NFL Power Rankings: Each Tuesday morning (after NFL Monday Night Football concludes the week’s activities) several media outlets come out with “NFL Power Rankings” to rate all 32 NFL teams from 1 to 32 (why the word “Power” and not just “NFL Rankings”? Interesting…)
And sometimes the rankings are similar, sometimes there is a lot of disparity. Which is why I like looking at a number of NFL Power Rankings and combine them to come up with…
NFL Combined Power Rankings!! (WOOT!)
How do I come up with the NFL Combined Power Rankings?
This is something I’ve done on and off for awhile now. I figured maybe it would be fun to actually post this publicly.
I use a system called Relative Placement.
Relative placement is a judging system common to swing dance competitions. I personally love it. The strength in it: it limits the influence of a single judge” (aka one specific power ranking), which can be extremely helpful when it is a very subjective competition (such as NFL football rankings)
Without getting into it, it is a pure “majority rules” type system. It accepts that each judge in a competition needs to subjectively compare apples and oranges and decide which is better. At an elite level, judges will start taking into account specific subjective criteria they like: costumes, choreography, styling, musicality, etc.
You can read more about relative placement in my blog post here: How Judges Judge A Lindy Hop Competition
What’s the short version of relative placement and the NFL Combined Power Rankings?
With the NFL and many professional sports, rankings will again take in a lot of subjective criteria. For example, which do you value most?
- Good offense? (again subjective here too: running? passing? time on field? 3rd down conversions?)
- Good defense? (again subjective: rushing defense, passing defense, points allowed, points allowed from red zone?)
- Pure stats? (win-loss? points scored? winning margin?)
That can be a lot for one person to come up with a final rankings. And that is also why when you compare rankings, you’ll see differences in rankings.
The power in this is, you combine several rankings, in essence each ranking will value different criteria, and relying on one ranking means you assume that specific ranking has the best criteria. Combining rankings with relative placement means the best team is the one that is best in all the combined criteria
IN OTHER WORDS..
Instead of crunching my own algorithm, I am combining every algorithm of every NFL Power Ranking (well, 7 of them) and combining them using relative placement to come up with the combined rankings
On with the show! First..the NFL Power Rankings
My resources and criteria
- Find 7 NFL Power Rankings. This was done googling “NFL Power Rankings” and selecting some links on the first page, not surprisingly they came from sources I already often read
- A team must be ranked in the top 5 in one ranking to be considered. Mostly to save time. I didn’t want to apply the relative placement system to all 32 teams for all 7 rankings
- Only top 5 scores are considered.. If a team is ranked in the top 5 by one ranking, they are eligible for this combined ranking. However, if they are not in the top 5 of a different ranking that I use, then for tallying purposes I assign them a “6th” place. In the ranking display, it will say “no-vote”
Here are the individual NFL Power Rankings I used
Here are my NFL Combined Power Rankings
Remember, a non-top-five vote for a team is assessed “sixth” place.
1st: Seattle Seahawks
VOTES: 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd
2nd: Denver Broncos
VOTES: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd
3rd: San Diego Chargers
VOTES: 1st, 1st, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th
4th: Cincinatti Bengals
VOTES: 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 5th, no-vote, no-vote
5th: Philadelphia Eagles
VOTES: 4th, 5th, 5th, 5th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote
6th: Indianapolis Colts
VOTES: 4th, 4th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote
7th: Dallas Cowboys
VOTES: 4th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote
8th: (TIE) Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers
VOTES (ARI): 5th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, 6thno-votestrong>
VOTES (SF): 5th, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote, no-vote
What It Says…
That being said, some interesting points simply from reading a relative placement sheet
- Seahawks are a clear 1st. They got the majority of 1st place votes
- Broncos are a clear 2nd. They got the majority of 1st and 2nd place votes (even though they got NO first place votes)
- Chargers are a clear 3rd. They got the majority of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place votes (even though they got TWO first place votes. Note they got no 2nd place votes)
- “Limiting the influence of a single judge”. While two judges gave the Chargers 1st place votes, the other five judges gave them 3rd and 4th place votes. At the same time, while no judges gave the Broncos 1st place votes, five judges gave the Broncos 2nd place votes. Meaning: The majority of judges wanted to see the Broncos ahead of the Chargers (again read this link to understand this more)
- After the first three placements, there is no consensus for 4th place and things get muddied after that. No team got a majority of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place votes
Remember you can read more about relative placement and what it means in my blog post here: How Judges Judge A Lindy Hop Competition
About Me and About Relative Placement
I come from a background of doing a lot of swing dance competition judging. Without getting into it, there are a lot of styles to swing dancing and at an elite level you have to basically compare apples to oranges and decide which you like better. So you have to combine the scoring of seven different judges and come up with a final placement.
For that reason, I’m always interested in scoring and rankings of any sort. Especially when it is subjective like NFL football. In this case, instead of taking any one specific ranking into account, I like taking them all into account to come up with a “final” power ranking (combined power rankings)
Believe it or not, my wife and I use relative placement for a lot of different tallying, not just for swing dance judging, from ridiculous situations to sometimes very important critical decisions.
That’s this week’s NFL Combined Power Rankings! Have a great week!