Rating College Football Teams during the 2020 Season

In a normal college football season, all FBS teams are sufficiently connected by the end of Week 5 and sometimes weakly connected by the end of Week 4. The schedule graph’s connectivity will of course face numerous challenges in the 2020 season with the vastly different schedule models being employed not just compared to previous seasons but also between conferences.

The first obstacle will be the frequent changes to the schedule. Already this season we’ve seen numerous games canceled (or postponed) due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and can expect that there will be more as we move forward. Because of this it’s impossible to forecast when the teams will be strongly connected, so we will not be able to predict when that takes place but will only be able to keep an eye on the connectivity after each week’s games conclude.

Perhaps the most obvious issue is the SEC’s conference-only schedule format for this season. Because of this decision we already know that the SEC’s teams will be unconnected until postseason play, in whatever format it happens, takes place. Here at Adjusted Statistics we have decided to use the past three seasons of SEC ratings (with the most weight given to the most recent season) to slot those teams within the overall fall ratings. Depending on the number of interconference games played by the SEC in the postseason we may rate them normally after those matchups conclude. We will be constantly reviewing this process during the season as it is a first for Adjusted Statistics but believe it’s the best method for this unusual season.

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