Wilson: How I Adjust My College Football Power Ratings & Early Observations for 2020


Jordon Kelly/Getty Images. Pictured: Kedon Slovis

Feb 12, 2020, 12:23 PM EST

One of the hardest lessons I learned from college was about double checking my work. There were plenty of long Fayetteville nights spent in the basement of Bell Engineering Hall punching cards as a method of writing computer code.

As I updated my College Football Power Ratings for the first time in 2020, double checking my math had a similar feel to the punch card days. I had to make sure everything was right, because there were some big changes.

Before we get to the eye popping numbers in the top 25, the surge of the Big Ten basement and the state of Michigan’s downward spiral, it is important to discuss the numbers behind each category.

While many other power ratings are influenced mainly by returning production, I use several categories to adjust a team’s stock.  Second-Order Win Total, coaching changes, rating regression to the mean, and net turnovers represent just a few of the items in consideration to move an FBS squad.

The next logical step is to assign power ratings to the 2020 schedule, factor in some home-field advantage and produce a win total for all 130 teams.

First, let’s take a look at each individual category I mentioned above and the new overall number entering spring practice.

2020 College Football Power Ratings & Adjustments

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