A Consistent Weighted Ranking Scheme with an Application to NCAA College Football Rankings

24 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2005

See all articles by Itay P Fainmesser

Itay P Fainmesser

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Chaim Fershtman

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Neil Gandal

Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: September 2005

Abstract

The NCAA college football ratings, in which the "so-called" national champion is determined, has been plagued by controversies the last few years. The difficulty arises because there is a need to make a complete ranking of teams even though each team has a different schedule of games with a different set of opponents. A similar problem arises whenever one wants to establish a ranking of patents or academic journals, etc. in which the raw data are (incomplete) bilateral citations or interactions among objects. This paper develops and estimates a simple consistent weighted ranking (CWR) scheme which, in the sports world, depends on four parameters (winning vs. losing and the relative importance of home vs. away games). In most ranking problems, there are not explicit criteria to evaluate the success of proposed rankings. NCAA college football has a special structure that enables the evaluation of each ranking scheme. Each season is essentially divided into two parts: the regular season and the post season bowl games. If a ranking scheme is accurate it should correctly predict a relatively large number of the bowl game outcomes. We use this structure to estimate the four parameters of our ranking function using "historical" data from the 1999-2003 seasons.

Keywords: Ranking, sport tournament, NCAA football

JEL Classification: C8, L83

Suggested Citation

Fainmesser, Itay Perah and Fershtman, Chaim and Gandal, Neil, A Consistent Weighted Ranking Scheme with an Application to NCAA College Football Rankings (September 2005). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5239. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=833244

Itay Perah Fainmesser

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/itaypfainmesser/home

Chaim Fershtman

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 7167 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Neil Gandal (Contact Author)

Berglas School of Economics, Tel Aviv University ( email )

Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9907 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.neilgandal.com/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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