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Archive for August, 2010

The Top 20 College Football Programs of the Modern Era (Part II)

30th August 2010

Today, it’s time to finish our list of the top 20 college football programs of the modern era. As a quick refresher, I defined the “modern era” as 1946-present, because 1946 was the first true postwar season and the year before (1945) was the final time a service academy would win a National Championship. Also, the rankings are determined by the Simple Rating System (SRS), which measures team points per game differential relative to the NCAA average, adjusted for strength of schedule. Here’s a recap of the rankings so far:

20. Georgia Tech (+7.70)
19. Michigan State (+8.69)
18. Arkansas (+8.95)
17. Auburn (+9.59)
16. Miami (+10.00)
15. UCLA (+10.04)
14. Georgia (+10.42)
13. LSU (+10.52
12. Florida State (+10.97)
11. Tennessee (+11.89)

With that in mind, let’s move on to the Top 10, which (just as alert reader JW Lewis predicted) features “three teams from the current Big 10, two from the SEC, three from the current Big 12 (with one of those being from the old SWC and two from the old Big 8), one from the Pac-10, and one independent”:

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Posted in Best/Worst Ever, History, School Rankings, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery | 8 Comments »

Checkdowns: Sports-Reference Named to TIME’s 50 Best Websites

25th August 2010

OK, I’ve gotta toot our own vuvuzela for a second here: I just found out that the Sports-Reference family of sites has been named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the 50 Best Websites for 2010! It’s a great honor for us, and a thrill to know that our users get so much enjoyment & utility out of the sites. Here’s to being your favorite sports stats destination for many years to come…

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Statistics For All-Time Greats

20th August 2010

Just a short post to let you know that the site was updated this morning with statistics for 400+ all-time greats (e.g., Glenn Davis, Roger Staubach, and Herschel Walker). Also, we should be adding partial rosters and statistics for many pre-2000 schools in the coming months. At first we will not have complete coverage for these years, but rest assured that one of our long-term goals will be to fill in the gaps in our data.

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments »

CFB Feature Watch: Years Section

18th August 2010

When you want to know what happened in a given college football season, the Years Index is the place to look. We have every CFB season on the site going back to 1869, and from the years portal you can access all of them. Click any year to find:

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Feature Watch: Schools Section

13th August 2010

The Schools Index is your one-stop destination for info about any “major” school in the last 141 years. On the main portal you’ll find a table with 289 major schools, and:

  • Their range of seasons played
  • Their all-time overall W-L-T record and W%
  • Their all-time bowl record & W%
  • Their all-time Simple Rating System score and its Strength of Schedule component
  • Their AP poll appearances
  • Their conference championship totals

On the individual school pages, we also have year-by-year records and SRS scores, along with conference affiliations, AP poll rankings, bowl appearances, and (nearly complete) coaching histories.

Click on any of the seasons in the school’s yearly results table, and you’ll go to their team that year. For seasons from 2000-09, these pages will include complete passing, rushing, receiving, scoring, special teams, and defensive stats; for the team’s game scores, click “Schedule and Results“.

At the moment, clicking on years prior to 2000 will send you directly to the schedule/results page, but we plan on adding a great deal of historical individual stats to the pages of older teams in the near future. Also, once the 2010 season begins, check back with us because we will be generating current-season school pages, updated weekly with in-season stats and scores.

Thanks for checking out the new College Football @ S-R, and as always, let us know if you have corrections, questions, or comments via our feedback form.

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The Top 20 College Football Programs of the Modern Era (Part I)

12th August 2010

To kick off our College Football Blog coverage here at, I thought I’d jump right in with a countdown of the twenty best programs of the modern era. Of course, in order to do that, I first need to define “best” and “modern era”.

For “best”, I’m going to go with the tried-and-true Simple Rating System (SRS), a staple of the Sports-Reference sites ever since Doug posted about it on May 8, 2006. It’s certainly not the final word in team ratings, but it does a good job of balancing simplicity with predictive accuracy — and when all you have going back to the 1940s is game scores, it’s hard to find a better way to rank schools.

By the way, a few notes about the SRS you see here… Because college football features teams of widely varying skill levels and schedule strengths, we had to find a way to avoid rewarding teams for running up the score on an overmatched opponent, which is why wins of more than twenty-four points count as +24. Also, we needed to make sure wins (even close ones) were properly weighted relative to losses, which is why wins of fewer than seven points still count as +7.

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Posted in Best/Worst Ever, History, School Rankings, Simple Rating System, Statgeekery | 7 Comments »

Welcome to College Football at

11th August 2010

I am pleased to announce the launch of College Football at, the latest addition to the Sports Reference family of web sites. We have had plans to launch a college football site for quite some time, but for one reason or another we always ran into roadblocks, most of them data-related. However, we now have a college football database that we believe to be second-to-none. Let me tell you a little bit about what the site does (and does not) have:

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Posted in Announcements | 14 Comments »