On-going season rankings

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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Edward Powers » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:36 pm

Dwight,

Is Fred a child? Our posting will make him stop his labor of love? I give Fred more credit than this, and once he reads the whole thread, I think I will win my bets about Fred.

Further, what you call "meta-posting"--apparently the most mortal of posting sins, I call an effort at dialogue. Should I have responded in silence to Matt Bollinger's uncharacteristic and regrettable use of words to describe an effort to communicate with Fred and the larger community, or should I have responded as someone who respects Matt despite what I found to be a regrettable use of diction? Am I supposed to apologize for caring enough about Matt's thoughts and words, and the larger community reading them, to actually take them seriouslly and respond to them, or are we to just glibly & timidly sleek away in silence? Had I done that, I would have allowed a slander of my words and my character by a young man who is better than that. Your forget perhaps that I am a teacher and a coach, the former for over 35 years, the latter for 28. To watch the abuse of language which signigficantly mischaracterizes what has been said and to say nothing would have been irresponsible, so I spoke. I do not apologize. And I do not accept your abuse of the prefix "Meta" to try to silence me or anyone else. Again, surely Fred is a big boy; he and I have bantered often this year, and it has always been both friendly & critical, on both sides---as we would expect with two thinking and caring adults. I am sorry that some have reading habits that are so poor that they lack the subtlety to discern writing that is sometimes nuanced, as humor and irony often are. But my guess is that Fred does understand, given our exchanges throughout the year.

So, reconsider your declaratory and imperative remarks---you are one of many on these boards, as am I, and together we are at the heart of a national quzibowl community with everyone else who shares these boards. How can we be a true national community if we command others what to post, or do not trust that others can speak for themselves, as Fred surely can. Finally, please dispense with the "Meta-Post" dismissal of complex thoughts. Why not meet thoughts with thoughts, rather than with impatient commands? Dismissiveness will always build walls; dialogue can build understanding and friendship, across the thousands of miles of this enormous country. In the final analysis, this thread is no longer about rankings; it is about whether or not we can talk to each other with respect, and whetehr or not we can disagree and still honor each others efforts and contributions to the overall health and well-being of the quizbowl community. And if this is considered more wasteful meta-posting, then please, enroll in a Philosophy 101 course and begin instructing yourself on the nature of genuine metaphysical discussions. But if instead you see this post as an effort to actually converse across the miles that divide us, then perhaps it has been a worthwhile post indeed.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby The King's Flight to the Scots » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:51 pm

Hey, sorry Mr. Powers, I was mostly angry about the Ladue comment, which I really did find atrocious. I'm totally fine with an argument that Hunter is #2, but when you said you were "perplexed" at LASA's high placement you seemed to be denying credit where credit is surely due. I understand that you did not mean that. I apologize for my reaction, which was not primarily directed at you anyway.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Edward Powers » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:52 pm

Thank you, Matt.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby jgalea84 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:58 pm

Is it really that bad if people vociferously argue about rankings? I thought these were largely for fun. I would assume that it's expected that subjective rankings of players and teams will invite spirited debate, as it always does in the sports world. Why do people take great offense to things said here so often?
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Edward Powers » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:00 pm

Finally, a kindred spirit.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby jgalea84 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:02 pm

On the flip side, is it really such an affront if someone doing rankings largely for fun flip-flops a few teams or comes up with a result you don't like? I don't particularly care for where my team got ranked, but, it means nothing.

I guess I don't understand how a thread about this becomes so shrill so easily?
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Edward Powers » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:12 pm

No, it is not an affront---it is natural and inevitable. But is it not, simultaneously, the potential opening wedge to a friendly and joyous debate like the one's you suggested are supposed to be fun for all who share in the that particular debate as it evolves and moves across the pages? Was it not this very kind of playful and spirited debating fun you mentioned in your first post above?

EDIT: And I share your perplexity about why such discussions sometimes become as shrill as they do.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Huang » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:25 pm

Losing combination: poorly-executed humor and incessant whining

Mr. Powers, I can understand if you want to complain about Fred's methodology, but hasn't that argument already happened multiple times in this thread? I mean I still remain unconvinced that PPB isn't a solid statistic for ranking teams, especially if power stats are also considered. I'm under the assumption that Fred also remains unconvinced by your arguments.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Mechanical Beasts » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:41 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:As someone told me in private, it has become the Newsweek top colleges for this activity. We've seen overreactions by tons of people over slight drops and suggestions that another team might be better than them.

Actually, the worst thing about the Newsweek top colleges (or the equivalent thing for high schools; I thought US News and World Report did the colleges thing, but whatever) is that people actually believe in it. Criticism of the rankings, not blind belief, is what's going on here: certainly "caring too much" is a characteristic of both, but most of the critical posters are the very people who, in your analogy, would be asking "why doesn't Harvey Mudd have the engineering reputation that an MIT or a Cal Tech have?"; their conversations are the only good thing that ever comes from the rankings. Where your analogy fails is precisely that these rankings are a good deal better than Newsweek's colleges or whatever, and most dispute is less well founded--but it hasn't descended to "but DCC should be better ranked because it offers more AP classes" or something, and so I'd hardly sully the rankings by comparing them in that way.

Huang wrote:Losing combination: poorly-executed humor and incessant whining

Fill in the blank: your posts in this thread have been characterized by ____.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby AlphaQuizBowler » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:18 pm

I'm going to apologize for the tone of my post--the italicizing of Ladue was a bit much, I admit. But I stand by the content of my complaints. The fact that we finished behind Walton, a team that we easily beat while fielding a 2-man team in a tournament where we got 1st and they got 4th, seems ridiculous, especially considering that they had no surprising wins at the HSNCT. And, no offense, but the best team that Ladue beat at HSNCT was Dorman B, and Ladue lost to Cistercian, who went on to finish behind us at the NSC.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:26 pm

Uh, instead of complaining about the best win that Ladue got because of the incredibly unsatisfying fluky nature of the HSNCT playoff and their relative isolation from competitive parts of the circuit, and also from indulging in the eternally worthless game of loss-commutativity, it would instead be worthwhile to look at general patterns like statistics to try and correct for those problems in a team's schedule. That's the whole point of this website, and as someone who had other people complain about my team's placement at the HSNCT because we didn't happen to get the random draw of teams that pleased their sense of quizbowl aesthetics, I can tell you it's obnoxious as all get out for you to post things like that when there's no possible solution that will satisfy you.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby AlphaQuizBowler » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:43 pm

I'm not complaining about Ladue's placement at HSNCT--they tied for 13th, and they deserved tying for 13th. I'm saying that I don't see anything in Ladue's performance at HSNCT that merits them jumping 23 spots in the rankings. Ladue didn't go to NSC, and we didn't go to HSNCT, so I'm curious as to how you can use the stats to justify ranking them ahead of us, especially (and this is the key point) considering the fact that trash is a lurking variable in the HSNCT PPB.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:04 pm

Uh, maybe the whole thing where Ladue put up stats at the HSNCT that showed Fred was clearly underranking them by a lot in the first place (and he also wasn't even including their stats at MUT which were also very good) was why they jumped? They had the 14th highest PPB at the HSNCT, the 14th highest powers per game, and the 10th highest PPG, so I can't possibly imagine how that wouldn't necessitate a large leap upwards from an (amazingly incorrect in the first place) 40th place ranking that didn't really do enough to take into account that Ladue was routinely missing good players (they only played 4 tournaments all year with Zev, and for some reason one of those tournaments, MUT, still isn't being factored into their stats despite me telling Fred about it ages ago and even emailing him about it like he told me to, but that's for another complaint post). Also, laffeaux, Ladue is one of the worst trash teams I've seen. One of their strengths has always been that Zev is a killer music and arts player, which I hope you won't argue with since he won Imaginary Landscape, and it's hard to imagine they wouldn't have even done better at PACE than the HSNCT. Shockingly, you don't know anything you're talking about.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:14 pm

Also, it's not like I don't already know your framing of this discussion as being about Ladue not meriting a jump and blaming their HSNCT results on trash is just a big smokescreen to complain about them being ranked ahead of you on the internet, but if you're going to try that method, at least do it right.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby cvdwightw » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:34 pm

Coach Ed Powers,

My computer saved you from having to read a long, rambling, bizarre, and certainly Forbidden-Zone-worthy mishmash of nonsense by crashing. Since waiting ten minutes for the computer to boot back up has put me in a saner frame of mind, I'll just post the three arguments buried in the midst of terrible posting:

1. You won the bet, as Fred acknowledged before he posted his first set of rankings (you know, in the part of the very first post of the thread that I quoted before apparently mis-using the prefix "meta-") that the whole thing is based on his judgments and his alone. Also, that he totally isn't sure whether or not to disown them, although I think he was just being funny when he wrote that.
2. Let me put things in perspective with a BAD SPORTS ANALOGY: PACE this year has been more-or-less like the Dodgers except that I can't tell whether Matt or Trygve is playing the Jamie role and as far as I know no one beat anyone up. That makes Fred like Matt Kemp or something. Not exactly a place for humor when you're stuck in the middle of the morass.
3. Next year's rankings should totally be subjectively based on who can rearrange "potamus hippo" the fastest.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Edward Powers » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:37 pm

Sandy,

You are absolutely precious! Do you come by your incisive wit and insight naturally, or is it a learned trait?

But FYI, I have never said the PPB is not a good stat---it is the single best stat there is, and when combined with power stats, it can become an even more revealing stat. But it is incomplete and flawed when used thoughtlessly or inappropriately. And when ranking National teams right after they have played each other to determine National placements and these stats are used to overturn the actual national results of the only Nationals Hunter and LASA have played together, this is a misuse of such statistics. And that is all I have claimed. So, I agree about the importance of PPB; I don't agree with its use as a bludgeon to blind us to other tangible realities relevant to intelligent assessment.

Further, you do not have to appreciate my humor; it surely is an acquired taste. But when the entire thrust of my debate with Fred's rankings is to defend teams like Stevenson, and Olmsted Falls and Alpharetta and Richard Montgomery, as well as Hunter, why call this whining? Why not call it effort on my part, whether ultimately judicious or not, to discuss what I would call a more equitable final ranking for those teams, a ranking I think is fairer to their national performances than those that Fred arrived at based on the evidence available to both of us. If you read my original post, I also suggested that I could be wrong. This is hardly a stance of a whiner. Further, I have never been obsessed with my team's rank, for I knw my kids played their best at both nationals,and as I stated, when discussing my team, I had no problem with Fred dropping it in rank at all--instead, I used my team to ultimately discuss Walton and Alpharetta. That is all.

Finally, I see you are going to Stanford. Best of luck there..... Dude!!!!. :-)
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:47 pm

So I'm curious; would anyone here be interested in collaborating (or writing, hell I'll even write my own rankings, in spite of the fact they'll be rather short sighted) on another pair of rankings through 50, if possible? EDIT: Formula's not required, just judgment based, like Fred's rankings.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:41 pm

I haven't even read the responses made since this morning, but no amount of criticism can take away from the fact that I finished these rankings and vomited a chunk of tomato up out of my nose in the same day. Beat that, quiz bowl. (hint you can't it's #1 in the rankings)
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:56 pm

Don't try eating a tomato while reading the responses.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Edward Powers » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:37 pm

Dwight,

Thanks for your amiable post. When younger, I probably could have decoded your cryptic Dodger analogy and your even darker "potamus" link, but alas in my golden years such analytic ledgerdemain is beyond my ken. What is not so dark, in fact what is crystal clear, is the jocose spirit of your post. This, combined with the fact that you are reaching across thousands of miles convinces me that you share a deep regard for those same qualities I most regard in others as well. Do you think it might be due to the fact that we also might share some of the madness clearly associated with our beloved compatriot, Fred? And if nothing else could convince that when it comes to his rankings he can be madder than a mad hatter, did you read his virtually current post about tomatoes, rankings and nasal passages? Do you see why I have argued throughout that he is perfectly capable of speaking for himself. In fact, given his questionable sanity, it is clear that only Fred can speak fro Fred, and even then his meanings might be completely hidden, even to himself! His occult and cryptic ways----there is often no other way to describe them--are surely contagious; we can only hope that his contagions are, ultimately, genuinely healthy.

But thanks again for the obvious kindesses.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Public safety diving » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:41 pm

CavsFan2k10 wrote:So I'm curious; would anyone here be interested in collaborating (or writing, hell I'll even write my own rankings, in spite of the fact they'll be rather short sighted) on another pair of rankings through 50, if possible? EDIT: Formula's not required, just judgment based, like Fred's rankings.

You mean this?
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:44 pm

A Barehanded Telethon Mirth Gun wrote:
CavsFan2k10 wrote:So I'm curious; would anyone here be interested in collaborating (or writing, hell I'll even write my own rankings, in spite of the fact they'll be rather short sighted) on another pair of rankings through 50, if possible? EDIT: Formula's not required, just judgment based, like Fred's rankings.

You mean this?

It's posted in the announcements? Man, I need to seriously stop looking over things.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby NickConderWKU » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:42 am

2011 Official Alternate Totally Serious Final Rankings:

1. Whoever won :chip:
2. Kealing
3. State College
4. Yale
5. LASA Q
6. St. Joseph's
7. Cistercian
8. Team Texas
9. Ladue
10. Alpharetta
11. Tomato Chunk
12. Grayson County
13. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters

This should make everybody happy.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:47 am

Hilltopper22 wrote:2011 Official Alternate Totally Serious Final Rankings:

1. Whoever won :chip:
2. Kealing
3. State College
4. Yale
5. LASA Q
6. St. Joseph's
7. Cistercian
8. Team Texas
9. Ladue
10. Alpharetta
11. Tomato Chunk
12. Grayson County
13. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters

This should make everybody happy.

Muldrow > Alpharetta.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby The Ununtiable Twine » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:34 am

Hilltopper22 wrote:2011 Official Alternate Totally Serious Final Rankings:

1. Whoever won :chip:
2. Kealing
3. State College
4. Yale
5. LASA Q
6. St. Joseph's
7. Cistercian
8. Team Texas
9. Ladue
10. Alpharetta
11. Tomato Chunk
12. Grayson County
13. Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters

This should make everybody happy.


Hey we're #4. Get it right, man. And you've got that tomato chunk ranked waaaaaaay too low.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:08 am

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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby jonpin » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:12 am

Dear funny people, stop being funny in this thread. It only encourages not funny people to be not funny in this thread.

(Also, there are no funny people in this thread)
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:26 pm

There's a few different areas I want to address here, so I suppose I will go with this one first.

cvdwightw wrote:
Fred Morlan, at the beginning of this thread wrote:This isn't endorsed by any organization or anyone else, and is barely endorsed by me. I do not mean to slight anyone by my rankings and, if they cause any offense, I apologize in advance for that. That's the last thing I want to do with this process. At some point, though, I do need to stick someone next to some number.


Having these rankings was a good thing. It was a good source of discussion about all sorts of things. The fact that people are apparently taking these things way too seriously and complaining about being mis-ranked is a bad thing. Without putting words in Fred's mouth, I think he did this because he really cares about the game and the people who play it and wanted to reflect all the hard work that people across the nation have put in, even if no one else saw it. If you want to encourage Fred not to do this next year, keep posting.

---END TERRIBLE META(-META?)-DISCUSSION HERE---


So, the whole reason I initiated the ranking, at first, when I very first thought of it back in June or July of last summer, was simply because I thought that the poll I ran on here was wrong, in that teams with "name value" benefited from something of a bias, as compared with teams that didn't have traditionally strong programs. I was hoping, if not to be "more correct," to at least point out teams in regions that don't post a million times on the board every day and say "hey, this team is pretty good, you should think about them some" or "I know region X has teams A & B, but it also has team C which is pretty good" or whatever dumb analogy you want to come up with. And that was the entire thought process behind it. I thought I'd give it a shot, see how asinine it was, and then quit in November or something if it turned sour or someone mailed me a toe with pink nail polish or whatever.

As I started getting ready to do it, though, I realized that there were a couple of benefits that could be gained from the rankings beyond what one would normally gain from rankings - that is, the ability to tell your administration, "hey, let us go to nationals this year, we just got voted the 20th best team in the nation!", or tell that to anyone who would donate to your team, or etc.

First of all, no one has really looked at the difficulty of sets in the statistical sense, or at least not in any big sense of it. On here, people would declare sets as easy or hard, often (it seemed) on the basis of a couple of questions. GSAC, for example, was typically treated as a hard set. I believe that the Maggie Walker editing team made some decisions to change how they handled their set this year, but it turned out to not be a particularly hard set, this year at least.

I don't claim to be a master statistician. I'm probably a bit too much like Bill James in how I look at statistics - there was a good number of gut decisions in the rankings, and with my adjustments for sets and so forth. But I am able to put data into an Excel sheet and make it spit out means and quartiles and standard deviations, or just differences in PPB between teams I'm watching, and using my vast knowledge accumulated from watching the occasional episode of Card Sharks, determining that numbers that are higher indicate that that set is easier than a set with lower numbers. That's what I did this year.

This is beneficial, I believe, because quiz bowl really needs to watch its difficulty to be successful. I come from West Virginia, an area that, since I've been active in national quiz bowl (primarily via crappy posts), has had exactly two or three teams of any real talent as far as having a national impact (the Parkersburg squads of the last 3 years). The rest of the teams have ppbs that, at best, go around 15, but probably have a median of about 8. If you're going to bring a new set in and try to appeal to these teams, you aren't going to do it if you're swinging around with easy parts on Mishima and Jasper Johns in your bonuses. You're going to turn those teams off.

This is a whole different thread about this subject, probably a ton of threads. But one of my goals with this thing was to track sets and kind of let people know just what to expect from a set, because an announcement thread with "regular season difficulty" in it is often meaningless, and sets often get reputations about their difficulty from the slightest thing. You'd think Tommy Casalaspi had drove a school bus through a group of nuns because he helped write CaTo/TaCo a few years ago, in a set that was intended to be really hard.

Also, no one had really ever tried to track teams' performances in all sets and keep them in one area publicly. I wasn't good about uploading these regularly, and hope to improve in that regard next year if I do this again, but I think this was a first. NAQT has its public database, of course, but that doesn't include HSAPQ sets or Prison Bowl or whatever, for obvious reasons. And I sent this spreadsheet to Andrew Hart, Gautam Kandlikar, Jeff Hoppes, and R. Hentzel in May, before their nationals. I honestly forget if I sent it to Matt Weiner or anyone in HSAPQ; I'd hope I did, but I might have just forgotten. So I believe HSNCT and NSC, and maybe NASAT, benefited in this regard.

But, basically, I used the rankings to draw eyes to these things. To the fact that teams like Parkersburg, Champlain Valley, and University School of Nashville, while not real title contenders, were certainly solid squads that just happened to be stuck in areas that lacked "real" quiz bowl in terms of what you would say in Illinois or around D.C. or even in Texas with the deep LASA & Seven Lakes teams and the other good squads that are there. To the fact that GSAC and Prison Bowl certainly weren't as hard as their reputations might make some think. That the field of national title contenders wasn't really limited to just a couple of teams this year, but was a little more open than any of us would have thought a year ago.

I don't know that I ever really cared so much about ranking the top teams as much as highlighting the middle of the pack teams. I think, speaking in terms of the growth of the game nationally and ensuring more people get involved in this great activity, we probably spend too much time talking about the best teams and trying to point some things towards them that don't necessarily have to be pointed to them. The nationals should be about them, of course, because the point of a national championship is to fairly determine what team is actually the best in the country, or get as close to that as possible. I don't think it's good to frame discussion of sets that are intended to appeal to a wide spread of teams as just in terms of "how will this set be received/played on by TJ, Maggie Walker, State College, LASA, ..." That should be part of it, but there's only so many teams in that range.

I think pointing out things like "hey, there's a team in this place called Columbia, Kentucky, that has 800 students total 9-12, public school, and they put together a damn good team" and then asking what we can do to get more situations like that going is key to the growth of quiz bowl. Or, "this Frenchtown team is really committed to quiz bowl, despite being stuck in what is essentially the middle of nowhere for the activity, how can we get more teams like them?"

tl;dr: There was a lot more behind why I did what I did than just having some obsessive need to order quiz bowl teams like cards in the 1990 Donruss baseball set; coincidentally, I did this to draw attention to those things.

Anyway, enjoy this hot mess of a post. I'll try and actually address some concerns raised with the rankings, starting from a top-down prospective.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Cheynem » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:10 pm

Good explanation! Although I'd like to know more about Tommy killing those nuns.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby jgalea84 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 2:26 pm

Really good explanation Fred, and I appreciate it. I might not agree with your results, but I can certainly salute your reasoning and motives. I hope you'll continue to do these rankings in the future.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Remember-the-Alamo-Remember-Goliad » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:52 pm

First they kill the nuns (using school buses); then, they kill the monks (using golf carts).
That's how the French Revolution began -- be afraid, be very afraid of these musings on
national QB rankings. It can lead one much farther afield than one might at first imagine.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby theflyingdeutschman » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:25 am

Remember-the-Alamo-Remember-Goliad wrote:First they kill the nuns (using school buses); then, they kill the monks (using golf carts).
That's how the French Revolution began -- be afraid, be very afraid of these musings on
national QB rankings. It can lead one much farther afield than one might at first imagine.

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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Yellow-throated Honeyeater » Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:34 pm

I want to thank Fred for putting all this together, and I want to ask whether there will be an effort to compare the difficulty of different sets and how such a comparison could be done. It would be a mistake to compare sets just based on the top teams, since two of the big things you want in a set are lots of teams (but not all) breaking 10 PPB and lots of tossups getting answered, and good teams break 10 PPB and answer lots of tossups no matter what. With elite teams, you get a decent measure of how difficult the hard parts of bonuses were and whether or not difficulty was ridiculous, but that's a small part of the picture.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:11 pm

I'm planning on doing a more complete look at the difficulty of sets later on in the summer.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:43 pm

So, while putting together the last set of rankings, I made a mistake and omitted data for three teams - Bergen County, Detroit Country Day, and Wayzata. I've corrected this mistake, and it can be found here.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:56 pm

I'll try to respond to some specific posts now:

Nick wrote:An idea to get closer to the ideal: Kind of along the lines of what Powers said, lets come up with a mathematical formula of some sort and put it in place for next season. The benefits of that plan seem to be: a) anybody can input data, b) you cant dispute where a team is in the rankings, and c) everybody has a clear and resolute understanding of the criteria. I wont pretend to know what the formula should be, but having one makes sense to me over not having one and/or doing the Fred thing.

The problem with this is that you aren't going to end up with a single definitive formula that will produce a single, definitive set of rankings that are beyond reproach. Regardless of what you set up that formula to be, it will not be universally accepted. You can see this in baseball with the various advanced statistics and how the pros and cons of them can are debated.

That said, I think a statistical based ranking would be pretty interesting.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Dr. Loki Skylizard, Thoracic Surgeon » Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:20 pm

To address the question of how the post-season rankings were put together, this is roughly how I went:

1) I started with the NSC order of finish
2) I adjusted the orders where I thought teams were better than teams they finished behind
3) I looked at the HSNCT order of finish and introduced teams that only attended HSNCT teams, trying to incorporate them as best as I could
4) I compared the adjusted numbers from HSNCT & NSC and tried to rank them best that I could
5) I compared head-to-head at the nationals where appropriate
6) I tried to incorporate the remaining teams that did not attend either HSNCT or NSC.

To address some specific questions about specific rankings:

1) There's two ways you could look at Novi: as a team that beat most of the teams they played, really only lost to very good teams, and finished tied for 8th at HSNCT. Or, benefited from a number of close wins, had weak numbers, and didn't beat a lot of elite teams. There's counter-arguments and counter-counter-arguments. You have to stick them somewhere.
2) Richard Montgomery finished 20th at NSC. They did better at HSNCT than NSC. There's a wide range of placement of their team, in my opinion. I may have went too far to the "NSC results were more telling" side.
3) Ladue was a very good team. Pointing at them as a team to be embarrassed to be ranked behind is, at best, a case of speaking out of anger, and, at worst, speaking out of ignorance. They put up very good numbers and won some good matches on the more difficulty of the two national tournaments this year. To not point to them as a great team after the HSNCT is folly.
4) The argument for Walton is based on a lot of statistics: they had a good PPB and a respectable power rate on the more difficult set. The counter-argument is that they lost to Chanhassen and St. Mark's, teams that certainly aren't bad but are behind them in the rankings; they also only won one game in the playoffs. Of course, they lost to Chanhassen and St. Mark's by the slimmest of margins, and then they were eliminated from the playoffs by Bellarmine.

The point with these rankings is that it's impossible to produce a set of rankings that are without debate. This can be seen in (SPORTS ANALOGY REDACTED). So I did the best that I could.

And in general, I'm really amused that I'm being criticized for both over- (most notably, Novi) and underrating (Richard Montgomery) order of finish at HSNCT. In fact, I'm even more amused by people who just look at the rankings before they start shouting, and not the various posts about what I was looking at and why. Those have already been touched upon.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Remember-the-Alamo-Remember-Goliad » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:21 am

As I have stated elsewhere:
I guess T.S. Eliot said it best: in my end is my beginning: 30th.
at PACE – 20th;
at NAQT – 21th;
Current Ranking – 30th;

Next year will be better.

Rankings: They are what they are.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby theflyingdeutschman » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:09 am

Remember-the-Alamo-Remember-Goliad wrote:As I have stated elsewhere:
I guess T.S. Eliot said it best: in my end is my beginning: 30th.
at PACE – 20th;
at NAQT – 21th;
Current Ranking – 30th;

Next year will be better.

Rankings: They are what they are.


You finished T-21 at NAQT with 11 other teams, technically you were in the top 32. In addition, 9 of the teams ahead of you didn't go to PACE, how do you know they wouldn't have finished higher than you there. We understand that you are extremely disappointed, but your ranking is pretty reasonable.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby Lion81 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:12 am

First of all, I wanna say that I have no problem with Fred continuing his rankings and this is not to replace them.

What if we used Elo ratings like that used in chess? Every new team can start out with a certain rating which will change as they play games. To determine an initial ranking we can use last year's results (or the last two years or whatever). Obviously teams will lose people every year so the previous year's ratings could have less weight but would still do a good job of indicating a ranking the current year before many results are in. I think NAQT does this on their website but because they have so little data on so many teams it is wildly inaccurate. To account for the importance of nationals, more weight can be given to wins and losses at those tournaments. I dont know that much about Elo ratings except that it takes into account how good your opponent is and you get points for winning and lose points for losing, so I dont know how good of an idea this is, but its an idea.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby in on these shenanigans » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:46 am

Lion81 wrote: they have so little data on so many teams it is wildly inaccurate.


I think you answered your own question. Also, considering it'd also be nigh-impossible to accurately create initial rankings, and to adjust for year-to-year roster changes, ELO just doesn't work for quizbowl.
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Re: On-going season rankings

Postby theflyingdeutschman » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:49 am

You could try and do something like this ( http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/elo.cgi ), but for quizbowl. To avoid trolls, make it so only members can vote and that anyone can see the votes.
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