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Football ranking table

  • 21-03-2014 10:10am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ laoisman11


    Inspired by the work of Hanalei in the hurling ranking thread, I have compiled a football ranking table, again using the IRB ranking system.

    As pointed by some contributors on the hurling ranking thread, this system is not perfect, however, I believe it gives an accurate representation of a team's form in comparison to the teams around it. In any case, a "perfect" ranking, in my opinion, can not exist, as apart from people's subjective views, how could we take into account that some team's have a stronger home advantage than others (i.e. Wicklow), that some teams nearly always have the measure of other teams, regardless of form (i.e. Down vs Donegal or Derry), that neighbourly rivalry can negate form (Offaly vs Laois), etc, etc.

    Having compiled the results starting from the 2008 championship to present, some of the so-called "shocks" of championship football have become less of an anomaly based on the ranking of teams at that particular point in time (for example, Longford beating Derry in 2012, London vs Leitrim 2013).

    One common criticism of the system is that, using the example of the table below, Roscommon on 82,27 pts will gain more in beating a team just below it, for example Galway on 81,39 pts, than they would if they beat a team like Wicklow on 72,92 points. Rather than looking at this as a negative, I think it should be looked on as a way of saying that Roscommon are expected to beat Wicklow and therefore their gain is reduced in comparison to what they would gain from beating a similarly ranked team.

    Nevertheless, the system is not without criticism. Because of the 10 ranking point difference rule, a team with a vastly superior ranking will not gain points for beating an inferior team. This effectively means that Dublin, for example, will not gain ranking points for beating teams 10 ranking points below them. Conversely, Westmeath will give up very few points in Division 1. In 2012, Laois were relegated from Division 1 on more points than they went in with, despite winning only 2 out of 7 games. Also, teams can get stuck in a type of warp zone, in that they can win 2 or 3 championship games every year, finish in the top half of league 2 or 3 and maintain a decent ranking.

    A major difference from the results of the hurling or rugby rankings is that there is no out-and-out leader of football (compared to KK or NZ) nor is there a such a spread in the points - the 25th placed team has much more of a chance to beat the 5th placed team in football compared to in hurling or rugby (Sligo vs Tyrone in football; Donegal vs Waterford in hurling; Hong Kong vs Ireland in rugby).

    So, the current table...........

    Position|(previous)|Team|Rating points
    1|(1)|Dublin|93,99
    2|(2)|Mayo|93,89
    3|(5)|Kerry|92,81
    4|(3)|Cork|92,2
    5|(4)|Tyrone|92,17
    6|(7)|Monaghan|89,25
    7|(6)|Donegal|89,11
    8|(8)|Cavan|87,5
    9|(10)|Derry|86,98
    10|(9)|Kildare|85,4
    11|(11)|Down|85,18
    12|(12)|Meath|84,84|
    13|(14)|Roscommon|82,27
    14|(15)|Galway|82
    15|(13)|Laois|81,39
    16|(16)|Armagh|80,7
    17|(17)|Tipperary|78,91
    18|(18)|Louth|78,71
    19|(22)|Fermanagh|78,12
    20|(20)|Wexford|77,79
    21|(19)|Westmeath|77,74
    22|(24)|Clare|77,17
    23|(23)|Longford|75,63
    24|(21)|Limerick|74,78
    25|(25)|Sligo|74,74
    26|(26)|Leitrim|72,93
    27|(29)|Wicklow|72,92
    28|(28)|Offaly|72,75
    29|(27)|London|72,1
    30|(31)|Waterford|70,77
    31|(30)|Antrim|70,23
    32|(33)|New York|67,22
    33|(32)|Carlow|66,96
    34|(34)|Kilkenny|61,25

    The variables were the winning bonus margin, championship weighting and initial ranking points score.
    - I decided on a win of 5 points or more which ncreased the points transfer by a multiple of 1.5. - The choice of 5 points is purely subjective but I think a 5 point win in football is suitable cut-off for a solid win.
    - Championship games were double weighted. I know Hanalei didn't originally weight the championship in the hurling, but for football this ensures that the team who wins the championship will finish top of the table (otherwise the ranking system would not align with our perception that the All-Ireland winners are the best team)
    - Initial ranking points of 80 were attributed, this was mainly to ensure that the top team has a ranking points score of close to 100
    - Croke Park was assigned as home venue for Dublin's games
    - I initially compiled the rankings starting from the championship of 2009. I then added the league of '09 and the championship of '08 to see if they would affect current rankings. The results were almost identical, with a maximum change of 0,15 ranking points and a slight re-ordering of 4 teams in the bottom half of the table. I don't think adding previous years would affect the current ranking of the top 10 teams. The one major change would be the further reduction of Kilkenny's rating points
    - All other calculations were based on the IRB system.

    I will try to keep the table updated here and also try to get a historical table/graph onto Wikipedia.

    All comments/criticisms welcome!


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 149 ✭✭ treade1


    Wow. It seems a pretty accurate reflection of where teams stand at the moment. It will be interesting to watch the rankings change as teams complete their league campaigns and as the championship progresses.

    You should get in touch with the guys on Hoganstand to see if they would adopt your ranking system. They regularly rank the teams from 1 to 32 but there ranking is much less scientific.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,750 ✭✭✭ iDave


    New York ahead of Carlow?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,531 ✭✭✭✭ padd b1975


    Roscommon come out of it surprisingly well considering the hammerings they've got in recent championship seasons.


  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ laoisman11


    iDave wrote: »
    New York ahead of Carlow?

    Yeah, a kink in the system to be sure. NY do not get the chance to give up as many points as Carlow as NY only play one game per year. And as things stand, unless NY play Leitrim or Sligo, they won't lose any points in the near future (the other Connaught teams are too highly ranked for points to be exchanged). Of course, were NY to win a game, that would all change.

    In saying that, Carlow are sitting at the bottom of Div. 4.


  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ laoisman11


    padd b1975 wrote: »
    Roscommon come out of it surprisingly well considering the hammerings they've got in recent championship seasons.

    5 from 5 so far in this year's league coupled with 4 wins and a draw in last year's league.

    Coupled with the fact that in last year's champioship, they did not lose any ranking pts in their defeat to Mayo (Mayo were ranked >10 pts ahead of them) and had a slight reduction after their defeat at home to Tyrone (Tyrone were approx. 8 points ahead of them at the time so they didn't gain too much either).


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Roscommon have been beaten by Tyrone for the past three years in the championship.
    Bad luck of the draw.
    I'd argue that only for that they'd be higher up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 EmmeF


    I can see Roscommon shooting up this table with their current form


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,249 ✭✭✭✭ Utopia Parkway


    From a brief look it seems like winning games in divison 3 (Cavan, Roscommon) is worth more than teams who have had average results in division 2 (Armagh, Galway, Laois) or even some divison 1 sides (Derry, Kildare). I guess Cavan had a good run last year which might explain them being so high but Roscommon must be that high on league performances alone.

    Is there weighting involved with the various divisions. For example a win in division 1 is worth more than a win in division 3?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭ Syferus


    We have a Connacht title and a narrow loss in another in the last four years too. Since 2010, aside from 2012 (where we did beat a then D1 Armagh side), our form has been solid in the championship but our luck with draws has been rotten. No team but Galway below us on that list has a provincial title to their name since 2008 and that was in 2008.


  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ laoisman11


    There is no weighting for divisions, although looking at the long-term rankings, it's easy to see that rankings tend to converge during the league, only to diverge again for the championship. The double weighting for the championship helps to push this.

    With regard to losses, if a team loses by more than 4 points, the ranking points lost is multiplied by a factor of 1.5, so narrow losses can help to reduce reductions in rankings. Nevertheless, in the case of Roscommon, the fact that they were regularly knocked out by teams >10 ranking pts ahead of them, meant that they rarely lost ranking points following these defeats, whether the defeat was by one point or 21.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,750 ✭✭✭ iDave


    Personally I would rank Donegal ahead of Monaghan. 1 All Ireland and 2 Ulsters in 3 years against 1 Ulster.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,531 ✭✭✭✭ padd b1975


    Syferus wrote: »
    We have a Connacht title and a narrow loss in another in the last four years too. Since 2010, aside from 2012 (where we did beat a then D1 Armagh side), our form has been solid in the championship but our luck with draws has been rotten. No team but Galway below us on that list has a provincial title to their name since 2008 and that was in 2008.
    Oh lord....


    This is their form just in Connacht- generally considered the poorest standard with the exception of you know who:p

    2013.
    Mayo 0-21
    Roscommon 0-09.

    2012.
    Galway 3-15
    Roscommon 0-10.

    2011.
    Mayo 0-13
    Roscommon 0-11. (Mayo and Galway on the other side of the draw, so easier route to the final.


    2010.
    Provincial champions. (Mayo in the doldrums;))


    2009
    Mayo 3-18
    Roscommon 0-07.

    2008.
    Galway 2-16
    Roscommon 0-06.


    How this catalogue of hammerings translates into a ranking of 13th really highlights the faults with the system


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,963 ✭✭✭ Syferus


    padd b1975 wrote: »
    Oh lord....


    This is their form just in Connacht- generally considered the poorest standard with the exception of you know who:p

    2013.
    Mayo 0-21
    Roscommon 0-09.

    2012.
    Galway 3-15
    Roscommon 0-10.

    2011.
    Mayo 0-13
    Roscommon 0-11. (Mayo and Galway on the other side of the draw, so easier route to the final.


    2010.
    Provincial champions. (Mayo in the doldrums;))


    2009
    Mayo 3-18
    Roscommon 0-07.

    2008.
    Galway 2-16
    Roscommon 0-06.


    How this catalogue of hammerings translates into a ranking of 13th really highlights the faults with the system

    lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 823 ✭✭✭ laoisman11


    padd b1975 wrote: »
    Oh lord....


    This is their form just in Connacht- generally considered the poorest standard with the exception of you know who:p

    2013.
    Mayo 0-21
    Roscommon 0-09.

    2012.
    Galway 3-15
    Roscommon 0-10.

    2011.
    Mayo 0-13
    Roscommon 0-11. (Mayo and Galway on the other side of the draw, so easier route to the final.


    2010.
    Provincial champions. (Mayo in the doldrums;))


    2009
    Mayo 3-18
    Roscommon 0-07.

    2008.
    Galway 2-16
    Roscommon 0-06.


    How this catalogue of hammerings translates into a ranking of 13th really highlights the faults with the system

    This is an example of the type of warp zone effect that I mentioned in the first post, that a team can do well in the league and lose heavily in the championship to much higher ranked teams, thereby maintaining or even increasing their ranking in any given year.

    However, in the long-term, this effect will come and go.

    I think that it's relatively easy to pick out one or two individual teams from time to time and use them to show faults with the ranking system. No system is perfect, but I reckon this one is fairly accurate overall.

    It's also important to keep in mind that recent results (I would say the last 12-18 months) have a much larger bearing on the ranking than older results.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,531 ✭✭✭✭ padd b1975


    laoisman11 wrote: »
    This is an example of the type of warp zone effect that I mentioned in the first post, that a team can do well in the league and lose heavily in the championship to much higher ranked teams, thereby maintaining or even increasing their ranking in any given year.

    However, in the long-term, this effect will come and go.

    I think that it's relatively easy to pick out one or two individual teams from time to time and use them to show faults with the ranking system. No system is perfect, but I reckon this one is fairly accurate overall.

    It's also important to keep in mind that recent results (I would say the last 12-18 months) have a much larger bearing on the ranking than older results.
    Is it possible to tweak it so as to have front door championship wins being worth the most, regardless of opposition?

    Monaghan ahead of Donegal is another one that really sticks out.
    Hopefully as the table matures, it will become more accurate.

    Good work none the less- something new to argue about:)


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,249 ✭✭✭✭ Utopia Parkway


    There should be some sort of weighting between divisions. No way should a win in division 3 count the same as a win in division 2 and especially in division 1. Just doesn't seem corerct that a side can rocket up by winning a lot of games in divison 3 (or 4 for that matter) against pretty modest opposition.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,700 ✭✭✭✭ keane2097


    laoisman11 wrote: »
    Yeah, a kink in the system to be sure. NY do not get the chance to give up as many points as Carlow as NY only play one game per year. And as things stand, unless NY play Leitrim or Sligo, they won't lose any points in the near future (the other Connaught teams are too highly ranked for points to be exchanged). Of course, were NY to win a game, that would all change.

    In saying that, Carlow are sitting at the bottom of Div. 4.

    Would taking New York out disturb the rest of the ranking? They're kind of an anomaly in there.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,727 Godge


    iDave wrote: »
    Personally I would rank Donegal ahead of Monaghan. 1 All Ireland and 2 Ulsters in 3 years against 1 Ulster.


    You might but the purpose of the rankings is to establish which team is better at this moment in time. There is an argument that Donegal had a once-off bad year but the counter-argument is that Monaghan have been steadily improving. At some point in time, if that trend continues, Monaghan are better than Donegal. At the moment, the rankings have them very close with Monaghan just ahead. By the end of the league, it may have changed. We will see.
    From a brief look it seems like winning games in divison 3 (Cavan, Roscommon) is worth more than teams who have had average results in division 2 (Armagh, Galway, Laois) or even some divison 1 sides (Derry, Kildare). I guess Cavan had a good run last year which might explain them being so high but Roscommon must be that high on league performances alone.

    Is there weighting involved with the various divisions. For example a win in division 1 is worth more than a win in division 3?

    IF Derry maintain their rise and win something this year, it will be interesting to see if this will be reflected in the rankings.

    One this that is surprising is the low ranking of Westmeath, despite being a Div. 1 team.

    Overall, let us see how the rankings work through the year and where the All-Ireland champions come from.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,700 ✭✭✭✭ keane2097


    Godge wrote: »
    One this that is surprising is the low ranking of Westmeath, despite being a Div. 1 team.

    Overall, let us see how the rankings work through the year and where the All-Ireland champions come from.

    I think this (along with the rough area of Roscommon's ranking without getting into it) suggests the system is pretty good.

    The league is only seven games, where you can have a disproportionate number at home one year, can be lucky enough to play better teams towards the end when their focus is elsewhere etc.

    I'm not saying this is how Westmeath got to D1, but definitely simply getting to D1 doesn't make them one of the top 8 no more than falling out of D1 would make Kerry or Mayo 9th best.

    If you take a more holistic looks at teams' performances over the last few years, I wouldn't have thought you could possibly make an argument that there was much of a difference between, say, Louth, Westmeath and Longford, and sure enough the ranking has them within a couple of places of one another, with a nod towards Longford's recent disimprovement seeing them on the slide.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    If you take a more holistic looks at teams' performances over the last few years, I wouldn't have thought you could possibly make an argument that there was much of a difference between, say, Louth, Westmeath and Longford, and sure enough the ranking has them within a couple of places of one another, with a nod towards Longford's recent disimprovement seeing them on the slide.

    I'd favour Westmeath to beat Louth or Longford most of the time and Tipperary (who are above them in the table) almost all the time.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,700 ✭✭✭✭ keane2097


    ardmacha wrote: »
    I'd favour Westmeath to beat Louth or Longford most of the time and Tipperary (who are above them in the table) almost all the time.

    Results would show there's been nothing between WM and Louth over the past three years or so. Longford were of a similar standard for about two years and are probably a bit behind now.

    Tipp shouldn't be ahead of them but the difference between first and last on the table is only around ~27 ranking points (excluding KK), from which I'd deduce this table has Tipp ahead of WM by around 0.8 actual points in playing terms.

    That's still a bit off in that case IMO, WM should be listed about 2.5 - 3pts better than Tipp.


  • Registered Users Posts: 541 ✭✭✭ Hibbeler


    Just a question. Have you thought about including a weighting that favours more recent results over results from a number of years ago? For example results from five years ago would still count towards rankings but those points might only be worth a half maybe of results that occurred this year.

    Afaik they do something similar when calculating the fifa rankings in soccer. Just think that it might give a clearer picture of recent form.

    Then again perhaps this is already taken into account?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,264 Fireball07


    Hibbeler wrote: »
    Just a question. Have you thought about including a weighting that favours more recent results over results from a number of years ago? For example results from five years ago would still count towards rankings but those points might only be worth a half maybe of results that occurred this year.

    Afaik they do something similar when calculating the fifa rankings in soccer. Just think that it might give a clearer picture of recent form.

    Then again perhaps this is already taken into account?


    As far as I know, the "give and take" nature of the ranking system accounts for more recent form generally.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭ Blue giant


    padd b1975 wrote: »
    Oh lord....


    This is their form just in Connacht- generally considered the poorest standard with the exception of you know who:p

    2013.
    Mayo 0-21
    Roscommon 0-09.

    2012.
    Galway 3-15
    Roscommon 0-10.

    2011.
    Mayo 0-13
    Roscommon 0-11. (Mayo and Galway on the other side of the draw, so easier route to the final.


    2010.
    Provincial champions. (Mayo in the doldrums;))


    2009
    Mayo 3-18
    Roscommon 0-07.

    2008.
    Galway 2-16
    Roscommon 0-06.


    How this catalogue of hammerings translates into a ranking of 13th really highlights the faults with the system

    I can guarantee you we will be heavily involved in the latter stages of the championship in the not too distant future. We're churning out a serious amount of underage talent the last few years with some of them just starting to break through such as the Smith bros. and Murtagh. In fact I'd go as far as saying that no other county has a conveyor belt of young talent coming through that are better than our bunch.


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ manofwisdom


    padd b1975 wrote: »
    Roscommon come out of it surprisingly well considering the hammerings they've got in recent championship seasons.
    Rankings are i'm sure based on recent form. Its a newish team and what happened in 2008,09 has little relevance. Roscommon would be 15th IMO.

    Blue giant wrote: »
    I'd go as far as saying that no other county has a conveyor belt of young talent coming through that are better than our bunch.
    Roscommon like Galway have plenty of talent coming through however the Dubs are producing the best and have a strong senior base for those young players to make the step up.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    They also have serious financial resources to support improvement and development

    I'd say themselves, Cork and maybe Tyrone have that advantage


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭ Blue giant


    Roscommon like Galway have plenty of talent coming through however the Dubs are producing the best and have a strong senior base for those young players to make the step up.

    I honestly don't agree with that. However I would agree that they look the best as they are playing with as you said a strong senior base( the best in the country probably). Obviously they are going to be able to score a few points. That does not mean to say that there isn't some serious young talent in Dublin but I think it's made out to be more than it is. Also you surely have to take the relative population into account. Surely a county with 1million plus people in it should be able to produce good young players.as mentioned above the financial help and facilities in Dublin would be do much greater than the likes of ours and other similar counties.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 215 ✭✭ Hanalei


    Excellent work, took me a few weeks to do this last summer, you've done this surprisingly quickly!

    Looks like it's reasonably accurate too.

    The hurling ranking thread is a lot more straight forward because the teams are packed a lot closer together in football than they are in hurling, a team that is about 24th one year in football could easily be a top ten team within two years. Your rankings will be subject to much more debate than my one, as the pecking order in hurling is way more straight forward than it is in football.

    First to last is covered by about 30 points in your table while the gap is closer to 65 in mine.

    Croke Park home venue for Dublin- brave call:D I didn't go for that myself!

    Great work though, interesting to note the little differences between our systems! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this thread.

    What year did you pick as your start point? Edit; Nevermind, just seen you picked 2009. Sorry for an annoying request but would you mind if I asked you to post an end of year top three for each year? (I'm just curious!)


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ manofwisdom


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    They also have serious financial resources to support improvement and development

    I'd say themselves, Cork and maybe Tyrone have that advantage

    Cork,Dublin certainly have. I'm not sure whats going on with Tyrone they are producing some good minors teams however its now 2006 since they won Ulster U-21 title.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭ Blue giant


    Cork,Dublin certainly have. I'm not sure whats going on with Tyrone they are producing some good minors teams however its now 2006 since they won Ulster U-21 title.

    They beat us in the minor semi last year all right although I felt that we through it away and that their minors certainly play a similar style of football to their seniors


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