The 10 Most Dominant Teams in the First 5 Weeks

Not the 10 best teams, if that is what you came for. This isn’t another regurgitation of the AP or Coaches Poll. No.

Dominance is a real factor in Hierank. It’s something we measure. So this list answers:

Who’s pummeled their opponents hardest so far – week-in and week-out – good, bad, or cupcake?

In Hierank, it’s literally labeled the Dominance Factor within each contest, or the Dominance Average when taken for a given team across the whole season – and it’s also the atomic building block that sets up every other layer of the Hierank algorithm.

This list includes the 10 teams with the highest Dominance Averages five weeks into the 2019 season.

But wait, there’s more!

If you want to skip the ‘splainer and get to the list (it’s early, we’re doing a lot of this), scroll to the next double line…



Q:
What is the Dominance Factor / Dominance Average?

A:
It’s Hierank’s portrayal of how dominant the Winner was over the Loser.
i.e. How substantial was the Win? Was it somewhat of a toss-up, or something that could be repeated 10 out of 10 times?

Higher Dominance Factor number-values mean stronger, more substantial wins.

For each outcome, the Winner is assigned the positive DF (ex: 3.74 for a 14 point win), and the loser, -DF (ex: -3.74 for the same loss).

Q:
Why these weird numbers, and not just straight points?

A:
Because we’ll take a team with regular 20-30 point wins over a team with one 60 point blowout, some tight wins, and a handful of losses.
Running up one score is not as impressive as taking control & putting wins out of reach early for opponents multiple times.

In economic terms, this is the same idea as Marginal Utility:

A Team’s 1st point up from an Opponent is more valuable to them (taking the lead) than their 4th point up, which is more valuable than their 16th point up, and their 25th point up, 49th, 64th, and so on, each securing more certainty of a Win, but in smaller & smaller amounts against what eventually becomes a certain victory where increasing the spread has no more material-value.
Does anyone care whether a final score is 61-0 or 68-0???

On our scale, a 1pt win is a 1.00 DF, a 4pt Win a 2.00 DF, a 16pt Win a 4.00 DF, and a 64pt win is 8.00 Dominance, with everything else falling somewhere unique.
We won’t list the expression, but Math novices should have some idea what’s going on here…
(Extra Help: A 7pt Win scores 2.65 Dominance)

We also wanted to mention quickly that we believe winning 14-0 evokes more dominance than a 34-20 victory…so there’s a mechanism built for this, better-rewarding defensive dominance in victory.
Without giving the secret sauce – there is a .33-to-3 point sliding bonus assigned to teams who double-up-to-18X their opponent (or shut them out).

Lastly, there’s also a mechanism that accounts for overtime, halving the spread-derived Dominance Factor for each extra set played.

More on Dominance Factor & the rest of the algorithm, here.



All rankings shown here are within entire #1-256 CFB pool. If new here, before taking issue with current Power Rankings, read this.

10. #33 Iowa (4-0)

Dominance Average | 6.1 | 92.7 Rating

Average Score | 33.5-8.5

Biggest Win | 9.4 (116 Rating) | 48-3 over #191 Middle Tennessee (1-3)
Best Win | 73 Power | 48-3 over #191 Middle Tennessee (1-3)

Iowa first 5 Weeks NCAAF
Even with a one-point squeaker-win over their in-state rival Cyclones, they managed to make this list, undefeated, and with three other substantial wins.

9. #5 Florida (5-0)

Dominance Average | 6.2 | 93.4 Rating

Average Score | 34.0-8.8

Biggest Win | 9.7 (118 Rating) | 45-0 over #153 UT Martin (2-2)
Best Win | 88 Power | 38-0 over #69 Towson (3-2)

Only one win by less than one TD, against a generally-tough in-state rival. They are pretty tough. Next match-up says a lot.

8. #23 Oklahoma (4-0)

Dominance Average | 6.4 | 94.8 Rating

Average Score | 55.5-18.8

Biggest Win | 8.3 (108 Rating) | 70-14 over #159 South Dakota (1-3)
Best Win | 81 Power | 55-16 over #60 Texas Tech (2-2)

With a 5-6 Touchdown average spread & 55.5 ppg, Oklahoma’s offense is INSANE. It’s only their defense, giving up 2.5 TD on average, that is dampening their spot on the list.

7. #7 Georgia (4-0)

Dominance Average | 6.5 | 95.5 Rating

Average Score | 42.8-10

Biggest Win | 10.4 (123 Rating) | 55-0 over #71 Arkansas State (3-2)
Best Win | 91 Power | 55-0 over #71 Arkansas State (3-2)

Georgia has achieved nearly the same average spread as Oklahoma, but with half the points allowed. Winning by at least 3.5 TDs in each contest except by only 6 points against other top-team Notre Dame, they’ll rise again next week if they see a typical Tennessee team.

6. #22 LSU (4-0)

Dominance Average | 6.5 | 95.5 Rating

Average Score | 57.8-23.3

Biggest Win | 10.2 (121 Rating) | 55-3 over #120 Georgia Southern (1-3)
Best Win | 99 Power | 45-38 over #8 Texas (3-1)

LSU has given up more on defense than many on this list, but is also averaging nearly 60 ppg after four games. Their consistent spread of 4+ TDs in 3 of their 4 games (1TD vs top-tier Texas) signals a strong likelihood of continued success.

5. #93 Princeton (2-0)

Dominance Average | 6.9 | 98.3 Rating

Average Score | 52.5-15.5

Biggest Win |7.6 (103 Rating) | 49-7 over #205 Butler (1-3)
Best Win | 59 Power | 49-7 over #205 Butler (1-3)

Princeton has only played two games so far, both against low-tier FCS schools. They are typically the best in the Ivy League , but not better than most on this list.

4. #9 Alabama (5-0)

Dominance Average | 7.0 | 99.0 Rating

Average Score | 51.8-14.8 | 37pts

Biggest Win | 8.6 (110 Rating) | 42-3 over #41 Duke (3-1)
Best Win | 94 Power | 42-3 over #41 Duke (3-1)

Potentially the best team in all of College Football, Alabama has been crushing their opponents – no team by less than 3.5 Touch Downs – and on-average by more than 5.
They pay their best opponent to-date next week, but their strongest opponent thus-far has been bested 42-3.

3. #52 Dartmouth (2-0)

Dominance Average | 7.2 | 100.4 Rating

Average Score | 36.5-4.5

Biggest Win | 8.0 (106 Rating) | 38-3 over #204 Colgate (0-5)
Best Win | 66 Power | 35-6 over #221 Jacksonville (2-2)

Outscoring their two opponents more than 8-to-1, Dartmouth has the least points-allowed on this list. Their two opponents have been a combined 2-7, signaling Dartmouth may not stay on this list for very long.

2. #16 Wisconsin (4-0)

Dominance Average | 7.2 | 100.4 Rating

Average Score | 42.3-7.3

Biggest Win | 10.8 (126 Rating) | 61-0 over #140 Central Michigan (2-3)
Best Win | 84 Power | 61-0 over #140 Central Michigan (2-3)

Wisconsin managed to be the first team in the NCAA to go up 100-0 to start a season since South Carolina in 1980, getting up 145-0 before being scored on in their third quarter against Michigan, after ten shutout quarters to start their season.
With the second-lowest average points allowed, and third-best ratio of scoring against their opponents, Wisconsin’s #2 position on this list is well-deserved.

1. #1 Ohio State (5-0)

Dominance Average | 8.1 | 106.7 Rating

Average Score | 52.4-8.6

Biggest Win | 11.0 (127 Rating) | 76-5 over #97 Miami OH (2-3)
Best Win | 95 Power | 42-0 over #59 Cincinnati (3-1)

Ohio State has the greatest average differential, never winning by less than 3.5 TD, with the second-greatest scoring-ratio on this list (6:1), and one shutout with less than 1.5 TD per game allowed on-average.

Even though the bad guys won, this was fun to compile. Will these teams keep steam-rolling their opponents, or do they just have yet to face anyone worthy? How might this change by the end of this season?

We’re excited to find out.

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