 2001 Winner: Flyman 2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings 1999 Winner: Jeff SagarinBEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Entire Season)Winner: Dunkel Index Beating the spread is not the number one goal for most computer rating systems. At least not considering ever possible game, as some readers like to point out each season. But it is something that the average person likes to look at. Will a system help you win your office pool? The top system against the spread for the entire season was the Dunkel Index. Dunkel was 357-280, (56.04%). Had someone placed a $10 bet on every game using Dunkel they would have earned only $44.54 over the course of the year, or a 0.70% return on their money. The Dunkel Index has now won this award two out of the last three seasons. It was also a good year for systems to beat the spread. Last year's winner was Brent Craig at only 53.38% and the year before that Dunkel led with 52.3% 2002 Winner: Dunkel Index 2001 Winner: BMC Picks 2000 Winner: Dunkel Index 1999 Winner: Average across all systemsMOST ACCURATE PREDICTOR (Entire Season)Winner: The Vegas line This award is based on mean square error. Mean square error takes into account both deviation and bias and is the most commonly used measure of evaluating estimators. The vegas line has the smallest mean square error at 261.966. Honorable mention again goes to the system average (166.091) for coming the closest any system has ever come to the line. Kenneth Massey and Sonny Moore were the best individuals this year as they also were last year. 2002 Winner: The Vegas Line 2001 Winner: The Vegas Line 2001 Winner: The Vegas Line 1999 Winner: The Vegas Line ------------------------MOST STRAIGHT UP WINNERS (Second Half of Season)Winner: Born Power Index ,William Born 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 chose 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. So to measure this I looked at all 1A games starting with with week nine of the season. Out of the 368 games in the second half of the season. the system predicting the most winners was the Born Power Index, 278-90 (75.54). This was two games better than ARGH, the full season leader. As he did for the full season, Ed Kambour actually had the best winning percentage, 76.33%, but did not have the most wins due to not making predictions for bowl games. Both Born and Kambour's winning percentages in the second half were higher than we have ever seen before. I also just want to make a note here about the New York Times ratings. They often have often gotten trashed in the past for their ranking of teams. Over the second half of the season only three systems picked more winners than the New York Times. I think their reinclusion in the BCS this season turned out to be a good decision. 2002 Winner: Born Power Index 2001 Winner: Chris Montgomery 2000 Winner: Geoff FreezeSMALLEST DEVIATION FROM ACTUAL GAME SCORES (Second Half of Season)Winner: The Vegas line As with the regular season, the Vegas line also wins this award for having the smallest deviation from the actual game scores over the second half of the season. An honorable mention here also goes to Ed Kambour for being the best among the computer systems. The numbers here have gotten worse every year. I believe systems have tried to become too politically correct and now attempt to maximize retro wins rather than retro error. 2002 Winner: Vegas Line 2001 Winner: Vegas Line 2000 Winner: Vegas Line SMALLEST AVERAGE GAME BIAS (Second Half of Season) Winner: Massey BCS, Kenneth Massey The lowest game bias in the second half of the season goes to Kenneth Massey's BCS Ratings. On average, Massey's BCS rating predictions were only 0.12 above the actual result. Overall, the numbers here did not look very good. The majority of the systems were high, meaning they gave too many points to the home team. I want to make a note about the predictions of Massey's BCS system and some of the other BCS systems. They do not actually make predictions themselves. Because I want to be able to include them in my results I have had to translate them to a different scale. The ordering of the teams is not changed at all, the rating is simply transformed to a scaling that results in suitable predictions. 2002 Winner: Massey BCS 2001 Winner: PerformanZ Ratings 2000 Winner: Darryl Marsee's RankingsBEST AGAINST THE SPREAD (Second Half of Season)Winner: The Sports Report For the second half of the season the system that did the best against the spread was The Sports Report, 191-154 (55.36%). This was only 0.0015 percentage points better than the Born Power Index. As is often the case, the best way to beat the spread is often to pick opposite of what a system says. This year that system would be picking opposite of either of two BCS systems, either Jeff Sagarin's or Peter Wolfe's. Those systems were both 42.9% against the spread. 2002 Winner: The Sports Report 2001 Winner: BMC Picks 2000 Winner: The Buck SystemMOST ACCURATE PREDICTOR (Second Half of Season)Winner: The Vegas line The vegas line also takes this award for having the smallest mean square error over he second half of the season. For the second half results honorable mention goes to Ed Kambour who had the best results among the computer systems. It is the second year in a row that Kambour has been the closest to the line. If the gap continues to get narrow at the pace it is going we may actually see a system overtake the line in the next year or two. 2002 Winner: The Vegas Line 2001 Winner: The Vegas Line 2000 Winner: The Vegas LineBEST PREDICTIVE SYSTEM IN 2001Winner: 'Edward Kambour' 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 as 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 category. One flaw can totally take a system out of the running. This season I give this award to Ed Kambour. First runner up is the Vegas line and third place goes to Sonny Moore. 2002 Winner: Ed Kambour 2001 Winner: Kenneth Massey (non-BCS) 2000 Winner: ARGH Power Ratings -------------------RETRODICTION AWARDSRetrodiction refers to 'retrodicting' the previous results, rather than predicting future games. It is possible that a computer rating system can put more emphasis on explaining past results than attempting to predict future results. So these systems may not neccesarily be the best predictive systems but can still be very good at their main objective. The retrodiction results on my page come from taking the final ratings and using them to repredict the entire season.MOST RETRODICTIVE WINSWinner: The Sports Report - SLOTS A new system from The Sports Report made a debut this year with some very impressive numbers. SLOTS had a retro record of 638-69, (90.24%). This was a whopping 33 games better than the second place system. The second place finisher, CPA Rankings, which has won for the past two seasons also deserves special recognition for having the best record among what I will call the pure rankings. His 85.57% is down from his winning percentage of 86.25 a year ago. I also want to make a special note of another new system that did extremely well in this category, Logistic Regression. This system ties with CPA Retro Rankings for third place. This was my test of a system that uses nothing but home/road and win/loss. 2002 Winner: The Sports Report - SLOTS 2001 Winner: CPA Rankings 2000 Winner: CPA RankingsSMALLEST RETRODICTIVE MEAN ERRORWinner: The Average of all systems This category was extremely close this season. Three systems finished vitually tied with the smallest mean error but the one with the lowest is the system that is found by taking the average of all the other systems. The average had a mean error of 10.5716. CPA Rankings finished very close behind 10.5722 and was followed closely by Least Squares regression at 10.5750. The winning mean error has gotten worse each season. The best mark was 9.62 by CPA Rankings in 2000. Last season Ed Kambour led with 10.152. 2002 Winner: The average of all systems. 2001 Winner: Edward Kambour Football Ratings 2000 Winner: CPA RankingsSMALLEST RETRODICTIVE BIASWinner: CPA Rankings, Steve Wrathell It wouldn't seem like retro awards without giving something to CPA Rankings. CPA had the smallest retro bias, -0.007. Kenneth Massey's BCS system was really the only other competitor in this category this year. The winning bias has also gotten worse each season. The lowest bias of .005 was CPA Rankings in 2000. 2002 Winner: CPA Rankings 2001 Winner: CPA Rankings 2000 Winner: CPA Rankings MOST ACCURATE RETRODICTIVE RATING Winner: CPA Rankings, Steve Wrathell The system with the smallest mean square error was actually least squares regression, but since I did not include it until the season was over I will give this award to CPA Rankings which had the next best score. Least squares had a mean square error of 174.969. CPA Rankings was 2nd with 178.605. The record for this category was 169.03 by Ed Kambour in 2001. 2002 Winner: CPA Rankings 2001 Winner: Edward Kambour FOotball Ratings 2000 Winner: Although not computed I'm quite certain CPA Rankings would have been the leader.BEST RETRODICTIVE SYSTEM 2003Winner: CPA Rankings, Steve Wrathell Like best predictive system this award is found by giving each system a score for each category. The system that has the highest total is the retroditive system of the year. CPA Rankings wins this award for the third year in a row. It really wasn't that close either. CPA Retro ratings came in second place and the system average in third place. 2002 Winner: CPA Rankings 2001 Winner: CPA Rankings 2000 Winner: CPA Rankings