Monday, April 28, 2008

MLS Scariness: 2008 Week 5

Okay, time for another look at MLS scariness. I’ve settled into the formula I hope to use for the rest of the season (I’m not going to go back and recalculate scariness for the previous weeks, but I am scaling the scores down to match the current range). The formula is as follows:

pts (game) + gd (game) + opp ppg (last 5 games) + 1 (away team)
I figure a weighted average over the last five weeks (or as many
weeks as the teams have played) to come up with the current

Enough about math though, here’s the current table:

Team Scariness Ranking Change
NY 4.9 1 (3) +2
CLB 4.14 2 (2)
DAL 3.76 3 (4) +1
KC 3.75 4 (1) -3
TOR 3.72 5 (8) +3
NE 3.49 6 (7) +1
CHI 3.29 7 (5) -2
DC 2.94 8 (12) +4
LA 2.93 9 (14) +5
COL 2.22 10 (6) -4
HOU 1.98 11 (9) -2
SAN 1.75 12 (11) -1
SLC 0.93 13 (13)
CHV 0.9 14 (10) -4

LA and DC moved way up the charts based on lopsided wins. Toronto also moved up, but I think that’s based more on a three game winning streak (man, BMO is looking like a fortress and a great place to catch a game1.)

Chivas and Colorado were the big sinkers. Chivas isn’t playing very well in general and got clubbed by LA, while the Rapids are settling into what I think i a more realistic ranking after some surprising early wins.

My only other thought is that being an RSL fan kinda stinks … oh well, I guess I can always get my kicks watching the ‘Fire Kreis’ folks get wound up.

1 I’ve gotta say, I really envy a young friend who just got called on an LDS mission to Toronto—he was on BYU’s reserve list last year and is going to love being in a soccer hungry area.

USL1 Scariness: 2008 Week 3

Okay, for a first post on Monday morning, I thought I’d put up my scariness rankings for the USL1 (now that they’ve got three weeks of games under their belts. I’ve also settled into a formula for each game:

pts (game) + gd (game) + opp ppg (last 5 games) + 1 (away team)

I figure a weighted average over the last five weeks (or as many weeks as the teams have played) to come up with the current scariness.

Team Scariness Rank
POR 4.27 1
MIN 3.9 2
CAR 3.05 3
ATL 2.88 4
MON 2.25 5
CHA 2.2 6
SEA 1.7 7
PUE 1.51 8
MIA 1.18 9
VAN 1.15 10
ROC 0 11

At this point, Portland is looking like the cream of the USL, unbeaten and untied in 3 games with a +4 goal differential makes them look awfully good. It will be interesting to see how they do in US Open Cup play.

Down near the bottom of the table, Miami and Vancouver are separated by only .03 points, and are ahead of only Rochester (who has yet to play a game).

Don’t look for a USL2 scariness post from me, but I am planning on doing one for the PDL Northwestern conference.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2008 Week Four Scariness

Last weeks scariness rankings were impacted by an error I made in caclulations … This week I’ve tried to ensure no such wonkiness has occured. This week’s edition also contains a new feature—I’ve added a sparkline-style graphic showing points earned over the last several games (I’ll add a similar graphic showing scariness fluctuations as the season progresses).

Kansas City has really pushed to the front of the pack this week, with Columbus looking like a strong second. The third through sixth spots aren’t as firm.

LA has cemented a place at the bottom of the table, but I think the 7-13 spots will continue to see a lot of flux as the teams build a bigger body of work to be evaluated against.

Team Ranking Scariness
KC 1 13.96
CLB 2 11.25
NY 3 10.33
DAL 4 9.78
CHI 5 8.73
COL 6 8.25
NE 7 7.92
TOR 8 7.88
HOU 9 5.4
SAN 10 5.25
CHV 11 5.18
DC 12 4.73
SLC 13 4.6
LA 14 3.8

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Javi And Kyle TV -- Good Stuff

Okay, I’ve not been one to post other people’s stuff on my blog, but these are just too good to pass up. Javi and Kyle TV looks like a really fun look behind the scenes at RSL. Go on, you know you wanna watch ‘em.

Monday, April 14, 2008

2008 Scariness: Week 3

With three weeks under our belts, the scariness rankings are still looking a little odd, but better than last week. Scariness is calculated from results versus the opponents recent points, and then weighted so that recent results count more than those in the past. Here’s where things stand today:

Team Ranking (LW) Scariness Pts
KC 1 (1) 6.36 7
NE 2 (7) 6.24 5
COL 3 (3T) 6.12 6
CHI 4 (2) 5.18 7
CLB 5 (12) 4.92 6
DAL 6 (6) 3.74 5
SLC 7 (8) 3.68 4
CHV 8 (5) 3.66 4
NY 9 (3T) 3.36 3
HOU 10 (9T) 2.68 2
TOR 11 (13T) 2.4 3
DC 12 (9T) 2.16 3
LA 13 (9T) 0.54 3
SAN 14 (13T) 0 0

Even with the tie, the Wizards are hanging on to the top spot, one of just three teams to hold position along with FC Dallas who look stuck on sixth and the Quakes who don’t look to leave the basement anytime soon.

The Revolution and the Crew rode wins (over Kansas City and Chivas, respectively) to big improvements. The New York Red Bulls were the big losers, dropping six spots on their loss.

One nice thing about this system, is that I don’t have to defend any teams position since I didn’t put them there. I guess I could spend time trying to improve the math behind the system, but that’s a topic for another day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Week Two in 2008

Well, I managed not to post my predictions before the weekend—I guess that’s what happens when you try to juggle to many things. I had two results correct from the 5 games I called. Here’s what I thought would happen, alongside what really did.

Game Projected Winner Projected Score Actual Result
COL @ KC KC 1-2 2-3
TOR @ DC DC 0-1 1-4
CLB @ NY 1-1 0-2
RSL @ CHV 1-1 1-3
DAL @ HOU HOU 0-1 3-3

I’d called one other game, the Wednesday night game of New England @ Kansas City. I think Kansas City will take this one 1-2, New England has too many players out due to injury or suspension to win this one on the road against a good looking Kansas City.

My scariness rankings are starting to make sense. They’ll really clear up over the next couple of weeks though, at this point there’s juts not enough data. Here’s my table at the momement:

Ranking Team Points
1 KC 4.08
2 CHI 2.48
3 COL 1.92
3 NY 1.92
5 CHV 1.56
6 DAL 1.16
7 NE 0.96
8 RSL 0.8
9 DC 0.54
9 LA 0.54
9 HOU 0.54
12 CLB 0.48
13 SAN 0
13 TOR 0

Scariness is a function of a team’s PPG and their opponents PPG in a weighted moving average. Last year, I was fancier than this, but I’m not sure it really matters.