A: Who they play and how well they perform.

These are the only factors I use in my rankings, of which there are two types.

**Power Rankings**
assign numbers to teams in such a way that subtracting two
numbers gives an estimate of the outcome of a game between the two teams.

These numbers are calculated using a recursive form of regression, with a
particular team's ranking based on the rankings of teams it has played in the
past and the margins of victory in each of those games. Since the opponents'
rankings are also being calculated at the same time (using a matrix method),
recursion is needed, with the calculations being done a certain number of steps
until the difference between successive calculations falls below a chosen
threshold. To help decrease the effects of large margins of victory, what is
actually used is a "tranquilized" value that is close to the margin of victory
when small, then only slowly increasing for larger values. These values are
also adjusted using home/away factors, which are also calculated based on
past performance. Finally, a weighting method is used so that recent games
are more heavily weighted than earlier games (thus I refer to this method as
regression with a fading memory).

Since power rankings are computed using past game outcomes, the result
is these numbers can then also be used to predict future game outcomes.
Thus, my power rankings are both predictive and retroactive. However,
when posting these rankings I receive numerous complaints, because they
do not always reward teams who have performed solidly without any huge
victories over teams regarded as more powerful.

Thus, a few years ago I began computing
**Merit Rankings**,
which are based solely on win/loss percentages.

These are calculated in an RPI fashion, with different weights given to a
team's W/L record, the records of that team's opponents, and the records
of the opponents' opponents. Again, a fading memory is used so that more
recent games count more than earlier games. Merit rankings are obviously
non-predictive in nature, since margin of victory is not used in their calculation.

One final thing to note is that another weight factor is needed to distinguish
between games played against I-A teams, I-AA teams, and lower division
teams. This type of weighting method is used in both types of rankings.

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