IIId. On Any Given Sunday

May the better team have better odds

Pair-wise comparisons and arbitrary labels

All of us have probably thought sometime during the football season that there must be a Rasch analysis in here somewhere. Every team in the National Football League plays a different selection of opponents but rankings are based, mostly[1], on a simple count of games won. We certainly know better than that. Here’s my answer.

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[1]There are more rules for resolving ties in the rankings but these are designed more to create excitement and sell tickets than to ensure that the best team wins.

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