Thanks for all the comments and suggestions from the previous entry. I’m also relieved that people are still reading since I put the site on hiatus in the off-season. The system is still applicable to the other sports, but I still have some work to do to make it more automated, and right now I only have the patience to apply the manual process to pro football. 🙂
As for how to apply things in the early season, I am basically going to do a little bit of everything. After the first four games, we’ll probably be going forward entirely on 2006 data, but before then I’m going to mix things up. However, I do agree that it’s fun to see how things evolve from scratch, so I will definitely be showing those beatpath graphs. Power rankings and picks, though, will be partially dependent on last season’s data. I’ll be transparent about which method is which, though, so y’all can focus on the parts you want to focus on.
Which brings us to the first pick! I don’t think I ever posted the final power rankings from last season, but Pittsburgh’s win actually did enable them to just barely climb on top of the power rankings – I thought it was great that that was actually in doubt, because it showed how Pittsburgh’s wins were mostly upsets. The opening is Miami at Pittsburgh. Miami was really interesting last year because it was like they had two identities. With the beatpath graph being such an ecology, it was like one game outcome could completely change the interpretation of whether they were a good or bad team, by either ruling our their quality victories, or their crap losses. It was their win over New England (asterisky as it was) that had them ranked high by season’s end.
But, Miami has completely upgraded their quarterback position, so it seems they’ll be solidifying their place as the Good Miami. And, Pittsburgh is going with Batch. So the question is whether Miami’s upgrade and Pitt’s downgrade is enough to make up for Pitt currently being at the complete top of the power rankings. I say no way, especially with Pitt being at home. Going by the power rankings, this is a pick for Pittsburgh.