In a continuation of my last article on Pythagorean Expectation, we’re looking back at the luckiest and unluckiest teams of 2014. This is basically the difference between the actual amount of games won, and Pythagorean expectation (the amount of games you should have won, with an even amount of luck). Can you guess who the #1 luckiest team in the country is? Drumroll…..
#1 Florida State – That’s right! America’s sweeheart, Jameis Winston and the Criminoles won the hearts of millions this season with their persistent shenanigans, court trials, and their overall refusal to lose. This team isn’t even that good to begin with. According to Sagarin they would be the 5th best Big 12 team, and 8th best SEC team.
Remember those trick candles when you were a kid? You blew them out, thought they were dead, and then they kept coming back to life, to the point that it was really, really frustrating? Yeah, that’s you FSU.
#2 NIU – I know NIU had 10 wins, 11 if you count the MAC championship – but if you look closer, they had 4 games withing 10 points or fewer, and they won each game. Close calls against Kent St, EMU, and Ohio are not too impressive. In fact, their MOV for the year was 8.5 point. In an 11-2 season. That’s pretty questionable, and a reason I’m not touching that Marshall line.
#3 Rutgers – I wasn’t even aware Rutgers won 7 games until putting this together. How did that happen? Wasn’t Gary Nova injured for part of that stretch? Congrats to having a 7-5 season despite an average margin of -5.3, as in losing by 5.3 points on average. Goes to show what a “murderers row” that Big Ten really is.
#127 Arkansas – Everyone kinda knows by now that Arkansas is really good, so this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Losing to Alabama by 1. Losing to Mississippi State by 7. Texas A&M in OT. Missouri by 7. The list goes on. But I’m glad they’re going to a bowl because my gosh, they’re the best 6-6 team I’ve ever seen. Like, so good that they’d be favored over Florida State. Sagarin has them ranked #12.
#128 Idaho – Ok, so you probably don’t follow Idaho football. Maybe you didn’t know Idaho had a football team, or that they’re an FBS Independent as a matter of fact. Their coach is Paul Petrino (yes, brother of that Bobby Petrino) in his second year, and they’re going to be very improved in the next year. The offense actually gained 412 yards per game. Now if only they could get the defense to stop giving up 462 yards per game to horrendously bad teams. With that said, they hung in there in almost every game, and given their output should have gotten at least 2 more wins. With an average MOV of -10, it’s expected to win around 3 games, not 1. But just as we saw plenty of 1-win teams bounce back this year (Cal, WMU), we’ll see something similar from the Vandals.
|Team||PYTH WIN||Actual Wins||Luck|
|TX El Paso||5.90||7||1.10|
|San Jose St||2.38||3||0.62|
|San Diego St||7.01||7||-0.01|
|N Mex State||2.59||2||-0.59|