Here’s an example of a beatpath graph with logos and colors.

Honestly, I think it’s pretty nifty… but not as useful as the one with the team abbreviations. The logos actually make it slightly harder to recognize which teams are which, and understand the conceptual pathways from team to team. In my opinion. But let me know what you think. I also color-framed them by division.

There’s also the matter of me probably not having permission to use the logos. I have no idea how that whole thing works. Maybe the NFL is reasonable and lets sites use them for free, since it’s just more marketing for the NFL brand.

Loving the new site. Logos look great, and I’d be absolutely stunned if the NFL complains — lots of Web sites, from huge ones like SI to tiny ones like some guy’s blog, use NFL logos despite no financial relationship with the league. I would still love to see some indication of margin of victory, whether it’s thicker lines for bigger wins, or shading the teams that have scored more points than they’ve allowed one color and shading the teams that have allowed more points than they’ve scored another color, or whatever.

Is it possible to turn these into completely objective power rankings? I know someone did that by subtracting the “losspaths” from the beatpaths.

Finally, out of curiosity, what would happen if you applied this to a sport like baseball, with 10 times as many games and teams playing each other 20 times a season in some cases?

DavidH had the insight that a team ahead of another team in a beatpath will

alwayshave more beatpaths wins and less beatpath losses. It’s one of those things that is obvious once you say it out loud but isn’t so obvious beforehand. ðŸ™‚ This system touches on a lot of “discrete math” and computer science theory and so I’m sure there will be more interesting mathematical relationships that we’ll find out about from computery people as it gets studied more.I went ahead and implemented that into the system to get a raw ranking each week and will probably make note of it in the rankings. The problem with relying on just that method for the power rankings is that it results in a lot of ties. So I’ve been working on a way to recursively generate power rankings. The theory is when you’re not sure how to rank two teams, defer to the previous week’s power rankings. It should be pretty interesting. I might be able to get to it today.

I’m not sure yet what’ll happen with baseball. It might be that as a season gets longer, a graph gets more compact. It appears that the postseason graphs for the NFL (2003 and 2004) are both more compact that 2005’s midseason graph is. We’ll have to see. I’m interested in tracking more sports each week – not sure what the next one will be.

I have to agree with TT about the logos. I think it is slightly harder to identify the teams, plus with “more stuff” going on in the graph, the arrows and spatial relationships take less prominence.

But I can deal either way. ðŸ™‚ And this is purty.

I’m thinking I’ll stick with the logos, but the one part I’ve found makes it harder is where you come to the graph with the mindset of “Where is (teamname)?” That’s when it takes longer to find a team.

I’ll be able to have mouseovers that highlight the team name, that’ll help. I’ll also try to experiment with having the team abbreviation under the logo, but so far I haven’t been successful with that.